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Trump WH penned statement attacking Barr after he publicly refuted Trump voter fraud allegations, transcript reveals



CNN

In December 2020, after then-Attorney General William Barr publicly refuted President Donald Trump’s claims that the election had been rigged, White House staffers drafted a press release that reportedly called for the firing of anyone who disagreed with Trump’s claims, according to a new transcript from the House Select Committee investigating Jan. 6, 2021.

The draft statement ended with, “Anyone who thinks there was no massive fraud in the 2020 election should be fired,” according to the deposition.

The draft statement — which was never sent and had not been revealed until Friday — was referred to during the committee’s deposition by Trump’s White House counsel Pat Cipollone, according to the transcript. Congressional investigators told him they likely got the statement from the National Archives, which turned over documents from Trump’s White House.

The committee also said during the Cipollone interview that White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson previously said Mark Meadows gave her the draft statement — which was a handwritten note — after an Oval Office meeting the same day. day, Barr had made his public comments refuting Trump. It appears the statement did not explicitly name Barr.

The committee said Hutchinson testified that she was instructed by Meadows to seek Cipollone’s approval before the statement was posted on social media. The committee said Hutchinson said Cipollone’s answer was “God, no.” Cipollone said he had no recollection of the draft statement or the episode.

“By the way, I wasn’t fired,” Cipollone joked to the committee.

Cipollone’s deposition is one of about 50 additional transcripts released Friday evening by the Jan. 6 committee. The latest batch contained interviews with key witnesses, including Trump White House insiders and lawyers who have worked for the Trump campaign.

Elaine Chao, who served as Trump’s transportation secretary, said she had no recollection of discussing the 25th Amendment after the insurgency, according to a transcript of her January 6 committee testimony released Friday.

Asked by congressional investigators if she had any concerns about Trump’s mental health, Chao said she didn’t go to many White House meetings at the end of Trump’s term. Chao was careful not to criticize Trump too much in his interview. She said she hadn’t seen him for some time.

“At that time, I had no personal contact with him,” Chao said. “I didn’t go to the White House, there were no meetings, so I hadn’t been near him.”

Chao, who resigned on January 6, said she resigned once she realized “all the ramifications of the actions that were taken by certain people and the results that occurred.” Asked about Trump’s conduct that day, she said, “I wish he had acted differently.”

Asked about the inner workings of Trump’s White House and who he trusted among his aides and advisers, Chao said, “I’m not sure he trusted anyone.”

Chao said she did not recall speaking to any other cabinet members that day — although Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia told the committee he spoke to her.

Ivanka Trump, who served as a senior White House adviser to her father, delivered text messages to the Jan. 6 committee, a newly released transcript of her testimony reveals.

It was not previously known that she had texted the panel, although video clips of her April deposition were shown at the committee’s public hearings this summer.

The content of the SMS remains unclear.

The panel’s line of questioning didn’t delve into the content of his texts, but instead veered into his father’s cellphone habits, including whether he ever sent and received text messages. Ivanka Trump said she had “never” texted with her father on “any device”.

Yet this is the latest example of how the committee has obtained a wealth of evidence, including material that was not previously known.

Sidney Powell, a conspiracy lawyer who helped Trump’s attempts to nullify the 2020 election, said Trump and his allies believed he couldn’t have lost because of his big “rallies” and his ” common sense,” according to a transcript of his deposition. to the January 6 committee published on Friday.

She said that was the consensus in the room at a White House meeting she attended with Trump just days after the election. She told the committee that Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was also there with White House aides, according to the transcript.

“He wanted to know the truth,” Powell said, referring to Trump. “And our general consensus was that the vast majority of people had poured out in support of the president. The rallies indicated that. All the information we had indicated that. just didn’t make sense.

She also claimed that “mathematical geniuses” had contacted her to tell her that Joe Biden’s victory was statistically impossible.

The testimony shows how paper-thin theories of fraud emanating from Trump’s orbit were.

Despite his claims, there is no evidence that the 2020 election result was tainted by widespread fraud or voter fraud. Many of the conspiracies Powell promoted about the election have been thoroughly debunked.

During the presidential transition, Trump came close to appointing Powell as special counsel to use the powers of the federal government to investigate his baseless theories of voter fraud. Senior White House officials and lawyers vehemently opposed the idea and it never happened.

Cipollone told the Jan. 6 committee that it “would have been a disaster” if Trump made Powell special counsel, according to a transcript of his deposition.

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