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Trump demands ‘equal time’ as he accuses networks of broadcasting ‘slanderous’ Jan 6 committee

Former president’s rant comes just hours before third public hearing from Jan 6 committee

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Thursday 16 June 2022 17:36 BST
Related video: Trump mocked as Jan 6 hearings get bigger ratings than his Apprentice finales
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Donald Trump has hit out at TV news networks for broadcasting the hearings of the House select committee investigating the events surrounding the 6 January 2021 attack on the US Capitol.

The former president took to his own social media platform, Truth Social, to complain that the hearings are “low rated”, “one-sided”, and “slanderous”.

Further, he demanded that he receive “equal time” to lay out a case for his unfounded allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 election.

Mr Trump posted: “The Fake News Networks are perpetuating lies, falsehoods, and Russia, Russia, Russia type disinformation (same sick people, here we go again!) by allowing the low rated but nevertheless one-sided and slanderous Unselect Committee hearings to go endlessly and aimlessly on (and on and on!).”

He continued: “It is a one-sided, highly partisan Witch Hunt, the likes of which has never been seen in Congress before. Therefore, I am hereby demanding EQUAL TIME to spell out the massive Voter Fraud & Dem Security Breach!”

The former president underlined his demand with a follow-up post: “I DEMAND EQUAL TIME!!!”

Mr Trump’s latest rant against the media comes just hours before the third hearing of the committee investigating the lead-up to, and events surrounding, the Capitol riot as Congress met to certify the results of the 2020 election.

The focus of today’s hearing is the pressure campaign on former Vice President Mike Pence to in some way disrupt the process and send the results back to the states.

Witnesses appearing before the committee this afternoon are Greg Jacob, former counsel to the then-vice president, and Michael Luttig, a retired judge and informal adviser to Mr Pence regarding his role in election certification.

Statements from both witnesses have leaked to the media ahead of their testimony, with Mr Jacob noting “the law is not a plaything for presidents” and that no one person should be able to interfere in a US election.

Mr Luttig will tell committee members that Mr Trump “instigated” his attack on American democracy “so that he could cling to power that the American People had decided to confer upon his successor, the next president of the United States instead”.

Former President Trump has said several times that the hearings, with their bombshell revelations and witnesses drawn from the heart of his administration and family, are “low-rated”.

The primetime first hearing attracted almost 20 million viewers across the broadcast networks, not including streaming services.

There will be two more hearings next week. Committee member Rep Jamie Raskin told CNN on Thursday morning: “New evidence is breaking every single day now. Suddenly a lot of people want to tell the truth.”

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