Speeches and Statements

Murphy Statement from 7th January 6 Select Committee Hearing

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Washington, July 12, 2022 | comments

WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy of Winter Park, Fla., co-led a hearing as part of her role on the House Select Committee created to investigate the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol. To watch her closing statement, click here. A transcript of her opening and closing statements from the hearing can be found below.

Opening Statement:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

We know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that then-President Donald Trump lost in a free and fair election.

And yet, President Trump insisted that his loss was due to fraud in the election process, rather than to the democratic will of the voters.  The President continued to make this claim despite being told, again and again, by the courts, by the Justice Department, by his campaign officials, and by some of his closest advisors, that the evidence did not support this assertion.

This was the Big Lie—and millions of Americans were deceived by it.  Too many of our fellow citizens still believe it to this day.  It’s corrosive to our country and damaging to our democracy. 

As our Committee has shown in prior hearings, following the election, President Trump relentlessly pursued multiple, interlocking lines of effort, all with a single goal:  to remain in power despite having lost.  

The lines of effort were aimed at his loyal Vice President, Mike Pence; at state election and elected officials; and at the U.S. Department of Justice. 

The President pressured the Vice President to obstruct the process to certify the election result.  He demanded that state officials “find” him enough votes to overturn the election outcome in that state.  And he pressed the Department of Justice to find widespread evidence of fraud.  When Justice officials told the President that such evidence did not exist, the President urged them to simply declare that the election was corrupt.                

On December 14th, the Electoral College met to officially confirm that Joe Biden would be the next President. 

The evidence shows that, once this occurred, President Trump—and those who were willing to aid and abet him—turned their attention to the Joint Session of Congress scheduled for January 6th, at which the Vice President would preside.  In their warped view, this ceremonial event was the next, and perhaps the last, inflection point that could be used to reverse the outcome of the election before Mr. Biden’s inauguration.  As President Trump put it, the Vice President and enough Members of Congress simply needed to summon the “courage” to act.  To help them find that courage, the President called for backup.

Early in the morning of December 19th, the President sent out a tweet, urging his followers to travel to Washington, DC for January 6th.  “Be there, will be wild!” the President wrote.  As my colleague, Mr. Raskin, will describe in detail, this tweet served as a call to action, and in some cases as a call to arms, for many of President Trump’s most loyal supporters.

It’s clear the President intended the assembled crowd on the January 6th to serve his goal. And as you have already seen, and as you will see again today, some of those who were coming had specific plans. The President’s goal was to stay in power for a second term despite losing the election. The assembled crowd was one of the tools to achieve that goal. 

And in today’s hearing, we will focus on events that took place in the final weeks leading up to January 6th, starting in mid-December.  We will add color and context to evidence you’ve already heard about, and will also provide additional new evidence.

For example, you’ll hear about meetings in which the President entertained extreme measures designed to help him stay in power, like the seizure of voting machines.

We will show some of the coordination that occurred between the White House and Members of Congress as it relates to January 6th. And some of these Members of Congress would later seek pardons.

We will also examine some of the planning for the January 6th protest, placing special emphasis on one rally-planner’s concerns about potential violence.

And we will describe some of the President’s key actions on the evening of January 5th and the morning of January 6th, including how the President edited and ad-libbed his speech that morning at the Ellipse, directed the crowd to march to the Capitol, and spoke off-script in a way that further inflamed an already angry crowd. 

I yield to the gentleman from Maryland, Mr. Raskin.

 

Closing Statement:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

At one of our first hearings, Chairman Thompson explained that the Members of this Committee would not spend much time talking about ourselves. Rather, we would let the evidence play the leading role.  

And The Chairman was right. Because this isn’t about promoting ourselves as individuals. It’s about protecting the country we love. And It’s about preserving what actually makes America great—the rule of law, free and fair elections, and the peaceful transfer of power from one elected leader to the next.   

But if I may say a word about myself and why I’m proud to serve on this Committee. I’m the only Member of this Committee who was not blessed to be born an American.

 I was born in Vietnam after the Vietnam War. And My family and I fled a communist government, and were rescued by the U.S. Navy, and were given sanctuary in America. My patriotism is rooted in my gratitude for America’s grace and generosity. I love this country.    

On January 6th, four decades after my family fled a place where political power was seized through violence, I was in the United States Capitol—fleeing my fellow Americans.

Members of the angry mob had been lied to by a President and the other powerful people, who tried to convince them—without evidence—that the election had been stolen from them.  Some of them then tried to use physical violence to overturn the outcome of a free and fair election.  

Our Committee’s overriding objective is to fight fiction with facts.  To create a full account for the American people and for the historical record. To tell the truth of what happened and why it happened.  To make recommendations so it never happens again. To defend our democracy.  To me, there is nothing more patriotic than that.    

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back. 

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