Trump deleted references to prosecuting January 6 rioters, evidence shows

Mr Trump refuses to admit the election is over and that he lost

Outtakes from the January 7 speech showed Donald Trump refusing to admit the election was over and that he had lost. AP
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Former US president Donald Trump crossed out sentences that distanced him from the rioters who attacked the Capitol on January 6, 2021, and refused to call for their prosecution in a draft of a speech he delivered the next day, congressional evidence showed on Monday.

The Republican leader deleted lines that said, "I want to be very clear: you do not represent me. You do not represent our movement", an image of the script showed.

The image was posted on Twitter by Elaine Luria, a member of the House of Representatives committee investigating the attack.

He also deleted a reference to directing the "Department of Justice to ensure all lawbreakers are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. We must send a clear message — not with mercy but with JUSTICE. Legal consequences must be swift and firm".

In a primetime hearing last week, the congressional committee investigating the attack played video outtakes from the January 7 speech that showed Mr Trump refusing to admit the election was over and that he had lost.

"I don't want to say the election is over," Mr Trump said in footage recorded as he rehearsed the speech.

During the attack, thousands of Trump supporters breached the Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying Democrat Joe Biden's November 2020 presidential victory.

Video clips that Ms Luria posted, not previously made public, included evidence from the former president's daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, as well as White House lawyers and aides who described Mr Trump as reluctant to give a reconciliatory address after the Capitol attack.

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"Do you know why he wanted that crossed out?" an investigator asked Mr Kushner.

"I don't know," Mr Kushner responded.

The witnesses described concerns about what would happen if the president did not send a stronger message.

"That needed to be stated forcefully: they did not represent him or his political views in any form or fashion," White House counsel Pat Cipollone said.

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Updated: July 25, 2022, 8:16 PM