January 6th Committee Hearing Features Testimony From WH Counsel Pat Cipollone & Former Members of Extremist Groups
How do you feel about the January 6th select committee’s hearing?
What’s the story?
- The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol held its seventh public hearing on Tuesday that featured excerpts of former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone’s deposition last week, along with testimony regarding the role played by extremist groups and social media in the events of January 6th.
- At the end of the hearing, Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) said that after the committee’s last hearing, former President Donald Trump “tried to call a witness in our investigation” and that the witness declined the call and notified their lawyer, who alerted the committee and the Dept. of Justice about the attempt to contact their client. Cheney warned, “We will take any effort to influence witness testimony very seriously.”
- You can watch the full hearing here. Read on for a recap of key moments from Tuesday’s hearing.
- The select committee played several video excerpts of former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone’s eight hour deposition a week ago. Cipollone was precluded by executive privilege from answering all of the select committee’s inquiries, but was able to respond to a number of questions posed to him.
- Cipollone told the committee that he agreed with the findings of former Attorney General Bill Barr and others who investigated Trump’s election fraud claims and found no evidence of fraud to a degree sufficient to undermine the outcome in a particular state.
- He also testified that he believed Trump should have conceded that he lost the election and that after the Electoral College results were officially counted on December 14, 2020, the president’s attempt to overturn results should’ve ended:
“I believe Leader McConnell went onto the floor of the Senate I believe in mid-December and basically said, you know, the process is done. That would be in line with my thinking on these things.”
- Cipollone was asked about a December 18th meeting at the White House in which Trump said he wanted to give Sidney Powell, who was part of the president’s team pushing claims of widespread election fraud, a security clearance and make her a special counsel tasked with investigating election fraud. Under that scheme, federal agencies would’ve seized voting machines as evidence.
- Former AG Bill Barr testified, “I said absolutely not,” to requests to seize voting machines, and Cipollone said he was “vehemently opposed” to the idea, adding “it’s a terrible idea for the country”.
- Cipollone testified that at the conclusion of the heated White House meeting on December 18th where it was proposed Powell would become a special counsel, “In my view, she hadn’t been appointed to anything and ultimately wasn’t appointed to anything because there had to be other steps taken.” He went on to say that Powell was still seeking an appointment or was asserting that she had been appointed as special counsel following the December 18th meeting.
- Cipollone also testified about Vice President Mike Pence and said that he thought Pence “did the right thing” and that he suggested to somebody that Pence “should be getting a Presidential Medal of Freedom for his actions.”
- The videos played by the select committee of Cipollone’s deposition didn’t include any questions about testimony by Cassidy Hutchinson, who was an aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, that Cipollone said that if Trump was allowed to go to the Capitol on January 6th, “We’ll get charged with every crime imaginable.” Reporting by CNN about Cipollone’s deposition indicates the select committee didn’t ask him about that exchange following Hutchinson’s testimony.
Extremist Groups & Social Media on January 6th
- The committee referenced Trump’s December 19th tweet urging his supporters to attend a protest in D.C. on January 6th, which concluded, “Be there, will be wild!” Trump’s message was echoed by supporters like Alex Jones and other far-right media personalities, and picked up steam among far-right groups as the date approached.
- An ex-Twitter employee testified anonymously before the committee that, “For months, I had been begging… and attempting to raise the reality that… if we made no intervention into what I saw occurring, people were going to die.” He said that on January 5th, “I realized no intervention was coming.”
- The select committee heard live testimony on Tuesday from two individuals who were previously associated with far-right groups known as the Proud Boys and Oathkeepers. Leaders of those organizations have been charged with seditious conspiracy to overthrow the government in connection with the January 6th riot.
- Jason Van Tatenhove, a former spokesman for the Oathkeepers, said that the group “may not like to call themselves a militia, but they are. They’re a violent militia.” He said that the “best illustration for what the Oathkeepers are, happened January 6th when we saw that stacked military formation going up the steps of our Capitol.”
- Stephen Ayres, who was part of the Proud Boys and pled guilty to charges related to the attack on the Capitol, said that he “was pretty hardcore into the social media” and followed Trump on the major platforms. He said that when Trump “put out you know ‘come to stop the steal rally’, I felt like I needed to be down here.”
- Ayres said the following about Trump’s tweet urging his supporters to leave the Capitol after the riot had been underway for several hours:
“Basically when President Trump put his tweet out, we literally left right after that came out. To me, if he would have done that earlier in the day… maybe we wouldn’t be in this bad of a situation.”
- The January 6th select committee has been a source of controversy since its inception in the summer of 2021. Earlier efforts to form a 9/11-style independent commission fell apart after Democrats wanted to retain the power to appoint all of its staffers and Republicans blocked the bill in the Senate.
- That led the House to create the select committee and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) appointed Democrats plus Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), who had been an outspoken critic of Trump’s efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the election.
- Pelosi then rejected two of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) GOP picks for the committee ― Reps. Jim Banks (R-IN) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) ― which was contrary to prior precedent in the House. In retaliation, McCarthy withdrew the remaining GOP members of the committee and declined to name new ones.
- The speaker then added Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who is also a Trump critic, to the committee which then began its work with just her selections on the committee and no lawmakers chosen by Republican leadership.
- With no GOP lawmakers who were chosen by their party’s leadership on the panel, the select committee’s public hearings have lacked the sort of adversarial cross-examination that you see in typical congressional committee hearings.
- The select committee is expected to hold another hearing next week on Thursday next week in primetime that will focus on a minute-by-minute recounting of the events of January 6th and Trump’s role in them. Cheney indicated it will feature more testimony from Cipollone and others.
- Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) said after Tuesday’s hearing that “it’s the last one at this point” but that there could be additional hearings after that given the information the select committee continues to receive.
- Select Committee Holds Hearings on Trump's Actions on January 6th, Efforts to Pressure State Election Officials & the Justice Dept. (6/28/22)
- January 6th Committee Hears Testimony On Trump's Election Fraud Claims, Pressure on Pence to Overturn Election Results (6/16/22)
- January 6th Committee Holds Public Hearing in Primetime (6/9/22)
- AG Garland Delivers Update on Criminal Prosecutions of January 6th Capitol Rioters (1/5/22)
- Select Committee Hears Testimony From Police Officers Who Defended Capitol During January 6th Riot (7/27/21)
- Speaker Pelosi Adds Adam Kinzinger to January 6th Select Committee (7/26/21)
- Pelosi Rejects Two of McCarthy’s Picks for January 6th Select Committee (7/21/21)
- McCarthy Announces GOP Picks for January 6th Select Committee (7/19/21)
- Pelosi Picks Democrats & Liz Cheney for January 6th Select Committee (7/1/21)
- Senate Committees Release Bipartisan Report Detailing Intelligence & Security Failures Related to January 6th Capitol Riot (6/8/21)
- Senate Republicans Block Bill to Establish Commission to Investigate January 6th Attack (5/28/21)
- House Passes Bill Establishing Independent Commission to Investigate January 6th Capitol Attack (5/19/21)
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Tyler Merbler via Flickr / Creative Commons)
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Another highly informative session. The puzzle pieces are all falling into place, the obvious connections are being made and the subtle connections are being newly exposed.
With every disclosure I find out that the trump is even worse than I previously thought and if you have followed any of my comments you already how bad I have thought that the trump is. His enablers are beyond disgusting in their complete lack of ethics, morals, or honesty. When I think that there is no depth lower that they can sink to, they sink even deeper.
Roger Stone's continued presence with all of the paramilitary groups confirms the continuing extent of his involvement.
The fact that paramilitary groups and stop the steal rabble rousers all seemed to know that the trump was going call for a march on the Capitol on January 5th, when no one else outside of the trump's inner circle knew that it was being discussed, begs for a DOJ investigation into just how that happened.
The Select Committee is doing a superb job in presenting uncontestable facts and testimony from devout Republicans in clearly understandable chunks. The summary session where they tie the chunks together, probably with time-line snippets to show just what preceded what, should also be a really interesteing and impactful session.
And just what witness that has not yet been publicly disclosed was important enough for the trump to call in an attempt to infkuence their testimony.
Just think how easily a smart slick talking politucusn could have pulled off this coup, you know anyone not stupid enough to telegraph his illegal moves to everyone.
That is what scares me the most in all of this.
I really hope that HHS is repurposing one of those immigrant detention facilities so that the trump, his family, Roger Stone, Banon, Flynn and the wildest performers within the Republican Cartel's three ring circus of clown shows can continue to share their well earned futures for the next ten to twenty years or until they each destroy one another.
Presidential Medal of Freedom for Pence? Please! (The thought gives me agida!). That mother scratcher sat silently for four freaking years, while that asswipe did unthinkable acts to individuals & to our country. His ONE and ONLY act of defiance, was his JOB!!! Yes, thank you for FINALLY doing the RIGHT thing Pence, but you slimy POS, deserve nothing but a simple thanks for doing what you we're supposed to do!
I can't flipping believe that Republicans "caught" in the inner circle are making Pence out to be the hero, those Congress people involved in the planning, Republicans tried to seat on the committee, you're all dirty! The only person amongst you deserving of anything is Liz Cheney.
We heard today how the whole insurrection was planned in advance, Donald knew about it and planned to lead it, and the leaders of the insurrectionists were ready to commit violence.
Lock them all up.
It's all bull crap! Nobody cares! It's the Dems grand standing, They love to create drama, spread disinformation and all on OUR tax payer money! They should be required to pay when the information they're spreading produces no results. It's time to hold them accountable and stop this madness!
These issues should have been raised in the last House impeachment trial! This Committee is a day late & billions of $ short.
I see the goal of this Committee as a diversionary tactic to pull attention AWAY from the Mid-term elections & a way to keep Trump off the ballot. (I'm backing DeSantis & think the lack of Republicans on the Committee is a JOKE.)
This circus in just another example of how the Democrats and some Republicans try to bend the truth. They have been lying about what Trump has said and done since he walked down that escalator.
Tell me, has any of those Democrats that supposed the violence we have experienced in our cities over the last ten years? No, and they continue today to support those hate groups. Let's have an even playing field. Republicans and Democrats need to be looking for the truth no matter who it is. But, there is widespread corruption in our capital and they are the one doing the headhunting to cover up their misdoings. We need turm limits and we need them now.
The hearing today was fantastic! I appreciate how each part is so organized and amazed at how so many Republicans are concerned enough about the future of our country to come forward to testify, no matter the fallout. And trump continues to tout the Big Lie. 😂
So much worse than I thought.
Originally thought it was a spontaneous reaction to rhetoric which is hard to prove, and the main charge would be a delayed reaction to stopping it which is easier to prove.
Now finding out meeting outcomes resulted in Tweets mobilizing right wing militias that did significant planning & prep showing convergence, prior to the inaction in stopping it!
I applaud the work of the Committee. The opening and closing statements of all 7 hearings have artfully laid out trump's planned and organized violent coup.
I was pleasantly surprised when Liz Cheney told everyone that trump attempted to tamper with a witness we haven't heard from yet and referred the matter to the DOJ.
Jan. riot was a false flag operation by left-wing Antifa and BLM types along with FBI and probably CIA. I watched them on video change in and out of their MAGA costumes and watched the guards at the Capitol usher people into the building. I think the incidence of police suicide in D.C. soon after the riot was staged to quiet some truthful voices. We may never know the truth of what went on but we can see the evidence of people's actions. Leaders knew there was going to be trouble on Jan. 6 but rejected the offer of security by President Trump. Many of the guards were sent home early. If that is not a planned set-up then nothing is. We cannot believe anything published in the media or by the government. It's all corrupt. Sad. Our Republican form of government was designed for an educated citizenry and leaders with high moral character. We pretty much have neither.
It's all a waste of t8me and money. It's goal is to keep Trump from running for office. Time to move on
TRUMP AND THE MAGA TRAITORS SHOULD BE PUNISHED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW.
HE HAS ALREADY SEEDED THE GOP WITH HIS TREACHERY WHILE THE DEMOCRATS ARE VERY PATIENTLY WAITING FOR JUSTICE.
WE WILL NEVER LET THE GOP BIGOTS TAKE OVER THIS COUNTRY. BIGOTRY IS NOT IN OUR CONSTITUTION !!!!!
Move over Nixon, you've been Trumped.
At this point in time I don't understand what Merrick Garland is waiting for to bring Trump in. The committee has done everything for him to act. If Merrick Garland doesn't act soon, it's going to be harder if Trump announces that he running in 2024. THAT CAN NOT HAPPEN!!
Merrick Garland needs to do his job. Now.
GOP must stop the vengence Dems, and Never Trump GOP attempt in this Marxist Show Trial.Investigate th3 deep stage coup against Trump, nd Obama-Clinton's russian hoax. Trump is th3 innocent victim here. The deep state worked th evil. Clinton is at th3 root of th3 crime.
So this is interesting. Secret Service texts from 1/5 and 1/6 were mysteriously erased.
Secret Service erased text messages from January 5 and 6, 2021 -- after oversight officials asked for them, watchdog says
can anyone, anything be trusted in and around a gop regime!?
lie cheat steal obfuscate are their core principles
Those of you who have continued to either be cowards and to stick your heads in the sand or those of you who stupidly continue to believe the ridiculous lies without a wisp of proof, just watch the January 6th select committee hearings and if you have any courage, can read or have even a tiny bit of intelligence, you will be impressed and encouraged by all that this committee has uncovered. And you understand that Trump must be held accountable for all the criminal activity he carried out! Run from him!
Awesome job by the Jan 6th committee.
GO 1/6 COMMITTEE! READY FOR GARLAND TO START ARRESTS!
LET'S ARREST THOSE VIOLATORS OF THE CONSTITUTION THAT ARE CURRENT SITTING MOCS! HOPE THEY COME FOR YOU THOMAS MASSIE, RAND PAUL, AND YOU TOO MOSCOW MITCH.
And don't forget HAWLEY that fist Pumped and Jim Jordan and Kevin McCarthy that plotted with Trump having inside info. GOHMERT and GOSAR, TED CRUZ, RICK SCOTT...ALL of them that knew were ACCESSORIES and are SEDITIONISTS! LOCK THEM UP; UNFIR TO SERVE...except to 20 tears to life. It's not just sedition...it's murder!
A group of conservatives, including prominent lawyers and retired federal judges, issued a 72-page report on Thursday categorically rebutting each of the claims made in court by former President Donald Trump and his supporters over the 2020 election results
took you this long to figure it out!? what a bunch of prominent dumbkopfs! sorry 'conservative dumbkops'
With the ammount of danming evidence layed out by the commitee, Trump, and his associates all need to face criminal charges.
The committe is doing a great job. Yes, Republicans will say otherwise, but they had an opportunity to come to the table. So, quit whining. Any reasonable person can see from the testimony that Trump broke a number of laws and his oath. This is based on testimony of some of his own advisers and appointees. Give him his day in court. Let a jury decide his guilt. The executive privilage argument is BS. Polticians are too concerned with being re-elected and taking kick backs than actually doing their job. Dare I say term limits? If I, as a common citizen did what Trump did, I would be in prison for a very long time. Will he be indicted? No. Our three tiered law system, not justice, has standards for the poor and people of color, the white middle class, and the rich and powerful. Justice is not blind. The powers that be are afraid of the turmoil that would ensure if Trump were indicted. But maybe that's what we need to preserve our republic. No man is above the law is a great concept. If it is truly enforced. Our country is at risk. Let's change that at the ballot box.
They are taking too long with the hearings and the DOJ is negligent by not bringing charges against Trump and others. However, the hearings are wonderful, healthy, and a required task to save our republic and what is left of our democracy. This event and testimonies, under oath, make the Trumpers struggle to support this narcissist madman who hates democracy and strives for authoritarianism or totaliarianism with himself at the top. The eye witness testimonies make it difficult for the deniers to continue to support the big lie, and that is Trump. Trump has no conscious and should be in jail on federal charges of sedition. I pray that we find some candidates for POTUS in both parties who are not radical in their beliefs, care about our country and not just focused on themselves, their wealth, their party and their re-election, and most of all, can get something done. We have not had that for decades and are in dire need right now for major changes in the Administration, Congress, Senate and for sure the SCOTUS. All the condidates spewing the Trump lies are very dangerous, just as are the radical progressives who have damamged our law and order to threaten our future.
They didn't bother to interview the Secret Service that were in the limo. What kind of court accepts here say? It's obviously one sided. Nobody watches, waste of time and money.
One sided political theater with no attempt at an honest exploration of issues.
Cherry picking through depositions for sound bites. No exploration of Speaker Pelosi's and Senate Majority Leader Schumer's role in denying Capitol Police the request Federal Troops backup in the face of intelligence reports that Antifa and other groups were planning infiltration of event and causing a riot.
Fortunately the consistent lack of ratings indicates the American people are seeing the poorly orchestrated political manipulation of Anti-Trump's supporters.
Stop the hearings unless they call Pelosi, Schumer and put Jim Jordan and the original Minority Leader's choice Reps back on Committee. Then start over.
Otherwise this is a waste of time and money.
During yesterday’s January 6th Committee hearing, we heard additional detail about the meeting that former Overstock CEO/current insurrectionist Patrick Byrne attended at the White House in December 2020 with then President Donald Trump, Sidney Powell, and Michael Flynn. The group met to discuss their plans to overturn the 2020 election based on claims of widespread voter fraud. It was all bullshit, obviously, but it has me thinking about the role that corporate America is playing in the demise of our democracy.
It should be beyond clear now that many corporations and ultra-wealthy businessmen are actively underwriting the corruption being unleashed by Trump and his cronies, which includes violent groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers that led the attack on the U.S. Capitol. “All hell is going to break loose tomorrow,” Trump former aide Steve Bannon predicted on his radio show on January 5, 2021.
Trump’s bullying continues to this day. Yesterday we learned that Trump continues to call witnesses ahead of their testimony, a claim made by Liz Cheney that’s been referred to the DOJ. Previously, we heard about a phone message received by White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson just before she testified on June 28th before the January 6 committee which warned that “[someone…] let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. He wants me to let you know he’s thinking about you. He knows you’re loyal. And you’re going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition.”
If this sounds like a threat, that’s the point.
During Hutchinson’s earlier depositions before the committee, her legal counsel was paid for by Trump’s “Save America PAC” (the PAC paid the legal expenses of other panel witnesses, too. When she realized “she couldn’t call her attorney to say ‘Hey, I’ve got more information’” because the attorney “was there to insulate the big guy,” according to a friend, she secured free counsel who would not inhibit her. Now, after testifying in public, Hutchinson is in hiding.
Meanwhile, the “big guy” continues to stir up his mob with lies about stolen elections and secret plots — fueling a new wave of threats against committee members. Several have increased their personal security. Committee Chair Bennie Thompson, co-chair Rep. Liz Cheney, and Rep. Adam Kinzinger have security details; other members have requested them. Kinzinger, one of the panel’s two Republican members alongside Cheney, says he’s received “constant” death threats. “There is violence in the future, I’m going to tell you,” Kinzinger told ABC. “And until we get a grip on telling people the truth, we can’t expect any differently.” Kinzinger has announced he will not be seeking re-election. Cheney has paused participating in public events in part because of safety concerns.
Does any of this remind you of Hitler’s Brown Shirts or Mussolini’s Blackshirts?
At the least, it should raise questions about the wealthy individuals and corporations that continue to bankroll insurrectionists – among them, Peter Thiel, Rebecca Mercer, Charles Koch, Home Depot cofounder Bernie Marcus, ex-casino mogul Steve Wynn, shipping magnate Richard Uihlein, and former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne.
Funding is also coming from Boeing, Koch Industries, Home Depot, FedEx, General Dynamics, Toyota, AT&T, Valero Energy, Lockheed Martin, UPS, Raytheon, Marathon Petroleum, General Motors and FedEx. In April alone (the most recent month for which data is available), Fortune 500 companies and trade organizations gave more than $1.4 million to members of Congress who voted not to certify the election results. AT&T led the pack, giving $95,000 to election objectors.
Toyota is even funding Trump ally Congressman Andrew Biggs, a fervent devotee of the Big Lie who refuses to comply with a congressional subpoena to testify before the committee. Six congressmen who have refused to testify have raked in more than $826,000 from corporate donors since the assault on the Capitol.
Why are these wealthy individuals and corporations doing this? Presumably because they want to pay as little in taxes as possible and believe Trump and his Republicans will deliver even more tax cuts than they did before.
To state the question in historical terms, how different is their behavior from the wealthy European industrialists who quietly backed the fascists in the 1920s and 1930s? These billionaire and corporate funders are as complicit as the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers in threatening American democracy.
What's this? MORE news of lying pieces of shit for former guy? It's getting hard to keep up.
No doubt readers here are aware of the Cult45 shit-posting campaign by a handful of former guy's loyal Steve-Bannon trolls here.
A favorite DARVO projection by these assholes is how 'mentally ill' their critics are. Our loudmouth here blames Biden, 'antifa' and BLM for everything, as the white-nationalist talking points from Tucker/Putin dictate.