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House Jan. 6 committee votes to subpoena Trump, "the one person at the center" of what happened on Jan. 6

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Jan. 6 committee votes to subpoena Donald Trump
Jan. 6 committee votes to subpoena Donald Trump 03:52

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol voted unanimously Thursday to subpoena former President Donald Trump, saying there is precedent for a former president to appear before the panel.

"This is a question about accountability to the American people," committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson said during the public hearing. "He must be accountable. He is required to answer for his actions. He is required to answer to those police officers who put their lives and bodies on the line to defend our democracy. He is required to answer to the millions of Americans whose votes he wanted to throw out as part of his scheme to remain in power."

Vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney said the committee had "sufficient evidence" to answer many of the "critical questions" about the attack and to make criminal referrals to the Justice Department. But she said a "key task" remained: "We must seek the testimony under oath of Jan. 6's central player."

Several Trump allies have refused to comply with subpoenas, including top Trump aides Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro, who were charged with contempt of Congress. Bannon was convicted and is expected to be sentenced later this month.  

US-POLITICS-CAPITOL-UNREST
A video is shown of former US President Donald Trump at the US House Select Committee hearing to Investigate the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on October 13, 2022. ALEX WONG/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Thursday's hearing, the ninth and likely final one, recapped much of what the committee has learned so far about the attack. 

The committee showed video testimony from those around Trump who said he acknowledged privately that he had lost the election. Former top White House communications aide Alyssa Farah, said, "I popped into the Oval just to, like, give the president the headlines and see how he was doing. And he was looking at the TV and he said, 'Can you believe I lost to this effing guy?" 

And according to former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, former chief of staff Mark Meadows told her Trump "pretty much acknowledged" that he lost. 

The committee also showed never-before-seen footage from the day of the riot. In the videos, members of Congress call Pence, the Defense Department and the governors of Virginia and Maryland and ask them to bring in the National Guard. "We need them there now," Schumer said in one of the videos. Meanwhile, the committee said, Trump did nothing to stop the rioters.

The committee said it may still subpoena additional witnesses, including members of the Secret Service. 

 

Trump writes to Thompson "to express our anger"

On Friday, Trump responded with an angry letter to Chairman Thompson to complain about the committee's work, but he did not mention the subpoena.

Instead, he railed at the committee, saying that he was writing "to express our anger, disappointment, and complaint that with all of the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on what many consider to be a Charade and Witch Hunt." He also attacked the committee for not looking into election fraud and appeared to defend the targets of the committee, who, he claimed were just acting "as concerned American Citizens, protesting the Fraud itself." 

He also brought up crowd size in the letter, touting the crowd at the White House Ellipse, where he had spoken at a rally on Jan. 6, 2021, hours before the Capitol riot began. Trump also included photos of the crowd in the appendix to his letter.

By Kathryn Watson
 

Trump calls panel "giant Scam"

Former President Donald Trump harsh words for the committee on his Truth Social platform late Thursday night.

He said, "The Unselect Committee is a giant Scam, presided over by a group of Radical Left losers, and two failed Republicans, the likes of which our Country has rarely seen before. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"

Trump also promised a more detailed reaction, saying he'd be "putting out my response to the Unselect Committee of political Hacks & Thugs" Friday morning.

In a post earlier on Thursday, Trump questioned why the panel didn't seek his testimony months ago.

By Brian Dakss
 

Stone says it's categorically false" that he knew about any Jan. 6 plans after committee says he had "extensive direct connections" with Oath Keepers, Proud Boys

Roger Stone issued a statement after the hearing saying it is "categorically false" that he "knew about, either in advance or contemporaneously with, participated in or condoned any act — by any person or group — at or anywhere near the United States Capitol

 or anywhere in the District of Columbia, the United States, or Planet Earth — on January 6th, or any other date, that was either unlawful, illegal, or otherwise intended in any way to cause damage or disrupt any proceedings of Congress, or any other governmental body."  

Lofgren said Stone had "extensive direct connections" with two of the violent groups on Jan. 6: the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys. "Individuals from both of these organizations have been charged with the crime of seditious conspiracy," Lofgren noted. 

The committee on Thursday also showed clips from a documentary of Stone saying "I suspect it will still be up in the air. When that happens the key thing to do is claim victory. Possession is nine-tenths of the law. We won. F** you. Sorry. Over. We won. You're wrong. F** you."

In another clip from the documentary, Stone is seen riding in a car and says "f*** the voting, go right to the violence."

Lofgren said the committee has called Stone as a witness but he has invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. She then played clips of Stone taking the Fifth. 

By Caroline Linton
 

Secret Service says it "continues to cooperate with the Jan. 6 select committee"

U.S. Secret Service spokesman Steve Kopek said in a statement Thursday night that the agency "continues to cooperate with the Jan. 6. select committee and has had no communication from the committee regarding any allegation of witness misconduct."

During Thursday's hearing, Schiff noted that "Secret Service text messages from this period were erased in the days and months following the attack on the Capitol—even though documents and materials related to Jan. 6 had already been requested by the Department of Justice and Congress."

U.S. Secret Service deputy director Faron K. Paramore said in the statement to CBS News that "the U.S. Secret Service is not a member of the Intelligence Community (IC). We are a consumer of information from the IC and we routinely receive pertinent information from the appropriate agencies within the IC with intelligence gathering authority."

"In the weeks leading up to Jan. 6, Secret Service was in constant communication and sharing information with our law enforcement partners in the Washington, D.C. area regarding available protective intelligence and open-source information concerning potential violence," Paramore said. "During this time, information was not only received by the U.S. Secret Service, but was also received / shared with other local and federal law enforcement agencies in Washington D.C.; evident by the exhibits displayed today. The majority of these exhibits were provided by agencies outside of the U.S. Secret Service."

Schiff noted in the hearing that the committee has obtained nearly 1 million emails, recordings and other electronic materials from the Secret Service. 

"Over the month of August, the Select Committee began its review of hundreds of thousands of pages and multiple hours of that material, providing substantial new evidence about what happened on January 6th and the days leading up to it," Schiff said. "That review continues." 

Nicole Sganga and Caroline Linton  

 

Trump's response to subpoena: "Why didn't the Unselect Committee ask me to testify months ago?"

Trump posted on Truth Social about the subpoena, writing, "why didn't the Unselect Committee ask me to testify months ago?"

"Because the Committee is a total "BUST" that has only served to further divide our Country which, by the way, is doing very badly — A laughing stock all over the World?" Trump wrote.

By Caroline Linton
 

Thompson says committee won't subpoena Pence

 When reporters asked Thompson if the committee will subpoena Pence, Thompson answered "no." 

Reporters also asked if they hoped Trump would appear in person, to which Thompson nodded his head. 

By Ellis Kim
 

Committee unanimously votes to issue subpoena "for relevant documents and testimony under oath from Donald John Trump"

At the end of the hearing, the committee voted unanimously to subpoena Trump for documents and testimony related to the Capitol assault. 

Thompson said it is "our obligation" to seek Trump's testimony. 

"Our committee now has sufficient information to answer many of the critical questions posed by Congress at the outset," Cheney said in introducing the resolution to issue the subpoena. "We have sufficient information to consider criminal referrals for multiple individuals, and to recommend a range of legislative proposals to ward against another Jan. 6. But a key task remains: we must seek the testimony under oath of Jan. 6's central player." 

The committee then played video of the testimony of those believed to be close to Trump and the efforts to overturn the election — all of whom invoked the Fifth Amendment in their depositions by the committee.

After the unanimous approval of the resolution, Thompson adjourned the hearing. 

By Kathryn Watson
 

Elaine Chao describes why she resigned on Jan. 6

 For the first time, Elaine Chao, former transportation secretary and the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, explained why she felt compelled to resign on Jan. 6. 

"I think the events at the Capitol, however they occurred, were shocking, and it was something that, as I mentioned in my statement, that I could not put aside," she said in recorded testimony. 

"And at a particular point, the events were such that it was impossible for me to continue, given my personal values and my philosophy," she continued. "I came as an immigrant to this country. I believe in this country. I believe in a peaceful transfer of power. I believe in democracy. And so I was—it was a decision that I made on my own."

By Kathryn Watson
 

Committee plays never-before-seen video of top congressional officials requesting assistance

Pelosi, Schumer and others "stepped into the giant leadership void" on Jan. 6 14:07

The committee played never-before-seen video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer and other top officials in Congress on the phone with leaders including Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Vice President Mike Pence. 

Schumer urged former acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen to do something to stop the violence at the Capitol. 

Pelosi urged Northam to bring in the Virginia National Guard, and said she was reaching out to the mayor of Washington, D.C., too. 

On the phone with Pence, Pelosi expressed a desire to move forward with the process of affirming the electoral college results. 

"What we are being told very directly is it's gonna take days for the Capitol to be OK again," Pelosi told Pence on the phone. 

By Kathryn Watson
 

Trump declined to intervene and tell his supporters to go home for hours, Raskin says

Committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin noted the president was still encouraging his supporters at the Ellipse to "fight like hell" at 12:50 p.m.

He was told about the violence at the Capitol at approximately 1:20 p.m, Raskin noted. 

Raskin explained that, from about 1:20 p.m. to about 4 p.m., Trump remained in the Oval Office dining room and watched the violence unfold on television. 

According to testimony from former White House staff, the then-president ignored pleas from his top advisers and family members to tell his supporters to back down. 

Hutchinson's recorded testimony described something she heard from Meadows, Trump's chief of staff. 

"[H]e had something to the effect of, you know, 'You heard him, Pat.  He doesn't want to do anything more.  He doesn't think they're doing anything wrong," Hutchinson said in her recorded testimony. 

By Kathryn Watson
 

Secret Service agents were concerned about Trump wanting to visit the Capitol

New information the committee obtained shows the Secret Service was concerned about Trump's desired movement to the Capitol on the afternoon of Jan. 6. The committee has already described Trump's desire to take his motorcade to the Capitol. 

A former White House security official, in recorded testimony that distorted the individuals' voice, said they were all in "shock" and "alarmed" that the president wanted to lead thousands of people to the Capitol. 

Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, in recorded testimony, recalled that he wanted to be a part of the march and ride in the presidential limo if he needed to. 

A Secret Service email at 1:19 p.m. on Jan. 6 – the one minute Trump got out of the motorcade back at the White House after his speech – describes what was happening behind the scenes for the Secret Service. Leadership from the Secret Service contacted Bobby Engel, lead agent on Trump's detail, warning him they were "concerned about [an] OTR" meaning off the record movement to "the Capitol." Secret Service agents were told to wear their protective gear and prepare for a movement to the Capitol in two hours. Eventually, Engel told them to stand down. 

By Kathryn Watson
 

Jan. 6 select committee plans to vote to subpoena Trump, sources say

Secret Service, other agencies knew of potential for Jan. 6 violence in advance 16:23

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol plans to vote Thursday to subpoena former President Donald Trump, three sources familiar with the committee's plans confirmed to CBS News.

The vote is expected to occur during a formal committee business meeting the panel convened Thursday, during which all of its nine members are delivering presentations about the campaign by Trump to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and prevent the transfer of power.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, chair of the committee, told reporters ahead of the proceedings that the committee had "not ruled out" subpoenaing Trump.  While delivering an opening statement at the start of the hearing, he noted it was a formal committee business meeting, allowing members to "potentially hold a committee vote on further investigative action based upon that evidence."

Read more here

By Melissa Quinn
 

Secret Service was aware of danger posed by rally-goers, Schiff says

In the days before Jan. 6, 2021, top Justice Department and FBI officials received intelligence that included material indicating certain people were traveling to Washington, D.C., and making plans to attack the Capitol, Rep. Adam Schiff said. They included "calls to occupy federal buildings" and language about "invading the Capitol building." 

One email, for example, was an alert that the Secret Service received on Dec. 24, 2020, with the heading, "Armed and Ready, Mr. President." 

And on Dec. 26, 2020, the Secret Service received a tip about the Proud Boys, that "Their plan is to literally kill people. Please please take this tip seriously and investigate further."

On Jan. 5, 2021, the Secret Service learned during an FBI briefing that right wing groups were establishing "quick reaction forces" readying to deploy for the next day, and that groups like the Oath Keepers were "[s]tanding by at the ready should POTUS request assistance" by invoking the Insurrection Act, agents were told. 

"By the morning of Jan. 6, it was clear that the Secret Service anticipated violence," Schiff said. 

By 9:09 a.m. on the morning of Jan. 6, one Secret Service agent noted that some rally-goers were assembled outside the security perimeter, "possibly" because "they can't have stuff that can't come through?" the agent emailed. 

"As the documents we received make clear, the Secret Service was aware of weapons possessed by those gathered at rallies in D.C. as early as the evening before," Schiff said. " …What the Secret Service saw on the 6th was entirely consistent with the violent rhetoric circulating in the days before the joint session on pro-Trump websites—at times amplified by President Trump's own advisers."

By Kathryn Watson
 

Trump was informed "repeatedly" Pence trying to overturn election was unlawful, committee member says

Committee member Rep. Stephanie Murphy said Trump was "repeatedly" informed that any attempt by Pence to overturn the results of the election would be illegal. But Trump continued to pressure Pence anyway, Murphy said. 

Pence's counsel testified that even John Eastman, the architect behind the plan, acknowledged in front of the president that his proposal would likely violate the Electoral Count Act. 

"My view was that the vice president didn't have the legal authority to do anything except what he did," former White House counsel Pat Cipollone testified. 

By Kathryn Watson
 

Trump was told mass fraud claims were untrue

The committee played testimony from witnesses who tried to set Trump straight on his erroneous claims of mass voter fraud. He had wrongly claimed Dominion Voting Systems machines were switching votes from Biden to Trump. 

"When I went into this and would, you know, tell him how crazy some of these allegations were and how ridiculous some of them were—I'm talking about some of the ones like, you know, more votes—more absentee votes were cast in Pennsylvania than there were absentee ballots requested, you know, stuff like that, it was just easy to blow up, there was never -- there was never an indication of interest in what the actual facts were," Trump's own attorney general, Bill Barr, told the committee. 

The committee then played the audio from Trump's call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger in which he told the secretary of state to "find" votes.

"Look, we need only 11,000 votes," Trump told Raffensberger. "We have far more than that as it stands now. We'll have more and more. … So what are we going to do here folks? I only need 11,000 votes. Fellas, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break."

Cassidy Hutchinson, the former Meadows aide, told Meadows the call was "crazy." 

"I remember looking at Mark, and I said, 'Mark, he can't possibly think we're going to pull this off.  Like, that call was crazy.'  And he looked at me and just started shaking his head.  And he's like, 'No, Cass, you know, he knows it's over. He knows he lost.  But we're going to keep trying.'"

When he didn't seem to be making progress, Trump "embarked on an effort to install Jeff Clark as acting attorney general," said committee member Rep. Elaine Luria.

"We know from our investigation that President Trump offered Jeff Clark the position of Acting Attorney General, and that Jeff Clark had decided to accept it," Luria said. "The only reason this ultimately did not happen is that the White House Counsel and a number of Justice Department officials confronted the president in the Oval Office and threatened mass resignations."

Trump only "relented" because the entire Justice Department leadership and the White House counsel threatened to resign, Luria said.

By Kathryn Watson
 

Secret Service email says Trump was "pissed" after Supreme Court rejected last-ditch bid to reverse election results

Newly obtained message from the Secret Service shed light on Trump's mood after he learned the Supreme Court rejected an attempt by Texas to block presidential electors from four battleground states from voting in the Electoral College.

"Just FYI. POTUS is pissed — breaking news — Supreme Court denied his lawsuit. He is livid now," the email, sent Dec. 11, 2020, read.

Cassidy Hutchinson, a close aide to Meadows, also remembered how angry Trump was when the Supreme Court rebuffed Texas's bid.

"The president is just raging about the decision and how it's wrong, and why didn't we make more calls, and, you know, just his typical anger outburst at this decision," Hutchinson told the committee, recalling crossing paths with the president outside the Rose Garden. "And the president said … So he had said something to the effect of, 'I don't want people to know we lost, Mark. This is embarrassing. Figure it out. We need to figure it out. I don't want people to know that we lost.'"

The committee played video clips of some top Trump administration officials indicating they believe the president should comply with rulings of the courts, including Mike Pomepo, who served as CIA director and secretary of state in Trump's administration.

"We should all comply with the law at all times, to the best of our ability, every one of us," Pompeo said, adding he believed the election was over once the court ruled and the Electoral College met and tallied state electoral votes.

Pat Cipollone, former White House counsel, also told the committee "everybody is obligated to abide by rulings of the court."

Other Trump aides and administration officials — including former Attorney General Bill Barr and Cipollone also told House investigators that Trump needed to concede the election.

"I told him that my personal viewpoint was that the Electoral College had met, which is the system that our country is — is set under to elect a president and vice president. And I believed at that point that the means for him to pursue litigation was probably closed," said Judd Deere, a former press aide to Trump.

Eugene Scalia, who led the Labor Department in the Trump administration, told the committee he called Trump after the Electoral College affirmed Mr. Biden's victory and "conveyed to him that I thought that it was time for him to acknowledge that President Biden had prevailed in the election."

By Melissa Quinn
 

Trump privately admitted sometimes that he lost, according to testimony from former officials

The committee played several clips from former Trump officials in which they said Trump acknowledged that he lost. 

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley told the committee: "[W]e're in the Oval and there's a discussion going on. And the President says, I think it's — it could have been Pompeo, but he says words to the effect of: Yeah, we lost, we need to let that issue go to the next guy. Meaning President Biden."

The committee also played video testimony from former top White House communications aide Alyssa Farah, who said, "I popped into the Oval just to, like, give the president the headlines and see how he was doing. And he was looking at the TV and he said, 'Can you believe I lost to this effing guy?" 

And according to former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, former chief of staff Mark Meadows told her Trump "pretty much acknowledged" that he lost. 

Rep. Adam Kinzinger said that knowing that he lost, Trump "rushed" to complete his "unfinished business." 

By Kathryn Watson
 

Stone says "f**k the voting, go right to the violence" on day before the election

The committee obtained footage from a documentary filmmaker of Roger Stone, a longtime informal adviser to Trump, in which he advocates for declaring victory even if the winner of the election was unclear on the night of Nov. 3.

"Let's just hope we are celebrating," Stone said in a clip from a documentary showed by the committee. "I suspect it will still be up in the air. When that happens the key thing to do is claim victory. Possession is nine-tenths of the law. We won. F**k you. Sorry. Over. We won. You're wrong. F**k you."

In another clip, Stone says, "F**k the voting, go right to the violence."

While Stone was called to testify before the panel, he invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Lofgren noted that in addition to maintaining ties to Trump, he also had connections with the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, two right-wing extremist groups whose members were charged with seditious conspiracy for their actions surrounding the Jan. 6 assault.

Documentary footage showed Stone received security protection from Joshua James, a member of the Oath Keepers who pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy and obstruction of Congress. Stone also had ties with Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the Proud Boys, which Lofgren said was "well documented by video evidence and phone records the select committee has obtained." 

"This big lie: President Trump's effort to convince Americans that he had won the 2020 election began before the election results even came in. It was intentional. It was premeditated. It was not based on election results, or any evidence of actual fraud affecting the results, or any actual problems with voting machines," Logfren said. "It was a plan concocted in advance to convince his supporters that he won. And the people who seemingly knew about that plan in advance would ultimately play a significant role in the events of Jan. 6."

By Melissa Quinn
 

Trump planned as early as July to say he won even if he lost, Lofgren says Parscale told committee

According to Lofgren, former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale, who was demoted by the campaign in July 2020 before resigning outright in Oct. 2020, told the committee that he understood Trump planned as early as July to say he won, even if he lost. The committee did not provide corresponding evidence of Parscale saying that. 

That's consistent with Trump ally Steve Bannon's assertion in leaked audio obtained by Mother Jones that was recorded on Oct. 31, 2020. In the audio, Bannon said Trump would just declare victory, even if he wasn't the winner. Bannon has refused to cooperate with a committee subpoena, and has been convicted on charges of contempt of Congress. 

"And what Trump's gonna do, is just declare victory, right?" Bannon said in the leaked audio. "He's gonna declare victory. But that doesn't mean he's a winner. He's just gonna say he's a winner."

By Kathryn Watson
 

Pence's counsel said it's "essential" the vice president not publicly perceived as deciding questions regarding disputed electoral votes

Greg Jacob, who served as counsel to Pence, sent a memo to Marc Short, Pence's chief of staff, distancing the vice president from concerns about state electoral votes, according to a copy of the document obtained by the select committee from the National Archives.

"It is essential that the vice president not be perceived by the public as having decided questions concerning disputed electoral votes prior to the full development of all relevant facts," the memo, sent Nov. 3, from Jacob read.

Days before Election Day on Nov. 3, Tom Fitton, a conservative activist, emailed two of Trump's aides with a draft statement for the then-president declaring victory over President Biden.

"We had an election today — and I won," read the draft statement, sent Oct. 31, 2020, also obtained from the Archives.

Fitton's memo "specifically indicates a plan" for only the votes counted by Election Day to matter, Lofgren said.

"Everyone knew that ballot counting would lawfully continue past Election Day.  Claiming that the counting on election night must stop before millions of lawfully cast votes were counted was, as we now know, a key part of President Trump's premeditated plan," she said.

Lofgren said Fitton emailed Trump's assistant, Molly Michael, again on Election Day, indicating he had spoken with the former president about the draft statement.

"This plan to declare victory was in place before any of the results had been determined," Lofgren said.

By Melissa Quinn
 

Trump campaign manager's recommendation on Election Night was it was too early to call the race

Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien believed it was too early to call the race on Election Night, according to earlier testimony Stepien gave to the committee. But Trump declared victory anyway. 

"It was far too early to be making any calls like that," Stepien said in his recorded testimony. "Ballots — ballots were still being counted. Ballots were going to be counted for days. And it was far too early to be making any proclamation like that."

"My belief, my recommendation was to say that votes are still being counted," Stepien said. "It's too early to — to tell. Too early to call the race."

The committee also played video of Trump's remarks in the early hours of Nov. 4, 2020, when Trump declared "we did win this election," and added, "We want all voting to stop." 

According to testimony from Vice President Mike Pence's former counsel Greg Jacob, Pence's chief of staff Marc Short was concerned Trump could make some sort of declaration of victory that would put Pence in a difficult position. 

"Marc had indicated to me that there was a possibility that there  would be a declaration of victory within the White House that some might push for — and this is prior to the election results being known — and that he was trying to figure out a  way of avoiding the Vice President sort of being thrust into a position of needing to opine on that when he might not have sufficient information to do so," Jacob said in his testimony to the committee.

Committee member Rep. Zoe Lofgren said it's clear Trump intended to declare victory, regardless of the actual outcome. 

"We now know more about President Trump's intentions for election night," Lofgren said. "The evidence shows that his false victory speech was planned well in advance, before any votes had been counted. It was a premeditated plan by the president—to declare victory no matter what the actual result was. He made a plan to stay in office before Election Day."

By Kathryn Watson
 

Cheney says committee received witness testimony about efforts to obstruct committee's probe and "conceal key facts"

Liz Cheney, the committee's vice chair, said that since the panel's last public hearing, investigators received new testimony from witnesses that touches on its ongoing investigation and "key facts. 

"Much has happened since our last public hearing on July 21. As the chairman mentioned, we have received new and voluminous documentation from the Secret Service, which we continue to analyze," she said. "We have received new witness testimony, including about efforts to obstruct our investigation and conceal key facts. And according to public reporting, the Department of Justice has been very active in pursuing many of the issues identified in our prior hearings."

Cheney said the panel will ultimately decide if it will make criminal referrals to the Justice Department, but acknowledged its role is not to make decisions regarding potential prosecution.

"The vast weight of evidence presented so far has shown us that the central cause of January 6th was one man, Donald Trump, who many others followed," she said. "None of this would have happened without him. He was personally and substantially involved in all of it."

Cheney said the committee will focus its ninth hearing on Trump's "state of mind, his intent, his motivations, and how he spurred others to do his bidding." She also said another Jan. 6 could occur again if Americans "do not take necessary action to prevent it."

"Why would Americans assume that our Constitution, and institutions in our republic, are invulnerable to another attack? Why would we assume that they will not falter next time?" she asked. "A key lesson of our investigation is this: our institutions only hold when men and women of good faith make them hold, regardless of the political cost.  We have no guarantee that these men and women will be in place next time."

The Wyoming Republican warned that any future president inclined to try what Trump did in 2020 now has learned he or she should not install officials "who could stand in the way." She also said those responsible for the violence and lawlessness of Jan. 6 – including through falsely claiming the election was stolen and attempting to overturn the results — must be held accountable.

"With every effort to excuse or justify the conduct of the former president, we chip away at the foundation of our republic," Cheney said. "Indefensible conduct is defended. Inexcusable conduct is excused. Without accountability, it all becomes normal, and it will recur." 

By Melissa Quinn
 

Thompson kicks off ninth hearing, says evidence has come "overwhelmingly" from GOP witnesses

Rep. Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the committee, opened the committee's ninth hearing shortly after 1 p.m. Thompson said he's asked those skeptical of their work to simply listen and let the facts speak for themselves. Thompson said Trump "knew" he lost. 

"Over the course of these hearings, the evidence has proven that there was a multi-part plan led by former President Donald Trump to overturn the 2020 election," Thompson said. "What Donald Trump proceeded to do after the 2020 election is something no president had done before in our country. In a staggering betrayal of his oath, Donald Trump attempted a plan that led to an attack on a pillar of our democracy. It's still hard to believe. But the facts and testimony are clear, consistent, and undisputed."

Thompson said the committee and now the public knows this because of testimony and documentary evidence. That testimony emerged from Trump's own White House counsel, closest staff and members of his own family, Thompson said. 

"I want to be clear: not all these witnesses were thrilled to talk to us. Some put up quite a fight. But ultimately, the vast majority cooperated with our investigation," Thompson said. "And what we've shown you over the last four months has been centered on the evidence—evidence that has come overwhelmingly from Republican witnesses."

Thompson also said at the conclusion of his remarks that this hearing is not actually a hearing. He announced that the committee had convened as "a formal committee business meeting." Doing so means that at its conclusion, members "can potentially hold a vote on further investigative actions."

By Kathryn Watson
 

Thompson says Pence being called before Jan. 6 possibility remains a "possibility"

Select committee Bennie Thompson told reporters ahead of the hearing that there is "always a possibility" that the panel will ask former Vice President Mike Pence to testify, and the committee has "not ruled out" issuing a subpoena to former President Donald Trump.

The committee is also expected to make public some of its work before the November midterm elections, Thompson told reporters.

By Melissa Quinn
 

What we learned so far in previous hearings

Jan. 6 hearings resume for what could be last public hearing 03:21

Committee aides would not say whether they had any further engagement with Trump or former Vice President Mike Pence about testifying. Pence said this summer that he'd "consider" testifying before the committee.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee chair, said last month that the committee plans to put together an interim report in mid-October, with a final report to come before the end of the year, after the midterm elections.

The committee held a series of public hearings over the summer that were also broadcast nationally. The hearings showed never-before-seen video from the attack but also showed video testimony from Trump administration officials about his refusal to accept election results and plans by his allies to replace electors in battleground states that President Joe Biden won while also threatening local and state elections officials

Thompson confirmed over the summer that the committee has been having "conversations" with the Justice Department about the phony elector plan. In the June 21 public hearing, committee member Rep. Adam Schiff said those fake electors ultimately met on Dec. 14, 2020, in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Nevada and Wisconsin, signing documents claiming they were duly elected electors from their state. 

The committee said that GOP Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin wanted to hand deliver alternate, fraudulent electors to Pence ahead of the joint session of Congress, according to texts the committee provided.

The hearings highlighted Trump and his allies' pressure campaigns on different branches of government to overturn the 2020 election results, including the former president's attempt to install environmental lawyer Jeffrey Clark at the helm of the Justice Department, attorney John Eastman's argument to Pence that he had the power to override the Electoral College, and Rudy Giuliani's attempts to influence local and state elections officials.

The hearings also featured in-person testimony from former Trump administration officials, a former Fox News political editor, a Capitol police officer, a rioter who pleaded guilty, among others.

The hearings included bombshell revelations about Trump's reaction to the Jan. 6 attack.

Hutchinson and other former White House aides testified – both in person and on video testimony – that they knew Trump had lost the election and that pushing the narrative that he had won was a lie. Sarah Matthews, a former deputy press secretary, testified that as violence erupted at the Capitol, the press office was 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."

"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. 

In that same hearing, the committee played a never-before-seen video showing Trump rehearsing to give a statement on Jan. 7, 2021. Even after the mayhem of Jan. 6 and that Congress had certified the Electoral College count, Trump refused to say he had lost the election. 

"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, before stopping and presumably addressing his aides. "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." 

By Caroline Linton
 

How the hearing will unfold

Each of the committee's nine members will present a portion. In a break from previous hearings, this hearing won't feature any live witnesses. It will instead rely on video testimony from witnesses the committee has previously shown in its hearings, as well as witnesses who have not yet been seen by the public, committee aides said. 

The committee will be presenting new information that includes evidence from hundreds of thousands of pages of documents turned over by the U.S. Secret Service after a July subpoena from the committee, as well as previously unseen video showing efforts to respond in real-time to the riot at the Capitol as it was unfolding, committee aides said.

"What you're going to see is a synthesis of some evidence we've already presented with that new, never before seen information to illustrate Donald Trump's centrality in the scheme from the time prior to the election," a committee aide said.   

Aides would not say if testimony from former Secret Service official Tony Ornato or agent Bobby Engel, both of whom were identified during the testimony of former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, would be shown. Hutchinson testified on June 28 that Ornato told her that Trump had tried to grab the steering wheel of the presidential vehicle from Engel in an effort to get to the Capitol. Trump has denied that claim and has even mocked it at rallies since then. The Secret Service has disputed this account and has said both men would be willing to testify, but it is unclear of either has done so. Ornato retired from the Secret Service in August.  

—  Rebecca Kaplan and Caroline Linton

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