President Trump’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani testified before the House January 6 committee, and part of his taped interview was played during Tuesday’s hearing. Giuliani and others testified about a “heated” and profane” White House meeting, where Giuliani said he called officials “p—ies.”
The hearing highlighted an explosive meeting with Mr. Trump, Giuliani and other outside advisers and White House officials on Dec. 18, where they talked about seized voting machines, committee aides said. The committee said this meeting was a pivotal moment in planning for Jan. 6.
Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat, said some of the participants described the meeting as “heated” and “profane” and even devolved into “challenges to physically fight.” White House counsel Pat Cipollone and former White House attorney Eric Herschmann pushed back against claims that the election was stolen.
In his deposition, Giuliani characterized his comments as telling the White House aides, “‘you guys are not tough enough.'”
“Or maybe, I’d put it another way, you’re a bunch of p—ies,” he said during his deposition, using a crude euphemism for cowards. “Excuse the expression. But I’m also sure those words were used.”
The meeting ended after midnight on Dec. 19. The committee showed a text sent by Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, to Tony Ornato, the former deputy chief of staff for operations. Hutchinson wrote that “the west wing is UNHINGED.”
Shortly after Trump’s fiery Oval Office meeting, he tweeted to his supporters to attend a big protest in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021.
Giuliani appeared to describe how the group dispersed after the meeting. “The president and the White House team went upstairs to the residence, but the public part of the residence,” he said. “I’m not exactly sure where the Sidney [Powell] group went. I think maybe the Roosevelt room. And i stayed in the cabinet room, which was kind of cool, I really liked that. All by myself.”
Committee Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, said one important part of the hearing would be evidence that Trump’s legal team, led by Giuliani, knew that they lacked factual evidence of widespread election fraud, but they went ahead with plans for Jan. 6 anyway.
The lawyer for Bernard Kerik, Giuliani’s lead investigator, told the committee “it was impossible for Mr. Kerik and his team to determine conclusively whether there was widespread fraud or whether that widespread fraud would have altered the outcome of the election.”
“In other words, even Rudy Giuiani’s own legal team knew before January 6 that they hadn’t collected enough actual evidence to support any of their stolen election claims,” Raskin said.