Lies can kill, as proved by Tuesday’s hearing

Trump’s exhortation to march to Capitol Hill was planned rather than spontaneous — and his closest advisers knew it was premised on the lie that the election had been stolen. That lie killed seven on Jan. 6, 2021.

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Editorials

July 13, 2022 - 5:03 PM

Stephen Ayres, left, who entered the U.S. Capitol illegally on Jan. 6, 2021, and Jason Van Tatenhove, who served as national spokesman for the Oath Keepers and as a close aide to Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, are sworn-in during the seventh hearing by the House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on July 12, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Demetrius Freeman/Pool/Getty Images/TNS

“Big protest in D.C. on January 6th,” President Donald Trump tweeted in December of 2020. “Be there, will be wild!” His supporters listened.

This week’s hearing by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol underscored the connections between key Trump associates and right-wing militia groups along with others who participated in the insurrection. The “unhinged” six-hour meeting in advance of Jan. 6, filled with expletives and shouting so loud it could be heard outside the closed Oval Office, remains disturbing as ever. So does the draft executive order presented to the president that would have authorized the Defense Department to seize all voting machines. More alarming still is the revelation that lawyer Sidney Powell believed she had been appointed special counsel, another part of that plan.

Perhaps most consequential is the news, shared by Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) at the end of Tuesday’s hearing that Mr. Trump recently tried to call an unnamed witness in the House’s investigation. This troubling outreach to a witness, along with the rest of Mr. Trump’s conduct, deserves further probing.

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