tv January 6 Hearings Second Hearing on Investigation of Capitol Attack CSPAN June 13, 2022 12:12pm-12:57pm EDT
former united states attorney for the northern district of georgia. mr. smith is a former city commissioner for the city of philadelphia where he served for more than 10 years. mr. ginsberg is one of the leading election law attorneys in the country. the country ands represented republican presidential candidates in election litigation dating back to 2000, where he represented george w. bush in the bush v. gore litigation. i one elsewhere in our witnesses. -- i i will now swear in our witnesses. [witnesses were sworn in] >> thank you. please be seated.
let the record reflect the witnesses answered in the affirmative. pursuant to section 5c8 of house resolution 503 503 i now ree the gentlewoman from california ms. lofgren. >> thank you, mr. chairman. before the break i think you all heard mr. barr and mr. donahoe talk about the false claims that mr. trump and his supporters made about suitcases of take ballots in georgia get where the witness are today who thoroughly investigated that issue. this trip back, i want to thank you for appearing before us today. you were appointed by president trump to serve as use attorney for the northern district of georgia and you served for 2017 into january of 2021. you were the lead federal prosecutor there and work for the department of justice under the attorney general bill barr.
were you ever asked by attorney general barr to investigate claims of voter fraud and the 2020s election? and if so, what were those claims? >> thank you, congressman lofgren. thank you for the question. approximately december 4th i believe of 2020, attorney general barr and i had a conversation about an unrelated case at issue. at the end of the conversation mr. barr had asked me if i'd seen a certain videotape that was being reported in the news where mr. giuliani, in a subcommittee hearing that was held the day before, , may 3, showed a videotape of a purportedly security tape at fulton county and the city of atlanta. i'm sorry, city of, yes. at the time mr. barr asked me
that he had made a public statement that he had not seen any widespread election fraud that would question the outcome of the election. and because of the videotape and a serious allegation that mr. giuliani was making with respect to this suitcase full of ballots reported in the video, he asked me to find out what it could about it because he had envisioned that some days after he was going to go to the white house for meeting and that issue might come up. he asked me to make it a priority to get to the bottom of, to try to substantiate the allegation made by mr. giuliani. >> thank you. i understand that georgia secretary of state's office investigated those allegations and didn't find any evidence of fraud. what did you find when your
office conducted its own investigation? >> we found that this suitcase full of olives, the alleged black suitcase that was being seen pulled from under the table was actually an official lockbox where ballots were kept safe. we found out that there was a mistake in terms of misunderstanding that there were done counting ballots for the night. and the partisan watchers that was signed by each of the respective party were announced at to send hope it went to realize someone from the secretary of state office had indicated no, no, no, , we're nt done for the night you need to go heading continue counting, so once they packed up the lockbox full of ballots they brought back the official ballot box again and continued to tally the ballots from that, from the lockbox. unfortunately during the senate hearing mr. giuliani only played
a clip the show them pulling out the official ballot box from under the table, and referring to that as smoking gun of fraud in fulton county went and actually in review of the entire video, it showed that was actually an official ballot box that was kept underneath the table, and then we saw them pac up because of the announcement that they were done for the night, and then once the nasa was made and you could continue counting that brought the ballot box back out and they continued to count. we interviewed fbi interviewed the individuals that are depicted in the videos, the purportedly double, , triple cunning of the ballot and determined that nothing irregular happened in the counting and the allegations made by mr. giuliani were false. >> thank you very much. i would like to play again a testimony from mr. donahoe who appear before the committee
before today. >> mr. donahoe, we talked at some length about whether or not the white house, the present was informed about the report. on the result of the investigation the interviews that are going on on fulton county, how would those results have been communicated to the white house, to the president? >> i don't know how to initially communicated. do know that they came up in subsequent conversations with the president, and we essentially told him we look into that and it's just not true. >> okay. so he was informed? >> i told the president myself that several times in several conversations that these allegations about ballots being smuggled in in the suitcase and run to the machine several times, it was not true, that would look at a conflict of the video, interviewed witnesses and it was not true.
>> mr. pak after you left the u.s. attorney's office on january 4, 2021, the next u.s. attorney there, mr. trump's personal pick, bobby christine come to investigate any remaining claims of fraud? and if so, did he find any evidence that supported the president claims of voter fraud? >> it is my understanding that mr. christine continued in investigations that were pending at the time of my departure what he was unable to find any evidence of fraud that affected the outcome of the election. >> so after investigating the president's and mr. giuliani's claims about voter fraud in georgia, is it your view today that there was no evidence of widespread fraud sufficient to undermine confidence in the outcome of the election in georgia? >> that is correct. >> thank you, mr. pak, and i want to thank you also for the service that you have given to our country. we appreciate that.
>> next, i would like to turn to president trump's false allegations about election integrity in philadelphia. the attorney general discussed these allegations at some length. >> you know, the idea the president has repeatedly suggested that there was some kind of outpouring of unexpected votes in inner-city areas like philadelphia as recently as january 13 when he walked off the npr set, he was asked by the interviewer what's your evidence of fraud? and he said more people voted in philadelphia and there were voters. that was absolutely rubbish. in the turnout in philadelphia was in line with the states turnout and, in fact, it was not as impressive as many suburban counties, and there was nothing strange about the philadelphia turnout. it was like that was all these
unexpected votes that came out in philadelphia. so you you know i think oncu actually look at the votes, there's an obvious explanation. for example, in pennsylvania trump ran weaker than the republican ticket generally. he ran weaker than two of the state candidates. he ran weaker than the congressional delegation, running for federal congress, and he ran weaker than the republican, i think i haven't looked at this recently but he generally was a weak element on the republican ticket. so that does not suggest that the election was stolen by fraud. >> how about pennsylvania and philadelphia about alleged discrepancy between number of absentee ballots issued in the number of ballots -- >> right. that was one of the big ones for a period of time. i think that was raised in gettysburg by giuliani or something like that but he kept
on being repeated. i found it annoying because i didn't see that it was right so i called nick swain and he got back to me and said no, the problem is that giuliani threw out, throughout this time and what he did was he mixed apples and oranges and took the number of applications for the republican primary and he compared it to the number of absentee votes cast in the general election. but once you actually go and look and compare apples to apples there's no discrepancy at all. and that's one of, i think at some point i covered that with the president. >> we had another witness here today who has detailed knowledge about the election process in philadelphia. mr. schmidt, at the time of the 2020 presidential election you were serving as the only
republican member of philadelphia's three-member city commission which is responsible for overseeing elections throughout the city. is that correct? >> that's correct, congressperson. >> so president trump made numerous claims regarding fraudulent voting practices in philadelphia, including the claim that dead people were voting. in fact, mr. giuliani told pennsylvania state legislators that 8000 dead people voted in pennsylvania. you investigated those claims of voter fraud. can you tell us what you found? >> not only was it not evidence of 8000 dead voters voting in pennsylvania, there wasn't evidence of eight. we took seriously every case that was referred to us, no matter how fantastical, the matter how absurd and took everyone every one of those seriously including these. >> as it turns out even mr. trump's campaign lawyers knew that the dead voter claims were
not valid. >> i guess the crooks in philadelphia are disappointed in this the only submitted 8021 ballots from dead people, mail-in ballots for dead people. it would be easier for dead people to smith mail-in ballots than it is to vote in person. >> roti was at this stage of his life the same ability to manage things at this level or not. and obviously they never proved the allegations that they were making and they were trying to develop. >> mr. schmidt, on november 11, 2020, president trump tweeted about you saying, and here's a quote, a guy named al schmidt, a philadelphia commissioner and so-called republican, or rhino, is being used big-time by the fake news media to explain how
honest things were with respect to the election in philadelphia. he refuses to look at a mountain of corruption dishonesty. we win. as a result of that tweet and the cnn interview and you gave where you stated a dead voter claims in pennsylvania were false, you and your staff were subjected to disturbing threats. can you tell us about that? >> the threats prior to that tweet and on some level it feels almost silly to talk about tweet but we can really see the impact they have because prior to that the threats were pretty general in nature, corrupt election officials in philadelphia are going to get what's coming to them. you'll i what the second amendment is for. you are walking into the lions den, all sorts of things like that. after the president tweeted at me by name, calling out in the way that he did, the threats became much more specific, much more graphic. and included not just me by
name, but included members of my family by name, their ages, our address, pictures of our home. just every bit of detail that you could imagine. that is what what changed with that tweet. >> hang me are redacted threats that you received that you provided to the committee -- behind me -- we redacted portions of the text to protect your family. mr. schmidt, i think i speak for all of my colleagues when i iy we are deeply sorry for what you and your loved ones have been through. and i also want to thank you for your service, to your country and for standing up for the rule of law. i want to thank both mr. pak and mr. schmidt for their service for the testimony and for standing up for the rule of law. now, i would like to turn to another subject.
the courts in our country provide a legitimate venue for campaigns to challenge what they view as irregular election practice. courts have the final say in how the law applies to those challenges. we have a renowned legal expert here to address the trump campaign activities in court. mr. ginsburg, you spent your entire career representing republicans in election related litigation. you serve as a national council on republican presidential campaigns in 2000, in 2004, and in 2012. you played a key role in the 2000 florida recount the lead to the supreme court's decision in bush v. gore. you serve as the cochair of the presidential commission on election administration. i think it's fair to say you are the most prominent republican
lawyer who has litigated in the election field. now you analyzed the trump campaign litigation pretty carefully. what's the like normal process for postelection litigation? how was the trump campaign is different from the height of postelection litigation you have been involved in and know about? >> in the normal course of things in the campaign on the night of the election and the days after we will do a couple of different things. one, is they will analyze recent results to look for abnormalities in the results and they will send people to those precincts to ask more questions. secondly, all campaigns will have paul watchers and poll workers and observers in the polling place. so campaigns will talk to those people if they saw any irregularities that could cause problems in the election. now the trump campaign talked
pre-election about having 50,000 poll workers so presumably a did have eyes on the ground in all these places. so when the normal course of things i campaign will analyze the reports that come in. trump campaign had a couple of basic problems, however. number one, the 2020 election was not close. in 2000 that was 537 close. in this election the most narrow margin was 10,000 and something in arizona, and you just don't make up those sorts of numbers in recount. and when the claims of fraud and irregularities were made, you have heard very compelling testimony from mr. stepien, from matt morgan, from alex cannon, about those claims and how they didn't believe them. so that put the trump campaign
on sort of a process of bringing cases without the actual evidence which you have to have in which the process is designed to bring out. >> so are you aware of any instance in which a court found the trump campaign fraud claims to be credible? >> no. there was never that instance. and all the cases that were brought, and i've looked at the more than 60 that include more than 180 counts, and, and no, the simple fact is that the trump campaign did not make its case. >> the select committee has identified 62 postelection lawsuits filed by the trump campaign and his allies between november 4, 2020, and and january 6th, 2021. those cases resulted in 61 losses and only a single victory which actually didn't affect the outcome for either candidate. despite of those 61 losses,
president trump and his allies claimed that the courts refused to hear them out, and as a result they never had their day in court. mr. ginsburg, what you say about the claims that mr. trump wasn't given an opportunity to provide the evidence they had a voter fraud? did they, in fact, did they have their day in court? >> they did have their day in court. about half of those cases that you mentioned were dismissed at the procedural stage for a lack of standing, the proper people didn't bring the case, or the wasn't sufficient evidence and it got dismissed on a motion to dismiss. but in the other two were discussion of the merits that were contained in the complaints, and in no instance did a court fine at the charges of fraud were real. and it's also worth noting that even if the trump campaign complained that it did not have its day in court, there had been
postelection reviews in each of the six battleground states that could've made a difference. and those range from the somewhat farcical cyborg ninja cases in arizona to the michigan senate report that was mentioned earlier, the hand recount in georgia that mr. pak addressed, and in each one of those instances there was no credible evidence of fraud produced by the trump campaign or his supporters. >> thank you. as mr. ginsburg has explained, there are no cases where the trump campaign was able to convince a court that there was widespread fraud or irregularities in in the 2020 election. over and over judges voted by democrats and republicans alike directly refuted this false narrative. they called out the tramp campaign like of evidence for its claims and the judges did that even in cases where the could've simply thrown out the
lawsuit without writing a word. >> you can see behind me a few excerpts from the decisions in these 62 cases. the trump campaign said lack of evidence was criticized by judges across the political spectrum. in pennsylvania a trump appointed judge concluded, quote, charges requires specific allegations and proofs if we have neither here. another trump appointed judge warned that if cases like these succeeded, quote, any disappointed loser in a presidential election able to hire a team of clever lawyers could flag claim deviation from election results and cast doubt on election results. the list goes on and on. allegations are called quote, an amalgamation with theories, conjecture and speculation. and another, legal arguments without merit.
unsupported by evidence, derived from wholly unreliable sources, a fundamental and obvious misreading of the constitution. the rejection of president trump's litigation efforts was overwhelming. 22 federal judges appointed by republican presidents, including ten appointed by president trump himself, and at least 24 elected or appointed republican state judges dismissed the president's claims. at least 11 lawyers have been referred or disciplinary proceedings due to bad faith and baseless efforts to undermine the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. rudy giuliani had his license to practice law suspended in new york, and just this week i newly filed complaint will potentially make his suspension from practicing law in d.c. permanent.
and as we have just heard from perhaps the most preeminent republican election lawyer in recent history, the trump campaign unprecedented effort to overturn its election loss in court with deeply damaging abuse of it process as stated by u.s. district court judge david carter. this was, quote, a coup in search of a legal theory. thank you, mr. chairman, and i yield back. >> i want to thank our witnesses for joining us today. the members of the select committee may have additional questions for today's witnesses, and we ask that you respond expeditiously in writing to those questions. without objection, members will be permitted ten business days to submit statements for the record, including opening remarks and additional questions
for the witnesses. the second panel of witnesses is now dismissed. [inaudible conversations] >> without objection the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california, ms. lofgren, for a closing statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. now that we understand the litigation efforts by president trump and his allies i would like to present additional actions taken by the trump campaign during this time. president trump continued to push the stolen election narrative, even though he and his allies knew that their litigation efforts, making the
same claim, had failed. it's worth pointing out that litigation generally does not continue past the safe harbor date of december 14. but the fact that this litigation went on, well, that decision makes more sense when you consider the trump campaign fund-raising tactics. because if the litigation had stopped on december 14 14th , there would've been no fight to defend the election and no clear path to continue to raise millions of dollars. mr. chairman, at this time i would ask unanimous consent to include in the record a video presentation describing how president trump used the lies he told to raise millions of dollars from the american people. these fund-raising schemes were also part of the effort to disseminate the false claims of election fraud. >> without objection, so ordere ordered. >> i am senior investigator counsel of the house select
committee to investigate the january 6th attack on the united states capital. between election day and january 6th a trump campaign sent millions of fund-raising emails to trump supporters. sometimes as many as 25 25(a) day. the e-mails claimed book, , left wing mob was undermining to the election. step up to protect the integrity of the election and encourage them to quote fight back. but as so selectively has demonstrated the trump campaign nude these claims and voter fraud were false, yet they continue to barrage small dollar donors and e-mails, encouraging to donate to something called the official election defense fund. the select committee discovered no such fund existed. i don't think there's actually a fund called the election defense fund. >> it was another i think we called it a marketing tactic, and tells about these marketing tactics. >> just topic matter where money
could potentially go, how many could potentially be used. >> the claims of this election was stolen were so successful come president trump and its allies raise $250 million, nearly $100 million in the first week after the election. on november 9, 2020, president trump created a separate entity called the save america back. most of the money raised went to the newly created pac, not to election related litigation. the select committee discovered that the save america pac made millions of contributions to protest organizations including $1 million to trump chief of staff mark meadows checkable foundation. $1 million to the america first policy institute, a conservative organization which employs several former top administration officials, $204,857 to the trump hotel collection, and over $5 million to event strategies, the company $5 million to event strategies, the company the rent president trump's january 6th rally. >> all of us here today do not
want to see our election victory stolen by a bold and radical left the democrats which is what they're doing. >> the evidence developed by the select committee highlights how the trump campaign aggressively pushed false election claims to fund raise. telling supporters it would be used to fight voter fraud that did not exist. the emails continued through january 6th even as president trump spoke on that day. 30 minutes after the last fund-raising e-mail was sent the capitol was breached. [shouting] >> every american is entitled and encouraged to participate in our election process. political fund-raising as part of that. small dollar donors use scarce disposable income to support
candidates and causes of their choosing to make their voices heard, and those donors deserve the truth about what those funds will be used for. throughout the committee's investigation we found evidence that the trump campaign and its surrogates misled donors as to where their funds would go and what they would be used for pixel not only was there the big lie, there was the big ripoff. donors deserve to know where their funds are really going. they deserve better than what president trump and his team did. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> without objection the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from wyoming, ms. cheney, for a closing statement. >> thank you very much, mr. cha. mr. chairman, i would like to thank all of our witnesses today, and i would also like to in particular wish mr. stepien and his family all the best on the arrival of a new baby.
today's hearing, mr. chairman, was very narrowly focused, and in the coming days use the committee move on to president trump's broader planning for january 6th, colluding his plan to cut the department of justice and is detailed planning with lawyer john eastman to pressure the vice president, state legislatures, state officials, and others to overturn the election. let me leave you today with one click, to preview what you will see in one of our hearings to come. this is the testimony of white house lawyer eric herschmann. john eastman called mr. herschmann the day after january 6th, and here's how that conversation went. >> i said to him are you out of your acting mind? i only want to hear two words come out of your mouth for now, orderly transition.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> at the conclusion of last week's hearing, we showed you a video explaining why that come to washington on january 6th. it was because donald trump told them to be here. today we heard about some of the lies donald trump embraced and amplified when it became clear he didn't have the numbers of votes to win the election. we heard about health officials in different levels of government explored claims of fraud, and found no evidence. yet, the former president continue to repeat those false claims over and over again. today will end things where we did on thursday, back on january
6th, hearing words of individuals who wanted to stop the transfer of power. we know they were there because of donald trump. now we hear some of the things they believed. without objection i enter into the record a video presentation. >> i know exactly what's going on right now. fake election. they put biden in office. it ain't happening today. >> have you voted? >> yes, sir. voted early, went well except, can't really trust the software. dominion software all over. >> we voted and right at the top right-hand corner of the dominion voting machine that we used there was a wi-fi symbol with five bars. so that most deadly is connected to the internet without a doubt.
so they stole that from us twice. twice. we are not doing it anymore. we are not taking it anymore, so we're standing up, we are here and whatever happens we are not laying down again. [shouting] >> 200,000 people that were not register voted. 437,000 votes -- and you can stand there and tell me that it works. >> i don't want to say that what we're doing is right, but if the election is being stolen, what is it going to say? >> the chair request those in the hearing room remain seated until the capitol police have escorted members from the room. without objection, the committee stands adjourned.
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> that wraps up the second hearing of the january 6 committee. this is the first of three hearings this week. the next one, wednesday at 10 a.m. eastern with another thursday. if you missed any of today's hearing, we'll reair it tonight, 9 p.m. eastern on c-span. you can also follow these hearings online at c-span.org or on the go with the c-span now free video app. hearings, house and senate session, campaign events, and more. all on c-span now. available wherever you get your