Rep. Stephanie Murphy on what to expect during today's Jan. 6 hearing
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Representative Stephanie Murphy of Florida will co-lead today's hearing with her fellow Democrat Jamie Raskin of Maryland. And she joins us now. Congresswoman Murphy, thank you so much for being here.
STEPHANIE MURPHY: It's great to be with you.
MARTIN: So we heard that clip from your colleague, Congressman Raskin, talking about the centrality of this tweet from former President Trump that came on December 19th of 2019, saying it's going to be wild, calling his supporters to the Capitol on January 6. Do you have evidence beyond that that links the former president to these right-wing groups that ended up overrunning the Capitol?
MURPHY: Well, I think, you know, you have to tune in to today's hearing to look at the evidence that we will lay out. But I think the key thing to remember is that in all of our hearings, we are providing the evidence and the facts that we have about the activities that led up to January 6 and are inviting the American people to make judgment for themselves whether the president or others acted in a way that is commensurate with their - the obligations and duties they have to the Constitution.
MARTIN: With how much certainty can you say in this moment that former President Trump knew his supporters who were marching on the Capitol that day were armed and dangerous?
MURPHY: I think in the last hearing, you saw the evidence that we had that the president and the White House senior staff understood that the crowd was armed. They also understood that there was a potential for violence and had been warned of that in the days before January 6, in addition to being told that many of the folks couldn't go through the magnetometers because they were armed.
MARTIN: So you're saying you're 100% certain that the president knew?
MURPHY: We have evidence and people who provided testimony that the president knew.
MARTIN: I want to ask about Steve Bannon. He's former President Trump's chief strategist. He is expected to go on trial next week for contempt of Congress after months of refusing the panel's request to come testify. He's now indicated that he will show up at a public hearing. Do you consider him to be an honest broker?
MURPHY: You know, our committee has said from the beginning that we're interested in testimony from anyone with relevant information on our investigation. But, you know, and Mr. Bannon was somebody who was a key player in Trump's inner circle and would give valuable insights. However, from the start, he has been playing games with the committee. And while I would welcome him to come and do the patriotic thing, our committee will not serve as a platform for his misinformation.
MARTIN: Has he handed over any documents preliminary to his testimony?
MURPHY: We don't comment specifically on the investigative material in our investigative process.
MARTIN: Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone was someone that your committee had wanted to talk with for a long time. He testified behind closed doors last week. How did his testimony fill in the picture of what happened on January 6, 2021?
MURPHY: Mr. Cipollone provided valuable testimony about virtually every aspect of President Trump's efforts to change the outcome of a free election and block the transfer of power. He was in the White House in those final days and weeks before January 6. And I think today, if you tune in, you'll see much of what he told us.
MARTIN: Will we see video from that testimony?
MURPHY: I think you will see video from that, as well as with other White House aides who were there for these conversations. And we'll really try to take you into the White House, into the room, so to speak, around some of these conversations that were happening in the runup to January 6.
MARTIN: Based on what you have learned to this point, is the committee likely to issue a criminal referral to the Justice Department related to former President Trump?
MURPHY: We're not done with our investigation yet. And our purpose is creating legislation and legislative recommendations. And it appears to me that the Department of Justice doesn't need a official criminal referral from us. In fact, it appears that they are escalating their criminal investigations and their prosecutions. And I believe that anyone who committed a crime needs to be held accountable. And it looks like the Department of Justice is moving forward on that.
MARTIN: Do you believe President Trump committed a crime?
MURPHY: I think that the purpose of this committee is to lay out all the evidence and the fact and let the American people judge for themselves whether or not the president was morally fit for the job and also to warn against other future efforts, whether they're Democratic or Republican, to try to unilaterally change the outcome of our Democratic elections.
MARTIN: Your committee originally planned to meet Thursday night, as well. Why has that hearing been rescheduled?
MURPHY: As you can imagine, we have interviewed over a thousand people. We've had tens of thousands of documents, and we continue to interview new witnesses and collect new information. Our investigation is very fluid, and so the scheduling of our investigations are often an effort for us to be able to incorporate the most important pieces of information so that the American people have a full picture of what happened on January 6.
MARTIN: So what does that mean? Did a witness drop out? What was the problem?
MURPHY: We have a lot of new information that we want to incorporate and make that hearing a hearing that is illuminating for the American people.
MARTIN: Stephanie Murphy is a Democratic congresswoman from Florida who serves on the January 6 Committee. Thank you for your time.
MURPHY: Great to be with you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.