Aguilar at the Commission Hearing on January 6
The following aired on Sunday, June 26, 2022 on "Face the Nation" This is a record of an interview with Pete Agilla, a Democratic Party member in California.
Margaret Brennan: California State Legislature Pete Aguilar is a member of the selection committee on January 6th and is joining us from New York. Good morning, Diet member.
REP. Pete Agilla: Good morning, Margaret.
Margaret Brennan: I also heard a testimony that the former President had spoken to the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Homeland Security about the seizure of voting machines. This week, there was testimony that the Secretary of Defense and the Deputy Secretary of Defense are chasing a conspiracy theory about the Italian satellite changing votes. These are ridiculous ideas. But-but how far has this really gone?
REP. AGUILAR: Well, I think the testimony and what we presented clearly show that the president knew he had lost the election. And, as we've heard from Judiciary officials, he called the elections corrupt in November and December, after which all legal doors closed, losing more than 60 proceedings and putting pressure on them. As a result, he continued to be drawn to these conspiracy theories along the way. Campaign to the Ministry of Justice. To his own vice president, that's what we saw. But every time a text message to Mark Meadows explained that each theory brought up something that wasn't really grounded and that his own Department of Justice argued, his ears lacked a conspiracy theorist. There wasn't.
Margaret Brennan: Does Vice President Pence, I mentioned earlier, need to come and testify before the Commission?
REP. AGUILAR: Well, it was all about the president's pressure on the Vice President in the hearings I led. I heard directly about the pressure campaign from the Supreme Legal Advisor at the time, and I think it was an important hearing. And obviously, there are many more. And we obviously want to collect more information. However, I think he clearly showed the case that he did not consider the security of the Vice President at all, did not contact him at all that day, and was willing to sacrifice his Vice President while stopping the change of power. He meant empowering himself.
Margaret Brennan: But there is no firm position from the former Vice President.
REP. Aguilar: I'm not going into future interviews or conversations about witnesses. But what I can say is that the committee was saying from the beginning. More information is good. And we will always be willing to take in more information about what happened on January 6th and what happened by January 6th. Just telling the facts, that's all we're worried about.
Margaret Brennan: So we look at our own votes and see that confidence in the US electoral system isn't working. According to our polls, most Americans think it's likely, at least to some extent in the future. Election authorities refuse to prove the results for political reasons. Do you think the general public should be more confident based on the work you have done?
REP. AGUILAR: Well, I think the average person should know this. And I think that is exactly what the hearing was aiming for. That is how to protect democracy. This is bigger than Donald Trump. This is bigger than one person. How to protect democracy and confront the rule of law. And obviously, there was an individual who worked that day, and until January 6th, Brad Luffence Purger and other elected officials really did. But in the future, people have or may have the option of not working, and I think that's the problem we're facing.
Margaret Brennan: There's a bit of competing background noise. But I'd like to ask you, the judiciary this week testified about Mr. Trump's plans to set up this lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, on behalf of the Attorney General to help his plan to overturn the election. I heard from a provincial official. And Vice-Chair Liz Cheney eagerly pleaded with White House adviser Pat Cipollone to talk to you. Are you going to summon him? Why is he not riding a docket?
REP. Aguilar: Well, there will be future hearings and more witnesses. That's what I can say. I'm not going to go into the witness details. But I think the Vice-Chair made it very clear that we would like to hear from Pat Chiporon. In addition to what we are doing, there are other witnesses who feel will add to the work deliverables we are putting together at future hearings we will hold when Congress reopens. We are looking forward to future hearings. It's about stitching this puzzle together for the sake of the American people, and we know exactly what's at stake in protecting democracy.
Margaret Brennan: I would like to read the names of the individuals I heard this week here. Actually sought amnesty for their role on January 6th. Parliamentarian Jim Jordan Parliamentarian Marjorie Taylor Greene asked about the president's amnesty. White House aides testified that Matt Gaetz, Mo Brooks, Andy Biggs, Louie Gohmert, Scott Perry, and all lawmakers had explicitly sought amnesty. What action should you take against your fellow lawmakers?
REP. AGUILAR: Well, many of these lawmakers asked me to come before the committee. We sent them a letter, we sent them some subpoenas. The important thing is that we tell the truth. But, as my colleague Adam Kinzinger said, it's not really-I think Americans understand this-people seeking amnesty generally say they've done something illegal. I feel it. Therefore, I think it is important for the people to understand it. I think what people understand about the January 6th Commission is that we only present things based on evidence and facts. That's exactly what we laid out this week. We look forward to presenting more facts about what happened, not just this topic.
And we look for those further inquiries. Thank you, Congressman, for today. We will be back soon.
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