“Donald Trump made a variety of provocative claims about former Rep. Liz Cheney and the Jan. 6 investigation. Each one is demonstrably ridiculous.
On Christmas Eve, Donald Trump used his social media platform to peddle a familiar line of attack. Targeting the bipartisan Jan. 6 committee, the former president repeated his absurd claims that the House select panel “destroyed all of the evidence” it used to prepare its report, which the Republican characterized as “illegal.”
Like too much of the GOP candidate’s rhetoric, the Christmas Eve complaints were delusional. Nevertheless, on New Year’s Day, Trump returned to the subject, narrowing his focus to former House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, whom he accused of “illegally deleting and destroying” Jan. 6 evidence. “THIS ACT OF EXTREME SABOTAGE MAKES IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR MY LAWYERS TO PROPERLY PREPARE FOR, AND PRESENT, A PROPER DEFENSE OF THEIR CLIENT, ME,” he wrote.
The former president added that there was evidence of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “turning down 10,000 soldiers that I offered to to [sic] guard the Capitol Building,” which he said is now “gone.”
The former Wyoming congresswoman, who co-chaired the Jan. 6 committee, responded online, “Seems like someone is starting 2024 hangry.” Cheney went on to remind Trump that he and his defense attorneys have had the congressional panel’s materials “for months.” She concluded, “Lying about the evidence in all caps won’t change the facts. A public trial will show it all.”
So, who’s right? Readers probably won’t be surprised to learn that Trump’s entire case against Cheney is based on cascading falsehoods. A Washington Post fact-check piece summarized:
Despite this fact check, we are resigned to the fact that we’ll spend the next 10 months listening to Trump falsely claiming he offered 10,000 troops — and that members of the committee like Cheney destroyed evidence that would exonerate him. But be forewarned — neither claim is true, no matter how often Trump says it is.
Let’s take the claims one by one.
Did the Jan. 6 committee “destroy all of the evidence” it used to prepare its report? Of course not. As the Post’s report noted, some documents were withheld from the House archive to protect witnesses, but all of the materials were preserved.
Were the Jan. 6 committee’s actions “illegal”? If the former president and his allies have any evidence of the panel crossing legal lines, they’ve kept it well hidden.
Did Pelosi turn down Trump’s offer of 10,000 soldiers to protect the Capitol from Trump’s mob? The idea that this offer existed continues to be rooted in fantasy.
Do Trump and his defense attorneys have the relevant information in preparation for his upcoming trials? Have they had the materials for months? Yes and yes.
I don’t doubt that the former president and his allies will continue to push the lie, and it’s all but certain that much of the GOP base will buy into the nonsense. But the repetition won’t turn fiction into fact.“