(WASHINGTON) — The House Jan. 6 committee on Thursday, after a months-long hiatus, held its ninth public hearing since June, and possibly its last in its investigation into the U.S. Capitol attack.
The panel focused on the role of former President Donald Trump before, alleging he was front and center of a plot to overturn the 2020 election and in a historic development, voted unanimously to subpoena Trump to testify.
Oct 13, 5:35 PM EDT
Trump responds to Jan. 6 subpoena vote
Former President Donald Trump responded to the committee’s action for the first time on Thursday afternoon in a post to Truth Social, his conservative social media platform.
“Why didn’t the Unselect Committee ask me to testify months ago?” he wrote, calling the committee a “total BUST.”
“Why did they wait until the very end, the final moments of their last meeting?” he asked again.
Oct 13, 4:41 PM EDT
Thompson: Panel will not issue subpoena for Pence testimony
House Jan. 6 committee chair BennieThompson told reporters right after the hearing that the panel would not issue a subpoena for former Vice President Mike Pence.
The committee had been debating how to manifest a meeting with the former vice president, but Thompson’s comments indicate members will not force him to make an appearance.
When asked if he thinks Trump will honor the subpoena for his testimony, Thompson responded “ask Donald Trump.” Thompson did not answer when asked if the committee would vote to hold Trump in contempt of Congress if he chooses not to comply.
Oct 13, 3:41 PM EDT
In historic, unanimous vote, Jan. 6 committee subpoenas Trump
To close out their 10th hearing overall — the ninth since June — the House Jan. 6 committee unanimously voted to subpoena Trump.
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., offered the historic resolution and requested a voice vote. Each of the nine members, including seven Democrats and two Republicans, voted yes.
“It is our obligation to seek Donald Trump’s testimony,” chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said about the subpoena.
Oct 13, 3:39 PM EDT
Cheney cites need for Trump subpoena
Cheney said a subpoena for Trump is necessary since several witnesses pleaded their Fifth Amendment right when pressed about their conversations with the former president surrounding the 2020 election and the insurrection.
“Mr. Chairman, our committee now has sufficient information to answer many of the critical questions posed by Congress at the outset. We have sufficient information to consider criminal referrals for multiple individuals and to recommend a range of legislative proposals to guard against another January 6. But a key task remains. We must seek the testimony, under oath, of January 6’s central plater,” she said.
“More than 30 witnesses in our investigation have invoked their 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination, and several of those did so specifically in response to questions about their dealings with Donald Trump directly.”
Cheney conceded that the Justice Department could reveal more information but indicated that time is of the essence.
“Mr. Chairman, at some point, the Department of Justice may well unearth the fact that these and other witnesses are concealing. But our duty today is to our country and our children and our Constitution. We are obligated to seek answers directly from the man who set this all in motion, and every American is entitled to those answers so we can act now to protect our republic,” she said.
Oct 13, 3:31 PM EDT
Thompson on subpoenaing Trump: ‘We want to hear from him’
Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said the committee needs to hear from the person they say is at the center of the story of what happened on Jan. 6: Trump.
“We want to hear from him,” Thompson said. “The committee needs to do everything in our power to tell the most complete story possible and provide recommendations to help ensure nothing like Jan. 6 ever happens again.”
Thompson said speaking with Trump goes beyond the committee’s “fact-finding” and is a question about accountability to the American people.
“He is required to answer for his actions,” he said.
Thompson said the committee recognizes subpoenaing a former president is an extraordinary step, which is why the panel will “take this step in full view of the American people.”
Oct 13, 3:30 PM EDT
Secret Service worried for Pence after Trump tweet
The committee presented evidence the Secret Service voiced worry for Pence after Trump bashed him in a tweet for not blocking certification of the Electoral College results.
“POTUS just tweeted about Pence, probably not going to be good for Pence,” one agent said in a chat with a colleague released by the committee Thursday.
“POTUS said he lacked courage. Over 24K likes in under 2mins,” the colleague responded.
Former Twitter employee Anika Collier Navaroli, in testimony featured Thursday, said that rioters “were literally calling for [Pence’s] execution,” partially “in response to this tweet.”
Oct 13, 3:27 PM EDT
As the insurrection is ongoing, Pelosi speaks to Pence in new footage
The committee played new footage of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking to former Vice President Mike Pence as Trump supporters were in the middle of storming the Capitol. The contents of that footage is below, as the two discussed how they would ultimately certify the 2020 election results.
At 4:22 p.m. Pelosi was videotaped saying:
“We’re trying to figure out how we can get this job done today. We talked to Mitch [McConnell] about it earlier. He’s not in the room right now but he was with us earlier and said, “Yeah, we want to expedite this.” And hopefully they could confine it to just one complaint, Arizona. And then we could vote and that would be you know, then just move forward with the rest of the states.
“The overriding wish is to do it at the Capitol,” said Pelosi, as the committee displayed a photo of Pence presumably on the phone with her while watching news footage on a separate cellphone.
“What we are being told very directly is it’s gonna take days for the Capitol to be OK again. We’ve gotten a very bad report about the condition of the House floor. Defecation and all that kind of thing as well. I don’t think that that’s hard to clean up. But I do think it is more from a security standpoint of making sure everybody is out of the building and how long will that take?”
At 4:30 p.m. Pelosi said:
“I just got off the phone with the Vice President and I got off with the Vice President-elect,” Pelosi said after her call with Pence and supposedly Kamala Harris.
“So I’ll tell you what she said, yeah. But what we left the conversation with cause he said, he had the impression from Mitch [McConnell] that Mitch wants to get everybody back to do it there,” Pelosi said.
Oct 13, 3:15 PM EDT
Videos shows Nancy Pelosi reacting to the Capitol attack
In never-before seen footage, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is seen reacting to the events of Jan. 6 in real time. Pelosi spoke to or called various officials, including Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and then-acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen.
“We’ve got … to finish the proceedings or else they will have a complete victory,” Pelosi is heard saying as she is leaving the Capitol complex while rioters gather outside.
Later, Pelosi was informed that lawmakers still on the floor were putting on tear gas masks in anticipation of a breach.
“Can you believe this?” Pelosi responded.
Oct 13, 3:03 PM EDT
Committee reviewing ‘potential obstruction’ regarding alleged SUV altercation
Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., reiterated testimony from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson about an alleged altercation between Trump and his security detail in the presidential SUV on Jan. 6.
Hutchinson said she was told by Tony Ornato, a senior Secret Service official who was at the time White House deputy chief of staff for operations, that Trump was so angry he couldn’t join supporters at the Capitol after his speech at the Ellipse that he tried to grab the steering wheel and lunged at agent Bobby Engel, who was driving the vehicle.
Aguilar said the altercation was “so widely known” that one former White House employee with national security responsibilities explained the information was “water cooler talk” around the White House complex.
“That professional also testified that they were specifically informed of the president’s irate behavior in the SUV by Mr. Ornato in Mr. Ornato’s office,” Aguilar said.
Aguilar said the committee is reviewing testimony about “potential obstruction” surrounding this testimony about the alleged SUV incident.
“We will address this matter in our report,” Aguilar said.
Oct 13, 2:40 PM EDT
Secret Service sounded alarm about threat of violence before, during insurrection
The committee revealed new evidence it said showed the Secret Service was aware of threats of violence prior to the insurrection, worrying over social media posts prior to Jan. 6 and what it viewed the day of the attack on the Capitol.
One tip received by the agency said that the Proud Boys, a far-right white chauvinist group, “think[s] that they will have a large enough group to march into D.C. armed and will outnumber the police so they can’t be stopped.”
“Their plan is to literally kill people. Please please take this tip seriously and investigate further,” the tip read.
“Right wing groups responding across the nation and establishing ‘quick reaction forces’ in Virginia,” one Jan. 5, 2021, Secret Service email the panel said it uncovered read.
On the day of the attack, just before the pro-Trump mob moved toward the Capitol, agents voiced growing concern over the number of weapons seized or seen.
“With so many weapons so far, you wonder how many are unknown. Could be sporty after dark,” one agent wrote in a message to a colleague.
“No doubt. The people at the Ellipse said they are moving to the Capitol after the POTUS speech,” a second agent responded.
Oct 13, 2:24 PM EDT
Jan. 6 committee will vote on subpoenaing Trump
The committee plans to hold a vote on subpoenaing former President Trump during today’s hearing, sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News.
Speaker Pelosi was given a heads up about the committee’s decision to vote on the matter, sources familiar with the matter say.
The move comes as the committee has debated for months how to handle a request for his cooperation.
Thompson told me earlier today that a subpoena was not off the table.
It’s not clear whether the committee will formally request former Vice President Mike Pence’s testimony, but committee investigators have been privately negotiating with his counsel for months.
Oct 13, 2:18 PM EDT
Trump was advised Pence didn’t have the right to overturn election
An email exchange dated Jan. 6, 2021, between Pence aide Greg Jacob and attorney John Eastman showed Trump had already been advised that former Vice President Mike Pence could not overturn the 2020 election results.
“Did you advise the President that in your professional judgment the Vice President DOES NOT have the power to decide things unilaterally?” Jacob sent to Eastman.
“He’s been so advised,” Eastman replied.
Oct 13, 2:07 PM EDT
Secret Service message: ‘POTUS is pissed’
A Secret Service message unveiled during the hearing said that Trump was “livid” after the Supreme Court declined to hear a case challenging the election results.
“POTUS is pissed,” the message read. “Supreme Court denied his lawsuit. He is livid now.”
Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, also recounted how frustrated Trump was following the news.
“The president was fired up about the Supreme Court decision,” she told the committee. “The president just raging about the decision and how it’s wrong and ‘why didn’t we make more calls’ and his typical anger outburst at this decision.”
“He said something to the effect of, ‘I don’t want people to know we lost, Mark. This is embarrassing. Figure it out,"” she said.
Oct 13, 2:05 PM EDT
Committee repeats highlights of previous hearings
As it wraps up its investigation, with a final report on findings and recommendations expected by the end of this year, the House committee on Thursday spent significant time rehashing points from their previous hearings.
One such finding was Trump’s knowledge ahead of Election Day that mail-in ballots would favor Joe Biden and his plan ahead of time to declare victory that night.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., focused partly on the failed efforts by Trump to litigate his loss in court — a major focus of the June 13 hearing.
“In the past hearings we said the committee identified 62 election lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign and allies between Nov. 4, 2020 and Jan. 6, 2021,” Kinzinger said on Thursday. “Those cases resulted in 61 losses and only a single victory, which did not affect the outcome for any candidate.”
Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., in her remarks about Trump’s direct efforts to overturn the election, replayed previously seen deposition from former Attorney General Bill Barr. Barr told the committee that Trump’s false allegations about voting machines was “crazy stuff” — footage first aired in a June hearing.
Oct 13, 1:48 PM EDT
Stone on claiming victory: ‘Possession is nine-tenths of the law’
Roger Stone, a political provocateur and longtime Trump adviser, voiced support for Trump declaring victory the night of the election regardless of whether he was in the lead.
“Let’s just hope we’re celebrating. I suspect it’ll be, I really do suspect it will still be up in the air. When that happens, the key thing to do is to claim victory. Possession is nine-tenths of the law.
‘No, we won,’ Stone said in footage from a Danish documentarian featured in Thursday’s hearing.
“I said, ‘f*** the voting, let’s get right to the violence,"” Stone said in a separate clip. “We’ll have to start smashing pumpkins, if you know what I mean.”
During testimony for the committee, Stone invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when asked if he had any role in planning for the violence the day of the insurrection.
Oct 13, 1:44 PM EDT
Steve Bannon video indicates intimate knowledge of Jan. 6
The Jan. 6 committee showed video of President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Steve Bannon, which indicates that he had advance knowledge of the former president’s intention to falsely declare victory election night, but also that Bannon knew about the events of Jan. 6 ahead of their occurrence.
Here’s what Bannon said on Jan. 5, the day before the insurrection:
“All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. All converging and now we’re on as they say the point of attack, right the point of attack tomorrow. I’ll tell you this,” Bannon began.
“It’s not going to happen like you think it’s going to happen. Okay, it’s going to be quite extraordinarily different … tomorrow it’s game day. So strap in. Let’s get ready.”
Mr. Bannon refused to testify for the ongoing Jan. 6 investigation, for which he’s been indicted by a federal grand jury on two counts of contempt of Congress.
The committee also played audio that had previously leaked, of Bannon telling a group of associates on Oct. 31, 2020, of Trump’s plan to declare his own victory on election night, regardless of the actual outcome.
“He’s going to declare victory,” Bannon said.
Oct 13, 1:39 PM EDT
Memo shows drafted statement for Trump declaring ‘I won’
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., showed a new memo the committee received from the National Archives showing plans for Trump to declare victory on Election Day regardless of the outcome.
The memo — dated Oct. 31, 2020 — was sent by Tom Fitton, a political activist and head of the conservative group Judicial Watch, to members of Trump’s team.
“We had an Election today — and I won,” the memo read.
“The ballots counted by the Election Day deadline show the American people have bestowed on me the great honor of reelection to President of the United States.”
Lofgren also said Brad Parscale, Trump’s former campaign manager, told the committee Trump planned as early as July to say he won even though he lost.
Oct 13, 1:29 PM EDT
Cheney: Can Jan. 6 occur again?
In her opening statement, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, the committee’s vice chair, said a key component of the committee’s investigation looks at the vulnerability of American democracy.
“Why would Americans assume that our Constitution and our institutions and our Republic are invulnerable to another attack? Why would we assume that those institutions will not falter next time?” she asked.
Cheney, who has been at the forefront of the Jan. 6 investigation at the expense of her own political future, said the American 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,” she added.
Oct 13, 1:23 PM EDT
Cheney: Panel will focus on Trump’s ‘state of mind,’ motivations
Rep. Liz Cheney, the Republican vice chair of the committee, said today’s focus will be Trump’s behavior and actions during the time leading up to and during the U.S. Capitol attack.
“Today we will focus on President Trump’s state of mind, his intent, his motivations and how he spurred others to do his bidding and how another Jan. 6 could happen again if we do not take necessary action to prevent it,” Cheney said in her opening statement.
One of the Republican Party’s harshest critics of Trump, Cheney placed the blame squarely on the former president for the violence that unfolded.
“The vast weight of evidence presented so far has shown us the central cause of Jan. 6 was one man: Donald Trump,” she said in her opening remarks.
Oct 13, 1:16 PM EDT
Thompson opens door to vote on ‘further investigative action’ Thursday
Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., hinted that the panel could vote on further efforts by the committee beyond Thursday’s proceedings.
“We are convened today not as a hearing but as a formal committee business meeting so that in addition to presenting evidence, we can potentially hold a committee vote on further investigative action based on that evidence,” Thompson said in his opening statement.
Thompson said earlier in the day that the House committee has not ruled out subpoenaing former President Donald Trump. The panel is also considering possible paths to obtaining testimony from further Vice President Mike Pence.
Oct 13, 1:12 PM EDT
Thompson emphasizes evidence has been ‘almost entirely from Republicans’
Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., gaveled in the hearing just after 1:00 p.m. on Thursday.
In his opening statement, Thompson once again outlined what the committee called a “multi-part plan” by Trump to contest his election loss — one Thompson said has come into focus in large part because of witness testimony.
“The most striking fact is that all this evidence comes almost entirely from Republicans,” Thompson said. “The evidence that has emerged did not come from Democrats or opponents of Donald Trump.”
Thompson continued, “Instead, look at who’s written and testified and produced evidence. Who has that been? Aides who’ve worked loyally for Trump for years, Republican state officials and legislatures, Republican electors, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee.”
Bombshell testimonials so far have come from former Attorney General Bill Barr, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and others.
Thompson said the committee Thursday will play new testimony from additional Republicans that served in the Trump administration, as well as never-before-seen footage of congressional leaders on Jan. 6.
Oct 13, 1:03 PM EDT
Committee hasn’t ruled out a Trump subpoena, Thompson says
Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., told ABC News ahead of the hearing that the committee hasn’t ruled out issuing a subpoena to Trump.
The panel has yet to ask Trump for his testimony, but has centered their hearings on what they described as his “sophisticated” plan to carry out an attempted coup.
Thompson also said that “there’s always a possibility” the committee asks for former Vice President Mike Pence’s testimony. But then Thompson said that after this hearing, the committee is unlikely to call any new witnesses they haven’t already spoken with.
–ABC News’ Katherine Faulders and Will Steakin
Oct 13, 12:08 PM EDT
Will Trump, Pence be asked to testify before the investigation ends?
Committee aides, during a background call with reporters on Wednesday, wouldn’t shed any light on whether and when they would call Trump or former Vice President Mike Pence to formally testify before the panel before their investigation is wrapped.
Pence this summer said he would “consider” testifying if invited by the committee but expressed constitutional concerns about such a scenario, citing his “unique role” as the then-vice president.
Vice chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl in August that she hopes Pence will appear before the committee but declined to weigh in on whether they would ask Trump to testify.
“I don’t want to get in front of committee deliberations about that,” Cheney said. “I do think it’s very important, as I said in the first hearing or the second hearing, you know, his interactions with our committee will be under oath.”
–ABC News’ Katherine Faulders
Oct 13, 10:45 AM EDT
Trump’s ‘state of mind’ to be a key focus, aides say
Lawmakers will focus on Trump’s “state of mind” leading up to, during and after the insurrection during Thursday’s session, committee aides told reporters.
“What you’re going to see is a synthesis of some evidence we’ve already presented with that new, never-before-seen information to, let’s say, illustrate Donald Trump’s centrality from the time prior to the election,” an aide said.
While there won’t be any live witnesses in the hearing room, the panel’s expected to air new documentary evidence and video footage depicting efforts to respond as the violence broke out on Jan. 6, 2021.
The hearing is expected to kick off at 1 p.m.
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