Jan. 6 hearing shows Barr saying Trump 'detached from reality' in pushing 'big lie'

A key witness, Trump's 2020 campaign manager, was unable to testify.

The House select committee held another public hearing Monday -- this time focused on the "big Lie" pushed by former President Donald Trump and his allies -- that the committee says fueled those who attacked the U.S. Capitol.

Hearing gavels out

After about two hours, Chairman Bennie Thompson gaveled out the House select committee's second hearing this month meant to unveil their findings from an 11-month long investigation that found Trump at the center of a "multistep conspiracy aimed at overturning the presidential election."

Monday's hearing used video testimony from Trump's inner circle to focus on how he and his campaign pushed the "big lie" to millions of supporters after the election, and even fundraised millions off the claim, despite knowing he lost.

In one explosive clip, Trump Attorney General Bill Barr described his thinking on Trump in the weeks after the election, saying, "Boy, if he really believes this stuff, he has lost contact with – he’s become detached from reality if he really believes this stuff.’”

Cheney previews hearings to come

Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., in her closing statement, previewed what Americans can expect to learn in the hearings to come, saying Monday's hearing was "very narrowly focused," but in the coming days, the committee will move on to Trump's "broader planning for January 6."

"Let me leave you today with one clip to preview what you will see in one of our hearings to come," Cheney said. "This is the testimony of White House lawyer Eric Herschmann. John Eastman called Mr. Herschmann the day after January 6, and here is how that conversation went."

"I said to him, are you out of your [expletive] mind? Right?" Herschmann recalled. "I said I only want to hear two words coming out of your mouth from now on: 'Orderly transition.'"

Philadelphia election official details threats against him, family after Trump tweet

Al Schmidt, a former Republican city commissioner in Philadelphia, recounted to the committee receiving threats for pushing back on Trump's false election claims in Pennsylvania.

Trump called out Schmidt by name in a Twitter post on Nov. 11, 2020, stating Schmidt was a "Republican in name only" who refused to "look at a mountain of corruption and dishonesty."

Schmidt said he received general threats before Trump's tweet, but after the post the threats became "much more graphic" and were targeted not only at him but also members of his family.

The committee showed messages Schmidt and his family received, including one that read: "Heads on spikes. Treasonous Schmidts."

Election officials in key states debunk Trump's fraud claims

After the second panel of witnesses was sworn in, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif started questioning Byung "Bjay" Pak, who served as U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Georgia during the Trump administration and was appointed by Trump.

Pak said Attorney General Bill Barr "asked me to find out what I could" about claims of voter fraud in Georgia raised by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani in a public hearing, but said both he and his successor were "unable to find any evidence of fraud which affected the outcome of the election."

Lofgren then questioned Al Schmidt, the former GOP city commissioner who supervised the 2020 election in Philadelphia, about investigating claims about thousands of dead people voting in Philadelphia.

"Not only was there no evidence of 8,000 dead voters voting in Pennsylvania -- there was not even evidence of eight," Schmidt said.