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Amid Jan. 6 Revelations, Election Lies Still Dominate the G.O.P.


WASHINGTON — It was all a lie, the tales of stuffed poll drop packing containers, rigged voting machines, and constitutional “flexibility” that might have allowed Vice President Mike Pence to nullify the 2020 election outcomes and ship them again to Republican state legislatures.

The first three hearings of the House Jan. 6 committee have deeply undercut, if not demolished, the postelection myths repeated incessantly by former President Donald J. Trump and his supporters and embraced and amplified by Republicans in Congress.

A parade of Republican witnesses — his lawyer normal, William P. Barr, his daughter Ivanka Trump, and his personal marketing campaign attorneys — knew he had misplaced the election and advised him so. Mr. Trump was knowledgeable that the calls for he was making of Mr. Pence to dam his defeat unilaterally had been unlawful. Even the most lively coup plotter, the conservative lawyer John C. Eastman, conceded earlier than Jan. 6 that his scheme was unlawful and unconstitutional, then sought a presidential pardon after it led to mob violence.

Yet the most putting revelation to this point could also be how deeply Mr. Trump’s disregard for the reality and the rule of regulation have penetrated into the Republican Party, taking root in the fertile soil of a right-wing voters stewing in conspiracy theories and effectively tended by their media of selection. The Republican response to the hearings — a mix of indifference, diversion and doubling down — displays how central the lie of a stolen election has turn into to the get together’s identification.

In Washington, Republicans in Congress have neither damaged with Mr. Trump nor expended a lot vitality making an attempt to rebut the investigation’s findings. And from Nevada’s secretary of state race to the Michigan’s contest for governor, Republican candidates have embraced the fictional conspiracy of their 2022 campaigns.

“I have been fighting for safe, honest and transparent elections since before Jan. 6, and that fight continues,” mentioned Michigan State Representative Steve Carra, whose re-election run has been blessed by Mr. Trump and who mentioned Friday he has watched some however not a lot of the hearings. “Absentee ballots sent out unsolicited, signature verification relaxed, drop boxes all over the place, especially in Democratic area — it all deserves further scrutiny.”

Like mint in the backyard, the seeds that the Trump workforce planted between Election Day 2020 and Jan. 6, 2021, at the moment are rising uncontrolled, aided by the former president’s allies.

Jarome Bell, a number one candidate to problem Representative Elaine Luria, Democrat of Virginia, has been touring her Republican-leaning district exhibiting voters a movie by the right-wing provocateur Dinesh D’Souza that pushes the bogus fraud claims. The hearings, he mentioned on Friday, have had “no impact on me. ‘2000 Mules’ has a bigger impact on what truly happened.” He added, “the 1/6 commission is the cover-up.”

Jon Rocha, a candidate for state consultant in Michigan who has Mr. Trump’s backing, additionally cited the movie and bragged that he had watched none of the hearings, “not even a 30-second clip.”

One motive the falsehoods have flourished is the failure of Republicans who don’t consider them to push again. Before the Jan. 6 hearings started, Republican leaders promised a strong “rapid response” effort to counter the narratives that might emerge.

But there was no such pushback from the Republican National Committee or some other group to revelations that Mr. Trump continued to strain Mr. Pence to overturn the election outcomes, even after having been advised doing so was unlawful.

No Republican chief provided a response to the testimony of retired federal appeals courtroom Judge J. Michael Luttig, a revered conservative, who mentioned on Thursday that Mr. Trump gave Mr. Pence an order whose execution would have prompted “the first constitutional crisis since the founding of the Republic.”

None bothered to counter the panel’s discovering, revealed on Monday, that Mr. Trump and his marketing campaign raised hundreds of millions of dollars from supporters primarily based on the false pretense of large election fraud, utilizing cash collected for an election protection fund that didn’t exist.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate minority chief, has chosen to not interact on the concern in any respect. And to the extent that they’re making an attempt to counterprogram the hearings, House Republicans have been prodding voters to look elsewhere — to rising gasoline costs, inflation and migrants at the southern border.

Only Mr. Trump appears notably irritated by the train, appalled by the testimony of his daughter, who shared particulars of his abusive phone call with Mr. Pence on the morning of Jan. 6 and mentioned she trusted Mr. Barr’s judgment when he mentioned that the 2020 election was not stolen.

“It’s a one-way street, it’s a rigged deal, it’s a disgrace,” a totally unrepentant Mr. Trump said on Friday at a speech in Nashville during which he known as Jan. 6 “a simple protest that got out of hand” as he continued spinning out false claims and grand conspiracy theories of election fraud.

But if his allies in Republican management should not countering the message that the assault was fueled by lies, neither are they acknowledging that the election was not stolen.

And 50 years to the day after henchmen of Richard M. Nixon broke into Democratic headquarters in the Watergate Hotel, the hearings sparked by the two scandals are highlighting simply how dramatically the Republican Party has modified. Then, key Republican leaders reacted to more and more damning revelations about their president by siding with the Democrats and forcing Mr. Nixon from energy. Today, Republican leaders are both silent or contemptuous of the committee uncovering a gradual stream of misdeeds by Mr. Trump.

Representatives Bennie Thompson, Liz Cheney, and Adam B. Schiff “will not stop lying about their political opponents,” Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the Republican chief, wrote on Twitter, referring to the Democratic chairman from Mississippi, Republican vice chairwoman from Wyoming and Democratic member from California.

Representative Peter Meijer of Michigan, certainly one of 10 Republicans who voted to question Mr. Trump for inciting Jan. 6, mentioned the hearings have to this point been “a reminder of how deeply divided, even from an information consumption standpoint, we are.”

Many of his constituents haven’t even seen the videotaped testimony laying out the case towards Mr. Trump — solely footage of police eradicating barricades to let rioters into the Capitol on Jan 6. Some blame nonexistent F.B.I. provocateurs for the violence, in step with a debunked conspiracy principle embraced by the Fox News host Tucker Carlson and others on the proper.

Mr. Meijer mentioned he has heard way more from constituents on the proper lamenting the “Jan. 6 political prisoners” than these in the middle demanding accountability for the assault.

Most voters, although, should not paying consideration, mentioned Representative David Valadao of California, one other Republican to vote for impeachment.

“Talking to voters at home right now — I mean, the fuel prices, food prices, baby formula, you name it,” Mr. Valadao mentioned. “There’s just so many things that people are focused on right now that they’re just not paying attention to the Jan. 6 stuff as much as I know a lot of folks would want them to.”

Asked if the hearings may do Republicans a favor by making it simpler to search out an alternate presidential nominee in 2024 than Mr. Trump, he responded: “I don’t know if enough people are paying attention where it’ll have that big of an impact.”

But in a Republican major season fueled by pro-Trump fervor, many candidates have emerged as their party’s nominees for prime workplaces largely as a result of they campaigned on the falsehood that the 2020 election was stolen by President Biden.

The Republican nominees for governor in Pennsylvania, secretary of state in Nevada, Senate in Nevada, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina, and attorney general in Texas all tried to overturn the 2020 election or embraced false claims of voter fraud.

Mayra Flores, a Texas Republican who gained a House seat in a particular election on Tuesday, has declined to say whether or not Mr. Biden gained in 2020, telling (*6*): “I’m speaking just in general. There is voter fraud.”

And there’s extra to return. State Representative Ron Hanks, vying to problem Senator Michael Bennet, a Democrat, in Colorado’s Republican major June 28, marched to the Capitol on Jan. 6 and launched his marketing campaign with an ad showing him shooting a fake Dominion voting machine, a tool central to a sprawling conspiracy principle about votes purportedly stolen by overseas powers from Mr. Trump.

On Monday, the committee confirmed a videotaped deposition during which Mr. Barr at one level might barely suppress his laughter at the absurdity of such tales and testified that Mr. Trump would have needed to be “detached from reality” if he believed them.

In Michigan, a wild contest to decide on the Republican to problem Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is narrowly led by Ryan Kelley, an actual property dealer who was arrested this month and charged with collaborating in the Jan. 6 riot. Mr. Rocha, the state home candidate in Western Michigan, mentioned voters had been way more involved about gasoline costs and empty retailer cabinets than the Jan. 6 hearings, then provided that voters in truth are nonetheless very indignant about “election integrity.”

“They did it in 2020. Now they’re finding new avenues to remove Republicans from the ballot this year,” he mentioned.

In Arizona, the main Republican candidate for governor, Kari Lake, has made her “stolen election” claims central to her marketing campaign. Mark Finchem, a candidate for secretary of state, was at the front steps of the Capitol on Jan. 6. And Blake Masters, who hopes to problem Senator Mark Kelly, the incumbent Democrat, suggested baselessly that “one-third of the people outside of the Capitol advanced on Jan. 6 had been precise F.B.I. brokers.”

Annie Karni contributed reporting.





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