The House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol has revealed new insights into what happened that day during itsThursday night. It was the first of a series of public hearings scheduled.
Many of the revelations on Thursday night came from videotaped testimonies of witnesses, including former President Trump’s own daughter, who has appeared before the committee in recent months. The hearing also featured new testimony from witnesses who were on Capitol Hill that day. While some elements of these topics may have appeared in news reports, Thursday night’s hearing put details on the record.
Here are six things the audience first publicly confirmed on Thursday night:
1. Trump has never summoned any law enforcement agencies to protect the Capitol. Instead, Pence did, says Cheney.
According to Vice President Liz Cheney, Trump, who was president at the time of the riot, has not made a single call to a federal entity to direct law enforcement agencies to protect the Capitol. Instead, then-Vice President Mike Pence did so, effectively assuming the role of President.
“President Trump not only refused to tell the crowd to leave the Capitol, he also did not call any element of the United States government to instruct the Capitol to be defended,” Cheney said. “He didn’t call his secretary of defense on Jan. 6. He didn’t talk to his attorney general. He didn’t talk to the Department of Homeland Security. President Trump didn’t give the order to mobilize the National Guard that day. with the Department of Justice to coordinate and deploy law enforcement resources. Vice President Pence has done each of these things.”
In the audio played by the committee, Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, asked him to establish a “narrative” that Trump, not Pence, was in control and giving the orders. . Milley said he saw this request as “politics, politics, politics.”
The committee is likely to elaborate more on this point in hearings ahead, as exactly what Trump was doing in those critical hours on January 6 is still unclear.
2. Ivanka Trump said she accepted Barr’s assessment of the election
Then-Attorney General William Barr testified that he told Trump he disagreed with his belief that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.
“I made it clear that I didn’t agree with the idea of saying the election was stolen and publicizing these things, which I told the president was bullshit,” Barr said in recorded testimony. “And I didn’t want to be a part of it.”
When Barr determined that President Biden had indeed won the election, Ivanka Trump, Trump’s daughter and adviser, told the committee that she believed him.
“I respect Attorney General Barr. So I accepted what he was saying,” she said.
The president’s daughter was the first member of the former first family whose testimony was aired during the hearings.
3. Several Republican lawmakers asked the White House for pardon after January 6
Cheney also said that several Republican members of Congress sought presidential pardons in the days after the Capitol riot, including Representative Scott Perry. Perry refused to comply with the committee’s subpoenas.
“Several other Republican congressmen have also asked for a presidential pardon for their roles in trying to overturn the 2020 election,” Cheney said.
She did not name the other Republicans.
4. Jared Kushner Considered White House Lawyer’s Threats To Resign As “Whining”
The president’s son-in-law and top adviser, Jared Kushner, was questioned by Cheney during his recorded testimony about “multiple threats” made by White House attorney Pat Cipollone and his team to resign amid what Cheney called “illegal activity.” around Trump’s efforts to retain the presidency.
“Are you aware of several instances where Pat Cipollone has threatened to resign?” Cheney asked Kushner in a clip played during Thursday’s public hearing.
“As I said, my interest at the time was trying to get as many pardons as possible,” Kushner said. “And I know he and the team were always saying, let’s quit, we won’t be there if that happens, if that happens.”
5. Proud Boys started marching to Capitol Hill before Trump’s speech began
The Proud Boys began marching on Capitol Hill even before Trump’s speech had gathered supporters, according to documentary filmmaker Nick Quested, who was filming a documentary about the Proud Boys on Jan.
“I was confused to a degree why we were moving away from the president’s speech, because that’s what I felt we were there to cover,” Quested said.
6. Trump Cabinet Members Discussed the 25th Amendment, Says Cheney
Cheney said members of Trump’s cabinet discussed the “possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment,” adding that the American public will hear more about it at upcoming public hearings. The 25th Amendment provides the Cabinet with a path to replace the president. It was never invoked on or in the days after January 6th.