Tucked away at his Bedminster golf club, Trump has spent the past week venting his frustrations to nearly anyone who will listen. He has also taken his complaints about the committee on the road, lashing out at the congressional panel during a speech to conservatives in Nashville last Friday.
Trump’s growing frustration with the absence of any hard core supporters on the select committee — which has given the panel uninterrupted air time and deprived Republicans of the ability to cross-examine witnesses in real time — is just the latest example of how the public hearings have gotten under his skin. The former President has previously complained about his lack of allies on the committee, though he has become especially exasperated over the last week with his inability to preemptively respond to the committee’s findings without knowing what the panel plans to reveal during each hearing.
Trump has also publicly and privately lashed out at former Vice President Mike Pence, whose chief of staff Marc Short and former top White House lawyer Greg Jacob have both been featured prominently in the select committee hearings, putting an unflattering spotlight on the pressure campaign Trump directed at Pence and others as he desperately attempted to stay in power.
As the former President contemplates launching another presidential bid — potentially before the midterm elections – he has also become hyper-sensitive to how the hearings are being received by viewers and voters alike, according to multiple Republicans close to Trump. The stakes are high: the investigation could not only cast Pence, one of his potential 2024 rivals, in a positive light as investigators underscore the former vice president’s role in preventing a constitutional crisis, but it could also foreshadow potential legal trouble for Trump, who is already grappling with multiple legal battles unrelated to his role in January 6.