Embattled Donald Trump Dumps on January 6 Committee

Donald Trump Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, in his conference room at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
(Image credit: Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

Donald Trump has weighed in on the January 6 committee's proceedings in an Oct. 13 letter (opens in new tab) to select committee chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) that calls the members of the committee "highly partisan political Hacks and Thugs" and defends those who stormed the Capitol — some threatening to hang Vice President Mike Pence and "get" House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — as American patriots the destruction of whose lives is the "sole function" of that committee.

Of those insurrectionists, some of whom have pled guilty to seditious conspiracy, the former President scolded Thompson: "You have not gone after the people that created the Fraud, but rather great American Patriots who questioned it, as is their Constitutional right. These people have had their lives ruined as your Committee sits back and basks in the glow."

The former President echoed many of his themes over the past months and years —the election was stolen and the committee should have been investigating that; the media is corrupt; his crowd on Jan. 6 was so much bigger than the media portrayed it — the former President's focus on crowd size has become something of a running joke, though given what some in that Jan. 6 crowd did, no matter the size, this crowd was nothing to laugh at.

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Trump cited a Time story to buttress is ongoing claims of a widespread election fraud, a fraud for which dozens of courts have concluded there is no evidence.

"In February 2021, Time Magazine broke the story of the shadow campaign that was launched to rig the 2020 Presidential Election," he told Thompson, adding: "The authors write: 'To the President, something felt amiss. It was all very, very strange,’ Trump said on Dec. 2. 'Within days after the election, we witnessed an orchestrated effort to anoint the winner, even while many key states were still being counted.' In a way, Trump was right. There was a conspiracy unfolding behind the scenes…"

But Trump was not right in cutting off the story there.

The February 2021 Time story (opens in new tab) went on to explain that it was talking about "an extraordinary shadow effort" by "an informal alliance between left-wing activists and business titans," that was "dedicated not to winning the vote but to ensuring it would be free and fair, credible and uncorrupted."

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As to the crowd Trump rallied on January 6, the former President opined that "The massive size of this crowd, and its meaning, has never been a subject of your Committee."

He suggests that was because the corrupt media was hiding the election fraud "crime of the century," or what most now are calling Trump's "Big Lie."

"The massive size of this crowd, and its meaning, has never been a subject of your Committee, nor has it been discussed by the Fake News Media that absolutely refuses to acknowledge, in any way, shape or form, the magnitude of what was taking place," he wrote. "In fact, for such a historic event, there are very few pictures that accurately show the event, or how many people were really there. Incredibly, it seems that pictures showing the size of the event were perhaps cancelled, scrubbed, deleted or, in any event, not available, but we still have some."

"We did show the crowd attacking the police," noted committee member Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) to CNN, calling the letter a "rant." She would not say whether the committee would televise Trump's testimony if he complies with their planned subpoena, but suggested given the tone of his letter that his appearance was a long shot. 

Perhaps not surprisingly, Trump did not respond to the committee's signal it would subpoena his testimony as it continues its investigation, though he did further defend the Jan. 6 Capitol crowd as "hard-working American Patriots, whose records in life have been unblemished until this point of attempted ruination." ■

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.