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tv   January 6 Hearings Seventh Hearing on Capitol Attack  CSPAN  August 24, 2022 8:02pm-9:12pm EDT

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along with these other television providers giving you , a front row seat to democracy. >> now available in the c-span shop, c-span's 2022 congressional directory. this compact, spiral-bound book as your guide to the federal government, with contact information for every member of congress, including bios and committee assignments. also contact information for state governors and the biden administration. order your copy today at c-span >> each night this week, we have been looking back and hearing from the january 6 committee, for their seventh hearing, members here from former spokesperson who labeled the
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group as a violent militia. there is also testimony from an ohio man who pled guilty to bridging the u.s. capitol, claiming he was there that day as a supporter of pres. trump.
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they select committee to investigate the january 6th attack on the united states capitol will be in order. without objection, the chair is authorized to declare the committee in recess at any point. pursuing the house deposition authority regulation ten, chair announces the committee's approval to release the deposition material, any coming from today's hearing. good afternoon, when i think about the most basic thing to explain the importance of
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elections in the united states, there is a phrase that always comes to mind. it may sound straightforward, but, it is meaningful we settle our differences at the ballot box, sometimes my choice prevails, sometimes yours does, but, it is that simple, we cannot stop votes, we count the votes, if something seems off with the results we can challenge them in court and then we accept the results. when you are on the losing side, that does not mean you have to be happy about it, and, in the united states there is plenty you can do and say so, you can protest, you can organize, you can get ready for the next election to try to make sure your side has a better chance the next time the people settle their differences at the battle ballot box, but, you cannot turn violent, you cannot try to
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achieve your desired outcome through force or harassment, or intimidation any real leader who sees their supporters going down that path, approaching that line, has a responsibility to say stop, we gave it our best, we came up short, we will try again next time because we settle our differences at the ballot box, on december 14th 2020, the president election was officially over. the electoral college had cast its vote, joe biden was the president-elect of the united states. by that point, many of donald trump supporters were already convinced that the election had been stolen. because that is what donald trump had been telling them, so, what donald trump was required to do in that moment, what would have been required of any
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american leader was to say, we did our best and we came up short. he went the opposite way, he seized on the anger he had already stoked along his most loyal supporters, and, as they approach the line he did not waive them off, he urged them on, today the committee will explain how, as a part of his last-ditch effort to overturn the election and block the transfer of power, donald trump summoned a mob to washington, d.c., and ultimately spurred that mob to wage a violent attack on our democracy. our colleagues, miss murphy from florida, and mr. raskin of maryland, will lay out this story, first i am pleased to recognize our distinguished missed vice chair, and any opening comments she would have cared to offer >> thank you
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very much, mister chairman, our committee did not conduct a hearing last week but we did conduct and on the record interview a president trump's former white house counsel, pat cipollone. if you have watched these hearings you have heard us call for mr. cipollone to come forward and testify, he did, mr. cipollone's testimony met our expectations, we will save, for our next hearing, president trump's behavior during the violence of january 6th, today's hearing will take us from december 14th, 2020, when the electoral college met and certified the results of the 2020 presidential election, up through the morning of january 6th. you will see a certain segments of pat cipollone's testimony today, we will also see, today, how president trump summoned a mob to washington and how the president stolen election lies provoked that mob to attack the capital. and, we will hear of a man who was induced by president
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trump's lies to come to washington and join the mob, and how that decision has changed his life. today's hearing is our seventh we have covered significant ground over the past several weeks and we have also seen a change in how witnesses and lawyers in the trump orbit approach this committee. initially, their strategy in some cases appeared to be to deny and delay, today there appears to be a general recognition that the committee has established key facts, including that virtually everyone close to president trump, his justice department officials, his white house advisers, his white house counsel, his campaign, all told him the 2020 election was not stolen. this appears to have changed the strategy for defending donald trump, while the argument seems to be the president trump was manipulated by others outside the administration.
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that he was persuaded to ignore his closest advisers, and, that he was incapable of telling right from wrong, this new strategy is to try to blame only john eastman, or sydney powell, or congressman scott perry, or others, and not president trump. in this version the president was, quote, poorly served by this outside advisers, they strategy is to blame people his advisers called, quote, the crazies. for what donald trump did, this, of course, is nonsense. president trump is a 76 year old man, he is not an impressionable child. just like everyone else in our country, he is responsible for his own actions and his own choices. as our investigation has shown, donald trump had access to more detailed and specific information, showing that the election was not actually stolen, than almost any other
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american, and he was told this over and over again, no rational or sane man in his position could disregard that information and reach the opposite conclusion, and, donald trump cannot escape responsibility by being willfully blind. nor can any argument of any kind excuse president trump's behavior during the violet tack on january 6th. as you watch our hearing today i would urge you to keep your eye on to specific points. first, you will see evidence that trump's legal team, led by rudy giuliani, news that they lacked actual evidence of widespread fraud sufficient to prove that the election was actually stolen, they knew it, but, they went ahead with january 6th anyway, and, second, consider how millions of americans were persuaded to
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believe what donald trump's closest advisers and his administration did not, these americans did not have access to the truth like donald trump did, they put their faith and their trust in donald trump, they wanted to believe in him. they wanted to fight for their country. and, he to save them. for millions of americans that may be painful to accept but it is true. thank you mister chairman, i yield back. >> without objection the chair recognizes miss murphy and the gentleman from maryland, mr. raskin, for opening statements. >> thank you, mister chairman, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that then president donald trump lost in a free and fair election, and, yet, president trump insisted that his loss was due to fraud in the election process, rather than to the democratic will of the voters. the president continued to make this claim, despite being told
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again and again by the courts, the justice department, by his campaign officials, and, by some of his closest advisers that the evidence did not support this assertion. this was the big lie and millions of americans were deceived by it, too many of our fellow citizens still believe it to this day, it is corrosive to our country and damaging to our democracy. as our committee as shown in prior hearings, following the election president trump relentlessly pursued multiple interlocking lines of effort, all with a single goal, to remain in power despite having lost, the lines of effort were aimed at his loyal vice president, mike pence, at state election and elected officials, and, at the u.s. department of justice. the president pressured the vice president to obstruct the process to certify the election result, he demanded that state officials find him enough votes to overturn the election outcome in those states, and,
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the press did apartment of justice to find widespread evidence of fraud. when justice officials told the president that such evidence did not exist, the president urged them to simply declare that the election was corrupt. on december 14th, the electoral college met to officially confirm that joe biden would be the next president, the evidence shows that once this occurred president trump, and those who are willing to aid and abet him, turned their attention to the joint session of congress scheduled for january 6th, at which the vice president would preside, in their warped view, this ceremonial event was the next and perhaps last inflection point that could be used to reverse the outcome of the election before mr. biden's inauguration. as president trump put it, the vice president, and enough members of congress, simply needed to summon the courage to act, to help them find that courage the president called for backup. early in the morning of
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december 19th, the president sent out a tweet urging his followers to travel to washington d.c. for january 6th, be there, it will be wild, the president wrote, as my colleague mr. raskin will described in detail, this tweet served as a call to action, and, in some cases, as a call to arms for many of president trump's most loyal supporters. it is clear the in president intended the assembled crowd on january 6th to serve his goal. and, as you have already seen and we'll see against day, some of those who are coming had specific plans. the presidents goal was to stay in power for a second term despite losing the election, the assembled crowd was one of the tools to achieve that goal. in today's hearing we will focus on events that took place in the final weeks leading up to january 6th, starting in mid december. we will add color and context to evidence you have already heard about and we will also provide additional new evidence,
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for example, you will hear about meetings in which the president entertained extreme measures designed to help him stay in power, like the seizure of voting machines, we will show some of the coordination that occur between the white house and members of congress as it relates to january 6th, and, some of these bumpers of congress would later seek pardons. we will also examine some of the planning for the january 6th protests, placing special emphasis on one rally planners concerns about the potential violence. and, we will describe some of the presidents k actions on the evening of january 5th, and the morning of january 6th, including how the president edited and ad libbed his speed that morning, directed the crowd to march to the capital, and, spoke off script in a way that further inflamed and already angry crowd, i yield to the gentleman from maryland, mr. raskin. >> thank you, miss murphy, mr. chairman, madam vice chair, four days after the electors
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met across the country and made joe biden the president elect, donald trump was still trying to find a way to hang on to the presidency, on friday december 18th his team of outside advisers paid him a surprise visit in the white house that would quickly become the stuff of legend, the meeting has been called unhinged, not normal, and the craziest meeting of the trump presidency. the outside lawyers who had been involved in dozens of failed lawsuits had lots of theories supporting the big lie, but, no evidence to support it, as we will see, however, they brought to the white house a drafted executive order that they had prepared for president trump to further his ends. specifically, they propose the immediate massacre of state election machines by the u.s. military, the meeting ended after midnight with the apparent rejection of that idea, in the wee hours of december 19th, dissatisfied with his options donald trump decided to call for a large and wild crowd on wednesday, january 6th, the
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day when congress would meet to certify the electoral votes. never before in american history had a president called for a crowd to come and contest the counting of electoral votes by congress. they would delay or obstruct the joint session of congress in doing its work required by the constitution in the electoral count act, as we will see, donald trump's 1:42 am tweet electrified and galvanized his supporters, especially the dangerous extremists in the oath keepers, the proud boys, another racist white nationalist groups spoiling for a fight against the government. three wings of interwoven attack when operating towards january 6th, on the inside rank trump continue to try and work to overturn the election by getting mike pence to abandon his oath of office as vice president and assert the unilateral power to reject votes, this would've been a
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fundamental and unprecedented breach of the constitution, that would promise trump multiple ways of staying in office. meanwhile, in the middle ring members of domestic violent extremist groups created an alliance both online and in-person to coordinate a massive effort to storm, invade, and occupy the capital. by placing a target on the joint session of congress, trump had mobilize these groups around a common goal, emboldening them, strengthening their working relationships, and, helping build their numbers. finally, in the outer rim, on january 6th there assembled a large and angry crowd, they political force that trump considered both the touchstone and the measure of his political power, here were thousands of extreme arranged trump followers, thoroughly convinced by the big lie who traveled from across the country to join trump's wild rally, to stop the steal. with the proper incitement by
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political leaders and the proper instigation from the extremists, many members of this crowd could be led to storm the capital, confront the vice president in congress, and, try to overturn the 2020 election results. all of these efforts would converge and explode on january 6th. mister chairman, as you know better than any other member of the committee from the russian struggle for voting rights and your beloved mississippi. the problem of politicians whipping up mob violence to destroy fair elections is the oldest domestic enemy of constitutional democracy in america, abraham lincoln knew it as well, in 1837 a racist mob in alton, illinois, broke into the offices of an abolitionist newspaper and killed its editor, lincoln wrote a speech in which he said that no transatlantic military trial it could ever crush us as a nation, even with all of the fortunes in the world, but, if
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downfall ever comes to america he said we, ourselves, would be its author. if racist mobs are encouraged by politicians to rampage and terrorize, lincoln said, they will violate the rights of other citizens and quickly destroy the bonds of social trust necessary for democracy to work, mobs and demagogues will put us on a path to political tyranny, lincoln said. as we will say today, this very old problem has returned with new ferocity today, as a president who lost an election deployed a mob, which included dangerous extremists to attack the constitutional system of election in the peaceful transfer of power. and, as we will say, the creation of the internet and social media has given today's tyrants, tools of propaganda and disinformation that yesterday's despots could only have dreamed of, i yield back
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to the gentlelady from florida, miss murphy >> article two of the united states constitution and let establishes the electoral college, each state laws provide that electors will be chosen by a popular vote, and on december 13th 2020 electors met in all 50 states in the district of columbia to cast their votes, joseph biden won by a margin of 306 to 232. the election was over, mr. biden was the president elect, before the electoral college met, donald trump and his allies filed dozens of legal challenges to the election but they lost over and over again. including in front of multiple judges president trump had nominated to the bench, in many of these cases the judges were highly critical of the arguments put forward, explaining that no genuine evidence of widespread fraud had been presented. for example, a federal judge in
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pennsylvania says this court has been presented with strange legal argument without merit and speculative accusations. unsupported by evidence. in the united states of america this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter. let alone all of the voters of the six most populated states. on december 15th, after electoral college certified the outcome, they republican later in the senate acknowledged mr. biden's victory. >> yes three electors met in all 50 state, so, as of this morning our country has officially a president elect and a vice president elect. many millions of us had hoped the presidential election would yield a different result. but, our system of government has processes to determine who will be sworn in on january the 20th.
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the electoral college has spoken. so, today i want to congratulate president-elect joe biden. >> even members of the staff understood the evidence of fraud lacking anti constitutional certification by the electoral college. many of them told president trump that it was time to concede the election to mr. biden. for example, then secretary of labor jean scalia the son of late justice scalia called president trump in mid december and advise him to concede and accept the rulings of the courts. >> i had put a call into the president, i might have called on the 14th and i conveyed to him that i thought that it was time for him to acknowledge that president biden had prevailed in the election. but, i communicated to the
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president that won that legal process is exhausted, and when the electors have floated that, that is a point in which it should be expected. i did believe that once the legal processes were brought a fraud had not been established, that had affected the outcome of the election than i believed what had to be done was to concede. >> as you have seen the prior hearings, president trump's justice department, white house staff, and campaign officials were repeatedly telling him that there was no evidence of fraud sufficient to change the outcome of the election. and, last week we conducted an eight hour interview with president trump's white house counsel, pat cipollone. you will see a number of excerpts of that interview today and even more in our next hearing. mr. cipollone told us that he agreed with the testimony that there was no evidence of fraud sufficient to overturn the
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election. >> i want to start by asking, about matt morgan, bill barr, and all of that. there is no evidence of election fraud issues. >> yes, i agree with that. >> mr. cipollone also specifically testify that he believed donald trump should have conceded the election. >> did you believe, mr. cipollone, that the president should concede once you office and the doj finisher investigations and found that the president should concede the election a loss at a certain point after the election? >> well, again, i was the white house counsel. some of those decisions are political. so, the extent that, but, if your question is did i believe that he should concede the
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election at a point in time? yes, i did. i believe later mcconnell said in late summer that the process is done and that would be in line with my thinking on these things. >> as attorney general bill barr testified, december 14th should have been the end of the matter. >> december 14th was the day that the stakes certified their votes and sent them to congress. and my opinion that was the end of the matter. i thought this would lead inexorably to a new administration. >> mr. cipollone also testified that the presidents chief of staff, mark meadows, said he shared this view. >> as early as that november
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23rd meeting you understand this discussion about the president possibly conceding the election, and, specifically we understand that mark meadows assured both you and the attorney general barr that the president would eventually agree to a graceful exit. do you remember, mr. meadows, making such aspirations? >> are you saying is part of that meeting or several? in that meeting, i am not sure, but i would say that is a statement that i heard from mark meadows. >> and, again, do you know if it was on november 23rd at some point? >> again, i think it was probably, you know, around that time. it was probably subsequent to that time. it was not a onetime statement. >> mr. meadows has refused to testify and the committee is in litigation with him. many other white house officials share the view that once the litigation ended and the electoral college math, the election was over. here is president trump's
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former press secretary. >> i wanted to clarify, miss mcenany, back to my previous question, it was your view, or was it your view that the efforts to overturn the election should be stopped once the litigation was complete? >> in my view, upon the confusion of the litigation i was thinking about life after the administration. >> this is what ivanka trump told us. >> december 14th was a day in which the electoral college math, when these electors around the country met and cast the electoral vote consistent with the popular vote in each state, obviously, a public proceeding or a series of proceedings that president biden had obtained the requisite number of electors. was that an important day for you? did that affect your planning or your realization as to
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whether or not it was going to be an end of this administration? >> i think so, i think it was my sentiment, probably prior as well. >> judge deere was a white house deputy press secretary. this was his testimony about what he told president trump. >> i told him that my personal viewpoint was that the electoral college had met, which is the system that our country is set under to elect a president and vice president. and, i believed at that point that the means for him to pursue litigation was probably closed. >> and, do you recall what his response, if any, was? >> he disagreed. >> we have also seen this testimony from attorney general
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barr, reflecting a view of the white house staff in late november, 2020. >> and, at that point i left, and as i walked out of the oval office jarred was there with dana who ran the presidents social media. and, who i thought was a reasonable guy and believe is a reasonable guy. and i said, how long is he going to carry on with a stolen election stuff? where is this going to go? by that time meadows had caught up with me, and, leaving the office. caught up to me and said, they said look, i think he is becoming more realistic and knows that there is a limit to how far he can take this. and then, jared said, you know, we are working on this. we are working on it. >> likewise, in this testimony
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cassidy hutchinson, an aide to mark meadows, described her conversations with president trump's director of national intelligence, a former republican congressman. >> he had expressed to me that he was concerned it could spiral out of control. and, potentially, be dangerous, either for our democracy or the way that things were going for the sixth. >> of course, underlying all of this is the fundamental principle that the president of the united states cannot simply disregard the rulings of state and federal courts, which are empowered to address specific, election related claims. the president cannot simply pretend that the courts have not ruled. >> by that time, the president or his associates had lost 60 out of 61 cases that they had
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brought to challenge different aspects of the election, in a number of states. they lost 60 out of 61 of those cases. so, by the time we get to january 3rd, that's been clear. i assume, pat, that you would agree, the president is obligated to abide by the rulings of the court. >> of course. >> and i assume you also -- >> everybody, everybody is obligated to abide by rules of courts. >> i assume you also would agree that the president has a particular obligation to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. >> that is one of the presidents obligations, correct. >> yet, president trump disregarded these court rulings at the council from his closest advisers a continued his efforts to cling to power. in our prior, hearings you have
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heard considerable testimony about president trump's attempts to corruptly pressure vice president pence to refuse to count electoral votes. to corrupt the department of justice, to pressure state legislators and who create and submit a slate of faith electoral slates. now, we will show you what other actions president trump was taking between december 14th, 2020 and january 6th. i yield to the gentleman from maryland, mr. raskin. >> thank, you miss murphy. throughout our hearings, you've heard how president trump made baseless claims of voting machines were being manipulated by foreign powers in the 2020 election. you've also heard trump's attorney general, bill barr, described such claims as complete nonsense, which he told the president. let's review that testimony. >> i saw absolutely zero basis for the allegations, but they were made in such a sensational way that they obviously were influencing a lot of people,
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members of the public. that there was this systemic corruption in the system and that their vote didn't count in that these machines, controlled by somebody else, we're actually determining it. which was complete nonsense. and it was being laid out there. i told them that it was crazy stuff and they were wasting their time on that. and it was doing a great disservice to the country. >> we've learned that president trump's white house counsel agreed with the department of justice about this. >> attorney general barr made a public announcement on december 1st, less than a month after the election. that he had seen no fraud -- is a fair to say that by december 1st you'd reach the same? >> it is safe to say that i uttered agreed with attorney general barr's conclusion on december 1st. yes, i did, i supported that conclusion. >> however, the strong rejection of the attorney
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general and the white house counsel of these claims did not stop the president from trying to press them in public. but that's not all he did. indeed, as you'll see in this clip, the president asked attorney general bill barr to have the department of justice seize voting machines in the states. >> my recollection is the president said something like, well, some people say we could get to the bottom of this if the department sees the machines. it was a typical way of raising a point. i said absolutely not, there's no probable cause and i'm not going to seize any machines. and that was that. >> but this wasn't the end of the matter. on the evening of december 18th, 2020, sydney powell, general michael flynn and others entered the white house for an unplanned meeting with the president. the meeting, that would last multiple hours and become hot blooded and contentious. the executive order behind me,
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on the screen, was drafted on december the 16th, just two days after the electoral college vote, by several of the presidents outside advisers over a luncheon at the trump international hotel. as you can see here, this proposed order directs the secretary of defense to seize voting machines, quote, effective immediately. but it goes even further than that. under the order, president trump would appoint a special counsel with the power to seize machines and then charged people with crimes, with all resources necessary to carry out her duties. the specific plan was to named sydney powell as best counsel. the trump lawyer who had spent the postelection period making outlandish claims about venezuelan and chinese interference in the election, among others. here is what white house counsel, pat cipollone, had to say about sydney powell's
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qualifications to take on such expensive authority. >> i don't think sydney powell would say that i thought it was a good idea, with the special counsel. as vehemently opposed, i didn't think she should be appointed to anything. >> sydney powell told the president that these steps were justified because of her evidence of foreign interference in the 2020 election. however, as we've seen, trump allies had no such evidence. , and of course, no legal authority for the federal government to seize state voting machines. here is mr. cipollone, again, denouncing sydney powell's terrible idea. >> there is a real question in my mind, and a real concern, particularly after the attorney general had reached the conclusion that there wasn't sufficient election fraud to change the outcome of the election. when other people kept suggesting that there was, the
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answer is, what is it? at some point, you have to put up or shut up, that was my view. >> why was this on a broader scale a bad idea for the country? >> to have the federal government to seize voting machines? it's a terrible idea for the country. that is not how we do things in the united states. there is no legal authority to do that and there is a way to contest elections, you know, that happens all the time. but the idea that the federal government could come in and c's election machines, no, that is, i don't understand why i even have to tell you why that's a bad idea. it's a terrible idea. >> for all of its absurdity, the december 18th meeting was critically important. because president trump got to watch, up close, for several
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hours, as his white house counsel and other white house lawyers destroyed the baseless factual claims and ridiculous legal arguments being offered by sydney powell, mike flynn and others. president trump now knew all of these claims were nonsense. not just from his abel white house lawyers, but also from his own department of justice officials and, indeed, his own campaign officials. as white house counsel pat cipollone told us -- >> with respect to the whole election fraud issue, to me, making those claims. people were open to them early on because people were making all sorts of claims. the real question is, show the evidence, okay? >> it wasn't just the justice department, the trump campaign and the trump white house lawyers knew it. even rudy giuliani's own legal team admitted that they did not have any real evidence of fraud sufficient to change the election results.
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here is an email from rudy giuliani's lead investigator, bernie character on december 28th, 2020, to chief of staff mark meadows. mr. character did not mince any words. we can do all the investigations we want later, but if the president plans on winning it's a legislators and have to be moved. and this will do just that. mr. kerik one of the president win, but he didn't say in this email was what he would later tell the select many in a letter his lawyer wrote to us in november. the letter said, quote, it was impossible for mr. kerik and his team to determine conclusively whether there was widespread fraud or whether that widespread fraud would have alter the outcome of the election. in other words, even rudy giuliani's own legal team knew before january 6th that they hadn't collected enough actual evidence to support any of their stolen election claims. here's what trump campaign
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senior adviser jason miller told the committee about some of the so-called evidence of fraud that the campaign had seen from the giuliani team. >> do you know what the examples of fraud numbers, names and supporting evidence was? that you sent to know brooks's office? i say you, you are the campaign. >> there are some very, very general documents, as far as say, for example, here the handful of dead people in several different states. here are explanations on a couple of the legal challenges, as far as saying the rules were changed in an unconstitutional manner. but to say it was in was probably an understatement. >> here is how trump's deputy
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campaign manager described the evidence of fraud the campaign had seen. >> you never came to learn or understand that mayor giuliani had produced evidence of election fraud, is that fair? >> that's fair. >> and here is testimony that we received from the speaker of the arizona house of representatives, rusty bowers, about an exchange that he had with rudy giuliani after the election. >> at some point, did one of them make a comment that they didn't have evidence but they had a lot of theories? >> that was mr. giuliani. >> chief of staff mark meadows told people that he thought trump should concede, around the time the electoral college certified the result. but nonetheless, he later worked to try to facilitate president trump's wishes. here's what cassidy hutchinson told us. >> during this period, he --
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i perceived his goal with all this to keep trump in office. he had very seriously and deeply considered the allegations of voter fraud. but when he began acknowledging that maybe there wasn't enough voter fraud to overturn the election, i witnessed him start to explore potential constitutional loopholes more extensively. which i then connected with john eastman's theories. >> the startling conclusion is this. even in agreed upon, complete lack of evidence could not stop president trump, mark meadows and their allies from trying to overturn the results of a free and fair election.
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so, let's return to that meeting at the white house on the evening of december 18th. that, night a group showed up at the white house, including sydney powell, retired general michael flynn and former ceo patrick burn. after gaining access to the building from a junior white house staffer, the group made their way to the oval office. they were able to speak with the president by himself for sometime, until white house officials learned of the meeting. what's ensued was a heated and profane clash between this group and president trump's white house advisers, who traded personal insults, accusations of disloyalty to the president and even challenges to physically fight. the meeting would last over six hours, beginning here in the oval office. moving around the west wing and, many hours later, and a up in the presidents private residence. the select committee has spoken with six of the participants, as well as staffers who could hear the screaming from outside
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the oval office. what took place next is best told in their own words, as you will see from this video. >> did you believe that is going to work? they are going to be able to see the president without an appointment? >> i had no idea. >> in fact, you don't get to see the president with an appointment? >> we did. >> how much time did you have with the president? i say alone, you had other people with you, but with his aides before the crowd came wanting? >> probably no more than ten or 15 minutes. i think any set a new land speed record. >> i got a call, either from mali, that i need to get to the oval office. >> it's the first point i had recognized, okay, there is nobody in there from the white house. mark is gone, what's going on right now? >> i opened the door and i walked in and i saw general
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flynn. i saw sydney powell sitting there. i was not happy to see the people who were in the oval office. >> explain why. >> again, i don't think they were providing -- first of all, the overstock person, i've never met, i never knew this guy was. actually, the first thing i, did i walked, and i looked at him and i said, who are you? and he told me. i don't think any of these people were providing the president with good advice. and, so, i don't understand how they had gotten in. >> in the short period of time you had with the president, did he seem receptive to the presentation you are making? >> he was very interested in hearing particularly about the founding of the terms of 1:13 for eight, that apparently nobody else had bother to inform him of.
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>> democrats are working with -- venezuelans, wherever else. that one point, general flynn took out a diagram that supposedly showed -- all over the world. who was communicating with whom, the machines, some comment about thermostats being hooked up to the internet. >> it's been reported that during this meeting, mr. paul talked about dominion voting machines and made various foreign fraud claims and mentioned country such as venezuela, iran, and china. is that accurate? >> the fifth. >> was the meeting tense? >> oh, yeah. it was not a casual meeting. >> explain. >> at times, there were people
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shouting at each other, hurling insults at each other. it wasn't just people sitting around on a couch chitchatting. >> do you recall -- miss powell the action the campaign had lost all of the 16 cases they had brought in litigation? >> yes, he raised that. >> what was the response? >> i don't remember what's she said. i don't think it was a good response. >> herschmann and whoever the other guy was said nothing but contempt for this thing of the president. >> three of them were really forcefully attacking me verbally. eric, derek, and we are pushing back and asking one simple question. as a general matter, where is the evidence?
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>> and there was discussion of, well, you don't have -- >> i mean, if it had been me sitting in his chair -- i would've fired all of them that night and have them escorted out the building. >> i challenged what she was saying and she says, well, the judges are corrupt. i'm like, everyone? every single case that you've done in the country that you guys lost? every one of them is corrupt? even once we appointed? i'm being nice, but i was much more hard to her. >> one of the other things
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reported said during this meeting was that president trump told white house lawyers, mr. herschmann, mr. cipollone, that they weren't offering him any solutions. miss powell and others were, so why not try what miss powell and others were proposing. do you remember anything along those lines being said about president trump? >> i do. that sounds right. >> i think it got to the point where the screaming was completely, completely out there. people walking in, late at night, they had a long day. what they were proposing i thought was nuts. >> i'm gonna categorically describe it as you guys are not tough enough. or maybe i'll put it another way, you're a bunch of policies, excuse the expression. i'm almost certain the word was used. >> kept on standing up and standing around screaming at me.
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as a certain point i had it with him. i yield back. either come over or sit your effing aspect down. >> the president and the white house team went upstairs to the residence, in the big parlor where you can have meetings in a conference room. >> they call it the yellow oval. >> yes, exactly. the yellow oval office. i always called it the upper. i'm not exactly sure where the group went. maybe the roosevelt room. i stayed in the cabinet room, which was kind of cool, i really liked that. >> at the end of the day, we landed where we started the meeting from a structural standpoint, which was sydney
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powell was fighting, mike flynn was fighting, they were looking for avenues that would enable -- that would result in president trump reigning, remaining president trump for a second term. >> the meeting finally ended after midnight. here are text messages sent by cassidy hutchinson during and after the meeting. as you can see, miss hutchinson reported about the meeting in the west wing was unhinged. the meeting finally broke up after midnight. during the early morning of december 19th, cassidy hutchinson captured the moment of mark meadows escorting rudy giuliani off the white house grounds to, quote, make sure he didn't wander back into the mansion. certain accounts of this meeting indicate that president trump actually granted ms.
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powell security clearance and appointed her to a somewhat ill defined position of special counsel. >> he as passable any if he had the authority to name any special counsel. i said, yes. then he asked him if he had the authority to give me whatever security clearance i needed. that cipollone said yes. and then the president said, okay. i'm naming her that, i'm giving her security clearance. shortly before we left, it totally blew up, when cipollone and or herschmann, whoever the other young man was, said you can name her whatever you want to name her. no one is paying attention to it. >> how did you respond? how did the president respond to that? >> something like, you see what i deal with, i deal with this all the time. >> over the ensuing days, no further steps were taken to a point sydney powell.
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but there is some ambiguity about what the president actually said and did during the meeting. here's how pat cipollone described it. >> i don't know what her understanding of whether she had been appointed.
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i think she was of the view that she had been appointed and was seeking to get that done. and that she should be appointed. >> as you listen to these clips, remember that pell -- make special counsel was ultimately sanctioned by a federal court and sued by dominion voting system >> sidney powell argued that no
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statements lawsuit, sydney powell argued that, quote, no reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact. not long after sydney powell, general flynn, and rudy giuliani left the white house in the early hours of the morning, president trump turned away from both his outside advisers most outlandish and workable schemes and his white house counsel's advice to swallow hard and accept the reality of his loss. instead, donald trump issued a tweet that would galvanize his followers and unleash a political firestorm and change the course of our history we, as a country. trump's purpose was to mobilize a crowd. how do you mobilize a crowd in 2020? with millions of followers on twitter, president trump knew exactly how to do it. at 1:42 am, on december 19, 2020, shortly after the last participants left the unhinged
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meeting, trump sent out the tweet with his explosive invitation. trump repeated his big lie and claimed it was, quote, statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 election. before calling for a big protest in d.c. on january 6th. be there, will be wild. donald trump supporters responded immediately. women for america first, a pro trump organizing group and previously applied for rallying permit for january 22nd, and 23rd in washington d.c.. several days after joe biden was to be inaugurated. in the hours after the tweet, they moved their permit to january 6th, two weeks before. this rescheduling created the rally where trump would eventually speak. the next day, ali alexander, leader of the stop the steal
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organization, and a chemo blazer of trump supporters, registered wild, named after trump's tweet. while provided comprehensive information about numerous annually organized protest events in washington, it included event times, places, speaker's, and details on transportation in washington d.c.. meanwhile, other key trump supporters, including far-right media personalities, began promoting the wild protest on january 6th. >> it's saturday, december 19th. the years 2020. one of the most historic events in american history has just taken place. president trump, in the early morning hours today, tweeted that he wants the american people to march on washington d.c., on january 6th, 2021. >> now, donald trump is calling on his supporters to descend on
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washington d.c., january 6th. >> he is now calling on we, the people, to take action and show our numbers. >> we are going to only be saved by millions of americans moving to washington, occupying the entire area. if necessary, storming right into the capital. we know the rules of engagement. if you have enough people, you can push down any kind of a fence or a wall. >> this could be trump's last stand. it's at a time when he has specifically called on his supporters to arrive in d.c.. that is something that may actually be the big push trump supporters need to say, this is it. it's now or never. >> you better understand something sun, you better understand something sun -- red white -- there's gonna be a red wedding going down january 6th. >> on that day, trump says, show up for a protest. it's going to be wild.
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based on what we've already seen from the previous events, i think trump is absolutely correct. >> you better look outside. you better look outside. january 6th. kick that door open. look down the street. there's gonna be 1 million-plus and kicked up on america. >> the time for games is over, the time for action is now, where were you in history called? where were you when you and your children's destiny and future was on the line. and >> in that clip you heard one of the trump supporters predict a red wedding, which is a typical to reference to manslaughter -- trump's call to washington reverberated powerfully in pervasively online. the committee has interviewed a former twitter employee who explained the effect that trump had on the twitter platform. this employee was on a team responsible for platform and content moderation, policies on twitter throughout 2020 and
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2021. the employee testified that twitter considered adopting a stricter content moderation policy after president trump told the proud boys to stand back and stand by from the lectern at the september 29th presidential debate. twitter chose not to act. here is the former employee whose voice has been obscured to protect their identity, discussing trump's stand back and stand by comment and the effect it had. >> my concern was that the former president for, seemingly the first time, was speaking directly to extremist organizations. and giving them directives. we had not seen that sort of direct communication before. in that concern to me.
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>> so, just to clarify further. you were worried and others at twitter were worried that the president might use your platform to speak directly to folks who might be incited to violence? >> yes. i believed that twitter relished in the knowledge that they were also the favorite and most used service of the former president, and enjoyed having that sort of power within the social media ecosystem. >> if president trump or anyone else, would it have taken until january 8th, 2021 for him to be suspended? >> absolutely not. if donald, a former president donald trump or any other user on twitter, he would have been permanently suspended a very long time ago. >> despite these grave concerns,
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trump remained on the platform, completely unchecked. then came the december 19 tweet and everything it inspired. indeed, -- >> it felt as if a mob was being organized. and they were gathering together their weaponry and their logic and their reasoning behind why they were prepared to fight. prior to december 19th, again, it was vague. it was nonspecific but very clear that individuals we're ready, willing and able to take up arms. after this tweet on december 19th, again, it became clear.
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not only where these individuals ready and willing, but the leader of their cause was asking them to join him. in this cause, in fighting for this cause, in d.c., on january 6th as well. i will also say, which shocked me was the responses to these tweets, right? so, these were a lot of the locked and loaded stand back, stand by, those tweets were in response to donald trump saying things like this. right? so, there would be a response that said big protest in january six, be there, the wild. and someone would respond and say i'm locked and loaded and ready for civil war part two, right? i very much believe that donald trump posting his tweet on december 19th was, essentially, staging a flag in d.c. on
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january six for his supporters to come and rally. >> and you are concerned about the potential for this gathering becoming violent? >> absolutely. >> indeed, many of trump's followers took to social media to declare that they were ready to answer trump's call. one user asked, is the sixth d-day? is that why trump wants everyone there? another asserted, trump just told us all to come armed. getting a, this is happening. the third took even further. it will be wild means we need volunteers for the firing squad. jim watkins, the owner of 8kun, the fringe online forum that was the birthplace of the qanon extremist movement, confirmed the importance of trump's tweet. >> why did you first decide to go to d.c. for january 6th?
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>> when the president of the united states announced that he was going to have a rally, then i bought a ticket and went here. watkins was at the capitol on january 6th. some who have since been indicted for their involvement on the attack at the capitol also responded. one of them posted on the 19th, quote, calling all patriots, the in washington d.c., january the 6th. this wasn't organized by any group, dj t has invited us and it's going to be wild. some of the rhetoric turned openly homicidal and white nationalist. such as, why don't we just killed them? every last democrat, down to the last man, woman and child. and it's time for the day of the rope. white revolution is the only solution. others realize that police would be standing in the way of their effort to overturn the
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election. so, one wrote, i'm ready to die for my beliefs, are you ready to die, police? another wrote on the donald dot win, cops don't have standing if they are laying on the ground in a pool of their own blood. donald dot wind was an openly racist and antisemitic forum. the select committee deposed that cites founder, jody williams. he confirmed how the president's tweet created a laser-like focus on the date of january the 6th. >> people have been talking about going to d.c. since the election was over. >> do you recall whether or not the conversation around those dates centered on the sixth, after the president's tweet? >> oh, sure. after it was announced that he was going to be there on the six to talk then yes, anything else was shut out and it was just going to be on the sixth.
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>> okay. and that was pretty clearly reflected in the content on the site? >> yeah, sure. >> on that site, many shared plans and violent threats. bring in handcuffs and wait near the tunnels, wrote one user. a commenter replied, suggesting zip ties instead. one post encouraged others to come with body armor, knuckles, shields, bats, pepper spray, whatever it takes. all of those where used on the sixth. the post concluded, join your local proud boys chapter as well. the donald dot wind featured discussions of the tunnel beneath the capital complex, suggestions for targeting members of congress and encouragement to attend this once in a lifetime event. while trump supporters grew more aggressive online, he continued to rile up his base on twitter.
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he said there was overwhelming evidence that the election was the biggest scam in our nation's history, as you can see, the president did today to boost the event. tweeting about it more than a dozen times in the lead up to january the 6th. mister chairman, i reserve. >> the chair requests that those in a hearing room remain seated until the capitol police have escorted members from the room. pursuant to the order of the committee of today, the chair declares the committee in recess for a period of approximately ten minutes.
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