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Jan 6 live news: Panel says Trump knew he didn’t win the election

  • Panel links Trump tweet calling for ‘big protest’ on January 6 to the attack on the Capitol.
  • Committee portrays a contentious meeting at the White House in December 2020, where election deniers pushed for seizing voting machines.
  • Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone praises former Vice President Mike Pence for resisting a push to overturn election results.
  • Far-right groups that previously not worked together were galvanized by Trump’s call to come to Washington, DC and shared ‘operational intelligence’: Former DC intelligence official.

Trump tried to contact committee witness, Cheney says

Cheney has warned that the panel will not take lightly efforts to interfere with or influence witnesses.

“President Trump tried to call a witness in our investigation – a witness you have not yet seen in these hearings,” she said.

“That person declined to answer or respond to President Trump’s call, and instead alerted their lawyer to the call; their lawyer alerted us. And this committee has supplied that information to the Department of Justice.

“Let me say one more time: We will take any efforts to influence witness testimony very seriously.”

Cheney
Vice Chair Liz Cheney speaks during the January 6 hearing on July 12 [Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters]

Congress members present when theory to block certification discussed

Cipollone confirmed that members of Congress were at a December 21, 2020 White House meeting where the plan to have Vice President Mike Pence block the election certification was discussed, committee member Stephanie Murphy, a Florida Democrat said.

According to White House visitors logs, Republicans Brian Babin, Andy Biggs, Matt Gaetz, Louie Gohmert, Paul Gosar, Andy Harris, Jody Hice, Jim Jordan, Scott Perry and Marjorie Taylor Greene then a Congresswoman-elect, were at the meeting, Murphy said.

She referred to the plan to have Pence not certify the election as the “Eastman theory” named for attorney John Eastman who had been pushing an unconstitutional premise that Pence had the authority to block the electoral certification.


Cipollone says it was possible for Trump to tell rioters to leave earlier

Cipollone answered affirmatively when asked whether it was possible for Trump to take the White House briefing room podium and tell his supporters to leave the Capitol hours before he released a video urging them to end the riots.

The former White House counsel said it was his “obligation” to push Trump to tell his supporters to leave the Capitol.


January 6 assault will be Trump’s legacy, says Raskin

Raskin has said the attack on the Capitol will be Trump’s legacy.

“American carnage, that’s Donald Trump’s true legacy – his desire to overthrow the people’s election and seize the presidency, interrupt the counting of electoral college votes for the first time in American history,” Raskin said.

He added that Trump “nearly toppled the constitutional order and brutalised hundreds and hundreds of people”.

There were also serious concerns on Jan 5th among Members of Congress.

Rep. Debbie Lesko, who led objections to the election: “[We have] Trump supporters, who actually believe that we are going to overturn the election. And when that doesn’t happen… they are going to go nuts” pic.twitter.com/yjstEVSINk

— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) July 12, 2022


Oath Keepers leader wanted to create deck of cards with US politicians as targets

Van Tatenhove has testified that the leader of the Oath Keepers Stewart Rhodes was interested in creating a deck of cards with the faces of US politicians.

The project, according to Van Tatenhove, was meant to mimic to the cards US authorities released in Iraq after the 2003 invasion with the faces of Saddam Hussein aides that Washington wanted to capture.

“That would include different politicians, judges – including up to Hillary Clinton as the Queen of Hearts,” Van Tatenhove told the panel.

“This is a project that I refused to do. But from the very start we saw that there was always the push for military training… There were courses in that community that went over explosives training, so yeah, this all falls in line.”

Oathkeepers
Jason Van Tatenhove, a former member of the Oath Keepers, testifies before the January 6 panel [Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters]

Former Oath Keepers spokesperson calls group ‘dangerous’

Former Oath Keepers’ spokesperson Van Tatenhove has described the right-wing group as dangerous and violent.

“In my opinion, the Oath Keepers are a very dangerous organisation,” he told the panel.

“We saw a glimpse of what the vision of the Oath Keepers is on January 6. It doesn’t necessarily include the rule of law. It includes violence. It includes trying to get their way through lies, through deceit, through intimidation.”


Ex-campaign manager blamed Trump for riots

Former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale has blamed the then-president for the January 6 riots, according to a text message exchange with ex-Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson that the committee put on display.

“This is about Trump pushing for uncertainty in our country,” Parscale wrote. “A sitting president asking for civil war. This week, I feel guilty for helping him.”

He later lamented that a “woman is dead”, likely referring to a Trump supporter who was fatally shot inside the Capitol.

“Yeah if I was Trump and I knew my rhetoric killed someone,” Parscale added.

The committee has learned that, on January 5th, there were serious concerns at Twitter about anticipated violence the next day.

“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.” pic.twitter.com/wjAxwra6XQ

— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) July 12, 2022


Twitter witness says tried ‘for months’ to get company to do something about Trump and extremists

On the eve of January 6 rally, witness said he sent a message to a colleague saying: “When people are shooting each other tomorrow, I will try and I will try and rest in the knowledge that we tried.”

Witness said despite his “begging” he realized on January 5 that “no intervention was coming” from the company.

“We were at the mercy of a violent crowd that was locked and loaded.”


Trump added anti-Pence lines to his January 6 speech

Witnesses have told the committee that Trump added last-minute lines attacking Pence after the then-vice president refused to unilaterally overturn the elections.

Congresswoman Murphy said Trump ad-libbed several references to Pence and “fighting” in his speech.

“A single scripted reference in the speech to Mike Pence became eight,” Murphy said.

“A single scripted reference to rally-goers marching to the Capitol became four, with President Trump ad-libbing that he would be joining the protesters at the Capitol. Added throughout his speech were references to fighting and the need for people to have courage and to be strong.”


Cipollone confirms he rejected theory that Pence could overturn election

Cipollone has confirmed accounts from previous testimonies that he vehemently rejected efforts to push Vice President Mike Pence to reverse election results when presiding over the counting of electoral college votes.

Cipollone told the committee that he did not disagree with the testimony of a White House aide that he had described the theory that the vice president can overturn the election as “nutty”.

The former White House counsel went on to praise Pence for refusing to go along with those efforts, saying that he had suggested that the ex-vice president should receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Trump’s “Be there, will be wild!” call reverberated online across almost every social media platform. Trump’s key supporters, including far-right media personalities, saw it as a call to action. pic.twitter.com/k8Ao8PZJWm

— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) July 12, 2022


Far-right groups shared ‘operational intelligence’ ahead of Jan 6: Former Washington official

Donell Harvin, a former top intelligence official at the local Washington, DC government, has said that previously non-aligned groups from the far-right started coordinating together ahead of the January 6 attack, saying, “all the red flags were up at that point.”

“We have far-right militia collaborating with white supremacy groups, collaborating with conspiracy theory groups,” Harvin said, calling the coordination a “blended ideology”.

He said the groups were sharing “operational intelligence” ahead of the riot and “that is something that’s clearly alarming.”

Jan 6
A general view of the January 6 hearing on July 12 [Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters]

Trump’s Tweet turned supporters’ focus to January 6

The December 19, 2020 tweet by Trump that called for a “big protest” in Washington, DC on January 6 made his supporters laser-focused on that date, Raskin has argued.

“Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election,” the tweet said. “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”

Raskin said the founder of a website that served as a forum for election fraud claims “confirmed how the president’s tweet created a laser-like focus on the date of January 6”.

“After it was announced that he was going to be there on the sixth to talk, yes, then everything else was kind of shut out, and it was just going to be on the sixth,” Jody Williams, owner of the now-defunct thedonald.win website told the committee.

On Dec 18, 2020, Sidney Powell, Lt. Gen. Flynn, and others entered the White House for a meeting.

The meeting lasted multiple hours and included two groups of Trump advisers trading insults, accusations of disloyalty to the president, and even challenges to physically fight. pic.twitter.com/azqHAENbmB

— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) July 12, 2022


Trump used Twitter to speak to extremists, former employee says

A former Twitter employee who was on the content moderation team said if he hadn’t been president, Trump would have been suspended from Twitter long before January 8, 2021.

The employee’s identity was concealed to protect their identify, said there was concern in 2020 about Trump, after he told right-wing group The Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” during a September presidential debate.

“My concern was that the former president for seemingly the first time was speaking directly to extremist organizations and giving them directives,” the Twitter employee said.

He said Trump’s tweet on December 19, 2020 to rally in Washington that it would be “wild” spurred many of his followers.

“This tweet, on December 19 was essentially staking his flag in DC on January 6 for his supporters to come and rally,” the employee said.


Election deniers and other aides clashed at White house meeting

The panel portrayed a contentious meeting between election deniers and aides who were pushing against unfounded fraud claims at the White House on December 18, 2020.

Ex-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had come to the White House for an unscheduled meeting.

Cipollone said he pressed for evidence to back election fraud allegations decrying Powell’s “general disregard for the importance of actually backing up what you say with facts”.

Eric Herschmann, a former White House lawyer, said he also voiced opposition to some of the conspiracy theories that were being floated to back fraud allegations.

For his part, Giuliani said he accused aides who were not convinced that there was election fraud of not fighting hard enough.

“Maybe I put it another way: ‘You’re a bunch of p***ies’,” Giuliani said.


Other witnesses described screaming and hurling of insults between the two camps.

Hutchinson
Text messages between White house Deputy White House Chief of Staff Tony Ornato and Cassidy Hutchinson on the meeting [Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters]

Draft executive order called for seizing election machines

The panel has displayed a draft executive order where the White House would have directed the Pentagon chief to seize and examine election machines.

“Effective immediately, the Secretary of Defense shall seize, collect, retain and analyze all machines, equipment, electronically stored information, and material records,” the draft said.

Separately, Barr, the former attorney general, said in his testimony that he sternly rejected Trump’s idea of seizing election machines from the states by the federal government without probable cause. Former White House Counsel Cipollone called it “a terrible idea”.

“Early in the morning of December 19th, the President sent out a tweet, urging his followers to travel to Washington, DC… this tweet served as a call to action, and in some cases as a call to arms, for many of President Trump’s most loyal supporters.”

@RepStephMurphy

— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) July 12, 2022


Former Trump aides say Trump should have conceded

The committee has played testimonies from various former Trump aides and cabinet secretaries saying that by mid-December 2020 after his legal challenges failed and the electoral votes were certified, it was clear his administration was over, with some saying he should concede.

Then-White House counsel Cipollone, former Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, ex-Attorney General William Barr and Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump all made statements to that effect.


Hearings have changed Trump’s defence strategy: Liz Cheney

Previous hearings have shown that everyone close to Trump knew the election had not been stolen, Cheney said in her opening statement.

She said that’s prompted a change in strategy to defend Trump, with a narrative he was “manipulated by others”.

She dismissed that saying: “This of course, is nonsense. President Trump is a 76-year-old man, he is not an impressionable child, just like everyone else in our country. He is responsible for his own actions and his own choices.”


Trump ‘deployed a mob’ to attack transfer of power: Raskin

Congressman Raskin has accused Trump of deploying a “mob” on January 6, 2021, to prevent the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.

“A president who lost an election deployed a mob, which included dangerous extremists, to attack the constitutional system of election and the peaceful transfer of power,” Raskin said.

Raskin
Raskin says Trump ‘deployed a mob’ to stop the transfer of power [Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters]

Trump and his aides knew there was no fraud, Cheney stresses

Liz Cheney, one of two Republicans on the January 6 panel, has stressed that Trump and his allies knew that their unfounded claims of election fraud were false, but still pushed to convince supporters that the vote was stolen.

“Donald Trump had access to more detailed and specific information showing that the election was not actually stolen than almost any other American,” Cheney said.

She added that Trump’s legal team, led by Rudy Giuliani, knew that it “lacked actual evidence of widespread fraud”.

“Consider how millions of Americans were persuaded to believe what Donald Trump’s closest advisors in his administration did not,” Cheney said. “These Americans did not have access to the truth like Donald Trump did. They put their faith and their trust in Donald Trump. They wanted to believe in Him. They wanted to fight for their country, and he deceived them.”

“Consider how millions of Americans were persuaded to believe what Donald Trump’s closest advisors in his administration did not. These Americans did not have access to the truth… They put their faith, their trust, in Donald Trump… And he deceived them.”

@RepLizCheney

— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) July 12, 2022


Trump ‘summoned a mob’ to Washington, DC: Thompson

Tuesday’s hearing will show how Trump “summoned a mob” to Washington, DC in an effort to overturn the 2020 election, Congressman Thompson has said in his opening remarks.

“The committee will explain how as a part of his last-ditch effort to overturn the election and block the transfer of power, Donald Trump summoned a mob to Washington, DC and ultimately spurred that mob to wage a violent attack on our democracy,” Thompson said.


Hearing starts

Panel chair Congressman Bennie Thompson has gavelled in the hearing.

The seventh January 6 hearing by the congressional committee investigating the 2021 attack on the Capitol is underway.

President Trump relentlessly worked to remain in power despite losing the election.

In today’s hearing, the Select Committee will focus on events that took place in the final weeks leading up to January 6th. https://t.co/PoxPLxBInE

— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) July 12, 2022


Oath Keepers former spokesman to testify: Reports

Jason Van Tatenhove, a former spokesman for the far-right militia, the Oath Keepers, will testify at Tuesday’s hearing, several US media outlets have reported, citing unidentified sources.

Early this year, the Department of Justice charged the Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes with seditious conspiracy in relation to his alleged role in the Capitol attack.

Rhodes has pleaded not guilty.


Who are the Proud Boys?

The Proud Boys – a self-described pro-Western, chauvinist “fraternity” – are expected to be the main focus of Tuesday’s hearing.

Read about the far-right group here.


Roger Stone denies any wrongdoing

Roger Stone, a Trump confidant and right-wing political operative who was associated with the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, has denied any wrongdoing.

Stone’s name is expected to come up at the hearing as a link between the White House and the far-right groups.

“Any assertion that I knew in advance about, was involved in or condoned any of the illegal actions at the Capitol is false,” the Reuters news agency quoted Stones as saying in an email. “Any claim that I knew from any member of the Proud Boys or Oath Keepers about any plan for illegal activities on January 6th is also false.”

Roger Stone
‘Any assertion that I knew in advance about, was involved in or condoned any of the illegal actions at the Capitol is false,’ Roger stone says [File: Joshua Roberts/Reuters]

Cipollone’s testimony to be featured

The panel will feature parts of Cipollone’s interview at Tuesday’s hearing, Congressman Jamie Raskin, a key member of the committee, has said.

The ex-White House counsel was close to the centre of the events of the White House, and according to previous witnesses, he played a major role in opposing Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 elections.

“We’re going to get to use a lot of Mr Cipollone’s testimony to corroborate other things we’ve learned along the way,” Raskin told CBS News on Sunday. “He was the White House Counsel at the time. He was aware of every major move, I think, that Donald Trump was making to try to overthrow the 2020 election and essentially seize the presidency.”

The Select Committee’s next hearing will continue the story of Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election.@RepRaskin previews Tuesday’s hearing: pic.twitter.com/9OZ5u9JDn1

— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) July 10, 2022


Committee to examine links between Trump and far-right agitators

The seventh hearing of the panel this year will examine alleged links between Trump and far-right agitators accused of plotting the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.

The session is expected to draw a connection between the former president and groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.

“We will lay out the body of evidence that we have that talks about how the president’s tweet on the wee hours of December 19th of ‘Be there, [will] be wild,’ was a siren call to these folks,” Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, a panel member, told NBC News at the weekend.


Cipollone did not contradict other witnesses, says panel member

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren has said that former White House counsel Pat Cipollone did not contradict previous witnesses when he was interviewed by the panel last week.

“Mr Cipollone did appear voluntarily and answer a whole variety of questions. He did not contradict the testimony of other witnesses,” Lofgren told CNN.

Cipollone agreed to speak to the panel after Hutchinson’s explosive testimony.

Pat Cipollone
Pat Cipollone internally opposed Donald Trump’s push to overturn 2020 elections, according to lawmakers and witnesses [File: Julio Cortez/AP Photo]

Key takeaways from last hearing

At the last hearing, on June 28, Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, shared “firsthand” stories of former President Donald Trump’s behaviour on and around January 6, 2021.

Her headline-making testimony included accounts of Trump insisting on going to the Capitol on the day of the riots and physically lunging at a Secret Service agent.

Read the key takeaways from that hearing here.


Welcome to Al Jazeera’s live coverage of a United States congressional committee’s public hearing on its inquiry into the January 6, 2021 US Capitol riot.

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