Mary Trump says she thinks her uncle and former President Donald Trump is ‘feeling the walls close in’ from the Congressional panel investigating the January 6 riot.
The niece of the former president spoke with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell just moments after Representative Liz Cheney told CNN the committee was ‘looking at’ whether former President Trump’s ‘action or inaction constituted a crime.’
Mary Trump, 56, then said that her uncle may be waiting for the hammer to fall on him from both the committee and the Department of Justice.
‘I don’t want to overstate this, because we’ve seen Donald get away with so much, but even he at this point must be feeling the walls close in,’ Mary, who has long been one of her uncle’s highest profile critics said: ‘If he has any sense, he would feel that way.’
She added that she believes the committee is doing ‘an extraordinary job of putting the pieces together.’
Mary Trump, former President Trump’s niece, spoke to Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC Thursday night
President Donald Trump spoke during a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by on January 6, 2021
President Trump’s supporters climbed the walls of the Capitol to protest the election results
‘There’s no doubt in my mind, if they are discussing making such a referral (to prosecutors at the Department of Justice), they have everything nailed down,’ she said, reacting to Cheney’s announcement.
Mary Trump then criticized her uncle’s statement addressing the anniversary, in which he accused Democrats of using the occasion to ‘stoke fears and divide America,’
‘Almost everything Donald says recently is some form of projection or another, which suggests there is some level of knowledge about his own guilt here,’ said Mary Trump.
Mary also noted that her uncle’s decision to cancel a press conference at Mar-a-Lago that had been planned for Thursday was ‘significant.’
‘It sort of reminds me of the circumstances that led to his video last year that clearly he did not want to make,’ she added. ‘Somebody managed to convinced him that he had serious legal liability and he did not have a choice, which is why in part I’m guessing he canceled today.’
Democrats are ramping up their probe of the January 6th riot, including considering ‘Watergate-style’ prime-time hearings with a bold-faced witness wish list that includes Mike Pence and Sean Hannity.
In a bid capitalize on the anniversary, Democrats on committee are looking to crank up the pace of their probe and draw a massive audience with prime-time hearings.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has a day-long slate of events planned for the one-year anniversary of the January 6th insurrection – above she is seen with then-Vice President Mike Pence ahead of the joint session of Congress on that day
The House committee investigating January 6th is considering Watergate-style prime-time hearings; above are Chairman Bennie Thompson and Vice Chair Liz Cheney of the panel
Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin is among those pushing for prime-time hearings on Jan. 6 riot
‘I have favored this strategy from the beginning,’ Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, a member of the panel, told MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday.
He said he wanted a Watergate-style approach, when the 1973 hearings into Richard Nixon’s presidency captivated America. At one point an estimated 85% of the country was tuned in to them.
‘I remember as a kid getting to watch a bit of the Watergate hearings, which were a daily spectacle that the whole country tuned into,’ Raskin said. ‘If we can do that for, you know, a break-in in a couple of offices in the Watergate hotel, certainly, we can do it for a massive break-in into the Capitol of the United States, a storming, and a seizure essentially of our government offices, an interruption of the peaceful transfer of power.’
Those prime-time hearings could occur in late March or early April, Rep. Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol, told Bloomberg News.
But no date has been set yet.
‘We’re working toward that,’ Thompson said.
Those hearings would also feature high-profile witnesses, which would help them gain maximum exposure. Among the names being considered are former Vice President Mike Pence and Fox News host Sean Hannity.
Pence was under heavy pressure from then-President Donald Trump to declare the 2020 election results invalid, wipe out Joe Biden’s victory and secure him a second term. The vice president has the symbolic role of presiding over the Electoral College certification of results. Pence was a target of the January 6th rioters, some of who threatened to hang him, and was evacuated from the Senate floor as the MAGA supporters stormed the Capitol.
Thompson told CNN that he and the panel would like to hear from Pence.
‘I would hope that he would do the right thing and come forward and voluntarily talk to the committee,’ he said.
‘We have not formally asked. But if he offered, we’d gladly accept. Everything is under consideration,’ he added.
So far, in its investigation, the committee has interviewed more than 300 witnesses, announced more than 50 subpoenas, obtained more than 35,000 pages of records and received hundreds of telephone tips through their Jan. 6 tipline, according to a tally by The Washington Post.
Names are starting to be lined up for hearings.
The panel on Tuesday asked longtime Trump supporter Sean Hannity to appear as a ‘fact witness’ in their investigation, noting how the Fox star was ‘expressing concerns and providing advice to the president and White House staff.’
The committee released several texts Hannity sent to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
‘I’m very worried about the next 48 hours,’ Hannity wrote on the eve of January 6th.
On January 5, the eve of the Capitol attack, Hannity also texted to Meadows, ‘Pence pressure. WH counsel will leave.’
In the letter to Hannity, Thompson wrote the texts suggest ‘that you had knowledge of concerns by President Trump’s White House Counsel’s Office regarding the legality of the former President’s plans for January 6th.’
‘These facts are directly relevant to our inquiry,’ Thompson told Hannity.
Thompson also said that Hannity appeared to have ‘detailed knowledge regarding President Trump’s state of mind in the days following the January 6th attack.’
One of Hannity’s texts indicated he had a discussion with Trump on January 10 and it left the Fox News host concerned in the lead-up to President Joe Biden’s January 20 inauguration.
‘Guys, we have a clear path to land the plane in 9 days,’ Hannity informed Meadows and Republican Rep. Jim Jordan.
‘He can’t mention the election again. Ever. I did not have a good call with him today. And worse, I’m not sure what is left to do or say, and I don’t like not knowing if it’s truly understood. Ideas?’
On his Fox News show on Tuesday evening, Hannity launched into a stinging rebuke of DC officials and their ‘willing accomplices’ but didn’t mention the letter from the House committee investigating the MAGA riot.
‘I have an important message to all you elected swamp creatures in Washington, D.C., your willing accomplices, your press secretaries in the media mob,’ he began.
‘It is frankly repulsive, just repulsive that all of you sycophants, you sit idly by, you say nothing, you do nothing, as Joe Biden completely mismanages COVID-19,’ he said.
Republicans have not revealed their plans for how they will mark the one-year anniversary of the riot. Donald Trump cancelled a press conference he had scheduled for Thursday.
Many Republican lawmakers criticized Trump in the immediate wake of January 6th – some even called him that day to encourage him to try and call off the rioters. But, many of them also have made amends with the former president in the months following particularly as Trump continues to hold a tight grip on Republican base.
From left to right: Sgt. Aquilino Gonell of the US Capitol Police, Officer Michael Fanone of the DC Metropolitan Police and Officer Daniel Hodges of the DC Metropolitan Police listen as Private First Class Harry Dunn of the US Capitol Police testifies before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on US Capitol on July 27
The House panel investigating January 6th has said they’d like to hear form Mike Pence