After last week’s dramatic primetime hearing, the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol returned for its second such meeting, one focused largely on highlighting — and debunking — former President Donald Trump’s false claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

Despite his inner circle testifying that they pushed back against his false claims of a stolen election, former President Trump continued to promote the so-called “big lie,” which the panel has sought to connect to the mob of his supporters that stormed the U.S. Capitol in order to overturn the results of the election.

“President Trump rejected the advice of his campaign experts on election night, and instead followed the course recommended by an apparently inebriated Rudy Giuliani to just claim he won and insist the vote-counting stop, to falsely claim everything was fraudulent,” Rep. Liz Cheney, the panel’s vice chair, said at Monday’s hearing.

“He falsely told the American people the election was not legitimate,” she added of Trump. “In his words, quote, ‘a major fraud.’ Millions of Americans believed him.”

Monday’s hearing featured video testimony of Trump’s closest advisers — including his own daughter, Ivanka Trump, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner — urging the former president to reject “completely bogus” voter fraud claims.

“I mean, the claims of fraud were b*******,” former Attorney General Bill Barr said in a videotaped deposition.

“What they were proposing I thought was nuts,” said Eric Herschmann, a former Trump White House lawyer.

But Trump instead sided with Giuliani.

[That’s] not the approach I would take if I was you,” Kushner testified that he told the former president of his view of Giuliani’s efforts.

In one explosive clip, Barr went as far as to say that Trump had “become detached from reality if he really believes this stuff," referring to voter fraud claims.

Here are 6 takeaways from Monday’s hearing.

Barr told committee Trump’s fraud claims were ‘bogus,’ ‘silly,’ ‘based on complete misinformation’

After the 2020 presidential election, many of those in former President Trump's orbit were not aligned with his belief that the election was stolen from him in numerous states – including then-attorney general Bill Barr, who told the committee as much.

“I was influenced by the fact that all the early claims, that I understood, were completely bogus and silly and usually based on complete misinformation,” Barr told the committee in taped testimony played Monday. “And so I didn't consider the quality of claims right out of the box, to give me any feeling that there was really substance here.” 

On Nov. 23, 2020, Barr told Donald Trump that his claims of election fraud were “just not meritorious, they're not panning out,” adding that the Department of Justice could not act as an extension of Trump’s personal lawyer and investigate every claim without evidence. 

“Even after his attorney general told him his claims of election fraud were false, President Trump continued to promote these claims,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., said during Monday’s hearing. 

One of Trump’s primary targets was the city of Philadelphia, where he alleged fraudulent mail-in ballots were being tabulated. 

“[Trump] said more people voted in Philadelphia than there were voters. And that was absolutely rubbish,” former attorney general Bill Barr told the committee in recorded testimony. “The turnout in Philadelphia was in line with the state's turnout and, in fact, it was not as impressive as many suburban counties and there was nothing strange about the Philadelphia turnout.” 

On Dec. 1, 2020, Barr said in an interview with The Associated Press that the DOJ had uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election.

"To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election," Barr said in the interview.

In a meeting hours later, Barr described Trump as the “angriest I've ever seen him,” saying: “He was trying to control himself.”

“I mean, the claims of fraud were b*******,” Barr said of Trump’s repeated claims that Dominion Voting Machine systems were flipping votes for Biden or that thousands of fraudulent votes were being secretly tabulated by election officials. 

In a subsequent meeting, Trump showed Barr a report further alleging the Dominion systems were tampered with. 

“And I was feeling, like, demoralized because I thought, boy, if [Trump] really believes this stuff, he has, you know, lost contact with – he’s become detached from reality, if he really believes this stuff,” Barr said of the meeting. 

On Dec. 14, Barr quit. 

“I felt that before the election, it was possible to talk sense to the president and while you sometimes had to engage in a big wrestling match with him, that it was possible to keep things on track,” Barr told the committee in taped interviews. “[I] felt that after the election, he didn't seem to be listening and I didn't think it – that I was inclined not to stay around if he wasn't listening to advice from me or his other Cabinet secretaries.”

Cheney: Trump followed guidance of ‘apparently inebriated’ Rudy Giuliani over campaign officials on election night

In her opening remarks on Monday, committee vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., described how former President Donald Trump knew his team had lost the presidential election on election night – but instead of following the advice of his advisers, he decided to follow the guidance of an “apparently inebriated” Rudy Giuliani. 

The former New York City mayor served as one of Trump’s personal lawyers during his 2020 presidential election campaign. On election night, Giuliani encouraged Trump to declare victory and urge states to stop counting votes – which the then-president did, going on television early in the morning of Nov. 4, 2020 to say: “We want all voting to stop. We don't want them to find any ballots at four o'clock in the morning and add them to the list.” 

At the time, millions of votes across numerous states were still being tallied by election officials. 

“President Trump rejected the advice of his campaign experts on election night, and instead followed the course recommended by an apparently inebriated Rudy Giuliani to just claim he won and insist the vote-counting stop, to falsely claim everything was fraudulent,” Cheney said on Monday, the second day of public hearings from the committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. 

“He falsely told the American people the election was not legitimate,” she added of Trump. “In his words, quote, ‘a major fraud.’ Millions of Americans believed him.”

In a subsequent taped video of interviews with other Trump staffers, Bill Stepien, Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, testified in the video that Giuliani was “definitely intoxicated” that night, but that he was not sure of his level of intoxication while talking to the president. 

Still, Stepien told the committee that he informed Trump not to declare victory that night – but the former president opted to listen to Giuliani.

“It was far too early to be making any calls like that,” he said.

“[Trump] thought I was wrong, he told me so,” Stepien told the committee in recorded testimony, adding: “My recommendation was to say votes are still being counted. It's too early to tell. Too early to call the race.” 

Three of his closest advisers -- daughter Ivanka Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner and communications adviser Jason Miller -- also told Trump on election night not to declare victory.

The committee’s Monday hearing is focusing on how the seeds of the Jan. 6 insurrection were first planted, painting a picture that Trump’s words in the months leading up to that day directly contributed to the violence. 

“The Trump campaign legal team knew there was no legitimate argument fraud or irregularities or anything to overturn the election. And yet, President Trump went ahead with his plans for January 6 anyway,” Cheney said in previewing Monday’s hearing. “[Rioters] marched on the Capitol at his request, and hundreds of them besieged and invaded the building. at the heart of our constitutional Republic.”

Jan. 6 investigator: Trump used false election claims to raise millions of dollars ahead of Capitol attack

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat who led Monday's hearing, said that the panel would "present evidence that Mr. Trump's claims of election fraud were false, that he and his closest advisers knew the claims were false but they continued to peddle them anyway right up until the moments before a mob of Trump supporters attacked the Capitol."

Lofgren made the case at Monday's hearing that former President Donald Trump began making false allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 election months before the earliest ballots were even cast: "The former President laid the groundwork for these false claims well in advance of the election. As early as April 2020, Mr. Trump claimed that the only way he could lose an election would be as a result of fraud."

They went on to play clips of Trump espousing false claims of voter fraud, including a clip of him at a debate with Joe Biden where he said that the election "is going to be a fraud like you’ve never seen."

Lofgren went on to add that the panel aimed to prove that the former president's campaign "used these false claims of election fraud to raise hundreds of millions of dollars from supporters who were told their donations were for the legal fight in the courts."

"But the Trump Campaign didn't use the money for that," she continued. "The 'Big Lie' was also a big rip-off."

An investigator working for the House committee said in a video presentation played Monday that the Trump campaign sent “millions” of fundraising emails to supporters related to false claims about the election and raised hundreds of millions of dollars by urging people to donate to a nonexistent “election defense fund.”

The campaign raised $100 million in the first week after the election, said senior investigative counsel Amanda Wick, and $250 million total before Jan. 6. The campaign sometimes sent as many as 25 emails per day, she said.

And the majority of the funds raised in those days after the election went to a political action committee (PAC) called Save America created by the president on Nov. 9, 2020, not to a fund to exclusively fight voter fraud as implied in the emails, Wick said.

The PAC instead “made millions of dollars of contributions to pro-Trump organizations,” Wick said the committee found, including $1 million to former chief of staff Mark Meadows’ charitable foundation, more than $200,000 to the Trump Hotel Collection, and over $5 million to Event Strategies Inc., which put together the rally on January 6. 

“The evidence developed by the select committee highlights how the Trump campaign aggressively pushed false election claims to fundraise, telling supporters it would be used to fight voter fraud that did not exist,” Wick said. 

Rep. Zoe Lofgren said small dollar donors who supported the Trump campaign at the time were misled into thinking their money would somehow help the former president win the election.

“Those donors deserve the truth about what those funds will be used for,” Rep. Lofgren said.

“We found evidence that the Trump campaign and its surrogates misled donors as to where their funds would go and what they would be used for,” she added.

Following Monday's hearing, Lofgren told CNN's Jake Tapper that former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, the fiance of Trump's son Donald Trump Jr., was paid $60,000 for her roughly two-minute speech at the Ellipse on Jan. 6.

"It’s a grift,” Lofgren said.

Fellow California Rep. Adam Schiff, a member of the Jan. 6 panel, told CNN that the Justice Department must probe "any credible allegation of criminal activity" related to Trump's post-election fundraising.

"I think it's a very important part of the story, which is, there was the motivation to try to overturn the election, when he lost it when he knew he lost it, totally lost it," Schiff told the outlet. "But they still wanted to raise money from it. And they told people this big lie, and they asked him for their money. They said they needed it for their 'Election Defense Fund,' and there was no election defense fund. So it just shows more of the corruption of that whole effort."

"I think that the Justice Department needs to investigate any credible allegation of criminal activity, whether it's by a former president or by anyone else," Schiff added, saying it was not up to him to determine whether or not any crimes were committed.

'The 2020 election was not close'

The Jan. 6 panel sought to hear testimony from witnesses on Monday who could paint a picture about Trump's chances of victory in the 2020 election as they sought to make the case that the former president knew he had no path to lawfully overturn the results of the election.

Former Fox News political editor Chris Stirewalt, who was part of the team calling the 2020 election results for the network, told Jan. 6 investigators that as the election results dwindled to the final states, he knew former president Trump’s “chances were very small and getting smaller.”

Stirewalt testified that his early call for Arizona in favor of President Joe Biden was solid, despite controversy at the time.

“We had partnered with the Associated Press and the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago,” he said. “And let me tell you, our polling Arizona was beautiful. And it was doing just what we wanted it to do.”

Stirewalt said he and his team, just like other networks, were closely watching results in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona, which were close in vote counts.

“But we already knew, Trump's chances were very small and getting smaller based on what we had seen,” he said.

And, Stirewalt added, they also evaluated the chances of Trump winning even if some states’ results were to shift in his favor.

“He needed three of these states to change, and in order to do that — I mean, you're better off to play the Powerball than to have that come in,” he testified. 

Also testifying Monday was Benjamin Ginsberg, a conservative elections lawyer who has spent his entire career representing Republicans in election-related litigation. 

Ginsberg played a key role in the 2000 Florida recount that led to the Supreme Court’s decision in Bush v. Gore and served as the co-chair of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration.

On Monday, Ginsberg told the House select committee investigating the January 6th attack that he saw no evidence of election fraud in the 2020 election. 

“The 2020 election was not close,” said Ginsberg during the committee hearing. “The most narrow margin was 10,000 and you just don't make up those sorts of numbers in recounts.”

When asked by Rep. Lofgren, D-Calif., whether he was aware of any instance in which the courts found the Trump campaign's fraud claims to be credible, Ginsberg responded “No.”

“In all the cases that were brought in, I’ve looked at more than 60, the simple fact is that the Trump campaign did not make its case,” he said to the panel. “There was no credible evidence of fraud.”

Rep. Lofgren echoed Ginsberg’s statement: “As Mr. Ginsberg explained, there are no cases where the Trump campaign was able to convince the court that there was widespread fraud or irregularities the 2020 election,” she said.

Former top DOJ officials: Trump fixated on false claim about ‘suitcases’ of ballots

A top Department of Justice official under former president Trump said in taped video testimony played Monday that Trump pressed him on various false claims of voter fraud in the weeks after the election, especially a debunked claim about “suitcases” of ballots being counted in Georgia.

Former acting deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue testified virtually to the committee that he was one of the officials investigating allegations of voter fraud and that he told Trump that they were unfounded. 

“I said something to the effect of, ‘Sir, we've done dozens of investigations, hundreds of interviews,’” he said in taped testimony played by the committee on Monday. “We're doing our job. Much of the info you're getting is false.”

He said the president was especially fixated on a video that he claimed showed suitcases of ballots pulled out from under a table in Fulton County, Georgia, a clip that was played by former Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani in a Georgia state senate hearing. 

Officials found that they were in fact official ballot lockboxes that were stored and retrieved by poll workers for regular counting. Giuliani played a short portion of the whole video, which when played in full shows normal vote processing.

“I said, ‘No sir, there is no suitcase. You can watch that video over and over,’” Donoghue said. “There's nothing suspicious about that at all.”

A former Atlanta-based U.S. attorney then testified to the committee about the allegation, which he helped investigate. 

“In actuality, in review of the entire video, it showed that that was actually an official ballot box that was kept underneath the tables,” said Bjay Pak, also a former Republican state lawmaker in Georgia.

“We interviewed, the FBI interviewed the individuals that are depicted in the videos,” he added. “[We] determined that nothing irregular happened in the county, and the allegations made by Mr. Giuliani were false.”

Trump was also fixated on similar baseless claims of fraud in Pennsylvania.

“[Trump] said more people voted in Philadelphia than there were voters. And that was absolutely rubbish,” former attorney general Bill Barr told the committee in recorded testimony. “The turnout in Philadelphia was in line with the state's turnout and, in fact, it was not as impressive as many suburban counties and there was nothing strange about the Philadelphia turnout.” 

Al Schmidt, a former GOP city commissioner for Philadelphia who became the target of Trump’s ire when he publicly pushed back against the president’s claims of voter fraud in the city, told the committee on Monday his team “took seriously every case that was referred to us.” 

“No matter how fantastical, no matter how absurd, we took every one of those seriously,” Schmidt said, adding: “Not only was there not evidence of 8,000 dead voters voting in Pennsylvania, there wasn't evidence for 8.”

Schmidt said in no uncertain terms that there is no evidence of dead people voting in the 2020 presidential election, debunking claims from former President Donald Trump and his team.

"We took seriously every case that was referred to us no matter how fantastical no matter how absurd and took every one of those seriously, including these," he added. 

Schmidt also discussed former President Trump's tweets against him, calling him a "RINO," or a "Republican in name only" and adding that he "refuses to look at a mountain of corruption & dishonesty." The panel showed images of threats made against Schmidt and his family.

"On some level it feels almost silly to talk about a tweet, but we can really see the impact that they have, because prior to that, the threats were pretty general in nature," he told the panel.

"After the President tweeted at me by name, calling me out the way that he did, the threats became much more specific, much more graphic," he added. "And included not just me by name but included members of my family by name, their ages, our address, pictures of our home."

Like in Pennsylvania, judges across the country threw out Trump’s claims of election fraud, which the committee pointed out on Monday. 

Ginsberg, a conservative elections lawyer and expert on recounts, testified in front of the committee there “was never that instance” that claims of fraud brought by the Trump campaign were credible. 

“In all the cases that were brought in – I've looked at the more than 60 that include more than 180 counts,” Ginsberg said. “And no, the simple fact is that the Trump campaign did not make its case.”

What's next? Focus on Trump’s ‘broader planning’ for Jan. 6, Cheney says

At the conclusion of Monday’s hearing, vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., previewed what the public can expect in the coming days, saying lawmakers plan to “move on to President Trump's broader planning for January 6.” 

Monday’s hearing included taped video testimony from a number of former officials in the Trump administration, like attorney general Barr, and campaign officials, including campaign manager Stepien – both of whom said they tried to stop the president from spreading false claims of election fraud in the days and weeks following the 2020 election.

The next hearings will include testimony concerning Trump’s “plan to corrupt the Department of Justice and his detailed planning with lawyer John Eastman to pressure the vice president, state legislatures, state officials and others to overturn the election,” Cheney said Monday. 

The committee previewed the testimony of former Trump White House lawyer Eric Herschmann, who recalled receiving a call from John Eastman, who advised the former president on how he could attempt to stay in power after the election did not go in his favor. 

“I said to him, ‘are you out of your effing mind? I said, ‘I only want to hear two words coming out of your mouth from now on: orderly transition,” Herschmann recalled of the conversation. 

The next televised committee hearing will take place on Wednesday, June 15 at 10:00 a.m. EST.