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Tracking the January 6 Commission - Page 1

The National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex, known colloquially as the January 6 commission, known colloquially as the January 6 commission, was a proposed commission that would have investigated the 2021 United States Capitol attack.

By Kanishka Singh

WASHINGTON, Dec 22 (Reuters) - The congressional panel probing the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol released its final report late on Thursday, outlining its case that former U.S. President Donald Trump should face criminal charges of inciting the deadly riot. The House of Representatives Select Committee also made public the transcripts of a number of its interviews and witness testimonies earlier on Thursday and on Wednesday.

Story by By GABE STERN and RIO YAMAT, Associated Press/Report for America

LAS VEGAS (AP) — New transcripts of closed-door testimony to the Jan. 6 House committee show Donald Trump and his allies had a direct hand in the Nevada Republican Party’s scheme to send a phony electoral certificate to Congress in 2020 in a last-ditch attempt to keep the former president in power. The documents made public Wednesday evening included interviews with state party leader Michael McDonald and Republican National Committeeman Jim DeGraffenreid in February. Both men served as fake electors in Carson City on Dec. 14, 2020.

That day, six Nevada GOP members signed certificates falsely stating that Trump won Nevada in 2020 and sent them to Congress and the National Archives, where they were ultimately ignored. The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol is digging into the role that these fake electors in key battleground states had in Trump’s attempt to cling to power after his 2020 defeat. McDonald and DeGraffenreid invoked Fifth Amendment protection hundreds of times in their separate interviews with the Jan. 6 committee, refusing to answer questions about their involvement and the extent to which Trump's top allies had helped in orchestrating the plot.

NBC News

The January 6 committee now expects to release its final report on December 22nd after an 18-month-long investigation into the Capitol attack. The report is expected to include transcripts of witness testimony and additional information as it relates to law enforcement and security prep failures. NBC News’ Julie Tsirkin reports.

Story by Brad Reed

Newly uncovered testimony reveals that Nick Luna, a former White House aide to President Donald Trump, told the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th Capitol riots that former chief of staff Mark Meadows had instructed him to stay away from a meeting between the then-president and state Republican lawmakers who supported overturning the 2020 election. In the testimony, which was obtained by CBS News, Luna told the committee that Meadows shooed him away from a meeting Trump was having with Republicans who backed his efforts to throw out certified election results so he could remain in power.

Story by Rodric Hurdle-Bradford

Stefan Passantino, the original advisor to key Jan. 6 witness former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, has taken a leave of absence from law firm effective immediately, as documented evidence and related scrutiny grows about his initial guidance for Hutchinson to mislead the Jan. 6 committee during her testimony. Passantino serves as lead political attorney for Milwaukee-based law firm Michael Best & Friedrich, a position he has held for four years. His bio has been completely erased from the law firm's website and a company email confirmed Passantino's absence.

Story by Travis Gettys

Embattled Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel may have played one of the larger roles in getting Donald Trump charged with crimes for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection. McDaniel has been an outspoken Trump defender despite his electoral drag on GOP candidates, which now threatens her leadership after a lackluster midterm showing, but the House select committee highlighted her testimony as key in establishing proof the ex-president conspired to make a false statement in the fake elector plot, reported MSNBC's Ja'han Jones.

By Caroline Linton, Kathryn Watson, Stefan Becket, Caitlin Yilek, Melissa Quinn

The House Jan. 6 committee voted to refer criminal charges to the Justice Department for former President Trump and lawyer John Eastman for their alleged roles in the attack on the U.S. Capitol. "The whole purpose and obvious effect of Trump's scheme were to obstruct, influence, and impede this official proceeding, the central moment for the lawful transfer of power in the United States," committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin said.

The committee made four criminal referrals for Trump: Obstruction of an Official Proceeding; Conspiracy to Defraud the United States; Conspiracy to Make a False Statement and "Incite," "Assist" or "Aid and Comfort" an Insurrection. But referrals by Congress are merely recommendations, and the Justice Department is under no obligation to bring charges against those referred for prosecution. Still, the committee's referrals could increase political pressure on the department to act, and lawmakers could unveil new evidence in their final report that federal prosecutors have not yet accessed.

NBC News

The House committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot is set to hold its final public hearing on Monday ahead of the release of its report into the riot after nearly two years. NBC News’ Allie Raffa breaks down what to expect from next week’s hearing and whether the investigation could continue following the final report.

By MICHAEL BALSAMO and MARY CLARE JALONICK, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Jan. 6 committee is interviewing Hope Hicks, a longtime aide to former President Donald Trump, according to a person familiar with the meeting. Tuesday's interview comes as the investigation is winding down and as the panel has subpoenaed Trump for an interview in the coming weeks. The person requested anonymity to discuss the closed-door meeting.

Hicks did not play a major role in the White House response to the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection, in which hundreds of Trump's supporters broke into the U.S. Capitol and interrupted the certification of President Joe Biden's victory. The longtime Trump communications aide was still working there at the time but left the White House in the days afterward.

Still, Hicks had been one of Trump's most trusted aides. And she was looped in on some texts and emails that day ahead of the then-president's speech outside the White House and before the violence unfolded, according to CNN, which obtained copies of texts turned over by former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

Holmes Lybrand

Michael Riley, a former US Capitol Police officer charged with obstructing the Justice Department’s probe into the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, testified at his trial Monday. During nearly four hours of testimony, Riley told jurors he was “duped” by someone who he was trying to help and never thought he was destroying evidence when he deleted Facebook messages with the individual. On January 7, 2021, Riley messaged Jacob Hiles, a Facebook friend who had posted about being at the Capitol during the riot and who Riley had never met in person.

“When I read his post, he said he was at the Capitol taking video that day” and was pushed inside the building, Riley testified, adding that he saw Hiles as “simply a demonstrator who got pushed into the building” and was afraid of being trampled. Hiles pleaded guilty to unlawfully parading or demonstrating in the Capitol and was sentenced in December to two years of probation. Riley testified that he had messaged Hiles that he should delete parts of a Facebook post mentioning that he went inside the Capitol.

By Brad Reed | Raw Story

The House Select Committee investigating the January 6th Capitol riots has handed over what the Atlanta Journal Constitution describes as "key evidence" to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. In particular, the AJC reports that Willis and her team are interested in testimony from former Trump advisers that he privately acknowledged legitimately losing the election to Biden at times, which could help establish mens rea with regards to his infamous phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which he implored the Georgia Republican to "find" the nearly 12,000 votes he needed to overtake President Joe Biden.

"Taken together, that information undermines a potential defense from Trump that he genuinely believed he was the winner of the election," writes the AJC. "Georgia has been a major focus of the Select Committee as it has argued that Trump knew he lost the election but pursued claims of fraud anyway, by pressuring elected officials, egging on his supporters to attack Congress as it certified the election results on Jan. 6 and then waiting for hours before intervening to stop the violence."

Glenn Thrush and Alan Feuer

WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Friday sentenced Stephen K. Bannon, a longtime adviser to former President Donald J. Trump who aided in the effort to overturn the 2020 election, to four months in prison for disobeying a subpoena from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. Mr. Bannon, 68, was found guilty of two counts of contempt of Congress this summer after Judge Carl J. Nichols rejected an array of arguments offered by Mr. Bannon’s defense team, including that he was protected from being compelled to testify by executive privilege. Mr. Bannon will remain free pending his appeal. The sentence, coming a year after Mr. Bannon was held in contempt by the House, is two months short of what federal prosecutors had requested this week.

They had accused Mr. Bannon, the onetime editor of the right-wing news outlet Breitbart, of having “pursued a bad-faith strategy of defiance and contempt” from the moment he received the subpoena seeking information about his knowledge of Mr. Trump’s efforts to reverse his electoral defeat. “Others must be deterred from committing similar crimes,” said Judge Nichols, who also imposed a fine of $6,500 on Mr. Bannon. In a contentious exchange with the defense team before announcing a sentence, he said Mr. Bannon had shown “no remorse for his actions” and had yet to “demonstrate he has any intention of complying with the subpoena.”

Erum Salam

The second-highest ranking Republican in the US House, Steve Scalise, is facing criticism for questioning what Democrats did to halt the deadly January 6 Capitol attack on the day of the riots despite being shown on video standing beside chamber speaker Nancy Pelosi as she called for back-up from national guard troops. Scalise, whose Louisiana district includes a large suburban area outside New Orleans, at one point questioned the lengths to which top Democrats went to end the assault on the Capitol staged by a mob of Donald Trump supporters as the former president questioned the results of the 2020 election that he lost to Joe Biden. But a video released last week by the bipartisan House committee investigating the Capitol attack showed Scalise, the Republican whip in the chamber, got an up-close look at the Democratic majority’s leadership trying to summon troops who could help quell the insurrection.

Benjamin Lindsay

As more video footage of the Jan. 6 insurrection comes to light, so, too, does the hypocrisy of various Republican politicians who claim one truth while experiencing another. The latest example got "Morning Joe" co-host Joe Scarborough fired up Friday. Rep. Steve Scalise didn't have the morning news host mincing words: "I couldn't imagine … lying through my teeth on an issue," he said. Ever since the Jan. 6 insurrection on the Capitol in Washington, D.C., the actions of Speaker Nancy Pelosi have especially been brought into question, with former president Donald Trump, Rep. Scalise and others claiming that she should have done more to secure the building while under siege. Those criticisms, however, hit a snag this week when never-before-seen footage of Pelosi calling in the National Guard went viral Friday. Scalise, it turns out, is shown in the footage as being an active witness to Pelosi's efforts, as well.

Opinion by Zeeshan Aleem

The ninth hearing of the House Jan. 6 committee was a bit tedious as it covered a great deal of old ground to establish former President Donald Trump’s culpability for the 2021 insurrection. But there were about seven minutes that were absolutely riveting: never-before-seen video footage of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reacting in real time to the attack on the U.S. Capitol. The attack, which occurred as a joint session of Congress had gathered to certify Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in the 2020 election, had caused security officials to escort members of Congress to undisclosed locations.

The video, which was captured by Nancy Pelosi's daughter Alexandra Pelosi, a documentary filmmaker, shows the speaker scrambling to figure out what’s unfolding at the Capitol as rioters are breaching it, and then huddling with and calling top government officials to try to help bring the chaos under control. The video footage is surreal. It is astonishing to get a firsthand and relatively raw look at how Pelosi and top lawmakers, including then-Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, conduct themselves while dealing with an unprecedented crisis in modern American politics. Like so much of the American public that day, the veteran lawmakers seem to alternate between incredulity, frustration and fear. And like we were then, they are, minute by minute, piecing together the serious and potentially dire consequences of what is happening.

The GOP has been caught lying again. When some from the GOP speaks you can almost guaranty it is a lie.

BY KAITLIN LEWIS

Footage of Nancy Pelosi released by the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot has been met with praise for the House speaker, who in reaction to the breach on the Capitol building urged Congress to continue verifying the 2020 presidential election. The footage was shown for the first time on Thursday amid the committee's final public hearing on the insurrection. Clips of Pelosi on the phone with law enforcement and other federal employees to usher in backup for Capitol police were included among a compilation of rioters demanding entrance into the Senate chambers. Early on in the video, shared to Twitter by The Recount, Pelosi is shown speaking to staffers in an undisclosed location after the Senate floor was put on lockdown. "There has to be some way we can maintain the sense that people have that there is some security or some confidence that government can function and that you can elect the president of the United States," Pelosi said.

By Sarah K. Burris - Raw Story

The FBI and Director Christopher Wray are all coming under fire after the latest public hearing of the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on Congress and attempt to overthrow the election. It was revealed on Thursday that the FBI was warned several times ahead of the attack and failed to prepare. NBC News reported Friday that not only did the FBI fail to act ahead of Jan. 6, but a top FBI official was also warned after the fact that there were many agents who stood in solidarity with the Jan. 6 attackers.

As members of Congress referred to the attack as a "violent coup," the FBI proved that U.S. government employees were supportive of the murderous crowd that abused law enforcement and tried to assassinate former Vice President Mike Pence. “There’s no good way to say it, so I’ll just be direct: from my first-hand and second-hand information from conversations since January 6th there is, at best, a sizable percentage of the employee population that felt sympathetic to the group that stormed the Capitol," said the email, saying that the agents said it was nothing more than the same thing as the Black Lives Matter protesters.

By Marshall Cohen

CNN — Never-before-seen footage, obtained exclusively by CNN, shows in vivid new detail how congressional leaders fled the US Capitol on January 6 and transformed a nearby military base into a command center, where they frantically coordinated with Vice President Mike Pence and Trump Cabinet members to quell the insurrection and finish certifying the 2020 election. The January 6 select committee aired snippets of the footage at its public hearing on Thursday, but CNN has obtained roughly an hour of additional material that wasn’t presented by the panel.

Congressional leaders contemplated, far more seriously than previously known, whether to reconvene the Electoral College proceedings at Fort McNair, the footage obtained by CNN reveals. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke with Pence about the “backup plan,” and officials tried to figure out how they’d transport hundreds of lawmakers to the Army base.  The extended raw footage shines a devastating light on then-President Donald Trump’s inaction during the riot. Lawmakers are seen working around Trump to secure any help they could get – from the National Guard, federal agencies and local police departments – to defeat the mob he incited. The footage was captured by Alexandra Pelosi, a documentary filmmaker and daughter of the Democratic speaker of the House. The filmmaker provided some of her behind-the-scenes footage to the January 6 select committee, which aired an edited compilation at Thursday’s hearing.

BBC News

The US congressional committee investigating last year's Capitol riot has issued a legal summons for former President Donald Trump to testify. "He is required to answer for his actions," said Representative Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat. If Mr Trump does not comply with the subpoena, he could face criminal charges and ultimately imprisonment. The select committee is looking into Trump supporters' storming of Congress on 6 January 2021. The panel's seven Democrats and two Republicans voted 9-0 in favour on Thursday of issuing the subpoena for the former Republican president to provide documents and testimony under oath in connection with the Capitol riot.

By Bob Brigham | Raw Story

The former constitutional law professor on the House Select Committee Investigating the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol previewed the final pre-election public hearing during an appearance on CNN. Anchor Wolf Blitzer interviewed Rep. Jaime Raskin (D-MD) on Wednesday ahead of the hearing, scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. eastern on Thursday. "Sources tell CNN your committee will argue that former President Trump remains a clear and present danger to democracy in America," Blitzer said. "What new evidence can we expect your committee to lay out in tomorrow's hearing to make that case?"

"Well, we have a bunch of new documentary evidence and statements that establish the central role that Donald Trump played and his overwhelming culpability in these events," Raskin replied. "I don't think any reasonable, open-minded observer could watch what we're going to do tomorrow and what we've done over the course of these hearings, put it all together, and not come away with one conclusion, which is that none of this would have happened except for the will of Donald Trump."

By Sarah K. Burris | Raw Story

The Washington Post got a heads-up about what the House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 attack will be revealing in what is expected to be the final public hearing. One of the reporters who penned the piece spoke to Nicolle Wallace and explained that all of the things that former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson said under oath are going to be corroborated by the Secret Service on Thursday.

One of the key pieces of the Jan. 6 probe was the radio traffic that they were able to play during the last committee hearing. Secret Service agents reported several people with weapons outside of the security perimeter at the White House. Wallace replayed the clips of the audio. "Individuals in a tree, a white male, about 6 feet tall, brown cowboy boots," a voice on the radio reports. "Got blue jeans and a blue jean jacket and he has an AR-15. He's with a group of individuals, 5 feet from other individuals. Two of the individuals in that group beneath the tree are in green fatigues, about 5'8", 5'9", skinny white males, brown cowboy boots, Glock-style pistols in their waist."

By Brad Reed | Raw Story

The final House Select Committee hearing on the January 6th Capitol riots is due to occur on Thursday, and CNN reports that it will place a heavy emphasis on claiming that the threat to the American public posed by former President Donald Trump is far from over.Specifically, CNN reports that the hearing "will seek to hammer home that former President Donald Trump remains a clear and present danger to democracy, particularly in the context of the upcoming 2024 presidential election." "This is not ancient history we’re talking about, this is a continuing threat,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) told CNN. "I think the single most urgent question is OK, what is the continuing clear and present danger we face now from the forces that Donald Trump unleashed." Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) framed the hearing in a similar manner.

Queerty

If you were hoping to see footage of extreme right wingnut Ginni Thomas’ testimony before the January 6 committee in this Thursday’s televised hearing, you’re outta luck. Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, one of the nine members on the bipartisan committee investigating the deadly attack, said the panel didn’t videotape the four-hour interview like they did with several of the other witnesses. “It was just the agreement reached with her,” Lofgren told MSNBC this week. “And I think it was suitable from all sides.”

That means any testimony from Thomas that appears in Thursday’s broadcast will be be shown through a transcript. Asked whether the committee plans to do this, Lofgren simply said, “We may.” After dragging her feet all summer, Thomas, who is married to extreme right-wing Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, finally agreed to sit down with the committee late last month to talk about her close communication with Donald Trump’s camp in the days leading up to the insurrection, during which she sent over 20 totally-not-crazy-sounding texts to Trump’s then-chief of staff Mark Meadows, such as:

Josh Meyer, USA TODAY

At its upcoming hearing, the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol is expected to train a spotlight on the activities of political “agent provocateur” Roger Stone, a longtime confidant of former President Donald Trump. Stone, 70, was an architect of the “Stop the Steal” movement that claimed falsely that Trump actually won the 2020 election but had it stolen from him by supporters of Democratic challenger Joe Biden. In the days leading up the Capitol siege, Stone also was in close contact with key Trump campaign and White House officials – and members of two right-wing extremist militia groups the committee says helped foment the Jan. 6 attack, the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.

The committee reportedly plans to air documentary footage and other information that raise new questions about what role Stone might have played in trying to help Trump remain in power – both in the run-up to the election and the Jan. 6 effort to stop Congress from certifying Biden’s electoral victory. “Roger Stone is connected to almost every piece of the Trump family and Trump associates and those that were on the ground and rally planners,” said Denver Riggleman, a former senior Jan. 6 committee investigator and author of the new book, “The Breach: The Untold Story of the Investigation into January 6th.” “It’s about the link maps, it's about the people he was in contact with,” Riggleman, who investigated the connections of the riot planners and Trump associates like Stone, told USA TODAY. “The committee understands that, and that's why you see this real concentration on him, this attention on him."

By BOB CHRISTIE, Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward refused to answer questions during a deposition of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, an attorney for the panel revealed Tuesday during a court hearing in Phoenix. Attorney Eric Columbus told a federal judge that Ward asserted her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when she complied with a subpoena from the House committee.

The detail about Ward's deposition came at a hearing where lawyers urged a federal judge to block the committee from getting her phone records while she appeals. U.S. District Judge Diane Humetewa ruled on Sept. 23 that Ward's arguments that her phone call records should be secret did not pass legal muster. Ward attorney Laurin Mills cast the phone records fight as one with major implications for democracy, on par if not bigger than the violent insurrection that unfolded at the Capitol. “This is the first time in American history that a select committee of the United State Congress controlled by one party has subpoenaed the records of the state chair of the rival party,” Mills said.

Bart Jansen

WASHINGTON – Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, repeated claims the 2020 election was stolen, despite a lack of evidence, while testifying Thursday before the House committee investigating the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021. The committee wanted to interview Ginni Thomas about her advocacy for challenging the results of the 2020 election. The chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., told reporters after the session she repeated her opinion the election was stolen despite a lack of evidence. Her lawyer, Mark Paoletta, issued a statement saying she answered the committee's questions, voiced her concerns about election fraud and condemned the violence on Jan. 6.

"As she has said from the outset, Mrs. Thomas has significant concerns about fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election," Paoletta said. "Beyond that, she played no role in any events after the 2020 election results." Numerous public officials at federal and state levels investigated election results and found no widespread fraud, including Trump aides such as former Attorney General Bill Barr. Richard Donoghue, former acting deputy attorney general, said Trump provided an "arsenal of allegations" about election fraud that were all shot down, including a baseless claim about Italian satellites altering votes. “The whole thing was very, very murky at best, and the video was absurd,” Donoghue told the House committee.

By Annie Grayer, Zachary Cohen and Sara Murray, CNN

(CNN) The House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol has sent a letter to former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich seeking his voluntary cooperation to discuss his role in promoting false claims that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen. The committee wants to learn more about communications Gingrich had with senior advisers in former President Donald Trump's White House about television advertisements that relied on false claims about the election.

"Some of the information that we have obtained includes email messages that you exchanged with senior advisors to President Trump and others, including Jared Kushner and Jason Miller, in which you provided detailed input into television advertisements that repeated and relied upon false claims about fraud in the 2020 election," Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, who chairs the committee, wrote in the letter. "These advertising efforts were not designed to encourage voting for a particular candidate," he continued. "Instead, these efforts attempted to cast doubt on the outcome of the election after voting had already taken place."

Tommy Christopher

ADHS inspector general’s draft report to the January 6 committee was altered to remove damning information accusing the Secret Service of impeding their investigation. The Secret Service has been under fire ever since the news broke that Secret Service text messages from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2021 were deleted by the agency after they were told to preserve them. And now, on the heels of the news that Trump-appointed Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Joseph Cuffari knew about the deleted Secret Service texts for more than a year before he told the January 6 committee about them, CNN’s Whitney Wild and Zachary Cohen broke the news about the spiked draft report that shows “Secret Service has resisted OIG’s oversight activities and continued to significantly delay OIG’s access to records, impeding the progress of OIG’s January 6. 2021 review.” On Friday morning’s edition of CNN’s New Day, Wild explained:

By Sara Murray, Zachary Cohen and Kara Scannell, CNN

CNN — Trump ally Doug Mastriano’s virtual appearance Tuesday before the House January 6 committee only lasted about 15 minutes and “he didn’t answer a single question,” according to a source familiar with the matter. Mastriano’s attorney cut off the virtual appearance soon after it began, the source said. His lawyer, Tim Parlatore, took issue with several procedural matters related to the deposition, and raised questions about the legality of the subpoena that Mastriano received from the panel, the source added.

By Devan Cole and Oliver Darcy, CNN

CNN — The attorney representing two Sandy Hook parents in the Alex Jones defamation case said Thursday that numerous federal and state investigators, including the House panel investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection, have asked him to hand over text records mistakenly sent to him by the right-wing conspiracy theorist’s law firm.

“I am under request from various federal agencies and law enforcement to provide (the records),” Mark Bankston, the plaintiffs’ attorney, told Judge Maya Guerra Gamble. “Absent a ruling from you saying you cannot do that … I intend to do so immediately following this hearing.” “I believe that there is absolutely nothing, nothing, that Mr. Reynal has done to fulfill his obligations to protect his client and prevent me from doing that,” he said, referring to Jones’ attorney, Andino Reynal.

David Smith

There have now been nine televised hearings of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. The main purpose of these hearings has been to publicly present evidence of former President Donald Trump’s culpability for the January 6 riot. The mostly Democratic congressional committee, assisted by two of Trump’s fiercest Republican opponents, has made the hearings into a compellingly produced TV spectacle. The hearings drew an average of 13.1 million viewers across multiple networks, which is slightly more than the average viewership of the 2021 Major League Baseball World Series.

Surveys suggest this audience, like the committee itself, is overwhelmingly Democratic. They may have already been convinced of Trump’s responsibility for the January 6 riot, but 64% of Democrats say they have learned new information about the attacks from the hearings. Some of the evidence presented in the hearings has been spectacular. Multiple video depositions from Trump allies and even family members showed how they tried to convince him the election was lost. This did not stop him from pressuring officials to overturn election results and trying to enact a bizarre and illegal plan to stall the vote count.

Here are the biggest highlights and takeaways from Day 8 of the House Jan. 6 committee's hearings, including testimony from Sarah Matthews and Matthew Pottinger.
By MSNBC

Day 8 of the House Jan. 6 committee's public hearings kicked off around 8 p.m. ET Thursday — the second prime-time presentation of the panel's findings thus far. Congressional investigators focused on then-President Donald Trump's 187 minutes of inaction as the attack unfolded on the Capitol. Our contributors Thursday were MSNBC Daily writer and editor Hayes Brown, MSNBC Daily columnists Jessica Levinson and Noah Rothman, and "The Rachel Maddow Show" legal analyst Lisa Rubin. Read the biggest takeaways from the previous hearings: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6 and Day 7.

Rep. Liz Cheney has displayed a deft ability to summarize the key takeaways from the Jan. 6 committee hearings. Her recent “and one more thing” comment about Trump allegedly calling a witness is now near-legendary.  But today she decided to highlight a troubling reality: The women who have complied with their legal duties and testified under oath — such as Sarah Matthews, Cassidy Hutchinson, Shaye Moss and Ruby Freeman — have been subject to vicious attacks.

By Bob Brigham | Raw Story

One of America's top counterintelligence experts revealed his thoughts on Saturday on the three men linked to sanctioned Russian spies who were present for a key White House meeting plotting Donald Trump's coup attempt. "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," Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) said in Tuesday's public hearing of the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol.

"On Friday, December 18th, his team of outside advisers paid him a surprise visit in the White House that would quickly become the stuff of legend," Raskin explained. "The meeting has been called unhinged, not normal and the craziest meeting of the Trump presidency. The outside lawyers who'd been involved in dozens of failed lawsuits had lots of theories supporting the big lie, but no evidence to support it." At the meeting, the idea of using the U.S. military to seize voting machines.

"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," Raskin explained. "Never before in American history 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 and the Electoral Count Act. As we'll see, Donald Trump's 1:42 AM tweet electrified and galvanized his 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 government."

by The Hill staff

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol turns its focus this week to former President Trump’s campaign to rally protesters to Washington, pointing to one tweet in particular as a pivotal moment in the violent effort to overturn his election defeat.  

By Bob Brigham | Raw Story

GOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming again dropped a bombshell allegation of witness intimidation during her closing statement as vice-chair of the House Select Committee Investigating the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol. During the last hearing on June 28, Cheney laid out a "stunning" case of witness tampering. She returned to the topic on Tuesday while discussing who Trump did and did not call. "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," Cheney said. "Mike Pence did all of those things, Donald Trump did not."

By Tierney Sneed and Katelyn Polantz, CNN

(CNN) The revelation that the House January 6 committee notified the Department of Justice of an alleged attempt by former President Donald Trump to contact a witness is the latest product of the panel's probe to involve law enforcement. The detail, presented by Vice Chairwoman Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, was perhaps the most unexpected moment of the hearing Tuesday. And for the second time, the committee's public hearings raise the possibility of a witness tampering investigation, in a swift move to bring in the Justice Department even before the committee's investigation concludes.

Cheney said at the panel's hearing Tuesday that Trump attempted to contact a witness who has not yet been publicly identified and, according to Cheney, has not been featured in the committee's presentations. "That person declined to answer or respond to President Trump's call, and instead alerted their lawyer to the call. Their lawyer alerted us," Cheney said. "And this committee has supplied that information to the Department of Justice."

By Sarah K. Burris | Raw Story

The House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol presented evidence on Tuesday that Trump's allies had also planned to march on the Supreme Court. During the seventh public hearing, one of the proposed tweets for Donald Trump to send out was telling people to come to the Ellipse and that they would then march to the Capitol.

"After her January 2 call with Mr. [Mark] Meadows, Katrina Pierson sent an e-mail to fellow rally organizers. She wrote 'POTUS expectations are to have something intimate and call on everyone to march to the Capitol,'" said Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL). "The president's own documents suggest the president had decided to call on his supporters to go to the Capitol on Jan. 6, but he chose not to widely announce it until his speech that morning. The committee has obtained this draft... tweet from the National Archives including a stamp stating the president has seen it. The draft tweet reads. 'I will be making a big speech at 10:00 a.m. Jan. 6 south of the White House. Please arrive early. Massive crowds expected. March to the Capitol after. Stop the steal!!'"

bmetzger@insider.com (Bryan Metzger)

The January 6 committee offered new details on Tuesday about a meeting at the White House that involved several Republican members of Congress ahead of the meeting of the Joint Session of Congress to certify the 2020 presidential election. According to Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida, a member of the committee, the December 21 meeting was part of an effort to "disseminate his false claims and to encourage members of the public to fight the outcome on January 6." Vice President Mike Pence, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and Rudy Giuliani were all in attendance at the meeting, along with President Donald Trump. At the meeting, the members discussed election theories pushed by Trump personal lawyer John Eastman, who believed that Pence was able to singlehandedly rejected slates of electors in his role presiding over the joint session.

Gustaf Kilander

Former Oath Keepers spokesperson Jason Van Tatenhove shared his fears of another Donald Trump term in the White House, as he testified before the January 6 Committee. “We've gotten exceedingly lucky that more bloodshed did not happen, because the potential has been there from the start,” he said on Tuesday. “We saw on January 6, the potential was so much more ... look at as the iconic images of that day with the gallows set up for Mike Pence, for the vice president of the United States,” Mr Van Tatenhove said.

“I do fear for this next election cycle because who knows what that might bring if a president that’s willing to try to instill and encourage to whip up a civil war amongst his followers using lies and deceit and snake oil,” he added. “Regardless of the human impact.” “What else is he going to do? If he gets elected again, all bets are off at that point. And that's a scary notion,” Mr Van Tatenhove said. “I have three daughters, I have a granddaughter, and I fear for the world that they will inherit if we do not start holding these people to account.”

By Annie Grayer, Zachary Cohen, Kaitlan Collins and Pamela Brown, CNN

(CNN) Trump White House Counsel Pat Cipollone has reached a deal with the January 6 committee to participate in a transcribed interview behind closed doors on Friday, multiple sources told CNN. Cipollone will be appearing under subpoena. A source familiar with his thinking says Cipollone intended to comply with the subpoena issued on June 29 for a July 6 interview, and it was extended until July 8. The interview will be on video, two of the sources told CNN.

ABC News

The House Jan. 6 committee's surprise hearing on Tuesday featured highly-anticipated and explosive testimony from someone who was inside the White House both as the Capitol attack unfolded and in the days before. Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top adviser to then-President Donald Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows, spent some two hours divulging details about what went on behind-the-scenes leading up to, during and after the attack. Committee members and even some former Trump staffers hailed the 25-year-old for showing the courage to deliver her testimony publicly. Chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said members felt it important to offer her "firsthand" accounts "immediately." "It hasn't always been easy to get that information, because the same people who drove the former president's pressure campaign to overturn the election are now trying to cover up the truth about Jan. 6," Thompson said. "But thanks to the courage of certain individuals, the truth won't be buried. The American people won't be left in the dark." With Hutchinson's testimony, Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., argued that Trump and Meadows were well aware of the potential for violence at the Capitol last year yet ultimately dismissed the warnings. Trump even demanded to be taken to the Capitol alongside his supporters, Hutchinson said, despite concerns of legality and security from his team.

Bart Jansen, Erin Mansfield, Joey Garrison, David Jackson, Katherine Swartz, Dylan Wells and Merdie Nzanga, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – The House committee investigating the Capitol attack Jan. 6, 2021, is holding an abruptly scheduled hearing Tuesday with testimony from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson and "recently obtained evidence."

Trump reacts: Within the first half of her testimony, Trump reacted to Hutchinson on his Truth Social website. "I hardly know who this person, Cassidy Hutchinson, is, other than I heard very negative things about her," Trump said in a post.

'Mike deserves that': Hutchinson said she overheard Trump, Mark Meadows and Trump lawyers in the White House discuss the chants of “Hang Mike Pence” as rioters attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6. Meadows told White House attorney Pat Cipollone, who urged action, that Trump "thinks Mike deserves that. He doesn't think they're doing anything wrong."

Barr spurs Trump to throw his lunch. Furious after Attorney General Bill Barr announced in December 2020 he found no evidence of widespread voter fraud to the Associated Press, Trump threw his lunch against the wall, according to Hutchinson.

S.V. Date

WASHINGTON — Weeks of sustained, high-profile discussion about Donald Trump’s attempt to overthrow democracy may not change the minds of his devoted followers, but they could well thwart Trump’s efforts to delegitimize criminal charges that prosecutors might wind up filing against him. “I think people were prepared for this to be like the Trump impeachments,” said Sarah Longwell, a Republican consultant who before the hearings began was skeptical they would have much effect. “But it isn’t. It’s incredibly well executed.” That statistic, though, pushed frequently by the former president and his allies, is missing the broader effect the hearings are having on the national conversation, Trump critics said. And even though the vast majority of the information the committee is detailing has already been reported in news accounts, having it come from videotaped clips of Trump’s own aides or in sworn testimony from the chandeliered, high-ceilinged Cannon Caucus Room appears to be carrying considerably more weight.

By Sarah D. Wire Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Then-President Trump nearly replaced the head of the Department of Justice with a supporter of his fraud theories after the acting attorney general refused to comply with his persistent demands to falsely claim there was evidence of malfeasance in the 2020 election, the House panel investigating the Capitol insurrection detailed in its hearing Thursday. Using testimony from three former top Justice Department officials, the committee laid out Trump’s unremitting pressure on department leaders as he demanded they lend credence to his unsubstantiated claims of fraud in order to subvert the will of voters and keep him in office. “He hoped that law enforcement officials would give the appearance of legitimacy to his lies so he and his allies had some veneer of credibility when they told the country that the election was stolen,” said the panel’s chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.).

Maggie Haberman, Michael S. Schmidt and Alan Feuer

At least half a dozen Republican members of Congress sought pre-emptive pardons from President Donald J. Trump as he fought to remain in office after his defeat in the 2020 election, witnesses have told the House Jan. 6 committee, the panel disclosed on Thursday. Mr. Trump “had hinted at a blanket pardon for the Jan. 6 thing for anybody,” Mr. Trump’s former head of presidential personnel, Johnny McEntee, testified. Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, appeared to ask for a broad pardon, not limited to his role in Mr. Trump’s effort to reverse the outcome of the election. Mr. Gaetz even invoked the pardoned former President Richard M. Nixon as he did so, Eric Herschmann, a White House lawyer for Mr. Trump, testified. “He mentioned Nixon, and I said, ‘Nixon’s pardon was never nearly that broad,’” Mr. Herschmann recounted. Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama sent an email seeking a pre-emptive pardon for all 147 members of Congress who objected to the certification of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s Electoral College win.

Former DOJ officials described how they resisted Trump's relentless pressure.
By Libby Cathey and Alexandra Hutzler

Thursday's hearing of the Jan. 6 committee focused on the pressure then-President Donald Trump and his allies put on the Justice Department to help overturn the 2020 election.

By Marshall Cohen, Jeremy Herb and Zachary Cohen, CNN

(CNN) The January 6 select committee's latest public hearing on Thursday shed considerable new light on former President Donald Trump's attempts to weaponize the Justice Department in the final months of his term as part of his plot to overturn the 2020 election and stay in power. The hearing kicked off mere hours after federal investigators raided the home of Jeffrey Clark, who was one of the key Justice Department figures who was involved in Trump's schemes. He has denied any wrongdoing related to January 6. Three Trump appointees testified in-person on Thursday, joining a growing list of Republicans who have gone under oath to provide damning information about Trump's post-election shenanigans. The witnesses were former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, his deputy Richard Donoghue, and Steven Engel, who led the department's Office of Legal Counsel. Here are takeaways from Thursday's hearing.

Select committee has the goods on GOP congressional pardons
Thursday's hearing underscored the role that Trump's Republican allies in Congress played in furthering his efforts to try to overturn the election -- and how many of them sought pardons after January 6.

By Melissa Quinn, Kathryn Watson, Caitlin Yilek, Caroline Linton

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol in Tuesday's hearing detailed the threats made to state lawmakers and election officials and workers in Arizona and Georgia, as President Donald Trump and his allies tried to get them to overturn the election results in their states. The committee sought on Tuesday to bring to light the severity of the threat to democracy in the days and weeks after the election, given the enormous and persistent pressure by the president and by Rudy Giuliani on officials and ordinary Americans to promote the "big lie" that Trump had won the election. The ability of these Americans to withstand that pressure came at a great personal cost. "Our democracy held because courageous people like you heard today put their oath to the constitution above their loyalty to one man," Committee member Rep. Adam Schiff said.

Trump's infamous Raffensperger call should be the 'smoking gun' that leads to prosecution: legal experts
By Brad Reed | Raw Story

While former President Donald Trump has so far escaped legal charges for his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, legal experts Norm Eisen and Fred Wertheimer say there is no way that Trump should be able to escape prosecution for his infamous call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Writing at NBC News, the two attorneys argue that the Raffensperger call should be the "smoking gun" that leads to criminal charges against the twice-impeached former president. In particular, they zero in on Trump's declaration to Raffensperger that "I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state." "When Trump asked Raffensperger to 'find' a specified number of new votes, he was asking him to rig the result," they write. "He did this with no concern about the truth and in the face of an initial vote count and two recounts that had already taken place — with all three showing Biden the winner." They also note that Trump issued threats to Raffensperger by telling him he was potentially committing a "criminal offense" by not sounding the alarm on the purported fraud that cost Trump a win in Georgia. "That's a big risk to you," Trump told Raffensperger. Eisen and Wertheimer say that these actions could violate two state laws: "solicitation to commit election fraud (violating Ga. Code Ann. § 21-2-604(a)) and intentional interference with performance of election duties (Ga. Code Ann. § 21-2-597)."

‘There’s nowhere I feel safe’: Georgia elections workers describe how Trump upended their lives
Martin Pengelly in New York

In powerful and emotional testimony about the sinister results of Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election, a mother and daughter who were Georgia elections workers described how Trump and his allies upended their lives, fueling harassment and racist threats by claiming they were involved in voter fraud. Testifying to the January 6 committee in Washington, Shaye Moss said she received “a lot of threats. Wishing death upon me. Telling me that I’ll be in jail with my mother and saying things like, ‘Be glad it’s 2020 and not 1920.’” That was a reference to lynching, the violent extra-judicial fate of thousands of Black men in the American south. Moss also said her grandmother’s home had been threatened by Trump supporters seeking to make “citizen’s arrests” of the two poll workers. No Democratic presidential candidate had won Georgia since 1992 but Joe Biden beat Trump by just under 12,000 votes, a result confirmed by recounts.

By Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON, June 16 (Reuters) - Former President Donald Trump pressured his vice president, Mike Pence, to overturn his 2020 election defeat despite being told repeatedly Pence had no authority to do so, aides to Pence told the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol on Thursday. Members of the Democratic-led House of Representatives select committee said Trump continued his pressure campaign even though he knew a violent mob of his supporters was threatening the Capitol as Pence and lawmakers met to formally certify President Joe Biden's victory in the November 2020 election. The nine-member committee has used the first three of at least six public hearings expected this month to build a case that Trump's efforts to overturn his defeat amounted to illegal conduct, far beyond normal politics. "Mike Pence said no. He resisted the pressure. He knew it was illegal. He knew it was wrong," Democratic Representative Bennie Thompson, the committee's chairperson, said. "That courage put him in tremendous danger."

By Sarah K. Burris | Raw Story

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In a conversation with Raw Story, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) referenced the video the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack produced Wednesday showing Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) giving a Capitol tour to a large group of individuals. The tour took place the day before the attack. "The committee is in possession of a video of one of the tourists who also was clearly part of the MAGA crowd on Jan. 6," Raskin explained. "He was calling out the names of Democratic members of Congress: Schumer, Pelosi, Nadler and AOC. And he had a huge reaction, we captured on video, with a fellow MAGA protester, in which that MAGA protester showed off how he converted his American flag into a weapon." For over a year, Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) has maintained she witnessed Republicans giving tours in the Capitol at a time that the building was closed to all tours due to the pandemic. When a member asked the Capitol Police how Loudermilk was able to get around that rule, the member was told that because it was approved by the official, the police had no power to do anything.

Robert Costa

Retired federal Judge J. Michael Luttig, a staunch conservative long admired by many Republicans, will testify before the House's Jan. 6 committee on Thursday with an urgent and stark message for the panel about former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election: "America's democracy was almost stolen from her." Luttig will also likely state that the Republican National Committee is wrong to have referred to some of the events of Jan. 6, 2021 as "legitimate political discourse" and warn fellow conservatives to not ignore the gravity of what Trump did as he scrambled to hold onto the presidency that day. The retired judge's planned remarks were confirmed to CBS News by two people familiar with his expected testimony who were not authorized to discuss details of the hearing. He will also reveal how he advised then-Vice President Mike Pence to resist Trump's pleas for Pence to block the congressional certification of Joe Biden's election victory.

By Travis Gettys | Raw Story

Steve Bannon is trying to keep at least one conversation with Donald Trump shielded from the House select committee. The one-time White House strategist wants to claim executive privilege to avoid testifying before the panel that's investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, and his attorney David Schoen referred twice to the conversation as he tries to avoid prosecution for contempt of Congress, reported The Daily Beast. “He’s a former senior adviser who the president then calls in,” Schoen said in court Wednesday. Bannon's attorneys are arguing that executive privilege extends to former presidents, and they're arguing that his interactions with then-president Trump even though he did not serve in the government at that point. Federal prosecutor Amanda Vaughn accused Bannon's attorneys of "cherry-picking" from portions of Justice Department memos on executive privilege in an effort to get a “free pass to commit crime," and she said the DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel had never issued any opinion that would allow him to refuse to turn over documents of his communications with the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers or members of Congress on Jan. 5, 2021.

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