When President Donald Trump learned his attorney general had publicly rejected his election fraud claims, he heaved his lunch at the wall with such force that the porcelain plate shattered and ketchup streamed down.
On the morning of January 6, 2021, consumed by crowd size concerns, he directed staff in profane terms to remove metal detectors he thought would slow down supporters who'd amassed in Washington for a speech. Never mind that some were armed they weren't there to hurt him, he said.
Later in the day, an irate Trump, when he was being driven back to the White House, insisted that he be driven to the Capitol. He reportedly said, “I am the f'ing president. Take me up to the Capitol now,” and tried to grab the steering wheel from his Secret Service limousine driver. White House counsel Pat Cipollone warned, "We're going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that happen," an AFP report reads.
“A congressional hearing is not a court of law, but if this isn't powerful evidence that he wasn't just aware of the possibility of violence on the 6th but that he actively wanted to encourage it, I'm not sure what is,” said Stephen Vladeck, a University of Texas law professor.
A former White House aide Cassidy Hutchison gave one of the most explosive testimonies in the Capitol Hill hearings. An executive assistant to Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows, Hutchison recalled her boss saying four days before the insurrection, “Things might get real, real bad on January 6. "It's going to be great. The president's going to be there. He's going to look powerful. He's going to be with the members. He's going to be with the senators. Talk to the chief about it. Talk to the chief about it. He knows about it,” Giuliani said, testified Hutchison.
Trump, on Truth Social, denied trying to grab the wheel. “Her Fake story that I tried to grab the steering wheel of the White House Limousine in order to steer it to the Capitol Building is ‘sick’ and fraudulent,” he wrote, Reuters reported. Hutchison, at the testimony also said that Meadows and Giuliani had sought pardons from Trump.
This month saw testimonies from some key figures including Trump’s oldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, and his former attorney general, Bill Barr.
--With PTI inputs