Former President Trump on Monday issued a 12-page rebuttal to testimony and evidence presented by a House committee investigating the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, accusing Democrats of seeking to distract from a series of domestic issues facing the country.
“Seventeen months after the events of January 6th, Democrats are unable to offer solutions,” Trump said in a statement released through his Save America PAC. “They are desperate to change the narrative of a failing nation, without even making mention of the havoc and death caused by the Radical Left just months earlier. Make no mistake, they control the government. They own this disaster. They are hoping that these hearings will somehow alter their failing prospects.”
The 12-page document underscores how Trump has yet to move on from his false claims of fraud in the 2020 election and how the committee’s work may be central to a potential 2024 campaign.
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection has held two public hearings thus far as it builds a case to show Trump was repeatedly informed by aides that the election was not stolen or rigged but continued to claim publicly that it was for months, misleading his supporters.
In the 12-page document, Trump repeats a handful of disproven claims to assert the 2020 election was stolen from him and rigged in favor of Democrats, including some that were brought up during testimony by former Trump campaign and administration officials.
One section of Trump’s statement focuses on ballot trafficking claims, for which he cites the Dinesh D’Souza documentary “2000 Mules.” In testimony shown earlier Monday, former Attorney General William Barr laughed at the mention of the film, saying he was “unimpressed with it” and dismissed the idea that it proved widespread fraud.
Another section asserts that President Biden could not have won the states of Pennsylvania, Arizona or Georgia because he got more Black votes and Hispanic votes than former President Obama. Each of those states has performed audits and recounts and found no evidence of widespread fraud.
Trump in one section claimed states such as Pennsylvania and Michigan took additional time after Election Day to count ballots because it was part of an elaborate scheme to ship in fraudulent votes so Biden could erase Trump’s narrow leads in those states.
But former Fox News editor Chris Stirewalt testified in person on Monday to dismiss that very theory, known as the “red mirage.” Stirewalt explained that Republicans typically do better on Election Day, while Democrats perform better in early voting. Some states, such as Pennsylvania, do not count early votes or mail-in ballots until Election Day, meaning it takes additional time to finalize the count.
“We had gone to pains — and I’m proud of the pains we went to — to make sure that we were informing viewers that this was going to happen because the Trump campaign and the president had made it clear that they were going to try to exploit this anomaly,” Stirewalt said Monday.
The Jan. 6 hearings have shown a number of former Trump aides dismissing his claims of election fraud and insisting they told the former president he did not have a case based in fact in the aftermath of the 2020 election.
Barr has testified that he told Trump his claims about the election were “bullshit” and referred to them as “nonsense” and “idiotic.” In a deposition shown Monday, Barr told the committee he worried Trump was “detached from reality” in the weeks after the election as he claimed without evidence that certain voting machines were designed to cheat.
But Trump has repeatedly shown he will not back down from his claims that the 2020 election was stolen, turning it into a major campaign issue in the 2022 midterms and beyond. He has backed candidates who continue to deny that Biden is the legitimately elected president, and he has supported challengers to the Republicans who voted to impeach him over the Capitol riot.
“As we near the midterm elections, we’re watching the Swamp creatures circle the drain as true Americans step up to replace the corrupt Establishment with patriots who will fight for our freedoms,” Trump says in Monday’s 12-page statement.
“The Establishment is holding on as tightly as they can to their power as they watch it slip from their grasp. Our country is in a nosedive,” he continues. “Americans are struggling to fill their gas tanks, feed their babies, educate their children, hire employees, order supplies, protect our border from invasion, and a host of other tragedies that are 100% caused by Democrats who obtained power through a rigged election, and the people of our country are both angry and sad.”