“He is required to answer for his actions,” said the chairman of the committee investigating the Capitol attack. The panel revealed new video of congressional leaders desperately seeking help from the Trump administration and the National Guard as rioters stormed the building.
WASHINGTON — The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol voted unanimously Thursday to issue a subpoena to former President Donald J. Trump to question him about his role in events that led to the violence that consumed Congress.
“He is required to answer for his actions,” said Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and the chairman of the committee, at the end of what was possibly the panel’s final public session. “He is required to answer to those police officers who put their lives and bodies on the line to defend our democracy.”
Two topics of much public interest -- Ginni Thomas’s role in the effort to overturn the 2020 election, and cabinet discussions about ousting Trump using the 25th Amendment -- did not come up in today’s hearing. Investigators say neither line of inquiry provided significant enough evidence to feature at the 2.5-hour hearing.
The House committee investigating what led to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack held its ninth — and potentially final — hearing of the year on Thursday, rehashing the panel’s arguments that President Donald J. Trump was directly responsible for inciting the violence. In a surprise move at the end of the hearing, the panel voted unanimously, 9 to 0, to subpoena Mr. Trump to provide both documents and testimony about the attempts to overturn the election.
Here are four takeaways from the hearing.
The Jan. 6 committee’s decision to issue a subpoena to former President Donald J. Trump may not yield the same result that a House committee subpoena of former President John Tyler for testimony did in 1846. Tyler complied.
Mr. Trump has signaled disdain for the Jan. 6 committee, and his lawyers may advise him to fight it instead, since answering questions under oath could risk perjury charges if he lies.
The House Jan. 6 committee’s hearings have drawn in millions of viewers, but after Thursday, the panel will turn to what’s perhaps an even bigger assignment: completing a comprehensive report that lays out the findings of its investigation, including the complex series of events that led to the violence that consumed the Capitol, in a narrative that’s easy to read.
It is a gargantuan and consequential document that the committee’s staff has been working around the clock to finish, and whose deadline has slipped repeatedly, leaving in doubt whether it will emerge before November’s midterm elections, as initially planned. The panel has conducted more than 1,000 interviews, most with lengthy transcripts to review, and obtained millions of pages of documents that aides are still going through.
Since it became public that the House select committee planned to subpoena Trump for his testimony, the former president has been telling aides he favors doing so, so long as he gets to do so live, according to a person familiar with his discussions. However, it is unclear whether the committee would accept such a demand.
As the special House committee investigating the attack at the Capitol wraps up its work, lawmakers are moving to strengthen the law to prevent a future presidential candidate from trying to abuse Congress’s historically ceremonial electoral vote count to subvert a lawful election, as former President Donald J. Trump tried to do on Jan. 6, 2021.
The House passed its overhaul of the Electoral Count Act in September on a mostly party-line vote, and the Senate is expected to consider a similar plan in the lame-duck session that begins Nov. 14. The Senate version got a big boost last month, when it was endorsed by Senator Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican and minority leader, who made it clear he would only back his chamber’s plan, putting pressure on the House to accept that bill.
The Jan. 6 hearings have so far largely focused on events leading up to and on that date, as President Donald J. Trump and his allies attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 election. But their efforts did not stop there.
Long after Mr. Trump left office, his supporters continued to amplify and perpetuate falsehoods about the election, giving rise to a movement across the country that is weakening faith in the country’s democratic systems as the midterm elections approach.
As the Jan. 6 committee’s hearings over the summer drew national attention and television ratings comparable to a “Sunday Night Football” matchup, Democrats began to harbor hope that the revelations could bolster their chances in a difficult midterm election environment.
But recent polling has found mixed effects.
Donald Trump pressed his claims of a fraudulent election on his Truth Social account today, and took an unsurprisingly dim view of the Jan. 6 committee’s unanimous vote to subpoena him. “Why didn’t the Unselect Committee ask me to testify months ago?” he posted. “Why did they wait until the very end, the final moments of their last meeting? 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?”
In a statement, Representative Elise Stefanik, the No. 3 House Republican, called the subpoena “a desperate political ploy.” She added that it would “only energize the American people to fire Nancy Pelosi once and for all and deliver a red tsunami that will elect a historic Republican majority to hold Joe Biden accountable.”
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack voted Thursday to subpoena former President Donald J. Trump, but has yet to settle on whether to enforce subpoenas issued to four key Republican members of Congress who have refused to cooperate with the inquiry.
Thompson tells reporters that the committee has no plans to subpoena former Vice President Mike Pence.
Huddling with congressional leaders in a secure location as the Capitol was under siege, Speaker Nancy Pelosi was emphatic: There had to be a way to show the public that the government could function and the transfer of power could continue.
Was there a way to return to the Capitol and continue certifying the election, she asked.
A dramatic ending to what could be the final public hearing of the committee, with a unanimous vote to subpoena Trump.
The committee has unanimously voted to subpoena Trump for testimony about the Jan. 6 riot.
Cheney says the committee has “sufficient information to consider criminal referrals for multiple individuals.”
As members prepare for this vote, it’s a reminder of how different this committee would have been had Kevin McCarthy, the minority leader, chosen to keep all of his nominees on the committee. He withdrew his nominees after Nancy Pelosi rejected two of his choices.
Cheney just motioned for a vote to subpoena Trump. “He must be accountable. He is required to answer for his actions,” Thompson said.
Thompson is delivering a scorching indictment of Trump as he lays the groundwork for a subpoena. Multiple times today, committee members called Trump “the center” of the Jan. 6 events.
Meanwhile, just minutes after video played showing the mob brutally attacking police officers, Capitol Police just tweeted what appears to be a recruitment notice.
Reminder that while McConnell expressed deep outrage about Trump’s failures on Jan. 6, he did not vote to convict him on impeachment charges.
Raskin says Trump’s adult children reached out to Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader, to implore him to reason with Trump. This is something his family members have had to do repeatedly in various scenarios.
People who have never really seen Pelosi in action are getting a good sense of it from these remarkable videos.
Pelosi on a call describes the horrors of the insurrection, saying on a call there was "poo-poo that they're making all over the" Capitol — "literally and figuratively."
Among the attempts Trump and his allies have made is to try to diminish how frightening it was that day for people inside the halls of Congress, and the sheer scope of what they were dealing with.
Right now, you can see Pelosi on the phone surrounded by leaders in both parties, including Senator Mitch McConnell, his top aides and other lawmakers.
This behind-the-scenes footage of the congressional leaders desperately trying to get help from the Trump administration is stunning.
This is remarkable footage of congressional leaders that we haven’t seen before, as they are pleading for resources to help people in the Capitol.
“It’s just horrendous, and all at the instigation of the president of the United States,” Pelosi says on the phone with Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia, watching footage of rioters breaking into the building.
“Do you believe this?” Pelosi asks, in video from a secure location, once she is told that lawmakers in the chamber are putting on gas masks to prepare for a breach.
Wow. This video, previously unreleased, shows Speaker Nancy Pelosi evacuating from the Capitol to a secure location, on the phone, pushing to finish the certification of the election results.
Investigations involving Trump are layering atop one another. As the committee’s hearing continues to unfold, the Supreme Court has just denied Trump’s request that it intervene in the Mar-a-Lago documents investigationand stay part of an 11th Circuit ruling. The denial means 103 documents marked as classified will stay out of the special master-overseen privilege review process ordered by a Trump-appointed federal judge in Florida, so the government does not have to show the sensitive files to Trump’s legal team.
Laughter breaks out in the hearing room as video of Pat Cipollone’s deposition plays. He scoffs when asked if anyone on the White House staff did not want rioters to leave the Capitol. He says he cannot think of anyone who felt that way.
The Secret Service’s documentation of the events before and after Jan. 6 has faced scrutiny from the National Archives, congressional committees and the inspector general overseeing the agency. The inspector general has accused the agency of refusing to turn over a full accounting of text messages sent by agents at the time. The Secret Service has said it turned over thousands of documents to the congressional committee, including those being detailed by Aguilar.
Aguilar also says the committee is reviewing advice “given not to tell the committee about this specific topic” and will address that in the report.
Aguilar says that before its report, the committee will reinterview witnesses about the reported altercation between President Trump and a member of his Secret Service detail in his limo ahead of the rally.
“Day of Rage,” a six-month investigation published last year by The New York Times that analyzed thousands of videos filmed at the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot, serves as a useful primer for the ongoing congressional hearings.
Reporters on the Visual Investigations team synchronized and mapped hours of footage and audio from police radios to understand, in minute detail, how a presidential rally turned into a vicious assault on the Capitol.
The hearing has resumed after a brief recess. Representative Pete Aguilar is discussing how the White House had sufficient warning to stop a march to the Capitol.
The testimony outlined just now raises further questions about Capitol security on Jan. 6, and how and whether these threats tracked by Secret Service were shared with officials on Capitol Hill.
The committee is taking a short recess.
On a web page shared with Mark Meadows on Dec. 30, 2020, hundreds of comments reveal the vitriol of Trump supporters.
“Gallows don’t require electricity,” one comment read. “Our ‘lawmakers’ in Congress can leave one of two ways: 1. in a bodybag. 2. after rightfully certifying Trump the winner,” another read.
Schiff seems to be accusing witnesses of perjury: “The Secret Service and other agencies knew of the prospect of violence well in advance of the president’s speech at the Ellipse. Despite this, certain White House and Secret Service witnesses previously testified that they had received no intelligence about violence that could potentially threaten any of the protectees on Jan. 6, including the vice president. Evidence strongly suggests that this testimony is not credible.”
In an effort to downplay the severity of the attack on the Capitol, some elected Republicans have insisted that the rioters that day weren’t armed. These texts and emails sent by Secret Service agents show that they in fact arrested several Trump supporters in Washington that day carrying assault rifles and pistols.
Representative Adam B. Schiff is going through some highlights of the documents the committee recently obtained from the Secret Service. He’s citing excerpts from agents noting the oddity of large numbers of protesters choosing not to come through the security perimeter to hear Trump’s speech and discussing weapons among the crowd.
Murphy goes through the pressure Trump brought to bear on Pence to illegally overturn the election results, and then segues to the turn to mob violence: “In the end, all of these people — Department of Justice officials, state elections officials, his own vice president — stood strong in the face of President Trump’s immense pressure. But as we now know, President Trump had already summoned tens of thousands of his supporters on Jan. 6 to ‘take back’ their country.”
The committee has been assiduously trying to show that Trump was the center of a wheel with a lot of spokes, each one a different avenue he was using to try to stay in power. But they’re demonstrating that he was the common thread through it all in terms of what he knew.
WASHINGTON — The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol plans to issue a subpoena to former President Donald J. Trump to question him about his role in events that led to the violence that consumed Congress, according to people familiar with its work, a remarkable escalation as the panel begins wrapping up its inquiry.
Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and the chairman of the committee, foreshadowed the move at the beginning of its hearing on Thursday, saying the panel could vote on “further investigative action” — a step the committee has not taken at any previous hearing.
The hearing so far represents a greatest hits of the testimony. They’re replaying, among other things, Ivanka Trump’s adviser recalling the president’s daughter saying that the president called Mike Pence a vulgarity when he refused to go along with Trump’s scheme.
Former President Donald J. Trump was advised by Tom Fitton, the leader of the conservative group Judicial Watch, to declare victory in the presidential election strictly on the basis of votes cast on Election Day, as opposed to those submitted earlier, the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol revealed on Thursday.
The information emerged during the latest public hearing held by the committee, as part of an effort to show that Mr. Trump had what Representative Zoe Lofgren called a “premeditated” plan, formed before Election Day, to declare lawfully cast absentee and mail-in votes as illegitimate.
Danish filmmakers have turned over a trove of evidence to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol, including footage of the political operative Roger J. Stone Jr. texting with a lawyer who represented President Donald J. Trump in his second impeachment trial, seeking a pardon.
The footage also shows Mr. Stone threatening violence and spelling out plans to fight the election results. Some of the material was expected to be featured in the panel’s hearing.
Thursday’s hearing is something of a last stand in Congress for Republican Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.
Ms. Cheney and Mr. Kinzinger broke sharply with their party after the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol and emerged as the most prominent Republicans condemning former President Donald J. Trump for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, pinning responsibility on him for the violence and pressing the case that the party must abandon him.
As rioters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Derrick Van Orden, a retired Navy SEAL, had a front-row seat to the mayhem, perching on the grounds beside a tall, intricately carved, sandstone lantern pier.
J.R. Majewski, an Air Force veteran from Ohio, was also at the Capitol that day, alongside a live-streamer who frequently elevates the QAnon conspiracy theory. So was Sandy Smith, a self-described entrepreneur and farmer from North Carolina who attended former President Donald J. Trump’s speech at the Ellipse and then marched up Capitol Hill.
Even as the Jan. 6 House committee adds to its series of public hearings on Thursday, the Justice Department has been conducting a separate — and equally sprawling — investigation into the rioters who stormed the Capitol and the various roles that officials in the Trump administration played in attempting to overturn the 2020 election.
So far, nearly 900 people have been charged with taking part in the Capitol attack, and arrests continue almost daily. Prosecutors have said that as many as 2,000 rioters who were at the Capitol on Jan. 6 could face criminal charges.“