PHOENIX — What did President Trump know about the events leading up to and including January 6, 2021? When did he know it? On Thursday, the January 6 Committee will begin laying out to the nation what it learned about the riot and takeover of the U.S. Capitol, letting the rest of us decide if crimes were committed.
What we do know is the events that led to the armed takeover of the U.S. Capitol began weeks before January 6. In states like Arizona, lawmakers and citizens challenged the election results. During an unofficial election integrity hearing on November 30, 2020, former President Donald Trump phoned into a room with Arizona Republican lawmakers and his lead attorney Rudolf Giuliani told them, "we didn't lose the state. we didn't lose the state. we won it by a lot."
At the same meeting, State Representative Mark Finchem told the audience, "I believe it's time for our Attorney General and U.S. Attorney to start perp walking some people."
Eventually, eight court rulings and three election audits said otherwise. "Let the facts speak for themselves," Arizona Attorney Dan Barr is a member of the Defend Democracy Project, a national campaign promoting the importance of the January 6 Committee hearings. "The people will draw their own conclusions from those facts because really that's the highest form of persuasion," Barr said.
Arizona Congressman Andy Biggs, State Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward and State Representative Finchem, who is running for Secretary of State, were all subpoenaed by the committee. They were asked to turn over documents, phone records, and submit to a deposition. All of them are resisting. "The DOJ has said, openly acknowledged they're looking at the false electoral slates," said Norman Eisen, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution. Ward was behind the effort to submit alternative electors from Arizona.
ABC15 reached out to Congressman Biggs, as well as Kelli Ward and Representative Fincham. None of them responded. The Arizona Republican Party, which on Monday lost its court challenge to end mail-in voting in Arizona, said it will continue to fight for election integrity. You will be able to watch the January 6 committee's first hearing on Thursday at 5 p.m. on ABC15.