Former White House lawyer warned Trump legal peril was possible if records went unreturned

A new report suggests former White House counsel Eric Herschman warned Donald Trump in late 2021 that if he failed to return presidential records or classified materials he had retained after leaving office, the 45th president could face serious legal trouble. 

The New York Times was the first to report the development, citing three unnamed sources familiar with the matter. 

Herschmann was no longer working for Trump by the time this conversation reportedly occurred in December 2021. An exact date for the meeting was not confirmed. Trump had been out of the White House for almost a year by that point, however, and though it is unclear whether Herschmann was aware of precisely what records Trump had retained, he still felt the need to offer the caveat. Trump’s response to Herschman’s warning was allegedly “noncommittal” but courteous.

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The warning likely didn’t come as a total surprise.

By the time Herschmann had offered his input, the National Archives had already informed Trump that it was missing a number of original documents from his time in the White House.

Some two dozen boxes of presidential records that were meant to go to the Archives in January 2021 didn’t. Instead, they were shipped off to Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago. This happened against the advice of Pat Cipollone, another White House attorney under Trump. 

By January, the former president handed over some 15 boxes to the Archives from those he had sent to Mar-a-Lago. There were 184 classified records inside, But by May 2021, the National Archives was still trying to find other key records that appeared to be missing. Gary Stern, the Archives lead counsel, fired off letters to Trump’s attorneys and emphasized that all presidential records must be accounted for.

A back-and-forth over the documents continued. By the autumn of 2021, according to sources who spoke to The Washington Postformer deputy White House counsel Pat Philbin told the Archives that it was Mark Meadows, Trump’s onetime chief of staff, who had reassured him the documents Trump took were only inconsequential news clippings and nothing more.

But the Archives believed there was more than news clippings missing. The Archives had already informed Trump’s team by then that it was looking for specific records, like his letters with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, a letter left for him by former President Barack Obama, and, among other things, the National Weather Service map from 2019 that Trump drew on with a Sharpie marker when falsely proclaiming that Hurricane Dorian was going to hit Alabama after the National Weather Service had reported otherwise.  

Around the time Herschmann reportedly offered his warning to Trump in December 2021, Trump’s team informed the Archives it had 12 boxes at Mar-a-Lago waiting to be picked up. The Archives went to retrieve them in mid-January 2022. Archive aides found 15 boxes and within weeks of reviewing all that Trump had kept, the Archives asked the Justice Department to get involved.

Many of the records that the Archives found inside the boxes at Mar-a-Lago were labeled classified. The agency was unsure to what extent documents were mishandled and an investigation got underway. This June Trump remitted more classified documents through his attorneys but it was suspected by investigators that there were more records yet to be unearthed at Mar-a-Lago. 

They were right. 

A search warrant was issued to the FBI, and on Aug. 8, agents picked up more than 100 new documents with classified or sensitive markings from Mar-a-Lago. The FBI said it seized roughly 11,000  documents without classified markings altogether. In its warrant, authorities cited a possible violation by Trump of the Espionage Act and noted that “evidence of obstruction” into the investigation for the classified records also likely existed. 

Trump has spent every week since tossing out excuse after excuse for his retention of the classified records. He has also insisted that he had stand-alone power to declassify documents.

This is not possible according to most legal and national security experts in the U.S. 

This has not stopped Trump from claiming the investigation into the missing classified records is a “witch-hunt” or yet more political persecution against him by the “deep state.”

Herschmann’s legal relationship with Trump has never been dull, to say the least. 

Herschmann defended Trump during the former president’s first impeachment trial for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress and left a lucrative partnership at the law firm Kasowitz Benson Torres to do it. Financial disclosures from 2020 show Herschmann was earning just over $3.3 million when he took on the advisory role for Trump. 

When Trump and his personal attorneys and advisers like Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman pushed to overturn the results of the 2020 election ahead of Jan. 6, Herschmann was one of the few resistant voices inside Trump’s immediate orbit.

Upon cooperating with the Jan. 6 committee’s probe, Herschman said under oath that he had candidly warned officials about the legal danger underpinning schemes to overturn the election results.

One of those warnings went to Jeffrey Clark, a mid-level lawyer and former Trump lackey at the Department of Justice.

Clark, Herschmann testified, had revealed a plan to him that would see Clark installed as attorney general with Trump’s blessing if only Clark could get letters sent off to swing state legislatures falsely claiming that voter fraud had altered election results.

“I said good… fucking a-hole… congratulations. You’ve just admitted your first step or act you’d take as attorney general would be committing a felony in violation of Rule 6 (c),” Herschmann recalled telling Clark. 

Herschmann was subpoenaed by a federal grand jury this summer along with former White House lawyers Pat Cipollone and Patrick Philbin. According to the Times, Herschmann engaged with Trump’s attorneys Evan Corcoran and John Rowley, asking for guidance on how he might field questions that could run afoul of executive privilege or attorney-client privileges. 

Herschmann was told to assert executive privilege broadly. Corcoran then allegedly told him not to worry because a “chief judge” would “validate their belief that a president’s powers extend far beyond their time in office.”

The judge presiding over the classified records matter ended up being a Trump appointee: Judge Aileen Cannon. 

So far, Cannon has ruled in favor of Trump and to some outrage from seasoned jurists and prosecutors. 

On Sept. 15, Cannon rejected the Department of Justice’s request to keep investigating Trump’s handling of classified records while an independent “special master” or arbiter, was assigned to review records. Andrew Weismann, a former attorney who worked on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election, for one, has dubbed Cannon’s decision as profoundly “stupid” and “partisan.”

The special master’s role primarily involves filtering through documents seized by the FBI to determine what may be privileged versus what may be personal. The special master, in this case, is the mutually agreed-upon appointment of Raymond Dearie, a semi-retired judge from New York.  Trump proposed Dearie serve in the role first and the Department agreed. Dearie is widely regarded as a neutral choice for arbiter. Dearie is now reviewing a total of 11,000 documents found at Mar-a-Lago. 

Despite having his preferred special master appointed and his appointed judge presiding, Trump is still backpedaling. Though he initially claimed publicly that he had the power to declassify documents all by his lonesome and could take taxpayer-owned records wherever he pleased, in court, he has refused to elaborate on this so-called declassification. In a letter to Dearie on Monday, Trump’s attorneys argued that they could not discuss Trump’s declassification claims because it would force the former president to expose a defense he may use against “any subsequent indictment.” 

RELATED STORY: Special master follies: Trump doesn’t want to talk about declassifying documents

Jan. 6 probe seeks Newt Gingrich; questions role in Trump’s attempt to overturn election

The Jan. 6 committee on Thursday asked Newt Gingrich to come forward voluntarily and answer questions about evidence investigators obtained highlighting the role he played promoting former President Donald Trump’s scheme to overturn the 2020 election both before and after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. 

According to the committee, the emails that piqued their interest were between Gingrich and Trump’s advisers, including Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, communications strategist Jason Miller, and others, like Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and White House counsel Pat Cipollone, all of whom have cooperated at length with the congressional investigation.  

Gingrich, a Georgia Republican and former House speaker, had cozied up to the White House as Trump’s impeachment-marred and scandal-ridden term came to an end. In the process, the committee contends, Gingrich ended up providing Trump’s team with significant input on television advertisements that propagated conspiracy theories about widespread voter fraud. 

Jan 6 Cmte Letter to Newt Gingrich by Daily Kos on Scribd

Further, House Select Committee Chair Bennie Thompson noted, mere days after the election in November 2020, Gingrich peppered Meadows and Cipollone with questions about who was in charge of coordinating an elector bid that would put fake pro-Trump “electors” in states demonstrably won by now-President Joe Biden. That fake elector bid was at the very core of Trump’s attempt to overturn the election. 

A month later, Gingrich proposed that ads should encourage the public to pressure state officials to investigate conspiracy theories. Those included the now long-debunked claim of Trump ballots being smuggled in suitcases out of voting centers in Georgia by nefarious election workers.

Those conspiracy theories latched on to by Gingrich and others ultimately upended the lives of election workers. 

But persuasion was not enough. 

Gingrich wrote Kushner, Miller, and consultant Larry Weitzner in a Dec. 8, 2020 email that “the goal is to arouse the country’s anger through new verifiable information.” 

“If we inform the American people in a way they find convincing and it arouses their anger, they will then bring pressure on legislators and governors,” Gingirch wrote. 

But that “new verifiable information” was bunk. 

Gingrich also did this just after Gabriel Sterling, the Georgia deputy secretary of state, issued an impassioned public plea begging that the disinformation and character attacks on election workers and election officials cease. 

“Someone’s going to get hurt. Someone’s going to get shot. Someone’s going to get killed,” Sterling said. 

Literal hours after the insurrection, investigators on the committee say Gingrich opted to keep pushing Trump’s agenda.

Thompson described Gingrich as “relentless.” 

In an email sent at 10:42 PM on Jan. 6—former Vice President Mike Pence had only reopened the Senate around 8 PM—Gingrich asked about the fake electors for Trump in an email to Meadows:

“[A]re there letters from state legislators about decertifiying electors?” Gingrich wrote.

The committee asked Gingrich to appear for a transcribed interview beginning the week of Sept. 19. 

As the summer winds down, the Jan. 6 committee’s public-facing activities are expected to ramp up. As committee member and Rep. Jamie Raskin recently told Daily Kos, the Jan. 6 probe would continue to gather and assess new evidence it received over the course of its public hearings and work to tie up loose ends before issuing an interim report.  

RELATED STORY: Pulling back from the ‘appalling descent’: An interview with Jan. 6 investigator Jamie Raskin

Meanwhile, on Friday, according to The New York Times, Cipollone and his deputy White House counsel Pat Philbin are expected to testify before a federal grand jury investigating the Jan. 6 attack. 

Gubernatorial hopeful who failed Breonna Taylor as prosecutor awfully quiet amid word of plea deal

It's a shame Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron didn’t come to the same conclusion about a former Louisville police detective that she did about herself. That conclusion seems to be that Kelly Goodlett is guilty of helping falsify a no-knock search warrant for Breonna Taylor's home and filing a false report to cover it up. Goodlett will plead to one count of conspiring to violate Taylor's civil rights, ABC News reported on Friday. Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician, was killed on Mar. 13, 2020, in Louisville, Kentucky although she wasn't the subject of the warrant Goodlett allegedly helped falsify. The Black medical worker was sleeping when officers rammed through her door.

Still, Cameron didn’t even pretend to seek Goodlett’s prosecution or that of any other officer for Taylor’s death. It’s a fact that hopefully voters won’t soon forget amid his gubernatorial run.

RELATED STORY: 'Cannot tolerate this type of conduct': Finally, cops involved in Breonna Taylor's death are fired

Cameron attempted to make his case for why he should be the state’s next governor on Aug. 6 at the 142nd Fancy Farm Picnic. But demonstrators refused to let him have an unearned moment in the sun at the picnic in the unincorporated community in Graves County, Kentucky. They’ve watched him avoid holding officers involved in Taylor’s death accountable for more than two years now, and they refused to be silent while Cameron attempted to profit politically from his inaction.

“Breonna Taylor,” protesters shouted while Cameron raised his voice to compete with them.

He didn’t mention her name once in his speech, but he voiced support for law enforcement, telling them: “Know that we will always have your back, and we will always support the blue.”

Earlier in the day, Cameron told reporters two of the cops who shot Taylor, retired Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and former Detective Myles Cosgrove, didn't use excessive force the night of Taylor's death.

“I know folks have very strong feelings about this case ... but we have a responsibility to not give into any preferred narrative,” he said, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. “We have a responsibility to do right by the laws of Kentucky and that’s what we did.”

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What was right to Cameron, who served as special prosecutor after Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine recused himself, was to allow the officers involved with Taylor’s death to rest easy knowing they wouldn’t be held accountable by the state’s top prosecutor.

Cameron only sought charges against one cop, former Detective Brett Hankison, not for killing Taylor but for allegedly endangering her neighbors in the process.

It took the Department of Justice stepping in to charge former Louisville police Detective Joshua Jaynes, former Sgt. Kyle Meany, and Goodlett allegedly for violating Taylor’s Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. The officers sought the warrant to search Taylor's home "knowing that the officers lacked probable cause for the search," Attorney General Merrick Garland said in remarks announcing the federal charges. Goodlett is set to appear in court to enter her plea on Aug. 22, ABC News reported.

The Department of Justice also charged Hankison "with two civil rights offenses alleging that he willfully used unconstitutionally excessive force” when he fired 10 shots through a window and a sliding glass door, “both of which were covered with blinds and curtains,” according to the Department of Justice. 

Cameron attempted to excuse his lack of action in a seven-part Twitter thread responding to the federal charges.

He said:

“As in every prosecution, our office supports the impartial administration of justice, but it is important that people not conflate what happened today with the state law investigation undertaken by our office. Our primary task was to investigate whether the officers who executed the search warrant were criminally responsible for Ms. Taylor’s death under state law.

"At the conclusion of our investigation, our prosecutors submitted the information to a state grand jury, which ultimately resulted in criminal charges being brought against Mr. Brett Hankison for wanton endangerment.

"I’m proud of the work of our investigators & prosecutors. This case and the loss of Ms. Taylor’s life have generated national attention. People across the country have grieved, and there isn’t a person I’ve spoken to across our 120 counties that isn’t saddened by her loss. There are those, however, who want to use this moment to divide Kentuckians, misrepresent the facts of the state investigation, and broadly impugn the character of our law enforcement community.

"I won’t participate in that sort of rancor. It’s not productive. Instead, I’ll continue to speak with the love and respect that is consistent with our values as Kentuckians."

Three grand jurors in the Taylor case filed a petition with the Kentucky House of Representatives calling for Cameron's impeachment for what they described as manipulation in his presentation to jurors. Kevin Glogower, the lawyer who represented the jurors, told the Courier-Journal: “Mr. Cameron continues to blatantly disregard the truth,” which was that he never even mentioned a homicide charge in his presentation to jurors.

RELATED STORY: Jurors take stand against Daniel Cameron for lying to protect cops who shot, killed Breonna Taylor

Report: A secret grand jury subpoena was served to Trump before Mar-a-Lago search

The search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home this week was precipitated by a secret grand jury subpoena for classified documents served to him this June, according to new reports out Thursday. 

This was first reported by John Solomon at Just the News and quickly picked up by outlets like CNN and MSNBC.

Thursday, Aug 11, 2022 · 7:40:00 PM +00:00 · Brandi Buchman

BREAKING: Attorney General Merrick Garland announces that he authorized the search warrant at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property and has filed a motion requesting that the warrant be unsealed along with two attachments plus an inventory of the items seized. 

Precisely what the attachments are is not clear at this time, but it is suspected that at least one of the attachments will explain what statutes were used to authorize the search.

NOW: "I personally approved to seek a search warrant in this matter," AG Garland says of the warrant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago property issued this week

— Brandi Buchman (@Brandi_Buchman) August 11, 2022

United States’ Motion to Unseal Limited Warrant Materials by Daily Kos on Scribd

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On June 3, a prosecutor and a trio of FBI agents showed up at Mar-a-Lago for a meeting. The subject of that meeting was boxes with White House records housed in a storage room at Trump’s Palm Beach property. According to Just the News, an anonymous source said the meeting was specifically related to documents sought in relation to the grand jury subpoena. 

That subpoena requested that Trump produce any and all documents that had classification labels, including any “mementos” or other notes and pictures he may have kept from his impeachment-marred single term in the White House.

Trump, who was not expected at the June 3 meeting, abruptly appeared and told the prosecutor and trio of agents he would comply. 

Per Just the News, two eyewitnesses recall Trump telling the law enforcement group: “Look, whatever you need, let us know.” The agents then asked to look at the storage locker in the basement at Mar-a-Lago. Trump and his lawyers allowed the search. 

According to Trump’s campaign attorney, Christina Bobb, a few days after that meeting, the FBI’s chief of counterintelligence and export control, Jay Bratt, contacted Trump’s legal team and asked that a padlock be installed on the door where the sensitive documents were kept. 

What then followed was the disclosure of key information to investigators.

There were more boxes with classified information on the property. This was in addition to the 15 boxes the National Archives had retrieved earlier after much back-and-forth with Trump. The contents of those boxes, according to the National Archives, included classified or otherwise sensitive information. 

This sparked the FBI to show up with a warrant, something agents only obtained after they were able to convince a magistrate judge that there was likely evidence of a crime that had been committed. 

Publicly, Trump has continued attacks on virtually every institution, from the FBI to the Department of Justice to Congress and the White House, saying the various probes into his affairs and conduct are part of a larger “witch hunt” against him. His reaction to the search of his home has sparked a wave of threats of violence to lawmakers anew and has generated an intense new round of conspiracy theories about the “deep state” attempt to take down Donald Trump. 

RELATED STORY: Team Trump continues to fuel conspiracy theories about FBI search of Mar-a-Lago

But Trump’s attorneys, at least when it comes to the records search at Mar-a-Lago, have been cooperative.

According to reports from The Wall Street Journal and CNN alike, Trump’s attorney Evan Corcoran complied not just with the request to padlock the door but also provided surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago to authorities when it was requested under a separate subpoena issued to the Trump Organization. 

The warrant for the Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago contains mention of a possible violation of the Presidential Records Act, Trump’s attorney Christina Bobb, has said.

Trump, at any time, could publish the itemized warrant to potentially end the miasma of questions and misinformation swirling around the search, but he has not and is not expected to. The Department of Justice, as a rule, does not release warrant applications to the public, so it is up to the former president to offer this transparency for the moment.

Trump has dubbed the search a “siege” of his home by FBI agents, but those officers who showed up for the search did so quietly and discretely in plain clothes instead of their typical unmistakable blue jackets or with guns drawn, lights blazing. The meeting in June and the search on Monday have been described repeatedly by sources as “cordial.” 

Three rooms were searched on Aug. 8. Agents took 10 boxes, according to the Wall Street Journal. The items taken are now believed to be held in Miami. 

FBI agents are required under law to leave behind a copy of their search warrant when they conduct a raid. The warrant would also include an inventory of what items were taken, but even those descriptors could be vague. 

The warrant would also typically itemize what possible crimes were committed. 

It is the affidavit bearing details of probable cause that is key. This is the record necessary for a judge to approve a warrant, but it will remain sealed for now. It is only made public if charges are filed.

Pulling back from the ‘appalling descent’: An interview with Jan. 6 investigator Jamie Raskin

Jan. 6, 2021, was madness. Without a proper account of that day, the stain of its violence and betrayal, already indelibly etched into the national history, could continue to spread, shading and infiltrating every institution low and high until finally, this ‘great experiment’ collapses in on itself in a heap of dingy authoritarianism. 

For the last several weeks, the Select Committee Investigating the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol presented its findings on the insurrection incited by former President Donald Trump now more than a year ago.

He is the only American president ever impeached for this betrayal, making him uniquely offensive since his actions obliterated the core of what the Constitution demands of presidents above all else when they take the oath: its faithful preservation and defense.

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So much of what happened on the way to Jan. 6 unfolded in public. 

Trump said long before Election Day if he lost, it was because the election was rigged. Many of his personal attorneys and members of his administration spent weeks promoting or defending wild conspiracy theories of voter fraud at press conferences, on podcasts, on the radio, or on television. This continued unabated even after the nation’s Attorney General and heads of the nation’s intelligence networks confirmed to Trump in public—and in private, as the committee showed at length this summer—that his fraud claims lacked credibility entirely. 

It was an all-out assault of disinformation and propaganda aimed at convincing the American public he was not defeated after a single term in the White House where his tenure and popularity were regularly marred by the cruelty of his policies and the consequences of his own actions, like impeachment for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Trump’s speech at the Ellipse on Jan. 6 was a tirade but it was also an open invitation to his most devoted followers to help him retain power by force despite losing the 2020 election popularly and by way of the Electoral College. And when the debris, blood, sweat, urine, and feces were finally cleared away from the Capitol after the mob stormed it, Trump’s second impeachment followed.

The case was, as Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., told Daily Kos during an interview this week, “made almost completely with facts from the public record, and the statements and actions Trump made.”

“It was overwhelming,” Raskin said. “Although the incitement was plain to see and the violence was bloody and fresh on people’s minds, what we did not have was the detailed account of the president’s step-by-step effort to orchestrate a political coup against the election and essentially set aside Joe Biden’s seven-million-vote victory.” 

Kevin Seefried of Delaware, pictured here, was found guilty of obstruction of Congress among several other charges in June. He used the Confederate flag to jab at U.S. Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman. Goodman was the officer responsible for luring rioters away from lawmakers by mere seconds and inches. Seefried is sentenced in September.

Now, that “detailed account” has been presented to millions of Americans.

An average of 13 million broadcast viewers watched per hearing day, according to Nielsen, hearing evidence at each juncture about how Trump: 1) worked to overturn the election results by promoting a lie; 2) attempted to install his allies at the Justice Department when legal avenues to assert his victory were defeated; 3) advanced a fake elector strategy to pressure the vice president to stop Congress from certifying the count; 4) invited a crowd he understood to be armed to march to the Capitol with him during the Joint Session of Congress; and 5) abandoned his sworn duty to protect the United States by sitting idly for nearly three hours while ignoring pleas for help as a mob erected a gallows, issued calls to hang the vice president and Speaker of the House, stormed the halls of Congress and attacked hundreds of outnumbered police officers with a barrage of lethal weapons. 

During its two primetime sessions alone, a cumulative 30 million (or more) broadcast viewers heard this evidence—and then some.

Raskin told Daily Kos in April he hoped the hearings would become a way of arming the American public with the tools of “intellectual self-defense against the authoritarian and fascistic policies that have been unleashed in this country.”

”These hearings have been so devastating for Trump and his followers because they have shown everyone exactly every effort he undertook to overturn the election and the Constitutional order. And almost all of it was based on evidence brought forth by Republican witnesses,” Raskin said by phone this week.

That is true, despite what disinformation may be flowing out from right-wing platforms. 

The testimony during the hearings overwhelmingly featured Republican lawyers, judges, political commentators, election attorneys, Trump-appointed U.S. Attorneys, a Republican city commissioner, and a Trump campaign manager, to name but a few. 

”I think [the hearings] have moved the whole spectrum of public opinion closer to the facts of what actually happened. These people who were already convinced of Donald Trump’s culpability now have a lot more evidence to corroborate their initial convictions,” Raskin reflected.

“Those who were on the fence have been moved to reject the ‘Big Lie’ and to doubt the continuing efforts to undermine the reality of Biden’s victory. Those who were in Trump’s camp as true believers have begun to melt away at the margins even though many of them are still holding firm. It does not look like a promising scenario for those who continue to want Donald Trump to be the central figure of American politics,” he said.

A Morning Consult/Politico poll released this week found that the hearings may not have shaken loose many of Trump’s most fundamental supporters, but the share of unaffiliated or independent voters in the U.S. that believe the former president is responsible for the insurrection has increased significantly. And almost more importantly, those independents who held “favorable views” of Trump have continued to dip, too. Many independents are indicating they will vote for a Democrat in November.

If the Justice Department will not make it so that Trump is unable to hold office, at the least, this should be a small comfort: the hearings have manifested an even greater number of Americans who believe there is good reason to vote against a person, or persons, who would incite a deadly insurrection. 

Raskin would like to see the Justice Department take action publicly and more definitively before the midterms. He also knows that the timing of that announcement could draw ire, and that screeches of political impropiety are likely to come.  

“But the Constitution itself regards this matter with the utmost gravity,” Raskin said. “Section III of the 14th Amendment said that people who have sworn an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution and betray it by engaging in an insurrection shall never hold federal or state office again. That is a constitutional principle.”

He continued: “It’s obviously a legitimate thing for us to be talking about. But the Department of Justice and prosecutors at other levels have to make their decisions without regard to anyone’s political plans. If people had immunity from prosecution just because they were running for office, then anybody who was suspected of a crime, any crime at all, could simply announce for political office, and then they would have legal immunity. That can’t be right,” he said.”

The committee’s debut session was a year ago this month. Police who defended the Capitol testified for the first time publicly and put a personal face on the raw, frenzied violence that most Americans only witnessed from afar.  

As the months have marched on, the committee has unearthed hundreds of thousands of pages of records from the White House and elsewhere and has interviewed over 1,000 people who were directly or indirectly involved with Jan. 6. Those interviews continue. Raskin said this week the number of former Trump aides who have come forward recently are producing a “waterfall of truth.”

Attempts to stop the committee from airing its evidence have been unceasing, yet mostly unsuccessful. Those caught in the committee’s scrutiny have been unable to cast the panel as illegitimate when fighting subpoenas in court.

The committee’s work has been overwhelmingly bolstered through judicial opinions, providing an outcome that offers benefits twice over. When Judge David Carter ruled that Trump and John Eastman, the attorney who developed a six-point strategy to overturn the election, had likely engaged in a criminal conspiracy—and further that they “engaged in a coup in search of legal theory”—it set a strong precedent for Congress and upped the ante for investigations at the Justice Department. 

Carter Ruling by The Western Journal

In fact, this week, Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Windom revealed in court that the Department obtained a new search warrant to access records on John Eastman’s phone. This process has been unfolding for the last month. The home of Jeffrey Clark was also searched. Clark is the former DOJ attorney who Trump tried to install as attorney general after existing senior officials at the department refused his scheme to declare the election as false. And Clark’s underling, Ken Klukowski, is now cooperating with the DOJ’s probe into Jan. 6 in full, according to Klukowski’s lawyer, Ed Greim.  

Cassidy Hutchinson, who provided some of the most shocking public testimony this summer is cooperating with the department. During the hearings, she testified under oath that Trump knew the mob was armed—“I don’t fucking care that they have weapons, they’re not here to hurt me,’” she recalled him saying—and she disclosed that her boss, Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani, sought pardons in the aftermath of the insurrection. She also disclosed information about a small battery of Republican lawmakers who sought pardons in the wake of Jan. 6.

She also divulged how the president wished to go to the Capitol on Jan. 6 after his speech, offering insight into his mindset that day. When this request was rejected, his outrage was so severe, Hutchinson said, that the former president lunged at the arm and neck of a Secret Service agent driving him.

Other witnesses have refused to cooperate under subpoena, courting contempt of Congress charges and indictments like Trump ally and strategist Steve Bannon and former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro. Bannon was found guilty on two counts and faces sentencing in October. Others, like Meadows or onetime adviser Dan Scavino, have cooperated to varying degrees and managed to evade prosecution. Other Trump-world officials have invoked their Fifth Amendment rights after being subpoenaed. Committee vice chair Liz Cheney said last month, more than 30 witnesses called before the committee invoked their right against self-incrimination. 

The most high profile of those figures are Eastman; Clark; longtime GOP operative Roger Stone; conspiracy theory hack and right-wing podcaster Alex Jones; and Michael Flynn, Trump’s disgraced former national security adviser.

In December 2020, Flynn publicly advocated for Trump to invoke martial law to rerun the 2020 election. He was also part of discussions with Trump and his attorneys where there was talk of the military seizing voting machines. He did not ultimately cooperate with the select committee, but in airing a five-minute clip of Flynn’s deposition, the committee allowed his silence to speak volumes.

When Cheney asked Flynn if he felt the violence on Jan. 6 was legally justified, he pleaded the Fifth. When she asked if he believed it was morally justified, he pleaded the Fifth. When she asked him if he believed in the peaceful transition of power in the United States, the retired three-star Army general pleaded the Fifth. 

A Capitol Police officer walks past a worker cleaning damage a day after a pro-Trump mob broke into the US Capitol.

With each day that has passed since the committee’s first-ever hearing last July, the truth continues to pour out. 

”The defense of the constitutional order and the rule of law should be something that unifies Americans across the political spectrum,” Raskin said. “Trump convinced millions of people that if your team does it, if they break the law or upend the Constitutional order, you embrace it or defend it regardless of how unlawful or criminal it is.”

“But that’s just an appalling descent for intellectual and ethical standards in American life,” Raskin said.

“When the people [who believed the Big Lie] called for ‘Justice for Trump’ they said ‘let the people decide.’ The people voted for Biden. But Trump tried to overthrow the election, so he was impeached for doing that. And we took it to trial, and at trial, they told us then, ‘don’t deal with this through impeachment, you could prosecute him if there was a crime.’ “

“Now the Department of Justice is investigating whether there is a crime, and these same people are saying, ‘you can’t prosecute him, it’s too political!’ No matter what is done, they essentially assert that Donald Trump is beyond the reach of the law and that is a profoundly anti-democratic attitude,” he said. 

One of the last battles to be waged between Trump and the truth about January 6 will very likely play out on the field of executive privilege disputes and crime-fraud exceptions where the Department of Justice, not the select committee, will lead the charge of a criminal investigation into the former president and his associates.

The Justice Department is moving at its own pace and operating mostly in stealth, but the dam seems to be breaking as more reporting now suggests the DOJ has its Jan. 6 prosecutors focused on two principal tracks: Trump’s possible orchestration of a seditious conspiracy and obstruction of a congressional proceeding and fraud.

The fraud track would stem from the fake-elector scheme and is believed to encompass the pressure campaign Trump and his allies put on officials at the DOJ to say the election was rigged and votes were fraudulently cast. 

The committee’s investigation, meanwhile, is still humming as members maneuver their way through new challenges—like what to do about a batch of deleted Secret Service text messages from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 as well as deleted texts from the same period at the Department of Homeland Security. 

That department’s inspector general, Joseph Cuffari, the Washington Post was first to report on Friday, “scrapped” an effort to recover agency phones. In February, after learning that messages had been erased during a “planned” device reset, Cuffari reportedly decided to stop further review and collection of phones. He only this month notified the House and Senate Homeland Security committees of the “erased” texts. He was asked by the head of that committee, and various others 10 days after the insurrection to ensure all records and devices were preserved. 

Committee chairman Bennie Thompson, as well as Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who sits on a committee that oversees offices of the inspectors general, have called on Cuffari to recuse himself from the investigation. The director of the Secret Service, James Murray, announced late Friday he would waylay his planned July 31 retirement to “ensure our agency's continued cooperation, responsiveness, and full support with respect to ongoing congressional and other inquiries.” 

This is an unsettling series of developments, Raskin admits.

“This profound mystery of the Secret Service texts and what information is being masked by their disappearance is something we are all pursuing. We are invested in finding out the truth there,” he said.

The next hearing is expected in September and the committee plans to produce an interim report around the same time. A final report will follow, but meanwhile, over the next month, he said, “everyone has loose ends that they want to follow up on.”

During the course of its probe, every member of the committee has specialized in a different facet of the investigation.

Raskin’s focus was Trump’s mobilization of the mob as well as domestic violent extremist groups like the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers. and Three Percenters. 

“There are still significant things that we are finding out that I want to pursue there,” Raskin said. “The same goes for the shakedown of the Justice Department, the attempt to coerce state election officials, and so forth. I would say each member has his or her continuing research agenda and then we have some things we consider major to the whole of the investigation we are pursuing.” 

It has been a long year already and it is not quite yet over. As for the man at the center of the probe, former President Trump, he has yet to stop his incessant spread of disinformation about the 2020 election and is poised to take another run for the White House. 

But Raskin is optimistic. 

“I’m most optimistic about the fact that the vast majority of the American people do not believe in coups, insurrections, and political violence to usurp the will of the people. There is still a profound allegiance to constitutional democracy in the country,” he said.

He is not cynical, but “sobered” around other facts.

What “sobers him,” he said, is that Republican Party, even now “remains under the spell and stranglehold of Donald Trump.” 

He continued: “They are using every anti-democratic device in the book to thwart majority rule; from voter suppression statutes to gerrymandering of our districts to the weaponization of the filibuster to the manipulation of the Electoral College.”

“We are in a race between the clear majority’s will and preference for democratic institutions and progress and the efforts to drag us back into some kind of anti-democratic past,” Raskin remarked. 

So, then, are the people now armed with the tools of “intellectual defense” they need to resist this and other aspiring tyrants to come? 

“I don't think people will fall for any more ‘Big Lies’ or disinformation for the most part,” he said.

The lawmaker reflected: “People who have been disabused of all these notions aren’t going back. But there is an important question being tested here: whether the new propaganda systems that have grown up in the internet age can actually operate like an intellectual straight-jacket? Will millions of people really be locked into a system of lies? That’s a question that is closely connected to the future of our democracy. Democracy needs a ground to stand on, and that foundation has got to be the truth.”

Cases containing electoral votes are opened during a joint session of Congress after the session resumed following protests at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, early on January 7, 2021.

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Jan. 6 committee conducting interviews with Trump Cabinet officials

In the wake of the insurrection, there was a reported flurry of conversation among members of former President Donald Trump’s Cabinet about whether he should be removed from office by way of the 25th Amendment. Now the Jan. 6 committee is conducting interviews with some of those officials as investigators pursue more information about what unfolded around Trump after the attack.

According to reporting first from ABC, the committee has now interviewed former Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and plans to interview former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo before the week is out.

Mick Mulvaney, who parlayed his job as Trump’s acting chief of staff to become the special envoy for Ireland, is also reportedly meeting with the panel on Thursday. 

Exactly six days after the attack on the U.S. Capitol, the House of Representatives passed a resolution 223-205 urging then-Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.

At the time, Pence said he did not believe this course of action was “in the best interest of our nation or consistent with the Constitution,” and he dubbed the resolution a “political game.” He also issued his refusal to invoke the 25th Amendment before the House had even completed its vote. 

That “game” Pence worried about, however, was reportedly one that some members of Trump’s inner circle had already considered playing. 

In ABC reporter Jonathan Karl’s book, Betrayal, he described a conversation between then-Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and then-Secretary of State Pompeo. Pompeo, Karl reported, sought out “legal analysis” on how the 25th Amendment could be applied and how fast it might work. 

Washington, D.C., was heavily reeling from the Capitol assault. Yet during an appearance on MSNBC last November, Karl said the 25th Amendment talks were quickly nipped in the bud once officials learned the process could be a lengthy one and potentially complicated by the fact that members of Trump’s Cabinet had resigned after Jan. 6, including Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. 

It was reported Thursday that both DeVos and Chao are figures of interest to Jan. 6 investigators, too, and that they may also be asked to cooperate. 

DeVos stepped down 24 hours after the attack and told USA Today this June that she was part of conversations where the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment with other members of Trump’s Cabinet was discussed. 

In a portion of his testimony to the Jan. 6 committee, former White House attorney Pat Cipollone told investigators that former Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia wanted members of the Cabinet to meet 24 hours after the insurrection. Scalia said he asked for the meeting because he felt “trying to work within the administration to steady the ship” would be better than watching more resignations roll in. 

Pompeo has historically denied that he was part of any conversation after Jan. 6 where invoking the 25th Amendment came up.  

DeVos’ recent interview undercuts that claim. 

“I spoke with the vice president and just let him know I was there to do whatever he wanted and needed me to do or help with, and he made it very clear that he was not going to go in that direction or that path,” DeVos said of Pence on June 9. “I spoke with colleagues. I wanted to get a better understanding of the law itself and see if it was applicable in this case. There were more than a few people who had those conversations internally.”

DeVos said when she realized invoking the 25th Amendment against Trump was not a viable path forward, she tendered her resignation. She has not outwardly blamed Trump for Jan. 6, but she told USA Today she “didn’t see the president step in and do what he could have done to turn it back or slow it down or really address the situation.” 

Cassidy Hutchinson, the former aide to Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testified to the Jan. 6 committee that discussions of removing Trump with the 25th Amendment were flowing after the mob laid siege to the Capitol. Trump had spent three hours watching the mob attack without strongly condemning the violence or taking concerted action to stop it. When he finally delivered a speech in the Rose Garden that afternoon, and only after multiple people had died and much blood had been shed, he proclaimed “we love you” to his supporters before asking them to go home. 

The next day, officials at the White House pushed to have Trump deliver a speech. Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson told the committee under oath that the plan for the Jan. 7 speech mostly went into effect because people inside the White House were terrified of two things: the mounting criticism that Trump didn’t do enough and that the 25th Amendment would be invoked.

“The secondary reason to that [speech] was that, ‘think about what might happen in the final 15 days of your presidency if we don’t do this, there’s already talks about invoking the 25th Amendment, you need this as cover,’” Hutchinson said. 

According to CNN, the committee is also seeking testimony from John Ratcliffe, a former Republican congressman from Texas who vehemently defended Trump during Trump’s first impeachment inquiry for obstruction of Congress and abuse of power as well as during special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference of the 2016 election.

Ratcliffe, despite a woeful lack of experience, ended up confirmed by the GOP-majority Senate to serve as Director of National Intelligence. His appointment was a rollercoaster. Trump first nominated him to serve in the role in August 2019, but Ratcliffe didn’t have support in the Senate. He also didn’t have widespread support in the intelligence community. A review of his record by investigative reporters at ABC revealed that Ratcliffe had exaggerated claims of his involvement in anti-terrorism efforts as well as illegal immigration crackdowns.

Chad Wolf, once the acting secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, and his former deputy, Ken Cuccinelli, are in reported talks to meet with investigators, as well. 

Both Wolf and Cuccinneli were asked to cooperate with the probe voluntarily last October.

Wolf was once much adored by Trump. He began to lead the Department of Homeland Security after then-Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned in April 2019. Despite Nielsen’s overt willingness to enforce any number of Trump’s cruel immigration policies during her tenure, she wasn’t enough of a toady for the 45th president, and he slammed her in the press as an ineffectual before she resigned. When she finally stepped down, Kevin McAleenan, then the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, filled her slot. McAleenan resigned in November 2019. 

Those transitions were riddled with problems, however.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) would later reveal, after its own independent assessment of DHS, that both Nielsen and McAleenan altered or amended internal policies on lines of succession at the department. DHS pushed back on the report when it went public but Wolf ultimately stayed in place with Trump’s full support. Rep. Bennie Thompson, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee as well as the Jan. 6 committee, said the succession rules were altered in haste so Trump’s “ideologues” could bypass typical Senate confirmation procedure. 

Thompson had good reason to feel this way. In a February 2019 interview with CBS’ Face the Nation, Trump acknowledged that he enjoyed lording over acting officials versus those who had to go through more rigorous congressional approval.

"I like acting because I can move so quickly. It gives me more flexibility," @realDonaldTrump told @margbrennan, asked about the several acting secretaries in his cabinet

— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) February 3, 2019

Mulvaney, who meets with the committee Thursday, should cooperate without much trouble, if history is any indicator. Though he was a fierce defender of Trump’s during his tenure with the administration, after Jan. 6, Mulvaney became a more vocal critic. 

“You don't get to where you got to yesterday with something that's normal. That's not normal for any citizen, let alone a president of the United States,” Mulvaney said on Jan. 7 when facing questions about whether Trump should be removed through the 25th Amendment.

Since then, Mulvaney has thrown his support behind those Trump officials who have come forward to testify, including Hutchinson. 

The Jan. 6 committee is expected to continue its probe in the weeks ahead, and chairman Thompson has said that additional hearings will be held in September.  

Trump White House lawyer Pat Cipollone to meet with Jan. 6 probe

Fresh off a subpoena requesting his cooperation, former Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone is slated to testify before the Jan. 6 committee for a private, transcribed, and videotaped interview.

A committee aide did not immediately respond to a Daily Kos request for comment. The New York Times was the first to report the development Wednesday, citing a person briefed on the matter. 

Cipollone’s full compliance could be illuminating for the investigation into former President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election. According to sworn testimony already delivered by former members of the Department of Justice under Trump, as well as Trump White House officials, Cipollone was often a firsthand witness to make-or-break moments in Trump’s attempted coup. 

RELATED STORY: Pat Cipollone’s chance to serve the country—not Trump—is now, Jan. 6 probe demands in subpoena

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Cipollone was privy to multiple conversations about the bunk elector scheme championed by Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani, witnesses have said, and Cipollone was also present when Trump raised the question of seizing voting machines.

The former president’s counsel attended a meeting recently detailed at length—and under oath—by the nation’s former acting attorney general, Jeffrey Rosen, and Rosen’s deputy, Richard Donoghue.

Rosen and Donoghue testified that it was Cipollone who stood tall against Trump in the Oval Office during a meeting where Trump nearly fired Rosen and replaced him with yes-man Jeffrey Clark, a mid-level environmental lawyer at the Department of Justice who strongly supported Trump’s baseless election fraud claims.

Like Cipollone, Clark was subpoenaed by the committee. But Clark refused to answer any questions and instead pleaded the Fifth Amendment repeatedly during a private meeting with committee counsel.  

When Rosen and Donoghue testified, they described how the draft letter written by Clark rattled off a long series of bogus claims about election fraud in Georgia and urged that “alternate” electors be seated.

Rosen’s predecessor, Attorney General Bill Barr, had already declared publicly and in private meetings with Trump, that there was no evidence of fraud widespread enough that it would alter the outcome of the election. But Clark, Rosen and Donoghue said, pushed ahead anyway. 

When Cipollone saw the draft letter, Donoghue told the committee he remembered the counsel’s reaction vividly. 

If the DOJ cosigned it, Cipollone allegedly said, it would be a “murder-suicide pact.”

The draft letter never went out because Donoghue, Rosen, and others at the Department of Justice threatened to resign en masse if Trump insisted on replacing Rosen with Clark. 

According to sworn testimony already provided by former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, Cipollone was also part of key conversations with Mark Meadows, then Trump’s chief of staff. 

Hutchinson said Cipollone pleaded with Meadows to act as the mob grew larger, gallows were erected on the Capitol lawn and chants of ‘Hang Mike Pence’ reverberated on Capitol grounds. 

Hutchinson recalled Cipollone telling Meadows how desperate the situation had become on Jan. 6 and urged Meadows to understand that the mob was quite literally calling to kill then-Vice President Mike Pence.

“You heard him, Pat,” Hutchinson recalled Meadows saying. “He thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong.”

According to Hutchinson's recounting of the day, Cipollone was flabbergasted.

“This is f-ing crazy. We need to be doing something more,” Cipollone allegedly said. 

Cipollone has been a stalwart ally to Trump, representing the 45th president for both of his impeachments and in various other legal matters. When Trump was impeached for obstruction of Congress and abuse of power in 2019, Cipollone offered a vehement and sharp defense of Trump, taking up the “witch hunt” mantle at length and slamming the inquiry as meritless and part of a campaign by Democrats and those on the left to punish Trump for political differences. 

When Trump was impeached the first time, Cipollone notably called for cameras to be barred from proceedings, arguing it would create a circus-like atmosphere. The cameras would stay. 

Trump was ultimately quite pleased with Cipollone’s performance during the first impeachment, calling him a “Great White House counsel.” 

This latest decision to comply with the Jan. 6 committee’s subpoena will put Trump’s relationship with Cipollone to the test and the extent of Cipollone’s cooperation will naturally hinge on what he actually discloses. 

When Trump attorney John Eastman tried to fend off the committee’s subpoena for his records, Eastman cited attorney-client privilege but was unable to overcome the crime-fraud exception to this assertion. The crime-fraud exception essentially says that confidentiality is not blanketed and if a client sought advice from an attorney that would help that client pull off or commission a crime, then work product or correspondence can be disclosed. 

A Washington Post profile of Cipollone from Jan. 2020 notes the counsel’s propensity to keep himself out of the national spotlight.

His profile was so low in Washington, D.C., in fact, that when Cipollone first took to the Senate floor during Trump’s impeachment, it was his first time ever appearing on C-SPAN.

Memorably, even while presiding over the inquiry, Chief Justice John Roberts introduced Cipollone and mispronounced his last name. 

TODAY: Cipollone's first time on C-SPAN. Sekulow's 44th time on C-SPAN (first in 1990 ... 1991 below)

— Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) January 21, 2020

 Jay Sekulow, one of Trump’s personal attorneys, told Yahoo! News in January 2020 that Cipollone was a “serious tactician” and described him as an “aggressive advocate” for the 45th president though “measured.”

In that same 2020 article, an unnamed Trump White House official said Trump saw Cipollone as “beyond loyal.” 

Cipollone will appear before the committee for his private session this Friday.

The committee’s next public hearing is July 12 at 10 AM ET and there will be at least one more hearing to follow. The committee is expected to focus on the extremist elements involved in the insurrection as well as unpack exactly what was going on during the 187 minutes of silence from the White House as the Capitol was under attack. 

Pat Cipollone’s chance to serve the country—not Trump—is now, Jan. 6 probe demands in subpoena

Pat Cipollone had what one former member of the Justice Department described last week to the Jan. 6 committee as “an impossible job” serving the 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump. 

But Cipollone was “consistent” and “did that job well,” Richard Donoghue, once the second-in-command to former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, testified.

Cipollone “always sided with the department” and did so even as Trump pushed to overturn the results of the 2020 election by attempting to install crony Jeffrey Clark into the attorney general role.

This was a necessary step in a greater plan to have Clark send a letter to swing states falsely informing them their election results were fraudulent and directing them to appoint Trump’s fake electors.

Cipollone, however, appeared to know a bad deal when he saw it three days before the insurrection during a meeting at the White House with Rosen, Donoghue, Office of Legal Counsel head Richard Engel, Clark, and Trump. 

Cipollone rejected Clark’s letter and the plan underpinning it as a “murder-suicide pact,” Donoghue told the committee publicly last week. 

When the mob finally ensued on Jan. 6, according to testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, the one-time aide to Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, it was Cipollone who pleaded with a despondent Meadows as a gallows was being erected on the Capitol lawn. 

“They are literally calling for the vice president to be f-ing hung,” Hutchinson recalled Cipollone telling the president’s chief of staff.

Meadows replied, saying of then-Vice President Mike Pence, “You heard him, Pat. He thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong.”

Cipollone, Hutchinson said under oath, was, in this terrifying moment, at a loss. 

“This is f-ing crazy, we need to be doing something more,” Hutchinson recalled Cipollone saying. 

Now, the Jan. 6 committee wants Cipollone to do something more, and it has issued a subpoena for his deposition by July 6.

Cipollone Subpoena From Jan 6 Cmte by Daily Kos on Scribd

Cipollone’s testimony would be significant for the investigation into the Capitol attack and Trump’s bid to overturn the election results. It would perhaps be some of the most significant testimony to emerge because it would likely expose the former president’s overt role in the insurrection even more directly. 

He sat previously for the committee in April, but he was not under oath and the meeting was not transcribed. He appeared with Patrick Philbin, another Trump White House attorney who once joined him to defend Trump against impeachment.

The subpoena now forces Cipollone to decide what he will say under oath and what he will leave under possible attorney-client privilege or executive privilege with the former president. 

Cipollone, according to Hutchinson, was one of the few voices of reason surrounding Trump on Jan. 6, even explicitly warning him and others in the president’s orbit that if he went to the Capitol after his speech at the Ellipse, “we’re going to get charged with every crime imaginable.” 

He was at meetings where the question of seizing voting machines was raised, and he was there when not just Donoghue, Engel, and Rosen’s resignations were threatened if Trump insisted on installing Clark, but when Bill Barr, Rosen’s predecessor, offered to quit because he would not declare there was election fraud where none existed. 

Cipollone threatened to resign in the runup to Jan. 6 often, according to Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser.

Kushner testified before the probe in recorded deposition and told committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney he chalked up Cipollone’s threats to resign as mere “whining.”

Cheney has publicly called on Cipollone to testify before the committee multiple times and has framed the request in a way that would possibly curry public trust around him.

“Our evidence shows that Mr. Cipollone and his office tried to do what was right,” Cheney remarked during a recent hearing.

But according to the letter notifying him of the subpoena, Cipollone has declined to cooperate since April. And this subpoena is among the last-resort options barring something more extreme down the road, like holding him in contempt.

If he were to sit now, it would be under closely negotiated terms with counsel present. 

In a statement Wednesday, Thompson and Cheney noted, however: ”Any concerns Mr. Cipollone has about the institutional prerogatives of the office he previously held are clearly outweighed by the need for his testimony."  

LIVE: Follow along with the Jan. 6 committee hearings

The Jan. 6 committee launches its public hearings tonight. For the first hearing—a total of six are currently slated—the panel is expected to present its findings to the American public about former President Donald Trump’s role in a scheme to overturn the 2020 election and more specifically, how extremist elements were involved in efforts to stop the peaceful transfer of power. 

Daily Kos will post live updates from tonight’s hearing starting at 8 PM ET.

Watch live here:

For in-depth information about the committee’s investigation so far, check out the related story links below. There’s a BIG Guide to help you stay on top of who’s who plus Daily Kos interviews with one of the committee’s first witnesses as well as members of law enforcement who fought off the mob on Jan. 6. 

The next hearing is scheduled for June 13 at 10 PM ET. Additional hearings are expected on June 15 at 10 PM ET. and June 16 at 1 PM ET. A time for the June 21 hearing has not yet been confirmed.  A final presentation is anticipated on June 23 and that hearing will be in primetime, like tonight, at 8 PM. 

Witnesses on Thursday night are filmmaker Nick Quested, who embedded with the Proud Boys in the lead-up to Jan. 6, and U.S. Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards, who suffered a traumatic brain injury after being assaulted by members of the mob. 

New video footage from Jan. 6 is expected to be released during tonight’s hearing, putting the extremist elements that were at play that day in sharp relief. Heavy attention will likely be paid to the speech that Trump delivered from the Ellipse as well. It was those remarks that earned him his second impeachment for incitement of insurrection. 

Next week, witnesses reportedly in the mix include Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who once fielded a call from Trump to “find” 11,000 votes so he could beat now-President Joe Biden’s victory in that state. Members of former Vice President Mike Pence’s office, including onetime chief of staff Marc Short and former chief counsel Greg Jacob, have been invited to testify. Other witnesses reportedly invited include officials who worked at the Department of Justice under Trump, including Jeffrey Rosen and Richard Donoghue. More details to come on that in the days ahead.

RELATED: Jan. 6 public hearings begin, Daily Kos interviews witness Nick Quested

RELATED: The BIG Guide: Who’s who in the Jan. 6 committee’s investigation

RELATED: Three Big Lies about Jan. 6: A quick fact check

RELATED: Exclusive: USCP Officer Harry Dunn shares notes, personal artifacts of the insurrection

RELATED: Reflections on the Jan. 6 insurrection from U.S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn

RELATED: Capitol Police Sergeant Gonnell talks about Jan. 6 hearings and what really happened that day 

Thursday, Jun 9, 2022 · 11:36:04 PM +00:00 · Brandi Buchman

We are roughly a half-hour away from tonight’s hearing.

I will post updates here and on Twitter tonight. Don’t forget to follow Daily Kos!

Thursday, Jun 9, 2022 · 11:57:40 PM +00:00 · Brandi Buchman

The hearing will get underway tonight at 8:02:30 PM ET, if you take CSPAN’s word for it—and since they are the only cameras in the room tonight, we will. Live updates to post soon.

Thursday, Jun 9, 2022 · 11:59:10 PM +00:00 · Brandi Buchman

USCP Officer Harry Dunn is in the chamber tonight: 

Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn is here and delivering a not so subtle message.

— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) June 9, 2022

Friday, Jun 10, 2022 · 12:01:59 AM +00:00 · Brandi Buchman

The members of the committee have entered the chamber and are taking their seats.

Friday, Jun 10, 2022 · 12:04:18 AM +00:00 · Brandi Buchman

Chairman Bennie Thompson begins tonights hearing by thanking everyone for their attention. 

“I’m Bennie Thompson, chairman of the Jan. 6 Committee, I was born raised and still lived in Bolton, Mississippi,” he says, explaining his background, a part of the country where people justify the actions of slavery, the KKK and lynching. 

“I'm reminded of that dark history as I hear voices today try to justify the actions of the insurrectionists on Jan. 6, 2021,” Thompson says.

Friday, Jun 10, 2022 · 12:08:57 AM +00:00 · Brandi Buchman

In his opening remarks this evening, Chairman Thompson outlines how in 1862, after citizens took up arms against the country, Congress adopted a new oath that no person who supported a rebellion could hold an office of public trust. Members swear an oath to protect the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. 

He praises the officers who defended the Capitol on Jan. 6. 

They did this to defend “your vote,” Thompson said, to protect the peaceful transfer of power. 

Friday, Jun 10, 2022 · 12:16:35 AM +00:00 · Brandi Buchman

Chairman Thompson says the truth must be confronted with resolve and determination and delivers a barn-burner of a speech. He has made it plain what the committee believes it has uncovered: overwhelming evidence that the 45th president attempted to overthrow the election. We move now to remarks from Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice chair of the committee. She is just one of two Republicans, including Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger.

Friday, Jun 10, 2022 · 12:23:24 AM +00:00 · Brandi Buchman

In her opening remarks, vicechair Liz Cheney says that the public will hear extensive evidence tonight and in the coming weeks about the overarching conspiracy by Trump to overturn the 2020 election 

Cheney: "Jan. 6 was not a spontaneous incident." Intelligence has revealed that this was a well-orchestrated plan. The committee will identify elements of those plans and will show how Proud Boys led a mob into the Capitol on Jan. 6”
She continued: “On the morning of Jan. 6, President Donald Trump's intention was to remain POTUS despite the lawful outcome of the 2020 election and in violation of his constitutional obligation to relinquish power.”
Over multiple months, Donald Trump oversaw and coordinated a sophisticated 7-part plan to overturn the election and prevent a presidential transfer of power.
In the 2nd hearing, evidence will be shown demonstrating how Trump knew he lost the election but he perpetrated fraud, they argue, by promoting the lie that he won.
Friday, Jun 10, 2022 · 12:26:03 AM +00:00 · Brandi Buchman

Recorded deposition from Attorney General Bill Barr: 

WATCH: Attorney General Barr declares that Donald Trump lost the Presidential election in 2020. There is no doubt that the American people voted Trump out of office and the Select Committee has found no evidence of election fraud.

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

Friday, Jun 10, 2022 · 12:30:10 AM +00:00 · Brandi Buchman

In a recorded deposition of Ivanka Trump before the Jan. 6 Cmte where she faced questions about AG’s Barr's conclusion of no widespread fraud, she says Barr's determination "affected her perspective.

"I accepted what he was saying," Ivanka Trump said.

Thursday, Jun 9, 2022 · 10:37:04 PM +00:00 · April Siese

In an excerpt of his opening statement for tonight's @January6thCmte hearings, chair Bennie Thompson says what happened cannot be swept under the rug and that he appears tonight as an American first and one who swore to protect the Constitution.

— Brandi Buchman (@Brandi_Buchman) June 9, 2022

The BIG Guide: Who’s who in the Jan. 6 committee’s investigation

The Jan. 6 committee has obtained huge amounts of information from sources high and low to piece together a clearer understanding of what happened when the U.S. Capitol came under siege by a mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters and members of neofascist extremist groups.

This week when the committee resumes its public hearings—the debut hearing was held in July 2021—investigators are expected to unveil their findings and argue that the evidence obtained through more than 1,000 interviews and sourced from more than 125,000 pages of records, indicates that the twice-impeached former president possibly broke the law when he deployed a scheme aimed at overturning the results of the 2020 election.

During the 11-month investigation, subpoenas from the probe have flowed steadily. The public hearings will lay out the story and the key individuals at focus. The committee will issue its final report in September. In the meantime, to guide those following the probe, the following is a comprehensive guide to who’s who at the center of the Jan. 6 investigation.

RELATED STORY: Finally: The January 6 Committee hearings kick off this week. Details inside.

The next hearing is scheduled for June 13 at 10 a.m. Additional hearings are expected on June 15 at 10 a.m. and June 16 at 1 p.m. A time for the June 21 hearing has not yet been confirmed as of Thursday, June 9. A final presentation is anticipated on June 23 and that hearing will be in primetime at 8 PM.

Daily Kos will offer up-to-the-minute coverage of each hearing on its front page, as well as on Twitter. The hearings will be broadcast and carried live on most major networks except for Fox News. The select committee is also expected to stream the hearings on its website, here.

Trump speaks at the Ellipse on Jan. 6, delivering remarks that Congress found to be incitement of an insurrection. Trump was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives one week after the attack. The U.S. Senate voted to acquit Trump instead, falling just 10 votes short.

The following guide includes a variety of Trump White House and administration officials, strategists, advisers and lawyers and others, including those in Vice President Mike Pence’s office. They orbited Trump or figured prominently in the select committe’s investigation. Each section provides some context behind subpoenas and requests. Links embedded throughout will take you to related reporting here at Daily Kos and elsewhere.

Mark Meadows, former White House chief of staff to former President Donald Trump

Mark Meadows

Just a week before the select committee begins its hearings in Washington, the Department of Justice announced it would not pursue criminal contempt charges against Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows.

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Meadows was first subpoenaed by the committee on Sept. 23. He refused to cooperate initially and would not provide information relevant to the former president’s push to appoint bogus electors nor would he share correspondence related to engagement with Trump’s attorneys leading those efforts in the public eye.

Meadows did an about face, however, and began cooperating in part before he then stopped again. This prompted the committee to hold him in contempt of Congress. That vote was unanimous and when passed to the full House, the House found him in contempt 222-208. The referral went to the DOJ and after several months of quiet from Attorney General Merrick Garland, the department announced it declined to pursue charges in June 2022.

Meadows remitted 9,000 pages of records, mainly emails, and texts, according to Jan. 6 committee chair Bennie Thompson. As chief of staff, he was in Trump’s vicinity on Jan. 6 and bore witness to Trump’s conduct before, during, and after the attack. Testimony obtained by the committee has indicated Meadows was also privy to meetings or conversations where the impending rally was discussed.

Text messages revealed Meadows spoke to Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham on Jan. 6. He fielded a battery of incoming messages where the commentators begged him to get Trump on television and ask people to leave.

Among those records were non-privileged texts illuminating Meadows’ correspondence with lawmakers like Rep. Jim Jordan who, among others, pushed for the appointment of unsanctioned electors for Trump. Jordan said the messages were forwards of information from the former inspector general of the Pentagon Joseph Schmitz.

Other messages sent to Meadows came from Ginni Thomas, the right-wing activist wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. She pushed wild conspiracies about the election, shared her disdain and distrust of Pence after he wouldn’t go along with the plot to overthrow the federal government and called for Trump’s “Kraken” attorney Sidney Powell to lead the fraud charges in court.

One text showed Thomas telling Meadows Trump should not concede because “it takes time for the army who is gathering for his back.” The committee indicated it would not pursue a subpoena for Ginni Thomas in May. 

Meadows sued the committee to stop a subpoena to Verizon for his cell phone records.

2021 campaign finance reports note that Trump’s onetime political action committee, Save America PAC, has poured $1 million into the Conservative Partnership Institute, a right-wing nonprofit group that lists Meadows as a senior partner. The Federal Election Commission report notes the donation was made on July 26, just a few weeks after the Jan. 6 committee was officially approved by the full House of Representatives.

The former congressman is also under investigation for voter fraud in the State of North Carolina. He was removed from voter rolls in there in April after reports emerged suggesting he did not live at the North Carolina residence where he was registered to vote.

John Eastman, attorney, adviser to former President Donald Trump

John Eastman, left, with Rudy Giuliani, right, on Jan. 6.

John Eastman was first subpoenaed by the committee on Oct. 8 after a memo he authored emerged laying out a six-point plan to have then-Vice President Mike Pence stop or delay the outcome of the 2020 election. Eastman met with Trump repeatedly before Jan. 6 and delivered an address from the Ellipse just before the riots exploded. He was joined on stage by Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.

Eastman began prolifically sharing Trump’s bogus election fraud claims mere days from the 2020 election. He shared the disinformation with Georgia state senators and even went so far as to urge them to directly appoint electors. He was at the Willard Hotel “war room” on Jan. 6 with Steve Bannon and was in contact with Pence’s counsel, Greg Jacob, about his strategies to manipulate the election.

A tug-of-war in court between Eastman and the committe has resulted in thousands of pages of his communications from his tenure at Chapman University being remitted to investigators, fleshing out previously unknown details about Trump’s overt role in the events around Jan. 6. It started in February, the Trump stalwart was ordered to produce those university records specific to Jan. 4 through Jan. 7, 2021. He was directed to provide detailed explanations for his privilege assertions and disclose the nature of any attorney-client relationship he might cite to mask those documents.

Lawyers the select committee argued that the privileged records indicated Eastman and Trump were very likely engaged in a criminal conspiracy to subvert the election. The committee asked the presiding judge to privately review the sensitive materials. In a hugely significant decision, the presiding judge ruled that Eastman must produce the requested records because based on his review of the evidence, Trump “more likely than not…corruptly attempted to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021.”

In May, it was revealed that Trump sent Eastman at least two handwritten notes containing information the president thought would be helpful towards overturning or stopping his defeat.

It was Eastman’s decision to invoke his Fifth Amendment right after receiving his October subpoena that prompted the committee to work around him and pursue the university emails. Eastman first unsuccessfully sued the committee and Verizon in December.

Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney

Rudy Giuliani

The former New York City mayor, personal attorney to Trump and leader of Trump’s “alternate elector” gambit, Rudy Giuliani first received a subpoena from the committee on Jan. 18. Investigators premised their demands on Giuliani’s very public promotion of Trump’s disinformation campaign about election fraud in 2020 and his insistence that Dominion Voting Systems machines were rigged.

He finally testified before the committee in May and spent a reported nine hours under questioning. Court records produced by Trump’s adviser John Eastman in a separate legal matter also exposed a memo sent to Giuliani by Kenneth Chesebro, another member of Trump’s legal team and purveyor of bunk election fraud claims.

The memo offered a plan to have then-Vice President Mike Pence stop the count on Jan. 6 in order to bar Biden’s popular and electoral victories from becoming certified and get Senate president pro tempore Chuck Grassley in play where Pence would newly recuse.

Per protocols excellently explained by CBS News, Chesebro essentially pitched what he believed was a loophole in procedural rules that would allow for disruption or delay. This memo also went to John Eastman before Jan. 6 though Eastman has denied being involved with its drafting.

As for Giuliani, he focused on officials in key battleground states and was present at all if not most meetings where administration officials and fellow attorneys and advisers discussed the seizure of voting machines. He even went so far as to ask the Department of Homeland Security if he could legally seize machines. The official dismissed the request promptly.

His reach extended into Congress, too. Text messages, for example, from Dec. 31, 2020, show Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia asking Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows to arrange another meeting between her and Giuliani.

One Michigan prosecutor who squared off with Giuliani and Trump, James Rossiter, told The Washington Post that Giuliani and other Trump officials once asked a Republican prosecutor in Michigan to “get his county’s voting machines and pass them to Trump’s team.” 

An aide to Trump, Cassidy Hutchinson, testified to members of the select committee that she told both Giuliani and Meadows their alternate elector bid wouldn’t work.

Nonetheless, on the day of what would be the insurrection, Giuliani told a mob of Trump’s supporters gathered at the Ellipse they would have “trial by combat” if necessary to determine the election results.

Peter Navarro, former White House trade adviser

Nvarro was subpoenaed on Feb. 9, a few months after his memoir In Trump Time was published. Navarro was a vocal supporter of fraud claims in the election. He disclosed publicly that he and Steve Bannon met to discuss a delay strategy for Jan. 6 but he has insisted that an express attempt to overturn the results was not part of the plan. Navarro refused to cooperate with the probe, telling them they were “domestic terrorists.”  He was found in criminal contempt of Congress by the committee on March 29. Navarro was indicted on two counts of contempt a week before the public hearings began.

Jeffrey Clark, former assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice Civil Division appointed by Trump

Jeffrey Clark.

The committee subpoenaed Clark on Oct. 13 and in short order, entered into a battle with the former Trump official over claims to executive privilege. Lawmakers rejected that argument as spurious since Trump earlier this year declined to assert privilege over materials requested by the committee from Clark.

A Senate Judiciary Committee report released last year revealed emails and other correspondence from Clark to fellow Department of Justice officials where he angled to have then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen removed so Trump could install him in Rosen’s place.

The push was part of a larger scheme that began when Clark pushed Rosen and Rosen’s deputy, Richard Donoghue, to inform swing state legislatures they should appoint new electors and reject certified votes. That plot unfolded well after courts had rejected Trump’s claims of election fraud almost 60 times.

Clark appeared for a closed-door deposition with the committee on Nov. 5 but was uncooperative and eventually walked out without returning. He was held on contempt by the panel in December but a full vote by the House wasn’t held. Clark eventually announced he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right and then sat for deposition for a swift one hour and 40 minutes. He refused to answer over 100 questions posed to him. Committee member Rep. Zoe Lofgren called the exchange with Clark “very disappointing.”

Daniel Scavino, former White House deputy chief of staff for communications

Dan Scavino.

Scavino was subpoenaed by the committee in September. His failure to cooperate with the probe earned him a criminal contempt of congress referral from the committee in March and by April, the full House of Representatives voted in favor of sending the referral to the DOJ. The DOJ declined to prosecute in June. Scavino’s attorney maintained that that the former Trump administration official worked with the committee in good faith.

Scavino’s relationship stretches back nearly a decade with the former president and he is among Trump’s chief allies. Scavino served him at various points over the years including as a digital strategy director and overseer of Trump’s presence on social media platforms like Twitter.

The committee sought materials from Scavino relevant to Trump’s “videotaping and tweeting message on Jan. 6.” They argue he was intimately familiar with what occurred during meetings where the president and other administration officials hashed out ways to stop the certification of the election.

White House call logs obtained by the probe show that Trump tried to call Scavino the night of the attack. Scavino reportedly kept at least two phones during his time at the White House. The National Archives confirmed in February that Trump destroyed numerous presidential records while in office, often leaving it to staff to tape some of the records back together.

Scavino, as Trump’s aide and with an office just near the Oval, was often a reported workaround for Trump to avoid using official White House telephones, relying instead on Scavino’s mobile among others.

He sued Verizon on Jan. 5, 2022 to stop a transfer of phone records to the committee. He did this under some subterfuge initially filing the request as an anonymous plaintiff. While it was his right to do so, such shrouding can only be done with a judge’s approval. The judge denied the request and unmasked Scavino weeks later, ordering him to file his request to block the committee from his phone records publicly.

Stephen Miller, former senior adviser to Trump

Stephen Miller.

Stephen Miller, Trump’s senior adviser and architect of the Trump administration's inhumane immigration policies, received a subpoena from the committee on Nov. 9. He finally testified before the committee virtually in April and for more than eight hours.

Miller’s public statements first piqued the committee’s interest. He vowed “alternate electors” would keep Trump in power in an interview with Fox News in late 2020. Those alternate electors sent bogus slates from battleground states to the National Archives for certification on Dec. 14, 2020. The Archives rejected them because those who had signed were not recognized by their respective state officials as certified electors.

Miller also helped write the speech that would be delivered from the Ellipse on Jan. 6. He was at the White House on the morning of Jan. 6  and accompanied Trump on their short trip to ‘Stop the Steal’ rally.

During his deposition in April, it was widely reported that Miller fielded questions about the language in the speech, namely how Trump often referred to “we” in his remarks, including those times when he told the crowd gathered at the Ellipse that “we are going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue” and “we are going to the Capitol.” Miller allegedly defended the language by saying it was political rhetoric.

He sued the committee in early March in an attempt to review of his cell phone metadata. Miller said the injunction was necessary because a review of his cell phone data would jeopardize his mother’s privacy since he is still on her mobile plan.

Stephen Miller says Trump electors will be voting and sending results to Congress. (They'll be worthless because they won't have the seals of the state Secretaries of State, though)

— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) December 14, 2020

Jason Miller, former senior adviser to Trump’s 2020 campaign

Jason Miller.

Jason Miller, a longtime Trump confidante, was subpoenaed by the committee on Nov. 8 and along with Bannon and others, was reportedly at the meeting at the Willard Hotel on Jan. 5.. Much of those activities, the committee has learned, were overseen by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.

Long before that November, however, Miller routinely crowed about Democrats stealing the election, lawmakers wrote in their notice to Miller. That message, they added, was of course directly echoed by the mob that breached the Capitol in its attempt to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power. Prior to the attack, Miller also took frequent opportunities to hold press conferences propagating Trump’s lies about the election, and legislators on the committee believe the campaign adviser was a facilitator of the pressure strategy on then-Vice President Pence or was, at the very least, attuned to the scheme’s details.

The committee postponed his deposition on Dec. 9 after he finally began cooperating with investigators. He also appeared to lose favor with Trump ally Roger Stone following his cooperation with the investigation. In a message on the right-wing social media platform Gab posted on Jan. 22, Stone lashed out at Miller.

“You can always tell when Jason Miller of Gettr is lying—his lips are moving. in the 40 years, I have been in American politics I have never met a bigger more despicable piece of shit. I got him his job with Donald Trump in 2016,” Stone said.

According to court records, in testimony this February, Miller disclosed to investigators that he and other aides, like Matt Oczkowski told Trump in “blunt” terms he lost the election. That nevertheless stopped Trump from seeking “to use the Vice President to manipulate the results in his favor,” Miller said.

Other text messages obtained by the committee in June showed Miller trying to shape the narrative for Meadows and Scavino as the mob was raging, however:

”Call me crazy, but ideas for two tweets from POTUS: 1) Bad apples, likely ANTIFA or other crazed leftists, infiltrated today's peaceful protest over the fraudulent vote count. Violence is never acceptable! MAGA supporters embrace our police and the rule of law and should leave the Capitol now! 2) The fake news media who encouraged this summer's violent and radical riots are now trying to blame peaceful and innocent MAGA supporters for violent actions. This isn't who we are! Our people should head home and let the criminals suffer the consequences!

Just after 10 p.m. that night, Miller gave Meadows, Scavino and Jared Kushner an approved statement from Trump that would be released as soon as Congress finished counting the votes.

In the text, Miller wrote: “Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. Nevertheless, there will be an orderly transition on January 20th. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it's only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again.”

Cassidy Hutchinson, former Trump White house aide

Former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany pictured left, former aide to President Donald Trump Cassidy Hutchinson, right

A special assistant to Trump for legislative affairs and onetime aide to chief of staff Mark Meadows, was first subpoeaned in November. Hutchinson is expected to testify during the select committee’s public hearings. Hutchinson was in the White House with Trump on Jan. 6 and traveled with him to the Ellipse for the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally.

She also joined Meadows for a Dec. 30 trip to Georgia for an election audit there.

Before the hearings went public, Hutchinson told members of the committee that she raised concerns about the propriety of the former president’s bid to submit “alternate electors” to Congress on Jan. 6. Hutchinson also told lawmakers that Trumps’ chief of staff was alerted to threats of violence looming over the Capitol before Congress was slated to meet. And disturbingly, Hutchinson also testified that she watched as Meadows burned papers in his possession following a meeting with Rep. Scott Perry, a Pennsylvania Republican who was actively promoting Trump's baseless election fraud theories.

And perhaps most critically, Hutchinson also revealed to investigators that she heard Trump “complain” that Vice President Mike Pence “was being whisked to safety” as the president’s supporters mobbed the Capitol and clashed with outnumbered police.

From The New York Times:

Mr. Meadows, according to an account provided to the House committee investigating Jan. 6, then told the colleagues that Mr. Trump had said something to the effect of, maybe Mr. Pence should be hanged.

Rep. Raskin, an investigator on the probe described Hutchinson's private testimony as a completion of her “legal and civic duty” to The Washington Post and said she was “certainly someone who rendered truthful testimony to our committee. You will see other junior staffers who have come forward and cooperated enthusiastically with this investigation and into this attack on our country.”

Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence

Keith Kellogg.

Once the national security adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence, now-retired U.S. Army General Keith Kellogg was subpoenaed by on Nov. 23. Lawmakers sought information from Kellogg regarding his participation in at least one meeting with Trump and Trump’s attorney Pat Cipollone as the attack was unfolding. He was also reportedly part of multiple conversations where Trump insisted Pence not certify the election.

Kellogg met with Trump before the president delivered his remarks at the Ellipse. When the violence began to erupt at the Capitol while they were in the White House, Kellogg told investigators during his closed-door deposition in December that he urged Trump to deliver a message to his supporters that would end the chaos.

His deposition corroborated public reporting that it was Ivanka Trump, the ex-president’s daughter and adviser, who was called upon repeatedly to soothe Trump during the riots and attempt to persuade him to issue a call for peace.

Kellogg may end up testifying during the public hearings.

Marc Short, senior aide to former Vice President Mike Pence

The top aide to Pence expected to testify during public hearings spent most of Jan. 6 at the former vice president’s side. He cooperated with the committee after a subpoena was issued in December. The former Pence staffer has been forthcoming with investigators and has providing several key records. Last year, it was confirmed that it was Short who gave investigators a copy of a memo written by John McEntee offering a bunk legal strategy for Pence to stop the certification. Short was also in the Oval Office on Jan. 4 during a meeting with John Eastman and Trump where Trump discussed how to get Pence on board with overturning the election. According to AP, “As Pence’s top aide, Short was also present for several White House meetings ahead of the insurrection. At one point, Trump banned Short from the White House grounds because he objected to the pressure on Pence to reject the legitimate election results.” Short has said publicly that it was “bad advisers who were basically snake-oil salesman” that gave Trump the idea to have Pence intervene. “But our office researched that and recognized that was never an option,” he said. Short also warned a Secret Service agent on Jan. 5 that he was concerned about Pence’s safety.

John McEntee, former bag man turned White House personnel director

John McEntee, pictured left.

The committee issued its subpoena to John McEntee on Nov. 9. McEntee’s ascent into Trump’s world happened fast. He started out as Trump’s bag man, but his dogged defense of the president was quickly parlayed into an opportunity where he would serve in a far more powerful role.

McEntee was tapped by Trump to serve as the director of the White House personnel office, making him a key arbiter in deciding who was hired or fired across the administration.

A memo made public in November illuminated the role McEntee played in having Defense Secretary Mark Esper removed, a maneuver that ultimately opened the door for Clark to try his power grab at the Department of Justice. That memo was turned over to the committee by Marc Short, Pence’s former chief of staff when Short testified before the committee for several hours.

McEntee was reportedly in the room with Trump, Pence, Giuliani, and Trump campaign lawyer Justin Clark when the men hashed out a plan to conduct an audit of votes in Georgia. He was also with Trump when Trump traveled to the Ellipse and while he delivered his inflammatory speech at the ‘Stop the Steal ‘rally that day.

Extremists, allies and ‘friends’

Steve Bannon, former White House strategist

Steve Bannon.

Steve Bannon, a right-wing extremist and conspiracy peddler, is currently awaiting trial after pleading not guilty to two counts of contempt of Congress filed against him in November.  

Investigators hit Bannon with a subpoena on Sept. 23, and the Trump stalwart stonewalled the committee on both its record request and a request for deposition. He surrendered himself to authorities in Washington, D.C. after the Department of Justice indicted him.

Bannon was not officially in Trump’s employ at the time of the assault; he left the administration in 2017. Bannon was, however, at Trump’s alleged “command center” on Jan. 5.

A “war room” at the Willard Hotel—just a block from the White House—was often populated by Trump’s lawyers and advisers. Investigators say plans to subvert the election were hatched there and that Bannon was present on Jan. 5 when guests discussed a strategy to have members of Congress block the certification of election results the next day.

Bannon was often in Trump’s ear, allegedly urging the president as early as Nov. 30 “to plan for and focus his efforts on Jan. 6,” his subpoena noted.

After a failed attempt to delay his trial until just before the 2022 midterms, a federal judge ruled on Dec. 7 that his trial would commence in July.

Bannon has since spent time boasting on his podcast about Trump’s non-existent victory. He’s railed against the Jan. 6 probe. continues to promote election fraud allegations and threatened to take over the nation’s election apparatus.  

Just a few days before the first anniversary of the attack, Bannon lashed out at GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy on his podcast. McCarthy, Bannon said, refused to “counterprogram” events on Capitol Hill that solemnly commemorated the anniversary. He suggested Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Matt Gaetz of Florida ought to take up the mantle for Trump where McCarthy would not.

McCarthy, Bannon said, is “controlled opposition” and when the “right leadership” is in place, Bannon suggested the GOP’s ‘Make America Great Again’ wing could rule for “100 years.”

Roger Stone, longtime Trump ally and GOP operative

Roger Stone

A long-time operative for the Republican Party and self-described “dirty trickster,” Roger Stone was hit with a subpoena from the select committee on Nov. 22. Prior to the Capitol attack, Stone spoke publicly in support of Trump’s claims of election fraud and funneled cash for “private security” at events in Washington held on Jan. 5 and 6. Though he once solicited donations on a ‘Stop the Steal’ official website, he removed the link after the attack, according to Mother Jones.

A month before the insurrection, Stone appeared at various events including one rally in D.C. heavily attended by Proud Boys and Oath Keepers on Dec. 12. He urged the president’s supporters to “fight until the bitter end” to stop Biden from taking office. For his remarks at an event in D.C. on Jan. 5, he had a security detail comprised of Oath Keepers. One of the men in his detail, Robert Minuta, has been indicted on charges related to the breach.

Stone has said that he was invited to lead a march to the Capitol on Jan. 6 but told press he declined the opportunity. He was also slated to speak at an event at the Ellipse that day hosted by Women for America First.

Upon receipt of a subpoena, Stone informed the committee on Dec. 7 that he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right. Through attorney Grant Smith, he wrote: “Given that the Select Committee's demand for documents is overbroad, overreaching, and far too wide-ranging to be deemed anything other than a fishing expedition, Mr. Stone has a constitutional right to decline to respond.”

Stone’ eventually appeared for deposition on Dec. 17 and as planned, invoked his Fifth Amendment to all questions. He also denied, despite the existence of widespread reporting and video footage, that he was in Washington before and on Jan. 6.

A Danish film crew followed Stone around for two years, capturing a variety of moments relevant to the investigation. One such moment was a shot of Stone sitting at a laptop where a visible “action plan” was mocked up. The plan appeared to lay out how the Trump campaign could pressure state lawmakers to reject their respective election results. Stone has expressed outrage at a variety of Trump officials who have agreed to testify and he’s berated Pence on the right-wing social media platform Telegram. Stone has shared articles suggesting plainly that Pence was “treacherous” for refusing to go along with the delay effort and he’s laced into Pence directly, calling him “duplicitous” and a “disloyal POS,” or shorthand for “piece of shit.”

Stone insists Pence and his advisors undermined Trump from the very beginning of his time in office.

Meanwhile, reports on Stone’s recent stream of income have revealed that he has been accepting tens of thousands of dollars around the same time he has thrown endorsements behind pro-Trump anti-Jan. 6 committee Republicans like Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz.

In May, the New York Times reported that it obtained access to a chat log entitled “Friends of Stone,” or Friends of Roger Stone, with Stone’s picture affixed at the top of the chat. Many members in the group chat are also facing charges tied to Jan. 6 attack including Elmer Rhodes, leader of the Oath Keepers now facing seditious conspiracy charges and Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, the leader of the Proud Boys, also facing obstruction and conspiracy charges.

Other members in the group chat were identified as individuals who organized anti-vaccine rallies to be held at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Jason Sullivan, a former aide to Stone, was also a member of the group chat. Just before the insurrection, on Dec. 30, Sullivan hosted a conference call where he encouraged supporters to “descend on the Capitol” and vowed that Trump would impose some form of martial law.

Investigator Jamie Raskin has described Stone as the “nexus” between Trump and his “street fighters.”

Oath Keepers and Proud Boys

Elmer Stewart Rhodes, leader of the extremist network known as the Oath Keepers

Several extremist organizations, their supporters and members were drawn into the committee's probe early on including the Oath Keepers; the Proud Boys. and members of the self-proclaimed militia for Trump at numerous events and rallies, the 1st Amendment Praetorian. Its founder Robert Patrick Lewis was subpoenaed in November.

The committee was particularly keen to learn more about events that extremists attended in 2020 including Covid lockdown protests or racial justice protests. For right-wing extremists, those events may have served as “proving grounds” for the insurrection.  

As the select committee’s investigation wore on, the Department of Justice was rapidly working behind the scenes to bring charges of its own against Oath Keeper ringleader Elmer Stewart Rhodes for seditious conspiracy. He was joined by a slew of co-defendants, many of whom represented state chapters of the extremist group. Several of those charged alongside Rhodes have since flipped, entering guilty pleas and vowing to cooperate with the select committee and the Justice Department’s respective investigations.

One Oath Keeper who was with Rhodes on Jan. 6 and ultimately charged alongside him, entered a guilty plea this year, telling prosecutors he was committed to protecting Trump by force on Jan. 6 and that he was part of a quick force reaction team that was equipped with weapons and stationed at a nearby hotel in northern Virginia.

The Oath Keepers defendant Joshua James said he and others were prepared to:

“report to the White House grounds to secure the perimeter and use lethal force if necessary against anyone who tried to remove President Trump from the White House, including the National Guard or other government actors who might be sent to remove President Trump as a result of the presidential election.”

Similar scenarios have played out for Tarrio and his Proud Boys. The Miami, Florida resident entered a not guilty plea, maintaining he was not involved in any effort to overturn the election or obstruct congressional proceedings.

Prosecutors made an unsettling find after arresting Tarrio: a document that strategized how to storm and occupy six congressional office buildings and the Supreme Court. The U.S. Capitol building was not among those listed.

Tarrio once proclaimed on social media, “Make no mistake" and "We did this," when the events of Jan. 6 were active. In the document found after his arrest, one section dubbed "Storm the Winter Palace" described plans to gather recruiters and use hypemen to get inside restricted government buildings. The plans would use ‘covert sleepers’ would could arrange appointments with government or officials in advance of an occupation or attack so they could spend a day gathering reconnaissance.

Just days before the public hearings, prosecutors announced new seditious conspiracy charges were added to the separate indictment for Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, the national leader of the neofascist group known as the Proud Boys. 

Proud Boy ringleader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio

Both Rhodes and Tarrio are detained and expected to go to trial this summer and early fall.

Others targeted by the committee for records and deposition included Nick Fuentes, described by the Anti-Defamation League as a white supremacist and leader of the xenophobic America First/Groyper movement. He received a subpoena on Jan. 19. The committee pointed to his many public statements urging the destruction of the GOP if the election results were not overturned. He also reportedly accepted $250,000 in Bitcoin for funds from a French computer programmer that may have been used to support the ‘Stop the Steal’ movement. The FBI is scrutinizing that funding.

Patrick Casey, another leader in the America First/Groyper movement, was also subpoenaed on Jan. 19 and like Fuentes, he was vocal about his support of movements to overturn the election for several weeks before Jan. 6. On Jan. 5 he shared logistics for how to get into D.C. on social media  and as the attack kicked off, he posted to Telegram “It’s happening.” He also reportedly received $25,000 in Bitcoin from the same programmer that may have sent funding to Fuentes. Casey and Fuentes used to be close but have reportedly fallen out with each other in the wake of the insurrection. Casey told investigators he would not cooperate voluntarily before the subpoena was issued.

Ali Alexander’s  Stop the Steal LLC, was also hit with an subpoena independent of the one he received personally.

Michael Flynn, former national security adviser, and Trump’s personal assistant

Michael Flynn

Subpoenaed on Nov. 8, Flynn came under the committee’s purview after it was reported that he attended a Dec. 18 meeting in the Oval Office where discussions of how to seize voting machines abounded. That same meeting also featured suggestions to Trump that he declare a national emergency or invoke emergency powers, like martial law, to “rerun” the election.

In February, leaked emails went public showing how Flynn and retired Army Colonel Phil Waldron—days before that meeting with Trump—workshopped a draft executive order aimed at seizing voting machines.

Flynn was pardoned by Trump last December after being charged with lying to federal investigators about his contact with Russian officials. He was scheduled for deposition with the committee in early December and was granted a brief delay. A spokesperson said Flynn had agreed to “engage” with investigators but talks temporarily fell apart. He finally appeared in March for a closed-door deposition but invoked his Fifth Amendment.

This June, the Los Angeles Times obtained a draft letter and series of leaked emails that appeared to be the “first iteration” of the draft order to seize voting machines. In this draft, it was recommended that armed private contractors be used to seize voting machines. it granted authority to three third-party companies to seize the data at will and with the assistance of U.S. Marshals if needed, since “hostile conditions” were expected.

That letter was sent via email by Jim Penrose and Doug Logan of Cyber Ninjas, the same company that conducted the audit for Trump in Maricopa County, Arizona. The email exchange also featured correspondence with Lin Wood, the conservative trial lawyer who failed to successfully challenge election results in Georgia. Wood often had Flynn over at his Tomotely Plantation estate along with Sidney Powell, former CEO for Overstock Patrick Byrne, Logan and Penrose. Penrose reportedly met with John Eastman and Trump on Jan. 5 to finalize details of the overthrow strategy.

Wood did not deny receiving the draft order. He also said he “didn’t do anything with it.”

A federal judge on Dec. 21 scrapped a lawsuit against the committee from Flynn. The ex-national security official sought a temporary restraining order against investigators but a judge found that because he was unable to prove that even so much as attempted to comply with the probe, he could not prove he was being injured by the demand.

Bernard Kerik, former New York Police Department police commissioner

Bernard Kerik

The former commissioner for the New York Police Department and longtime ally of Rudy Giuliani, Bernard Kerik, was subpoenaed by the select committee on Nov. 8. Kerik, who served three years in prison for tax fraud and was sentenced in 2010, was pardoned by Trump for those crimes. According to investigators, Kerik was a close associate of the former president and  attended meetings at the Willard Hotel, including on Jan. 5, where the committee says the election subversion scheme was coordinated. Investigators claim Kerrik paid for and reserved the “war room” at the Willard and other hotels where the Trump allies could meet.

The committee claims Kerik was in cahoots with Giuliani since Nov. 5, 2020, to promote bogus election fraud theories though Kerik has publicly denied the allegations. In November, after word of the subpoena broke, he issued a letter to the committee saying he would cooperate with the probe but he also demanded an apology in the same breath.

In Dec. 31, as noted in this interview, Kerik finally handed over a privilege log to the committee. It featured a list of documents that the former police commissioner was unwilling to provide freely. He said the records were to be protected under executive privilege.

One of those documents was entitled, “Draft letter from POTUS to seize evidence in the interest of national security for the 2020 election.”

Kerik’s attorney told reporters that the document was created one day before Trump met with former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Giuliani. The group discussed how to seize voting machines and election equipment in states Trump was losing to Biden.

Kerik, upon sitting for deposition in January, told the committee it was onetime U.S. Army Colonel Phil Waldron who dreamed up the idea to seize voting machines. The draft executive order would have permitted 60 days for the Defense Secretary to assess so-called irregularities in the 2020 election. Its deadline would have fallen after President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, however.

Unpublished Trump Draft EO ... by Daily Kos

Waldron previously told The Washington Post that he met with Trump up to 10 times to discuss ways to replace electors in “states where fraud occurred” and that he circulated proposals that outlined ways the National Guard or U.S. marshals could be used to “secure” ballots.

Ali Alexander, right-wing extremist activist, ‘Stop the Steal’ rally organizer

Ali Alexander (screenshot of YouTube feed published by The Intercept).

Ali Alexander is a walking, talking ball of contradictions and conflations. The select committee issued a subpoena to Ali Alexander on Oct. 7 and laid out a litany of requests it had for him regarding records related to his role in organizing “Stop the Steal” rallies, including the one outside of the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Alexander once openly stated on Periscope that Rep. Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican, helped him organize the insurrection. He also fingered Reps. Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs of Arizona for their involvement in those December 2020 clips and has said that he had contact with the lawmakers in a lawsuit he filed against the committee.

“We four schemed up of putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting so that who we couldn’t lobby, we could change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body, hearing our loud roar from outside,” Alexander said in a now-deleted livestream.

Alexander Lawsuit by Daily Kos on Scribd

But when Alexander finally sat for deposition with the committee on Dec. 9, he denied the lawmakers’ involvement. According to CNN, following his closed-door deposition, he said: “There's this conspiracy theory ... that me and members of Congress worked to jeopardize the safety of their colleagues. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Alexander also said that the evidence he has provided thus far “actually exonerates those members” and himself.

This March, Rep. Mo Brooks attempted to memory hole his promotion of Trump’s election fraud lies, and Alexander came out swinging against the congressman.

“You betrayed our election integrity movement. We’re done here. You’ve been rejected by #StopTheSteal and now Trump. Tell your staff never to come for me again,” Alexander wrote on Gab.

When 2022 first got underway, CNN uncovered more Periscope videos including one livestream from Dec. 23, 2020, dubbed “JAN6” where Alexander said he called on the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers to provide security for the rally at the Ellipse. Less than a week later, on Dec. 29, 2020, in another livestream Alexander said it again.

“My team will find you a room. I talked tonight to the Proud Boys to make sure that they were all covered,” Alexander said.

Alexander’s attorney defended the remarks in the videos, saying that the 'Stop the Steal’ rally organizer was just making “colorful remarks” and “exaggerations during playful livestreams contextualizing his intentions.”

Nonetheless, Alexander’s attorney conceded that his client helped members of the extremist groups find “new housing, and the Oath Keepers did provide security for several clients,” CNN reported.

Alexander appeared for his deposition on Capitol Hill with his lawyer Joseph McBride and conspiracy theorist Jacob Wohl.

in case he takes the video down, here's the relevant section

— Jason Paladino (@jason_paladino) January 8, 2021

Alexander led a rally 24 hours before the Capitol attack at Freedom Plaza with the Eighty Percent Coalition. He whipped people into a chant of “victory or death.”

Alexander sued the committee in mid-December in an attempt to block telephone carrier Verizon from providing his call logs to investigators. Alexander also named Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in the lawsuit. An online stream he posted this January featured Alexander delivering a minutes-long rant expressing how he worked “behind the scenes” for weeks on something that could “help over 100 million people” when cooperating with investigators.

Alexander received a subpoena from a federal grand jury this April and said that he was taking a “cooperative posture” with the DOJ’s probe into Jan. 6. Alexander has said that he was in frequent contact with Roger Stone and that the two discussed logistics around Jan. 6 often.

Alex Jones, right-wing personality and conspiracy theorist

Alex Jones, addressing Trump’s supporters on Jan. 6.

Conspiracy theory and smut peddler Alex Jones was subpoenaed by the committee on Nov. 22. Investigators say Jones worked closely with members of Women for America First to organize rallies on Jan. 6. The right-wing talk show host reportedly told those same organizers that he was responsible for facilitating contributions for the rally from Publix supermarket heiress Julie Fancelli. The committee said that Jones helped secure $650,000 from Fancelli.

Jones allegedly tried to nab a speaking spot with Trump on Jan. 6 but was denied by fellow organizers. When that happened, he instead spoke on Jan. 5 at Freedom Plaza at the invitation of the Eighty Percent Coalition and its head sponsor Cindy Chafian. Though he never had his moment at the Ellipse with Trump on Jan. 6, Jones did march alongside right-wing extremists and ‘Stop the Steal’ founder Ali Alexander.

Before the attack, Jones spent hours broadcasting Trump’s election fraud claims and made statements implying he knew what might be coming when Congress met to certify the electoral votes.

“This is the most important call to action on domestic soil since Paul Revere and his ride in 1776,” Jones told listeners of his podcast, InfoWars, on Dec. 19.

The committee noted in its subpoena to Jones that when he arrived at the Capitol, he told people to gather on the east side of the complex to hear Trump speak. That location directly coincided with a site that Ali Alexander’s ‘Stop the Steal’ organization had reserved with its permit for a rally using the name “One Nation Under God.”

Jones sued the committee on Dec. 20 claiming it did not have authority to subpoena his correspondence with the White House, lawmakers, or other campaign officials. He insisted many of the records sought after by the committee were protected under the First Amendment because he deems himself a journalist. Jones indicated in that lawsuit he intended to invoke his Fifth Amendment right if forced to testify at deposition and that was exactly what he did during his appearance on Jan. 25.

While he would not answer questions in the formal setting, Jones took to his podcast right after to breathlessly describe the experience, a decision that could have negative repercussions according to experts. Then in April, Jones’ attorney, Norm Pattis, announced that the bombast was trying to negotiate an immunity deal with the Justice Department to discuss Jan. 6. Jones denied any criminal wrongdoing.

Sean Hannity, Fox News host

Fox News host Sean Hannity on a giant screen displayed at a Trump rally in Michigan in October 2021.

The commentator was not officially subpoenaed by the committee, but members did request that he voluntarily comply. The committee argued Hannity had factual information that could illuminate Trump’s thinking and conduct before, during, and after the attack on the Capitol.

Text messages shared with former chief of staff Mark Meadows and lawmakers like Rep. Jim Jordan suggest Hannity felt Trump’s subversion efforts were practically doomed. Nevertheless, the committee was careful to narrow its request to Hannity for messages that were only sent over a period of roughly a month. That maneuver anticipated a First Amendment challenge in response from the Fox host.

After the request, Hannity hosted Trump on his show. In January he allowed the former president to continue making baseless election fraud claims without fact check. He sat back as Trump said, more than a year since the attack, that those in the crowd offered “a lot of love there” and that they were “great people.”

Hannity, according to a mid-riot text message sent to Mark Meadows on Jan. 6 once wrote: “Can he make a statement? Ask people to leave the Capitol.”

In another text message sent to Meadows on Jan. 19, 2021, Hannity sent a link to the following video of then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying from the floor that the mob on Jan. 6 was provoked by Trump and “other powerful people.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Capitol insurrectionists were "provoked by the president and other powerful people."

— The Recount (@therecount) January 19, 2021

“Well, this is as bad as it can get,” Hannity wrote.

The Trump family

Ivanka Trump

The former president’s daughter and senior adviser was requested to comply voluntarily with the investigation into the Capitol attack on Jan. 20.  She appeared in April. The letter first came after Pence’s ex-national security adviser Keith Kellogg testified behind closed doors that it was he and Ivanka Trump who witnessed her father’s phone call to Pence on Jan. 6.

As Trump reportedly leaned on Pence to go along with the subversion strategy, Kellogg’s deposition transcript shows Ivanka turned to Kellogg and remarked: “Mike Pence is a good man.”

The committee reportedly asked Ivanka to testify about any actions Trump may have taken to direct Pence to violate the Constitution. Pleading from Kellogg and other officials to Trump that he make an announcement calling for peace went ignored. Kellogg felt she was one of the only people who could garner a response from the president. Kellogg testified that Ivanka made multiple attempts to soothe her father.

During public hearings, the committee is expected to play portions of Ivanka Trump's recorded testimony before the committee.

Her husband and Donald Trump’s onetime adviser, Jared Kushner, also cooperated with the select committee. He was deposed for six hours.

Jared Kushner

Donald Trump Jr. met with the committee in May voluntarily. He did not invoke his Fifth Amendment. Text messages secured by the committee showed a panicked Trump Jr. on Jan. 6.  Details and more inside his interview linked below:

“He’s got to condemn this shit Asap. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough,” Trump Jr. wrote to Meadows on Jan. 6.

Eric Trump was not subpoenaed by the committee, but investigators did pursue his phone records successfully. Before the public hearings, it was never clearly established whether or not Eric Trump met with investigators.

Donald Trump Jr.

The lawmakers

Kevin McCarthy, U.S. House GOP Leader

Kevin McCarthy

The leader of the House GOP, Kevin McCarthy spoke to Trump on Jan. 6 according to his own statements. But when the committee submitted a voluntary request for his records and deposition, the lawmaker refused to cooperate. When they issued a subpoena, he met them with the same reply.

In stark contrast to his public acknowledgment of conversations, there have been questions raised over omissions in the White House call logs. While the Capitol was under siege, McCarthy said he spoke to Trump and Trump rebuffed his pleas for help. Trump told McCarthy it was “antifa” that had breached the building. McCarthy pushed back, saying it was the president’s supporters.

McCarthy said last year that Trump responded: “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.”

This May, an audio recording of McCarthy emerged where the House leader weighed whether to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office two days after the Capitol assault. Another recording featured McCarthy calling for Trump’s resignation. On Jan. 13, the House voted 232-197 to approve a resolution to activate the amendment.

McCarthy, instead, called for censure instead of impeachment through the 25th Amendment. Then, from the floor of the House, McCarthy denounced Trump:

“The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding,” McCarthy said on Jan. 13, 2021.

The audio recordings were only made public after reports without them first surfaced and McCarthy denied their existence. It did nothing to slow down the former president’s support of McCarthy; Trump endorsed him for his upcoming run at Speaker of the House in the coming midterms.

Today, McCarthy maintains the committee is purely politically motivated and illegitimate. When he rejected the subpoena in May, he, like Rep. Jim Jordan, made a list of demands and argued at length that the committee fails to have the authority to conduct its review.

McCarthy responds to his subpoena from the @January6thCmte and argues much of the same in re: to committee standing but courts keep proving that theory meritless. Take a look at this argument as well:

— Brandi Buchman (@Brandi_Buchman) May 27, 2022

Multiple federal courts have rejected this premise and historically, McCarthy has dodged questions from reporters, even running away from one during an exchange in February after the Republican National Committee agreed to censure the probe’s only Republican members: Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger.

I tried to ask @GOPLeader about the RNC’s resolution describing Jan. 6 as “legitimate political discourse” He told me to make an appointment with his office… insisting it’s “not good” to answer questions in hallways.

— Rachel Scott (@rachelvscott) February 8, 2022

McCarthy defended the RNC’s language in the censure, saying that the “legitimate political discourse” was a reference to those RNC officials subpoenaed by the committee for information about alternate elector activities.

“Anybody who broke in and caused damage, that was not called for. Those people, we've said from the very beginning, should be in jail,” McCarthy once told CNN.

The RNC tried to walk back its statement, saying that the “legitimate political discourse” was a reference to all those legislators who objected to certification on Jan. 6.

Rep. Jim Jordan, U.S. Representative for Ohio

Jordan was the second lawmaker to receive a request from the Jan. 6 committee to voluntarily comply. He later received an official subpoena. Investigators say Jordan had at least one “and possibly multiple” exchanges with Trump on the day of the attack. His testimony could provide valuable insight into Trump’s thoughts and conduct while rioters were actively breaching the Capitol and viciously beating police defending the complex.

Jordan is one of several Republican lawmakers who took meetings with the president in December 2020 to discuss election fraud allegations and other plans to object to the election certification on Jan. 6.

On Dec. 21, a full week after the Electoral College had certified the election for Joe Biden, Hice announced the impending meeting on Twitter.

Big meeting today with @realDonaldTrump, @VP, the President's legal team, @freedomcaucus and other Members of Congress. I will lead an objection to Georgia's electors on Jan 6. The courts refuse to hear the President's legal case. We're going to make sure the People can!

— Rep. Jody Hice (@CongressmanHice) December 22, 2020

Lawmakers attending those meetings included Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, and Jody Hice of Georgia.

As for Jordan, after he received the “friendly subpoena” from the committee, he appeared on Fox News and suggested investigators were in cahoots against him after a portion of a text message he sent to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows went public.

Jordan sent a message to Meadows stating: “On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all the electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all.”

The full text continued: “In accordance with guidance from founding father Alexander Hamilton and judicial precedence. ‘No legislative act,’ wrote Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 78, ‘contrary to the Constitution, can be valid.’ The court in Hubbard v. Lowe reinforced this truth: ‘That an unconstitutional statute is not a law at all is a proposition no longer open to discussion.’ 226 F. 135, 137 (SDNY 1915), appeal dismissed, 242 U.S. 654 (1916).”

The latter half of the message was a citation of Alexander Hamilton’s writings in the Federalist Papers and a forward of a message Jordan had received from Joseph Schmitz, he said. Schmitz, a former Trump campaign aide and onetime inspector general for the Defense Department, advocated for Pence to stop the certification of the election. Schmitz, notably, was accused of making anti-semitic remarks during his stint at the Pentagon.

As for the Ohio lawmaker, Jordan’s dodging has continued unabated since July when he was first asked whether he would answer questions about his communications with Trump if ever called upon.

He said:

Jim Jordan in July when I asked if he'd be willing to talk to the select committee if they asked him to testify about his conversations with Trump. "Yeah, I've got nothing to hide."

— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 23, 2021

Other text messages provided to the committee by Meadows before he abruptly stopped cooperation also showed Fox News host Sean Hannity writing to Jordan and Meadows about concerns over Trump’s strategy and state of mind before the Capitol assault.

Jordan was a huge proponent of Trump’s election lies and Hannity, at one point, felt the need to tell Jordan on Jan. 10 nearly a week after the attack:

“Guys, we have a clear path to land the plane in 9 days. He can’t mention the election again. Ever. I did not have a good call with him today. And worse, I’m not sure what is left to do or say and I don’t like not knowing if it's truly understood. Ideas?”

White House call logs obtained by the committee in February confirmed what Jordan has been unable or unwilling to confirm for months: He did speak to Trump on Jan. 6.

Jordan and Trump spoke from 9:24 am to 9:34 am on Jan. 6, according to White House call logs. Trump then phoned Senator Josh Hawley at 9:39 a.m. but Hawley never returned his call, at least not according to the official White House records. Trump’s next call on a recorded, official line went to Republican Senator David Perdue of Georgia.

Jordan has flip-flopped on his account of his interactions with Trump and, specifically, has danced around answering what time of day they spoke. He defended his posture in January in a letter to the committee riddled with misinformation, including the suggestion that the committee imposed gag orders on communications companies so that they could collect data without a target knowing.

But at least one company—Verizon—did disclose that the request was made and disclosed that to several figures who saw their metadata targeted by the committee.

The company had to disclose that information so the individuals subpoenaed would have a chance to contest the matter.

— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) January 10, 2022

After receiving the formal subpoena from the committee, Jordan unloaded with a list of demands that would need to be met before he would consider cooperating.

Rep. Scott Perry, a U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania

Rep. Scott Perry, R-PA.

Rep. Scott Perry received a letter on Dec. 20 requesting his “voluntary cooperation” with the committee. Perry was the first lawmaker to come into the select committee’s purview though the request was not part of a formal subpoena.

Investigators allege Perry was the catalyst of a scheme to install Jeffrey Clark as attorney general so that the Trump administration could further its attempt to subvert the 2020 election.

On Dec. 21, Perry said that he would not cooperate with the voluntary request.

(1/2) I stand with immense respect for our Constitution, the Rule of Law, and the Americans I represent who know that this entity is illegitimate, and not duly constituted under the rules of the US House of Representatives.

— RepScottPerry (@RepScottPerry) December 21, 2021

An official subpoena was issued to Perry and four other Republican lawmakers in May. Perry again refused to cooperate. A former aide to Trump, Cassidy Hutchinson,  told members of the Jan. 6 committee that Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows allegedly burned papers in his office after a meeting with Perry just after the 2020 election.

Court records also revealed a text message from Perry to Meadows that appeared to show Perry taking efforts to hide his communication with Meadows by moving it over to an encrypted chat app known as Signal. Perry also serves as head of the staunchly pro-Trump House Freedom Caucus.

A Dec. 2020 text message unearthed in court records was sent to Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows by Rep. Scott Perry.

Rep. Mo Brooks, U.S. Representative for Alabama

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-AL

Brooks was subpoenaed by the committee in May after repeated requests for his voluntary cooperation. Investigators wanted to question Brooks about a number of issues given his outsized presence in the events leading up to and on Jan. 6. The Alabama Republican took the stage at the rally on Jan. 6, before the Capitol was totally overwhelmed.

He called on the crowd to “fight like hell.”

Brooks effectively earned that spot on stage after making no fewer than five speeches from the House floor promoting Trump’s baseless claims. He scapegoated “illegal aliens” as perpetrators of fraud and objected when it was time for Congress to certify the Electoral College results on Jan. 6. His social media presence was littered with election disinformation, as this field guide written up by Daily Kos shows.

Brooks only started to take a step away from Trump when he began vying for the Senate seat in Alabama, but remarks from the congressman about the need to put claims of fraud in the 2020 election in the rearview drew Trump’s ire and rebuke. Trump dumped his endorsement of Brooks for the time. Brooks has since returned to calling the committee a “witch hunt,” like Trump, and said in late May that he would not cooperate with the select committee.

Rep. Andy Biggs, U.S. Representative for Arizona

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-AZ

Biggs was subpoenaed by the committee in May and rejected the demand swiftly. The former leader of the House Freedom Caucus was a vocal opponent to the select committee’s formation; an unsurprising development given his devotion to Trump since before Trump’s first impeachment. In the run-up to the November election, Biggs blasted dog whistles and echoed Trump’s claims of election fraud spurred by Democrats or by way of immigrants he regularly demonized.

Investigators wished to interview Biggs about reported meetings the held with ‘Stop the Steal’ organizer Ali Alexander and others. Notably, Alexander gave Biggs credit for the success of the movement, per The Washington Post.

There are also questions for Biggs about alleged pardons that he sought for “activities taken in connection” with Trump’s effort to overturn the election.

Rep. Ronny Jackson, U.S. Representative for Texas

Rep. Ronny Jackson

Rep. Jackson’s cooperation was requested in May. The select committee was particularly interested in Jackson’s possible ties to members of the extremist Oath Keepers group, including its leader, Elmer Rhodes. Rhodes mentioned Jackson in one of his encrypted chats and said that Jackson had “critical data to protect” in the run-up to Jan. 6.

Critically, the @January6thCmte also calls on Rep. Ronny Jackson to answer questions about why the extremist Oath Keepers, including leader Elmer Rhodes, discussed him in their encrypted chat and their efforts to protect him because he had "critical data to protect"

— Brandi Buchman (@Brandi_Buchman) May 2, 2022

The @January6thCmte asks Rep. Ronny Jackson: - Why would Oath Keepers have an interest in his location? - Why would they want to provide a security detail? - Who did Jackson speak to by phone? Cmte notes OKers & Proud Boys had contact w/a # of people Jackson also had contact with

— Brandi Buchman (@Brandi_Buchman) May 2, 2022

Rep. Barry Loudermilk, U.S. Representative for Georgia

The Georgia Republican was not asked to appear under the force of subpoena, but investigators on the committee did request that he voluntarily cooperate and provide information about alleged tours he provided of the U.S. Capitol on the eve of the insurrection.

Loudermilk has denied any wrongdoing but his accounting of reported tours in the Capitol has shifted over time. Where first he claimed that no tours were given, he later shifted to saying that he gave a tour to a constituent family with children. This was despite the active Covid-19 restrictions in place barring visitors and tourists at that time. He’s also denied that anyone on a tour with him was wearing a red baseball cap but he back-pedaled once the committee came calling. Now there were a few people “wearing red baseball caps.”

Loudermilk voted to overturn the results of the 2020 election and he offered a fierce defense of Trump during his first impeachment for obstruction of congress and abuse of power. This reporter covered Loudermilk’s remarks during the impeachment in 2019 for Courthouse News Service:

“When Jesus was falsely accused of treason, Pontius Pilate gave Jesus the opportunity to face his accusers,” Representative Barry Loudermilk sermonized. “During that sham trial, Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus than Democrats have afforded this president and this process.”

Attorneys and legal advisers

Sidney Powell

Sidney Powell secured her place in history over the course of the 2020 election as one of Trump’s most vocal proponents pushing election disinformation. The former federal prosecutor was slapped with a subpoena on Jan. 18. The committee pointed to Powell’s promotion of disinformation about the election and her repeated urging to Trump that he seize voting machines as a basis for the demand.

Powell asked to meet with Pence while he was in Colorado in late December so she could discuss her baseless allegations about rigged machines. It never happened, according to The New York Times.

Powell’s full-throated support of election fraud prompted Dominion Voting Systems and voting machine maker Smartmatic to sue her for defamation. She’s faced professional sanctions as well. But for all of her blowhard rhetoric during the election about a “Kraken” case that would upend America’s world as it knew it, Powell’s defense in the defamation case was that “reasonable people would not accept such statements [about dysfunctional machines] as fact” but they would take her rhetoric to mean that it was up to courts to decide. Powell further justified her conduct with another argument: Even if election fraud did not occur, the very appearance of it would absolve any legal contentions against her.

Powell’s fundraising efforts for the 2020 election through her group Defending the Republic are currently under investigation in a separate probe led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C. That probe is over a year old. She has been producing records for that investigation on a “rolling basis” as well according to her lawyer Howard Kleinhendler. Powell, to be clear, has not been charged with a crime in that case,

Powell cooperated with the Jan. 6 committee and has emphasized through her attorney that she thinks her conversations with Trump are protected under attorney-client privilege, though the ex-president never paid her for her legal services. Her attorney told CNN in January Powell “never worked as a lawyer for the former president personally or for the Trump campaign.”

BuzzFeed reported in March that a nonprofit organization founded by Powell known as “Defending the Republic” has been covering the legal costs for Oath Keeper and Jan. 6 defendant Kelly Meggs.

Jenna Ellis

Jenna Ellis was plucked from the sidelines to serve as Trump’s senior legal adviser after the former president saw her on television promoting baseless conspiracy theories about the outcome of the 2020 election. Ellis was subpoenaed by the committee on Jan. 18.

Investigators are interested in two memos Ellis circulated in December 2020 and Jan. 2021 advancing the thin legal argument that Pence could simply refuse to consider electors during the count on Jan. 6. The Dec. 31 memo went to Trump's office and proposed that Pence could simply decline to open state certificates on Jan. 6 if he believed there was cause to think they were bogus. The second memo from Jan. 5, 2021, delved slightly deeper. This went to Trump attorney Jay Sekulow.

States would have to stop or delay certification, the memo suggested, because the first state to object on Jan. 6, Arizona, had not met the criteria for state electors. Further, Ellis argued that the Electoral Count Act is unconstitutional. Ellis has defended the documents saying they were mere explorations of legal theory and that she “at no time” advocated for Pence to stop or delay the results of the 2020 election.  

In its subpoena, the committee asked Ellis to sit for a deposition on Feb. 8. A federal grand jury in Washington has issued subpoenas to individuals who have cited Ellis, Rudy Giuliani, and John Eastman as integral to promoting the alternate elector strategy

Jenna Ellis Dec. 31 and Jan. 5, 2021 Memo Proposing Strategy to Overturn Election by Daily Kos on Scribd

Trump’s election “fraud” lawyers

In March, the committee announced that it issued six subpoenas to a handful of the former president’s most loyal attorneys. Their loyalty, of course, hinged on their promotion in court—and in the press—of his false claims of fraud in the 2020 election. The panel wants each witness to produce records and depositions about their efforts to promote those claims and in some cases, more information about how they interacted with state officials to advance Trump's agenda.  

In the group, there was a subpoena for Cleta Mitchell, the prominent conservative attorney and activist who mostly worked in the background of Trump’s bid to retake the White House. She made some media appearances, however, and in them, claimed to have come to Trump’s campaign as a “volunteer” to litigate his claims of election fraud. She could not escape attention when The Washington Post published Trump’s call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Jan. 3, 2021.

Mitchell insisted there was fraud and that voting machines were rigged. Her exposure led to a public resignation from her partnership at a D.C. law firm. The firm said it was her political closeness to Trump that concerned them despite her claims of being canceled “by leftist groups.”

Mitchell now sits on the advisory board for the Election Assistance Commission, the only agency in the federal government that has authority over elections. Emails revealed in court records this May showed Mitchell engaging with John Eastman on multiple occasions. Eastman, the emails showed, was not even privately convinced of the fraud he purported publicly. But he continued to pump the false statements anyway.

Attorney Kurt Olsen’s correspondence with officials at the Department of Justice about “last-minute changes” to election laws ahead of Jan. 6 raised the panel’s curiosity. He was the driving force, allegedly, behind an effort to oust uncooperative DOJ officials at Trump’s behest and evidence already collected by the committee has pointed to his role in writing a draft executive order directing the DOJ to “take voter action” to alter the 2020 election outcome.

Olsen allegedly had multiple calls with Trump on Jan. 6, too. He sued the committee in March, arguing that the subpoena was invalid and that it unfairly prejudiced Trump

Boston-based attorney Kenneth Chesebro’s promotion of the “alternate electors” scheme led by Giuliani and his hand in writing a memo that proposed alternative deadlines for electoral certification were the focus of his subpoena. That memo was sent to James Troupis, Trump’s lead campaign attorney in Wisconsin. They brought their claims of fraud to the Supreme Court and the high court denied the lawsuit.

Nov 18 Memo_Alt Elector Str... by Daily Kos

Former Kansas Attorney General Phillip Kline—whose law license is indefinitely suspended— was subpoenaed in March. Kline promoted Trump’s election fraud scheme in several states and organized a conference call with over 300 state legislators to discuss the ‘Stop the Steal’ movement. Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and then-trade adviser Peter Navarro were on the call as well.

Lawyer and lobbyist Katherine Friess was subpoenaed too. Politico detailed her role in the drafting of an executive order that would have directed federal agencies to seize voting machines from local election officials by citing Trump’s specious fraud claims. Bernie Kerik told reporters that Friess arranged interviews, prepared documents, reviewed affidavits, and was instrumental in coordinating meetings between core advisers and the president.

The “alternate electors”

Kelli Ward and her husband, Michael Ward, in 2018.

The committee issued subpoenas to dozens of individuals, including a variety of powerful state and party officials, who once purported to be “alternate electors” for former President Donald Trump over the course of its probe.

The electors affixed their signatures to electoral certificates for Trump though they were unrecognized under state law when they met to draw up the documents on the same day the Electoral College convened to ratify Biden’s victory.

So-called “alternate electors” held meetings and often broadcast them on social media. They elected chairpersons, and appointed secretaries. These efforts were reportedly led or overseen by Rudy Giuliani.

The rival slates were a key component of the Trump White House’s push to stop or delay the certification on Jan. 6. The strategy was to have the Trump certifications ready and waiting should courts rule in favor of lawsuits brought by the former president alleging widespread fraud. Notably, there was an attempt by some who breached the Capitol to locate the authentic electoral ballot boxes on Jan. 6 with the real certificates inside. If those boxes were unable to be located, an opening would have almost certainly been created for Trump’s allies to cry fraud and use the alternate slates.

By the time the “alternate electors” met in December, Trump had lost dozens of lawsuits. They sent their certificates to the National Archives but the records were rejected. Since the electors were unsanctioned, the Archives deemed the certificates “unofficial.” Under the Electoral Count Act, such submissions are forbidden.

The “alternate electors” subpoenaed included Loraine PellegrinoDavid ShaferShawn StillKathy BerdenMayra Rodriguez, Jewll PowdrellDeborah Maestas, and Michael McDonald, James DeGraffenreidBill Bachenberg, Andrew Hitt, Kelly Ruh, and Lisa Patton.

Shafer is the chair of the Georgia Republican Party. Kathy Berden and Michael McDonald serve as the chairs of the Michigan and Nevada Republican Party, respectively.

In February, the committee issued several more subpoenas to those involved with the alternate elector scheme. One went to Arizona Republican Party chairwoman Kelli Ward—a faithful devotee to Trump and his administration’s immigration policy—as well as two incumbent state lawmakers, Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano and Arizona State House Representative Mark Finchem.

Arizona Electoral Votes Sig... by Daily Kos

Ward’s T-Mobile phone records were subpoenaed by investigators along with records from Mole Medical Services, a company owned by Ward and her husband. Both are osteopaths and in a lawsuit attempting to bar the committee’s review, they argued that disclosing metadata would violate the privacy rights of “an unknown but quantifiable number of individuals.”

As for Mastriano: the Pennsylvania State Senator was at the Capitol on Jan. 6 but never inside the building. He witnessed police and “agitators” scrapping, he has said. He also took photos with pro-Trump former state legislator Rick Saccone. Saccone spent Jan. 6 celebrating the storming of the Capitol on social media. Campaign finance records show Mastriano’s campaign made three payments over six days for buses headed into D.C. on Jan. 6.

Mastriano has not been charged with any wrongdoing and he’s been insistent that he was against the rioting. Investigators want Mastriano to testify about the alternate elector scheme as well as the role he played in allegedly arranging an event in Phoenix with Trump’s lawyers on Nov. 30, 2021.

Witnesses overheard Mastriano say that voter systems had been “hacked” as he left that meeting.

Mastriano cooperated with the committee ultimately.

Arizona legislator Mark Finchem, who said he came to Washington on Jan. 6 so he could give Pence an “evidence book and letter” about fraud in his state and call for a delay of the certification, was in reported talks with leaders of the ‘Stop the Steal’ movement about the rally at the Ellipse. The former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party, Laura Cox, was subpoenaed in February. Cox hosted an online live event on Zoom and Facebook in December 2020 where Trump’s attorney and alleged ringleader of the alternate elector scheme Rudy Giuliani was featured. Cox has denied any wrongdoing.

In late May, a federal grand jury issued subpoenas to individuals who led the alternate elector scheme like  Giuliani, Eastman, and others.

Additional key White House, administration, and campaign officials

Several others in Trump’s administration and campaign were called up by the committee either through a formal subpoena or through a request to comply voluntarily. Some of the key targets included:

Kimberly Guilfoyle

Guilfoyle helped fundraise and organize the rally at the Ellipse and initially sat for a voluntary interview with the committee but chaos ensued. Guilfoyle bowed out when realizing she would have to offer testimony to the committee with members present, not just panel attorneys. She eventually sat again, but this time under force of subpoena. Lawmakers sought her records and testimony related to the alleged raising of $3 million for the Jan. 6 rally at the Ellipse.


Kayleigh McEnany, former White House press secretary

The White House press secretary who promoted Trump’s lies about the 2020 election routinely from the White House press briefing room, accompanied Trump to the Ellipse on Jan. 6. She allegedly watched the attack unfold with him or nearby. McEnany’s sat for questioning by the committee on Jan. 12. By Feb. 1, it was reported that it was McEnany who was responsible for turning over a series of text messages to investigators showing Fox News host Sean Hannity peppering the press secretary with advice. “No more stolen election talk,” and “Yes, impeachment and the 25th Amendment are real and many people will quit,” he wrote to McEnany. She responded, “Love that. Thank you. That is the playbook. I will help reinforce...”

Boris Epshteyn, senior White House aide

Epshteyn was subpoenaed on Jan. 18. The senior White House aide had a call with Trump on the morning of Jan. 6 to discuss possible ways to delay or stop the counting of electoral votes. Epshteyn also “regularly attended” meetings at the Trump admin’s “war room” at the Willard Hotel. During an appearance on CNN on Jan. 22, Epshteyn acknowledged that he was “part of the process to make sure there were alternate electors” for Trump submitted to Congress. Epshteyn has continued to promote claims that Trump won the 2020 election.

Days before the select committee’s hearing, emails obtained by The Washington Post showed how on Dec. 13, 2021, one day before the Electoral College safe harbor deadline, Trump’s electors in Georgia were told to keep their plans to submit their bunk slates veiled in total secrecy. A Justice Department inquiry into alternate electors has named Epshteyn and others in its quest for records.

Nicholas Luna, personal assistant to Trump

Trump’s personal assistant or ”body man” was reportedly in the Oval Office on Jan. 6 when Trump was on a call with Pence, in which he pressured Pence not to certify the results of the 2020 election. Luna reportedly entered the Oval on Jan. 6 before his speech, handing Trump a note letting him know he was ready to go on. Luna reportedly heard Trump yell at Pence, “You’re going to wimp out!” Luna was deposed on March 21 after a brief delay and has reportedly been cooperating with the committee and submitting to document requests. Notably, Luna was not an official White House staffer on Jan. 6 but when he was at a meeting in December with Trump and Pence, investigators allege that he was privy to talks between his superiors about seizing voting machines by way of declaring a national emergency.

Kashyap Patel, former chief of staff to then-acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller

Kashyap “Kash” Patel.

Kash Patel was subpoenaed by the committee on Sept. 23. Patel slid into the Defense Department role after Trump canned Defense Secretary Mark Esper and put Chris Miller in Esper’s place. Patel made for a good yes-man and rose quickly to the White House as a result. Once a senior congressional aide to Trump ally Rep. Devin Nunes, Patel joined the Trump administration in 2019 as a staffer on the National Security Council.

The Washington Post reported in April that Patel was the subject of an inquiry by the Department of Justice due to a complaint filed earlier in the year by an unidentified intelligence agency suggesting  Patel “repeatedly pressed intelligence agencies to release secrets that, in his view, showed that the president was being persecuted unfairly by critics.”

Patel has records that investigators believe show how the White House prepared for and responded to the Capitol attack with Defense Department and White House officials. There are also documents sought relating to Patel’s “personal involvement” in disrupting the peaceful transfer of power, the committee says.

Kash met with the committee on Dec. 9, according to CNN reporters who were staked out in the Capitol. He appeared with his attorney and was carrying a bevy of documents. In a statement on Dec. 9, Patel said he was answering the committee’s questions to the best of his ability.

Patel appeared on the Fox News podcast The Kitchen Table shortly after his appearance and spoke with hosts about “fighting the deep state.”

Robert “Bobby” Peede Jr., the former deputy assistant to Trump, was subpoenaed on Dec. 9. Investigators say Peede met with Trump in his private dining room just off the Oval Office on Jan. 4 to discuss the impending rally on Jan. 6 and its speakers. Katrina Pierson was also reportedly at this meeting.

Max Miller, another aide for Trump was with Peede and Trump during a Jan. 4 meeting where the Jan. 6 ‘Stop the Steal’ rally was discussed with Katrina Pierson. Miller was subpoenaed on Dec. 9. Miller received Trump’s full-throated endorsement for his congressional run in December.

Brian Jack, director of political affairs for Trump reportedly contacted several members of Congress on Trump’s behalf, asking them to speak at the Ellipse about so-called fraud in the 2020 election. One of those lawmakers, according to the committee, was Rep. Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican who told reporters he was wearing body armor to the rally on Jan. 6 at the Ellipse because he was warned that violence was imminent.

Christopher Liddell, White House deputy chief of staff in the White House on Jan. 6; investigators believe his role as Meadows’ deputy meant he was privy to conversations involving state officials in Georgia, discussions of election fraud lawsuits, and correspondence with Jan. 6 rally organizers, the Department of Justice, and others. Investigators say Liddell tried to resign during the attack but was coaxed out of that decision. On Feb. 11, Liddell did not comment on reports that the transition process from Trump to Biden was particularly arduous.

Ben Williamson, a deputy assistant to Trump and senior adviser to Meadows, has records similar to that of Liddell’s. Williamson was also allegedly contacted by White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah during the siege, who urged him, to no avail, to have Trump issue a statement condemning the violence.

Molly Michael, a special assistant to Trump and Oval Office operations coordinator, forwarded emails on Dec. 14 to then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, with the subject line including “FROM POTUS,” that laid out talking points on bogus forensic information alleging fraud in Michigan. Similar emails went out on Dec. 29 to the U.S. solicitor general, urging the Department of Justice to file a lawsuit at the Supreme Court that requested the election be overturned.

Taylor Budowich, Trump’s current primary political spokesperson and communications director for Trump’s Save America PAC, allegedly solicited and then directed a nonprofit organization to donate $200,000 from an undisclosed source to pay for its ad campaign promoting election falsehoods. Budowich sued the Committee in late December in a bid to stop investigators from reviewing his financial records. But on Jan. 20, a judge ruled against Budowich, saying his financial records should not be returned to him after JP Morgan Chase handed them off to the committee.

Katrina Pierson, a former Trump campaign official that helped organize the Women for American First rally at the Ellipse and on Jan. 6 urged the crowd before the attack started to “fight much harder” to “stop the steal.” She also reportedly participated in a Jan. 4 meeting with Trump in the Oval Office where she assured him there would be another rally on Jan. 5 where  “people like Ali Alexander and Roger Stone could speak.” Stone has said Pierson was “deeply involved” in the attack.

William Stepien, Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign manager, promoted false claims about voting machines despite internal campaign memos determining those claims were false. Stepien has since signed onto advise Ohio Republican Mike Gibbon’s senate campaign.

Angela McCallum, the national executive assistant to Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign, spread false information about voter fraud on Trump’s behalf and encouraged, unconstitutionally, state electors to appoint alternate slates and send competing votes to Congress; she also left a voicemail for an election official in Michigan saying Trump was counting on the unidentified representative.

Kenneth Klukowski, senior counsel to  Jeffrey Clark. Investigators say he and Clark worked on the letter for Georgia state and election officials and that he met with Clark before a meeting where Clark proposed Jeffrey Rosen’s removal at Trump’s behest.

James P. Waldron, who admitted to contributing to a Jan. 6 eve PowerPoint presentation shared with GOP members of Congress on election fraud, was subpoenaed by the committee on Dec. 16. Waldron, a retired colonel, was believed to be in close contact with Meadows, at least 8 or 10 times, after the election.

Andy Surabian, a Republican strategist and adviser to Donald Trump Jr., the committee contends that Surabian was privy to planning or coordination efforts for the rally on Jan. 6 and that he had contact with multiple people who led the organization of the rally including Donald Trump Jr., Kimberly Guilfoyle, fundraiser Caroline Wren and Julie Fancelli who flooded the Trump reelection campaign with cash.

Arthur Schwartz, like Surabian, is a Republican strategist and adviser to Donald Trump Jr. and the committee subpoenaed Schwartz for information related to the planning of the rally.  

Ross Worthington, former White House and campaign aide, helped former President Donald Trump write the speech that he delivered from the Ellipse on Jan. 6. Investigators want Worthington to provide further information about Trump’s state of mind and conduct ahead of the speech and have inquired about why Trump littered his remarks with claims of election fraud.

Christina Bobb, an anchor at the pro-Trump right-wing propaganda network One America News Network, was subpoenaed in March as investigators sought more information about her role in advancing the “alternate elector scheme” and specifically, how she assisted Giuliani. Bobb was also in the “war room” at the Willard Hotel on Jan. 6.

Jan. 6 rally organizers

A lengthy list of rally organizers has come under scrutiny. They include but are not limited to:

  • Dustin Stockton, a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally organizer who investigators say raised the alarm to Mark Meadows that the Jan. 6 event could be unsafe. Stockton was revealed in mid-December as the source for an October Rolling Stone piece where it was alleged that several members of congress were intimately involved in a scheme to overturn the election results. Stockton and his fiancee Jennifer Lynn Lawrence said in an interview with Rolling Stone published Dec. 13 that they were going to cooperate with the committee in full and begin naming names.
  • Jennifer Lynn Lawrence, along with her fiance Dustin Stockton, assisted Women for America First with its rallies after the November election and right through to the rally on Jan. 6.
  • Women for America First founder and co-founder Amy Kremer and Kylie Kremer
  • Caroline Wren, described as “VIP Adviser” on the WFAF permit for Jan. 6; believed to be in regular contact with Mark Meadows about election certification, allegedly parked dark money funds with the Republican Attorneys General Association, the young Republican hub Turning Point, and the Tea Party Express
  • Cynthia Chafian, who submitted the first permit application for WFAF'’s Jan. 6 rally, founder of the Eighty Percent Coalition
  • Maggie Mulvaney, was listed as “VIP Lead” on a permit application filed by WFAF
  • Justin Caporale, of Event Strategies, Inc.—which received over $2 million in payments from the Trump campaign—was listed as a point of contact and project manager for WFAF rally on Jan. 6
  • Lyndon Brentnall was listed as an on-site supervisor for Jan. 6 rally permits
  • Nathan Martin was listed on a permit for the “One Nation Under God” rally on Jan. 6; Martin allegedly failed to disclose that he was also associated with the ‘Stop the Steal’ event and reportedly told U.S Capitol Police that he was not associated with ‘Stop the Steal’
  • Tim Unes of  Event Strategies, Inc., was listed as a “Stage Manager” on permit paperwork filed by WFAF for Jan. 6.
  • Megan Powers of MPowers Consulting LLC was listed on permit paperwork for WFAF as “Operations Manager for Scheduling and Guidance”
  • Hannah Salem of Salem Strategies LLC was listed on permit paperwork for WFAF as “Operations Manager for Logistics and Communications”
  • Bryan Lewis, records have shown, obtained a permit for a rally on Jan. 6 that expressly urged Congress to nullify electoral votes and make illegal changes to voting rules during the election
  • Ed Martin helped organize the ‘Stop the Steal’ movement and was directly involved in coordinating the “Wild Protest” event planned for Jan. 6. Investigators say he also paid for vendors associated with that event.

  • Kimberly Fletcher, head of Moms for America, a pro-Trump group, coordinated a Jan. 5 rally at Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C. The group was also identified as a participant in the rally on Jan. 6. Documents obtained by the committee reportedly show Fletcher’s group was in contact with ‘Stop the Steal’ leader Ali Alexander

‘Friendly’ compliance highlights

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger served as a witness in the committee’s probe. Raffensperger was not formally subpoenaed but said in August that he would cooperate with any inquiries. The state official came into the spotlight during the 2020 election after Trump called him and pressured him to "find” 11,000 votes for his campaign. Chair Thompson recently called his cooperation as a witness “crucial” to their probe. Raffensperger has since been testifying to a grand jury about the alternate elector scheme.

Though he has not been publicly subpoenaed by the committee, Chris Krebs, once a senior Trump administration official for cybersecurity, reportedly sat down for questions on Dec. 9. Trump fired Krebs after the election and after Krebs stood vehemently against Trump’s claims of election fraud. The committee requested information about Krebs’ termination this August when it sent a request to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Stephanie Grisham, former White House press secretary and chief of staff to former First Lady Melania Trump, voluntarily sat for a deposition in early January and informed that committee that Trump had “secret meetings” in the White House residence in the days just before the Capitol attack. Grisham reportedly told investigators that Mark Meadows helped coordinate the clandestine gatherings.

Big tech requests and demands

Over a dozen social media/technology companies received informal demands for information last summer. The committee was primarily interested in learning how misinformation, like claims of widespread fraud in 2020, was allowed to spread on the respective sites.

There was voluntary compliance from several of the companies noticed in August but the biggest hitters like Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Reddit failed to respond “adequately,” according to Jan. 6 committee chair Bennie Thompson. That prompted formal subpoenas to be submitted to those four entities this January.

Beyond Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Reddit, informal demands initially went to:

Then after the inadequate response cited by Thompson, the committee issued service on Jan. 13, 2021, to:

Phone record metadata

In court, the committee aggressively pursued the phone records of more than 100 figures related to the Jan. 6. attack. The requests started to flow last August when telecommunications companies like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and U.S. Celluar were asked to preserve phone records from a host of Republican lawmakers like Kevin McCarthy as well as Trump administration officials and Jan. 6 rally organizers. The data requested would not reveal the content of calls or text messages but would help investigators piece together the dates and times that calls were made and for how long calls lasted.

Many sued to stop the review. Rally organizers Unes, Mulvaney, Powers, and Caporale sued the Jan. 6th Committee in federal court arguing the request for their cell phone data was a breach of their constitutional right to privacy and private communications. They sat for lengthy depositions and otherwise cooperated with the committee in November, however.

Alex Jones sued investigators in December, trying to keep the probe away from his phone data. He amended the complaint to include Timothy Enlow, the security operations manager for Free Speech Systems, a media entity owned by Jones, in February after it was revealed to Jones that the committee had served Enlow’s provider.

Mark Meadows and John Eastman sued to keep phone records hidden as did onetime Trump White House adviser Sebastian Gorka. The committee demanded Verizon hand over his records in December. Election disinformation purveyor and Trump ally My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell sued the committee in January to stop a subpoena served on his telephone provider.

Cleta Mitchell, a right-wing activist and longtime conservative attorney who once represented the National Rifle Association, has sued the committee to stop the review of her phone records. Mitchell was on the call with Trump when he pressured Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to alter election results in 2020.  Notably, McClatchy reported that Mitchell expressed concern in 2018 that the NRA and Russia coordinated to funnel cash into Trump’s first presidential bid. Mitchell denied the allegations but cooperated with legislators. The committee subpoenaed her in March.

Stephen Miller sued the committee in March in hopes of stopping investigators from reviewing his phone’s metadata. The reason for his request? It would violate his mother’s privacy since he remains on her family cell phone plan.

Institutional review

The committee has also sought records and testimony from the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the Interior Department, the Department of Justice, the FBI, the National Counterterrorism Center, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the National Archives.

By the minute

For a minute-by-minute breakdown of Jan. 6, 2021, check out the tick-tock outline available here.

A comprehensive guide to social media posts from legislators about Jan. 6 before, during, and after the attack was first compiled by Rep. Zoe Lofgren last year. A digestible recap with source documents is available here.