This program was made possible by contributions to your PBS station from viewers like you.
I'm Judy Woodruff.
And welcome to this PBS news hour special live coverage of the January 6th committee hearings held by the House Select Committee that's investigating the attack on the U. S. Capitol.
Today's hearing is expected to focus on extremist groups involved in the capital riot and the role former President Donald Trump played in influencing them are Lisa Desjardin has confirmed that two witnesses will testify today.
Jason Van Tay Tonho was a former spokesperson for the oath Keepers, which is a far right militia group and Stephen Ayers, who enter the capital on January 6th of last year.
And pleaded guilty in June to disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building.
This is the seventh public hearing that the committee has held.
It is the first hearing since the explosive and revealing testimony last month of former White House aide Cassidy.
We're watching the hearing room waiting for the committee members to enter.
We see them coming in now.
They've generally started on time, so we will go to them as soon as they do.
We want to add that we've been told that to committee members, representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland representative Steffi Stephanie Murphy of Florida will be leading The questioning.
Let's go now to the committee hearing and to chairman Bennie Thompson.
The select Committee E What January 6th Beginning.
Capital will be in order.
The chair is authorized to declare the committee in recess at any point.
Pursuant to House Deposition Authority regulation.
The chair, announces the committee's approval to release the deposition material presented during today's hearing.
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 straightforward.
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.
And then we accept the results.
When you're on the losing side, That doesn't mean you have to.
Be happy about it.
And in the United States, There's plenty you can do.
And say so.
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 sell their differences at the ballot box.
But you can't turn violent.
You can't try to achieve your desired outcome through force or harassment or intimidation.
In a real leader who sees their supporters going down that path.
Approaching, That line has a responsibility to say.
We gave it our best.
We came up short.
We try again next time.
Because we settle our differences at the ballot box.
On December 14th 2020 presidential election was officially over.
Electoral college had cast his vote.
Joe Biden was the president elect of the United States.
By that point, many of Donald Trump supporters were already convinced that 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 and we came up short.
He went the opposite way.
He seized on the anger he had already stoked among his most laws, supporters and as they approached the land.
He didn't wave them off.
He urged them on.
The committee will explain how as a part of his last ditch effort To overturn the election and blocked the transfer of power.
Some of the mob to Washington, D C and ultimately spirit that mob to wage of violent attack on our democracy.
Our colleagues, Ms Murphy of Florida and Mr Raskin of Maryland.
We'll lay out this story.
First and pleased to recognize our distinguished vice chair, Ms Cheney of Wyoming, but 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 Sip alone.
If you have watched these hearings, you've heard us call from Mr Sip Aloni to come forward to testify.
And Mr Sip alone'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 Patsy Polonia's testimony today.
We will also see today how President Trump summoned a mob to Washington and how the president stolen election lies.
Provoked that mob to attack the capital.
And we will hear from a man who was induced by President Trump's lies to come to Washington and joined the mob.
And how That decision has changed his life.
Today's hearing is our seventh.
We have covered significant ground over the past several weeks, and we have also seen a change in how witnesses and lawyers in the Trump orbit approach this committee.
Initially, their strategy in some cases appeared to be 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.
His White House advisers, his White House counsel, his campaign all told him the 2020 election was not stolen.
This appears to have changed the strategy for defending Donald Trump.
Now the argument seems to be the president Trump was manipulated by others outside the administration.
That he was persuaded to ignore his closest advisors.
And that he was incapable of telling right from wrong.
This new strategy is to try to blame only John Eastman or Sidney Powell or Congressman Scott Perry 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 quote the crazies for what Donald Trump did.
This, of course, is nonsense.
President Trump is a 76 year old man.
He is not an impressionable child.
Just like everyone else in our 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.
Than 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 reached the opposite conclusion.
And Donald Trump cannot escape responsibility by being willfully blind.
Nor can any argument of any kind Excuse President Trump's behavior during the violent attack on January 6th.
As you watch our hearing today, I would 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 lacked actual evidence of widespread fraud sufficient to prove that the election was actually stolen.
They knew it.
But they went ahead with January 6th anyway.
And second, consider how millions of Americans were persuaded to believe what Donald Trump's closest advisers in his administration did not.
These Americans did not have access to the truth like Donald Trump did.
They put their faith and 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 may be painful to accept, but it is true.
Thank you, Mr Chairman.
I yield back Without objection.
The chair recognizes the general woman from Florida, Miss Murphy and the gentleman from Maryland, Mr Raskin for opening statements.
Thank you, Mr Chairman.
We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that then President Donald Trump lost in a free and fair election.
And yet President.
Trump insisted that his loss was due to fraud in the 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 and millions of Americans were deceived by it.
Too many of our fellow citizens still believe 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 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 election outcome in that state.
Any pressed the Department of Justice to find widespread evidence of fraud.
When justice 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 officially confirm that Joe Biden would be the next president.
The evidence shows that once this occurred President Trump and those who are willing to aid in about 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 reverse the outcome of the election before Mr Biden's inauguration.
As President Trump put it, 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, 6th.
Be there will be wild, the president wrote.
As my colleague, Mr Raskin 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've 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.
The assembled crowd was one of the tools to achieve that goal.
And in today's hearing, we will focus on events that took place in the final weeks leading up to January.
6th starting in mid December, and we'll add color and context to evidence you've 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 planners concerns about the potential violence.
And we will describe some of the president's key actions on the evening of January 5th in the morning of January, 6th, including how the president, edited and ad lib to speech that morning at the Ellipse.
Directed the crowd to march to the capital and spoke off script in a way that further inflamed an already angry crowd.
I yield to the gentleman from Maryland, Mr Raskin.
Thank you, Miss Murphy.
Mr Chairman, Madam vice chair.
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.
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.
The meeting has been called unhinged.
Not normal in the craziest meeting of the Trump presidency.
The outside lawyers who have 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 that they had prepared for President Trump.
To further his ends.
Specifically, they proposed the immediate mass seizure of state election machines by the U.
The meeting ended after midnight with apparent 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.
The day when Congress would meet to certify the electoral votes.
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.
In the Electoral Count Act.
As we'll see Donald Trump's 1 42 Am tweet electrified in 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.
Three rings of interwoven attack were now operating towards January.
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 unilateral 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 domestic violent extremist groups created an alliance both online and in person to coordinate a massive effort to storm invade and occupy.
By placing a target on the joint session of Congress.
Trump had mobilized these groups around a common goal, emboldening them, strengthening their working relationships and helping build their numbers.
Finally in the outer ring.
On January, 6th there assembled a large and angry crowd, the political force that Trump considered both the Touchstone and the measure of his political power.
Here were thousands of enraged Trump followers thoroughly convinced by the big lie who traveled from across the country to join Trump's wild rally to stop the steal.
With the proper incitement by political leaders in the proper instigation from the extremists.
Many members of this crowd could be led to storm the capital.
Confront the vice president and Congress and try to overturn the 2020 election results.
All of these efforts would converge and explode on January, the sixth Mr Chairman, 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 constitutional democracy.
Abraham Lincoln knew it, too.
In 18 37, a racist mob in Alton, Illinois, broke into the offices of an abolitionist newspaper and killed its editor, Elijah Lovejoy.
Lincoln wrote his speech in which he said That no transatlantic 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, he said, we ourselves would be its author and finisher.
If racist mobs are encouraged by politicians to rampage and terrorized, Lincoln said 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, Lykken said.
As we'll see today this very 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 election in the peaceful transfer of power.
And as we'll see the creation of the Internet and social media has given today's tyrants, tools of propaganda and disinformation that yesterday's despot's could only have dreamed of.
I yield back to the gentle lady from Florida, Mr Murphy.
Article two of the United States Constitution establishes the electoral College.
Each state's laws provide that electors are to be chosen 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 a margin of 306 to 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 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 MEREDITH merit and speculative accusations unsupported by evidence.
In the United States of America.
This cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its six most populated state.
On December 15th after the Electoral college certified the outcome.
The Republican majority leader in the Senate, acknowledged Mr Biden's victory.
Yesterday, electors met in all 50 states.
So as of this morning, our country has officially A president elect.
And vice 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, the 20th The Electoral college.
So today, I want to congratulate President elect Joe Biden.
Even members of President Trump's Cabinet in his White House staff understood the significance of his losses in the courts and the absence of evidence of fraud.
They also respected the constitutional certification 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 Jean Scalia and accomplished lawyer in the Son of late Justice Scalia called President Trump in mid December and advised him to concede and accept the rulings of the courts.
So I had to put a call into the president.
I might have called on the 13th.
I believe on the 14th.
In which, um, I conveyed to him that I, uh, thought that It was time for him to acknowledge that President Biden had from the ultimate election, But I communicated to the president that I have to when that legal process is exhausted.
And When the electors have voted That That's the point of which that outcome needs to be expected.
I told him that I did believe, yes, that once the those legal processes were run If fraud had not been established, affected the outcome of the election that unfortunately, I believe that what had to be done was conceived the outcome.
As you've seen in prior hearings, President Trump's Justice Department, his White House staff in his campaign officials were repeatedly telling him that there was no evidence of fraud sufficient to change the outcome of the election.
And last week we conducted an eight hour interview with President Trump's White House counsel Pat Sip alone.
You'll see a number of excerpts of that interview today and even more in our next hearing.
Mr Sit baloney told us that he agreed with the testimony that there was no evidence of fraud sufficient to overturn the election.
I'm going to start by asking if you agree Mr conclusions that Morgan's Bill Barr, all of the individuals who evaluate those claims there is no evidence of election fraud sufficient undermine the outcome.
Yes, I agree with that.
And Mr Sip.
Aloni also specifically testified that he believed that Donald Trump should have conceded the election.
Did you believe?
And Mr Siblani?
The president should concede once you made the determination based on you investigations that you credited the RJ didn't You and your mind form a belief that the president should concede the election loss.
At a certain point after the election.
Well again, Uh, I was the White House counsel.
Some of those decisions are political.
So to the extent that But if your question is that I believe he should can see the election.
At a point in time.
Yes, I did.
I believe, um Leader McConnell and onto the floor of the Senate.
I believe in December and basically said, you know, process Yeah, that would be in line with I think it's one of these things.
As Attorney general Bill Barr testified December 14th should have been the end of the matter.
14th was the day that the state certified their votes and sent him to Congress.
And in my view, that was the end of the matter.
I didn't say You know, I thought that Uh, this would lead inexorably to a new administration.
Aloni also testified that the president's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, said he shared this view.
As early as that November 23rd meeting.
We understand that there was discussion about the president, possibly conceding the election.
And specifically, we understand that Mark Meadows assure both you and General Bar that the president would eventually agreed to a graceful exit.
Do you remember Mr Meadows Making any such representation?
Are you saying is part of that meeting or separately again without without getting into that meeting?
I would say that that is a That is a statement and a sentiment that I heard from Mark.
I see and again do you know if it was on November 23rd or some point again?
I It was probably Around that time, and it was probably subsequently that time it wasn't one time.
Mr Meadows has refused to testify in the committee is in litigation with him.
About many other White House officials shared the view that once the litigation ended in the Electoral college, met the election was over, and here is President Trump's former press secretary.
I wanted to clarify, Uh, ms Mcenany.
So 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?
In my view upon the conclusion of litigation was when I began to plan for life after the administration.
And this is what Ivanka Trump taught us.
December, 14th was the day on which the Electoral College met when these electors around the country met and cast the electoral votes consistent with the popular vote in each state, and and it was obviously a public proceeding or a series of proceedings.
That the president Biden had obtained the requisite number of electors was that an important day for you did that affect sort of your planning or your realization as to whether or not there was going to be an end of this administration?
I think so.
I think it was my My sentiment, probably prior as well.
Judd Deere was a White House deputy press secretary.
This was his testimony about what he told President Trump.
I told him that my personal viewpoint was that the Electoral college had met, which is the Uh Hmm.
System that our country is is said under to elect a president and vice president, and I believed that point that the Mainz for him to pursue.
Um Was probably closed.
And you recall what his response, if any, was He disagreed.
We have also seen this testimony from Attorney General Barr reflecting a view of the White House staff in late November.
And then at that point I left and as I walked out of the Oval Office, Jared was there with Dan Scavino, who ran his Ran the president's social media and who I thought was a reasonable guy and believe is a reasonable guy.
And I said, How long is How long is he gonna Carry on with this stolen election stuff.
Where is this going to go?
And by that time Meadows had caught up with me.
And leaving the office and caught up to me and and said, uh, that, um Ah.
Look, I I think that he's becoming more realistic and knows that there's a limit to how far he can take this.
And then Jared said, you know, Yeah, we're working on this.
We're working on it.
Likewise, in this testimony, Cassidy Hutchinson and aid to Mark Meadows described her conversations with President Trump's director of National intelligence.
John Wreck left a former Republican congressman.
Had expressed me that he was concerned that it could spiral out of control.
And Potentially Be dangerous.
For our democracy or Way that things were going for the sex.
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 election related claims.
The president cannot simply pretend that the courts had not ruled.
By that time, uh, the president whereas associates had brought had lost 60 out of 61 cases, uh, that they had brought to challenge different aspects of Uh, the election in a number of states.
They lost 60 out of 61 of those cases.
Um, so by the time we get to January 3rd that that's that's been clear.
Um I assume Pat that you would agree the president is is, uh, Obligated to abide by the rulings of the court.
And I assume you also everybody.
Everybody is obligated by And I assume you also would agree.
The president has a particular obligation to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
That is one of the president's obligations.
Yet President Trump disregarded these court rulings and the council from his closest advisors 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 vice president Pence to refuse to count electoral electoral votes to corrupt the Department of Justice.
To pressure state officials in state legislatures and to create and submit a series of fake electoral slates.
Now we will show you what other actions President Trump was taking between December 14th 2020 in January.
I yield to the gentleman from Maryland, Mr Raskin.
Thank you, Miss Murphy.
Throughout our hearings, you've heard how President Trump made baseless claims that voting machines were being manipulated by foreign powers in the 2020 election.
You've also heard.
Trump's attorney General Bill Barr, describe such claims as complete nonsense, which he told the president.
Let's review that testimony.
I saw absolutely 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 in that these machines controlled by somebody else were actually determining it, which was complete nonsense, and it was being laid out there, and I told him that it was it was Crazy stuff and they were wasting their time on that and I was doing great grave disservice to the country.
We've learned that President Trump's White House counsel agreed with the Department of Justice about this Attorney General.
Barr made a public announcement on December 1st less than a month that he had seen no Suspend fraud Special fund.
Fair to say that by December 1st you had reached the significant.
It's fair to say that I agreed with the attorney general's in on December 1st.
Um yes, I did.
And I supported by However, the strong rejection of the attorney general in the White House counsel these claims did not stop the president from trying to press them in public.
But that's not all they did.
Indeed, as you'll see in this clip, the president asked Attorney General Bill Barr.
To have the Department of Justice sees voting machines in the states.
My collection is the president said something like, uh, Well, we could get to the bottom.
Some people say we could get to the bottom of this.
If if the department sees the machines, there was a typical well, 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 the matter.
On the evening of December, 18th 2020, Sidney Powell, General 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.
Executive order behind me on the screen was drafted on December the 16th just two days after the electoral college vote by several of the president's outside advisers.
Over a luncheon at the Trump International Hotel.
As you can see here.
This proposed order directs the secretary of defense to seize voting machines quote effective immediately, 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 Sidney Powell Especial Council, the Trump lawyer who had spent the post election period making outlandish claims about Venezuelan in Chinese interference in the election.
Here's what White House counsel Pat sit baloney had to say about Sidney Powell's qualifications to take on such expansive authority.
I don't think Sidney Sidney Powell would say that.
I thought it was a good idea.
Point first special counsel I was being a didn't think she should be appointed to anything.
Sydney, Powell told the president that these steps were justified because of her evidence of foreign interference in the 2020 election.
However, as we've seen, Trump's allies had no such evidence, and, of course, no legal authority for the federal government to seize state voting machines.
Here's Mr Sip Aloni again, denouncing Sidney Powell's terrible idea.
There was a real question in my mind and a real concern, you know, particularly after the attorney general has reached a conclusion.
That there wasn't sufficient election frog to change the outcome of the election.
When other people can't suggesting that There was the answer is what is it?
And at some point you have to put up or shut up.
That was my view.
Why was this broader scale a bad idea for country.
Attend the federal government season voting machines.
It's a terrible idea.
That's not how we do things in the United States.
There's no people authority to do that.
And There is a way to contest elections.
Happens all the time.
But the idea that the federal government to come in and Sees election machines Now that That's I don't I don't understand why we tell you why that's about reviews Country It's a terrible idea.
For all of its absurdity.
The December 18th 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 indeed his own campaign officials as White House counsel Pat Sip alone and told us With respect to the whole election fraud issue.
That to me is sort of if you're going to make those kind of planes.
And people were open to them early on, because people were making muscles of claims, and the real question is Show me adverts.
Wasn't just the Justice Department, the Trump campaign in 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 email from Rudy Giuliani's lead investigator, Bernie Kerik.
On December 28th 2022, chief of staff, Mark Meadows.
Mr Kerik 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.
Eric wanted the president to win.
What he didn't say in this email was what he would later tell the Select Committee in a letter that 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 fraud would have altered the outcome of the election.
In other words, even Rudy Giuliani's on legal team knew before January 6th that they hadn't collected.
Enough factual evidence to support any of their stolen election claims.
Here's what Trump campaign senior advisor Jason Miller told the committee about some of the so called evidence of fraud.
That the campaign had seen from the Giuliani team.
So do you know what the examples of fraud numbers, names and supporting evidence was that You sent two more Brooks's office.
And when I say you, I mean, you are the campaign.
There's some Very, very general.
Ah, documents as far as um uh as far as say, for example, here, the handful of dead people in several different states.
Ah, Here are explanations on a couple of the legal challenges as far as the saying that the, um the rules were changed in an unconstitutional manner.
But it was to say that it was in, uh, is probably an understatement.
President Trump's deputy campaign manager, described the evidence of fraud that the campaign had seen.
You never came to learn or understand that marriage Giuliani had had produced evidence of election frauds that fair, That's fair.
And here's testimony that we received from the speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, Rusty Bowers about an 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 Meadows 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 Cassidy Hutchinson told us.
During this period.
He, um I perceived his goal with all of this.
To keep Trump in office.
Um You know he had Very seriously and deeply considered.
The allegations of voter fraud.
But when he began acknowledging that maybe there wasn't enough voter fraud.
To overturn the election, you know?
Start to explore potential constitutional loopholes.
Which I connected with John Eastman's theories.
The startling conclusion is this.
Even an agreed upon complete lack of evidence could not stop President Trump Mark Meadows and their allies from trying to overturn The results of a free and fair election.
So 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.
Retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn and former Overstock dot com CEO Patrick Byrne.
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 advisers who traded personal insults, accusations of disloyalty to the president and even challenges to physically fight.
The meeting would last over six hours, beginning here in the Oval Office, moving around the West wing in 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 screaming from outside the Oval Office.
What took place next is best told in their own words.
As you will see from this video.
Do you believe that it was going to work that you're gonna be able to get to see the president without an appointment?
I didn't know idea.
In fact, he did get to see the president without an appointment.
How much time did you have along with the president and I say alone, you had other people with you, but right from his aides before the crowd came running.
Probably no more than 10 or 15 minutes.
Was in that that that simple only said a new land speed record.
I got to install.
Either from Mali.
Harris fortunate, but I need to get to know block.
This was the first point that I had recognized.
Okay, There was nobody in there from the White House.
What's going on right now in the door and I walked in.
I saw general plan.
I saw Sidney Powell sitting there.
I was not happy to see the people in the Oval Office Black Yeah, I don't think they would providing Well, first of all.
Overstocked person I've never never was Actually the first thing I did.
I walked in.
I looked at him and I said, Who are you?
And he told me I don't think 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 that you had with the president.
He seemed receptive to the presentation that you were making.
He was very interested in hearing particularly about the finding and the terms of 1384 a that apparently, nobody else has bothered to inform him of I was asking you to claim the Democrats were working with Hugo Chavez, please Venezuelans and whoever else and at one point General Flynn took out a diagram that supposedly showed I was all over the world.
And I speak who was who was communicating with whom?
Via the machines and some comment about like nest thermostats being hooked up to the Internet.
So it's been reported that during this meeting with Powell talked about Dominion voting machines and made various election fraud claims that involve foreign countries such as Venezuela, Iran and China.
Is that accurate.
Was the meeting tense.
Uh, It was not a casual meeting.
I mean, at times there were people shouting at each other.
Hurling insults at each other.
Um It wasn't just sort of people sitting around on the couch like chit chatting.
You recall whether he raised to Miss Powell the fact that she and the campaign had lost all of the 16 cases that they had brought in litigation.
Yes, he raised that response.
Which is I don't think it was a good response.
Hirschmann and, um, whoever the other guy was showed nothing but contempt.
And this Dane of the president The three of them were really sort of forcefully.
Attacking Me that thoroughly.
Um Direct Eric and we were pushing back and grasping one simple question.
As a as a general matter.
Where is the evidence?
So what response did you get?
When you ask this panel and her colleagues where is based on my current recollection, including, you know Can't believe you would say something like you know things like this.
Like, what do you mean?
Where is the evidence?
You should know.
You know things like that, or Example.
I would say, general disregard for the importance of actually backing up, say with facts, and, you know, then there was discussion of.
Well, you know, we don't have it now, but we'll have it or whatever.
I mean, if if it had been me sitting in his chair of fired all of them that night and had escorted out of the building both challenge what she was saying.
And She says.
Well, the judges are corrupt and that was like everyone.
Every single case that you've done in the country.
You guys lost.
Every one of them is corrupt.
Even the ones we appointed.
And what's Being nice.
That was much more harsh to her.
One of the other things that's been reported that was said during this meeting was that President Trump told White House lawyers, Mr Hirschmann and Mr Sip Aloni that They weren't offering him any solutions.
But Miss Powell and others were so why not try what Ms Powell and others were proposing?
Do you remember anything along those lines being said by President Trump.
That sounds right.
I think that it got to the point where the screaming was Completely.
Completely out there.
When you get people walk in, it was late at night had been a long day and what they were proposing.
I thought was nuts.
I'm getting categorically describe it as You guys are not tough enough.
Or maybe put it another way.
You're a bunch of pussy's Excuse the expression, but that that's why Almost certain the word with used Flint screamed at me that I was a quitter and everything gets standing up and turning around screaming at me.
In a certain point, I had it with him.
So Yell back.
Better come over.
Sit your F in as back down, the president and the White House team went up stairs.
To the residents.
But to the, uh Public part of the residents.
You know, the big the big baller where you can have meetings in the conference room over the Yellow oval?
Yes, exactly the yellow over office.
I always called it The upper Um And I'm not exactly sure where the Sydney Group went.
I think maybe the Roosevelt Room.
And I stayed in the Cabinet room, which is kind of cool.
I really like that myself.
At the end of the day, we landed where we started the meeting, at least from a structural standpoint, which was Sydney Powell was fighting Mike Flynn was fighting they were looking for avenues that would Enable That would result in President Trump remaining President Trump for a second term.
The meeting finally ended after midnight.
Here or text messages sent by Cassidy Hutchinson during and after the meeting.
Is you can see.
Miss Hutchinson reported that the meeting in the West Wing was unhinged.
The meeting finally broke up after midnight during the early morning of December.
19 Cassidy Hutchinson captured the moment.
Of Mark Meadows, escorting Rudy Giuliani off the White House grounds to quote make sure he didn't wander back into the mansion.
Certain accounts of this meeting indicate that President Trump actually granted Ms Palace security clearance and appointed her to a somewhat ill defined position of special counsel.
He asked Pat the Bologna.
He had the authority to name me special counsel and he said yes.
And then he asked him if he had the authority to give me whatever security clearance and needed and that's simple and he said yes.
And then the president said, Okay, you know, I'm naming her of that.
And I'm giving her security clearance.
And then shortly before we left and totally blew up this one simple Ania and or Hirschmann and whoever the other young man was Said.
You can name her whatever you want to name her, and no one is going to pay any attention to it.
How did he respond to the president?
Respond to that?
Uh, something like you see what I deal with.
I deal with this all the time.
Over the ensuing days, No further steps were taken to a point Sydney power, But there is some ambiguity about what the president actually said and did during the meeting.
Here is how Patsy Bologna described it.
I don't know what her understanding of Whether she had been appointed what she had been appointed to.
In my view, she had been appointed anything and ultimately wasn't reported anything because there had to be other steps taken.
That was my view.
When I left the meeting that she may have a different view and others we have a different view and the president any steps taken, including the president himself.
Telling her she's been appointed again.
I'm not gonna get into what the president said in meeting.
You know, my recollection is you're not appointed even Appointed to until steps are taken the paperwork done and when I left the meeting, okay?
I guess I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm not gonna get into what the president said.
One Mr Sibling when, um the matter continue to clear up over the next several days.
Was it your understanding that Sidney Powell was still seeking an appointment for that she was asserting that she had been appointed.
By the president, December 18 minutes.
You know, now that you mentioned it, probably both.
You know, in terms of like, I think she was.
I think she may have been of the view that she had pointed and was seeking to Get that done and In in that she should be.
As you listen to these clips.
Remember that Miss Powell, The person who President Trump tried to make special counsel was ordinarily sanctioned by a federal court and sued by Dominion voting systems.
In her own defense To that lawsuit, Sidney Powell argued that quote no reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact.
Not long after Sidney Powell, General Flynn and Rudy Giuliani, Giuliani left the White House in the early hours of the morning, President Trump turned away from both his outside advisers, most outlandish and unworkable schemes.
And his White House counsel's advice to swallow hard and accept the reality of his loss instead.
Donald Trump issued a tweet that would galvanizes followers unleash a political firestorm and change the course of our history as a country.
Trump's purpose was to mobilize a crowd.
And 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 am on December 1920 20 Shortly after the last participants left the unhinged meeting Trump sent out the tweet.
With his explosive invitation.
Trump repeated his big lie and claimed it was quote statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 election before calling for a big protest in DC on January 6th.
Be there will be wild.
Trump supporters responded immediately.
Women for America First pro Trump organizing Group had previously applied for rally permit for January 22nd and 23rd in Washington, D. C several days after Joe Biden was to be inaugurated.
But in the hours after the tweet, they moved their permit to January 6th two weeks before this rescheduling created the rally where Trump Would eventually speak.
The next day.
Olly Alexander, leader of the Stop the Steal Organization in the key, Mobilize er of Trump supporters registered wild protest dot com, named after Trump's tweet Wild protest dot com provided comprehensive information about numerous newly organized protest events in Washington.
It included event times, places, speakers in details.
On transportation in Washington, DC, Meanwhile, other key trump supporters, including far right media personalities, began promoting the wild protest on January 6th.
It's Saturday, December 19th.
The year is 2020.
And one of the most historic events in American history has just taken place.
President Trump in the early morning hours today.
Tweeted that he wants the American people to March on Washington D. C on January 6th 2021 Now Donald Trump.
Is calling on his supporters to descend on Washington, D C January 6th.
He is now Calling on we the people to take action and to show our numbers were going to only be saved by millions of Americans moving to Washington.
Occupying the entire area, if if necessary, storming right into the capital.
We know the rules of engagement.
If you have enough people, you can push down any kind of a fence or a wall.
This could be Trump's last stand.
And it's a time when he has specifically called on his supporters to arrive in DC That's something that may actually be the big push Trump supporters need to say this is it?
It's now or never better understand something, son.
You better understand something.
Red Wave bitch.
There's gonna be a red wedding going down January 6th On that day, Trump says, show up for a protest.
It's gonna be wild.
And based on what we've already seen from the previous events, I think Trump is absolutely correct, Motherfucker.
You better look outside.
You better look at the January 6th kick that fucking door open!
Look down the street.
There's gonna be a million plus geeked up or the Americans.
Time for games is over.
The time for action is now Where were you?
When history called?
Where were you when you and your Children's destiny and future was on the line.
In that clip you heard one of Trump's supporters predict a red wedding, which is a pop culture reference to mass slaughter.
But the point is that Trump's call to Washington reverberated powerfully and pervasively online.
The committee has interviewed a former Twitter employee who explained to the effect that Trump had on the Twitter platform.
This employee was on the team responsible for platform and content moderation policies on Twitter throughout 2020.
The employee testified that Twitter considered adopting a stricter content moderation policy after President Trump told the proud boys to stand back and stand by from the lectern at the September 29th presidential debate.
But Twitter chose not to act.
Here's the former employee whose voice has been obscured to protect their identity, discussing Trump's stand back and stand by comment in the affected had My concern.
Was that the former president?
Four, seemingly the first time was speaking directly to extremist organizations.
Um, in giving them directives.
Um We had not seen that sort of direct communication before.
Um and Dot concerned me so just to clarify further, Um you were worried, and others on Twitter were worried that the president might use Your platform to speak directly to folks who might be incited to violence.
I believe that Twitter relished in The knowledge that they were also be Favorite and most of the used service of, um the former president and enjoyed having That sort of power within the social media ecosystem if President Trump or anyone else Would it have taken until January 2021 for him to be suspended?
If Donald former President Donald Trump or any other user on Twitter, he would have been permanently suspended a very long time ago.
Despite these grave concerns, Trump remained on the platform completely unchecked.
Then came the December 19th tweet and everything it inspired.
Indeed, it was told us if, um Okay?
Came out was being organized.
Um, and they work.
Gathering together their weaponry and their logic, um, and their reasonings behind why they were prepared to fight.
Um, prior to December, 18th.
It was vague.
Um, it was it was non specific, but very clear that Individuals were ready, willing and able to take up arms.
How stupid this tweet On December 19th again it became clear No.
Only were these individuals ready and willing But the leader of the bill cause Was asking those to join him and this cause and then fighting for this cause and DC on January six as well.
I will also say what shocked me was the responses to these tweets, right?
So these were a lot of the locks and motive stand back stand by those tweets or in response to Donald Trump, saying things like this right, so there would be a response that said Big protest that you see on January 6th be there be wild.
And someone really respond and say I'm locked and loaded and ready for Civil war Part two, right?
You very much believe Donald Trump posting this tweet on December, 19th was essentially Speaking of flag in D. C on January 6th for his supporters to come and rally and you were concerned about the potential for this.
Gathering becoming violent.
Indeed, many of Trump's followers took to social media to declare that they were ready to answer Trump's call.
One user asked.
Is the sixth d Day is that why Trump wants everyone there?
Trump just told us all to come Armed.
This is happening.
The third took it even further.
It will be wild means we need volunteers for the firing squad.
Jim Watkins, the owner of eight Kun, the fringe online forum that was birthplace of the Cuban on extremist movement confirmed the importance of Trump's tweet.
Why did you first decide to go to D. C for January?
When the president of the United States announced that he was going to have a rally, and I bought tickets, and when Watkins was at the Capitol on January 6th.
Some who have since been indicted for their Involvement in the attack on the capital also responded one of them posted on the 19th.
Calling all Patriots be in Washington, D C January 6th.
This wasn't organized by any group D J T has invited us and it's going to be wild.
Some of the online rhetoric turned openly homicidal.
And white nationalist, such as Why don't we just kill them?
Every last Democrat down to the last man, woman and child?
And it's 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.
So one wrote I'm ready to die for my beliefs.
Are you ready to die?
Another road on the donald dot win.
Cops don't have standing if they're laying on the ground in a pool of their own blood.
The Donald Darwin was an openly racist and anti Semitic forum.
The Select Committee deposed that site's founder, Jody Williams.
He confirmed how the president's tweet created a laser like focus on the date of January, the sixth People have been talking about going to D. C as since the election was over.
And do you recall whether or not the conversation around those dates centered on the sixth after the president's tweet?
I mean, after it was announced that you know he was going to be there on the sixth to talk.
Then then anything else was kind of shut out, and it was just going to be on the sixth.
And I was pretty clearly reflected in the content on the site.
On that site, many shared plans and violent threats.
Bring handcuffs and wait near the tunnels, wrote one user comment to replied, suggesting ZIP ties.
Instead, one post encouraged others to come with body armor, knuckles, shields, bats, pepper spray, whatever it takes.
All of those were used on the sixth.
The Post concluded.
Join your local proud boys chapter as well.
The Donald Darwin featured discussions of the tunnels beneath the Capitol complex suggestions for targeting members of Congress and encouragement to attend.
This once in a lifetime event.
While Trump supporters grew more aggressive online, he continued to rile up his base on Twitter.
He said there was overwhelming evidence that the election was the biggest scam.
In our nation's history.
As you can see, the president continued to boost the event tweeting about it more than a dozen times in the lead up to January, the sixth Mr Chairman I reserve The chair requested.
Those in the hearing room remain seated.
Until the Capitol police have scored members from the room.
Pursuant to the Order of the Committee of Today.
The chair declares the community in recess for a period of approximately 10 minutes.
And with that, the committee chair, Congressman Bennie Thompson says there will be a recess.
We've just been listening to A methodical description of how former President Trump after working, attempting to work through his Department of Justice attempting to work With others who he thought were supportive.
And having what was described as an quote, unhinged meeting that went on for hours on the night of December, 19th and the White House that after that, The president tweeted in the wee hours of the next morning.
That he wanted his supporters to come to Washington.
Uh and as we are all now know, because it has been reported ever since, he said it will be wild.
And we heard we saw video reporting reporting again and again individuals who are at the meeting the former White House.
Trump legal counsel Pat Sip Aloni.
We heard more from Cassidy Hutchinson, who worked For the White House chief of staff, all of them buttressing the case that the president was listening to arguments that were simply not borne out by fact, arguments that He had won the election that the election was stolen.
And based on that the president called his supporters to Washington for a couple of weeks after that, joining me now who have been listening very closely to these hearings, Mary McCord, executive director.
Of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at the Georgetown University Law Center.
She served as the acting assistant attorney general for national security.
During the Obama administration, and Jameel Jaffer, a law professor at George Mason University and former associate counsel to President George W. Bush.
Jameel Jaffer, I'm going to come To you first.
We knew a good bit of this, but pulling it together, and especially with the video testimony of former White House counsel Patsy Baloney.
It's it's It's just been extraordinary and compelling.
Yeah, You know, Judy, I mean, one of the I think the most enlightening things about this testimony was the combined discussion of that night on December 18th.
When sort of this this, you know, very interesting heating took place in a series of rooms throughout the White House.
With with Rudy Giuliani, Mike Flynn, Sidney Powell.
And this those Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne, and then the White House team sort of coming in after the fact that they had 15 minutes President alone, you know, get things that would never in my recollection happened in the Bush White House.
The idea that You know, people would just sort of wandered to the White House.
Get to the oval and see the president.
I mean, That would just never happened.
And then you have Derek Lyons, the staff secretary of the president.
That's the loyal White House counsel.
Erik Hersman, the former accountant.
A lawyer wants counselors lawyer who defended President Trump in his first engagement hearing, You know, all sort of aligned around, you know, what are these people saying the president is this isn't factually based, um As in curse would be thrown.
I mean, again.
This was this was a White house, unlike any other I've ever heard of much less the White House that I started under President Bush things that would never happen in that White House apparently happened.
At number of times in this White House and in particular during the during the sort of last days in the administration, As the president fumed about having lost the election and Mary McCord we've heard about former President Trump's temper.
We've heard about the language.
We've seen the language that he used in person and in his social media Twitter.
But again, what's what struck me.
I think the most in this testimony this afternoon is just the methodical step by step effort to dissuade former President Trump that the election had been stolen, but he refused to believe it.
I think that's right.
And you really see it when you when you listen to the testimony about that meeting, and then his decision after his White House advisers had really gone to the mat to say you cannot do these crazy things.
We cannot see these voting machines.
You've lost the election.
You should concede.
It's almost like when you see when you listen to what we saw today and heard today.
That he then made the decision.
He's going to have to seek the support for staying in office somewhere else.
And that's somewhere else is the public his supporters out there by issuing that tweet in those early morning hours, and from then on encouraging people to come to the White House.
Or not to the White House to come to the capital on January 6th and prevent through violence if necessary.
I mean, he didn't use the word violence, but he had to know what was then going on from then.
From December 19th until the actual attack on the on the capital, and we saw evidence and quotes from many of these extremist groups.
Members of these groups about how they were inspired by that to plan to be in Washington, also joining us our congressional correspondent Lisa Desjardin.
She's been inside the hearing room.
She joins me now, along with our White House correspondent Laura Baron Lopez.
She's been watching as well.
Lisa, I You know we've heard the committee.
Just go through point by point, once again, building a case and argument that that this president was surrounded by people.
Who told him there was no evidence and yet he kept turning away from that.
Judy this committee today is showing how they are finding new arguments displaying some new evidence.
And there's sort of changing the nature of congressional hearings itself.
Potentially This was a salvo of evidence video evidence in particular.
By my count.
There were 30 clips played in this last portion of the hearing, notably nine of them.
Almost a third of them from Pat.
Just recorded on Friday at the committee here is doing is trying to engage the American audience.
That's I think what a lot of this portion was for.
To kind of indicate the drama.
The danger that they felt was real.
Also say in that hearing room today, it started out really kind of a more a lighter mood, You know members have been out of town for two weeks.
The few members coming back with sort of joking, smiling.
The press hadn't seen each other in a while, but by the end of that hearing, Judy it was a dramatic, very tense feeling.
I looked at the members who were in the room, shaking their head tears and one members eyes as they were reading the tweets of people saying that it's time to kill every Democrat.
It's the time for the rope, I think of really significant and kind of Chilling testimony from all of that one final note something else important that this committee is doing that I haven't heard them do yet In these hearings, they are clearly tying all of this to white supremacy.
They're talking about racism in this hearing in a way that I haven't heard them do until today.
Your point about.
They're pulling together the interviews that the committee members have.
They've been open to say they have now interviewed over 1000 people, and it seems to me they're making effective use of a selected Number of these interviews and selected testimony to to build the argument that they're making Laura Brown Lopez, you've covered Washington.
You covered the Trump.
Administration you You can't really hear all this without coming away with a sense that former President Trump was isolated by the time this December meeting happened and then leading up to January.
Almost everyone around him in the White House was urging him to go in another direction, but he chose to do what they didn't want him to do.
That's right, Judy and he held.
He was in that meeting that December.
18th meeting with all of these outside advisers was willing to meet with them was willing to speak to his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, as well as Sidney Powell and Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne, and to hear them out on potentially other options that he could Pursue because everyone around him that compilation video that the committee put together with stunning where you had all of these different advisors, whether it's simple Oni whether it's the president's daughter, Ivanka Trump and others who said that it was their belief That former President Trump had lost the election, so he still decided to move forward with what was described as an unhinged meeting.
I am referring.
I'm thinking back to what we heard Pat sip alone, he said.
I think a lot of interest in in him because we know the committee has been trying to To get his cooperation for some time.
He didn't agree to come in until very recently.
And then it was just last Friday that he finally did sit down for questions.
They went on over eight hours, but his testimony has become an important part of Buttressing the additional testimony we have heard from others.
I mean, obviously the White House counsel of big concerns about executive privilege and the attorney client privilege when a White House counsel testifies about a conversation with things that happen.
With respect to the White House and the president and the advice he was giving him.
But what's clear from Patsy Bologna's testimony where he was very careful to not talk about what the president said, or what happens specifically.
Uh, what the president had given meeting to protect that privilege that someone is very clear about the advice.
He gave the president the advice that others were giving.
Giving the president his view that advice, which was that It was essentially, uh, not not well founded that it was a poor advice for the president here and to take, um, and that he essentially was even when the president said I'm gonna put city pal Special counsel and give her security clearance.
I mean, just again, just unlike anything you might have ever heard.
Other than maybe Nixon, you know, giving giving Elvis that badge to be a to be a drug d e a agent.
You know, it doesn't sort of happen in the White House.
And so, uh, So you hear Patsy to talk about that?
Until my view was I didn't think she'd be the point anything.
They haven't gone through the process.
Nothing happened, And it's clear that even those closest to the president, we're advising him that this was not the right road to go down to the people who get advice from where it was disastrous and wrong and ultimately lead to a very bad situation.
Um, on January 6th, an insurrection in the capital Um and you know and what's really true the instruction and we go back to Cassidy.
Hundreds testimony or she talked about Judy.
Um, you know the fact that the president said I know these people are armed.
Let them in by the mags, anyways.
They're not here to hurt me.
They're going to the capital.
That was responsive Tweet it sent a month a month earlier on Jr on December 8th the 9th December 18th December 19th.
We're watching the January 6th committee.
They have been in about a 10 minute recess.
We were told they were Going to be coming back into session after this short break of the we are about to hear from two witnesses and Mary McCord, who's with me here on our set in the studio.
They are Jason Van Tay Tonho, former spokesperson and self described propagandist for the oath keepers.
And Stephen Ayers, who has been criminally charged for his actions.
During the insurrection.
You can see them at the desk, and I know you've been talking to Jason Van Keeton hold.
I have Jason.
I met earlier this year after we were both actually featured in a documentary that sort of traced the militia involvement from The standoff against federal agencies back in 2014 in Bunkerville to the insurrection, and Jason left the organization.
He was a paid communications director in about late 2017 early 2018, but he has amazing insight into the way Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the oath keeper who's now indicted for seditious conspiracy.
He has amazing insight into the way he operates.
The way he tries to seek power the way he recruits people into the movement, and I think that's part of what we're going to hear from Jason When the committee resumes you were telling me he had a change of heart if you will about working with that organization.
A few years ago.
So that was before any of this came about, but his his understanding and knowledge of the group is what this committee is is seeking today.
That's sort of the modus operandi of health Stewart Rhodes works and how he influences people and really draws them in takes advantage of people and so he was able to use Trump's real sort of, you know, blessing for this kind of activity to help recruit and to help plan and propaganda and again, as you said, Jason left well before anything having to do with the insurrection, But you know he knows Stewart quite well and what he's seeing what he has seen.
I think he'll be telling The American people today is consistent with sort of how Stewart Rhodes operates.
And I think what we're going to hear what we expect to hear.
As the committee members come back and and reconvene this session is picking up where we left off, in essence that that tweet from President Trump In mid December, calling on his supporters to come to Washington to go to the capital to challenge the election results, which he was saying at that point, despite all Advice to the contrary from people who were closest to him that there was no evidence that the election was fraudulent.
He was he continued to insist that it was that it was stolen and he was calling on his His millions of supporters, and ultimately, there were thousands who showed up that day.
And I think one thing that the committee has been effective about today is really showing he took advantage of people write his advisers, the people in position to know not only his advisers, but even Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, no one believed there was enough evidence to actually impact the outcome.
But he didn't care and took advantage of the disinformation.
The lies to recruit the American people to come and do this.
This bidding for him, Um as Laura Barone Lopez as watching as we said from the White House, and Laura was covering Washington covering the Trump administration.
Um, I think that last bit of testimony Laura before the committee went to a break about the former presidents use of Twitter and Twitter.
Understood the value if you will of having then President Trump using that platform, I think raises some troubling questions.
Yes, Judy hearing from that anonymous former Twitter employees, saying that They saw that once the president the former president, tweeted that out that there was this call to arms call to action by all of these people across websites, saying that it was that tweet That is what made them decide to go there.
And we heard Congresswoman Liz Cheney at the beginning of the hearing.
Lay this out, saying essentially that Trump's advisers are trying to blame what they call quote the crazies rather than the president himself, and argue that he was manipulated.
But she says that no that the president must be held accountable for his actions.
Exactly right, And that does go back to the beginning of today's hearings.
It's it's I think it's pretty clear that Congresswoman Cheney, um wanted to make that point at the outset today, lest it be anybody get the impression that the president then President Trump was being duped.
That this was something that he actively sought to do.
He argued with the people around him, Mary McCord is sitting here with me and again.
We're about 15 minutes.
Now into this into this recession, we will take you back to the hearing room as soon as it Resumes.
His sort of is dismissive comment about his own top advisers.
His own legal counsel, Pat Sip.
Uh, Mr Hershman, who worked with simple Oni.
And he said to Sydney Powell, who was an outsider by this is what I have to put up with everyday dismissing, in effect, what they were telling you, It really is incredible.
And this, of course, is after he had already dismissed Bill Barr, right.
When Bill barred, disagreed with the fact that there was attorney general his attorney general, So you know he had You know real lawyers, real advisers who were taking things seriously.
They looked to see that was there evidence there wasn't and he didn't want to hear that.
This is a man who didn't want to hear No, And that's the I think exactly why he said what he said.
Look what I have to put up with.
He was willing to entertain.
You know, people essentially sneaking into the White House to try to influence him and and when I guess when Pat sip, Aloni said he didn't know about this meeting.
No one knew about the meeting.
But then, when he got word of it, he rushed To get there to to make sure that something inappropriate wasn't happening.
And, of course, and then he and others stayed for several hours.
We're looking at video from the hearing room at the Capital where the January 6th Congressional committee is holding its seventh live hearing.
We were just looking at video of the two witnesses were expecting to hear from any minute now.
There, you see them.
That's Jason Van Tatum Hope he's a former spokesperson for the group.
The Oath Keepers, and next to him is Stephen Ayers, who just days ago was criminally charged for his actions.
During the the attack on the capital on January on January the sixth We are watching.
We were told by the committee chair Bennie Thompson.
We were looking at our watches at eight minutes after After two, um in the East, he said.
We're going to take a 10 minute break.
It's now been almost 20 minutes.
Um, and we know better than to than to set our clocks by because who knows what can happen behind the scenes?
And who knows what Conversations are going on.
But Mary McCarty, I want to bring you back in on this because you again you spent a lot of time talking to Jason and taking her view, studied how the oath keepers operate.
What do you think we may be learning today about that organization.
I think we will learn a little bit about how it's structured how it's funded.
I mean, it depends on how much time they have with Jason, of course, and how people are sort of lured in, and I think we'll also hear probably more about other extremist organizations, including militia groups like the three Percenters Another.
Anti government militia group that trains a decentralized group that Detroit trains and paramilitary techniques that also called on its people to come.
And many three percenters have been indicted, will probably hear more about the proud boys as well.
Also, a number of them have been indicted for such on seditious conspiracy charges.
They in a previous hearing.
We saw where some of those who were the first ones to break commit violence and breach the the line of police who were trying to protect the capital.
So I think we'll extend beyond oath Keepers here in this in this half of the of the hearing.
And, you know, also here, Of course from Stephen Ayers about what caused him to go and what caused him to plead guilty.
Why did he plead guilty?
Which is what he did.
Just in the last few days sometime after he was After he was charged.
Jameel Jaffer, who of course had worked at the Justice Department before I asked you about this earlier, but I want to come back to this.
Aloni, uh, has been someone the committee wanted to hear from for a long time.
But he only agreed in recent days after we heard the testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, who was very junior White House aide.
She was serving as a chief of staff to then White House.
Uh or or an aid.
I should say to then White House chief of staff, Um, Mark Meadows.
It was only after her testimony, which, of course, garnered enormous attention.
That he agreed to come in.
How how should we look on that?
Well, you know, I mean, I think that's a pony, obviously, uh, you know bills.
You know, obligated to test out for the committee.
I think that what he was trying to do and not and not agree to testify earlier on was protect the very important privileges that the executive branch has.
The president has With his close advisers, his oracles advisers as well as the attorney client privilege, something at all attorneys are our sworn up hold.
At the same time.
It's clear that had some money was not align with the folks in the White House has as Cassius terms to describe them who are encouraging the president or or suggested president or so we're sort of in the middle has ability was clearly on the side of saying.
You've lost the election.
It's time move on 200 this in orderly manner and engage the peaceful transition of power.
And we saw some portion of that of that come out in his testimony before the committee the videotaped deposition.
That's a point that we saw today.
So you know, it's not surprising that that's really at the end of the day did agree to testify, and it's all surprised.
You put this long given the important privileges that he and other White House lawyers ought to abide by and protect in the context of their their advice that gives the president Yeah, I'd love to know from him directly.
Why his thinking changed?
I mean, what went into the decision?
Because he there wasn't there wasn't executive privilege being exerted.
As I understand it in this case, So what exactly President Trump Former President Trump wasn't Insisting that he stay out.
There may have been some sort of unspoken understanding that former President Trump didn't want him to testify.
But that's different, isn't it?
Well, yeah, Judy.
Sure The president has the authority to assert or not assert executive privilege.
But, of course, that's the Bologna has his own independent responsibility as an officer of the United States as he was in the White House as a as a assistant to the president.
He has a client obligation to protect that executive privilege.
And in addition to also protect the attorney client privileges, he was the lawyer to the president in the context of his official dealing.
Now there's an argument that maybe something the president was engaged in.
We're not official acts right and the like.
And so you might.
You might debate that, but at a minimum to Bologna had a lot of advice.
You probably had to get from outside folks about his ethical responsibilities.
Individual responses beyond what the president might have might assert.
Of course, the president can weigh both the executive privilege and the client privilege.
But it's something every attorney has got away in.
Is that what's going on here?
What's clear is had when it was not one of the folks that was refused to testify because either he thought he had some liability.
You saw Mike Flynn take the Fifth Amendment repeatedly.
Um, after he even when he was asked whether he believes in the peaceful transfer of power, I mean, you know, astounding to hear a former military officer and Nationals group has the president say things like that.
That clearly wasn't repetitive.
Bloody wasn't this debate.
Nonetheless, he did take his time before he came before the committee and made sure he didn't right.
And he made it very clear in that testimony before the committee that he thought the point came in December when they had exhausted the legal appeals when there was no evidence as he kept as he said, over and over again, we kept asking them.
Where is the evidence?
And they gave answers that didn't in any way.
Produced any evidence, and he made it very clear that once that moment, Pat I mean, once the time passed when they legal legal appeals were exhausted that it was time for for president, then President Trump.
To give it up to move on, and that's not what happened, and I thought it was effective.
The committee, you know, aired a string of comments from reminding us, um, Majority Senate.
I'm sorry, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Saying in December of 2020 that the election's over we have a president elect.
I think the committee members are coming back now and others.
Judd Deere, who worked in the press office under President Trump.
Bill Barr, the attorney general, the former president's daughter, Ivanka Trump.
I made a list Kayleigh Mcenany, who served as press secretary.
One after the other.
The people around former President Trump, saying they thought it was time to call it quits and say the election is over.
Let's listen now for Bennie Thompson, calling this committee back to order Committee will be in order chair recognizes the gentleman from Maryland.
Mr Chairman, President Trump's tweet drew tens of thousands of Americans to Washington to form the angry crowd that would be transformed on January, the sixth and to a violent mob.
Dr. Daniel Harvin, who was the chief of homeland security and intelligence for DC told the committee how his team saw Trump's December 19th tweet unite violent groups.
Across the spectrum on the far right.
We got derogatory information from ocean suggesting that some very, very violent individuals were organizing to come to D. C. And not only were they organized committees, but they were these groups.
These nonaligned of groups were aligning.
Um And so the rest all the red flags went up at that point.
You know when you have our militia, Um uh, you know, collaborating with white supremacy groups.
Collaborating with, um, uh, conspiracy theory groups online for the common goal.
You start seeing what we call in in, you know, terrorism of blended I e ology, and that's a very, very bad sign when they were clearly across.
Not just across one platform across multiple platforms with these groups coordinating, not just like chatting.
Hey, how's it going?
You know, what's the weather like where you're at, But like, what are you bringing?
What are you wearing?
You know where do we meet up?
Do you have plans for the capital?
That's like pre operational intelligence, right?
Um, and that that is something that clearly alarming.
The proud boys and the oath keepers are two key groups.
That responded immediately to President Trump's call.
The proud boys are far right Street fighting group that glorifies violence and white supremacy keepers are extremists who promote a wide range of conspiracy theories.
And sought to act as a private paramilitary force for Donald Trump.
The Department of Justice has charged leaders of both groups with seditious conspiracy to overthrow the government of the United States on January the sixth Trump's December 19th tweet motivated these two extremist groups, which have historically not worked together to coordinate their activities.
19th at 10 22 am just hours after President Trump's tweet Kelly Meg's the head of the Florida Oath, Keepers declared in alliance among the oath keepers, the proud boys in the Florida three Percenters, another militia group.
We have decided to work together and shut this ship down.
Phone records obtained by the Select Committee show that later that afternoon, Mr Meggs called Proud Boys leader Enrique Terrio, and they spoke for several minutes.
The very next day, the proud boys got to work.
The proud boys launched an encrypted chat called the Ministry of Self Defense.
The committee obtained hundreds of these messages, which show strategic and tactical planning about January the sixth, including Maps of Washington, DC, that pinpoint the location of police in the weeks leading up to the attack leaders in both the proud boys and the oath keepers worked with Trump allies.
One such ally was Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser and one of the participants in the unhinged meeting at the White House on December 18th.
He also had connections to the oath keepers.
This photo from December.
12th shows Flynn and Patrick Byrne, another Trump ally, who was present at that December 18th meeting, guarded by indicted oath keeper Roberto menu to Another view of this scene shows oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes in the picture as well Another central figure with ties to this network of extremist groups.
Was Roger Stone consultant and longtime confidante of President Trump.
He pardoned both Flynn and Stone in the weeks between the election on November 3rd and January 6th.
In the same timeframe.
Stone communicated with both the proud boys and the oath keepers regularly.
The committee obtained encrypted content from a group travel from a group chat called Friends of Stone Fos, which included stone roads Torrio and Olly Alexander.
The chat focused on various pro trump events in November and December of 2020.
As well as January 6th.
As you can see here, Stewart Rhodes himself urged the friends of Stone to have people go to their state capitals if they cannot make it to Washington for the first million mega March.
On November 14th.
These friends of Roger Stone had a significant presence at multiple pro trump events after the election, including in Washington on December the 12th On that day, Stewart Rhodes called for Donald Trump to invoke martial law promising bloodshed.
If he did not.
Pennies and no from you that you are with him that he does not do it now, While he is commander in chief, we're going to have to do it ourselves later in a much more desperate, much more bloody war.
Let's get it on now.
While he is still the commander in chief, who are That night.
The proud boys engaged in violence on the streets of Washington and hurled aggressive insults at the police.
Do your fucking job.
Give us one hour, one hour.
Just the previous night, the co host of info Wars, issued an ominous warning at a rally alongside Roger Stone and proud Boys leader Enrique Terrio.
Encrypted chats obtained by the Select Committee show that Kelly Meg's The indicted leader of the Florida oath Keepers, spoke directly with Roger Stone about security on January 5th and sixth In fact, On January, 6th Stone was guarded by two Oth keepers who have since been criminally indicted for seditious conspiracy.
One of them later pleaded guilty and, according to the Department of Justice, admitted that the oath keepers were ready to use quote.
Lethal force, if necessary against anyone who tried to remove President Trump from the White House, including the National Guard.
As we've seen the proud boys were also part of the friends of Stone Network.
Stone's ties to the proud boys go back many years.
He's even taken their so called fraternity creed required for the first level of initiation to the group.
Still, Western Children refused to apologize.
Kelly Sorrell, a lawyer who assists the oath keepers and a volunteer lawyer for the Trump campaign, explained to the committee How Roger Stone and other figures brought extremists of different stripes and views together.
You mentioned that Mr Stone wanted to start the staff, the steel series of rallies.
Who did you consider the leader of these rallies?
It sounds like How much you just said It was Mr Stone, Mr Jones and Mr Ali Alexander is that correct?
Those are the ones that became like the the center point for everything.
We'll learn more from his Murphy about these individuals and their involvement in the days leading up to the violent attack on January 6th.
We'll also hear how they were allowed to speak at a rally for President Trump the night before January 6th even though organizers had expressed serious concerns.
About their violent and extremist rhetoric directly to Mark Meadows, and you'll hear testimony from White House aides who were with the president as he watched the crowd from the Oval Office and will testify about how excited he was for the following day.
Let me note now that 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 more of our findings Later, Mr Chairman and I now yield back Gentlemen, years back chair recognizes that general woman from Florida, Miss Murphy.
During our most recent hearing, the committee showed some evidence of what President Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows and other White House officials knew about the potential for violence on January 6th.
And despite this information, they made no effort to cancel the rally halt the march to the capital or even to lower the temperature among President Trump supporters.
Katrina Pierson, one of the organizers of January 6th rally in a former campaign spokeswoman for President Trump grew increasingly apprehensive after learning that multiple activists Have been proposed as speakers for the January 6th rally.
These included some of the people we discussed earlier in this hearing, Roger Stone, a longtime outside adviser to President Trump, Alex Jones, the founder of the conspiracy theory, website, Info Wars, and Olly Alexander, an activist known for his violent political rhetoric.
On December, 30th Miss Pearson exchanged text messages with another key rally organizer about why people like Mr Alexander and Mr Jones were being suggested as speakers at the president's rally on January 6th.
Ms. Pearson's explanation was POTUS, and she remarks that the president likes the crazies.
The committee asked Ms Pearson about these messages, and this is what she said.
So when you said that he likes the crazies were you talking about President Trump?
Yes, I was talking about President Trump.
He loved people who viciously defended him in public but consistent in terms of the support for these people, at least with what the president likes from what you could tell Yes, the people that would Be very, very vicious and publicly defending him.
On January 2nd Miss Pearson's concerns about the potential rally speakers had grown serious enough that she reached out to Mr Meadows directly.
Would you mind giving me a call regarding this January 6th event?
Things have gotten crazy and I desperately need some direction.
According to phone records obtained by the committee.
Ms. Pearson received a phone call from Mr Meadows eight minutes later.
Here is what Miss Pearson said about that conversation.
To what specifically?
Did you tell him, though about other Other events just that there were a bunch of entities coming in.
Um Some were very suspect, but they're going to be on other on other stages someone other days of very, very brief overview.
Um, of what was actually happening and why I raised the red flag.
And when he told him that people were very suspect.
What What did you tell me?
What you meant by that or what did you convey to him?
You're the problems with these folks.
I think I even texted him some of my concerns.
But I did briefly go over some of the concerns that I had raised to everybody with Alex Jones or Olly Alexander and some of the rhetoric that they were doing.
I probably mentioned to him, um, that they had already caused trouble at other capitals are are at the previous event.
The previous march that they did for protesting.
Um and I just had a concern about it.
Miss Pearson was especially concerned about Olly Alexander and Alex Jones because in November 2020 both men and some of their supporters had entered the Georgia State Capitol to protest the results of the 2020 election.
Miss Pearson believed that she mentioned this to Mark Meadows on this January 2nd call.
2nd is the same day on which, according to Cassidy, Hutchinson, Miss Meadows, Mr Meadows warned her of things that things might get real real bad on January 6th.
After her January 2nd call with Mr Meadows Katrina, Pearson sent an email to fellow rally organizers, she wrote POTUS expectations are to have something intimate at the Ellipse and call on everyone to march to the capital.
President's own documents suggest that the president Had decided to call on his supporters to go to the capital on January 6th, but that he chose not to widely announce it until his speech on the lips that morning.
The committee has obtained this draft.
UPDATED UNDATED Tweet from the National Archives includes a stamp stating president has seen The draft Tweet reads.
I will be making a big speech at 10 am on January 6th at the Ellipse south of the White House.
Please arrive early, massive crowds expected.
March to the capital after stop the steal.
Although this tweet was never sent rally organizers were discussing and preparing for the march to the capital in the days leading up to January.
This is a January 4th text message from a rally organizer to Mike Lindell, the My Pillow CEO, the organizer says.
You know, this stays between us.
We're having a second stage at the Supreme Court again after the lips POTUS is going to have us march there slash the capital.
It cannot get out about the second stage because people will try and set up another in sabotage it.
It can also not get out.
About the march because I will be in trouble with the National Park Service and all the agencies, But POTUS is going to just call for it.
The end of the message indicates that the president's plan to have his followers marched to the Capitol was not being broadly discussed.
And then on the morning of January, 5th Olly Alexander, who's firebrand style concern, Katrina, Pierson sent a similar text to a conservative journalist.
Mr Alexander said Tomorrow Ellipse, then U. S. Capitol.
Trump is supposed to order us to the capital at the end of his speech, but we will see President.
Trump did follow through on his plan, using his January 6th speech to tell his supporters to march to the capital on January 6th.
The evidence confirms that this was not a spontaneous call to action, but rather was a deliberate strategy decided upon in advance by the president.
Another part of the president's strategy involves certain members of Congress who amplified his unsupported assertions that the election had been stolen.
In the weeks after the election, the White House coordinated closely with President Trump's allies in Congress to disseminate his false claims into encourage members of the public to fight the outcome on January 6th.
We know that the president met with various members to discuss January 6th well before the joint session.
The president's private schedule for December.
21st 2020 shows a private meeting with Republican members of Congress.
We know that Vice President Pence.
Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Rudy Giuliani also attended that meeting.
We obtained an email that was sent from Congressman Mo Brooks of Alabama to Mark Meadows, setting up that meeting.
The subject line is White House meeting December 21st regarding January 6th In his email.
Congressman Brooks explained that he had not asked anyone to join him in the quote January 6th effort.
Because, in his view quote only citizens can exert the necessary influence on senators and congressmen to join this fight against massive voter fraud and election theft.
At this point.
You may also recall testimony giving in our earlier hearing by acting Attorney General Richard Donohue, who said that the president asked the Department of Justice to quote Just say that the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressman.
According to White House visitor logs obtained by the committee.
Members of Congress present at the White House on December 21st included Congressman Brian Babin.
Andy Biggs, Matt Gates, Louie Gohmert.
Paul Gosar, Andy Harris, Jody Hice, Jim Jordans and Scott Perry.
Then Congresswoman elect Marjorie Taylor Green was also there.
We heard testimony in an early hearing that a pardon was ultimately requested by Congressman Mo Brooks and other members of Congress who attended this meeting.
We have asked witnesses what happened during the December 21st meeting, and we've learned that part of the discussion centered on the role of the vice president during the counting of the electoral votes.
These members of Congress were discussing what would later be known as the Eastman Theory, which was being pushed by attorney John Eastman.
In one of our earlier hearings, you heard in great detail the 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, Mr Siblani upon that those discussions with Mr Filled in with great Jacob, What was your assessment as to what the vice president could not do it.
What was my assessment about what you could and couldn't do?
Yes, Your view of the issues is that the vice president?
Had didn't have a legal authority to do anything except what he did.
He told that Mr Feldman and they look very closely at the Eastern memos the Eastern theory and had no basis that it was not a strategy that this President should pursuit sounds like that's consistent with your question as well.
My impression would have been informed certainly by them.
Senior advisor Jason Miller told us that Mr Serpellini thought John Eastman's theories were nutty something Mr Sip Aloni wouldn't refuse.
We received testimony from various people about this one was Jason Miller, who was the campaign um so that the waves communicated to me was patentable any thought the idea was nutty and at one point confronted Eastman, basically with the same center.
And then I ate recently contradict what he said.
On January, 4th John Eastman went to the White House to meet with the president and vice president.
Mr Serpellini tried to participate in this meeting, but he was apparently turned away.
You didn't go to the meeting office where he met with the president, you know, remember why you didn't personally attend.
I did walk to that meeting and I didn't go into the Oval Office with the idea of attending the meeting ultimately did not attend that meeting.
The reasons for that approach.
Were you asked to attend meeting original person decision again without getting into Britain.
Recall that Greg Jacob, the Vice president's council stated that Mr Eastman acknowledged he would lose 9 to 0 if his legal theory were challenged in the Supreme Court.
Mr Serpellini had reviewed Mr Eastman's legal theory and expressed his view repeatedly that the vice president was right.
He even offered to take the blame for the vice president's position.
I thought that the vice president did not have the authority.
That you would sneeze suggested under proper reading.
Conveyed that right?
I think I actually somebody thinking, you know in the vice president, Just blame me.
This is I'm not a politician, you know, But, you know, I just said I'm a lawyer.
This is my legal opinion.
But let me tell you this, And I say a word about the vice president, please.
I think the vice president did the right thing.
I think he did the courageous thing.
I have a great deal of respect for vice president.
Pence I work in a very closely Think he understood my opinion.
I think he understood my opinion afterwards as well.
I think he did a great service to this country.
I suggested to somebody that she should be getting given the presidential medal of Freedom is actions.
Earlier this year, Federal District District Court judge concluded that President Trump and Mr Eastman 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 this hearing, we saw that Rudy Giuliani's team did not have actual evidence of fraud sufficient to change the result of the election.
That's important because, as January 6th approached the Republican members of the House and Senate, we're looking for a reason to object to the electors, and no real evidence was ever given to them.
And we know that Republican members of the House received a memorandum from the chairwoman of the House Republican caucus in the days before January, 6th, explaining in detail the many constitutional and legal problems with objections.
In describing the principal judicial rulings dismissing the claims of widespread fraud.
But their plan to object to the certification of the election on January 6th went forward anyway.
The next day on January 5th the day before the attack on the capital, tens of thousands of people converged on Washington.
While certain close associates of President Trump privately expressed concerns about what would occur on January 6th.
Other members of the president's inner circle spoke with great anticipation about the events to come.
The committee has learned from the White House phone logs that the president spoke to Steve Bannon, his close advisor, at least twice on January, 5th.
The first conversation they had lasted for 11 minutes.
Listen to what Mr Bannon said that day after the first call he had with the president.
Oh, hell is going to break loose tomorrow.
All converging, And now we're on as they say the point of attack Right?
The point of attack tomorrow.
I'll tell you this.
It's not going to happen like you think it's going to happen.
Okay, It's going to be quite extraordinarily different.
And all I can say is strap in.
From those same phone logs.
We know that the president and Mr Bannon spoke again on the phone that evening, this time for six minutes.
That same day.
On the eve of January, 6th supporters of President Trump gathered in Washington D. C at another rally.
This rally was held at Freedom Plaza, which is located near the White House and featured some of the speakers who Katrina Pearson and others deemed too extreme to share the stage with the president the next morning.
And as this rally was underway The president asked members of his staff to come to the Oval Office.
Let's hear from the White House aides who were in the Oval Office that night.
I was in the office in the Oval Office, and he had asked me to open the door so that he could hear Um, I guess there was a concert or a rat or something going on.
Do you see anything other than just open the door.
He made a comment.
I don't remember specifically what he said.
But there's a lot of energy when we walked in, Uh, the staff was Kind of standing up and assembled along the wall, and the president was at the desk and dance Casino was on the couch.
And the president was, um Dictating a tweet that he wanted.
Scaling out to send out then.
The president started talking about the rally that next day, um He had the door of the Oval Open to the Rose Garden because you could hear the crowd already assembled outside on the Ellipse.
And they were, um Playing music, and it was so loud that you could feel it shaking in the oval.
He was in a very good mood.
And I say that because He had not been in a good mood for weeks leading up to that, and then it seemed like he was in a fantastic mood that evening.
Asked if If members of Congress would be with him tomorrow.
And what did you understand my meaning voting in his favor Supposed to physically Western American like that?
And I took that truly not voting to certify the election, then.
He did look to the staff and ask for, um ideas of how if I recall, he said that we could make the rhinos do the right thing.
It's the way he phrased it.
And No one spoke up initially because I think everyone was trying to process what that he meant by that the president was making notes that talking then.
About We should go to the capital.
What's the best route to go to the capital?
So he should focus on policy accomplishments.
I didn't mention Forces response.
He acknowledged that and we've had a lot something along those lines and He Fairly quickly moved to I'm fired up the crowd.
Was going to be Well, that is very about it.
Um Just that they were.
They were fired up.
They were angry.
They feel like the elections and celebrated.
The election was rigged.
And did you hear any education of how he knew that the crowd was fired up or angry?
He continued to reference being able to hear them outside.
Three open door of the Oval Office.
The president could hear the sound of the crowd and the music at the rally at the Freedom Plaza.
And these are some of the things that they were saying there at the plaza just blocks from where the president sat 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 god less between good and evil, and we will win this fight or America was stepped off into 1000 years of darkness.
Trust me, the American people that are standing on the soil that we are standing on tonight, and they're gonna be standing on this soil tomorrow.
This is soil that we have fought over 44 we will fight for in the future.
The members of Congress, the members of the House of Representatives, the members of the United States Senate.
Those of those of you who are feeling weak tonight.
Those of you that don't 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 that we will not stand for a lie.
We will not stand for a lie.
I want them to know that 17 76 is always an option Degenerates in the deep state are gonna give us what we want.
For real Gonna shut this country down.
17 70 search 17 76 17 Saturday 6 17 76 At 505 PM as the Freedom Plaza rally was underway just blocks away, President Trump tweeted Washington is being inundated with people who don't want to see an election victory stolen by emboldened radical left Democrats.
Our country has had enough.
They won't take it anymore.
To the crowds gathering in D. C. He added.
We hear you and love you from the Oval Office.
The committee has learned that on January 5th, there were serious concerns that Twitter about the anticipated violence the next day.
Listen to what the Twitter witness told us about their desperate efforts to get Twitter to do something.
And what was your gut feeling?
On the night of January?
Chef I believe I sent is slack message to someone.
That's something along the lines of When people are shooting each other tomorrow, I will try and rest in the knowledge that we tried.
Um And so I went to don't know that I saw that night.
To be honest with you.
I I was on pins and needles.
Um, because they're going for four months I have been Bragging and anticipating and attempting to Reads the reality.
That is nothing If we need no intervention into what I saw occurring people were going to die.
Um, and on January, 1st realize no intervention was coming.
Not there are many even as hard as I had tried to.
Create one or implement one.
There was nothing and we were We were at the limbs, Um, and the mercy of A violent crowd.
That was locked up voted And just for the record, this was content that was echoing Statements by the former president, but also proud boys and other um, known violent extremist groups.
There were also concerns among members of Congress.
We have a recently released recording of a conversation that took place among Republican members in the U.
S Capital on the eve of January, 6th.
This is Republican congresswoman 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 actually 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 that 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 president.
Trump listened to the rally from the Oval Office.
He was also working on his speech to be delivered the next day.
And based on documents we've received from the National Archives, including multiple drafts of the president's speech, as well as from witness testimony.
We understand how that speech devolved into a call to action and a call to fight.
One of the first edits president Trump made to his speech was to incorporate his 505 PM tweet revising his speech to say all of us are here today.
Do not want to see our election victory stolen by 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.
And as you can see from the president's daily diary here.
The president spoke to his chief speechwriter, Stephen Miller, for over 25 minutes that morning.
Following his call with Mr Miller.
President Trump inserted for the first time a line in his speech that said, quote And we will see whether Mike Pence enters history as a truly great and courageous leader.
All he has to do is refer that illegally submitted electoral votes back to the states that were given false and fraudulent information where they want to re certify.
No prior version of this speech had referenced vice president Pence or his role during the joint session on January 6th.
These last minute, edits by President Trump to his speech were part of the president's pressure campaign against his own vice president.
But not everyone wanted these lines regarding the vice president included in the president's speech, including White House lawyer Erik Hersman.
Did you ever speak to anybody in the White House at the time about this disagreement between the president and vice president other than the president, based on the objection from counsel?
Maybe had a brief conversation about it with Erik Hersman.
Tell me about that.
What do you remember him saying to you about this disagreement?
I just remember him, Um, saying that.
That He had a Child.
I don't know.
Did this wrong Hope, sort of somebody effect of, um Thinking that would be counterproductive.
I think he thought, too.
To discuss the matter publicly.
So it came up in the context of editing the president's speech on January 6th conversation where I knew it was in the speech, and so he had a ball with me about it.
And so the speech writers took that advice and remove the lines about vice president Pence.
Later that morning At 11 20 am President Trump had a phone call with the vice president.
And as the committee detailed in an earlier hearing that phone call was by all accounts tense and heated.
During this call, the vice president told the president that 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 that he would not unilaterally deliver him a second term in office.
The speechwriters were directed to reinsert the Mike Pence lines.
Here's how one of the speech writers described President Trump's last minute change to the speech.
And as I recall, there was a very tough Um, a tough sentence about the vice president.
That was that was was added.
President Trump wanted to use his speech to attack vice president Pence in front of a crowd of thousands of angry supporters who had been led to believe the election was stolen.
When President Trump arrived at the lips to deliver his speech, he was still worked up from his call with vice president Pence.
And although Ivanka Trump would not say so, her chief of staff gave the committee some insight into the president's frustration.
Been reported that you ultimately decided to attend the rally because you hope that you would calm the president and keep the event on an even keel is that accurate?
No, I I don't know who said that or where that came from.
What does she share with you about why it was concerning that her father was upset or agitated after that call vice president Pence in relation to the Ellipse rally.
Why did that matter?
Why did they have to be calmed down?
I should say.
Well, she's shared that he had called the vice president and not And it's like tip word.
I take that bothered her, and I think she could tell based on the conversations and what was going on in the office.
That 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.
Ah, at least before he went on to stage.
The president did go on stage.
And then he gave the speech that he wanted to give.
It included the formal changes he had requested the night before, and in that morning, but also many important last minute.
Ad lib changes A single scripted reference in the speech to Mike Pence, became eight.
A single scripted reference to rally goers marching to the capital became for with President Trump ad living that he would be joining the protesters at the Capitol.
Added Throughout his speech were references to fighting and the need for people to have courage and be strong.
The word peacefully was in the staff written script and used only once.
Here are some of these ad lib changes that the president made to his speech.
Because you'll never take back our country with weakness.
You have to show strength and you have to be strong.
So I hope Mike has the courage to do what he has to do.
And I hope he doesn't listen to the rhinos and the stupid people that he's listening.
We fight like hell.
And if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore, but we're going to try and give our Republicans The weak ones because the strong ones don't need any of our help.
We're going to try and give them the kind of pride And boldness that they need to take back our country.
So let's walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.
White House counsel Pat Sip.
Aloni and his deputy did not attend the speech.
And they were concerned that the statements in the speech about the election were false.
In fact, the message that President Trump delivered that day was built on a foundation of lies.
He lied to his supporters that the election was stolen.
He stoked 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 towards the capital.
As a result, people died.
People were injured.
Many of his supporters lives will never be the same.
President Trump's former campaign manager, Brad Parscale recognize the impact of the speech immediately and this is what he said on January 6th and excerpts from text messages to Katrina Pierson.
Mr Purse, Cal said quote.
This is about Trump pushing for uncertainty in our country, a sitting president asking for civil war.
And then when he said this week, I feel guilty for helping him win.
Katrina, Pierson responded.
You did what you felt right at the time, and therefore it was right.
Mr Personality, added.
Yeah, but a woman is dead.
And yeah, if I was trump and I knew my rhetoric killed someone When Miss Pearson replied.
It wasn't the rhetoric, Mr Pascal said Katrina Yes, it was Thank you, Mr Chairman.
I yield back Generated years back.
We're joined today.
Bye, Mr Jason van taken hold and Mr Stephen Ayers, miss it.
Tighten Hold is an artist and join you journalist.
He's a former spokesman of the oath Keepers and a former close associate of Elmo Stewart Rhodes, the founder and president of those keepers.
Who has been charged with seditious conspiracy in relation to the capital attack.
Mr Van Dayton hold broke with the oath keepers and has since spoken out forcefully against the violent group, Mr. As is a former supporter of President Trump.
He answered the president's call to come to Washington, D. C. On January 6th.
He marched to the Capitol on the president's orders.
He pleaded guilty last month to disorderly and disruptive conduct.
At the Capitol.
Mr as who's no longer supports President Trump came forward voluntarily to share his story as a warning.
I will now sweat in our witnesses.
The witnesses will please stand and raise their right name.
Do you swear off firm on the penalty of perjury that the testimony about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, So help you God.
Thank you may be seated.
Letter record reflect that the witness is answered the in the affirmative.
I recognize myself for questions.
Today we have discussed how President Trump summoned an angry mob of supporters to Washington, DC, meet him whom came prepared to do battle against police and power.
Titian's alike were fortunate enough to be joined by two witnesses who can help us understand who was in the mob that day.
Both hard core violent extremists like the oath keepers and proud boys and average trump supporters swept up in the favor of the day.
Can you help us understand who the oath keepers are?
My time with the oath Keepers began back at Bundy Ranch with that first standoff when I went to cover them as an independent journalist.
Um I then subsequently covered to more standoffs.
The sugar pine mine standoff in the white hope my understand off.
It was at that time that I was offered a job.
As national media director and an associate editor for the Web page.
Um So I spent a few years with the oath keepers.
And I can tell you that They may not like to call themselves a militia.
But they are.
They're a violent militia.
Um They are largely Stewart Rhodes.
Um They and I think Rather than try to use words.
I think the The best illustration for what the oath keepers are.
Happened January 6th when we saw that stacked military formation, going up the stairs of our capital.
I saw radicalization that Started with my beginning of my time with them.
And continued Um, over a period of time as the member base and who it was that Stewart Rhodes was courting.
Um, drifted further and further right into the alt right world into White nationalists and event straight up racist and It came to a point where I could no longer continue to work for them.
But deals keepers are Or a dangerous militia that that is in large part, fed by the ego and and drive of Stewart Road to at times seemed to see himself as This.
Um I think that drove a lot of it.
So In my opinion, the oath keepers are very dangerous organization.
Well, thank you very much.
You talked a little bit about that danger.
So What is the oath Keepers Vision for America, and why should Americans be concerned about it?
I think we saw glimpse of what the vision of the oath keepers is on January 6th.
Um it doesn't necessarily include the rule of law.
Doesn't necessarily include Um It includes violence.
It includes Trying to get their way through lies through deceit through intimidation and through the perpetration of violence.
The swaying of people who may not know better through lies and rhetoric and propaganda that can get swept up in these movement Moments.
And I'll admit I was swept up at one point as well, too.
Um But I don't know if that answers the question.
Well, it does.
And you talk about being swept up.
So at what point did you break with the old keepers?
There came a point that there were many red flags and I probably should have broke with them much earlier than I did.
Um, but the straw that broke the camel's back really came when I walked into A grocery store.
We were living up in the Very remote town of Eureka, Montana, and, um, there was a group of Core members of the group of the oath Keepers and some associates, and they were having a conversation at that, Um, public area where they were talking about how the Holocaust was not real.
And that was for me something I just could not abide.
You know, we were not We were not Wealthy people at all.
We were barely surviving.
And it didn't matter.
Um I went home to my wife and my kids, and I told them that I've got to walk away at this point.
I don't know how we're gonna survive or where we're gonna go what we're going to do, but I just can no longer continue and put in my resignation.
Thank you very much, Mr Ayers.
There were many people in the crowd that day, January 6th, including you.
Who are not part of an extremist group.
I'd like to start my hair ever in.
You tell the American people a little bit about yourself.
Can you tell us about your life before January, 6th.
Basically nothing but a family man and a working man worked at the company, Um, Cabinet company up in northeast Ohio for Going on 20 years.
Um You know, family is my life.
You know, I was a supervisor there so that that took up a lot of my other.
You know a lot of my free time.
Um, other than that, with my family, camping, playing basketball playing games with my son.
Just what any ordinary American citizen family man would do exactly.
So the this committee has reviewed thousands of hours of surveillance footage from January 6th.
Doing this review We identified you entering the capital as we see in this video.
Why did you decide to come To Washington on January 6th.
For me for me personally, you know?
I was, you know, pretty hardcore into the social media Facebook.
Twitter Instagram I followed.
You know, President Trump.
All the websites, you know.
Um Basically put out, you know.
Come to stop the steal rally, you know, and I felt like I needed to be down here.
So So you basically learned about the rally on social media and at some point made a decision to come to Washington?
Um, I had some friends.
I found out we're coming down.
I just hopped hopped on with them right at the tail.
Then when I found out Came down here with them.
Thank you very much.
The chair recognizes this device chair Ms Cheney, Wyoming when he questions she may have Thank you very much.
Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ayers.
When you entered the capital last year, Did you believe that the election had been stolen?
At that time.
You know everything that I was I was seeing online.
Um, I definitely Believe that exactly what That was the case.
And when You heard from President Trump that the election was stolen?
How did that make you feel?
I was, You know, I was very upset.
As were most of his supporters.
Um You know, that's basically what got me to come down here.
And do you still believe the election was stolen?
Not so much now, Um, I got away from all the social media.
Um, when January 6th happen.
Basically deleted at all.
You know, I started doing my own research and everything and For me for me it for something like that to be that To actually for that to actually take place, And it's too big.
You know, there'll be There's no way you keep something like that Quiet.
As big as something like that, you know.
With all of you know all the lawsuits being shot down one after another.
That that was mainly what convinced me.
Well and That's very important.
Um and and we've also talked about today and in previous hearings, the extent to which the president himself was told that the election hadn't been stolen.
Um, by his Justice Department by his White House counsel by his campaign, Um what it had made a difference to you to know that President Trump himself had no evidence of widespread fraud.
Oh, definitely, You know, um Who knows?
I may not have come come down here, then, you know Thank you very much.
Mr Chairman, I yield back Young lady you was back chair recognizes General Woman from Florida, Miss Murphy.
Thank you, Mr Chairman.
Earlier today we showed how Donald Trump's December 19th tweets summoned both extremist groups as well as rank and file supporters of President Trump to come to Washington, D C average Americans.
He told them to quote be there will be wild and they came.
We showed how Mr President how President Trump repeatedly told them Fight, fight fight.
And they marched to the Capitol.
Um, Mr Ayers.
You are in that crowd at the rally and then the crowd that marched to the Capitol.
When you arrived on the lips that morning.
Were you planning on going to the capital?
No, we didn't actually plan to go down there.
Um, you know, we went basically to see the stop the steal rally and that was it.
So why did you decide to march to the capital?
Well, basically, you know, the president You know, he got everybody riled up.
Told everybody head on down.
So we basically just following when he said After the president's speech as you're marching down to the capital, How did you feel?
Um, I would, you know.
I'm angry, you know, after Everything that was Um, basically said in the speech, you know a lot of stuff.
He said he already put out in tweets a lot.
I've already seen it and heard it before.
Um so I mean, I was already worked up and So where most of the people there So as you started marching, did you think there was still a chance the election would be overturned?
Yeah, that time.
I did, um, you know, because everybody was kind of like In the hope that you know, vice President Pence was not going to certify the election.
Um, you know, also the whole time on our way down and kept hearing about this big reveal.
I remember I was talking about and we kind of thought Maybe that was it so That that hope was there.
Did you think that the president would be marching with you?
Um, yeah, I think everybody thought he was going to be coming down.
You know, he said in his speech.
You know, kind of like he's going to be there with us.
So I mean, I think I I believed it.
You're saying Um We know that you illegally entered the capital that afternoon and then left the capital area later on.
What made you decide to leave?
Um, Basically, when President Trump put his tweet out, we literally left right after that, come out.
Um You know?
To me if he would have done that earlier in the day, 1 30, I, you know We wouldn't be in this maybe went being this bad of a situation or something.
Thank you, Mr Chairman.
I yield back Chair recognizes the gentleman from Maryland.
Thank you, Mr Chairman.
Mr Ventilating Hoff In the run up to January, 6th Stewart Rhodes publicly implored President Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act, The 18 Oh seven law that allows the president to call up militias to put down a rebellion against United States and I want to Get your thoughts about this in the context of your prior relationship with Stewart Rhodes.
Um, I understand that you had conversations with roads about the insurrection Act.
Why was he so fixated on that?
And what did he think it would enable the oath keepers to do Well.
I think it gave him a sense of legitimacy that it was a path forward to move forward with his goals and agendas.
Um, I I think we need to quit mincing words and just talk about truths and what it was going to be was an armed revolution.
People died that day.
Law enforcement officers side this day, there was a gallows set up in front of the capital.
This could have been the spark that started a new civil war and no one would have one there.
That would have been good for No.
They He was always looking for ways to legitimize.
What he was doing, whether by wrapping it in the trappings of it's not a militia.
It's a community preparedness team.
We're not a militia were an educational outreach group.
It's a veteran support group.
But again we've got to stop with this.
This dishonesty and the mincing of words and just call things for what they are.
You know it.
He is a militia leader.
He had these rand visions of being a paramilitary leader.
And The Insurrection Act would have given him a path forward with that.
You know the fact that the president was Communicating, whether directly or indirectly, messaging.
You know, kind of that gave him the nod and all I can do is thank the gods that things did not go.
That name What did the oath keepers see in President Trump?
They saw a path forward that would have legitimacy.
They saw opportunity.
I think, in my opinion To, um, to become a paramilitary force.
Last week, the Department of Justice indicated that it has evidence of the oath keepers bringing not just firearms but explosives to Washington ahead of January 6th.
In the committee's also learned that Stewart Rhodes stopped to buy weapons on his way to Washington and shipped and shipped roughly $7000 worth of tactical gear to a January 6th rally planner in Virginia before the attack.
Did you ever hear roads discuss?
Committing violence against elected political leaders.
I mean, that went back from the very beginning of my tenure.
One of the first assignments that he brought to me.
Wanting me to do is more of a graphic artist function was to Create a deck of cards.
You may remember back to the conflict in the Middle East, where our own military created a deck of cards, which who was a who's who of Kind of the key players on the other side that they wanted to take out.
And Stewart was very intrigued by that notion and influenced by it, I think, and he wanted me to create a deck of cards that would include different politicians, judges, including up to Hillary Clinton has the queen of Hearts.
This is a project that I refused to do.
But from the very start, we saw that there was always the push for military training.
Including there were there were there were courses in that community that went over explosives training, So yeah, it's all falls in line.
If you say in your very thoughtful, written testimony that we received today that Um you fear what the next election cycle will bring?
And you also say that we have been exceedingly lucky.
In that 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've had the potential from Bundy Ranch on.
I mean being boots on the ground at these these standoffs, and they were standoffs where there were firearms pointed across lines at federal law enforcement agencies.
Um, you know, whatever it may be with that particular standoff.
But I do.
I think we've got an exceedingly lucky that more bloodshed did not happen because of potential has been there from the start.
And we got very lucky that the loss of life was and as tragic as it is.
That we saw on January 6th.
The potential was so much more Again.
All we have to look at is the iconic images of that day with the gallows set up for Mike Pence for the vice president of the United States.
You know, And and I do fear for this next election cycle because who knows what that might bring?
If if a president that's willing to try to Instill and and and Encourage to whip up a civil war amongst his followers, using lies and deceit and snake oil.
And regardless of the human impact.
What else is he going to do if he gets elected again?
All bets are off at that point.
Um, And that's a scary notion.
I have three daughters.
I have a granddaughter.
And I fear for the world that they want.
Herod if we do not start Holding these these people to account.
Thank you for your testimony, Mr Van taken off Mr Ears.
Um, I first want to ask you about What finally caused you to leave on January the sixth.
We know that the medieval style combat with our police the occupation of The building.
This was going on for several hours until the president issued at 4 17.
I believe that included a video telling people to go home.
Did you see that?
And did that have any effect on what you were doing?
Well when we were there as soon as that come out, everybody started talking about it, and that's it seemed like it started to disperse.
You know, some of the crowd obviously.
You know, Once we got back to the hotel room, we've seen that it was still going on.
But it definitely dispersed a lot of the crowd.
Did you leave at that point?
Yeah, we left.
So in other words, That was the key moment when you decided to leave when President Trump told people to go home.
Yeah, we left right when I come out.
Um You were not a member of an organized group like the oath Keepers are the proud boys as most of the crowd wasn't Um I wonder on January 6th.
Was it your view that these far right groups like the oath keepers and probably boys and three percenters and others were on your side?
Did you have, uh any reservations about marching with them and rallying with them?
Well, I definitely didn't have a problem.
You know, I was probably following them online myself.
You know, I liked I thought, you know.
Hey, there on our team.
That's how I kind of looked at it.
At the time, you know, like I have a problem with it.
I thought it was a good thing.
I'm interested in hearing about what's happened to you since the events of January, 6th told the vice chair that you no longer believe Trump's big lie.
About the election, but that's what brought you originally to Washington looking back on it now, How do you reflect on the role that you played in the crowd that day and what is going on in your life?
Um Basically, you know, I lost my job.
Um, since This all happened, You know, uh, Pretty much sold my house.
So everything that happened with the charges, you know, Thank God.
A lot of them did get the Smith because I was just holding my phone, but at the same time I was there.
Um I mean it.
Definitely It changed my life, You know, uh, not for the good.
Definitely not for the you know, for the better.
Um Yeah, I mean, Well, I could say President Trump is still promoting the big lie about the election.
Um, 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 it.
I mean, if I was doing it Hundreds of thousands or millions.
Of other people are doing it or maybe even still doing it.
Um, it's like He just said about that.
You know, he got people still following and doing that.
The next election could come out.
You know, they end it could end up being down the same path.
We are right now.
I mean, Just don't know.
Here, As I see that your wife has joined you today and welcome to Washington.
We know this has been very difficult on you both and your family.
Um 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.
Um Biggest thing is, I consider myself a family man and I love my country.
Um I don't think anyone man is bigger than Either one of those I think that's what needs to be taken, you know?
Dive into the politics.
And for me, I felt like I had, you know, like horse blinders on I was I was locked in the whole time.
Um Biggest thing for me is take the blinders off makes you step back and see what's going on.
Before it's too late.
Well, I want to thank you for your testimony and for appearing both of you today and Mr Chairman, I yield back to you.
Gentleman 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 and writing to those questions.
Members will be permitted 10 business days to submit statements for the record, including opening remarks and additional questions for the witness is Without objection.
The chair recognizes the 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 capital city to block the constitutional transfer of power.
He set off an explosive chain reaction among his followers.
But no one mobilized more quickly than the dangerous extremists that we've looked at today.
Seizing upon his invitation to fight they assembled their followers for an insurrectionary showdown against Congress and the vice president.
On January 6th Trump knew the crowd was angry.
He knew the crowd was armed.
He sent them to the capital anyway.
You might imagine that our founders would have been shocked to learn that an American president would one day come to embrace an excuse political violence against our own institutions were knowingly sent an armed mob to attack the capital to usurp the will of the people.
But you know, Mr Chairman, the founders were pretty wise about certain things in at 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 that ambitious politicians would try to mobilize violent mobs to tear down our own institutions.
In service of their insatiable ambitions.
In the very first Federalist paper, Alexander Hamilton's observed that history teaches that opportunistic politicians who desire to rule at all costs.
First is demagogues pandering to the angry and malignant passions of the crowd, but then end up as tyrants, trampling the freedoms and the rights of the people.
Violent insurrection to overturn election is not an abstract thing.
As we've heard, hundreds of people were bloodied, injured and wounded 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 this committee because he testified before us last year.
Sergeant Aquilino Goodell is an Army veteran who spent a year on active combat duty in the Rock war and then 16 years on the capital force.
Nothing he ever saw in combat in Iraq, he has said, prepared him for the insurrection, where he was savagely beaten, punched, pushed, kick shove, stomped in sprayed with chemical irritants, along with other officers by members of the mob, carrying hammers, knives, batons and police shields taken by force and wielding the American flag.
Against police officers is a dangerous weapon.
Last month On June 28th Sergeant canals team of doctors told him that permanent injuries he has suffered to his left shoulder and right foot.
Now make it impossible for him.
To continue as a police officer.
He must leave policing for good.
And figure out the rest of his life.
We wish you and your family all the best.
We are here for you.
We salute you for your valor, Your eloquence and your beautiful commitment to America.
I wonder what former President Trump would say to someone like Sergeant Canal who must now go about remaking his life.
I wonder if he could even understand what motivates a Patriot.
Like Sergeant Canal.
In his inaugural address, Trump introduced one commanding image.
Although that turn of phrase explained little about our country before he took office.
It turned out to be an excellent prophecy of what his rage would come to visit on our people.
Mr. Harris just described how the trust he placed in President Trump.
As a camp follower derailed his life in nearly wrecked His reputation and his and his family.
A few weeks ago, we heard Shane Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman.
Speaker Rusty Bowers from Arizona and Georgia.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger described how heat filled intimidation campaigns 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.
That's 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 hundreds of people.
The Watergate break in was like a Cub Scout meeting compared to this assault on our people and our institutions.
These hearings have been significant for us and for millions of Americans in our hearing next week will be a 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 coups, political violence and campaigns to steal elections away from the people.
Unlike Mr Ayers and Mr Van Titan Hall of People who have recovered And evolved from their descent into the hell of fanaticism.
Donald Trump is only expanded his big lie to cover January 6th itself, he asserts the insurrection was the real election.
In the election was the real insurrection.
His mob greeted our police officers on January 6th with hugs and kisses.
He threatens to take one of America's two major political parties with him down the road to authoritarianism, and it is Abraham Lincoln's party no less.
The political scientists tell us that authoritarian parties have two essential features in common in history and around the world.
They do not accept the results of democratic elections when they lose.
In the embrace political violence as legitimate.
And the problem of 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.
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 of Freedom rests.
We need to defend both our democracy and our freedom with everything we have and declare that 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'll yield back.
Gentleman yields back without objection.
The chair recognizes that general woman from Florida, Miss Murphy for closing statement.
Thank you, Mr Chairman.
One of our first hearings, chairman, Thompson explained that the members of this committee would not spend much time talking about ourselves.
Rather, we would let the evidence play the leading role, and the chairman was right.
Because this isn't about promoting ourselves as individuals.
It's about protecting the country we love.
And it's about preserving what actually makes America great the rule of law free and fair elections in the peaceful transfer of power from one elected leader to the next But if I may say a word about myself and why I'm proud to serve on this committee I'm the only member of this committee who was not blessed to be born in American.
I was born in Vietnam after the Vietnam War and my family and I fled a communist government and were rescued by the U.
S navy and were given sanctuary in America.
My patriotism is rooted in my gratitude for America's grace and generosity.
I love this country.
On January 6th.
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 the other powerful people who tried to convince them without evidence that the election had been stolen from them.
Some of them then tried to use physical violence to overturn the outcome of a free and fair election.
Overriding objective is to fight fiction with facts to create a full 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.
There's nothing more patriotic than that.
Thank you, Mr Chairman.
I yield back General later yields back without objection.
The chair recognizes June woman from Wyoming, Miss Cheney for closing statement.
Thank you very much, Mr Chairman.
Let me put what you have seen today in a broader context.
At the very outset of our hearings, we described several elements of President Trump's multipart plan to overturn the 2020 election.
Our hearings have now covered all but one of those elements.
And organized campaign to persuade millions of Americans of a falsehood that the 2020 election was stolen by widespread fraud.
A corrupt effort to pressure vice president Pence to refuse to count electoral vote.
An effort to corrupt the U. S. Department of Justice.
Efforts to pressure state election officials and legislators to change state election results.
A scheme to create and submit fake electoral slates from multiple states.
And today you saw how President Trump summoned a mob to 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.
We're working on January 6th to delay or halt Congresses counting of electoral votes.
The mob attacking and invading the capital.
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 capital and disperse.
The many pleas for help from Congress did no good.
His staff insisted the president Trump call off the attack.
He would not Here are a few of the many things you will hear.
Next week from Mr Sip Aloni.
Is that right?
I was another school.
Was it necessary for you to continue to push for a statement directing people to leave all the way through that period of time until it was ultimately issued after it was my obligation to continue to push for that, and others thought it was their obligation as well.
Would it have been possible at any moment for the president to walk down to Modi in the briefing room and talk to the nation at any time between when you first gave him that advice, two o'clock and 4 17 Been missing.
Would that be possible?
And you will hear that Donald Trump never picked up the 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 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.
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.
Yields back In my opening mentioned how we look to our leaders to serve As a fail safe if people in this country Refused to accept the 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 towards mob violence.
The idea of mob violence make me think of another sort of fail safe.
All across this country.
There are different ideas about what role the fellow government should play in our lives.
In fact, Appear on this deal is 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 head it not been for the federal government.
And the 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 dying in suite 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's an emergency, that's cries action by a public health services or our military.
We have a federal government.
What happened on January 6 2020 was another one of those moments in history.
That test the strength of our federal government.
January, 6th was an attack on our country.
It was an attack on our democracy.
On our constitution.
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 the resolute desk in the Oval Office, assuring the American people that attack would be repelled.
In a threat would be dealt with.
You'd expect to be reassured that there was a fail safe.
The president of the United States sent them all.
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 now Great Nations history that has ever come close to that sort of betrayal and their election.
Thank goodness our system of government held in spite of a commander in chief who worked in opposition to what the Constitution design.
When this committee reconvenes will tell the story of that supreme dereliction by the commander in chief, how close we came to a catastrophe.
For democracy and how we remain in serious danger.
The chair requests.
Those in the hearing room remain seated until the Capitol police have escorted witnesses and members from the room.
The committee stands of joining And with that chairman Bennie Thompson does call the January 6th Comedian committee hearing today.
The seventh hearing in a row public hearing to a close dramatic testimony today from These individuals.
One who formerly was a spokesperson for the oath keepers, the other who's been criminally charged at the Capitol and the committee, pointing to another hearing next week.
President, Former President Trump will be at the center of that, as he has been at the center of this.
We will have more analysis of the hearing at six o'clock tonight.
Eastern When you tune into the PBS news hour, Please check your local listings.
You can always find our coverage online at PBS dot org slash News hour.
I'm Judy Woodruff.
Thanks to all of our participants and on behalf of all of us at the news hour, Thank you for joining us, and we now return you to your regularly scheduled PBS programming.
This program was made possible by contributions to your PBS station from viewers like you.