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Rep. Zoe Lofgren talks about last night's Jan. 6 hearings

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We turn now to a member of the January 6 House committee. Democrat Zoe Lofgren of California is on the line. Congresswoman, thank you for being with us.

ZOE LOFGREN: Sure. Good morning.

MARTIN: The committee showed a variety of evidence last night to illustrate the extent of President Trump's efforts to overthrow a democratic election. What do you believe was the most damning revelation?

LOFGREN: Well, I think the testimony of Officer Edwards was really dramatic. You know, we saw the...

MARTIN: We should just say Officer Edwards - a member of the Capitol Police, who was there that day.

LOFGREN: I mean, she discussed, really, a war zone, slipping on the blood of her fellow officers. She was injured and had a brain injury from it, which she's still recovering from. I think, you know, the entire hearing was a good display of what's to come in the rest of the hearings. As was pointed out, we're going to show that Trump lost the election, and he knew that he lost the election, and he went on a campaign to convince his supporters that it was stolen even though it was not. We'll talk about his efforts to corrupt the Department of Justice, his pressure on state officials to reverse what their voters had decided and substitute fake electors to elect Trump - basically a whole scheme that he was involved in to make sure that he held power even though he lost the election. You know, we can't have a democratic republic if the people who are in elections don't respect what the voters decide.

I thought that the reference to Abraham Lincoln was really an important one, and no one really has focused on it because it was, you know, a picture of his letter. But Abraham Lincoln believed that he was going to lose his election and that, you know, it would not be good for the country, but this was a letter saying he - if that happened, as he feared it would, his job was to hand over the power to the person who was elected. And that has been part of our government until Donald Trump.

MARTIN: Back in January, an NPR/Ipsos poll found that two-thirds of Republicans and just over a third of all voters still cling to the false claims that voter fraud helped President Biden win. Again, there's no evidence of that. But as you embark on the rest of these hearings, what is the key to convincing these Americans of the truth?

LOFGREN: Well, we will have evidence. Obviously, our witnesses are almost entirely Republicans because it is those members of the Trump administration who have - who were in a position to see what was going on. And we will present the findings. You know, I think that I have some sympathy for people who believe President Trump. They liked him. They voted for him. He was their president. And he told them that there had been fraud. And he convinced them, but it wasn't true. And as he was engaging in that, I think he knew it wasn't true. So I think our job is to lay out the facts and to do that service to the American people to let them know what the truth is because it's not over, as you know. The former president is trying to get people elected who will not respect the voters, secretaries of state who are going to substitute their judgment for the judgment of voters. We have risk to our democracy even now.

MARTIN: We heard Claudia Grisales talk about some of the Republican response to last night's hearing - people trying to draw attention to other issues, downplaying the legitimacy of the hearings. Did you get any surprising responses from any Republican colleagues? Were you able to convince them?

LOFGREN: You know, I was so engaged in the hearing last night that I wasn't engaging with Republican colleagues, and I do have some friendships across the aisle. But I thought the Republicans on our committee, especially Liz Cheney, did an admirable job of laying out what we found. This was a preview really. This hearing was a preview of what the rest of the hearings will lay out. And both the chairman but especially Liz Cheney did a very good job of laying that out. She has a lot of courage. She's been threatened politically, and she's more interested in defending the Constitution than anything else.

MARTIN: Democratic Representative Zoe Lofgren of California, a member of the January 6 House committee, we appreciate your time this morning. Thank you so much.

LOFGREN: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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