Canadians believe the call came from inside the White House: January 6 hearings will resume

WASHINGTON-

A new poll suggests that one in three Canadians have been closely following the January 6 hearings in the United States, with nearly three in four blaming Donald Trump for the unrest.

Leger’s online poll, conducted in August for the Canadian Studies Association, found that 37 percent of respondents in Canada and 44 percent in the US were closely following the hearings.

Just over half of American respondents, 54 percent, said the former president is responsible for the unrest on Capitol Hill, compared with 72 percent in Canada.

The select committee investigating Jan. 6 is scheduled to hold its next hearing on Wednesday, likely the last before the midterm elections in November.

The poll, which polled 1,509 respondents in Canada and 1,002 in the US shortly after the July hearing, has no margin of error because online polls are not based on random samples.

A final report on the committee’s findings is expected before the end of the year, but it is unclear if it will be released before Election Day on November 8.

The level of Canadian interest in hearings likely has more to do with a lingering fascination with Trump and his ever-evolving legacy than anything else, association president and CEO Jack Jedwab said.

The former president “has left a lingering bad feeling with most Canadians,” who were generally not supportive of his presidency or his impact on Canada-U.S. relations, Jedwab said.

“Trump is seen as someone who has soured relations between the two countries and as an object of considerable mistrust.”

The poll, which was conducted before Pierre Poilievre claimed leadership of the Conservative Party, also divided Canadian participants by party affiliation.

Maxime Bernier’s far-right People’s Party of Canada was the only party in which a majority, 57 percent, said they wanted Trump to run for president again in 2024, with 25 percent against and 18 percent saying they wanted Trump to run for president again in 2024. cent refusing to say.

Among conservatives, 28 percent said they would support Trump for the nomination, compared with 64 percent who disagreed. Opposition to Trump’s candidacy approached 90 percent among supporters of the Liberals, the NDP and the Green Party, and reached 95 percent among supporters of the Bloc Quebecois.

Since the hearings began in June, the committee, led by Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson and Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, has developed a narrative linking the unrest to the Trump White House.

That link got a boost Sunday when former committee member Denver Riggleman told “60 Minutes” about a Jan. 6 phone call between one of the troublemakers and someone at the White House.

“You have a real ‘Aha’ moment when you see that the White House switchboard had been connected to a troublemaker’s phone while it was happening,” Riggleman said. The identity of who was on the phone at the White House remains a mystery, he added.

“The American people need to know that there are linkage connections that need to be explored further.”

Committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin acknowledged that evidence Sunday, calling it one of many clear links between the White House and the people who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.

“We’re interested in telling the big story, which is that this was an organized, premeditated, deliberate coup against the Vice President and Congress to bring down the 2020 presidential election,” Raskin told “Meet the Press.”

“What we’re going to do on Wednesday is fill in the details that have come to the attention of the committee for the last five or six weeks.”

The committee could also explain what, if anything, it has learned from former Republican President Newt Gingrich and his role in promoting the defeated president’s persistent claims of voter fraud.

Thompson wrote to Gingrich earlier this month about evidence he says shows Gingrich “was involved in various other aspects of the plan to nullify the 2020 election and block the transfer of power,” even after Jan. 6. .

The riots, which grew out of a large protest among Trump supporters on the same day that Congress certified Joe Biden’s electoral victory, provided a dramatic and deadly exclamation point for the most turbulent presidency in modern history.

And the hearings, which blew up the notion that the chaos was simply a protest gone out of control, have proven to be an unlikely summer blockbuster, thanks to the help of former ABC News president James Goldston.

The committee heard how Pence averted a constitutional crisis by ignoring Trump’s demands to reject the election results and remained on the grounds of Congress even as protesters called for his violent removal.

Members heard former White House counsel Pat Cipollone’s account of a chaotic meeting of Trump’s fringe advisers, desperately seeking a way to keep the president in power, the night before.

That meeting included a draft executive order that would have made Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell a special adviser with the power to order the US military to seize voting machines across the country.

After the meeting broke up in frustration, the president issued his fateful late-night tweet drawing supporters to DC: “It’s going to be wild,” he wrote.

And Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, told the committee how the president urged the Secret Service to stop screening protesters for weapons, saying, “They’re not here to hurt me.”

And he described hearing an enraged Trump lunge at the wheel of his truck when members of his Secret Service refused to drive him to Capitol Hill.


This report from The Canadian Press was first published on September 27, 2022

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