By BRIAN A. HOWEY, in Indianapolis

1. Republicans douse Trump's 'big lie'

Monday was devastating for Donald Trump. Appearing before the U.S. House Jan. 6 Committee on Monday, were Republican allies and colleagues. Former Attorney General Bill Barr described an inflamed president touting misguided election conspiracy theories as "detached from reality. Jason Miller describes a drunk Rudy Giuliani who convinced Trump to declare victory on Election Night, while campaign manager Bill Stepien described the two campaign factions of "Team Normal" and "Team Rudy" as he tried to convince Trump that his chances for victory were "bleak." Instead, Trump ramped up the "stop the steal" rhetoric which ignited the Jan. 6 U.S Capitol insurrection while two-thirds of Republicans now believe what Barr called "bullshit." He also raised $250 million for the "Official Election Defense Fund," which doesn't exist. It is unknown what happened to that $250 million raised mostly from small donors ($60,000 went to Kimberly Guilfoyle for a two minute speech at the Ellipse on Jan. 6).

Bill Barr: “There was never an indication of interest in what the actual facts were. My opinion then and my opinion now is that the election was not stolen by fraud. And I haven’t seen anything since the election that changes my mind on that. I thought boy, if he really believes this stuff, he has become detached from reality.” Republican election expert Ben Gingsberg: “In each one of those instances there was no credible evidence of fraud produced by the Trump campaign or his supporters. In all the cases that were brought — 60 cases, with more than 180 counts —the simple fact is that the Trump campaign did not make its case. In each one of those instances there was no credible evidence of fraud produced by the Trump campaign or his supporters." Trump White House attorney Eric Hershmann: “What they were proposing, I thought, was nuts — in theory was also completely nuts, right? It was a combination of Italians, the Germans, different things that had been floating around as to who was involved ... Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelans ... just all over their radar.” On the Dominion voting machines, Hershmann added, “The Dominion stuff, I never saw any evidence whatsoever to sustain those allegations.” 

Donald Trump reacted in a 12-page memo: "The January 6th Unselect Committee is disgracing everything we hold sacred about our Constitution. If they had any real evidence, they'd hold real hearings with equal representation." Trump spent eight pages of his statement to push baseless conspiracy theories that the 2020 election was stolen, saying his supporters went to the Capitol on January 6, 2021, to hold "elected officials accountable for the obvious signs of criminal activity throughout the Election."

2. Braun and Young on gun framework

While 10 Republicans are on board with the emerging Senate gun reforms, U.S. Sens. Todd Young and Mike Braun are tip-toeing around the framework. Sen. Braun told the Wall Street Journal that he was open to the framework and didn’t see any obvious problems in the proposed provisions. “I am interested to see where the NRA is on it,” Braun added. Braun has received $1.2 million from the NRA. Sen. Young statement: “Senator Young supports these discussions and believes Congress can take prudent steps, including incentivizing states to adopt red flag laws and bolstering mental health resources, especially in schools. Senator Young is reviewing the framework and awaits the final legislative text.” Young has received $2.89 million from the NRA.

3. INDems fill out ticket

Indiana Democrats revealed the final two spots on the ticket, with Monroe County Treasurer Jessica McClellan seeking the state treasurer, while ZeNai Brooks has filed for state auditor. They join Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. who is challenging Sen. Young and Destiny Scott Wells who is running for secretary of state.

4. Special session in late June

Gov. Eric Holcomb is indicating he will call a special General Assembly session in late June. Holcomb told Dan Carden of the NWI Times: "I think we need to do it sooner rather than later, and yet this month, and we have the ability to do just that." Carden: The governor's vision of a quick special session seems to suggest he's not in favor of the General Assembly simultaneously tackling new abortion restrictions for which Senate President Rod Bray has promised a "full vetting" that likely would take longer than a single day.

5. Daniels's future

Dave Bangert reports on his Based in Lafayette substack on questions for outgoing Purdue President Mitch Daniels: How about life after Purdue? “We’ll talk about it later, but if there’s something I can do – ever anything I can do for the university – maybe on a project basis or something, I’d be open to that. But that’s all TBD.” Any other prospects set beyond this? “I don’t have any right now.” Key words: "Right now."


Stay cool, folks. The Clark County REMC is warning of rolling blackouts during the coming heat wave. It's The Atomic!