Trump demands equal time on TV networks to counter Jan. 6 hearings

Ex-president says he should be allowed to present his side of the case, including election irregularities and Democrat failures to secure Capitol

Kept by congressional Democrats from putting on a defense, former President Donald Trump demanded Thursday that television networks airing the Jan. 6 committee hearings provide him equal time to present his side.

"I DEMAND EQUAL TIME!!!" Trump said in a midday statement posted on his Truth Social media site, just before the Democrat-led panel began its third, televised hearing on the Capitol riots.

"The Fake News Networks are perpetuating lies, falsehoods, and Russia, Russia, Russia-type disinformation (same sick people, here we go again!) by allowing the low rated but nevertheless one sided and slanderous Unselect Committee hearings to go endlessly and aimlessly on (and on and on!)," the 45th president also said.

Democrats holding the Jan. 6 hearings have refused to let House Republicans put their own members on the committee and have openly talked about the hearings being a vehicle to keep Trump from running again.

"The point is that the constitutional purpose is clear, to keep people exactly like Donald Trump and other traitors to the union from holding public office," Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., told ABC News earlier this year.

Trump's statement appeared to appeal to the Federal Communications Commission's equal time provision that mandates U.S. radio and television broadcast stations provide an equivalent opportunity to any opposing political candidates who request it if their opponents has gotten it. 

Trump called the hearings "a one-sided, highly partisan Witch Hunt, the likes of which has never been seen in Congress before and that he deserved time on national TV to present his side of the case, including election irregularities and Democrat failures to secure Capitol."

He also said: "I am hereby demanding EQUAL TIME to spell out the massive Voter Fraud & Dem Security Breach!"