Democrat on Jan. 6 hearing: ‘We’re going to see how much Trump was involved’
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) on Tuesday said the House Jan. 6 select committee’s first hearing will show how much former President Trump was involved with the events that led to the Capitol riot.
“We’re going to see how much Trump was involved. Trump ran this show. He ran it from the time he lost the election in November and he did it with his son, or sons, and all of his henchmen up there,” Cohen said during an interview with CNN.
The Tennessee Democrat’s comments come two days before the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol is scheduled to hold its first public hearing after nearly a year of digging into the events that led to the deadly attack.
The televised hearing, which is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m., has promised to feature previously unseen material documenting the riot, in addition to witness testimony.
The panel has conducted more than 1,000 interviews and obtained upward of 125,000 documents throughout its probe.
Cohen on Tuesday said he is looking for new evidence in the hearing that shows “involvement of Republican legislators that denied that they met with President Trump on Jan. 6 and soon before.”
“But we have proof through Mark Meadows’s emails and other evidence that they did in fact meet and that they worked with them,” he said, referring to messages from Trump’s then-White House chief of staff.
“And there were several legislators who have denied being involved, but they are involved and it went to the highest powers. They were all close to Meadows, they all encouraged Meadows, I think we’re going to see that,” he added.
Trump met with a group of GOP lawmakers prior to the Capitol riot, including Reps. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), according to Politico. The Jan. 6 committee issued Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) a subpoena last month, and the congressman is now requesting “additional information concerning the rationale” for the request.
Cohen argued to CNN that Meadows and Trump’s allies “were willing to have [Vice President] Mike Pence hung and thought that would have been a good thing.”
He pointed to the gallows that were brought near the Capitol on Jan. 6 and chants of “hang Mike Pence.”
“Nobody knows yet who brought that gallows or constructed that gallows on the Capitol grounds, but that was done with the purpose to intimidate, to instill fear and possibly, I think, to be used,” the congressman said.
Asked if he is concerned that violence around elections may continue during this year’s midterms, Cohen said, “We all should be concerned about the midterms being harmed, and all public officials should be concerned about their own safety, I fear.”
“I had no doubt on Jan. 6, I felt my life was in danger when I was in the gallery. And when I was there I hollered down the floor and said, ‘Call Trump and ask him to call off his revolutionary guard,’” Cohen said.
“It was clear to me what had occurred that day, and it’s still going on, and it continues, because the man is intent to get power and Republicans helped him and Republicans continue to help him,” he added.