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tv   The January 6th Hearings The House Investigates  MSNBC  July 12, 2022 9:00am-1:00pm PDT

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good day, everyone. this is andrea mitchell in washington joined by hallie jackson and katy tur in new york. as we get ready for what could be another explosive day of testimony during the january 6th committee's seventh public hearing. today the focus will ganss shift from former president trump's relentless push to get state governments to overturn the election and the justice department to intervene to the coordinated efforts by far-right extremist militia groups to overtake the capitol and stop the electoral count on january 6th and whether they were inspired by mr. trump's call to action in a december 19th tweet. >> that's right. so let's talk about some of the big moments to watch for in today's hearing. there's a couple of them. first, you've got live testimony from a former top spokesperson from the oath keepers on how these groups radicalize members to the point of doing what we saw on january 6th, these
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violent actions. you'll also hear from stephen ayres who was directly influenced by president trump's tweet to travel to washington for a day he said would be wild. >> and there is immense pressure on the committee today in what could be a put up or shut up moment to prove to the nation that there is a direct link between former president donald trump and those extremists responsible for the chaos at the capitol. there's a lot of expectation on new video clips of former white house counsel pat cipollone from his nearly eight-hour deposition last week. what did he tell the committee about what he advised the president on and around january 6th, and what did he corroborate from the testimony of others, specifically cassidy hutchinson. ladies, listen, just to get us up to speed on what we have seen so far, there's been a number of hearings, a number of weeks between them, just to catch us all up. remember the first one started with him knowing that he lost, being told that he lost and yet he lied and told his supporters
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that he won anyway. told them that democracy was being stolen. he knew that vice president mike pence didn't have the authority to overturn the election yet he pressured mike pence. he knew the states didn't have the authority to overturn the election within those states, that they had done recounts. the efforts were exhausted and he kept pressuring state officials, find me those votes he said to at least one. he knew over and over again that this was not going to work, even pressured his doj, tried to potentially put somebody else in charge of the doj of that would do his bidding. and yet, he wasn't able to do that. hallie, there was so much that this committee has laid out so far and the most explosive testimony, i know you weren't hear for it the other week, but cassidy hutchinson coming out and saying that donald trump knew that there were people in the crowd at the january 6th rally, knew that they were armed and yet told them to march to the capitol anyway. and allegedly said it's okay, they're not here to hurt me, let them in.
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>> i think we're going to hear more about that in a second from congressman raskin who spoke with ali vitali exclusively that donald trump and people in the white house knew the potential for people arriving at the capitol that day who were armed and had the potential for this kind of danger and this kind of violence. you mentioned it, katy, right there in the introduction, which is the pat cipollone testimony. we're going to hear it, we're going to see it. how much does he corroborate what hutchinson has said. raskin said he didn't contradict any of it. you mentioned that december 19th tweet in the wee hours of the morning where former president trump said it was going to be wild. that was preceded by apparently an absolutely bonkers meeting in the white house, one of the most, and i'm quoting here, deranged apparently of the trump presidency, people like mike flynn, sidney powell, talking about conspiracy.
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martial law was floated. the idea of seizing voting machines. the idea of doing things outside of the bounds of a realistic possibility to keep that election. i think you'll see a huge focus on that, that december 18th meeting, andrea. >> and of course pat cipollone, we'll see him on tape. we know how impactful those taped segments have been. he's not appearing live at the hearing today, but he's on tape and according to, as you alluded to, congressman raskin saying that ali vitali, he confirmed almost all of the previous testimony. so what does "almost all" mean? and we understand there are some things they did not directly ask him and that could be important, as they try to build the credibility of course and restore any credibility that may have eroded from cassidy hutchinson. i think that cassidy hutchinson actually is up until now the most important witness of the
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direct involvement of the president, via things that cipollone said to her directly. you're not dealing with anything that he could have said i won't talk to because it was lawyer/client privilege between me and the president. that is not the case when he said to her directly and she quoted him, don't let him go to the hill. don't let him go up to the hill. we could be involved, and i'm paraphrasing here, almost every -- indicted for almost every possible crime. also what he said in the meeting, that important meeting on january 3rd when the president was trying to install jeffrey clark, a completely unqualified mid-level environmental lawyer from within the justice department, even listing him on the agenda for that meeting, he was listed as acting attorney general even before the so-called -- the coup right there had happened. and he was there and the other witnesses of course, the other -- the acting attorney
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general at the time and of course engel, who was directly involved, his deputy, and cipollone then saying what you're describing here is a murder-suicide pact. those important comments from cipollone. >> let's bring in some more members of our team who will ganss be with us the next several hours. ali vitali, ryan riley. ali, we were talking about your interview with congressman jamie raskin who obviously has been investigating in some form or fashion donald trump for a number of years now. i had a chance to read through the transcript of this interview and i was struck by what he said to you, including this idea that that tweet that we were talking about on december 19th that i know is a focus of this hearing today that it will be wild. these groups changed the date they were thinking about
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rallying, but number two, that's how you in his view incite a mob these days. it's not something that happens online or social media. it's not like 20 years ago, if you will. >> reporter: that's the reality, if you want to bring a mob together in the 21st century, that's how you would do it, you would do it on the internet. so today there's going to be a focus in his words on what was happening online in some of these darker corners of the internet from these far right extremist groups who read that tweet and felt galvanized to action. that's what one of the oath keepers will talk about, the weighs they prey on people. that's what his system is going to bolster there. katy mentioned this was a real put-up moment for the committee. had idea, and i asked raskin this, of whether or not the former president knew there were members of far-right extremist
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groups in the crowd who were going to go to the capitol and do what they did. listen to that exchange between me and the congressman. >> do you believe that trump knew that there were right-wing extremists in the crowd that he expected to go to the capitol and do what they ultimately did? >> well, he knew that hundreds, if not thousands of the people in the crowd were armed. he asked to wave them in. he said take down the mags, take down the metal detectors. he wanted to send them directly over to the capitol after his speech was done. he wanted to lead them there. so there's just no dispute about it. the evidence is hiding in plain sight. >> that he knew? >> he had to have known. anybody would have known. but he certainly knew. you know, he was being told and the white house was being told about everything that was going on out there. >> reporter: so look, in a
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series of stunning allegations that we've already seen from the committee, if they do successfully tease this out today, what they're saying is that a then sitting president of the united states was at the very least aware of the activities of far-right extremist groups like the oath keepers and the proud boys. but we also know there was coordination between members of trump's outside circle of advisers, people like roger stone that were in talks with these members of these extremist groups. that's something they really try to paint today. and the pat cipollone of it all, we know how hard the committee worked subpoenaing him again to get him before them last week. nearly eight hours of testimony. i can tell you, they're working to integrate all of that in realtime. raskin told me yesterday that he has rewritten this hearing, what he's going to say in it, five or six times. the most recent to try to account for wrapping in all of the new things that they have from pat cipollone, both about the allegations that cassidy hutchinson made, which raskin pointed out to me were
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corroborated largely by what cipollone was saying, but also about that really crazy, as you guys were talking about, december 18th meeting. >> ryan, what can you tell us about today's witnesses? we've got jason van tatenhove from the oath keepers who has disavowed his involvement as a press spokesman for them and also stephen ayers and then pat cipollone. let's take them one by one. >> with the former oath keepers testimony, i don't expect there to be a lot of surprises there. he's going to offer general background about the oath keepers. he hasn't been involved in the organization for a little bit. but i do think the testimony from the january 6th defendant will ganss be revelatory. it's like putting out someone that was a donald trump supporter and stormed the capitol and putting them on television is a risk but he is in that key moment where after
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he pleaded guilty, he has not yet been sentenced. so whatever he says today is what the judge will look at very carefully. i don't think there's going to be a ton of surprises today. >> he was going to testify that he was inspired. he said i'm here because the president sent me, told me to come here. so that's the connection between the tweet and a lot of other things donald trump may have said that has already been established and showing up at the capitol and going in, importantly, not just protesting there. >> that's right. you've seen this in case after case after case where we've seen that trump tweet cited in a number of cases. but trump's tweet in general is cited there. pretty much all of the defendants went to that first speech where they got riled up and heard that the election was stolen and then headed over to the capitol.
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that's pretty much universal in all of these cases. only the proud boys went directly to the capitol. for all of the normies, the normal trump people, went to the rally and then stormed the capitol. >> and the excerpts from pat cipollone. katy. >> i do want to ask ali vitali about that exactly. you talked to jamie raskin about what cipollone testified to under oath and you can correct the exact wording, but he largely corroborated everything they had heard from others in front of the january 6 committee. there are specific things that cassidy hutchinson testified to, specific allegations against trump, specific things that pat cipollone told her he said to donald trump. did he confirm those? >> reporter: yeah. this is where the language gets really important, katy, because raskin used the word that he largely corroborated -- cipollone largely corroborated
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everything we've heard from past witnesses. when i asked specifically about the things that cassidy hutchinson came before the committee and said, the idea that if trump were to go to the capitol that they would be charged with every crime imaginable or that cipollone said to mark meadows that if the president didn't do more to quell the riot, they would have blood on their hands. those were specific allegations made by cassidy hutchinson that involved cipollone. what raskin told me was that he was not specifically asked about those instances but nothing that he said went against what cassidy hutchinson said. the thing that you have to infer there is that nothing about what happened in those hearings with cassidy hutchinson happened in a vacuum. what raskin concluded was that cipollone over the course of eight hours was given the opportunity to say whatever he wanted about any number of these different instances that they talked to him about and that he did not at any point contradict the things that other witnesses, including cassidy hutchinson,
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had said. so it's sort of a legalese answer and the committee has been very purposeful in their language around that. but i will say what raskin told us is the furthest we've had a committee member go. and raskin was largely in the hearing room, in the room with cipollone for most of those eight hours so he was someone hearing this firsthand. i do think when we think about the ways former trump administration officials have been used, they want to get us as close in the room as possible. that meeting is going to be important and they're going to highlight but they're building upon bringing in the former ceo of overstock on friday. so the idea that this committee is publicly doing these hearings and privately still fact-finding. >> ali, thanks for all your terrific reporting and all of your scoops all week leading up to today's hearing. thanks to ryan.
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let's bring in nbc justice correspondent pete williams. so much has been said, written, argued over about the department of justice over all of this and whether they're watching. merrick garland said we're watching all this closely but whether they're following leads or on an independent parallel track. they have their own agenda and it's very, very different. we did see some interesting things this week coming out of justice department filings on their cases of the level of weaponry that these militant groups who are the focus of today's hearings. they had assembled military grade armament, grenades and things of that nature, and prepositioned military caches outside of the district of columbia and surrounding areas to bring in. so their whole plan and the coordinated allegation is that they had this planned to take over the capitol, stop the counting and then bring in military reinforcements and take
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control of the government so that the count could be interrupted. >> well, the one thing the committee may be able to fill is a gap the justice department has never been able to fill in all of the court filings after january 6th defendants have been charged. we've got about 860 charged. the most complicated charges involve the proud boys, the oath keepers, the three percenters and others. it's quite clear from all the messages they exchanged that they were coming here to do something to get congress to stop the count. whether that was a protest in the streets, then eventually they started focusing on the capitol. but there's never been any allegation in any of the filings so far of a specific plan in advance to actually enter the capitol to try to stop the count. that will be one thing to see if the january 6 elicits that testimony. we'll hear from the ohio man that has pleaded guilty that you talked about with ryan, he's so
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typical. of the 860 people charged, about 600 of them are like him. the government says he was in the capitol for a total of ten minutes. he went in there, took some selfies and he left. he's like so many others who said that they came to washington and they went to the capitol because donald trump told them to. he cites on his facebook posting the trump tweet of "be there. be wild." he said in his facebook post january 6th, washington, d.c. the president is calling on us to come back to washington on january 6th for a big protest and then cites the tweet. and that is so typical, andrea, of so many of those people charged since the january 6th riot. but was the actual entering of the capitol something that was planned, if so by whom. or was it getting to the capitol and seizing the moment and that's something we're still waiting to find out for sure. >> pete, what about this "the
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new york times" reporting that after doj officials, investigators heard the testimony from cassidy hutchinson last week where she talks about what donald trump knew about the crowd and what donald trump knew about the lead-up to january 6th and then also what he was told by his own lawyers in the white house, that it made them rethink the way that they are considering the former president of the united states. are you hearing anything along those lines? >> actually quite the opposite. i mean, look, i'm sure that's true for some but other people at justice will say that what her testimony was, was not a surprise to them. obviously they're following what the january 6 committee is doing, the attorney general has said that publicly, but they're on their own. by the way, on this whole matter of a referral, i don't think it's going to take a referral from the house committee to file any criminal charges against anybody at all. you know, there are some people who think a referral might be
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counterproductive and might make it seem political. the sense i get, is that the justice department is right along with the january 6 committee. >> pete, on that, do you have any sense of the debate internally within doj about whether it's gay idea to charge the president, the former president of the united states, that debate about whether it will hurt or help our democracy? >> obviously they're not saying much about that. i think you can sure that issue is being discussed but how robust the debate is, i don't have any idea. >> thank you very much, pete williams. appreciate it. >> pete, just a quick follow-up question. the president, the former president is talking about announcing his candidacy for 2024 sooner rather than later rather quickly and the thought is even though that hurts some of his fund-raising capabilities, he's trying to throw a brush-back pitch that there might be some further
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hesitation to not only breaking indicting a former president, prosecuting a former president, but prosecuting one who is angling to be the republican nominee. any thought that that would influence merrick garland? >> i simply don't know the answer to the question. my guess is it wouldn't matter. it would not matter. >> thanks so much for that. pete williams, as always. joining us now, jonel harmon. he has met with investigators about the communications and potential threats ahead of the insurrection. you were one of the people trying to warn federal and local agencies these extremists could be planning something big on january 6th. what did you tell the committee about this breakdown in communications? >> well, i told the committee that we had numerous meetings, intelligence and information
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that were passed to us but we also generated organically from our own means that suggested that large groups of armed militia would be descending on january 6th after the president's tweet. and they had plans to take the capitol, literally. they had blueprints. they had radio communications with frequency, other plans such as that. >> donnell what about how the committee is operating. when you speak with committee members and their staff, how does it work? we haven't been in those rooms and haven't been privy to the conversations. what can you tell us that doesn't reveal too much? >> well, they're pretty thorough. the conversations -- i've had three meetings with them, one that was sworn testimony. they're pretty thorough. they have their facts. some things they're looking to corroborate and clearly some things they're looking to learn.
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i focused primarily on the intelligence and information space and the threat environment that we saw. and how that threat environment evolved over the course of weeks before january 6th and then what we did with that information and what we believe was done with that information. >> so what do you believe was done with that information? because, again, we heard from law enforcement officials that day, from national security officials saying you really couldn't have expected this type -- or anticipated this type of behavior. and you went in there and said, no, we had heard chatter about this. what do you think happened? >> yeah. so we saw what was done with the information. the capitol wasn't protected the way it should have been. that's what i hope the committee will fresh out. it wasn't a failure of intelligence, it was a failure to heed the intelligence. to say that they didn't understand that this large group of individuals were coming to
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take the capitol i think is a falsehood. and i want to be very clear. if it was just regular trump supporters that we were seeing on social media coming out and going to be wild and vociferous and participate in first amendment protected activities, that wouldn't be an issue. that's not what we were seeing. we were seeing a large amount of trump supporters who just wanted to support their candidate. we were also seeing groups of individuals that are known to mobilize to violence. groups of individuals that have had plans for a while, anti-government, armed militia, white supremacists, neo-nazis. these people aren't coming to participate in first amendment activities. that's what we explained to all of our partners in advance, especially when they're talking about how to hide and bring guns into washington, d.c.
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pete mentioned where to stash caches of armaments and military-grade weapons across the bridges in virginia. sharing maps of the capitol, how to penetrate the capitol. that has nothing to do with the first amendment. >> donell, when you saw the video of them approaching in stacks, you saw the military formations, and just the armament that you just alluded to, how did all of that happen under the eyes of all the authorities, despite the warnings that you and ben collins, our own reporter, was seeing and how to let armed troops get this close with organized groups that everyone had supposedly been tracking? >> well, i only have half the answer to that. half the answer is many violent actors not only on the right but
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the left as well use peaceful protests, legitimate first amendment protected activities to hide and masquerade behind and they take the opportunity to become violent. these folks unfortunately were able to hide in plain sight. they weren't sharing these secrets in some dark, deep corners of the web that you need special tools and tactics and techniques to get to. they were saying this on facebook, right? they were announcing their plans broadly for everyone to see. and so the second part of the question, i really don't know. i really don't know how we can understand as an intelligence enterprise that there are armed individuals or individuals that claim to be armed with plans to be violent to come to the district to stop the legal count of the vote and allow them to do so. and so that's one of the things that i'm looking forward to the
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committee getting to the bottom of. >> donell harvin, thank you for joining us. coming up, how today's witnesses could solidify the ties between the trump white house and extremists. you are watching msnbc's special coverage of the january 6th committee hearings. don't go anywhere. coverage of t committee hearings committee hearings don't go anywhere. ♪ ♪ aleve. who do you take it for? ♪♪ add downy to yh for all the freshness and softness of home. even when you're not at home. feel the difference with downy. there's a reason comcast business powers more businesses than any other provider. actually, there's a few. comcast business offers the fastest, reliable network...
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welcome back to special coverage of the january 6th committee focusing today on the extremist groups that attacked the capitol and their ties to trump allies, roger stone and mike flynn. we'll also see taped testimony by pat cipollone, white house counsel for former president trump, who committee members tell us corroborated almost everything in his words, almost everything previous witnesses, including cassidy hutchinson said. that's from jamie raskin to ali vitali. joining us now, former senior
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fbi official, chuck rosenberg, frank figliuzzi and michael steele. chuck, we know that roger stone and mike flynn both were in touch with these extremists. mike flynn is a former general, how that is possible is for us to someday understand. but they were in touch with these extremist leaders. they talked to mark meadows, the chief of staff, and were trying to get these groups worked in with the president but they never -- we don't know that they made the connection. >> we don't know. i think you're right, it's a really important question, andrea. there's a difference between something that's correlated and something that's causal. you know, smoking and drinking alcohol might be correlated, people do both, but smoking doesn't cause drinking.
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what i'm looking for is causality, whether the organizers caused these things to happen. another important question is whether they funded it. this costs money to come to washington and stay in hotels. where does the money come from? >> we haven't heard very much about the money, but how important is it to make that connection to donald trump himself? >> well, it's important to make the connection. whether it goes all the way up to donald trump is not something you or i know yet, right? so what prosecutors and agents try to do is make those connections and see how high it goes. i think as a prosecutor it's dangerous to pick a target and then look for facts. rather follow the facts, follow the law and see where they lead you. what's that merrick garland has said over and over again. if they go to donald trump, so be it. if they don't, so be it. >> we heard, frank, from pete williams talking about doj filings, about the level of
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weaponry that was in washington, d.c., that day, carried by those who stormed the capitol. we also heard from donell harvin who said they anticipated this and heard chatter about this. last week we heard from cassidy hutchinson that donald trump was told that the people in his crowd at his rally were armed. that they were armed, the ones that couldn't get in were armed. they didn't want to go through metal detectors. he said let them in anyway, they're not here to hurt me. and then he urged those folks to march to the capitol. you're going to be watching those committee hearings and looking for that link between donald trump and the extremists. what will you be watching out for? >> well, as we've just heard from andrea and chuck, that dotted line needs to become solid for so many people in our country to be convinced the causality connection. we heard a lot after 9/11 terror attacks about connecting dots. that needs to happen today. so one of those ways to connect those is to actually show that
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evidence. how many times and by whom was the former president told we were armed people in this crowd. then how many times and in what way did he say i don't really care, they're not here to hurt me. and this whole issue of the secret service telling him he can't proceed to the capitol and him insisting that he wants to. what was that all about? and then with regard to who showed up that day, it's not just random people who might have been armed, but we need to hear in detail the extent to which domestic terror groups like oath keepers and proud boys were prepared for battle and planned to breach. for example, we are now hearing about military ordnance, grenades, the stockpiling of weapons around the d.c. beltway. but there was a month's worth of food supplies stocked around d.c. think about preparing for a battle so protected that you would need a month of food to do it. that is amazing to me and should be amazing to people who hear it
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today. >> that is incredible. i had not heard that. frank, thanks for that. michael, let's talk about whether this is breaking through. there's a lot of talk about republicans hardening and not wanting to hear it. there was a "new york times" poll out today showing that half of republicans say that they'd like somebody else to run in 2024. they would vote for somebody else. half still say they'd vote for donald trump, but half. i wonder if there is something about these hearings, something about the reminder of january 6th and all that happened up to it, all that happened during it, and then all that happened after that is making some in the republican party say, hey, listen, this is just too much. i'd rather somebody come in with a blank slate? >> yeah, i think there is that sort of loosening of the vice grip that the president has. although i don't -- i don't know
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if that translates when you get into the fall. if these hearings are still under way, yeah, that's going to be a real sort of moment for republicans to have to confront as they hunker down around candidates, you know, that are going to be on the ballot supporting donald trump, supporting the big lie. and if the committee is effective, as it has been up to this point in creating the narrative in which people walk away, katy, wanting someone to be accountable. i think that's what you're seeing in some of those numbers. it's not so much, oh, my god, i didn't realize. they realize, but now they realize someone has to pay for this and be accountable. that speaks to the effectiveness and certainly goes to what my two friends and colleagues have just said about what we should be looking for today, what we need to hear today, to setting that narrative in stone for voters as they sort of round out
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their summer. because remember, a lot of people didn't think trump was paying attention to this. remember, no one is going to really care. that was the gop standard line. i'm not watching this, i don't care. until, guess what, their voters started viewing. and when fox started tuning in. and that told me in that moment there was something about these hearings that was beginning to make a difference. we're seeing it in some of the polling. we'll see how it really settles when they have to start voting and not thinking about not just 2022, but 2024. >> yeah, and that's exactly when you started seeing donald trump really going after liz cheney and some of the other people who are active, republicans who he thinks have abandoned him, participated in this and supported it in fact. chuck, one of the other things is this pat cipollone testimony.
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what we're going to see today from him is so important not just because of cassidy hutchinson and corroborating as he says almost all of what we've been told -- almost all of what she said, but jared kushner. here is the family itself, the trump family being interviewed, cooperating with the committee, as far as it went. let's watch what he had to say about this white house counsel. >> jared, are you aware of instances where pat cipollone threatened to resign? >> i kind of -- like i said, my interest at that time was on trying to get as many pardons done, and i know that he was always -- him and the team were always saying, oh, we're going to resign, we're not going to be here if this happens, if that happens, so i just took it up to just be whining to be honest with you. >> just be whining. there's so much packed into that
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statement. first of all, he says he's trying to get pardons for all these people, just a casual thing. but pat cipollone, a rock solid republican, the defender of the president in the second impeachment trial, successful defender in the senate impeachment trial of the president, he was warning him against illegal acts. and so that speaks to whatever credibility he has going into these -- this testimony that he gave last week. >> you know, andrea, i'm not given to strong reactions but i had a strong reaction when i heard that. if you take a set of things that are remarkably dumb and a set of things that are remarkably arrogant and you look at the intersection of those two sets, you're going to find jared kushner standing right there. it's absolutely remarkable to me that a white house counsel would tell you that he and his people are considering resigning if
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certain things happen or don't happen or certain things are said or not said, and that you would consider it whining. it is a window onto his soul and it is not a very pretty view. >> and in fact that he would then say as sort of a throwaway line, i was so busy worrying about pardons, which is the purview of the white house counsel. not an aide who is also the president's son-in-law. >> you're right, we've ignored that part of it and it is a good point. it is not really his purview. although from reports, everything seemed to be his purview. but if the white house counsel tells you there's a problem, andrea, you should listen. >> indeed. katy. >> chuck rosenberg, thank you very much. good advice for all of us. michael, thank you as well and also frank. don't go too far, we'll check back in with you in just a moment before the committee gavels in. we're about 22 minutes away. coming up next, the new evidence expected to be revealed at today's hearing. you are watching special
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coverage of the january 6th committee hearings right here on msnbc. don't go anywhere. right here on msnbc. don't go anywhere. when you have technology that's easier to control... that can scale across all your clouds... we got that right? yeah we got that. it's easier to be an innovator. so you can do more incredible things. [whistling]
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about 20 minutes from now, the january 6th committee will gavel in its seventh public hearing. testimony will focus on the ties between donald trump's orbit and extremist groups who played a role in the riot. joining us now is nbc news senior reporter ben collins and nbc national security analyst clint watts. gentlemen, thank you very much. there's a meeting on december 18th.
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and this includes sidney powell, michael flynn, patrick burn, who's the former ceo, not a name we've heard much from, and emily newman, a former trump administration official. in this meeting they're talking about how to overturn the election, what they need to do to make sure donald trump stays in power. and in seems to be the inflection point for the committee, because just a few hours after this meeting, donald trump tweets, 1:42 a.m. in the morning, be there on january 6th at the capitol. will be wild. and that could have been, according to the committee, or was, according to the committee, the call and response. that's what called all of these extremist groups and supporters to the capitol that day. what can you tell me about the chatter around that time, ben, that you were seeing online as this meeting was happening. >> you've got to remember how deeply into qanon that people like mike flynn and patrick burn and the kracked lady --
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>> sidney powell. >> what they were into. this is what those people thought at the time. they thought that gina haspel was captured in germany trying to secure the ballots. completely bananas, completely bonkers stuff. >> you laugh, but it's scary. >> it's scary. because of that they were in the ear of the president of the united states who at that point was still -- people don't understand that it was in full coup mode at that point. it was a completely different time for them. and also mike flynn at that time started pushing for martial law, both through his social channels and also allegedly in those conversations with the president. this is before christmas. and then in the two and three weeks after that, after that tweet, it got more and more riled up from there. so this was the starting point for a lot of these crazy conspiracy theories that wound up getting pushed to the president. >> clint, what do you think? >> yeah, i think the tweet are heard around trump world was a
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signal. if you were in the online environment, every group, every supporter had a point to focus on. you might remember, qanon, we saw two supporters show up in philadelphia at a ballot counting spot. why? a tweet went out and said philadelphia, gretchen whitmer. why did they show up around her? it shows up in a tweet. so this call and response we've seen repeatedly before and following the election. some people are wondering why do we focus on this tweet at 1 something in the morning, we do because that was a signal to all of his supporters about where to go. when you look at random terrorism brought through the media, what do you look for? do you have somebody with outsize influence pointing people to a target, a specific place and a specific time. that time was january 6th. >> andrea. >> let's talk about pat cipollone. how do you think the problem of domestic extremists relying on military training and military
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tactics is bigger than groups like the oath keepers? we have to look forward to the next attack, the next incident? >> yeah, i think it's a key thing that we should always be looking at. these groups, what are they doing? they're trying to simulate that they're a militia and trying to protect the constitution which they don't interpret in any constitutional way. at the same point they're relying on those individuals to be the leaders. they know what equipment to get. you might remember the oath keepers were talking about bringing weapons into the city, having a quick reaction force, how to use communications equipment. how do they use that? they use people with former military experience. that's a way to get around that. so when you look at any militia group around the country, the one that i'm most worried about is the one that has former military members with combat experience. they're the ones that when they decide to execute any form of violence will do it in a very tactical and a very focused way. i think that's where the danger
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comes with some of these groups that showed up there. many of those individuals, i heard pete williams on before, they were just there. they didn't realize necessarily they were going into the capitol or what to do. who were the ones that made the entry into the capitol? groups like the proud boys. who were the ones in military gear bringing it to a level of violence or level of combat or talking about violence? that was the oath keepers. so i think those two groups are essential to understanding the overall plot and what danger we were in on that day on january 6. >> ben, let's talk about the connection between those groups and donald trump. what have you learned about how close it got back to the president? >> well, i think it's important to view middle men here, people like roger stone, who have been -- who have used the proud boys or the oath keepers as private security in the past. >> even on that day. >> even on that day, january 6th. they lived at his compound in the past and he's in frequent contact with the president for a very long period of time. i think trying to suss out if there was any communication between those two. you know, this one through line
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between roger stone, donald trump and the proud boys and the oath keepers is going to be a very important thing that hopefully we hear in this hearing today. >> ben, clint, thank you very much. let's have jake sherman, the co-founder of punchbowl news, join us now. jake, you know all things capitol hill. pat cipollone is somebody that the committee had wanted to hear from for months now, very public about wanting him to come in and sit down. they finally got their way. why was that? was it because of the testimony from cassidy hutchinson? >> it was. and excuse the piano in the background. listen, i think that he was under subpoena at the end of the day, cipollone. a few things to watch here. number one, they are going to play pat cipollone's video, the video of his testimony. he had spoken to the committee previously. it was not videotaped, it was not recorded and
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transcribed. this time all three of those things were done. what republicans are going to do is they're saying cipollone wasn't even asked about hutchinson's testimony, which is interesting to know, but i don't think it's dispositive. if his actions or what he said was mischaracterized, he did not contradict anything that cassidy hutchinson said so that's important to note. number two, i just want to follow up on your last conversation, katy. this is the big key. the big key here, the golden ticket, so to speak, is to establish some sort of connective tissue between the proud boys, between the oath keepers and between some conduit, some person in the white house in those days leading up to january 6th. that is the -- that is the goal here. that is the main ticket. we'll see if this committee is able to do that. incredibly important to be if there was any planning, any coordination. remember, there was testimony, i believe, from cassidy herself
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suggesting that she heard about the proud boys and the oath keepers when rudy giuliani was in the room. so all of that put together makes this an especially interesting hearing, not like any of these hearings have not been interesting. they have all been fascinating and illuminative, but i think this one also has the potential to be quite explosive. >> jake sherman, thank you very much, on page side rage side with that piano behind him. andrea, over to you. >> let's bring back our panel. chuck rosenberg, frank figliuzzi, michael steele and now joyce vance joining us as well. joyce, what are you looking for today? you're watching a hearing that is not -- they're not prosecutors. you're a former prosecutor. but they are creating a body of evidence so far piece by piece. cassidy hutchinson most importantly, perhaps, and now pat cipollone, at least on video today, corroborating we're told almost all of what she had testified to.
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>> the evidence that the committee has put together is incredibly compelling, andrea, but it's compelling only for people who have watched it. so if we're concerned about the mood in america, perhaps even the mood of voters, the real issue the committee faces today is pretty similar to the issue that it faced in previous hearings. it's how does it break through to the people who aren't watching. as we all know, that largely means creating moments of testimony that will be played on television and on social media and shared by word of mouth, because at this point it's clear that there's a little bit of a shift in the mood in the country. the question is whether the committee will be able to catch fire in a sense and to finally be the element in this long drama involving trump that convinces people that the former president did not have the country's best interests at heart and went so far as to try to overthrow the government when he lost the election. it seems simple, and i think
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obvious to those of us who are following along. but for many people, they're simply not engaged yet. >> the committee room is filling up as you can see. we are 11 minutes away from the gavel going down by the chair there. this is the seventh public th p. as you heard from all the folks that have joined us today, could potentially be explosive. let's wait to see what we do hear. chuck rosenberg, we're talking about the consequences of donald trump's words. we have been talking about it since he ran for president in 2015. and there has been a clear link between what he says and what people do in reaction to it. it's happened over and over again. clint watts laid out a few of the notes from people reacting to tweets that donald trump sent out. if this were to go to a criminal court, what is the standard for donald trump being held responsible for the words or his
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tweets. >> it's a great question. and it's sort of points right to what we call black letter conspiracy law. generally speaking, you are responsible as a conspirator. any conspirator for the reasonable foreseeable consequences of your words and your conduct. three people dpo in to rob a bank. one of them is armed. the other two know the person is armed they don't intend to use the firearm in the bank, but bad things happen when people go into banks with guns, and a teller is murdered. all three of the bank robbers are responsible for the bank robbery and for the murder. because it's reasonably foreseeable if you bring a gun to a bank robbery, something really, really bad can happen. so to your question, any conspirator, mr. trump, any con spear tort is responsible for
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the consequences of their words and their conduct. that's plaque letter conspiracy law. >> let me play something that cassidy hutchinson said quoting pat cipollone. to this very point of how people can get hurt when you bring armed rioters to the capitol of the united states. >> he said he doesn't want to do anything. he said something to the effect of, and very clearly, said this to mark. something to the effect of mark, something needs to be done or people are going to die and the blood is going to be on your hands. >> so we're talking about the president not doing anything. we're talking about the 187 minutes. that's going to be the focus of potentially a final wrap up hearing yet to be scheduled, but this is also an issue. the president not only what he
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did, but what he did not do to keep his oath to uphold his oath to protect and preserve the constitution of the united states. >> great point, because to continue that thread of responsibility, should have known reasonably, should have known the consequences of his actions, it's also about the consequences of inactions. so it's really crucial to hear pat cipollone perhaps be able to explain we tried to talk him out of this. or i told mark meadows, and mark said i tried to talk him out of it. it's almost as important to show how many people tried to talk the bank robber's out of going to the bank that day and they still did it and presented the dangers to the bank robbers. there's a guard there. there are camera there is. people could get hurt is and they still did it. the inaction is an important part of this. not only a criminal procedure
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legal standpoint, with us to win hearts and minds out there, convince americans that this president at the time had no interest in preserving what's best for america or the safety of members of congress or the safety of his own vice president. he chose not to act. >> michael steele, maybe it's because congress has been on recess, maybe it's because i feel like the response from republicans to the hearings has been relatively muted. am i wrong to say a that? >> that's more so the case than at the begin wrg they thought they could sort of lay down the narrative. this is a witch hunt. i'm not going to be watching. i think it was after that first ratings notice that showed 20 million americans watched that first hearing.
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while it happened, it was not folks not tuning back in. so that began to sort of change the way folks looked at this. i think where we are today and why today's hearings are equally important. making it harder to ignore what's coming out of these hearings goes to what my esteemed counsel just laid out here. the three lawyers that touch on this mind set. a lot of those republicans were the witnesses who could have said no and didn't. or the president on. so all of this begins to ferment very much against that initial narrative branding that the gop tried to put out there in such a way that some folks are going to
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you are going to be stuck with what comes off of this. and you're starting to see how that's impacting the way republicans are responding. >> talk about the oath keepers and the proud boys in the garage. the night of january 5th, that nex us is between the two groups, had they been working together before as far as we know? what do we know now? that's what was laid out in the first hearing. >> that's a big deal. they would show up at the same places. they would show up at gun rights rallies, for example. however, the meetups as you can see in the video to discuss something, maybe some strategy for the next day, that's brand new thing between these two groups. in part because they are two different kinds of groups.
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the proud boys are a street gang that will take anybody in. they are internet based. the oath keepers are mostly ex-military who thought they were going to protect the republic or whatever their idea was by having a pretty formidable plan in the days before january 6th. with weapons at a hotel across the river. so getting those two together, using the proud boys as an infantry and using the oath keepers as a military with a plan, that was sort of the what was going on in the days before. >> do you need a direct connection from the oath keepers and the proud boys back to donald trump. ben collins was talking about the middle men. it was easy to link them back. not necessarily back to donald trump. is that necessary link to make even though we have heard the consequences of donald trump's own words. we heard it as a call in response. it's what the committee is
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arguing. does there need to be -- does that dotted line need to become a straight line? >> it depends on your goal. so it you're talking about criminal culpability, less so. this is one of the hard things about proving criminal culpability when you're aiming at someone at the very top of a large and complex organization. there's lots of folks in between. and so this is always the challenge for prosecutors. you have identified it perfectly. and whether or not we get there, we shall see. >> it was really extraordinary examination by "the new york times." they showed elements of oath
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keepers and proud boys in the attack on the capitol, and specific units going and distracting, attacking particular police at the barriers and then moving on. and all kinds of decoy attack moves. this was very structured. much more so than certainly the republican attempts at deflection. >> that's right. i think what's really important if you look at the two indictments, it lays out communications that we just didn't know about on january 6th, but made sense when you watch the events unfold. the proud boys were told to be distributed. you saw them trying at different entry points into the capitol in terms of the distraction, which it tipped off the ability for everybody else to enter the the capitol. then we saw the stack of the
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oath keepers. it was out there in plain sight. it was very recognizable because they were the ones in military gear. the other thing that's just odd in both of these as much as they try to make it out to be a peaceful demonstration, it was all caught on film. it's one of the only times we have seen two different groups involved in a conspiracy. now we know about their communication, but they did in plain sight. they filmed it and they even promoted it after it was completed. so i think throughout all of this, it's just the most ridiculous part of their defense is we all watched it on that day of january 6th, just like you talked about. they were doing things, they were different, but what i note and i think ben and i would agree, knowing now that they linked up the night before on january 5th between those two groups, there's organization. what do you need to prove? communication, organization, some sort of motive and a plan. and i think the more evidence that comes you out of these committees, all of this was
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connected. there were a lot of bystanders that stumbled into the capitol, but there was definitely some em pit tus to create an entry point into the capitol and to have the potential for mass violence. mass violence, if need be in the capitol. >> the planning, as we're talking about and frank saying a moment ago, that there was a month worth of food stored in some places around the capitol. the committee now is walking into the hearing room. chairman bennie thomas will take his seat there and gavel in in just a moment. andrea, watching these alongside of you has been fascinating. i look forward to seeing what they have to share with us today. >> agreed. bennie thompson is about to gavel down. we're going to hear from the chairman and the vice chairman. then from stephanie murphy of
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florida and jamie raskin will be the questioners today. the focus on the extremists, the proud boys and the oath keepers, let's watch. >> the select committee investigating the january ofth attack on the united states capitol will be in order. without objection, the chair is authorized to declare the
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committee in recess a at any point. purr subt to house deposition authority regulation 10, the chair announces the committee's approval to release the deposition material presented during today's hearing. good afternoon. when i think about the most basic way to explain the importance of elections in the united states, there's a phrase that always comes to mind. it may sound straight forward, but it's meaningful. we settle our differences at the ballot box. sometimes my choice prevails. sometimes yours does. but it's that simple. we cast our votes. we count the votes. if something seems off with the results, we can challenge them in court. then we accept the results. when you're on the losing side, that doesn't mean you have to be happy about it. in the united states, there's plenty you can do and say so.
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you can protest. you can organize. you can get ready for the next election to try to make sure your side has a better chance the next time the people settle their differences at the ballot box. but you can't turn violent. it can't try to achieve your desired outcome through force or harassment or intimidation. any real leader who sees their supporters going down that path approaching that line has a responsibility to say stop. we gave if our best. we came up short. we try again next time. because we settled our differences at the ballot box. on december 14th, 2020, the presidential election was officially over. electoral college had cast its vote. "morning joe" was the president-elect vote
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many supporters were already convinced that the election had been stolen. because that's what donald trump had been telling them. so what donald trump was required to do in that moment, what would have been required of any american leader was to say we did our best. we came up short. he went the opposite way. he seized on the anger he had already stoked among the supporters and as they approached the line, he didn't wave them off. he urged them on. today the committee will explain how as a part of his last-ditch effort to overturn the election and block the transfer of power, donald trump summoned a mob to washington, d.c. and spurred that mob to wage a violent aon our democracy.
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our colleagues, ms. murphy of florida and mr. raskin of maryland will lay out the story. first, i'm pleased to recognize our distinguished vice chair ms. cheney of wyoming for any opening comments she'd care to offer. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. our committee did not conduct a hearing last week, but we did conduct an on the record interview of president trump's former white house counsel pat cipollone. if you have watched these hearings, you have heard us call for mr. cipollone to come forward to testify. he did. mr. cipollone's testimony met our expectations. we will save for our next hearing president trump's behavior during the violence of january 6th. today's hearing will take us from december 14th, 2020, when the electoral college met and certified the results of the 2020 presidential election up through the morning of january 6th. you will see certain segments of
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pat cipollone's testimony today. we will also see today how president trump summoned a mob to washington and how the president's stolen election lies provoke hazard that mob to attack the capitol. we will hear from a man who was induced by president trump's lies to come to washington and join the mob. and how that decision has change ed his life. today's hearing is our 7th. we have covered significant ground over the past several weeks, and we have also seen a change in how websites and lawyers in the trump orbit approach this committee. initially, their strategy in some cases appear to deny and delay. today there appears to be a general recognition that the committee has established key facts, including that virtually everyone close to president trump, his justice department officials, white house advisers, white house counsel, his campaign, all told him the 2020
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election was not stolen. this appears to have changed the strategy for defending donald trump. now the argument seems to be that president trump was manipulated by others outside the administration. he was purr sueded to ugh norse his closest advisers and he was incapable of telling right from wrong. this new strategy is to try to blame only john eastman or sidney powell or others and not president trump. in this version, the president was, quote, poorly served by these outside advisers. the strategy is to blame people his advisers called the crazies for what donald trump did. this is nonsense. president trump is a 76-year-old man. he is not a an impressionable child. just like everyone else in our
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country, he is responsible for his own actions and his own choices. as our investigation has shown, donald trump had access to more detailed and specific information showing that the election was not actually stolen and almost any other american and he was told this over and over again. no rational or sane man in his position could disregard that information and reach the opposite conclusion. donald trump cannot escape responsibility by being willfully blind. nor can any argument excuse president trump's behavior during the violent attack on january 6th. as you watch our hearing today, i would irge urge you to keep your eye on two specific points. first, you will see evidence that trump's legal team led by rudy giuliani knew that they
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lacked actual evidence of widespread fraud sufficient to prove that the election was actually stolen. but they went ahead with january 6th any way. and second, consider how millions of americans were persuaded to believe what donald trump's closest advisers in his administration did it not. these americans did not have access to the truth like donald trump did. they put their faith is ask their trust in donald trump. they wanted to believe in him. they wanted to fight for their country. and he deceived them. for millions of americans, that maybe painful to accept, but it is true. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> without objection, the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from florida, ms. murphy, and the gentleman from maryland mr. raskin, for opening statements. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we know beyond a shadow of a dut
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do then president trump lost in a free and fair election. and yet president trump insisted that his loss was due to fraud in an election process rather than to the democratic will of the voters. the president continued to make this claim despite being told again and again by the courts, by the justice department, by his campaign officials and by some of his closest advisers that the evidence did not support this assertion. this was the big lie. in millions of americans were deceived by it. too many of our fellow citizens still belief it to this day. it's corrosive to our country and damaging to our democracy. as our committee has shown in prior hearings, following the election president trump relentlessly pursued multiple interlocking lines of effort all with a single goal. to remain in power despite having lost. the lines of effort were aimed at his loyal vice president mike
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pence, at state election and elected officials and at the u.s. department of justice. the president pressured the vice president to obstruct the process to certify the election result. he demanded that state officials find him enough votes to overturn the outcome, and he pressed the department of justice to find widespread evidence of fraud. when officials told the president that such evidence did not exist, the president urged them to simply declare that the election was corrupt. on december 14th, the electoral college met to confirm that joe biden would be the nerks president. the evidence shows that once this occurred, president trump and those willing to aid and abet him turned their attention to the joint session of congress scheduled for january 6th, at which the vice president would preside. in their warped view, this ceremonial event was the next and perhaps the last inflection point that could be used to
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reverse the outcome of the election before mr. biden's inauguration. as trump put t the vice president and enough members of congress simply needed to summon the courage to act, to help them find that courage, the president called for backup. early in the morning of december 19th, the president sent out a tweet urging his followers to travel to washington, d.c. for january 6. be there, we'll be wild. as my colleague will describe in detail, this tweet served as a call to action and in some cases as a call to arms for many of president trump's most loyal supporters. it's clear the president intended the assembled crowd on the january 6th to serve his goal. and as you have already seen and as you will see again today, some of those who are coming had specific plans. the president's goal was to stay in power for a second term despite losing the election.
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the assembled crowd was one of the tools to achieve that goal. and in today's hearing, we'll focus on events that took place in the final weeks leading up to january 6th starting in mid-december and will add color and context to evidence you have already heard about and will also provide additional new evidence. for example, you'll hear about meetings in which the president entertained extreme measures designed to help him stay in power like the seizure of voting machines. we will show some of the coordination that occurred between the white house and members of congress as it relates to january 6th. and some of these members of congress would later seek pardons. we will also examine some of the planning for the january 6th protests placing special emphasis on one rally planner's concerns about the potential violence. and we will describe some of the president's key actions on the evening of january 5th and the morning of january 6th, including how the president edited and ad libbed his speech, directed the crowd to march to
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the capitol and spoke off script in a way that further inflame an already angry crowd. i yield to the gentleman from maryland. >> thank you. four days after the electors met across the country and made joe biden the president-elect, donald trump was still trying to find a way to hang on to the presidency. friday, december 18th, team of advisers paid him a surprise visit in the white house that would quickly become the stuff of legend, the meeting has been called unhinged, not normal, and the craziest meeting of the trump presidency. the outside lawyers who had been involved in dozens of failed lawsuits had lots of theories supporting the big lie, but no evidence to support it. as we will see, however, they brought to the white house a draft executive order they prepared for president trump to further his ends, specifically they proposed the immediate mass
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seizure of state election machines by the u.s. military. the meeting ended after midnight with rejection of that idea. in the wee hours of december 19th, dissatisfied with his options, donald trump decided to call for a large and wild crowd on wednesday, january 6th, the day when congress would meet to certify the electoral votes. before had a president called for a crowd to come contest the counting of electoral votes by congress or engaged in any effort designed to influence delay or obstruct the joint session of congress in doing its work required by our constitution in the electoral count act. as we'll see, donald trump's 1:42 a.m. tweet electrified and galvanized supporters, especially the dangerous extremists in the oath keepers, the proud boys and other racist and white nationalist groups spoiling for a fight against the
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government. three rings of attacks were now operating towards january 6th. on the inside ring, trump continued trying to work to overturn the election by getting mike pence to abandon his oath of office as vice president and assert the power to reject electoral votes. this would have been a fundamental and unprecedented breach of the constitution that would promise trump multiple ways of staying in office. meanwhile in the middle ring, members of extremist groups created an alliance both online and in person to coordinate a massive effort to storm, invade and occupy the capitol. by placing a target on the joint session of congress, trump had mobilized these groups around a common goal. em boldening them, strengthening their working relationships and helping build their numbers. finally in the outer ring on january 6th, there assembled a large crowd. the political force that trump
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considered both the touchstone and the measure of his political power. here were thousands of enraged trump followers, convinced by the big lie who traveled from across the country to join trump's wild rally to stop the steal. with the proper insightment by political leaders and the proper instigation, many members of this crowd can could be led to storm the capitol, confront the vice president and congress and try to overturn the 2020 election results. all of these would explode on january 6th preponderance. as you know better than any other member of this committee from the wrenching struggle for voting rights in your beloved mississippi, the problem of politicians whipping up mob violence to destroy fair elections is the oldest domestic enemy of democracy in america. abraham lincoln knew it too. in 1837 a racist mob in illinois
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broke into the offices of an abolitionist newspaper and killed its editor. lincoln wrote a speech that no military giant could ever crush us as a nation, even with all of the fortunes in the world, but if downfall ever comes to america, we ourselves would be its author and finisher. if racist mobs are encouraged by politicians to ram pain and terrorize, lincoln side, they will violate the rights of other citizens and quickly destroy the bonds of social trust necessary for democracy to work. mobs and demagogues will put us on a path to political tyranny, lincoln said. as we'll see today, this old problem has returned with new ferocity today as a president who lost an election deployed a mob, which included dangerous extremists to attack the constitutional system of
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election and the peaceful transfer of power. and as we'll see, the creation of the interinternet and social media has given today's tyrants tools of propaganda and disinformation that yesterday's december pits could only have dreamed of. i yield back to the gentle lady from florida, ms. murphy. >> article 2 establishes the electoral college. each state's laws provide that lek toirs are to be chosen with by a popular vote and on december 14th, 2020, electors met in all 50 states and the district of columbia to cast their votes. joseph biden won by 306-232. the election was over. mr. biden was the president-elect. before the electoral college met, donald trump and his allies filed dozens of legal challenges to the election, but they lost over and over again, including in front of multiple judges
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president trump had nominated to the bench. in many of these cases, the judges were highly critical of the arguments put forward, explaining that no genuine evidence of widespread fraud had been presented. for example, a federal judge in pennsylvania said, this court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations unsupported by evidence. in the united states of america, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a subject voter, let alone all the voters. on december 15th, after the electoral college certiied the outcome, the republican majority leader in the senate knowledged biden's victory. >> yesterday electors met in all 50 states. so as of this morning, our country has officially a president-elect and a vice
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president-elect. many millions of us had hoped the presidential election would yield a different result. but our system of government has processes to determine who will be sworn in on january 20th. the electoral college has spoken. so today i want to congratulate president-elect joe biden. >> even members of president trump's cabinet and his white house staff understood the significance of his losses in the courts in the absence of evidence of fraud. they also respected the constitutional certiication by the electoral college. many of them told president trump that it was time to concede the election to mr. biden. for example, then secretary of labor, an accomplished lawyer, called president trump in mid-december and advised him to concede and accept the rulings of the courts. >> i had put a call into the
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president. i might have called on the 13th. we spoke on the 14th. in which i conveyed to him that i thought that it was time for him to acknowledge that president biden had per vailed in the election. but i communicated to the president that when that legal process is exhausted, and the electors have voted, that's the point of which the outcome needs to be expected. i told him that i did believe, yes, that once those legal processes were run, if fraud had not been established, it had affected the outcome of the election, what had had to be done was concede the outcome. >> as you have seen in prior hearings, president trump's justice department, his white house staff, and his campaign officials were repeatedly telling him there was no evidence of fraud sufficient to change the outcome of the
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election. and last week, we conducted an eight-hour interview with president trump's white house counsel pat cipollone. you'll see a number of excerpts of that interview today and even more in our next hearing. mr. cipollone told us he agreed with the testimony that there was no evidence of fraud sufficient to overturn the election. >> i want to ask if you agree with the conclusion. all the individuals. >> mr. cipollone specifically testified that he believed that donald trump should have conceded the election. >> did you believe that the president should concede once you made the determination based on the investigations that you credited doj with?
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>> some of those decisions are political. if your question is did i believe he should concede the election at a point in time, yes, i did. i believe leader mcconnell went on the floor of the senate. that would be in line. >> december 14th should have been the end of the matter. >> it was the day the state certified the votes and sent them to congress. in my view, that was the end of the matter.
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i thought this would lead to a new administration. >> mr. cipollone testified that mark meadows said he shared this view. >> as early as that november 23rd meeting, we understand there was discussion about the president possibly conceding the election. it was ensured that the president would agree to a graceful exit. do you remember saying that? >> as part of that meeting or separate meeting? without getting into that meeting, i would say that is a statement that i incurred. >> did you know it was on november 23rd? >> it was probably around that time. it was probably subsequent to that time.
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>> mr. meadows has refused to testify in the committee's in litigation with him. but many other white house officials share the view that once the litigation ended and the electoral college met, the election was over. here's president trump's former press secretary. >> i wanted to clarify that back to my previous question, it was your view then or was it your view that the efforts to overturn the election should have stopped once the litigation was complete? >> many in my view upon the completion of litigation, it was when i applied for life after the administration. >> this is what ivanka trump told us. >> december 14th was the day on which the electoral college met when the electors around the country met and cast the electoral votes consistent with
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the popular vote in each state. it was obviously a public proceedings or series of proceedings that president biden obtained the number of electors. was that an important day for you? did that affect your planning or realization as to whether or not there was going to be an end to the administration? >> i think so. i think it was my sentiment probably prior as well. >> a white house deputy press secretary testified about what he told president trump. >> i told him that my personal viewpoint was that the electoral college had met, which is the system that our country is set under to elect a president and vice president. and i believed at that point that the means for him to pursue
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litigation was probably closed. he disagreed. >> we have also seen this testimony from attorney general barr reflecting a vow of the white house staff in late november 2020. >> at that point, i left. as i walked out of the oval office, jared was there with dan, who ran the president's social media. who i thought was a reasonable guy and believe is a reasonable guy. i said, how long is he going to carry on with this stolen election stuff? are where is this going to go? by that time, meadows had caught up with me and said that, he
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said, look, i think that he's becoming more realistic and knows that there's a limit to how far he can take this. then jared said we're working on this. we're working on it. >> like wise in this testimony, cast dpi hutchinson, an aid to mark meadows described her conversations with president trump's director of national intelligence, a former republican congressman. >> he expressed he was concerned that it could spiral out of control. and potentially be dangerous either for our democracy. >> of course, underlying all of this is the fundamental principle that the president of the united states cannot simply disregard the rulings of state and federal courts, which are empowered to address specific
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election-related claims. the president cannot simply pretend that the courts have not ruled. >> by that time, the president or his associates had lost 60 out of 61 cases that they had brought to challenge different aspects of the election in a number of states. they lost 60 out of 61 of those cases. so by the time we get to january 3rd, that's been clear. i assume, pat, that you would agree the president is obligated to abide the rulings of the courts. >> of course. >> and i assume you also -- >> everybody is obligated to abide by the rules of the courts. >> i assume you also would agree the president has a particular obligation to take care that the
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laws be faithfully executed. >> that is one of the president's obligations, correct. >> yet president trump disregarded these court rulings and the counsel from his closest advisers and continued his efforts to cling to power. in our prior hearings, you have heard considerable testimony about president trump's attempts to corruptly pressure mike pence to refuse to count electoral votes, to corrupt the department of justice, to pressure state officials at the legislators and crete and submit fake electoral slates. now we'll show you what're actions president trump was taking between december 14 hadth, and january 6th. i yield to the gentleman from maryland. >> thank you. throughout our hearings, you heard how president trump made baseless claims that voting machines were being manipulated by foreign powers in the 2020 election. you have also heard bill barr describe such claims as complete
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nonsense, which he told the president. let's review that testimony. >> i saw zero basis for the allegations, but they were made in such a sensational way that they obviously were influencing a lot of people, members of the public that there was this systemic corruption in the system and that their votes didn't count and these machines controlled by somebody else were actually determining, which was complete nonsense. and it was being laid out there. i told him that it was kris sit stuff and they were wasting thinker time on that. it was doing a disservice to the country. >> we have learned that president trump's white house counsel agreed with the department of justice about this. >> attorney general barr, l
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. >> however, the strong rejection of the attorney general and the white house counsel did not stop the president from trying to press them in public. that's not all they did. as you'll see in this clip, the president asked attorney general bill barr to have the department of justice seize voting machines in the states. >> my recollection is the president said something like, well, we can get -- some people say we can get to the bottom of this if the department sees the machines. it was a typical way of raising a point. and i said absolutely not. there's no probable cause. and i'm not going to seize any machines. and that was that. >> but this wasn't the end of
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the matter. on the evening of december 18th, sidney powell, michael flynn and others entered the white house for an unplanned meeting with the president. the meeting that would last multiple hours and become hot blooded and contentious. the executive order behind me on the screen was drafted on december 16, just two days after the electoral college vote by several of the president's outside advisers over a luncheon at the trump international hotel. this proposed order directs the secretary of defense to seize voting machines effective meetly. but it goes even further than that. under the order, president trump would appoint a special counsel with the power to seize machines and then charge people with crimes with all resources necessary to carry out her duties. the specific plan was to name
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sidney powell a special counsel, the trump lawyer who spent the post election period making outlandish claims about chinese interference in the election, among others. here's what white house counsel pat cipollone had to say about sidney powell's qualifications to take on such expansive authority. e >> zud knee powell told the president these steps were justified because of her evidence of foreign interference in the 2020 election, however, as we have seen, trump's ally hs no such evidence and no legal authority for the federal government to seize state voting machines. here's mr. cipollone, again, denouncing sidney powell's terrible idea. denouncing sidney powell's
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terrible idea.
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>> for all of its absurdity, the meeting was critically important because president trump got to watch up close for several hours as his white house counsel and other white house lawyers destroyed the baseless factual claims and ridiculous legal arguments being offered by sidney powell, mike flynn and others. president trump now knew all these claims were nonsense, not just from his able white house lawyers, but also from his own department of justice officials and his own campaign officials. as white house counsel pat cipollone told us -- cipollon e to ld us --
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>> it wasn't just the justice department. the trump white house lawyers who knew it, even rudy giuliani's own legal team admitted that they did not have any real evidence of fraud sufficient to change the election result. here's an e-mail from rudy giuliani's lead investigator on december 28, 2020, to chief of staff mark meadows. he did not mince any words. we can do all the investigations we want later, but if the president plans on winning, it's the legislators that have to be moved and this will do just that. he wanted the president to win, but he didn't say in the e-mail what he would later tell the select committee this a letter his lawyer wrote to us in november. the letter said, quote, it was impossible for mr. kerik and his team to determine conclusively whether there was widespread fraud or whether that widespread
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fraud would have altered the outcome of the election. in other words, even rudy giuliani's own legal team knew before january 6th that they hadn't collected enough actual evidence to support any of their stolen election claims. here's what trump campaign senior adviser jason miller told the committee about some of the so-called evidence of fraud that the campaign had seen from the rudy giuliani team. >> do you know the examples of fraud numbers names and supporting evidence was that you sent to mo brooks' office? i mean you or the campaign. >> there's some very, very general documents as far as the handful of dead people in several different states. here are explanations on a
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couple of the legal challenges as far as saying that the rules were changed and unconstitutional manner. but it was to say that it was thin is probably an understatement. >> here's how president trump's deputy campaign manager described the evidence of fraud that the campaign had seen. >> you never came to learn or understand that mayor giuliani had produced evidence of election fraud. is that fair? >> that's fair. >> and here's testimony that we received from the speaker of the house of representatives about apt exchange that he had with rudy giuliani after the election. >> at some point, did one of them make a comment that they didn't have evidence, but they had a lot of theories? >> that was mr. giuliani. >> chief of staff mark madows
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told people that he thought trump should concede around the time the electoral college certified the result, but nonetheless, he later worked to try to facilitate president trump's wishes. here's what casidy hutchinson told us. >> during this period, i purr received his goal with all of this to keep trump in office. he had very seriously and deeply considered the allegations of the voter fraud, but when he acknowledged there wasn't enough fraud to overturn the election, i witnessed him start to slur potential loopholes more extensively, which then connected with john eastman's
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theories. >> the startling conclusion is this. even an agreed upon complete lack of evidence could not stop president trump, mark meadows and allies from trying to overturn the results of a free and fair election. let's return to that meeting at the white house on the evening of december 18. that night a group showed up at the white house, including sidney powell, michael flynn, and former ceo. after gaining access to the building from a junior white house staffer, the group made their way to the oval office. they were able to speak with the president by himself for some time until white house officials learned of the meeting. what ensued was a heated and profane clash between this group and president trump's white house a advisers, who traded personal insults, accusations of dill dis loyalty to the president and even challenges to physically fight. the meeting would last over six
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hours beginning here in the oval office. moving around the west wing and many hours later ending up in the president's private residence. the select committee has spoken with six of the participants as well as staffers who could hear the jeeming from outside the oval office. what took place next is best told in their own words as you will see from this video. >> dp you believe it was going to work, that you were going to get to see the president without an appointment? >> i had no idea. >> you did get to see the president without an appointment. >> we did. >> how much time did you have alone with the president before the crowd came running? >> probably no more than 10 or 15 minutes. >> before the crowd came running >> probably no mor e than 10 or
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15 minutes >> . >> that was the first point i had recognized there was nobody in there from the white house. mark is gone. what's going on right now? >> i opened the door, and i walked in. i saw general flynn. i saw sidney powell sitting there. i was not happy to see the people in the oval office. >> explain why. >> again, i don't think they were providing -- first of all, overstock, i didn't know who this guy was. the first thing i did i walked in and said, who are you? and he told me. i don't think any of these people were providing the president with good advice. so i didn't understand how they had gotten in. >> in the short period of time you had with the president, did
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he seem receptive to the presentation that you were making? >>s he was very interested in hearing particularly about the sympathizing and the terms of 13848 that nobody else had bothered to inform him of. >> democrats are working with hugo chavez and whomever else. at one point, general flynn took out a diagram that supposedly showed all over the world. who was communicating with whom via the machines and some comment about nest thermostats being hooked up to the internet. >> it's been reported the dominion voting machines and various election fraud claims that involve foreign countries such as venezuela, iran and china. is that accurate?
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>> yes, sir. >> was the meeting tense? >> oh, yeah. it was not a casual meeting. >> explain. >> i mean, at times there were people shouting at each other, hurting insults at each other. it wasn't just sort of people sitting around on a couch like chitchatting. >> do you recall the fact that she and the campaign had lost all the 60 case thas brought in litigation? >> yes. >> what was in response? >> i don't remember. i don't think it was a good response. >> cipollone and whoever the other gal was showed nothing but contempt and disdain of the president. >> forcefully attacking me and
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verbally -- we were pushing back. we were asking one simple question. where is the evidence? >> what response did you get when you asked this panel? >> a variety of responses based on her recollection, including things like what do you mean, where's the evidence. you should know. things like that. or the general disregard for the importance of actually backing it up with facts. >> there was a discussion of we'll have it. >> if it had been me sitting in his chair, i would have fired all of them that night and had them escorted out of the building. >> we challenged what she was saying. she says, the judges are
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corrupt. i was like, every one? every single case you have done, you lost? every single one is corrupt? even the ones we appointed. i'm being nice. i was much more harsh to her. >> one of the things that's been reported was that president trump told white house lawyers that they weren't offering him any solution, but sidney powell and others were. so why not try what they were proposing? do you remember anything along those lines being said by president trump? >> i do. that sounds right. >> it got to the point where the screaming was completely, completely out there. it was late at night. it had been a long day. what they were proposing, i thought was nuts. >> i'm going to categorically
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describe as you guys are not tough enough. or maybe i put it another way. >> i was a quitter and he kept on screaming at me. the president, and the white house chief, went upstairs to the part of the parlor we can have meetings in the conference room. >> they call it the yellow oval. >> yes, the yellow oval office. i always called it the upper.
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not exactly sure where the group is any pell went. maybe, the roosevelt room. i stayed in a cabinet room. that is cool. i like that. i was by myself. >> at the end of the day, we did where we started, from a structural standpoint, which was, sydney powell was fighting. mike lynn was fighting. they were looking for avenues that would enable a good result with president trump remaining president trump for a second term. >> the meeting finally ended after midnight. here the text messages sent by cassidy hutchinson before, during, and after the meeting. >> as you can see, cassidy hutchinson reported that the meeting in the west wing was
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unhinged. the meeting finally broke up after midnight, during the early morning of december 19. cassidy hutchinson capture the moment of mark meadows escorting rudy giuliani off the grounds, to make sure he did not want her back into the mansion. certain accounts of the meeting indicate that president trump, actually granted sydney powell to an ill-defined position of special counsel. >> he did ask pat cipollone if he had the authority to name me special counsel. he said yes. he did ask him if he had the authority to give me whatever security clearance i needed, and pat cipollone said yes. then the president said, okay, i will name her that, and i'm giving her security clearance. shortly before we left, and it totally blew up.
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they said, you can name her whatever you want to name her, and nobody is going to pay any attention to it. >> out of the present respond to that? something like, do you see what i deal with, i do with this all the time. >> over the ensuing days, no further steps were taken to a point sydney powell. there is some ambiguity about what the president actually said and did during the meeting. here is how pat cipollone described it. >> i don't know what her understanding of, what she was appointed to. in my view, she was not appointed to anything. >> other subset be taken. that was my view when i left the meeting. she may have a different view, and others may have a different view. statement were any steps taken, including the president himself, telling her she had been appointed? >> again, i will not get into
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what to the president said in the meeting. my recollection is, you're not appointed until steps are taken to get the paperwork done. when i left the meeting, i guess what i'm trying to say is, i will not get into what the president said. >> when the matter came up over several days, was it your understanding that sydney powell was seeking appointment, or had she been appointed by the president during the december 18 meeting? >> now that you mention, probably both. i think she may have been of the view that she had been
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appointed. she was looking to get that done, and that she should be appointed. >> as you listen to the clips, remember, sydney powell tried to make special counsel, was sanctioned by a federal court, and sued by dominion voting systems for defamation. in run defense to that lawsuit, she argued that, no reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact. not long after, sydney powell, rudy giuliani, and mike flynn left, president trump turned away from both of his outside advisors most outlandish and unworkable schemes, and is white house counsel's advice, to accept the reality of his loss. instead, donald trump issued a tweet, that would galvanize his
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followers, to unleash a clinical firestorm, and change the course of our history as a country. >>'s purpose was to mobilize a crowd. how do you mobilize a crowd in 2020? with millions of followers on twitter, president trump knew exactly how to do it. at 1:42 on december 19, 2020, shortly after the last participants left in hinged meeting, trumps sent out the tweet, with his explosive invitation. trump repeated the big lie, and claimed it was, statistically impossible to lost the 2020 election. before calling for a big protest in washington, d.c. on january 6. be there, it will be wild. trump supporters responded immediately. women for america first, probe trump organizing group, applied for a rally permit for january 22 and 23rd in washington,
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d.c., several days after joe biden was to be inaugurated. in the hours after the tweet, they moved the permit to january 6, two weeks before. this rescheduling created the rally where trump would eventually speak. the next day, allie alexander, leader of the stop the steel organization registered wild, named after trumps tweet. they provided comprehensive information about numerous newly organized test events in washington. it did include event times, placers, speakers, and details on transportation in washington, d.c. meanwhile, other key supporters, including far right media personalities began promoting the wild protest on january 6. >> it is saturday, december 19, the year 2020, one of most historic events in american
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history has just taken place. president trump, an early morning hours today tweeted that he wants the american people to march on washington, d.c. on january 6, 2021. >> donald trump is calling on his supporters to defend, on washington, d.c.. >> he is now calling on we the people to take action, and show our numbers. >> we will only be saved by millions of americans moving to washington, and occupying the entire area, and if necessary, storming right into the capitol. we know the rules of engagement. if you have enough people, you can push down any kind of a fence or a wall.
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>> at the time and trump has called on his supporters to arrive in washington, d.c., that is something that may actually be the big push that trump supporters need to say, this is it, it is now or never. it's to make you better understand something, son, red wave. there is going to be a red wave going down january 6.>> trump says, show up for a protest, it is going to be wild. based on what we have already seen from the previous events, think trump is absolutely correct. >> look outside. get on january 6. kick the door open. look down the street. there will be 1 million+. >> time for games is over. the time for action is now. where were you when history called? where are you when you heard the children's destiny, and the future was on the line? >> cannot live, you heard him predict a red wedding, pop
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reference to manslaughter. this reverberated powerfully, and pervasively online. the committee has interviewed a former twitter employee, that explained the effect that trump had on the twitter platform. this employee was on the team responsible for the platform and content moderation policies on twitter, throughout 2020 and 2021. the employee testified that twitter considered adopting a stricter content moderation policy, after president trump told the proud boys to and back and standby from the lectern. twitter chose not to act. here is the former employee, whose voice is been obscured to attack their identity, discussing the stand back and standby comment, and the effect it had. >> my concern was that the former president, for seemingly
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the first time, he was speaking directly to extremist organizations, and giving them directives. we had not seen that sort of direct communication before. that concerned me. >> just to clarify further, you were worried that the president might use your platform to speak directly to folks that might be incited to violence? >> yes. >> i believe twitter relish the knowledge being used. they enjoyed having that sort of power within the social
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media ecosystem. >> for president trump, or anyone else? would it have taken that long for them to be suspended? >> absolutely not. >> if he were any other user on twitter, he would've been suspended a long time ago. >> is by the grave concerns, trump remained on the platform, completely unchecked. then came the december 19 tweet, and everything it inspired. indeed. >> it may have been organized. they were gathering together with their reverie and logic, and the reasoning behind why they were prepared to fight,
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prior to december 19. again, it was big. it was nonspecific, but very clear that individuals were ready, willing, and able to take up arms. after the tweet on december 19, it became clear, not only were the individuals ready and willing, but the leader of their cause was asking them to join him in this cause, in fighting for this cause on january 6, as well. i will also say, what shocked me was the responses to these tweets. a lot of them were stand back and standby. this was in response to donald
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trump saying this. this is a response. [ indiscernible ] i very much believe that donald trump, posting the tweet on december 19, was essentially, sticking a flag in washington, d.c. on january 6 for supporters to come and rally. >> you were concerned about the potential for this gathering becoming violent? >> absolutely. >> trumps followers took to social media declaring they were ready to answer his call? >> one user asked, is the january 6, d-day? some asserted, trump just told us all to come armed. this is happening. the third took it further.
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it will be wild means, we need volunteers for the firing squad. jim watkins, the owner of the online form that was the birthplace of the qanon conspiracy can from the tweet. >> when the president of the united states announced that he was going to have a rally, i bought a ticket and went. watkins was at the capitol on january 6. it makes somewhere been indicted for involvement in the attack on the capitol also responded. one of them posted on the 19th, calling all patriots, be in washington, d.c. on january 6. this was not organized by a group, djt invited us, and it
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will be wild. >> some of it turned white nationalist, such as, what we just to kill them? every last democrat, down to the last man, woman, child? is time for the day of the rope. white revolution is the only solution. others realized that police would be standing in the way of their effort to overturn the election. one wrote, i am ready to die for my beliefs, are you ready to die, police? another wrote, cops don't have standing, if they are lending on the ground in the pool of their own blood. this was an openly racist and anti-semitic forum. disliked committee deposed that sites founder. he confirmed how the presence tweet created a laserlike focus on the date of january 6. spanky people have talked about
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going to washington, d.c. as soon as the election was over works >> i do recall the conversation centered on january 6 after the president tweet. >> after it was announced that he would be there on january 6 to talk? >> yes, everything else was shut out. >> that was pretty clear with the content on the site? make yeah. >> on the website, many shared plans and violent threats. bring handcuffs, and weight of the tunnels, wrote a user. one commended the ties instead. one posted to encourage others to come with body armor, knuckles, shields, bats, pepper spray, whatever it takes. all of those were used. the post concluded, joan --
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joined your local proud boys chapters well. spanky talked about the tunnels beneath the capitol complex, targeting members of congress , and encouragement to attend this once-in-a-lifetime event. the trump supporters grew more aggressive online, he continued to rile up the base on twitter. >> he said, there was overwhelming evidence that this was the biggest scam in our nations history. as you can see, the present continue to boost the event, tweeting about it more than a dozen times in the lead up to january 6. mr. chairman, i reserve. , the chair requested those in the hearing room remain seated until the capitol police have escorted members from the room, pursuant to the order of the committee of today, the chair the committee and recess, for
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approximately 10 minutes. with that, after that explosive testimony, katie, i have witnessed so many hearings, going all the way back. i have never seen anything like this. >> that was one of the wildest things i have ever seen. >> the december 18 meeting in the oval office, let's recap this. if city powell, rudy giuliani, mike flynn, getting in from a junior staffer for a meeting with the president. the city powell testified, pat cipollone break the land speed records, getting in with other parts of the legitimate staff. pat cipollone says to some of these people, i guess it was
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patrick byrne, who are you? what are you doing in here? then the president says they are giving him solutions, and you are not. the cursing, the shouting, rudy giuliani sitting in a cabin room, saying it was cool. mark meadows is designated to walk about, making sure he did not bask in, this is in the oval office of the white house. then he turns to sidney powell, and they pointed out the 16 judges, many appointed by donald trump, had ruled against her, and them, and she was being appointed to special counsel was security clearances? spanky said, you think all 60 judges that ruled against you were all corrupt? every single one? even the ones that the donald trump administration appointed? you have there, this is the
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trump world, yet the professionals, versus the, i don't know what you would call them. conspiracy theorists. you have the doj lawyers, yet the white house counsel saying, show us the evidence of the fraud you are claiming. give us the evidence for these allegations, that venezuela is involved in turn is involved, and the thermostats are vile because are connected to the internet. show us the evidence. he said, seemed as if they had no regard for evidence at all, that they did not need anything at all. just the retelling of that oval office reading, from those that were in the meeting, from city powell, to pat cipollone and rudy giuliani, it is remarkable that it happened. this is now multiple days after
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december 14. all of the professionals says it is over, we exhausted the resources. donald trump was still looking for more options. >> i'm not seeing quite as much as you have come up that was incredible. to make you think you could come to this, with no experience at all, and you have plenty. to see this played out, let's bring in the panel. for me, perhaps the most dramatic thing was them connecting chuck rosenberg the craziness of the meeting being connected. the president is on twitter, and his response is to call them to washington, and it will be wild. then connecting that tweet to the response from the extremist
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groups. that being played out, these are the connections you have to see. >> the prosecutors and agents love timelines. you can see the craziest meeting on december 18. he see the remarkable tweet from the president about gathering in washington, d.c., that would be wild, in his words. can you see the reaction to the tweet. that is why we love timelines. when you look at these in isolation, doesn't tell the same story as when you put it on a chart. it is very disturbing. >> i was sitting next to you guys, let's go to the transcript, give me your reaction. >> let's go back to all of the characters that we think and silly, going all the way back to the first robert mueller investigation. now we are in the white house. they had been pardoned, some of
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them. they are creating another conspiracy, which is unraveling the country. this time, they are sending a violent insurrection into the capitol. on top of that, the timeline that chuck mentioned is super important. you see the amplification the next day. you see the organization the very next day. this is the same kind of behavior that we saw in international terrorism circles a decade ago. he says did anybody think about doing an attack like this? somebody doesn't later. after donald trump is told by the professionals in the white house that there is no evidence, you can go no further, after that he tweets, at 1:00 the morning, it will be wild. as we talk about that, it was a rally, that was a rally cry for a number of people out there that that it was time to get violent. >> you are looking at the closed feedback loop. you see how they are getting the fake information that hugo chavez, and other people were rigging the election from
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venezuela through the thermostats. they did not invest in the room, they got that in other places. what you see at the end of that, you see these places getting riled up enough to say, these are the tunnels underneath the capitol. this is where we need to block . this is where we need to meet up. >> if donald trump says i concede, it is over, with the people of still done what they did? >> i don't know. i just don't know. i can tell you, they wouldn't have the organizing principle. they wouldn't have this super bowl that they were pointing to for weeks. >> you are from the fbi. you have been a prosecutor, you see this played out, you see the response of the extremist groups. as a former fbi guy, what do you say? never prosecuted, but i did
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investigate alongside the prosecutors. here's my take on this, what we saw was the story the contrast between legality and lethality. this is a story the rule of law, versus the role of trump. if you cannot get what you want, lawfully, you get it unlawfully. we saw that in the chronology played out here today. i'm not getting what i want. apparently these people that are all about the rule of law don't like what i want, i will get a some other way. that is where we saw the switch to social media, and the tweet. behind the scenes, the reaction at twitter, as to what is transpiring in reaction to that? you can see, were illegally, criminally, you are building the case. you are connecting the dots to causality and trump known what was being caused. we now know why he did it. >> let's go back to the very beginning of the hearing, where liz cheney says this is not an impressionable child.
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i know he is spoke of that way, he is not a child or toddler, he is a grown man, that was told, by the other grown men and women around him, in professional positions, that he lost the election. there was no fraud, he lost, he was told over and over again. he was told what he could not do. he kept going with it. what happens after this? >> i don't know, i'm trying to find a drink. [ laughter ]this stuff this morning was crazy. the tweet that says the west wing was unhinged, encapsulated everything that we have heard today. the point is made is an important one. it was made by liz cheney, all of this happened because a grown man wanted it to happen. he may act like a petulant child. people may try passing off as unintelligent and unengaged,
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none of that is the case. donald trump, in that scene, i witnessed this first hand, in covering donald trump, he relished in the fight in that office. he loved it. for him, is about who will stick up and do what i want them to do? who will fight for what i want done? you saw the battle lines clearly drawn. this is being done by the competing interest for the year of donald trump. he loved that moment. that is his mindset. that is what motivates and animates him. if anyone, i don't care how good of a lawyer you think you are, can make the case that there is no intent by donald trump to manipulate the situation, to achieve an outcome, you know understand what is happening in front of
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you. >> we can now see that the witnesses have come in. we will hear from the witnesses from the press spokesman. we will hear from one of the protesters is said he went there because of the president. they will be speaking. as a former prosecutor, this is laid out. >> it is laid out. it is still challenging for prosecutors. it is frustrating for all of us. the evidence seems very clear. we do have this response behavior. what we have to learn is when did the agreement happen? the essence of proving a conspiracy is approving an agreement by a specific group of people to achieve certain objectives. it sounds cold and legalistic, with everything we have seen. this is revelatory, hearing what we have heard today.
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this is an unscheduled meeting that takes place in the white house. that is something that does not happen. the meeting, and the tweet that follows it, has looked like a potential event where conspiracy should have been formed. that's one thing i will be listening for in the rest of today's testimony. >> to give you more information on who is in the room now, the man in the suit is stephen ayers. he went to protest the certification of the election. he did so, we believe he thinks the president told him to. also, jason van tatenhove.
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he was a former member of the oath keepers. he has not been associated with the organization for many years. he has spoken out, and continues to do so today about the danger that the extremist groups like oath we're still pose. chuck, we are going back into this. what will you watch for the second half? >> this is an interesting point. we have heard a lot of santa people like cassidy hutchinson and pat cipollone . these are folks that did the right thing. they were principled, and truthful. a lot of times in a criminal case, you have to put on at people, drug dealers, bank robbers, and to explain to the jury, you take your witnesses as you find them. we will hear from two witnesses, that i think are not the principled folks we have been hearing from so far. they are not the cops or the
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white house counsel. in one case, it is a former spokesman for the oath keepers. one is already put guilty in federal court, due to his participation in the insurrection. keep in mind, you take your witnesses as you find them. i used to tell juries all the time, which all witnesses were nuns and librarians, but is it doesn't always turn out that way. >> photographers are taking pictures of the witnesses. i want to ask chuck quickly, but the testimony of the former spokesman for the oath keepers. he was not involved with january 6, or the election. how much can that be discredited? >> in terms of telling a story, making a presentation at a congressional hearing, he could be helpful and useful. if you're asking whether he would be a witness at a criminal trial? that seems very unlikely. >> i do wonder, when we watch
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this, will this be the link back to donald trump? will it be, stephen ayers, saint donald trump told me to go there? donald trump was the one that called me to action? hope this differently, we have seen some court filings from the people that were at the capitol, the rioters, their defense was , they were told to be there by the president of the united states. in the videos that day, you heard people say, we were invited here by the president. what you think of that? >> now we are finding, in many cases, they are still being penalized. they are getting present time, and probation. it is not working for them. the overall aspect of this, the importance is to show that people were responding to the commander in chief, calling them to do something unlawful. now we see the commander in
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chief, through the witnesses testimony, that he had no intention of doing anything lawful. he was trying to win at all costs. they were duped. it is a counter radicalization process, to show people like the potential proud voice members, this is a house of cards. you have been duped. you are believing a lie. as part of the value. the next witness will tell us what the story is, and why of keepers was founded. >> when you look at the overall texture of this, can we take a step back, and see how profoundly crazy it was for the oval office to be the setting, in a meeting going from midnight, people shouting at each other, and cursing, and calling each other unprintable and unspeakable names? the fact that this would be happy with the president of the united states? >> i was surprised when i heard
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it described as the craziest meeting of the trump white house. i thought, what could that possibly be? we have heard about a lot of crazy meetings. now we have an answer to that question. do not lose the details here. they came with the executive order that would name sydney powell special counsel, get the department of defense, the department of defense, authority to seize voting machines. that was on the table. my goodness. >> i'm glad you brought that up. when you think about that, the military taking over the elections to contest an election. we saw pat cipollone saying that is a terrible idea. bill barr said it was a terrible idea. in the run-up to the confrontation of the oval office, you have the attorney general, the white house counsel, saying they told the president that this is a
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terrible, terrible idea. election was decided, and it had been contested. that's not the way we contest elections in the united states. >> also, he said he did not feel like he needed to explain why the government could not seize voting machines, that it was absolutely crazy. that's not what we do in this country. it is worth going back to the timeline here. december 14, we learned at the beginning of the hearing from bill barr and jason miller, and a number of people within donald trump's orbit and personal advisors, december 14 was the end. that is when the state certify the election, and it was over. yet, on december 16, we have the executive order that sydney powell does. on december 18, there was the oval office meeting that we haven't talked about that devolves into craziness. sydney powell, and the ceo of, and mike flynn are trying to come up with a way to claim fraud in keep the
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president in office, even though the professionals are saying, it cannot happen. after that, after donald trump years there is nowhere to go with the sydney powell version of things, the voting machines, that is when he said that the tweet to look forward to january 6, the day that mike pence, and congress would certify the election. i want to know how he knew about that date? when was that date discussed with the president of the united states. how did he know to turn their backs statement precisely, when you look at this, they already established the series of events, where they tried to influence the election count. they called brad raffensperger. they tried to get their own electors established. of course, they tried to influence mike pence.
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this was a critical moment, where they decided to take another action. apparently, according to the producer, they are having technical issues. they are about to reconvene. that witnesses waiting. this could be a time where we can play some of the tape, the video that they played, showing his climactic meeting, if we have that available. >> [ indiscernible - multiple speakers ] >> i'm seeing frank on the screen. frank, establishing link back to donald trump and is intent, he says, go to january 6, it
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will be wild, we are going to protest. the oath keepers and proud boys, take it as a call to arms. how much further do you need to go? what you need to prove donald trump's intent? that he understood what he was doing, when he called people to the capitol ? >> a couple of thoughts here, you did hear joyce say, this remains a challenge. you have direct evidence, and then you have hearsay evidence. the former president will always claim possible deniability. i thought there was fraud, i do not believe the people in the room. i wanted to pursue all available options to me. i did not want to give it up. that is my story. here is the problem at the risk of overusing the bank robbery analogy, let's continue with it. you think that the bank owes you money, there is a dispute
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going on about what they owe you, you decide, i am going to go in and rob the place. at your trial, you say look, i thought they'll be money, and here is why. you still broke the law. you still rub the bank. maybe a sentencing, the judge or jury will go easier on you, because a thing, yeah, maybe had valid concerns. he violated federal law, robbing a bank. that is where i am on this. he can claim he had reasons in his own mind, despite everyone tell you differently, but he robbed the bank, he tried to rob an election. that is what he did. i think that is a convincing argument. >> and i was said at the beginning, he said he is a 70 sexual man, he is an adult, not a child. all the lawyers say repeatedly they are saying, the election is over, it has been decided. they are still trying to find some other way around an election that was decided. >> that's right.
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i think what frank said is compelling. luscious look with the other side would argue. president trump is in a room on december 18, with some really, really bad advisors, and really, really bad lawyers. you have sydney pals and rudy giuliani. he is there with good lawyers, like pat cipollone. the defense attorney would argue , why is he entitled to listen to the bad ones? would also to show, in addition to the fact that they lost all the court cases, and nobody was reducing evidence, that the reliance on his bad lawyers, and his bad advisors was in bad faith. this is the point they're making earlier, more eloquently than me. this is a hard thing to do. was a lot of evidence of how vile trump is, how vindictive he is, how vain he is, you also
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have to show his reliance on bad lawyers, and bad advisors, was in bad faith. for a prosecutor to do that, they need a lot of evidence. they had to talk to all of the people in the room. that is what makes this a difficult journey. >> i go back to the metaphor of taking the wrong suitcase at the airport, and leaving with a unintentionally, because it looks like your suitcase. your total is not your suitcase, and there's a label on it that says it is not your suitcase. if you still take it out, are you liable? i still responsible for stealing? can you prove the intent was there, even if you thought, describing told it is not yours, that it was yours? the committee is coming back in, saving me from metaphors of. they will gavel down and moment. they are talking to two witnesses that will testify. they have jason van tatenhove, the former keeper spokesman.
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and witness, stephen ayers, an ohio man of guilty last month to one federal charge of disorderly conduct, after illegally entering the capitol on january 6, 2021. we might hear from him, that he went there because he thought donald trump told him to. i believe the gavel will come down any second now. let us listen in. the committee will be in order. the chair recognizes the gentleman from maryland. mr. chairman, president trump's tweet drew tens of thousands of americans to washington to form an angry crowd that would be transformed on january 6, into a violent mob. dr. jenelle harvin that she homeland security for washington, d.c., told the committee how his team saw the december 19 tweet, unite violent groups across the spectrum, on the far right.
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>> we got derogatory information, suggesting some very violent individuals were organizing to come to washington, d.c. not only were they organizing, but the nonaligned groups were aligning. all of the red flags went up at that point. you know when you have militias collaborating with white supremacy groups, collaborating with conspiracy theory groups, online, all toward a common goal. you start to see a blended ideology. that is a very bad sign. this is not just across one platform, but across multiple platforms. the groups were coordinating, not just chatting. the righteous thing, what is the weather like?
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but what are you bringing, what are you wearing? where do we meet up? do you have plans for the capitol? that is preoperational intelligence. that is something that is clearly alarming. >> the proud boys and keepers are two key groups that responded immediately to president trump's call. the proud boys are far right streetfighting group glorifying violence and wise privacy. the oath keepers are extremist that promote a wide range of conspiracy theories, and sought to act as a private paramilitary force for donald trump. they charge leaders of both groups with the dishes conspiracy to overthrow the government of the united states on january 6. the december 19 tweet motivated these two extremist groups, which have historically not work together to ordinate their activities. december 19, at 10:20 2 am,
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just hours after the tweet, the head of the florida oath keepers, declared an alliance among the oath keepers, the proud boys, and the florida three percentage, a militia group. he wrote, we decided to work together, and shut this should down. phone records show, later that afternoon, they did call the proud boys leader. they spoke for several minutes. the very next day, the proud boys that work. the proud boys launched an encrypted chat, called the ministry of self-defense. the committee obtained hundreds of these messages, showing strategic and tactical planning about january 6, including maps of washington, d.c. that pinpoint the location of police. in the weeks leading up to the attack, the leaders in the proud boys and of keepers, worked with trump allies. one such ally was lieutenant
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general michael flynn, his former national security advisors, and one of the participants in the unhinged meeting at the white house. it connections to the oath keepers. this photo from december 12 shows mike flynn and patrick byrne, another trump ally, guarded by the indicted oath keeper. another view of the scene shows the oath keepers leader, stuart rhodes, in the picture as well. another central figure amortized to this network of extremist groups was roger stone, a political consultant, and longtime confidant of president trump. he pardoned both michael flynn and stone in the weeks between the election, on november 3, and january 6. in the same timeframe, stone communicated with both the proud boys and oath keepers, regularly. the committee obtained encrypted content from a group
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chat called friends of stone. this includes stone, roads, [ indiscernible ], and allie alexander. a focus on various approachable events in november and december of 2020, and january 6. as you can see here, stuart rhodes urged the friends of stone to go to the state capitals, they cannot make it to washington for the first million m.a.g.a. march. these friends had a significant presence at multiple drug prompt -- pro trump events. on the day, he said to invoke martial law, promising bloodshed if he did not. >> is not from you, that you are with him, that he does not do it now, while he is commander-in-chief, we will have to do it ourselves, later,
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in a much more desperate, in a much more bodywork. let's get it on now, while he is still the commander-in-chief. >> denied, the proud boys engaged in violence on the streets of washington, and hurled aggressive insults at the police. >> do your job. >> give us one hour, one hour. >> the previous night, the cohost of infowars issued an ominous warning at a rally alongside roger stone and the proud boys leader. >> [ indiscernible - multiple speakers ]
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>> encrypted chats, obtained by the select committee showed the indicted leader of the florida oath keepers, spoke directly with roger stone about security on january 5 and january 6. in fact, on january 6, stone was guarded by two of keepers having criminally indicted for conspiracy. one of them pleaded guilty, and according to the department of justice, admitted that the oath keepers were ready to use, lethal force, if necessary, against anyone who tried to remove president trump from the white house, including the national guard. as we have seen, the proud boys were part of the friends of stone network. his ties to the proud boys go back many years. he has taken there fraternity creed, required for the first level of initiation to the group.
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>> [ indiscernible - multiple speakers ] >> kelly, a lawyer that does assist the oath keeper, explained the committee, how roger stone, and other figures brought extremist of different stripes of views together. >> you mentioned that mr. stone wanted to stop this. who do you consider the leader of the rallies? is it like it was mr. stone, and mr. jones? >> they were the center point for everything. >> we will learn more about these individuals, and their
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involvement in the days leading up to the violent attack on january 6. we will also hear how they were allowed to beget a rally for president trump, the night or january 6, even though the organizers expressed serious concerns about the violent and extremist rhetoric to mark meadows. you will hear testimony from the white house aides, that were with the president, as he watched the crowd from the oval office. he will testify about how excited he was for the following day. let me note now, our investigation continues on these critical issues. we have only shown a small fraction of what we have found. i look forward to the public release of one of the findings later. i now yelled back. the gym and yields back, we recognize agenda one from florida, ms. murphy. student during most recent hearings, the committee showed some evidence of what president trump, the chief of staff, mark meadows, and other white house officials knew about the potential for violence on january 6. despite this information, they made no effort to cancel the rally,
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halted the margin, or to lower the temperature amongst the trump supporters. one of the organizers of the january 6 rally, anna campaign spokeswoman for trump, grew increasingly apprehensive, after learning that multiple activists had been proposed as speakers for the january 6 rally. these included the people we did discuss earlier in the hearing. roger stone, the longtime outside advisor to president trump. alex jones, the founder of the conspiracy theory website, infowars. and an activist known for his violent political rhetoric. on december 30, [ indiscernible ] exchanged text messages with a key rally organizer about why people like mr. alexander and jones were being suggested as speakers at the presidential rally on january 6. the explanation was, potus. she remarks that he likes the
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crazy. they did ask ms. pearson about the messages, and this is what she said. >> when you said he likes the crazy, we talk about president trump wax >> yes. i was president trump. he loves people that viciously defended him in public. >> these are people that would be very, vicious and publicly defending him. >> on january 2, the concerns about the potential rally speakers had grown serious enough, that she reached out to mark meadows directly. she wrote, good afternoon, would you mind giving me a call regarding the january 6 event? is it gotten crazy, and i desperately need some direction. >> recorded phone records, obtained by the committee, she received a phone call from mr. mark meadows, eight minutes later. here is what she said that
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conversation. >> what did you tell him about other events? >> there were a bunch of entities coming in. some were very suspect. it will be another stages comments on other days. this was a very brief overview of what was actually happening, and why i raised the red flag. when he told him that people were very suspect, did you tell them what you meant by that? what did you convey to him about the problems with these folks? >> i think i texted him some of my concerns. i did briefly go over some concerns that i had raised to everybody, with alex jones, and the rhetoric that they were doing. i probably mentioned to him that they had caused trouble at the previous event the previous march they did for protesting. i had a concern about it.
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>> she was especially concerned about allie alexander and alex jones. in november 2020, both men, and some of their supporters, had entered the georgia state capitol to protest the 2020 election. she believes she mentioned this to mark meadows on this call. notably, january 2 is the same day on which, according to cassidy hutchinson, esther meadows warned her that things might get real, real bad on january 6. after her january 2 call, katrina pearson sent an email to organizers. she said expectations are to have something intimate, call on everyone to march to the capitol. the president had decided to call on his supporters to go to the capitol. chose not to widely announce it until his speech that
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morning. the committee obtained this draft, undated from the national archives. it includes a stamp stating, presidency. it reads, i will be making a big speech at 10:00 a.m. on january 6, at the ellipse, south of the white house. these arrive early. massive crowds are expected. march to the capitol afterwards, qanon three. although was never sent, they did discuss for the march in the days leading up to january 6. this is the january 4 text message from a rally organizer to mike lindell. the organizer says, this stays between us, we have a second stage at the supreme court again. potus will have us march their. they cannot get out about the second stage. people try to set up another, and sabotage it. it cannot get out the march.
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i will be in trouble with the national park service, and all agencies. potus will call for it, unexpectedly. the end of the message indicates that the plan to have his followers march to the capitol was not being broadly discussed. on the morning of january 5 , allie alexander, whose firebrand style, sent a similar text to a conservative journalist. he said, tomorrow, the ellipse, then the u.s. capitol. trump will order us to the capitol at the end of his speech. he did follow through on his and, using the january 6 speech to tell supporters to march to the capitol. evidence confirms that this was not a spontaneous call to action, but rather was a deliberate strategy, decided on in advance by the president.
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another part of the strategy involves certain members of congress, the amplified his unsupported assertion that the election had been stolen. in the weeks after the election, the white house correlated closely with president trump's allies in congress to disseminate the false claims, and encourage members of the public to fight the outcome on january 6. we know the president met with various members to discuss january 6, well before the joint session. the private schedule for december 21, 2020, shows a private meeting with republican members of congress. we know the vice president pencil, chief of staff, mark meadows, and rudy giuliani attended that meeting. we obtained an email sent from congressman mo brooks to mark meadows, setting up the meeting. the subject line is, white house meeting, december 21, regarding january 6. in his
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email, congressman books explains he didn't ask anyone to join him in the january 6 effort. in his view, only citizens can exert the necessary influence on senators and congressmen to join the fight against massive voter fraud and election theft. at this rate, you may also who said the president asked the department of justice to say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and republican congressman. according to white house visitor laws obtained by the committee, members of congress present at the white house on december 21st included congressman brian babbitt, anthony bigs, matt gaetz, louie gohmert, paul gosar, andy harris, jodi heiss, jim jordan, and scott perry. then congresswomen elect marjorie taylor greene was also
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there. we heard testimony in early hearing that a pardon was ultimately requested by connor smith brooks and others that attended the meeting. we asked witnesses what happened during the meeting and we learned part of the discussion centered on the role of the vice president during the counting of electoral votes. these members of congress discussing what would later be known as the east end pushed by attorney john eastman. in one of the early hearings you heard in great detail president trump was trying to convince vice president pence to do something illegal. his white house counsel confirmed all of that in testimony last week. >> your view beyond that, what was your assessment of what the vice president could or could not do? >> what was my assessment?
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>> yes. your view of the issue. >> my view is the vice president did not do anything except what he did. >> told mr. trump the eastman memos, theory no basis, not a strategy, sounds like that is consistent. >> informed by them. >> camping senior advisor jason miller told us mr. cippolone thought the theories were nutty, something cippolone would not refute. >> received testimony from various people about this, jason miller, campaign, pat cippolone thought he was nutty and confronted eastman. >> contradict what he said. >> on january 4th, john eastman went to the white house to meet with the president and vice
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president. mr. cippolone try to participate in the meeting but was turned away. >> you did not go to the meeting at the oval office with mr. eastman, the president and vice president, do you remember why you did not personally attend? >> i did walk to the meeting and going to the oval office with the idea of attending the meeting but ultimately did not attend that meeting. >> why not? >> the reasons are privileged. >> where you passed or selected not to attend? >> again, without getting into privilege -- >> recall that greg jacob, the vice president counsel stated mr. eastman acknowledged he would lose 9-0 if his legal theories were challenged in the supreme court. mr. cippolone reviewed mr. eastman's legal theory and expressed his view repeatedly that the vice president was right, he offered to take the blame for the vice president's position.
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>> i thought the vice president did not have the authority to do what was being suggested under proper reading of the law, i conveyed that, someone explained to me, i'm not a politician, i'm a lawyer, this is my legal opinion. but let me tell you this, can i say a word about the vice president? >> please. >> i think the vice president did the right thing, i think you did the courageous thing. i have a great deal of respect for vice president pence, i worked with him very closely, i think he understood my opinion, i think he understood my opinion afterwards as well. i think you did a great service to this country and suggested to somebody he should get for
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his actions. >> earlier this year, federal district court judge concluded president trump and mr. easement relying on mr. eastman's theory more likely than not violated multiple federal criminal laws in their pressure campaign against the vice president. also recall earlier in the hearing, we start rudy giuliani's team did not have actual evidence of fraud sufficient to change the result of the election. i think that is important because as generally 6th approach, republican numbers of the house and senate looking for reason to object to the electorate. no real evidence was given to them. we know republican members of the house refused memorandum from the chairwoman of house republican caucus in the days before january 60th explaining in detail many constitutional and legal problems with objections and describing the principal judicial ruling dismissing the claims of
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widespread fraud. but their plan to object the certification of the election on january 6th went forward anyway. the next day on january 5th, the day before the attack on the capitol, tens of thousands of people converged on washington. while certain close associates of president trump privately expressed concerns about what would occur january 6th, other members of the president's inner circle spoke with great anticipation about the events to,. the committee has learned from the white house phone log the president spoke to steve bannon, his close advisor, at least twice on january 5th. the first conversation they had lasted 11 minutes to listen to what mr. bennett said that after the first call he had with the president. >> all hell will break loose tomorrow. it is all converging and as they say on the point of attack tomorrow. i tell you this, it is not
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going to happen like you think it is going to happen. it is going to be quite extraordinarily different. all i can say is strap in. >> from the same phone logs, we know the president and mr. bennett spoke again on the phone that evening, this time for six minutes. that same date on the eve of january 6th, supporters of president trump gathered in washington, d.c. at another rally. this rally held at freedom plaza, located near the white house. it featured some of the speakers katrina pearson and others deemed too extreme to share the stage with the president the next morning. as the rally was underway, the president asked members of his staff to come to the oval office. let's hear from white house aides in the oval office that night. >> i was in the office, the oval office when he asked me to open the door so he could hear, i guess there was a concert or something going on.
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>> did he say anything other than open the door? >> he made a comment, i don't remember specifically what he said, there was a lot of energy. >> when we walked in, the staff was kind of standing up and assembled along the wall and the president was at the desk and was on the couch, the president did state a tweet that he wanted to send out. the president started talking about the rally the next day. he had the door of the oval open to the rose garden because you could hear the crowd already assembled outside and they were playing music and it was so loud, you could feel it shaking in the oval. he was in a very good mood. i stayed because she had not been in a good mood for weeks
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leading up to that and it seemed like he was in a fantastic mood that evening. >> he asked if members of congress would be tomorrow and what you understand voting in his favor? >> i took that to mean not voting to certify the election. >> then he did look to the staff and asked for ideas of how we could make the rhinos do the right thing is the way he phrased it. no one spoke up initially because i think everyone was trying to process what he meant by that. >> the president was making a bet, talking about we should go to the capitol, the best route to go to the capitol. >> he spoke of policy accomplishments --
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>> he acknowledged that and said we had something along those lines. fairly quickly moved to i will fire up the crowd how fired up they were going to be. >> what did he say about it? >> just that they were fired up, angry, felt like the election was stolen, the election was rigged. >> he knew the crowd was fired up are in great? >> he continued to reference to be able to hear them outside. >> through the open door of the oval office, the president could hear the sound of the crowd and the music at freedom plaza. these are some of the things
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they were saying at the plaza, blocks from where the president set that evening excited for the next day. >> this is nothing less than an epic struggle for the future of this country between dark and light. between the godly and the godless. between good and evil. and we will win this fight or america will step off into 1000 years of darkness. tomorrow, trust me, the american people standing on the soil we are standing on tonight and they will be standing on this soil tomorrow, this is soil we have fought over, fought for, we will fight for in the future. the members of congress, the members of the house of representatives, members of the united states senate, those of you who are feeling weak tonight, those of you that do
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not have the moral fiber in your body, get some tonight because tomorrow, we the people, are going to be here and we want you to know we will not stand for a lie. we will not stand for a lie. >> i want them to know 1776 is always an option! [ cheers and applause ] the degenerates and thieves will give us what we want or we will shut this country down. country down >> it is 1776, 1776, 1776, 1776! >> at 5:05 p.m. , as the freedom rally was underway, president trump
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tweeted, washington is being inundated with people who do not want to see election victory stolen bike emboldened radical left democrats. our country has had enough, they will not take it anymore. to the crowds gathering in d.c., we hear you and love you from the oval office. the committee learned on january 5th, serious concerns on twitter about the anticipated violence the next day. listen to what the twitter witness told us about their desperate effort to get twitter to do something. >> what was your gut feeling the night of january 5th? >> i believe sent a message to someone that said something along the lines of, when people are shooting each other tomorrow, i will try to rest in the knowledge that we tried so i went to, i don't know what i thought to be honest, i was on pins and needles because for
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months i had been begging and anticipating and attempting to the reality, we made no intervention until what i saw occurring, people were going to die. on january 5th, i realized no intervention was coming, as hard as i tried to create one or implement one, there was nothing and we were at the whims and mercy of a violent crowd that was locked and loaded. >> for the record, this was content echoing statements by the former president, also
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proud boys, and other known violent extremist groups? >> yes. >> there were also concerns among members of congress, we have recently released recording of a conversation that took place among republican numbers in u.s. capitol on the eve of january 6th. republican congressman debbie lesko from arizona, who led some of the unfounded objections to the election results. >> i also asked leadership to come up with a safety plan for members, i'm very concerned about this because we have who knows how many hundreds of thousands of people coming here, we have antifa, we also have quite honestly trump supporters who actually believe we are going to overturn the election and when that doesn't happen, most likely will not happen, they are going to go nuts. >> that same evening as
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president trump listened to the rally from the oval office, he was working on his speech to be delivered the next day. based on documents we have received from the national archives including multiple drafts of the president's speech as well as witness testimony, we understand how that speech devolved into a call for action and call to fight. one of the first edits president trump made to incorporate his 5:05 p.m. tweet, revising his speech to say, all that are here today do not want to see our election victory stolen bike emboldened radical left democrats, our country has had enough, we will not take it anymore. he also added, together we will stop the steal. president trump's edits continued into the morning of january 6th. as you can see from the president's daily diary here, the president spoke to chief speechwriter stephen miller 25 minutes that morning, following his call with mr. miller,
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president trump inserted for the first time a line in speech that said quote, we will see weather mike pence enters great and courageous leader, all he has to do is referred the illegally submitted electoral votes back to the states given false fraudulent information where they want to recertify. no prior version of the speech referenced vice president pence or his role during the joint session on january 6th. the last minute edits by president trump to his speech were part of the president's pressure campaign against his own vice president. not everyone one of the lines regarding the vice president included in the president's speech including white house lawyer eric there's not. >> did you speak to anyone in the white house at the time about the disagreement between the president and vice president other than the president got rejection from the capitol? >> maybe had a brief
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conversation about it with eric. >> what was it? >> i remember him saying he had , i don't want to get this wrong, counterproductive wanted to discuss the matter publicly. >> came up in context of editing the president's beach on january 6th? >> conversation where eric knew it wasn't in the speech so he had a sidebar with me about it. >> speechwriters took the advice and removed the lines about vice president pence. later that morning at 11:20 a.m., had a phone call with the vice president and as detailed an earlier hearing, that phone
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call was by all accounts tense and heated. during the call, the vice president told the president he would not attempt to change the outcome of the election. in response, the president called the vice president of the united states a wimp and other derogatory words. as you can see in this email, after vice president pence told president trump he would not unilaterally deliver him second term in office, speechwriters were directed to reinsert the mike pence line. here's how one of the speechwriters described president trump's last-minute change to the speech. >> and as i recall, very tough sentence about the vice president that was added. >> president trump wanted to use his speech to attack vice president pence in front of crowd of thousands of angry supporters, who had been led to believe the election was
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stolen. when president trump arrived to deliver his speech, he was worked up from his call with vice president pence. although ivanka trump would not say so, her chief of staff did the committee insight into the president's frustration. >> reported ultimately decided to attend the rally because you would calm the president and keep the event even keel, is that accurate? >> no. i don't know who said that more where that came from. >> what can she share why her father was upset or agitated after the call with the vice president in relation to the rally, why did that matter? why did he have to be calmed down? >> she shared he had called the vice president expletive word,
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i think that bothered her, based on the conversations and what was going on in the office , he was angry and upset and people were providing this information and she felt like she might be able to help calm the situation down. at least before he went on the stage. >> the president did go on stage and gave the speech he wanted to give, it included the formal changes he requested the night before and that morning but also many important last- minute ad-libbed changes. single scripted reference in the speech to mike pence became eight, single scripted reference to rally goers marching to the capitol became four with president trump thad levine he would be joining the protesters at the capitol. throughout his speech,
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references to fighting and the need for people to have courage and be strong. the word "peacefully" in the staff written script and used only once. here are some of the ad-libbed changes the president made to his speech. >> because you will never take back our country with weakness, you have to show strength and you have to be strong. i hope mike has the courage to do what he has to do and i hope he does not listen to the rhinos and stupid people he is listening to. we fight like hell and if you don't, we won't have a country anymore. we are going to try our republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don't need our help, we are going to try to give them the kind of pride and boldness they need to take back our country. let's walk down pennsylvania avenue --
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>> white house counsel pat cippolone and his deputy did not attend the speech and were concerned the statement in the speech about the election were false. in fact, the message president trump delivered that day was built on a foundation of lies. he lied to supporters the election was stolen, he stoped their anger, he called for them to fight for him, he directed them to the u.s. capitol, he told them he would join them and his supporters believed him and many headed toward the capitol. as a result, people died. people were injured, many of his supporters' lives will never be the same. former campaign manager brad parscale recognize the impact of the speech immediately and this is what he said on january six, excerpt from text messages to katrina pearson. he said quote, about mr. trump pushing for uncertainty in the country, sitting president
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asking for civil war and when he said this week i feel guilty for helping him win, katrina pearson responded, you did what you felt right at the time and therefore it was right. mr. pascale added, yeah, but a woman is dead and yeah, if i was trump and i knew my rhetoric killed someone, when ms. pearson replied, it wasn't the rhetoric, mr. pascale said katrina, yes it was. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> joined today by mr. jason van tatenhove and stephen ayres , van tatenhove is artist and journalist, former spokesman of the oath keepers and former close associate of homer stewart rhodes, founder and president of oath keepers who have been charged with seditious conspiracy in
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relation to the capitol attack. mr. van tatenhove broke with the oath keepers and has since spoken out against the violent group. mr. ayres is former supporter president trump. he answered the president's call to come to washington, d.c. on january six. he marched to the capitol on the president's orders, he pleaded guilty last month to disorderly and disruptive conduct at the capitol. mr. ayres, no longer supports president trump, came forward voluntarily to share his story as a warning. i will now swear in our witnesses. witnesses will please stand and raise their right hand. do you swear under penalty of perjury that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing
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but the truth so help you god? thank you. you may be seated. let the record reflect the witnesses answered in the affirmative. i recognize myself for questions. today, we discussed how president trump summoned angry mob of supporters to washington, d.c., many of whom came prepared to do battle against police and politicians alike. fortunate enough to be joined by two witnesses who can help us understand who was in the mob that day, both harcourt violent extremists like the oath keepers and proud boys and others swept up in the fervor of the day. mr. van tatenhove, can you help us understand who the oath keepers are? >> i can, thank you. my time with the oath keepers began back on the ranch, that
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first standoff when i went to cover them as independent journalist. i subsequently covered two more standoffs, the white hope standoff, at that time i was offered a job as national media director and associate editor for the webpage. i spent a few years with the oath keepers and i can tell you they may not like to call themselves the militia but they are, they are a violent militia and they are largely stewart rhodes, i think rather than try to use words, i think the best illustration for what the oath keepers are happened january 6th when we saw that stacked military formation going up the
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stairs of our capitol. i saw it radicalization that started with my beginning of my time with them and continued over a period of time as the member base and who it was stewart rhodes was courting drifted further and further right into the off right world in white nationalists and straight up racist. it came to a point i could no longer continue to work for them. but the oath keepers are a dangerous militia that is in large part fed by the ego and drive of stewart rhodes, who at times, he would see himself as this paramilitary leader, i think that drove a lot of it.
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in my opinion, the oath keepers are very dangerous organization. >> thank you very much. you talk a little bit about that danger, what is the oath keepers' vision for america and why should americans be concerned about it? >> i think we saw a glimpse of what the vision of the oath keepers is on january 6th . it does not necessarily include the rule of law, it does not necessarily include, it includes violence, it includes trying to get their way through lies, deceit, intimidation and the perpetration of violence. the swing of people who may not know better through the lies and rhetoric and propaganda to get swept up in these moments. i will admit i was swept up at
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one point as well too. but i don't know if that answers the question. >> it does, you talk about being swept up so at what point did you break with the oath keepers? >> there came a point, there were many red flags and i probably should have broke with them much earlier than i did, but the straw that broke the camels back really came when i walked into a grocery store, living up in very remote town of eureka, montana and there was a group of core members of the group of the oath keepers and associates and they were having a conversation at that public area where they were talking about how the holocaust was not real and that was for me something i could not abide.
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we were not wealthy people at all, barely surviving and it did not matter. i went home to my wife, my kids, i told them i've got to walk away at this point. i don't know how we are going to survive for where we are going to do or what we are going to do, i can no longer continue and put in my resignation. >> thank you very much. mr. ayres, there were many people in the crowd that date, january 6th, including you, who were not caught up in extremist groups, i would like to start by having you tell the american people a little bit about yourself. can you tell us about your life before january 6th ? >> yeah. basically nothing but a family man and workingman, worked at the company, cabinet company in northeast ohio for going on 20
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years., family is my life, supervisor there that took up a lot of my free time. other than that, with my family camping, playing basketball, playing games with my son. >> what any ordinary american city family man would do. >> yup, exactly. >> this committee has reviewed thousands of hours of surveillance footage from january 6th, during this review, we identified you entering the capitol as we can see from this video. mr. ayres, why did you decide to come to washington on january 6th ? >> for me personally, you know, i was pretty hard-core into the
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social media, facebook, twitter, instagram, i followed president trump, all the websites, you know. basically put out, come out to stop the steal rally. i felt like i needed to be down here. >> you learned about the rally on social media and at some point made a decision to come to washington? >> yeah, yup. i had some friends i found out were coming down, i just hopped on with them at the tail end when i found out and came down here with them. >> thank you very much. the chair recognizes the vice chair ms. cheney of wyoming, any questions she may have. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. mr. ayres, when you entered the capitol last year, did you believe the election had been stolen? >> at that time, yeah. everything i was seeing online,
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i definitely believed that is exactly was the case. >> when you heard from president trump the election was stolen, how did that make you feel? >> i was very upset as work most of his supporters you know , that is basically what got me to come down here. >> do you still believe the election was stolen? >> not so much now. i got away from all the social media when january 6th happened, i basically deleted it all. i started doing my own research and everything. for me, for something like that to be that, for that to actually take place, it is too big. there is no way to keep something like that quiet as biggest something like that, you know, with all the lawsuits being shot down one after the
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other, that is mainly what convinced me. >> and i think that is very important and we have also talked about today and previous hearings, the extent to which the president himself was told the election hadn't been stolen by his justice department, his white house counsel, his campaign. would it have made a difference to you to know that president trump himself had no evidence of widespread fraud? >> definitely, you know, who knows, i may not have come down here. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i yelled back. >> the chair recognizes the woman from florida, ms. murphy. >> thank you. earlier today, we showed how donald trump's speech summoned extremist groups and rank-and- file supporters of president
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trump to come to washington, d.c. from average americans. he told them to quote, we will be there, we will be wild, and they came. we showed how president trump repeatedly told them, fight, fight, fight and they marched to the capitol. mr. ayres, you were in the crowd at the rally and the crowd that marched the capitol, when you arrived that morning, were you planning on going to the capitol ? >> no, we did not actually plan to go down there. we went basically to see the stuff, the rally, that was it. >> why did you decide to march to the capitol ? >> basically, the president got everybody riled up, and told everybody to head on down so we basically was following what he said. >> after the president's beach and you march to the capitol, how did you feel ? >> i'm angry, you know, after
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everything that was basically said in the speech, a lot of the stuff he said he put out in tweets, a lot i had already seen it and heard it before, i was worked up and so were most of the people there. >> when you started marching, did you think there was still a chance the election would be overturned? >> yeah, at that time i did because everybody was kind of like in the hope vice president pence was not going to certify the election. you know, also the whole time on the way down, i kept hearing about the big reveal, we thought maybe that was it. that hope was there. >> did you think the president would be munching with you? >> yeah, i think everybody thought he would be coming down. he said in his speech, kind of like he was going to be there
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with us. i believed it. >> i understand. >> we know you illegally entered the capitol that afternoon and left the capitol area later on, what made you decide to leave? >> basically went president trump put his tweet out, we literally left right after that come out, you know. , if he had done earlier in the day, 1:30, maybe would not have been this bad of a situation or something. >> thank you. mr. chairman, i yelled back. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from maryland, mr. raskin. >> mr. van tatenhove, opted january six, stewart rhodes implored president trump to enact the insurrection act, allow the president to call it militias to put down a
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rebellion against the united states. i want to get your thoughts about this in the context of your prior relationship with stewart rhodes. i understand you had conversations with rhodes about the insurrection act, why was he so fixated and what did he think it would enable the oath keepers to do? >> i think it gave him a sense of legitimacy, a path to move forward with his goals and agendas. i think we need to quit mincing words and talk about truths and what it was going to be was armed revolution, people died that day. law enforcement officers died that day, there was a gala set up in front of the capitol, this could have been the spark that started a new civil war and no one would have been there , that would be good for no one. he was always looking for ways
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to legitimize what he was doing weather by wrapping it in the trappings of it is not a militia, community preparedness team, we are not militia, educational outreach group, veteran support group, again we have to stop with this dishonesty and mincing of words and call things for what they are. he is a militia leader, he had to use grand visions of being a paramilitary leader and the insurrection act would have given him a path forward with that. the fact the president was communicating whether directly or indirectly messaging that gave him the nod and all i can do is thank the gods things did not go any worse. >> what did the oath keepers see in president trump?
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>> they saw path forward that would have legitimacy, they saw opportunity i think, in my opinion, to become paramilitary force. >> last week, the department of justice indicates it had evidence of the oath keepers not just bringing firearms but explosives to washington ahead of january 6th. the committee learned stewart rhodes stopped to buy weapons on his way to washington and shipped roughly $7000 worth of tactical gear to january 6th valley planner in virginia before the attack. did you ever hear rhodes discuss committing violence against elected political leaders? >> yeah, that went back to my tenure, one of the first assignments he brought to me wanting me to do is more of a graphic artist function was to create a deck of cards, you may
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remember back to the conflict in the middle east where our own military created deck of cards which was who's who of the key players on the other side they wanted to take out. and stewart was intrigued by the notion and influenced by it and wanted me to create deck of cards that would include different politicians, judges, including up to hillary clinton as the queen of hearts. this is a project i refused to do but from the very start we saw that, there was always the push for military training including courses in that community that went over explosives training. so yeah, it all falls in line. >> mr. van tatenhove, you said in your thoughtful written
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testimony we received today, you fear what the next election cycle will bring and that we have been exceedingly lucky in we have not seen more bloodshed so far. i wonder if you would elaborate on those two statements. >> i think as far as the luck goes, we have had potential from sunday bundy ranch on, the standoffs, standoffs where there were firearms planted it lines at federal law enforcement agencies, whatever it may be with that particular standoff. i do, i think we have gotten exceedingly lucky more bloodshed did not happen because the potential has been there from the start. and we got very lucky loss of life, as tragic as it is, we
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saw on january 6th , the potential was so much more. all we have to look at is the iconic images of that date with the gallo set up for mike pence, the vice president of the united states. i do fear this next election cycle because who knows what that might bring if a president that is willing to try to instill, encourage, with the civil war amongst his followers using lies, deceit, snake oil, regardless of the human impact, what else is he going to do if he gets elected again? all bets are off. i have three daughters, granddaughter, i fear for the world they will inherit if we do not start holding these
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people to account. >> thank you for your testimony, mr. van tatenhove. mr. ayres, i first want to ask you about what finally caused you to leave on january 6th. we know the medieval style combat with our police, occupation of the building, this was going on several hours until the president issued at 4:17, a tweet i believe that included a video telling people to go home, did you see that and did it have on any effect on what you are doing? >> while we were there, is in is it come out, everybody started talking about it it seemed like it started to disperse some of the crowd obviously, once we got back to the hotel room, we seen it was still going on, it dispersed a lot of the crowd. >> did you leave at that point?
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>> yeah, we left. >> in other words, that was the key moment when you decided to leave when president trump told people to go home? >> yup, we left right when that come out. >> you are not a member of an organized group like the oath keepers or proud boys, as most of the crowd wasn't, on january six, was it your review these far right groups like the oath keepers and proud boys and three percenters and others were on your side, did you have reservations about marching with them and rallying with them? >> i did not have a problem, i was following them online myself , i thought they were on our team, good. that is how i looked at it, at the time i did not have a problem with it, i thought it was a good thing. >> i'm interested in hearing about what happened to you since the events of january
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6th. you told the vice chair you no longer believed trump's fake lie about the election but that is what brought you originally to washington, looking back now, how do you reflect on the role you played in the crowd that day and what is going on in your life? >> basically, i lost my job, since this all happened, pretty much sold my house so everything that happened with the charges, thank god a lot of them got dismissed because i was holding my phone, at the same time i was there. it changed my life, you know. not for the good. not for the better. yeah, i mean, that's all i can say. >> president trump is still
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promoting the big lie about the election, how does that make you feel? >> it makes me mad because i was hanging on every word he was saying, everything he was putting out, i was following. if i was doing it, hundreds of thousands or millions of other people are doing it or maybe even still doing it. it is like just said about that, people still following and doing that, the next election come out, going down the same path we are right now, just don't know. >> mr. ayres, your wife has joined you today. welcome to washington. we know it has been difficult on you both and your family. what lessons finally do you want the american people to learn from the way you and your family have suffered as a result of these events?
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>> the biggest thing is i consider myself a family man and i love my country. i don't think any one man is bigger than either one of those, i think that is what needs to be taken. people dive into the politics, for me i felt like i had horse blinders on, i was locked in the whole time. the biggest thing for me, take the blinders off, step back and see what is going on before it is too late. >> i want to thank you for your testimony and appearing, both of you, today and mr. chairman, i yield back to you. >> gentlemen yields back. i want to thank our witnesses for joining us today. the members of the select committee may have additional questions for today's witnesses and we ask that you respond expeditiously in writing to
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those questions. without objections, members permitted 10 business days to submit statements for the record including opening remarks and additional questions for the witnesses. without objection, the chair recognizes gentleman from maryland, mr. raskin for closing statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. when donald trump sent out his tweet, he became the first president ever to call for a crowd to descend on the capitol city to block constitutional transfer power. he set off explosive but no one mobilize more quickly than the dangerous extremist we looked at today. upon to fight, assembled followers for showdown against congress and the vice president. on january 6th, crowd knew the crowd was angry and armed, he sent them to the capitol anyway. you might imagine our founders shocked to learn american president would one day come to
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embrace and excuse political violence against our own institutions where knowingly send armed mob to attack the capitol to usurp the will of the people. mr. chairman, the founders were wise about certain things, the start of the republic, they actually warned everyone about donald trump, not by name of course but in the course of advising about the certain prospect ambitious politicians would try to mobilize violent mobs to tear down our own institutions in service of their insatiable ambitions. the very first federalist paper, alexander hamilton observed history teaches opportunistic politicians who desire to rule at all cost will begin first as demigods pandering to angry passions of the crowd but then end up as tyrants trampling the freedoms and rights of the people.
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violent insurrection to overturn election is not abstract thing is we have heard, hundreds of people bloodied, injured, winded in the process including more than 150 police officers. some of them sitting in this room today. i want to give you an update on one officer who was badly wounded in the attack and is well known to the members of the committee because he testified before us last year. sergeant army veteran who spent a year on active combat duty in the iraq war and 16 years on the capitol fourth, nothing ever sought in combat in iraq prepared him for the insurrection where he was savagely beaten, punched, pushed, kicked, stomped and sprayed with chemical irritants along with other officers and members of a mob carrying hammers, knives, batons, police shields taken by force and wielding the american flag against police officers is a dangerous weapon.
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last month, on june 28th, his team of doctors told him permanent injuries he suffered to his left shoulder and right foot make it possible for him to continue as a police officer. he must leave policing for good and figure out the rest of his life. sergeant gonell, we wish you and your family all the best, we are here for you, salute you for your valor, eloquence, and beautiful commitment to america. i wonder what former president trump would say to someone like sergeant gonell who must now go about remaking his life. i wonder if he can even understand what motivates a patriot like sergeant gonell. his inaugural address, trump introduced one commanding image, american carnage, that turn of phrase explained little about our country before he took office, it turned out to
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be excellent prophecy of what his rage would come to visit on our people. mr. ayres describe the trust he placed mr. trump derailed his life and wrecked his reputation and his family. a few weeks ago, we heard shaye moss and her mother, ruby freeman, speak of rusty bowers from verizon and georgia secretary of state brad raffensperger described how he felt campaign intimidation by trump and his followers made them prisoners in their homes and drove their stress and anxiety to soaring new heights when they refused to do trump's bidding. american carnage is donald trump's true legacy, his desire to overthrow the people's election and sees the presidency interrupted the counting of electoral college votes for the first time in american history, nearly toppled the constitutional order and brutalized hundreds and
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hundreds of people, the watergate break-in was like a cub scout meeting compared to this assault on our people and institution. mr. chairman, these hearings significant for us and millions of americans and are hearing next week will be profound moment of reckoning for america but the crucial thing is the next step, what this committee, what all of us will do to fortify our democracy against political coups, violence, campaigns to steal elections away from the people. unlike mr. van tatenhove and mr. ayres, people who recovered and evolved from there dissent into the gay of fanaticism, donald trump expanded the big lie to cover january 6th himself, inserted insurrection with real election and the election with the real insurrection. he said his mob greeted our police officers on january six
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with hugs and kisses. he threatens to take one of america's two major political parties with him down the road to authoritarianism and abraham lincoln's party no less. political scientist tell us authoritarian parties have two essential features in common in history and around the world, they did not accept the result of democratic elections, when they lose, and they embrace political violence as legitimate. the problem of incitement to political violence has only grown more serious in the internet age as we have just heard. but this is not the problem of one party, it is the problem of the whole country now. american democracy, mr. chairman, is a precious inheritance, something rare in the history of the world and even on earth today, constitutional democracy is the silver frame, as lincoln put it, upon which the golden apple
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of freedom rests. we need to defend both our democracy and our freedom with everything we have and declare this american carnage ends here and now in a world of resurgent authoritarianism and racism and anti-semitism, let's all hang tough for american democracy. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> the chairman yields back. without objection, recognize the general woman from florida, ms. murphy, for closing statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. one of our first hearings, explain the members of the committee would not spend much time talking about ourselves, rather we would let the evidence play the leading role. the chairman was right because this has been about promoting ourselves as individuals, it is about protecting the country we love. it is about preserving what actually makes america great, the rule of law, free and fair elections, the peaceful
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transfer of power from one elected leader to the next. if i may say a word about myself and why i'm proud to serve on this committee, i'm the only member of the committee who is not blessed to be born in america. i was born in vietnam after the vietnam war and my family and i fled a communist government and rescued by the u.s. navy and given sanctuary in america. my patriotism is rooted in my gratitude for america's grace and generosity, i love this country. on january six, four decades after my family fled a place where political power was seized through violence, i was in the united states capitol fleeing my fellow americans. members of the angry mob had been lied to by a president and other powerful people who try to convince them without evidence, that the election had been stolen from them. some of them tried to use physical violence to overturn the outcome of a free and fair election. our committee overriding objective is to fight fiction with back, to create a full
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account for the american people and for the historical record, to tell the truth of what happened and why it happened, to make recommendations so it never happens again, to defend our democracy. to me, there is nothing more patriotic than that. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> yields back, without objection, the chair recognizes general woman from wyoming, ms. cheney for closing statement. >> thank you very much. mr. chairman, let me put what you have seen today in a broader context, at the outset of our hearing, we described several elements of president trump's multi-part plan to overturn the 2020 election. our hearings have covered all but one of those elements. organized campaign to persuade millions of americans of the falsehood that the 2020 election was stolen by widespread fraud. corrupt effort to pressure vice president pens to refuse to
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count electoral votes. effort to correct the u.s. department of justice, efforts to pressure state election officials and legislators to change state election results. the scheme to create and submit fake electoral slates for multiple states. washington for january 6th and then knowing that that mob was armed directed that mob to the united states capitol. every one of these elements of the planning for january 6th is an independently serious matter. they were all ultimately focused on overturning the election, and they all have one other thing in common. donald trump participated in each substantially and personally. he oversaw or directed the activity of those involved. next week we will return to january 6th itself, as we have shown in prior hearings, donald trump and his legal team led by rudy giuliani were working on
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january 6th to delay or halt congress's counting of electoral votes. the mob attacking and invading the capitol on that afternoon of january 6th was achieving that result, and for multiple hours, donald trump refused to intervene to stop it. he would not instruct the mob to leave or condemn the violence. he would not order them to evacuate the capitol and disperse. the many pleas from help from congress did no good. his staff insisted that president trump call off the attack. he would not. here are a few of the many things you will hear next week from mr. cipollone. >> was it necessary for you to
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continue to push for a state directing people to leave all the way through that period of time until it was ultimately issued? >> i felt it was my obligation to continue to push for that, and others felt it was their obligation as well. >> would it have been possible at any moment for the president to walk down to the podium in the briefing room and talk to the nation at any time between when you first gave him that advice at 2:00 and 4:17 when video statement went out? would that have been possible? >> would it have been possible? >> yes. >> yes, it would have been possible. >> and you will hear that donald trump never picked up phone that day to order his administration to help. this is not ambiguous. he did not call the military. his secretary of defense received no order. he did not call his attorney general. he did not talk to the department of homeland security. mike pence did all of those things. donald trump did not we will walk through the events of
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january 6th next week minute by minute, and one more item, after our last hearing, president trump tried to call a witness in our investigation, a witness you have not yet seen in these hearings. that person declined to answer or respond to president trump's call and instead alerted their lawyer to the call. their lawyer alerted us, and this committee has supplied that information to the department of justice. let me say one more time, we will take any effort to influence witness testimony very seriously. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> thank you, gentle lady yields back. in my opening, i mentioned how we look to our leaders to serve as a fail-safe if people in this country refuse to accept the
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results of an election. that's part of the way those in positions of public trust uphold their oath, how they show fidelity to the constitution. in the run up to january 6th, donald trump had an obligation to tell his supporters to accept the results of the election. instead, he urged them to further along the path toward mob violence. the idea of mob violence makes me think of another sort of fail-safe. all across this country, there are different ideas about what role the federal government should play in our lives. in fact, up here on this desk there are plenty of different ideas, but there are moments when the institutions of our federal government are the fail-safe. i am from a part of the country where had it not been for the federal government and the
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constitution, my parents and many more americans like them would have continued to be treated as second class citizens. the freedom to be able to vote without harassment, travel in relative safety, and dine and sleep where you choose is because we have a government that looks over the well being of its citizens. this is especially important in moments of crisis. when we have a natural disaster that state governments can't handle on their own, when there is an emergency that requires action by public health services or our military, we have a federal government. what happened on january 6th, 2020, was another one of those moments in history that tests strength of our federal government. january 6th was an attack on our country. it was an attack on our democracy, on our constitution,
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a sitting president with a violent mob trying to stop the peaceful transfer of power from one president to another. it still makes my blood boil to think of it. in a moment like that, what would you expect to see? you expect to see the president of the united states sitting behind a resolute desk in the oval office assuring the american people that the attack would be repelled and the threat would be dealt with. you would expect to be reassured that there was a fail-safe. instead, the president of the united states sent the mob. he disregarded the advice of the people who had taken an oath to the constitution. he oversaw a scheme aided by people whose loyalty was only to donald trump. there's nothing we can compare that to. there's nothing in our great
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nation's history that has ever come close to that sort of betrayal and dereliction. thank goodness our system of government held in spite of a commander in chief who worked in opposition to what the constitution designed. when this committee reconvenes, we'll tell the story of that supreme dereliction by the commander in chief, how close we came to a catastrophe for our democracy, and how we remain in serious danger. the chair requests those in the hearing room remain seated until the capitol police have excluded witnesses and members from the room. without objection, the committee stands adjourned. >> hi to everyone, it's 4:00 in new york. just wrapping up here.
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arguably the most dramatic public hearing of the january 6th select committee. it was jaw dropping until the very last moment, some big news, a bomb shell there dropped by congresswoman liz cheney at the end, but most of the hearing drilled down what the members of the select committee have for months now been describing as the evidence they garnered to describe the marshaling of the mob. they mean the efforts by the twice impeached ex-president, that would be donald trump and his allies to assemble the army of insurrectionists that would ultimately storm the united states capitol on january 6th. the committee today laid out that mountain of evidence showing that donald trump knew perfectly well he had lost the election, and yet, he turned to those who told him what he wanted to hear. he form shopped until the very last moment. at one point he agreed to name conspiracy theorist sidney powell as a special counsel to investigate her audacious claims of voter fraud. it was at a december 18th meeting that became the focus of
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much of today's hearing. white house aid cassidy hutchinson who we heard from in the last public hearing described that meeting as unhinged in a text. the committee delved deep into the right wing fever swamp that ensued at trump's incitement and the committee laid out all of the various ways that team trump was in tacit cooperation, not just day-to-day, but hour-by-hour. the domestic violence extremists and white supremacist responsible for carrying out the attack on january 6th. liz cheney revealed that donald trump called one of the witnesses. it happens to be a witness that she says we the public, the viewing public has not heard from yet. the witness had his or her lawyer call the committee and liz cheney there publicly calling or sharing that that information had all been turned over to the justice department. it's where we begin our coverage
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today with some of our most favorite reporters and friends. i pulled my friend and colleague katy tur over. she's been helming our coverage all day long. and we're also joined by frank figliuzzi. also joining us former senator and msnbc political analyst claire mccaskill. frank figliuzzi, i want to start with you on this bombshell. do we have you, frank? i saw frank. claire, liz cheney in what has s becoming i think we can call it on brand for her revealing some really stunning testimony that donald trump himself engaged in what could only be described as witness tampering. >> yeah, you know, i'm struck right at this moment, nicolle with the stark realization, and that is everything we've heard in these committee hearings stands for the proposition that so far our rule of law has


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