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"I don't want to say the election is over": House Jan. 6 committee looks at Trump's actions

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Jan. 6 witnesses say Trump refused to stop riot
Jan. 6 witnesses say Trump refused to stop Capitol riot 02:55

The House Jan. 6 committee on Thursday held its final public hearing this summer, this time focusing on former President Donald Trump's inaction for 187 minutes as rioters descended on the Capitol – and showed stunning footage from the assault as attackers searched for former Vice President Mike Pence.

"The mob was accomplishing President Trump's purpose, and he did not intervene," said Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who was one of the committee members leading Thursday's hearing.

The committee also showed never-before-seen outtakes of Trump practicing a statement the day after the attack. In the footage, Trump, in a run-through of the remarks, objects to a phrase written for him: "I don't want to say the election is over," he said, showing some irritation.

Thursday's hearing also featured two witnesses who both resigned in the aftermath of the attack: Matthew Pottinger, a former national security council official, and Sarah Matthews, a deputy press secretary.

As violence erupted at the Capitol, Matthews said she "couldn't believe" that they were arguing over Trump's response and seemed taken aback that a colleague didn't want to condemn the rioting because doing so would be "handing a win to the media."

Former National Security Council member Matthew Pottinger (L) and former Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Matthews are sworn in during a hearing by the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6th attack on the US Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC, on July 21, 2022. SAUL LOEB/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

"I couldn't believe that we were arguing over this in the middle of the West Wing .. And so, I motioned up at the TV and said, 'Do you think it looks like we're f'ing winning? Because I don't think it does,'" Matthews said. 

The committee also showed testimony from other White House aides and members of Trump's inner circle saying Trump had to take action. When Trump finally issued a statement from the Rose Garden, he refused to deliver the remarks as prepared, said Rep. Elaine Luria, one of the committee members who led Thursday's meeting. He instead gave the remarks off-the-cuff, saying "we had an election that was stolen," it was a "fraudulent election" and he called the rioters "very special" while telling them to go home. 

Other never-before-seen footage showed congressional leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell asking acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller when they could get back to certifying the electoral votes.

"We're not going to let these people keep us from finishing our business," McConnell said. "So we need you to get the building cleared, give us the OK so we can go back in session and finish up the people's business as soon as possible."

As the rioters descended on the Capitol, Trump tweeted that Vice President Mike Pence did not have the "courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution." The committee showed footage that suggested many of the rioters took this as a call to arms against the vice president.

Pottinger said the tweet "poured fuel on the fire," and it inspired him to resign.

An anonymous security professional who spoke to the committee, in recorded testimony, described the dire situation among Pence's Secret Service detail after that tweet. Members of Pence's detail, the official said, feared for their own lives, and had even begun making calls to family members to say goodbye.

"The members of the VP detail at this time were starting to fear for their own lives," the anonymous official testified. "There were a lot of – there was a lot of yelling, a lot of – I don't know – a lot of very personal calls over the radio," the person testified. "So – it was disturbing. I don't like talking about it, but there were calls to say good-bye to family members and so forth. It was getting – for whatever the reason was on the ground, the VP detail thought that this was about to get very ugly." 

Secret Service at the Capitol were "running out of options" and "getting nervous," the official continued.

Thursday's hearing was the eighth public hearing this summer, and committee vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney indicated there could be more hearings in the fall, when the committee is expected to wrap its investigation and issue a report.

The previous public hearings have focused on the mobilization of the rioters at the Capitol and Trump's speech at the Ellipse on Jan. 6 ahead of the riot, as well as Trump's pressure campaigns after Election Day on Pence, the Justice Department, state lawmakers and local elections officials


Raskin: "It's like a security guard in a bank who does nothing to stop a robbery … then you learn he knows all the robbers"

Rep. Jamie Raskin, a member of the committee, told reporters after the hearing that "there can be no question that Donald Trump was at the absolute center of the conspiracy to overthrow the election and to assault our democracy."

"It's like a security guard in a bank who does nothing to stop a robbery of the bank and then you learn that he knows all the robbers and helped to form them into a group and he knew that they were armed and he waved them in, and the whole thing comes together," Raskin said.

By Caroline Linton

Cheney closes out hearing

Cheney and Thompson, with Thompson again speaking virtually, closed out the final of the committee's hearings for now.

"In the first hearing of this series, I asked that the American people consider the facts and judge for themselves," Thompson said. "The facts are clear and unambiguous. I thank the American people for their attention over the past several weeks."

Cheney thanked Pottinger and Matthews for their bravery, along with former witness Cassidy Hutchinson. 

"She sat here alone, took the oath and testified before millions of Americans," Cheney said. "She knew all along she would be attacked by President Trump, and by the 50, 60 and 70 year old men who themselves hide behind executive privilege. But like our witnesses today, she has courage, and did it anyway." 

Cheney pointed out that those who have appeared to testify this summer were not the president's political opponents. 

"This committee has shown you the testimony of dozens of Republican witnesses, those who served President Trump loyally for years," Cheney said. "The case against Donald Trump in these hearings is not made by witnesses who were his political enemies.  It is instead a series of confessions by Donald Trump's own appointees, his own friends, his own campaign officials, people who worked for him for years, and his own family.  

Cheney said it didn't matter to the president that there was no evidence of a stolen election. 

"Here's the worst part: Donald Trump knows that millions of Americans who supported him would stand up and defend this country were it threatened," Cheney said. "They would put their lives and freedom at stake to protect her. And he is preying on their patriotism. He is preying on their sense of justice. And on Jan. 6, Donald Trump turned their love of country into a weapon against our Capitol and our Constitution."

By Kathryn Watson

Kinzinger: Trump's conduct on Jan. 6 is a "stain on our history"

Kinzinger concluded his remarks by recapping Trump's inaction across the 187-span from when he ended his speech at the Ellipse to when he issued his first tweet recognizing the violence.

"Within minutes of stepping off the Ellipse stage, Donald Trump knew about the violent attack on the Capitol," he  said. "From the comfort of his dining room, he watched on TV as the attack escalated. He sent tweets that inflamed, and expressed support for the desire of some to literally kill Vice President Mike Pence. For three hours he refused to call off the attack."

Trump, Kinzinger continued, refused to take advice he received from those closest to him: his family, friends, staff and advisers.

"Whatever your politics, whatever you think about the outcome of the election, we as Americans must all agree on this: Donald Trump's conduct on Jan. 6 was a supreme violation of his oath of office, and a complete dereliction of his duty to our nation," he said. "It is a stain on our history. It is a dishonor to all those who have sacrificed and died in service of our democracy."

The committee will recommend changes to laws and policies to ensure another Jan. 6 does not happen in the future when it presents its findings in the fall, Kinzinger said, and he warned such action is needed as lies about the election continue to proliferate today.

"The reason that's imperative is that the forces Donald Trump ignited that day have not gone away," he said. "The militant, intolerant ideologies —the militias, the alienation, and the disaffection  — the weird fantasies and disinformation. They're all still out there, ready to go. That's the 'elephant in the room.'"

By Melissa Quinn

Trump officials texted about Trump's failure to acknowledge Capitol Police deaths

Rep. Elaine Luria shared texts from Trump campaign officials Tim Murtagh, Trump's director of communications, and one of his deputies, Matthew Wolking, condemning the president for not acknowledging the deaths of Capitol Police officers who died after the Capitol attack. 

"Also shitty not to have even acknowledged the death of the Capitol Police officer," Murtagh wrote to Wolking, referring to Brian Sicknick, who died from his injuries on Jan. 7, 2021. 

Wolking responded, "That is enraging to me. Everything he said about supporting law enforcement was a lie." 

Murtagh replied, "You know what this is, of course. If he acknowledged the dead cop, he'd be implicitly faulting the mob. And he won't do that, because they're his people. And he would also be close to acknowledging that what he lit at the rally got out of control. No way he acknowledges something that could ultimately be called his fault. No way."

By Caitlin Yilek

In never-before seen footage of Trump recording video message, he says, "I don't want to say the election is over"

On Jan. 7, Trump recorded a new video that finally condemned the violence of the day before. But in never-before-seen raw footage of the recording of that video, Trump bristled at the written speech, saying he didn't want to say the election was over.

"I would like to begin by addressing the heinous attack yesterday, and to those who broke the law, you will pay," Trump said in the footage. "You do not represent our movement, you do not represent our country, and if you broke the law — can't say that. I already said you will pay…"

"But this election is now over. Congress has certified the results," he continued. "I don't want to say the election's over. I just want to say Congress has certified the results without saying the election's over." 

Trump also angrily refused to say other parts of the speech. 

By Kathryn Watson

Cipollone says he considered resigning over Jan. 6

Cipollone revealed to the committee that he considered resigning following the Jan. 6 assault, but ultimately decided not to out of concern for who his replacement would be.

"Some people were resigning, obviously, over Jan. 6. We know who they were. Did I consider it? Yes. Did I do it? No," he told the committee, according to a clip of his deposition. "One thing I was concerned about is if people in the counsel's office left, who would replace me? And I had some concerns that it might be somebody who had been giving bad advice and might continue to give bad advice."

Then-Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia said that he believed on the morning of Jan. 7 that the "most constructive thing" he could think to do was to seek a Cabinet meeting.

"I thought that trying to work within the administration to steady the ship was likely to have greater value than simply resigning, after which point I would have been powerless to really affect things within the administration," he told investigators.

In a memo to Trump requesting the Cabinet convene and displayed by the committee, Scalia wrote "I believe it is important to know that while president, you will no longer publicly question the election results — after Wednesday, no one can deny this is harmful."

He added: "A Cabinet meeting is also an opportunity for us to discuss how the Cabinet and senior White House advisors, acting within our respective roles, can assist as you make the remaining important decisions of your administration, while limiting the role of certain private citizens who, respectfully, have served you poorly with their advice."

Scalia was referring to Rudy Giuliani and other outside advisers when he wrote of "certain private citizens," according to Kinzinger.

Committee investigators indicated in a question to Cipollone that Meadows did not think a Cabinet meeting would be productive, and Cipollone said he believed "it probably had something to do with Mark's view of how the president might react in that meeting."

Milley said in calls with top administration officials, Meadows relayed Trump's state of mind and said on Jan. 7 that "POTUS is very emotional and in a bad place."

By Melissa Quinn

Jason Miller said he wrote transition of power tweet

Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller told the committee that he drafted the statement that there would be an orderly transfer of power because he had heard nothing from Trump or the White House about assuring the nation that there would be a transfer of power, Kinzinger said. 

Miller called the president after 9 p.m. to convince him to share the statement, Kinzinger said. 

After Congress certified the 2020 election results, Dan Scavino, who ran President Trump's social media accounts, shared a statement from the president on his Twitter account because Trump's account had been suspended after the riot. 

"Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on Jan. 20," the statement said. 

Committee investigators asked Miller in a taped interview whether Trump disagreed with anything in the statement. 

"I'd say just that he wanted to say 'peaceful transition,' and I said, 'That ship's kind of already sailed, so we're going to say 'orderly transition.'' That was about the extent of disagreement or pushback from the conversation," Miller said. 

By Caitlin Yilek

Giuliani called GOP senators asking them to slow down election certification process after the attack

After Capitol riot, Giuliani still pushed to delay election certification 04:17

Despite the attack that sent members fleeing for safety, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani still called a number of GOP members of Congress urging them to slow down the election certification process, Kinzinger said. Giuliani called Rep. Jim Jordan and Sens. Marsha Blackburn, Tommy Tuberville, Bill Haggerty, Lindsey Graham, Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, Kinzinger said. 

"Senator Tuberville, or I should say Coach Tuberville, this is Rudy Giuliani, president's lawyer," Giuiliani said in a voicemail obtained by the committee. "I'm calling you because I want to discuss with you how they're trying to rush this hearing and how we need you – our Republican friends to try to just slow it down so we can get these legislators to get more information to you."

Giuliani did not mention the attack on the Capitol in his voicemail. 

By Kathryn Watson

Trump told White House employee the evening of Jan. 6 "Mike Pence let me down," Kinzinger says

At 6:01 p.m. on Jan. 6, Trump tweeted about the events of the day: "These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!"

Trump "showed no remorse," Kinzinzger said.

At 6:27 p.m., the president went to the White House residence for the night, and an image obtained by the committee shows Trump leaving.

"As he was gathering his things in the dining room to leave, President Trump reflected on the day's events with a White House employee. This was the same employee who had met President Trump in the Oval Office after he had returned from the Ellipse," Kinzinger said. "President Trump said nothing to the employee about the attack. He said only quote 'Mike Pence let me down.'"

Matthews said Trump's tweet telling his supporters to "remember this day forever" cemented her decision to resign.

"I thought that Jan. 6, 2021, was one of the darkest days in our nation's history, and President Trump was treating it as a celebratory occasion with that tweet," she said.

Other members of Trump's White House staff agreed with Matthews' characterization.

Nick Luna, an assistant to Trump, said he believed the phrase "these are the things and events that happen" indicated there was "culpability associated with it."

Tim Murtaugh, communications director for Trump's re-election campaign, told the committee "I don't think it's a patriotic act to attack the Capitol. But I have no idea how to characterize the people, other than they trespassed, destroyed property, and assaulted the U.S. Capitol. I think calling them patriots is, let's say, a stretch, to say the least."

He added that it was "criminal" and "unpatriotic" to attack the Capitol.

Cipollone told the panel the events of Jan. 6 "cannot be justified in any form or fashion."

"It was wrong, and it was tragic. And a lot – and it was a terrible day," he said. "It was a terrible day for this country."

Greg Jacob, top White House lawyer to Pence, said "it was a day that should be remembered in infamy. That wasn't the tenor of this tweet."

By Melissa Quinn

Pence gave "direct" and "unambiguous" orders to have military come to the Capitol

Gen. Mark Milley, in recorded testimony, said there were "two or three" calls with Pence during this time. The committee showed photos of Pence making calls from a secure location under the Capitol complex. 

"Vice President Pence – there were two or three calls with Vice President Pence," Milley said in the recorded testimony. "He was very animated, and he issued very explicit, very direct, unambiguous orders. There was no question about that. And I can get you the exact quotes, I guess, from some of our records somewhere. But he was very animated, very direct, very firm to (Defense) Secretary Miller: Get the military down here, get the Guard down here, put down this situation, et cetera." 

Milley also said in recorded testimony that Meadows told him they had to "kill this narrative" that the vice president was calling the shots. 

"He said – this is from memory," Milley testified. "He said: We have to kill the narrative that the vice president is making all the decisions. We need to establish the narrative, you know, that the President is still in charge and that things are steady or stable, or words to that effect. I immediately interpreted that as politics, politics, politics. Red flag for me, personally. No action. But I remember it distinctly. And I don't do political narratives."

By Kathryn Watson

Congressional leaders spoke with acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller during attack

The committee revealed that congressional leaders spoke with acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller at approximately 4:45 p.m. Jan. 6 and played video footage of the Republican and Democratic leaders huddled around phones for the call.

"We're not going to let these people keep us from finishing our business," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said. "So we need you to get the building cleared, give us the OK so we can go back in session and finish up the people's business as soon as possible."

Miller replied, "Amen, sir."

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer then asked Miller whether he agreed with the analysis from Capitol Police that it would take "several days" to secure the building, and Miller said he did not.

The acting defense secretary estimated it would take four to five hours before Congress could resume their proceedings, which they ultimately did.

Pence, too, spoke with Miller and other military leaders.

By Melissa Quinn

Trump's Rose Garden remarks were "off-the-cuff"

Jan. 6 committee releases never-before-seen footage of Trump recording message to Capitol rioters 04:49

The committee showed never-before-seen footage of President Trump filming his Rose Garden remarks in which he eventually called on his supporters to go home. Rep. Elaine Luria said Trump was urged to stick to the script but instead spoke off-the-cuff. 

The remarks that Trump was supposed to give: 

"I urge all my supporters to do exactly as 99.9% of them have already been doing — express their passions and opinions peacefully. My supporters have a right to have their voices heard, but make no mistake — NO ONE should be using violence or threats of violence to express themselves. Especially at the U.S. Capitol. Let's respect our institutions. Let's all do better. I am asking you to leave the Capitol Hill region NOW and go home in a peaceful way." 

Trump's personal assistant Nick Luna told committee investigators that he did not know why Trump did not use the scripted remarks. 

"To my knowledge, it was off-the-cuff," Luna said. 

Instead, Trump said "we had an election that was stolen," it was a "fraudulent election" and he called the rioters "very special" while telling them to go home. 

"We love you," he said. 

By Caitlin Yilek

Matthews says she told colleagues: "'Do you think it looks like we're f'ing winning? Because I don't think it does'"

Both Pottinger and Matthews described the president's mid-afternoon texts as insufficient.

"It was insufficient," Pottinger testified, adding "we were hoping for" a clearer, more definitive message. 

Matthews said a conversation took place in the White House press office after the president's mid-afternoon tweets, noting one of her colleagues didn't want to condemn the violence because they said doing so would be "handing a win to the media."

"I disagreed," Matthews said. "I thought that we should condemn the violence and condemn it unequivocally. And I thought that he needed to include a call to action and include these people to go home." 

From there, a debate ensued, she said. 

"I couldn't believe that we were arguing over this in the middle of the West Wing .. And so, I motioned up at the TV and said, 'Do you think it looks like we're f'ing winning? Because I don't think it does.'"

By Kathryn Watson

Matthews recalled McEnany said Trump did not want tweet to include "any sort of mention of peace"

Matthews said that after Trump's tweet about Pence, she spoke to then-White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany to urge her to push the former president to send out a tweet to stop the violence.

McEnany, according to Matthews, then went to the dining room, where Trump was as the violence escalated. Upon her return to the press office, McEnany told Matthews in a "hushed tone" that the former president "did not want to include any sort of mention of peace in that tweet, and it took some convincing on their part, those who were in the room," Matthews recalled.

She said McEnany described a "back and forth" over the phrasing of the tweet to find something Trump would be comfortable with, and it was ultimately Ivanka Trump who suggested he tweet "stay peaceful."

"The president resisted writing 'stay peaceful' in a tweet. He told Mark Meadows the rioters were doing what they should be doing. And the rioters understood they were doing what President Trump wanted," Kinzinger said.

Walkie-talkie communications between members of the Oath Keepers, a far-right group whose leader and some members have been charged with seditious conspiracy over their role in the Capitol assault, demonstrate how Trump's backers reacted to his tweet. 

"There is no safe place in the United States for any of these motherf**kers right now, let me tell you," said one man.

"I hope they understand that we are not joking around," said an unidentified woman.

In response to a tweet from Trump urging the mob not to harm Capitol Police officers, a man said, "That's saying a lot by what he didn't say. He didn't say not to do anything to the congressmen."

"POTUS is not ignorant of what his words would do," Ali Alexander, organizer of the Stop the Steal rally, texted at 2:38 p.m. on Jan. 6.

By Melissa Quinn

Trump allies urged Meadows to have Trump condemn the violence

Jan. 6 committee shows how Trump turned down Rep. Kevin McCarthy's request for help 05:10

Kinzinger, resuming the hearing, pointed out how the president had apparently been watching TV as the attack continued. 

Kinzinger spelled out how Trump's allies, including Donald Trump Jr., urged then-chief of staff Mark Meadows to have Trump condemn the violent attack. 

The two tweets the president posted at 2:38 p.m. and 3:13 p.m. to "stay peaceful" and "remain peaceful" fell short of doing so.

"He's got to condem this sh**. Asap," Donald Trump, Jr., texted. "The captiol police tweet is not enough."

"I am pushing it hard. I agree," Meadows responded. 

Fox News personality Sean Hannity and GOP members of Congress also urged Meadows to step in.

"Throughout the attack, Mr. Meadows received texts from Republican members of Congress, current and former Trump administration officials, media personalities, and friends," Kinzinger said. "Like President Trump's staff, they knew President Trump had to speak publicly to get the mob to stop."

The committee shared some of the texts. 

Former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told Meadows, "he needs to stop this, now." 

But Trump refused, as aides testified. 

By Kathryn Watson

Capitol Police officer said Hawley's raised fist to protesters "riled up the crowd"

As the violence at the Capitol escalated, Trump continued calling U.S. senators to urge them to delay the tallying of state electoral votes, including Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a Republican from Alabama who had been sworn in only days earlier, who detailed in a television interview his brief call with the then-president.

Luria also highlighted a photo of Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, raising his fist toward Trump's supporters gathered outside the Capitol on Jan. 6. She revealed that an unnamed Capitol Police officer told the committee Hawley's gesture "riled up the crowd."

"And it bothered her greatly because he was doing it in a safe space, protected by the officers and the barriers," Luria said of the officer.

Hawley was later identified on surveillance footage fleeing the Capitol as lawmakers were evacuated when the mob breached the building.

"Think about what we've seen: Undeniable violence at the Capitol. The vice president being evacuated to safety by the Secret Service. Senators running through the hallways of the Senate to get away from the mob," Luria said. "As the commander in chief, President Trump was oath and duty-bound to protect the Capitol. His senior staff understood that."

Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and a senior adviser to the president, answered "yes" when asked by investigators whether the president has an obligation to ensure the peaceful transfer of power, and answered "yes" again when asked whether the president has an obligation to defend the three branches of government, according to his taped interview.

Cipollone, too, said one of the "president's obligations" is to take care that the laws are faithfully executed.

Keith Kellogg, Pence's national security adviser, told the committee the president has "a constitutional duty. You know, what he has, he's the commander in chief. That was my biggest issue with him as a national security adviser."

By Melissa Quinn

Pottinger and Matthews said Trump tweet attacking Pence poured fuel on the fire

Several White House officials condemned President Trump's tweet attacking Vice President Mike Pence amid the riot. In the tweet sent at 2:24 p.m., Trump called Pence a coward and placed the blame on him for not stopping the certification. 

Pottinger said he was "quite disturbed" and "worried" by the tweet because Pence was doing his constitutional duty. 

"The tweet looked to me like the opposite of what we really needed at that moment, which was a deescalation," Pottinger testified

Pottinger said the tweet prompted his resignation because he thought it was pouring fuel on the fire. 

"That was the moment that I decided that I was going to resign," he told the committee. "I simply didn't want to be associated with the events that were unfolding in the Capitol."

Matthews testified that she felt similarly. 

"I remember thinking that this was going to be bad for him to tweet," she said, adding that it was like Trump giving his supporters "the green light" to attack the Capitol when he should have been telling them to go home and condemning the violence.

The committee also played taped interviews with White House counsel Pat Cipollone, who said it was "a terrible tweet" and he "disagreed with the sentiment," and deputy press secretary Judd Deere, who said it was "extremely unhelpful" because "it wasn't the message that we needed at that time." 

By Caitlin Yilek

Security official says members of Pence's security detail were making calls saying goodbye to family members

Jan. 6 committee offers evidence of Trump's inaction as Capitol riot ensued 08:23

The anonymous security professional who spoke to the committee, in recorded testimony, described the dire situation among Pence's Secret Service detail. Members of Pence's detail, the official said, feared for their own lives, and began making calls to family members to say goodbye.

"The members of the VP detail at this time were starting to fear for their own lives," the anonymous official testified. "There were a lot of – there was a lot of yelling, a lot of – I don't know – a lot of very personal calls over the radio," the person testified. "So – it was disturbing. I don't like talking about it, but there were calls to say good-bye to family members and so forth. It was getting – for whatever the reason was on the ground, the VP detail thought that this was about to get very ugly. 

Secret Service at the Capitol were "running out of options" and "getting nervous," the official continued.

"It sounds like that we came very close to either Service having to use lethal options or worse," the official said. "At that point, I don't know. Is the VP compromised? Is the detail – like, I don't know. Like, we didn't have visibility, but it doesn't – if they're screaming and saying things, like, say good-bye to the family, like the floor needs to know this is going to a whole another level soon."

By Kathryn Watson

Cipollone said chants to "hang Mike Pence" were "outrageous and wrong"

Testimony from then-White House counsel Pat Cipollone revealed that he pushed throughout the afternoon of Jan. 6 for Trump to make a forceful statement to the rioters and had backing from Ivanka Trump in his effort.

"I think I was pretty clear there needed to be an immediate and forceful response, statement, public statement, that people need to leave the Capitol now," he told investigators in a taped deposition.

Cipollone recalled "generically" saying that "people need to be told, there needs to be a public announcement fast that they need to leave the Capitol," and he expressed that opinion "almost immediately after I found out people were getting into the Capitol or approaching the Capitol in a way that was violent."

The former White House counsel also recalled having "many" conversations with then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows about the need for Trump to address the situation. 

Even as Trump issued tweets regarding the events at the Capitol, Cipollone said he continued to push for a stronger statement and was joined in the effort by Ivanka Trump, Eric Herschmann, a White House lawyer, Meadows and Pat Philbin, deputy White House counsel.

Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide to Meadows, also told the committee Ivanka Trump pushed for a stronger condemnation of the rioters.

In an interview with the committee, Hutchinson said Cipollone was aware of chants of "hang Mike Pence" that rippled throughout the crowd at the Capitol and told Meadows that "we need to do something more. They're literally calling for the Vice President to be F'ing hung."

Meadows, according to Hutchinson, responded with: "You heard him, Pat. He thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn't think they're doing anything wrong."

Cipollone, in Hutchinson's telling, said it was "f'ing crazy" and more needed to be done.

Cipollone told investigators he remembered talks about the chants and thought they were "outrageous."

"For anyone to suggest such a thing as the vice president of the United States, for people in that crowd to be chanting that I thought was terrible. I thought it was outrageous and wrong. And I expressed that very clearly to people," he said, according to a clip played by the committee.

Cipollone also said he raised a concern about Pence with Meadows, but said information about his conversation with Trump was privileged.

By Melissa Quinn

Trump administration officials testify Trump failed to contact any law enforcement entities during attack

Retired sergeant in Trump's motorcade says Trump was adamant about going to Capitol on Jan. 6 05:40

Top Trump administration officials testified that, to their knowledge, Trump made no efforts during the attack on the Capitol to reach out to any law enforcement entities for assistance. 

The committee played testimony of former White House counsel Pat Cipollone testifying that he was unaware of the president making a call to the secretary of defense, attorney general, or homeland security secretary that day. Keith Kellogg, former national security adviser to Pence, also said in recorded testimony that he never heard of the president asking for a National Guard or law enforcement response. Kellogg said if troops were called up to help defend the Capitol, he would have heard of that. And Nick Luna, an aide to Trump, also said in recorded testimony that he was unaware of any requests Trump made to the National Guard, Pentagon, FBI, Homeland Security, Service Service or Capitol Police. 

"We have confirmed in numerous interviews with senior law enforcement and military leaders, Vice President Pence's staff, and D.C. government officials: None of them – not one – heard from President Trump that day. He did not call to issue orders. He did not call to offer assistance," Luria said. 

By Kathryn Watson

White House employee told Trump about riot as soon as he returned to Oval Office, but there's no record of what he did, Luria says

President Trump was told about the riot "as soon as he returned" to the Oval Office from his speech at the Ellipse, according to Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria. 

"Within 15 minutes of leaving the stage, President Trump knew the Capitol was besieged and under attack," she said. 

Luria said Trump then went to a private dining room next to the Oval Office and stayed there from 1:25 p.m. until after 4 p.m. Witnesses told the committee that Trump sat at the head of the table, facing a television hanging on the wall. 

"We know from the employee that the TV was tuned to Fox News all afternoon," Luria said, adding that other witnesses confirmed Trump was in the dining room with the TV on during that time. 

However, she said, there is "no official record" of what Trump was doing in the dining room. There is also no official record of Trump "receiving or placing a call" from around 11 a.m. until nearly 7 p.m. that day. 

"The Presidential Daily Diary is also silent. It contains no information for the period between 1:21 p.m. and 4:03 p.m.," she said. "There are also no photos of President Trump during this critical period between 1:21 in the Oval Office and when he went outside to the Rose Garden after 4. The chief White House photographer wanted to take pictures because it was, in her words, 'very important for his archives and for history.' But she was told, quote 'no photographs.'" 

By Caitlin Yilek

Two witnesses confirmed Trump's anger at not being able to go to the Capitol

Luria revealed the committee has evidence from "multiple sources" regarding an "angry exchange" in Trump's SUV, and disclosed testimony from two witnesses who "confirmed that a confrontation occurred."

The first witness, described as a "former White House official with national security responsibilities," told the committee that after seeing the violence at the Capitol, the person met with Tony Ornato, the deputy chief of staff for operations, who was with Bobby Engel, Trump's lead Secret Service agent.

Luria said the employee recalled that Ornato said the former president was "irate" when Engel refused to drive him to the Capitol. Engel did not dispute Ornato's comment, Luria said. 

The second witness, retired Sgt. Mark Robinson of the Metropolitan Police Department, was assigned to Trump's motorcade on Jan. 6 and was in the lead vehicle with a Secret Service agent who was responsible for the motorcade.

Robinson told the committee in an interview that the description he received of what was happening in the SUV was that Trump was "upset and that he was adamant about going to the Capitol, and there was a heated discussion about that."

Robinson estimated having been in the motorcade with the president "over a hundred times" and had never witnessed a heated discussion where the president was contradicting Secret Service guidance.

The retired police officer also told the committee he knew people in the crowd outside the White House were armed.

"I believe we were on special events channel, and I was monitoring the traffic. And so I could hear some of the units pointing out to individuals that there were individuals along Constitution Avenue that were armed, that were up in the trees, and I can hear the units responding to those individuals," Robinson said. "And so there's always a concern when there's a POTUS in the area."

Despite being told he could not go to the Capitol and returning to the White House, the former president still wanted to make the trip, Robinson said. He recalled waiting 45 minutes to an hour "waiting for Secret Service to make that decision."

Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified last month that Trump was angry he couldn't go to the Capitol. 

By Melissa Quinn

Security official told committee the White House was aware of multiple reports of weapons in the crowd

Since the last hearing, Luria said the committee has received new testimony from a security professional working in the White House complex on Jan. 6 with access to information and an obligation to report to national security officials. The security official told the committee that the White House was aware of "multiple reports of weapons in the crowd that morning," Luria said. 

The committee played audio from an interview with the security official, obscuring the person's voice. 

"To be completely honest, we were all in a state of shock," the official said. "Because it just – one, I think the actual physical feasibility of doing it, and then also, we all knew what that implicated … that this was no longer a rally, that this was going to move to something else if he physically walked to the Capitol. I don't know if you want to use the word 'insurrection,' 'coup,' whatever. We all knew that this would move from a normal democratic, you know, public event into something else."

Asked what the reason for the alarm was, the security official testified: "The president wanted to lead tens of thousands of people to the Capitol. I think that was enough grounds for us to be alarmed."

By Kathryn Watson

Witnesses introduced and sworn in

Former National Security Council member Matthew Pottinger (L) and former Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Matthews are sworn in during a hearing by the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6th attack on the US Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC, on July 21, 2022. SAUL LOEB/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Cheney introduced Matthew Pottinger, the former deputy national security adviser to the president, and Sarah Matthews, former deputy secretary at the White House. Matthews resigned on Jan. 6, 2021, and Pottinger resigned in the early morning hours of Jan. 7, 2021.

Pottinger and Matthews were sworn in to testify under oath.

Both witnesses confirmed they were at the White House on Jan. 6, 2021.

By Kathryn Watson

Milley criticized Trump's failure to act as the rioters breached the Capitol building

Kinzinger revealed in his opening remarks that Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, criticized Trump's inaction during the Capitol assault in an interview with House investigators.

"You know, you're the commander-in-chief. You've got an assault going on, on the Capitol of the United States of America, and there's nothing? No call? Nothing? Zero?" Milley said, according to a clip of an interview with him that Kinzinger played. 

Kinzinger said Trump's failure to respond can be attributed to his motives on Jan. 6: "What explains President Trump's behavior? Why did he not take immediate action in a time of crisis? Because President Trump's plan for Jan. 6 was to halt or delay Congress' official proceeding to count electoral votes."

The Illinois Republican noted that the mob of Trump's supporters led to lawmakers' evacuation from the House and Senate, and the counting of state electoral votes was delayed for hours. Congress ultimately did reconvene after law enforcement cleared the Capitol of the rioters and reaffirmed Mr. Biden's win over Trump.

"The mob was accomplishing President Trump's purpose, and he did not intervene," Kinzinger said.

He added that by the hearing's conclusion, it will become clear that Trump "did not fail to act" in the 187-minute span, but rather he "chose not to act."

By Melissa Quinn

Luria: Trump watched the riot on TV, ignoring entreaties to do something

Trump was in a White House dining room watching the Capitol riot unfold on TV while those around him pleaded with him to do something to stop the attack, according to the committee. 

"President Trump sat in his dining room and watched the attack on television, while his senior-most staff, closest advisers and family members begged him to do what was expected of any American president," Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria said in her opening remarks. 

"As you will see in great detail tonight, President Trump was being advised by nearly everyone to immediately instruct his supporters to leave the Capitol, disperse and halt the violence," she said. She added that "virtually everyone" told Trump  " to condemn the violence in clear and unmistakable terms." People on Capitol Hill and others across the country "begged President Trump to help, but the former president chose not to do what all of these people begged," Luria said. 

She noted that by the time Trump called off the mob, many law enforcement officers were injured, members of Congress had been evacuated, their offices ransacked and one rioter had been fatally shot.

"On Jan. 6, when lives and our democracy hung in the balance, President Trump refused to act because of his selfish desire to stay in power," she said. 

By Caitlin Yilek

Cheney: "The dam has begun to break"

Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney said these hearings have produced new evidence and new witnesses, echoing Thompson that the committee will continue to gather information in August. 

"But in the course of these hearings, we have received new evidence; and new witnesses have bravely stepped forward," she said. "Efforts to litigate and overcome immunity and executive privilege claims have been successful, and continue. Doors have opened, new subpoenas have been issued, and the dam has begun to break. And now, even as we conduct our eighth hearing, we have considerably more to do."

"Today, we know far more about the president's plans and actions to overturn the election than almost all members of Congress did when President Trump was impeached on Jan. 13, 2021, or when he was tried by the Senate in February of that year," she said. 

The Wyoming Republican reiterated points the committee has made before — that Trump tried to halt or delay Congress in counting certified electoral votes and attempted to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to reject votes. 

"But on Jan. 6, none of that had worked," she said. "Only one thing was succeeding on the afternoon of Jan. 6. Only one thing was achieving President Trump's goal. The angry mob President Trump sent to the Capitol broke through security, invaded the Capitol, and forced the vote counting to stop." 

Further, Cheney said, the president declined to take calls from allies begging him to follow his oath and intervene.

By Kathryn Watson

Thompson says Trump "could not be moved" during Jan. 6 assault

Select committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, delivered taped opening remarks, noted that Trump was active in the weeks between the Nov. election and Jan. 6, when Congress convened for a joint session to tally state electoral votes and reaffirm Mr. Biden's victory. 

Trump "was a force to be reckoned with," Thompson said. He ignored the "legally correct, sober advice" of his "sensible advisers," and instead "recklessly blazed a path of lawlessness and corruption; the costs to our democracy be damned." 

But as the mob descended upon the Capitol building, violently confronting law enforcement and prompting the evacuation of lawmakers, he fell silent, "he stopped," Thompson noted.

For 187 minutes on Jan. 6 — the time from the end of his speech on the Ellipse to his afternoon tweet addressing the violence — "this man of unbridled, destructive energy could not be moved — not by his aides, not by his allies, not by the violent chants of rioters or the desperate pleas of those facing down the riot. And more tellingly, Donald Trump ignored and disregarded the desperate pleas of his own family, including Ivanka and Don Jr.," the Mississippi Democrat said.

Thompson said that although Trump was the "only person in the world" who could urge his supporters to leave the Capitol building, he did not take action as the violence raged. 

"He could not be moved to rise from his dining room table and walk the few steps down the White House hallway into the press briefing room, where cameras were anxiously and desperately waiting to carry his message to the armed and violent mob savagely beating and killing law enforcement officers, revenging the Capitol, and hunting down the vice president and various members of Congress," he said. "He could not be moved."

Thompson said the committee's investigation continues, with investigators receiving new information each  day and new witnesses speaking with the panel. 

"We will reconvene in Sept. to continue laying out our findings to the American people," he said.

By Melissa Quinn

Jan. 6 panel to detail 187 minutes of Capitol attack

Jan. 6 panel to detail 187 minutes of Capitol attack 01:32

Scott MacFarlane takes a deeper dive into what was happening during the 187 minutes between when then-President Donald Trump's Ellipse speech ended, and when he released a recorded video statement calling on rioters to go home.


Jan. 6 hearing to focus on Trump's actions during riot

Jan. 6 hearing to focus on Trump's actions during riot 03:12

The Jan. 6 committee is holding its last planned hearing for the summer. The focus will be the 187 minutes between when then-President Donald Trump's Ellipse speech ended, and when he released a recorded video statement calling on rioters to go home. Nikole Killion reports.


Kinzinger shares never-before-seen depositions

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who is one of the members of the committee leading Thursday night's hearing, tweeted never-before-seen depositions about Jan. 6. He wrote: "What was he doing while the Capitol was under siege? See for yourself. Donald Trump is a disgrace to America."

The video showed Trump White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany saying that "to the best of my recollection, he was always in the dining room." Former Vice President Mike Pence's national security adviser Keith Kellogg said "I think he was watching TV." Molly Michael, a former executive assistant to the president, said "it was my understanding he was watching television." Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone also said that while he was having discussions with Trump on Jan. 6, the violence was on the television.

By Caroline Linton

House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack holds primetime hearing tonight

House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack holds primetime hearing tonight 04:35

The Jan. 6 House select committee will hold its last scheduled public hearing this evening. Its focus will be on former President Donald Trump's actions and inactions between when rioters stormed the Capitol and when Trump finally issued a video statement asking people to leave. CBS News Political Correspondent Caitlyn Huey-Burns joins "CBS News Mornings" to discuss.  


Committee aides confirm hearing will focus on Trump's actions for 187 minutes during riot

Former Jan. 6 committee staff member discusses upcoming hearing 07:23

Committee aides said Wednesday that the hearing will focus on Trump's actions between 1:10 p.m. ET, when his speech at the Ellipse ended, and 4:17 p.m. ET, when he released a recorded video statement from the Rose Garden calling on rioters to go home.

According to aides, the committee will argue that he refused to act to defend the Capitol even as the mob swarmed the building with the aim of stopping the counting of the electoral votes. 

The committee will also present additional information about Trump returning to the White House against his wishes after the Ellipse speech ended, an aide said. The aide would not disclose whether the committee has interviewed Anthony Ornato, deputy chief of staff for operations, or Secret Service agent Robert Engel, who were both mentioned by White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson when she testified to the committee that Trump had demanded to be taken to the Capitol during the riot.

A source close to the Secret Service told CBS News after Hutchinson's testimony that Engel and the driver of a Secret Service vehicle on Jan. 6 are prepared to testify under oath that neither man was physically attacked or assaulted by Trump and that the former president never lunged for the steering wheel of the vehicle, as Hutchinson claimed.

Hutchinson testified that she had called Ornato to make sure there was no plan to take Trump to the Capitol on Jan. 6.

A committee aide said Thursday's hearing will lay out who was talking to Trump, what those people were urging him to do and when he was made aware of what was going on. These details will be provided during testimony from individuals who spoke to the former president and individuals in the west wing who were aware of what he and his inner circle were doing. The testimony will be in the form of both video and audio recordings as well as from live witnesses.

Committee aides still have not publicly confirmed who Thursday's witnesses will be. CBS News has confirmed via a source familiar with the committee that Matthew Pottinger, a former National Security Council official, and Sarah Matthews, a former deputy White House press secretary, are set to testify. They both resigned in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

The hearing will also cover how law enforcement turned the tide against the rioters around 4 p.m., and the committee will go over what happened in the White House for the remainder of the day, the creation of the Rose Garden video, the president's tweets he sent later that day and the fallout the day after the attack.

"One of the main points we're going to make here is that President Trump had the power to call off the mob here. He was maybe the sole person who could call off the mob and he chose not to," a committee aide said.

By Rebecca Kaplan

House Jan. 6 committee says Secret Service may have violated Federal Records Act

Secret Service gives Jan. 6 committee single text 00:33

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol is asking for more records from the Secret Service, saying the security agency may have violated the Federal Records Act by failing to properly preserve text messages.

Staff for the House panel said they only received one text resulting from a July 15 subpoena to the agency requesting Secret Service text messages from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2021. The Secret Service said the messages were erased due to an agency-wide migration, despite preservation requests from investigators and Congress. 

Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy, a member of the committee, said the agency allowed individual Secret Service agents to decide which records to keep and delete during a 2021 agency phone migration process. 

"We have concerns about a system migration that we have been told resulted in the erasure of Secret Service cell phone data," the committee tweeted Wednesday. "The U.S. Secret Service system migration process went forward on Jan. 27, 2021, just three weeks after the attack on the Capitol in which the vice president of the United States while under the protection of the Secret Service, was steps from a violent mob hunting for him."

Read more here

Kathryn Watson and Nicole Sganga  


Raskin won't confirm if the Secret Service texts are permanently deleted

Rep. Jamie Raskin, a member of the Jan. 6 committee, would not confirm Tuesday if the texts from the Secret Service have been permanently deleted. 

"We're trying to determine where those texts are and whether they can be recovered and the truth," he said.

Raskin said about the missing texts: "One thing I've learned in this process is that when one evidentiary door closes, another one will open and we'll find a way and nobody's going to sweep the truth of what happened on Jan. 6 under the rug."

Raskin added that he "would be shocked and horrified if anyone in a position of leadership oversaw the destruction of evidence related to the January 6 insurrection."

The House Jan. 6 committee gave the Secret Service until Tuesday to turn over its texts. The Secret Service said Tuesday that it had delivered text messages to the committee and other records involving the planning and operations for Jan. 6. But Secret Service officials also said that text messages that were not delivered to the committee "are presumed to be permanently deleted." The agency is exploring whether forensic analysis of the phones or some other means can restore the lost messages.

Ellis Kim, Nicole Sganga and Caroline Linton  


Former Navarro aide Garrett Ziegler meets with committee

 Former Trump White House aide Garrett Ziegler testified privately before the committee on Tuesday. Ziegler was an aide to trade adviser Peter Navarro, who has been charged with contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena to appear before the committee. 

According to The New York Times, Ziegler escorted Michael Flynn and lawyer Sidney Powell into the Oval Office for the Dec. 18 meeting. The committee focused on that meeting at the last public hearing, which was so heated that former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson texted afterward "the west wing is UNHINGED." 

Ziegler's credentials were revoked after that meeting, the Times reported. 

By Caroline Linton

Thompson tests positive for COVID

Committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson tested positive for COVID, he announced Tuesday. A committee spokesperson said he had instructed the committee to proceed.

Rep. Pete Aguilar, a member of the committee, told CBS News' Nikole Killion the committee will "continue forward" with its work even with Thompson being sidelined by COVID. 

"That's what he's asked and that's what we'll do. We'll continue to refine the script and make sure that the hearing goes off without a hitch," he said.

By Caroline Linton

Matthew Pottinger and Sarah Matthews to be witnesses at hearing

Matthew Pottinger, a former National Security Council official, and Trump White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews will testify at Thursday's primetime hearing from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, a source with direct knowledge told CBS News.

The committee has not publicly confirmed Thursday's witnesses. The identities of the witnesses were first reported by CNN

Both Pottinger and Matthews resigned in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack. In the hearing last week, the committee said Matthews had described the scene on Jan. 5 when Trump called top aides to the White House. 

Read more here

By Caroline Linton

Kinzinger says next Jan. 6 hearing on Trump's actions will "open people's eyes in a big way"

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a member of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, said Sunday that the panel's next hearing will "open people's eyes in a big way," when lawmakers detail what former President Donald Trump was doing while the mob of his supporters violently breached the Capitol.

In an interview with "Face the Nation," Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, said the committee has "filled in the blanks" of what Trump was doing at the White House in the 187 minutes from when his backers descended upon the Capitol building to when he issued his first public response to the attack.

"I can't necessarily say that the motives behind every piece of information we know we'll be able to explain, but this is going to open people's eyes in a big way," Kinzinger said. "The reality is, I'll give you this preview, the president didn't do very much but gleefully watch television during this time frame."

Read more here or watch the interview in the player below.

Kinzinger says Jan. 6 hearing on Trump’s actions will "open people's eyes in a big way" 11:47


By Melissa Quinn

"It felt as if a mob was being organized": Jan. 6 committee lays out case that Trump inspired extremists

Jan. 6 committee says Trump tweet incited Capitol attack 03:18

At the July 12 public hearing, the committee laid out evidence to try to prove that former President Donald Trump egged on extremists who supported him ahead of Jan. 6 – with one of his former supporters who has pleaded guilty to being at the Capitol that day testifying "the president got everybody riled up, told everyone to head on down, so we basically were just following what he said."

Tuesday's hearing, the seventh and penultimate hearing this summer, began with a tweet Trump sent at 1:42 a.m. on Dec. 19, 2020, which said, "Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!"

Committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin said that post "electrified" Trump's extremist supporters to come to the Capitol on Jan. 6. "Many members of this crowd could be led to storm the Capitol, confront the vice president and Congress and overturn the election results," Raskin said. 

A Twitter employee who testified anonymously in a previous interview, said that after that tweet, "it felt as if a mob was being organized, and they were gathering together their weaponry and their logic and their reasoning behind why they were prepared to fight." 

Read more here

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