Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Prumetrics.com

Americas

The Jan 6 hearings so far: Everything you need to know

[ad_1]

The public hearings of the House Select Committee investigating the insurrection on January 6 have revealed new footage from the attack on Congress and have featured testimony from rioters, law enforcement, and members of the Trump administration.

Most of the witnesses have been Republicans, several of them considered to be loyal to former President Donald Trump.

POLICE OFFICERS’ HEARING – 27 JULY 2021

The committee held an initial public hearing just months after the attack featuring four law enforcement officers who fought to protect lawmakers on the day of the siege and graphic footage from the riot.

Witnesses

Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, a Black man, described the racist threats he faced while protecting Congress.

“You hear that, guys, this n***** voted for Joe Biden!” he said a woman yelled about him.

“Boo! F****** n*****!” he said a group of around 20 people yelled back.

He said another Black officer told him that rioters yelled at him to “put your gun down, and we’ll show you what kind of n***** you really are!”

“Well, I voted for Joe Biden,” Mr Dunn told the crowd in response to the claim that nobody voted for the president. “Does my vote not count? Am I nobody?”

One-on-one with U.S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn

DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone spoke about how he was brutally beaten by the rioters.

“I recognized the fact that there were individuals that were trying to grab ahold of my gun. I remember one of them distinctly lunging at me time and time again trying to grab my gun,” he said. “And I heard people in the crowd yelling ‘Get his gun. Kill him with his own gun’ and words to that effect. I thought about using my weapon.”

“They tortured me. They beat me. I was struck with a taser device at the base of my skull numerous times. And they continued to do so until I yelled out that I have kids. And I said that hoping to appeal to some of those individuals’ humanity and fortunately a few did step in and intervene on my behalf”, he added.

Metropolitan Police Department Officer Daniel Hodges was crushed in a door while fighting to keep rioters from entering the Capitol through a tunnel. He testified that the rioters were “overwhelmingly White males” and that some of them tried to recruit him.

I think out of the entire time I was there I saw just two women and two Asian males. Everyone else were White males. They didn’t say anything especially xenophobic to me but to my Black colleagues and to anyone who is not White,” he said.

Capitol Police officer Sgt Aquilino Gonell said he thought “this is how I’m going to die” during the riot.

“My fellow officers and I were punched, pushed, kicked, shoved, sprayed with chemical irritants and even blinded with eye-damaging lasers by a violent mob who apparently saw us law enforcement officers, dedicated to ironically protecting them as US citizens, as an impediment in their attempted insurrection”, he said.

“I fell on top of some police shields on the ground that were slippery because of the pepper and bear spray. Rioters started to pull me by my leg, by my shield and by my gear straps on my left shoulder”, he added. “My survival instincts kicked in, and I started kicking and punching as I tried in vain to get the MPD officers’ attention behind and above me. But they could not help me because they were also being attacked.”

He said he was being crushed by rioters.

“I could feel myself losing oxygen and recall thinking to myself, ‘This is how I’m going to die, trampled defending this entrance’”, he said.

U.S. Capitol Police officer Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, DC Metropolitan Police Department officer Michael Fanone, DC Metropolitan Police Department officer Daniel Hodges and U.S. Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn are sworn in

(Getty Images)

FIRST HEARING – 9 JUNE 2022

The first hearing for live broadcast was conducted in primetime at 8pm, with the committee showing footage not seen previously of the insurrection.

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson said that “January 6 was the culmination of an attempted coup, a brazen attempt, as one rioter put it shortly after January 6, to overthrow the government … The violence was no accident. It represents Trump’s last stand, most desperate chance to halt the transfer of power”.

The panel said that Mr Trump “lied to the American people, ignored all evidence refuting his false fraud claims, pressured state and federal officials to throw out election results favouring his challenger, encouraged a violent mob to storm the Capitol and even signalled support for the execution of his own vice president”.

Committee members referenced a federal district court opinion written by Judge David Carter who said that Mr Trump had conducted a “coup in search of a legal theory” and that he had “likely” violated two federal statutes.

Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, read part of the opinion, saying that “If Dr Eastman and President Trump’s plan had worked, it would have permanently ended the peaceful transition of power, undermining American democracy and the Constitution. If the country does not commit to investigating and pursuing accountability for those responsible, the Court fears January 6 will repeat itself”.

Ms Cheney said Mr Trump had a “sophisticated seven-part plan”, which the hearings would outline in detail.

1. The committee said Mr Trump knew he had lost the election, but spread misinformation about the vote anyway.

2. Mr Trump planned to remove and replace the Attorney General and Justice Department officials to force the agency to push baseless claims of fraud.

3. Mr Trump put pressure on Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to count certified electoral votes on January 6, despite it being in violation of the constitution.

4. Mr Trump also put pressure on state lawmakers to change the results in their states.

5. The president’s allies ordered Republicans in seven states to send false “alternate” electors to Congress.

6. Mr Trump called the rioters to Washington, DC and told them to march on the Capitol

7. The president rejected several requests to call off the mob during the riot and failed to take any actions to stop the insurrection.

Witnesses

Documentary filmmaker Nick Quested testified that he joined the Proud Boys far-right group on the National Mall at 10.30am.

“I don’t know if violence was a plan, but I do know that they weren’t there to attend the rally because they had already left the rally by the time the president had started his speech”, he said.

Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards suffered major injuries while defending the Capitol. She spoke about the moment when she first saw what was happening before the Western Terrace of the Capitol.

“I can just remember my breath catching in my throat because what I saw was just a war scene. It was something like I’d seen out of the movies. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There were officers on the ground. You know, they were bleeding. They were throwing up … Never in my wildest dreams did I think that, as a police officer, as a law enforcement officer, I would find myself in the middle of a battle”, she said. “I’m trained to detain a couple of subjects and handle a crowd, but I’m not combat trained.”

U.S. Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards and Nick Quested, a documentary filmmaker who was embedded with the Proud Boys, a far-right militia group, are sworn-in during a hearing

(Getty Images)

SECOND HEARING – 13 JUNE 2022

The second hearing outlined how and why Mr Trump and his allies spread false claims about voter fraud in connection to the 2020 election.

The panel showed clips of staffers from the Trump White House and his campaign rejecting the idea of fraud.

Adviser Jason Miller said that Rudy Giuliani was “definitely intoxicated” on the night of the election when he told Mr Trump to simply go out and claim victory.

Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said that “ballots were still being counted. It was far too early to be making any proclamation like that”.

Further footage from the deposition of former Attorney General Bill Barr was shown. At some points, he laughed at the ridiculousness of the fraud allegations coming from the Trump team, such as a claim that satellites controlled from Italy had been used to hack voting machines and that the former president of Venezuela Hugo Chavez, had put together a plane to commit election fraud despite having died in 2013.

Mr Barr said that Mr Trump didn’t indicate any “interest in what the actual facts were” and that he had “become detached from reality if he really believes this stuff”.

Panel member Zoe Lofgren detailed how Mr Trump used the false claims of fraud to solicit donations, raising around $250m.

“Not only was there the big lie, there was the big rip-off”, she said.

Witnesses

A former US attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, BJ Pak resigned from that role just days before the insurrection. He later informed the Senate Judiciary Committee that the White House had told him that Mr Trump would fire him if he didn’t say publicly that election fraud had been discovered in Georgia.

Former Fox News politics editor Chris Stirewalt testified that his decision to have Fox News call Arizona for Mr Biden during the 2020 election eventually led to his firing from the network in January the following year.

The Republican former city commissioner of Philadelphia Al Schmidt appeared in front of the panel. He had attracted Mr Trump’s rage after he refused to say that the results in the city had been affected by fraud. He resigned last year, noting that he had been the recipient of death threats.

Republican election attorney Ben Ginsberg spoke in front of the panel about why Mr Trump’s election lawsuits failed.

Conservative Republican election attorney Ben Ginsberg, Former Georgia US Attorney B.J. Pak and former Philadelphia city commissioner Al Schmidt

(AFP via Getty Images)

THIRD HEARING – 16 JUNE 2022

The third hearing outlined how Mr Trump and his allies pressed Mr Pence to overturn the election.

Former White House lawyer Eric Herschmann told the panel in pre-recorded testimony that Mr Giuliani privately said on the morning of the riot that Mr Pence didn’t have to power to overturn the election but later told the crowd so in his speech at the Ellipse anyway.

The committee revealed that rioters, some of whom chanted “hang Mike Pence”, came as close as 40 feet to the vice president.

Witnesses

Republican federal judge Michael Luttig testified that if Mr Pence had “obeyed the orders from his president,” it “would have been tantamount to a revolution within a constitutional crisis”.

“Donald Trump and his allies and supporters are a clear and present danger to American democracy. They would attempt to overturn that 2024 election in the same way that they attempted to overturn the 2020 election, but succeed in 2024 where they failed in 2020,” he said. “I don’t speak those words lightly. I would have never spoken those words ever in my life, except that that’s what the former president and his allies are telling us” that they’re “executing that blueprint for 2024 in the open, in plain view of the American public.”

A former counsel to Mr Pence, Greg Jacob advised Mr Pence that he didn’t have the power to do what Mr Trump wanted him to do.

He testified that the writers of the Constitution wouldn’t have “put it in the hands of one person to determine who would be the president of the United States”.

Mr Jacob also testified that John Eastman, the writer of the memo that detailed the legal theory that Mr Pence could overturn the election, told him in private that not a single justice on the Supreme Court would vote in support of the plan’s validity.

Mr Jacob said Mr Pence knew he didn’t have the power to overturn the election that he said that to Mr Trump “many times”.

Mr Jacob said that Mr Pence refused to get into his Secret Service vehicle, unsure if he would be removed from the Capitol.

The panel said that Mr Eastman was possibly aware that his coup memo was illegal.

“I’ve decided I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works”, he emailed Mr Giuliani. He wasn’t pardoned.

Greg Jacob, former counsel to Vice President Mike Pence, and J. Michael Luttig, retired judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and informal advisor to Mike Pence, are sworn in to testify

(Getty Images)

FOURTH HEARING – 21 JUNE 2022

The fourth hearing outlined a plan to reject and send back elector slates certified for Mr Biden to seven states with Republican legislatures crucial for the overturning of the results.

Mr Trump made a “direct request” of the Republican National Committee that they help organize fake electors that Mr Pence could certify.

The panel revealed that an aide to Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson, Sean Riley, had been sent just minutes before the certification votes started on January 6 to Pence staffer Chris Hodgson that Mr Johnson wanted to hand Mr Pence information concerning “alternate slates of electors for MI and WI“.

“Do not give that to him”, Mr Hodgson responded.

Witnesses

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was called by Mr Trump and urged to “find” the votes needed for the results to be overturned in his state.

He testified that his office found no evidence of widespread fraud.

His deputy, Gabriel Sterling, also appeared in front of the committee.

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers also testified, saying that Mr Trump pressured him to change the outcome in his state. He added that he was also pressured by Mr Giuliani, Mr Eastman, and Ginni Thomas.

“Just do it and let the courts sort it out,” Mr Bowers said that Mr Eastman told him, adding that Mr Trump was “cheating” as there was “no evidence being presented of any strength” to support his claims.

He added that to take part in the plan would have been “foreign to my very being”.

“We’ve got lots of theories. We just don’t have the evidence”, Mr Bowers said that Mr Giuliani told him.

Rusty Bowers, Arizona House Speaker; Brad Raffensperger, Georgia Secretary of State; and Gabriel Sterling, Georgia Secretary of State Chief Operating Officer, are sworn in

(Getty Images)

Ruby Freeman and her daughter Shaye Moss, both Georgia election workers, testified about their experiences of being caught up in election conspiracy theories.

Ms Moss testified in person while Ms Freeman spoke to the committee in pre-recorded testimony. Ms Freeman sat behind Ms Moss during her testimony to the panel.

Mr Trump and Mr Giuliani took a video of the mother and daughter out of context and made false claims that they were a part of an election fraud scheme.

The women faced racist abuse, death threats, and were told by the FBI that they weren’t safe in their own homes.

“There is nowhere I feel safe. Nowhere. Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States target you?” Ms Freeman told the committee.

Ms Moss said her wellbeing had been negatively affected “in a major way, in every way, all because of lies”.

Shaye Moss is comforted by her mother Ruby Freeman as Moss testifies during the fourth hearing on the January 6th investigation

(Getty Images)

FIFTH HEARING – 23 JUNE 2022

The fifth hearing laid out Mr Trump’s attempt to pressure officials at the Department of Justice to investigate false claims of fraud and to issue statements of support for his baseless assertions that the election had been stolen.

The committee revealed that Alabama Republican Mo Brooks emailed Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on 11 January, requesting pardons for himself as well as Florida Rep Matt Gaetz, Texas Rep Louie Gohmert as well as “every Congressman and Senator” who voted to reject electoral college votes. White House aides said that Arizona’s Andy Biggs, Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Greene and Pennsylvania’s Scott Perry also requested pardons.

Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson said that Ohio’s Jim Jordan spoke in general terms about pardons for members of Congress.

Witnesses

Former acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue testified that Mr Trump told him during a phone call on 27 December 2020 to “just say it was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen”.

Mr Donoghue told Mr Trump that hundreds of DOJ officials could walk if he removed his attorney general, Jeff Rosen, with another lawyer who had promised to do Mr Trump’s bidding.

“Suppose I do this. Suppose I replace him, Jeff Rosen, with him, Jeff Clark, what would you do?” Mr Donoghue said Mr Trump asked him. “And I said, ‘Mr. President, we resign immediately. I’m not working one minute for this guy who I just declared was completely incompetent.’”

“There was a point at which the president said something about why don’t you guys seize these machines?” he added.

Mr Donoghue said he told Mr Clark his actions would have “grave consequences for the country”.

“I wanted to make sure that he understood the gravity of the situation because he didn’t seem to really appreciate it”, he said.

Both Mr Donoghue and former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen testified that they consistently pushed back on the pressure from Mr Trump and his allies, which Mr Donoghue called “pure insanity” in an email to Mr Rosen.

The former assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel, Steven Engel, also appeared in front of the committee.

Steven Engel, former Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, Jeffrey Rosen, former Acting Attorney General, and Richard Donoghue, former Acting Deputy Attorney General, are sworn-in

(Getty Images)

THE SIXTH HEARING – 28 JUNE 2022

Witnesses

The sixth hearing focused exclusively on the testimony of Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson. The hearing was announced just a day in advance because of security concerns.

She testified that Mr Giuliani said on 2 January that Mr Trump and his associates had plans for January 6. When she told Mr Meadows, he said he “didn’t look up from his phone and said something to the effect of … ‘things might get real, real bad’”.

Ms Hutchinson said that Mr Trump told Mr Meadows on January 5 to get in touch with former National Security Advisor General Mike Flynn and longtime Republican operative Roger Stone. Both had connections to far-right groups such as the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers.

Ms Hutchinson said Mr Herschmann advised that it would be “foolish” to include some of the language Mr Trump wanted in his January 6 speech, such as “we’re going to march to the Capitol” and “fight for Trump … fight for the movement”.

Mr Herschmann also pushed back against statements critical of Mike Pence.

Ms Hutchinson testified that Mr Trump wanted security checkpoints downgraded despite knowing that some in the crowd were armed, including with assault-style rifles.

She said she heard Mr Trump say “something to the effect of ‘I don’t f***ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me’”.

When White House counsel Pat Cipollone urged Mr Meadows to get Mr Trump to take action as the crowd grew louder, including calls for the hanging of Mr Pence, Ms Hutchinson said Mr Meadows noted that Mr Trump thought Mr Pence “deserves it” and that the president “doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong”.

She said that Mr Trump wanted to go to the Capitol after his speech but that Secret Service agent Robert Engel said it wouldn’t be safe.

Ms Hutchinson said that deputy chief of staff Tony Ornato said that Mr Trump grew irate, insisting he go to the Capitol, even going so far as to lunge for the wheel of the presidential vehicle to and to try to grab Mr Engel by the throat.

She said that Mr Engel appeared “somewhat discombobulated and a little lost” when Mr Ornato told her about what had happened and that Mr Engel didn’t contradict Mr Ornato.

Ms Cheney said at the end of the hearing that some witnesses may have received messages attempting to influence their testimony.

“What they said to me is, as long as I continue to be a team player, they know that I’m on the team, I’m doing the right thing, I’m protecting who I need to protect, you know, I’ll continue to stay in good graces in Trump world”, a witness told the committee.

Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testifies

(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SEVENTH HEARING – 12 JULY 2022

The seventh hearing detailed connections between Mr Trump and far-right groups present at the Capitol riot.

“Donald Trump solicited the mob, he summoned the mob to Washington … All of this was targeted on the joint session of Congress”, Maryland Democrat and panel member Jamie Raskin said.

Mr Cipollone said in pre-recorded testimony that an 18 December 2020 meeting was “unhinged”. The meeting included himself, Mr Trump, lawyer Sidney Powell, Gen Michael Flynn, and businessman Patrick Byrne.

The then-White House counsel said the group were propagating increasingly baseless conspiracy theories and that the meeting at times descended into shouting matches.

They showed a “general disregard for backing what you actually say with facts”, he said.

An anonymous Twitter employee said that the company “relished in the knowledge that they were also the favourite and most used service of the former president and enjoyed having that sort of power within the social media ecosystem”.

The Twitter employee said he grew concerned about a tweet the following day in which Mr Trump told his supporters to attend a “big protest in DC on January 6th”.

At the end of the hearing, Ms Cheney said Mr Trump had tried to contact one of the witnesses yet to appear.

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

Witnesses

Former spokesperson for the far-right militia the Oath Keepers, Jason Van Tatenhove, testified that its founder Stewart Rhodes utilized conspiracy theories to grow their group.

He said the Oath Keepers moved “further and further right — into the alt-right world, into White nationalists and even straight-up racists and it came to a point where I could no longer continue to work for them”.

He said he left the group after they started to discuss the Holocaust not being real.

“That was for me something I could not abide,” he said.

Capitol rioter Stephen Ayres testified in front of the panel, saying that Mr Trump “got everybody riled up, told everybody to head on down” to the Capitol.

“We basically were just following what he said”, he added.

Mr Ayres said he would have left the Capitol earlier if Mr Trump had urged the crowd to do so.

Stephen Ayres (L), who entered the U.S. Capitol illegally on January 6, 2021, confers with Jason Van Tatenhove (R), who served as national spokesman for the Oath Keepers

(Getty Images)

The eighth hearing is scheduled for Thursday 21 July at 8pm ET.

[ad_2]

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like