January 6 Panel: Live Updates from the Hearing

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Jan. 6 committee voted unanimously Thursday to subpoena former President Donald Trump, demanding his personal testimony in revealing a startling new video of close aides outlining his multi-part plan to overturn his 2020 electoral defeat, which led to the fierceness of his supporters Assault on the United States Capitol.

With alarming messages from the US Secret Service warning of violence and vivid new video from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others congressional leaders asking for help, the panel showed the raw desperation on Capitol Hill. Using language frequently seen in criminal indictments, the panel said Trump had acted in a “willful” manner before Jan. 6, 2021, despite being told by countless aides and officials that he had lost.

Trump will almost certainly reject the subpoena and refuse to testify. On his social media, he criticized the members for not asking him sooner, though he didn’t say he would have complied, and called the panel “a total FAIL”.

“We must seek sworn testimony from the central player on January 6,” Rep. Liz Cheney, a Republican of Wyoming, the committee’s vice chair, said before the vote.

At the tenth public session of the committee, a few weeks before the legislative midterm elections, the summary dashboard Trump’s “astonishing betrayal” of his oath of office, as President Bennie Thompson put it, describing the then-president’s unprecedented attempt to prevent Congress from certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s victory.

While the effort to subpoena Trump may languish — more a nod to history than an actual subpoena — the committee has made it clear that it is considering sending its findings in a criminal referral to the Justice Department.

In one of its most riveting displays, the panel showed never-before-seen footage of congressional leaders calling for help over the phone during the assault as Trump refused to stop the mob.

Pelosi can be seen on a call with the governor of neighboring Virginia, explaining while sheltering with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and others that the Maryland governor has also been contacted. Later, the video shows Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republican leaders as the group asks the Defense Department for help.

“They are breaking the law in many different ways,” Pelosi says at one point. “And frankly, largely at the instigation of the President of the United States.”

The footage also shows Vice President Mike Pence, not Trump, stepping in to help quell the violence, telling Pelosi and others that he has spoken to Capitol Police, as Congress plans to resume its session that night to certify the election of Biden.

The video was from Pelosi’s daughter, Alexandra, a documentary filmmaker.

In never-before-seen Secret Service messages, the panel produced evidence that extremist groups provided muscle in the fight for Trump’s presidency, planning weeks before the attack to send a violent force to Washington.

The Secret Service warned in a December 26, 2020, email about a tip that members of the right-wing Proud Boys planned to outnumber police at a march on Washington on January 6.

“It felt like the calm before the storm,” a Secret Service agent wrote in a group chat.

To describe the president’s mindset, the committee presented previously-seen and new material, including interviews with top Trump advisers and cabinet officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General William Barr and Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia. in which some described the president acknowledging that he had lost.

Former White House official Alyssa Farah Griffin said Trump once looked at a television and said, “Can you believe I lost to this (expletive) guy?”

Cabinet members also said in interviews shown at the hearing that they believed once legal avenues were exhausted, that should have been the end of Trump’s efforts to stay in power.

“In my opinion, that was the end of the matter,” Barr said of the Dec. 14 Electoral College vote.

But rather than the end of Trump’s efforts, it was only the beginning, as the president summoned the crowd to Washington on January 6.

The panel showed clips of Trump at his rally near the White House that day saying the opposite of what he had been told. He then tells his followers that he will march with them to the Capitol. That never happened.

“There is no defense that Donald Trump was misled or irrational,” Cheney said. “No president can defy the rule of law and act in this way in our constitutional republic, period.”

Thursday’s hearing began in a nearly empty Capitol complex, with most lawmakers at home campaigning. Several people who were among the thousands around Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 are now running for congressional office, some with Trump’s backing. Police officers who fought the mob filled the front row of the courtroom.

The House panel said the insurrection on Capitol Hill was not an isolated incident but a warning of the fragility of the nation’s democracy in the post-Trump era.

“None of this is normal,” Cheney said.

Along with the interviews, the committee is drawing on the 1.5 million-page trove of documents it received from the Secret Service, including an email from Dec. 11, 2020, the day the Supreme Court rejected a major lawsuits that the Trump team had filed against the election results.

“Just for your information. POTUS is angry,” the Secret Service message read.

White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, one of the top aides to then-chief of staff Mark Meadows, recalled that Trump was “excited” about the court’s ruling.

Trump told Meadows “something to the effect of, ‘I don’t want people to know we lost, Mark. This is embarrassing. Find out,’” Hutchinson told the panel in a taped interview.

Thursday’s session served as a closing argument for the panel’s two Republican lawmakers, Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who have essentially been shunned by Trump and his party and will not return to the new Congress. Cheney lost his primary election and Kinzinger decided not to run.

The committee, which conducted more than 1,000 interviews and obtained countless documents, produced a sweeping investigation of Trump’s activities from his November election loss to the attack on Capitol Hill.

Under committee rules, the January 6 panel is due to produce a report of its findings, likely in December. The commission will dissolve 30 days after the publication of that report, and with the new Congress in January.

At least five people were killed in the Jan. 6 attack and its aftermath, including a Trump supporter shot and killed by Capitol Police.

More than 850 people have been indicted by the Justice Department, some of whom received lengthy prison sentences for their duties. Several leaders and associates of the extremist Oath Keepers and Proud Boys have been accused of sedition.

triumph faces various state and federal investigations about their actions in the election and its consequences.

___

Associated Press writers Mary Clare Jalonick, Jill Colvin, Kevin Freking and Michael Balsamo contributed to this report.

More on investigations related to Donald Trump: https://apnews.com/hub/donald-trump

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *