New Insights Into Trump’s State of Mind on Jan. 6 Chip Away at Doubts

David French, a conservative critic of Mr. Trump, had been skeptical the committee would produce sufficient evidence. “But Hutchinson’s sworn testimony closes a gap in the criminal case against Trump,” he wrote on The Dispatch, a conservative website. Two law professors, Alan Z. Rozenshtein of the University of Minnesota and Jed Handelsman Shugerman of Fordham University, likewise opposed prosecution until seeing Ms. Hutchinson, writing on the Lawfare blog that she changed their minds because she provided “proof of intent.”

The hearings, which will continue after Congress returns on July 11 from its holiday recess, have presented only the prosecution’s side of the story. With Mr. Trump’s acquiescence, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the House Republican leader, opted against appointing anyone to the select committee after Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected a couple of his original selections, leaving the panel composed entirely of Democrats and two Republicans deeply critical of the former president.

Neither Ms. Hutchinson nor any of the other witnesses who have testified have been cross-examined. Their testimony has often been presented in short edited clips rather than in their entirety, and no contrary testimony has been offered publicly. In a courtroom, if it ever came to that, the case against Mr. Trump would be tested as it has not been so far.

“The committee’s presentation has been a purely political exercise, deceptively edited,” said Jason Miller, who served as a political adviser to Mr. Trump during and after the election.

Yet even outside the confines of the hearing room, Mr. Miller and others in Mr. Trump’s camp have mainly attacked the committee or tried to chip away at pieces of the testimony rather than produce much of a defense of the former president’s actions or an alternate explanation for his state of mind.

In his social media posts, Mr. Trump denied asking that armed supporters be allowed at his rally. “Who would ever want that?” he wrote. “Not me!” He focused more of his energy on castigating Ms. Hutchinson in scathing personal terms (“whacko,” “total phony”) and concentrated on one small aspect of her testimony, namely whether he lunged for the wheel of his presidential vehicle when his Secret Service detail refused to take him to the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Source: NYT > U.S. > Politics

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