WASHINGTON– The Jan. 6 Committee of the House of Representatives subpoenaed Donald Trump for his testimony regarding the 2021 attack on the Capitol.
The panel unanimously voted to force the former president to appear. “We need to obtain testimony under oath from the key player on January 6,” said Rep. Liz Cheney, the committee’s vice chair.
Cheney adds, “We have an obligation to seek answers directly from the man who started all of this. And every American is entitled to those answers.”
This is a breaking news update. A previous version of this report can be found below.
The US House of Representatives’ Jan. 6 committee neared a vote Thursday to summon former President Donald Trump to testify as it produced interviews with his aides and new documents detailing his relentless, multi-part effort to overturn his 2020 election loss , have been described in detail.
The vote on Trump’s testimony comes as the panel presents vivid new details and evidence of Trump’s mental state as he refused to admit his loss to Joe Biden, which led to the 2021 attack on the Capitol.
Earlier, the panel showed previously unreleased footage of congressional leaders asking officials for help during the attack.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Chairman Chuck Schumer speak with governors in neighboring Virginia and Maryland. Later, footage shows Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell and other GOP leaders as the group seeks help from the acting attorney general.
“They are breaking the law in many different ways – quite frankly, at the instigation of the President of the United States,” Pelosi is once heard to say.
In never-before-seen intelligence messages, the panel also provided evidence of how extremist groups were flexing their muscles in the fight for Trump’s presidency, planning weeks before the attack to send a violent force into Washington.
“Their plan is to literally kill people,” reads a tip sent to the Secret Service more than a week before the Jan. 6 violence.
The Secret Service, in an email dated December 26, 2020, warned of a tip that members of the right-wing Proud Boys were planning to march in Washington on January 6 with a group large enough to outnumber the police.
“It felt like the calm before the storm,” one Secret Service agent wrote in a group chat.
The House panel warned that the Capitol riot was not an isolated incident, but a warning of the fragility of the nation’s democracy in the post-Trump era.
“None of this is normal or acceptable or lawful in a republic,” Republican Rep. Liz Cheney said.
“There is no defense that Donald Trump was cheated or irrational. No president can defy the rule of law and act like that in a constitutional republic, period.”
The 10th public session, just weeks before the congressional midterm elections, addressed Trump’s “state of mind,” Democratic Chairman Bennie Thompson said.
The committee begins by summarizing its findings that Republican Trump made an unprecedented attempt to block Congress from confirming Democrat Biden’s victory following his loss in the 2020 presidential election. The result was the mob storming the Capitol.
Thompson and Cheney’s statements were replete with language often found in indictments. Both lawmakers described Trump as “substantially” involved in the Jan. 6 events. Cheney said Trump acted “willfully.”
To illustrate what it called “deliberate lies,” the committee contrasted repeated instances of senior government officials telling Trump the actual facts with clips of him telling the exact opposite at his rally before the Jan. 6 Ellipse riots repeated.
The Committee may well make a decision as to whether a criminal referral should be made to the Department of Justice.
Thursday’s hearing opened in a mostly empty Capitol complex, with most lawmakers at home campaigning for re-election. Several people who were among the thousands in the Capitol on Jan. 6 are now running for congressional office, some with Trump’s support. Police fighting the mob filled the front row of the hearing room.
To describe the president’s mindset, the committee released new material, including interviews with Trump’s top cabinet officials, advisers and staff, some of which described the president’s acknowledgment that he has lost.
In one, according to Alyssa Farah Griffin, a former White House official, Trump looked up at a TV and said, “Can you believe I lost to this (expressive) guy?
The committee also draws on the trove of 1.5 million documents it received from US intelligence, including an email dated December 11, 2020, the day the Supreme Court dismissed one of the key lawsuits alleging the Trump’s team had filed against the election results.
“Just for info. POTUS is pissed,” the Secret Service wrote, according to documents obtained by the committee.
White House staffer Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide to then-Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, recalled Trump as “angry” and “obsessed” with the court’s decision.
Trump told Meadows “something along the lines of, ‘I don’t want people to know we lost, Mark. That is embarrassing. Find out,'” Hutchinson told the panel in a taped interview.
Cabinet members, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia, said in interviews shown at the hearing that they believed exhausting legal options would spell the end of Trump’s stay-at-home bid shall be in force.
“In my view, that settled the matter,” Barr said of the Electoral College’s Dec. 14 vote.
But rather than the end of Trump’s efforts to stay in power, the committee signaled it was just the beginning – as the president called the crowd to Washington for a rally to fight the Jan. 6 election.
The session served as a closing argument for the panel’s two Republican lawmakers, Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who have been essentially shunned by Trump and her party and will not return to the new Congress. Cheney lost her area code, and Kinzinger decided not to run.
Another committee member, Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., a retired Navy commander, is facing a tough re-election bid against Senator Jen Kiggans, a former Navy helicopter pilot.
The panel was expected to share information from its recent interviews – including testimonies from Ginni Thomas, the Conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. She was in contact with the White House in the run-up to January 6th.
The committee, which conducted more than 1,500 interviews and obtained countless documents, has produced a comprehensive investigation into Trump’s activities from his defeat in November’s election to the attack on the Capitol.
“He used this big lie to destabilize our democracy,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, DN.Y., a young House staffer during the Richard Nixon impeachment inquiry in 1974. “When did this idea occur to him and what did did he know while he was doing this?”
This week’s hearing is set to be the last presentation from lawmakers before the midterm elections. But staff say the investigation is continuing.
The Jan. 6 committee has been in session for more than a year and was installed by the House of Representatives after Republican senators blocked the formation of an outside panel similar to the 9/11 Commission set up after the 2001 terrorist attacks. Even after the start of its high-profile public hearings last summer, the January 6 Committee continued to collect evidence and interviews.
Under committee rules, the January 6 panel is expected to report on its findings in December. The committee will be dissolved 30 days after the publication of this report and with the new Congress in January.
House Republicans are expected to drop the Jan. 6 probe and move on to other investigations if they gain control after the midterm elections, focusing primarily on Biden, his family and his administration.
At least five people died in the Jan. 6 attack and its aftermath, including a Trump supporter who was shot dead by Capitol Police.
Police engaged in often bloody hand-to-hand combat as Trump supporters pushed past barricades, stormed the Capitol and roamed the halls, escorted lawmakers to safety and temporarily disrupted the joint session of Congress that confirmed Biden’s election.
More than 850 people have been charged by the Justice Department in the attack on the Capitol, with some receiving lengthy prison terms for their roles. Several leaders and associates of the extremist Oath Keepers and Proud Boys have been charged with sedition.
Trump faces various state and federal investigations into his actions in the election and their aftermath.
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https://6abc.com/hearing-jan-6-january-committee-hearings-donald-trump-us-capitol-riot/12323685/ January 6 committee hearing live updates: Jan. 6 panel subpoenas Trump for testimony on Capitol attack