National Security

Retired judge to tell Jan. 6 panel Trump, allies ‘instigated’ war on democracy to ‘cling to power’: reports

Judge Michael Luttig
Michael Luttig headshot, as US 4th Circuit Court Of Appeals judge, undated photo on black

Former federal Judge J. Michael Luttig, one of two witnesses that the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot will hear from on Thursday afternoon, is expected to say that former President Trump and his allies “instigated” a war on democracy so Trump could “cling to power,” CNN reported.

CNN was the first to report and obtain the full 12-page statement that is expected to be submitted by Luttig for the panel’s record, the network noted. Some aspects of his statement were first reported by CBS News.

“The war on democracy instigated by the former president and his political party allies on January 6 was the natural and foreseeable culmination of the war for America,” Luttig says in the statement. 

“It was the final fateful day for the execution of a well-developed plan by the former president to overturn the 2020 presidential election at any cost, so that he could cling to power that the American People had decided to confer upon his successor, the next president of the United States instead,” he continues. 

Luttig is expected to say that Trump and his supporters knew that the former president lost the 2020 presidential election but claimed that Trump had won anyway.

“The treacherous plan was no less ambitious than to steal America’s democracy,” he is slated to say.

Luttig’s statement comes as the former federal judge will testify before the panel’s third public June hearing along with Greg Jacob, former counsel to former Vice President Mike Pence.

Pence, who refused to overturn the 2020 presidential election results, noted in his decision against doing so Luttig’s legal reasoning.

“More recently, as the former U.S. Court of Appeals Judge J. Michael Luttig observed, ‘[t]he only responsibility and power of the vice president under the Constitution is to faithfully count the Electoral College votes as they have been cast,’ adding ‘the Constitution does not empower the vice president to alter in any way the votes that have been cast, either by rejecting certain votes or otherwise,’” the former vice president said in a letter on Jan. 6. 

The Hill has reached out to a Trump spokesperson for comment. 

Tags federal judge Jan. 6 hearing Michael Luttig Trump
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