Former Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R) said Monday that former President Trump and his legal team’s recent communications are “erratic” and “unmoored from truth.”
Duncan made the comments when discussing the former president's continuing legal challenges during an appearance on CNN’s “The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer.”
They were in response to Blitzer mentioning that Trump’s legal team argued on Monday that the former president should not be the subject of a protective order to limit what he can say in his Jan 6. criminal case.
“Well, I think everything's on the table for that team, right? Everything. He's very unpredictable,” Duncan told Blitzer. “We've seen this play out, even the communications that we've seen in the last 48 to 72 hours that he has put out on social media just seem erratic and unmoored from truth.”
Judge Tanya Chutkan recently ordered Trump’s attorneys to respond to Special Counsel Jack Smith's request for a strict protective order by Monday, which would prevent Trump from discussing case evidence in public.
Duncan, who served as lieutenant governor of Georgia from 2019 to 2023, also told Blitzer that Trump’s recent social media posts and remarks on his legal challenges remind him of Trump's lead up to the Capitol attack on Jan. 6.
“It's very concerning,” Duncan added. “And unfortunately, there's similar hallmarks I'm watching play out in the last few days, that really bring me back to a terrible place and that was the lead up to January 6, where it's just a continued deluge of misinformation, and a feverish pitch through 10-second sound bites and short little social media posts.”
Trump was indicted last Tuesday by a Washington, D.C., grand jury on four charges stemming from his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, which he lost to President Biden.
Smith’s 45-page indictment accuses Trump of trying to conduct a campaign to block the transfer of power. It alleges Trump was the director of a conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and played a central role in an attempt to block the certification of votes on Jan. 6.
Duncan also said that he received a subpoena to testify before a grand jury investigating the efforts Trump and his allies made to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia.
Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the federal indictments against former President Trump "exquisite” and “beautiful and intricate” in a new interview published Monday.
“The indictments against the president are exquisite,” Pelosi said in an interview with New York magazine. “They’re beautiful and intricate, and they probably have a better chance of conviction than anything that I would come up with.”
Pelosi was referring to the two latest indictments against Trump unveiled by special counsel Jack Smith.
Last week, Trump was arraigned on four criminal charges related to his efforts to cling to power after losing the 2020 election. In June, he was indicted over his retention of classified documents after he left the White House.
Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges in both cases.
Pelosi, as Speaker at the time, pushed for an inquiry into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, ultimately creating the Jan. 6 select committee, which many credit with providing the basis for the latest indictment against Trump on related charges.
In the interview, which was conducted Friday afternoon, Pelosi resisted taking credit for any of the work of the committee, apart from appointing its members. She praised the panel for providing a “beautiful balance” in its approach and a “seriousness of purpose.”
Pelosi warned in the interview about what she saw as the dangers of another Trump term in the White House.
“Don’t even think of that,” she said when asked in the interview. “Don’t think of the world being on fire. It cannot happen, or we will not be the United States of America.”
“If he were to be president,” she added. “It would be a criminal enterprise in the White House.”
Pelosi last week called the latest charges against Trump “heartbreaking,” noting in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, “It’s heartbreaking for our country to have a president of the United States with this list of charges against him.”
Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday said former President Trump had looked like a “scared puppy” a day earlier as he traveled to Washington, D.C., to appear in court in his arraignment on charges related to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol and his efforts to remain in power.
“I wasn’t in the courtroom of course, but when I saw his coming out of his car and this or that, I saw a scared puppy,” Pelosi said in an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “He looked very, very, very concerned about the fate," adding she did not see any "bravado or confidence or anything like that" from Trump.
“He knows the truth, the truth that he lost the election,” she continued. “And now he’s got to face the music.”
Trump appeared at Washington’s federal courthouse Thursday afternoon where he pleaded not guilty to four counts alleging he led a conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and attempted to block the certification of votes Jan. 6, 2021. The Department of Justice’s 45-page indictment alleges Trump led a campaign of “dishonesty, fraud and conceit” to obstruct a “bedrock function” of a democracy.
Pelosi appointed the nine members of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, which investigated the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and surrounding events and communications from those involved.
“Very proud of the Jan. 6 committee, which took us, laid the foundation, created a path or us to get to this place, to seek the truth," she said Friday.
When asked about Trump’s defense’s strategies to delay the trials until after the election if he is the Republican nominee, Pelosi said it’s because the former president is “afraid of the truth.”
“Instead of having this back-and-forth publicly about delay and that, there are certain options that are available to a person who has been arraigned,” Pelosi said. “But that’s up to the judges to decide. But it’s not up to the arraigned person to say the justice system is not on the level.”
“I feel like someone broke into our notes on the Oversight Committee and plagiarized them, only they put them down for Donald Trump instead of Joe Biden,” the Kentucky congressman said.
Comer went on to say Biden has damaged the American “system of government” and is causing a loss of trust in multiple government institutions like the FBI and Department of Justice. He said Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland are using the investigations for their own “self-preservation,”
“That's the ultimate goal for the deep state bureaucracy in Washington D.C.,” Comer said.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said on Tuesday that she will move to introduce articles of impeachment against FBI Director Christopher Wray and Matthew Graves, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.
Greene alleged in a release that Wray has turned the FBI into President Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland's "personal police force." She said the FBI has "intimidated, harassed, and entrapped" U.S. citizens who have been "deemed enemies of the Biden regime."
She cited several examples of FBI actions in the past few years during Wray's tenure that she believes demonstrates overreach and improper conduct by the agency.
Greene referenced the plot that multiple men had in 2020 to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), pointing to the couple who were acquitted after defense attorneys argued that the FBI entrapped them and convinced them to engage in the conspiracy.
Multiple other men, including the suspected ringleaders of the plot, were found guilty for their actions.
Greene also noted the search that the FBI conducted on former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago property for classified and sensitive documents that were taken there. She argued that Trump did not break any laws with his actions, but Biden did not have any authority to possess the documents that were found in multiple locations, including his personal home.
"It is unacceptable for the Director of the FBI or any civil officer to exercise his power in a way that targets one political class while doing favors for the other," Greene said.
Her articles of impeachment accuse Wray of refusing to ensure that the laws Congress passes, and the president signs, are "faithfully executed" and has failed to uphold his oath.
During a hearing of the House Oversight Committee on crime in Washington, D.C., earlier on Tuesday, Greene said Graves had chosen not to prosecute 67 percent of people arrested by D.C. police officers but continues to pursue cases and sentences against Jan. 6 defendants. She said the decision to not prosecute the former is “absolutely criminal.”
“The time for weaponizing the Department of Justice needs to come to an end. And because you refuse to prosecute real criminals that are violating all the crimes here in Washington, D.C., and you want to talk about D.C. residents — they are victims of your abuse of power,” she said. “And because of that, I am introducing articles of impeachment on you, Mr. Graves.”
Graves has defended his office’s conduct, telling The Washington Post that he is prosecuting most violent felonies. He said less serious cases were not being pursued for various reasons, including body-camera footage from officers subjecting arrests to additional scrutiny.
Greene mentioned an example of Matthew Perna, a Pennsylvania man who pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6 and died by suicide last year while awaiting sentencing. Perna entered the Capitol on Jan. 6 and stayed inside for about 20 minutes, during which he took video of the crowd there.
Perna’s family said he died from a “broken heart” and partially blamed the government prosecution for leading to his death.
Greene said Perna “peacefully” entered the Capitol, did not assault anyone or damage any property and cooperated with the FBI. She said Graves issued a request to delay Perna’s sentencing to allow more time to request a longer sentence for him, despite him not hurting anyone.
“And this is what you’ve done repeatedly, over and over, for those who pled or were convicted on Jan. 6,” she said.
Greene has pushed back on the treatment of Jan. 6 defendants in the past two years. She has on multiple occasions called for the release of all security footage taken during the attack and alleged that the defendants awaiting trial were being “mistreated” following a March visit to the D.C. jail where they were being held.
Graves has overseen the prosecution of many of the defendants facing charges over their conduct during the riot.
Greene last summer filed articles of impeachment against Garland over the FBI's search of former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago property for classified and sensitive documents.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said on Thursday that he would consider expunging one or both of former President Trump’s impeachments.
“I would understand why members would want to bring that forward,” McCarthy said in response to a question at a press conference on Thursday, before listing off several other key priorities for House Republicans.
“But I understand why individuals want to do it, and we’d look at it,” he added.
In the last Congress, a group of more than 30 House Republicans led by Rep. Markwayne Mullin (Okla.) put forward a resolution to expunge Trump’s impeachment in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. The resolution was supported by the fourth-ranking Republican in the House, Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (N.Y.).
A smaller group, again led by Mullin, also introduced a resolution to expunge Trump’s December 2019 impeachment for allegedly attempting to withhold military aid from Ukraine in an effort to pressure the country to investigate the business dealings of President Biden’s son Hunter Biden.
The Senate ultimately acquitted Trump in both impeachments, after failing to reach the two-thirds majority required to convict him.
The final document includes eight chapters, an executive summary and a list of 11 legislative recommendations, all of which are part of the committee’s responsibility of investigating the events surrounding Jan. 6 and putting forward suggestions to prevent a similar event from happening in the future.
“This report will provide greater detail about the multistep effort devised and driven by Donald Trump to overturn the 2020 election and block the transfer of power,” Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chairman of the committee, wrote in a foreword in the report.
“Building on the information presented in our hearings earlier this year, we will present new findings about Trump’s pressure campaign on officials from the local level all the way up to his Vice President, orchestrated and designed solely to throw out the will of the voters and keep him in office past the end of his elected term,” he added.
The report was initially set to publish on Wednesday, but the committee punted the release to Thursday. The panel did not give a reason for the delay, but the announcement came a few hours before Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered an address to a joint meeting of Congress.
The body of work largely details arguments and evidence the committee laid out during its series of public hearings this year. But for the first time, the panel outlined its full slate of legislative recommendations, including one that seeks to bar Trump from holding office in the future under the 14th Amendment.
The panel argued that Trump should not be allowed to serve in government office because the constitutional amendment prohibits people who “engaged in insurrection” from holding such posts. The committee pointed to Trump’s impeachment by the House on incitement of insurrection, cited the 57 senators who voted to convict him and referenced its criminal referral to the Justice Department on a similar charge.
The committee also recommended increased subpoena enforcement for Congress and more aggressive oversight of the Capitol Police, among other suggestions.
The release of the final report marks the final act of the committee’s sprawling investigation, which has been ongoing since the panel was created in the summer of 2021.
The group held 11 public presentations, interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses and poured over thousands of documents during the past 18 months to understand the events before, on and after Jan. 6.
As a precursor to the publication of the report, the panel made its final public presentation on Monday, during which members voted on criminal referrals to the Justice Department that target Trump.
The panel recommended that the agency investigate Trump for inciting, assisting or aiding and comforting an insurrection; obstructing an official proceeding; conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy to make a false statement.
The referrals, while symbolic, do not have any legal heft because the Justice Department is not required to investigate recommendations from congressional committees.
But they nonetheless marked a significant moment in the committee’s quest to make its case to the American people that Trump was at the heart of a conspiracy to keep himself in the White House.
“In the Committee’s hearings, we presented evidence of what ultimately became a multi-part plan to overturn the 2020 Presidential election,” the report reads. “That evidence has led to an overriding and straight forward conclusion: the central cause of January 6th was one man, former President Donald Trump, whom many others followed.”
“None of the events of January 6th would have happened without him,” the report added.
Ahead of the release of the final report, the committee published the transcripts of a number of witness testimonies — including two conversations the panel had with Cassidy Hutchinson.
During those discussions, the former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows detailed an effort by what she referred to as “Trump World” to lessen the effect of her testimony and hold back information from investigators.
The referrals and release of the report and transcripts come at a particularly tenuous moment for Trump, whose third bid for the White House is struggling to pick up steam amid poor polls and mockery over a new business venture involving digital trading cards.
Family members of the late officer Brian Sicknick, who died after the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol, appeared to snub Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Tuesday, passing by the pair without shaking their hands at a ceremony to honor officers who served during the attack.
C-SPAN footage shows some of the officers and their family members moving down a line of lawmakers, first shaking the hand of Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and then passing by McConnell and McCarthy. McConnell kept his hand outstretched as the honorees walked by.
Sicknick's mother, Gladys Sicknick, and brother, Ken Sicknick, were among those who declined to shake the Republican leaders' hands, according to multiple reports.
McCarthy did not appear to extend his hand, holding on to a box containing one of the medals as the recipients filed by.
The lawmakers were gathered in the Capitol Rotunda to award the Congressional Gold Medal for officers’ service defending the Capitol on Jan. 6.
D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee and U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger accepted medals on behalf of their departments, and family members of officers who died surrounding Jan. 6 joined them for the ceremony.
The 42-year-old Sicknick collapsed during the riot, suffered two strokes and died the following day. Capitol Police have said Sicknick “died in the line of duty, courageously defending Congress and the Capitol.”
Sicknick’s mother ahead of this year’s midterm elections attributed her son’s death to people such as failed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake (R), who espoused former President Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election had been fraudulent. The fallen officer’s former partner said she blamed people surrounding Trump for not speaking up before the attack.
McConnell and McCarthy both gave remarks at the ceremony after the medals were awarded.
“The Capitol Police and D.C. Police are valued members of this community. But they’re also members of another community. The community of law enforcement. The brotherhood of law enforcement," McCarthy said, tying the officers’ actions to a broader conversation of law enforcement in the nation.
“These brave men and women are heroes ... Days like today force us to realize how much we owe the thin blue line,” McCarthy said.
McConnell said that Congress was able to “finish our job that very night” because of the officers’ actions to secure the Capitol and facilitate the lawmakers’ certification of the 2020 presidential election results.
McConnell was the Senate majority leader during the Jan. 6 attack and has come under scrutiny for voting against convicting Trump in his second impeachment trial over the insurrection, though he has said Trump "provoked" the crowd.
“On that terrible day in January, you stared directly into the heart of darkness and, though outnumbered, you held the line, the line of democracy. You bravely held it and democracy endured. In return, those of us in elected office must always strive to care for you,” Schumer said to officers on Tuesday.
Former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.), who previously worked as an adviser to the Jan. 6 select committee, is at the center of a new controversy engulfing the panel after he dropped a bombshell revelation while promoting his forthcoming book.
In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” teasing his book, Riggleman said someone at the White House placed a late-afternoon call to a Capitol rioter while the attack was still underway.
"You get a real 'aha!' moment when you see that the White House switchboard had connected to a rioter's phone while it's happening," he told Bill Whitaker of “60 Minutes.”
Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.) speaks during House debates regarding articles of impeachment against former President Trump following Trump's actions leading up to and during the Capitol riot.
The revelation about the committee's largely-private investigation drew swift pushback from committee members, who are downplaying Riggleman’s knowledge of the panel's operation and brushing away the significance of the call.
It was an unwelcome distraction just days ahead of what may be the committee’s final public hearing on Wednesday, when panel members will seek to wrap up their case against former President Trump and his allies weeks before the midterm elections.
“I don't know what Mr. Riggleman is doing, really,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), a member of the Jan. 6 committee, told CNN during an interview Sunday when asked if he is a credible source when it comes to Jan. 6, 2021.
“I only saw him a few times when he was on the staff, and he did leave. He said he was going off to help Afghanistan refugees. So, you know, he does not know what happened after April, and a lot has happened in our investigation,” she said.
The California Democrat noted that all matters Riggleman brought up before his departure were looked into but “in some cases didn’t really [pan] out.”
“I will say this, that everything that he was able to relay prior to his departure has been followed up on and in some cases didn't really [pan] out, or there might have been a decision that suggested that there was a connection between one number or one email and a person that turned out not to pan out,” Lofgren said. “So, we follow up on everything.”
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), who also sits on the Jan. 6 panel, tried to trivialize Riggleman’s claims about the call during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.
“Well, that's one of thousands of details that obviously the committee is aware of,” Raskin said of the reported White House rioter call.
“I can't say anything specific about that particular call, but we are aware of it. And we are aware of lots of contacts between the people in the White House and different people that were involved obviously in the coup attempt and the insurrection. And that's really what all of our hearings have been about,” he said after being pressed on the matter.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) has been a leading figure among the Jan. 6 House committee investigating the Capitol riot.
CNN has since identified the rioter as Anton Lunyk, a 26-year-old Trump supporter. The Brooklyn native pleaded guilty to a charge associated with the Capitol riot and was sentenced to 12 months of probation. The call reportedly came after he and two friends left the Capitol.
But the individual who placed the call from the White House, shortly after Trump told his supporters to go home at 4:17 p.m., remains unknown. Call logs show the publicly available number for the White House without the relevant extension.
Riggleman’s publishing company has pegged the book — “The Breach: The Untold Story of the Investigations into January 6th” — as “an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at the Jan. 6 committee’s investigation” and teases knowledge of the almost eight-hour period at the White House where they “supposedly had no phone calls.”
But the panel sees matters differently.
“In his role on the Select Committee staff, Mr. Riggleman had limited knowledge of the committee’s investigation. He departed from the staff in April prior to our hearings and much of our most important investigative work,” select committee spokesperson Tim Mulvey told multipleoutlets in a statement.
“The committee has run down all the leads and digested and analyzed all the information that arose from his work. We will be presenting additional evidence to the public in our next hearing this coming Wednesday, and a thorough report will be published by the end of the year,” Mulvey added.
Riggleman’s book tour isn’t the first time the ex-adviser has alarmed his former employer. A TV hit shortly after he left the committee spurred an email to staff that his appearance was “in direct contravention to his employment agreement.”
“His specific discussion about the content of subpoenaed records, our contracts, contractors and methodologies, and your hard work is unnerving,” the panel’s staff director wrote, according to The Washington Post.
Riggleman appeared to nod to that dynamic in his book.
“I continually called for us to push the envelope and use the toughest approach possible. This ruffled some feathers on the committee,” he wrote.
At another point he questioned the panel’s strategy of dealing with the media.
“The committee had other fears too: leaks. We were obsessed with them, and the fear of leaks led the committee to compartmentalize the various teams of investigators… I wondered sometimes if there was an overabundance of caution — whether in the desire to thwart the press, we deprived the overall investigation of coordinated information. Was that a necessary trade-off?” he asked.
On his book tour, Riggleman has also weighed in on some ongoing matters before the committee, including Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
His comments come just days after the committee was able to secure an interview with Ginni Thomas after months of negotiations.
Riggleman said it was an “open secret” that her views had gotten more extreme.
Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has agreed to be interviewed by the Jan. 6 House panel.
“What really shook me was the fact that if Clarence agreed with or was even aware of his wife's efforts, all three branches of government would be tied to the Stop the Steal movement,” Riggleman wrote in his book.
"For me in intelligence, there['s] always the possible and the probable," Riggleman said. "Is it possible that Clarence Thomas had no idea of the activities of Ginni Thomas over decades as a Republican activist? Possible. Had no idea about what was going on during the election and Biden and Trump and her connections to the administration? Possible. Is it probable? I just can't even get my arms [around] that being probable," he added in the "60 Minutes" interview.
Asked on Sunday if he sees the reported call between the White House and a rioter as significant to the panel’s probe, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), a member of the Jan. 6 select committee, told CNN's “State of the Union” that relevant information will be presented before the public at Wednesday’s hearing.
“I can't comment on the particulars. I can say that each of the issues that Mr. Riggleman raised during the period he was with the committee, which ended quite some time ago, we looked into,” Schiff said.
“So, we have looked into all of these issues. Some of the information we have found on various issues, we will be presenting it to the public for the first time in the hearing coming up. It will be the usual mix of information in the public domain and new information woven together to tell the story about one key thematic element of Donald Trump's effort to overturn the election,” he added.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) emphasized on Saturday that “any interaction” former President Trump has with the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol will be “under oath and subject to penalties of perjury.”
Cheney, who serves as the vice chair of the committee, has remained tight-lipped about many aspects of the panel’s investigation into the Jan. 6 riot, as have her fellow committee members.
In a Saturday interview with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith, Cheney declined to specifically say whether the panel would like to hear from the former president, instead noting that if it does he will be required to tell the truth.
Cheney, a prominent Trump critic, did not otherwise hold back in speaking against the former president, however, calling him “fundamentally destructive” for the Republican Party. The congresswoman pointed to responses from her fellow members of the GOP to presidential records being recovered from the former president's Mar-a-Lago home as the latest example.
“You look at how many senior Republicans are going through contortions to try to defend the fact that the former president had stored in a desk drawer apparently, in an unsecure storage room, in a resort … documents that had the highest classification markings,” Cheney told Smith at the Tribune’s annual festival.
Despite her views on the former president, Cheney told Smith she does not regret voting against Trump’s first impeachment based on the evidence. She also noted that those proceedings have informed her current work on the Jan. 6 Committee.
“They would have had more Republican votes if they had enforced their subpoenas, and that is certainly a lesson that we have taken into [the] Jan. 6 Select Committee’s work,” Cheney said.
The Jan. 6 Committee has taken a strong stance on enforcing its subpoenas, referring several Trump allies for criminal contempt of Congress.
Cheney said she would "do everything I can" to ensure Trump is not the Republican nominee for president in 2024.
"And if he is the nominee," she added, "I won’t be a Republican.”