Trump's Former Chief of Staff Urges Republicans to 'Pay Attention' to Jan. 6 Hearings

·4 min read
Mick Mulvaney
Mick Mulvaney

Samuel Corum/Getty Mick Mulvaney

Donald Trump's former chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is urging Republicans to "pay attention" to the ongoing hearings held by the committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riots.

In an op-ed penned for The Charlotte Observer, Mulvaney notes that Republicans should keep up with the hearings — primarily because those testifying about the events of that day are Republicans themselves, many of whom were appointed by Trump.

Mulvaney served as the budget director before becoming Trump's acting chief of staff and, later, special U.S. envoy to Northern Ireland. He resigned shortly after the attack on the Capitol.

So far, the U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection have held six public hearings, which began on June 9 and have all featured new revelations about the events leading up to the attacks.

RELATED: Cassidy Hutchinson, Now Facing Security Threats, Knew Life Would Change If She Testified Against Donald Trump

The committee has heard testimony from Justice Department officials who detailed Trump's unrelenting pressure to find evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election, Capitol Police officers who fought off Trump supporters, and some former White House staffers, who have detailed the former president's alleged behavior in the hours leading up to the riots.

The most striking of the hearings so far, Mulvaney writes in his op-ed, came last week, when a former aide to Mark Meadows (another of Trump's chiefs of staff) testified that Trump was aware his supporters were armed in D.C. on Jan. 6, and that he lunged at his Secret Service detail in the car in an attempt to reach the Capitol that day.

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WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 28: A video of former President Trump's motorcade leaving the January 6th rally on the Ellipse is displayed as Cassidy Hutchinson, a top former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testifies during the sixth hearing held by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol on June 28, 2022 in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC. The bipartisan committee, which has been gathering evidence related to the January 6, 2021 attack at the U.S. Capitol for almost a year, is presenting its findings in a series of televised hearings. On January 6, 2021, supporters of President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol Building in an attempt to disrupt a congressional vote to confirm the electoral college win for Joe Biden. (Photo by Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 28: A video of former President Trump's motorcade leaving the January 6th rally on the Ellipse is displayed as Cassidy Hutchinson, a top former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testifies during the sixth hearing held by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol on June 28, 2022 in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC. The bipartisan committee, which has been gathering evidence related to the January 6, 2021 attack at the U.S. Capitol for almost a year, is presenting its findings in a series of televised hearings. On January 6, 2021, supporters of President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol Building in an attempt to disrupt a congressional vote to confirm the electoral college win for Joe Biden. (Photo by Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images)

Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Video of then-President Trump leaving his Jan. 6, 2021 rally in a Secret Service SUV is shown at a June 28, 2022 hearing of the House select committee investigating the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters.

Elsewhere in the hearing, committee members spoke about how at least one witness had testified that allies of Trump had reached out to them, seemingly in an attempt to influence their testimony.

"For the first time, evidence was presented that former President Trump knew some of the protesters were armed before encouraging them to go the Capitol, that right-wing extremist rioters communicated directly with the White House, that key Presidential advisers requested pardons, that the chief White House lawyer was concerned about getting 'charged with every crime imaginable,' and that someone within Trump world may be trying to tamper with committee witnesses," Mulvaney writes.

RELATED: 5 Key Moments from the First Jan. 6 Hearing, from Never-Before-Seen Video to Ivanka Trump's Testimony

In day six of its hearings, the committee showed two text messages that they said illustrated a pressure campaign on witnesses deposed for the hearings.

One of the messages, which is partially redacted, reads: "[A person] let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. He wants me to let you know that he's thinking about you. He knows you're loyal, and you're going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition."

While Mulvaney calls the allegations "serious stuff," he notes in his op-ed that "roughly half the country — the Republican half — isn't watching."

RELATED: Capitol Police Officer Testifies About the 'Carnage' of Jan. 6: 'I Was Slipping in People's Blood'

And while he agrees with some of the criticism in conservative circles — that evidence is edited, or that there's no cross-examination of witnesses, for instance — Mulvaney says "they still should be paying attention."

"That is because, despite all of the flaws in the structure of the heavily Democrat committee, almost all of the evidence presented so far is coming from eminently credible sources: Republicans," he continues.

Steven Engel, former Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, Jeffrey Rosen, former Acting Attorney General, and Richard Donoghue, former Acting Deputy Attorney General, are sworn-in as they testify before the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building on June 23, 2022 in Washington, DC. The bipartisan committee, which has been gathering evidence for almost a year related to the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol, is presenting its findings in a series of televised hearings. On January 6, 2021, supporters of former President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol Building during an attempt to disrupt a congressional vote to confirm the electoral college win for President Joe Biden.
Steven Engel, former Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, Jeffrey Rosen, former Acting Attorney General, and Richard Donoghue, former Acting Deputy Attorney General, are sworn-in as they testify before the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building on June 23, 2022 in Washington, DC. The bipartisan committee, which has been gathering evidence for almost a year related to the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol, is presenting its findings in a series of televised hearings. On January 6, 2021, supporters of former President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol Building during an attempt to disrupt a congressional vote to confirm the electoral college win for President Joe Biden.

Win McNamee/Getty From left: Steven Engel, Jeffrey Rosen, Richard Donoghue

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As he notes, the committee heavily features Republicans, many appointed by Trump himself. Former Attorney General Bill Barr — who called Trump's claims that the election had been stolen "bulls---" in his own testimony — is a longtime Republican who defended Trump against allegations of criminal activity, Mulvaney notes.

"When [Barr] swears, under oath, that he investigated almost every allegation of voter fraud — including those in the 2000 Mules movie — and found them to be completely worthless, Republicans should pay attention," Mulvaney writes.

Mulvaney continues: "Yes, it is possible that all of those life-long Republicans succumbed to Trump Derangement Syndrome. It is possible they decided to ignore a life-long political affiliation. It is also possible they chose to perjure themselves about what they saw, heard and know. But if they didn't, and half of the country isn't paying attention, then that half of the country is clinging firmly to an opinion of Jan. 6, 2021 that is based on either false or incomplete information."

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