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tv   America Reports  FOX News  July 12, 2022 10:00am-12:00pm PDT

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inflation. >> really? wow. >> and add that to the people who are complaining about his policies, it's what, 65%? >> yes. >> two-thirds. >> done. >> when you said wave, i thought beach and got kind of excited. 119 days to the midterm elections, we are counting. right now, "america reports." >> harris, thank you. welcome to fox news special coverage of the january 6th committee hearings. lawmakers are set to hold their seventh public hearing in just a moment now, the focus is going to be on former president donald trump's alleged role in bringing rioters to the nation's capitol as part of a last ditch effort for him to remain in power. good afternoon on this tuesday, john roberts in washington. hi, sandra. >> sandra: great to be with you, john. sandra smith in new york. inside the two-minute warning, we will head to the capitol a short time from now. the committee wants to show the impact of a tweet from the
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former president on december 19th, he told people to come to washington on january 6th, saying "it will be wild." one lawmaker says that was a siren call and violent extremist groups answered. >> john: committee aides say the panel will also show how the groups may have coordinated with people in the president's inner circle. a former member of the far right group the oath keepers is expected to testify. he arrived in the capitol via a back door, and hear from a former trump supporter now facing charges for entering the capitol that day. and play clips from the deposition ed cipollone, sandra. >> sandra: this is about to be underway. andy mccarthy, and jonathan turley are with us. jonathan, kick things off to each of you first as we await the beginning of this. >> well, this is a key hearing because this is the lynch pin.
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they have been arguing that the president conspired for an insurrection or riot to occur. this is the other part of that conspiracy, to see if they can show that close nexus, more than a tweet there was actual coordination or collusion. >> and andy, jason was not with the oath keepers at the capitol on january 6th, he was there in 2015 and 2016. he's expected to give some background to the group. >> i think they are going to try to highlight the seditious conspiracy indictment against some of the militias, but it's important to recognize the justice department has been investigating this for a year and a half and they have not charged anyone, either president trump or anyone in his circle, people who are helping with this. >> sandra: we are going to listen in now. we want to warn you, some of the pictures and video shown throughout the hearing may graphic. we are going to listen now.
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>> the chair announces the committee approval to release the deposition material presented during today's hearing. good afternoon. when i think about the most basic way to explain the importance of elections in the united states, there's a phrase that always comes to mind, it may sound straightforward but it's meaningful. we settle our differences at the ballot box. sometimes my choice prevail, sometimes yours does but it's that simple. we cast our 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's plenty you can do and
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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 ballot box. but you can't turn violent. you can't try to achieve your desired outcome through force or harassment or intimidation. any real leader who sees that support going down that path approaching that line has a responsibility to say stop. we gave it our best, we came up short, we try again next time, because we settle our differences at the ballot box. on december 14th, 2020, the presidential election was officially over. electoral college had cast its vote. joe biden was the president-elect of the united
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states. by that point many of donald trump's supporters were already convinced that the election had been stolen because that's 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 american leader, was to say we did our best, we came up short. he went the opposite way. he seized on the anger he had already stoked among his most loyal supporters and as they approached the in line, he didn't wave 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.
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our colleagues, miss murphy of florida and mr. raskin of maryland will lay out this story. first i'm pleased to recognize distinguished vice chair miss cheney from wyoming. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. our committee did not conduct a hearing last week but we did conduct an on the record interview of 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 to testify. he did. and 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 14, 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 certain segments of
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pat cipollone's testimony today. also see today how president trump summoned a mob to washington and how the president stole an election lies provoked that mob to attack the capitol and hear from a man induced by president 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 virtually everyone close to president trump, justice department
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official, 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. now the argument seems to be president trump was manipulated by others outside the administration, that he was persuaded to ignore his closest advisors and 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 "poorly served" by these outside advisers. the strategy to blame "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
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child. 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 the election was not actually stolen and almost any other 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 violent attack on january 6th. as you watch our hearing today, i would urge you to keep your eye on two specific points. first, you will see evidence that trump's legal team led by
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rudy giuliani knew that they lacked actual evidence of widespread fraud sufficient to prove 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 believe what donald trump's closest advisers in 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 deceived them. for millions of americans, that may be painful to accept, but it is true. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> without objection, the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from florida, miss murphy, and the gentleman from maryland, mr. raskin. >> we know beyond a shadow of a
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doubt that then president trump lost in a free and fair election. and yet president trump insisted that his loss was due to fraud in an election process rather than to the democratic will of the voters. the president continued to make this claim despite being told again and again by the courts, by 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. millions of americans were deceived by it. too many of our fellow citizens still believe it to this day. it's corrosive to our country and damaging to our democracy. as our committee has 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,
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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 that state, and he pressed the department 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 were 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 the last inflection point that can be used to
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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 back-up. early in the morning of december 19th the president sent out a tweet urging his followers to travel to washington, d.c. for january 6th. be there, we'll be wild, the president wrote. as my colleague mr. raskin will describe in detail, the tweet was a call to action and call to arms for many of president trump's most loyal supporters. it's clear the president intended the assembled crowd on january 6th to serve his goal. and as you have already seen and as you will see again today, some of those who are coming had specific plans. the president's goal was to stay in power for a second term despite losing the election.
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assembled crowd was one of the tools to achieve that goal. and 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, and add color and context to evidence you've already heard about and we'll also provide additional new evidence. for example, you'll hear about meetings in which the president entertained extreme measures to help him stay in power, like the seizure of voting machines. we will show some of the coordination that occurred between the white house and members of congress as it relates to january 6th. and some of these members 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 planner's concerns about the potential violence. and we will describe some of the president's key actions on the evening of january 5th and the morning of january 6th, including how the president edited and ad libbed his speech
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that morning at the elipse, directed the crowd to march to the capitol and spoke off script that inflamed an already angry crowd. i yield to the gentleman from maryland. >> thank you, miss murphy. four days after the electors 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. a surprise visit in the white house would quickly become the stuff of legend. meeting has been called unhinged, not normal, and the crazy iest meeting of the trump presidency. the outside lawyers 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 draft executive order they had prepared for president trump to further his ends, specifically they proposed the immediate mass
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seizure of state election machines by the u.s. military, the meeting ended after midnight with 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 day when congress would meet to certify the electoral votes. never before in american history had a president called for a crowd to come contest the counting of electoral votes by congress, or engaged in any effort designed to influence, delay or obstruct the joint session of congress in doing its work required by our constitution in the electoral count act. as we'll see, donald trump's 1:42 tweet, engaged groups spoiling for a fight against the
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government. three rings of interwoven attack were operating towards january 6th. on the inside ring, trump continued to work to overturn the election by getting mike pence to abandon his oath of office as vice president and usurp the power to reject electoral votes. fundamental and unprecedented breach of the constitution would promise trump multiple ways of staying in office. meanwhile in the middle ring, members of domestic violence extremist groups created alliance online and in person for a massive effort to storm, invade and occupy the capitol. by placing a target on the joint session of congress, trump had mobilized the groups around a common goal, emboldening them, strengthening their working relationships and helping build their numbers. january 6th, there assembled a large and angry crowd, trump
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considered the touch stone and the measure of his political power. thousands of enraged 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 political leaders and instigation from the extremists, many members of the crowd could be led to storm the capitol, confront the vice president and congress and try to overturn the 2020 election results. all of these efforts would converge and explode on january 6th. mr. chairman, as you know better than any other member of this committee from the wrenching struggle for voting rights in 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 too.
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1887, a mob broke into an abo ligsist newspaper, and killed. even with all the fortunes in the world, but if down fall ever comes to america, we, ourselves, would be its author and finisher. if racist mobs are encouraged by politicians to rampage and terrorize, lincoln said, they will violate the rights of other citizens and 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. this very old problem has returned with new veracity, the president deployed a mob with
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dangerous extremists to attack the constitutional election and peaceful transfer of power. and creation of internet and social media has given today's tyrants tools of propaganda and disinformation that yesterday could only have dreamed of. i yield back to miss murphy. >> article ii of the united states constitution establishes the electoral college. each state law provides electors are chosen by a popular vote. december 14, 2020, electors met in all 50 states and 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
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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 no genuine evidence of widespread fraud had been presented. for example, a federal judge in pennsylvania, this court has been presented legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations unsupported by evidence. united states of america, this cannot justify, let alone all the voters of the six most populated states. december 15th, after the electoral college certified the outcome, the republican majority leader in the senate acknowledged mr. biden's victory. >> yesterday electors met in all 50 states. so as of this morning, our country has officially a president-elect and a vice
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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 20th. the electoral college has spoken. so today i want to congratulate president-elect joe biden. >> even members of president trump's cabinet and his white house staff understood the significance of his losses in the courts and absence of evidence of fraud. the author rejected the 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, gene scalia, lawyer and the son of late justice scalia, called president trump in mid december and advised him to concede and accept the rulings
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of the courts. >> i put a call to the president, spoke on the 14th, in which 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 president that when that legal process is exhausted, and when the electors have voted, that that's the point at which the outcome needs to be expected. i told him i believed yes, once the legal processes were run, if fraud had not been established, affected the outcome of the election, unfortunately i believed that who had to be done was concede the outcome. >> as you've seen in prior hearings, president trump's justice department, his white house staff, and his campaign officials were repeatedly telling him that there was no evidence of fraud sufficient to change the outcome of the
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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 the next hearing. mr. cipollone told us he agreed with the testimony there was no evidence of fraud sufficient to overturn the election. >> i want to start by asking you to read the conclusions, bill barr and individuals who evaluate the claim, no evidence -- >> yes, i agree with that. >> and mr. cipollone also specifically testified he believed donald trump should have conceded the election. >> did you believe that mr. cipollone, the president should concede once you made determination based on the investigations that you credited, d.o.j. did, did you in your mind form the belief the
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president should concede the election loss at some point after the election? >> well, again, i was the white house counsel, some of those decisions are political, so to the extent that, but if your question is, did i believe he should concede the election at a point in time, yes, i did. i believe leader mcconnell went on to the floor of the senate in december, and said the process was done, that that would be 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 state certified their votes and sent them to congress, and in my view that was the end of the matter. i didn't see, you know, i
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thought that this would lead to a new administration. >> mr. cipollone also testified the president's chief of staff, mark meadows, said he shared this view. >> as early as that november 23rd meeting, we understand that there was discussion about the president possibly conceding the election and specifically seeing that mark meadows assured both you and attorney general barr the president would eventually agree to a graceful exit. do you remember mr. meadows making any such representation? >> are you saying as part of that meeting or separately? again, without getting into that meeting, i would say that is a statement and sentiment i heard from mark meadows. >> i see, and again, do you know if it was on november 23rd or some point? >> again, i -- it was probably, you know, around that time, it was probably subsequent to that
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time. it was not a one-time 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 met, the election was over. and here is president trump's former press secretary. >> i wanted to clarify, so back to my previous question, it was your view then, or was it your view that the effort to overturn the election should have stopped once litigation was complete? >> in my view, upon the conclusion of litigation with when i began to plan for life after the administration. >> and this is what ivanka trump told us. >> december 14th was the day on which the electoral college met when the electors and the country met and cast the
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electoral votes consistent with the popular vote in each state and it was obviously a public proceeding or series of proceedings that president biden had obtained the requisite numbers of electors. was that an important day for you, did that affect sort of your planning or realization as to whether or not there was going to be an end of this administration? >> i think so. i think it was my sentiment probably prior as well. >> judge dear was a white house press secretary. this was his testimony about what he told president trump. >> i told him that my personal viewpoint was 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
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him to pursue litigation was probably closed. >> and do you recall what his response, if any, was? >> he disagreed. >> we've also seen this testimony from attorney general barr reflecting a view of the white house staff in late november 2020. >> and at that point i laughed and as i walked out of the oval office, jared was there with dan scavino who ran the president's social media and i thought was a reasonable guy and believe is a reasonable guy, and i said how long is he going to carry on with this stolen election stuff, where is this going to go? and by that time meadows had caught up with me and leaving the office and caught up with me and said that, he said look, i
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think that he's becoming more realistic and knows that there's a limit to how far he can take this, and then jared said you know, yeah, we are working on this, we are working on it. >> likewise, in this testimony cassidy hutchinson, an aide to mark meadows described her conversations with president trump's director of national intelligence, john ratcliffe, a former republican congressman. >> he had expressed to me that he was concerned it would spiral out of control and potentially be dangerous, either for our democracy or the way that things were going for the 6th. >> 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
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empowered to address specific election-related claims. the president cannot simply pretend that the courts had not ruled. >> by that time the president or his associates had brought -- had lost 60 out of 61 cases that they had brought to challenge different aspects of the election in a number of states. they lost 60 out of 61 of those cases. 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 courts? >> of course. >> and i assume -- >> everybody is obligated to abide by the rules of the courts. >> and i assume you also would agree the president has a particular obligation to take care that the laws be faithfully
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executed. >> that is one of the president's obligations, correct. >> yet president trump disregarded these court rulings and the counsel from his closest advisers, and continued his efforts to cling to power. in our prior hearings you have heard considerable testimony of pressure on vice president pence, to pressure state officials and legislators, and fake 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 have heard how president trump made baseless claims that voting machines were being manipulated by foreign powers in the 2020 election. you've also heard trump's attorney general, bill barr, describe such claims as complete
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nonsense which he told the president. let's review that testimony. >> i saw absolutely 0 basis for the allegations but they were made in such a sensational way that they obviously were influencing a lot of people, members of the public, that there was this systemic corruption in the system and that their votes didn't count and the machines controlled by somebody else were determining it, complete nonsense and being laid out there and i told him that it was -- it was crazy stuff, and they were wasting their time on that, and was doing grave, grave disservice to the country. >> we have 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, that he had received --
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[inaudible] >> fair to say i agree with attorney general barr's conclusion on december 1st, yes, i did, and i reported that conclusion. >> however, the strong rejection of the attorney general and the white house counsel 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, we can get, you know, some people say we can get to the bottom of this if the department seized the machines. typical way of raising a point. and i said absolutely not. there's no probable cause and we are not going to seize any machines and that was that, yeah.
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>> but this wasn't the end of the matter. evening of december 18, 2020, sydney powell, general michael flynn and others entered the white house for an unplanned meeting with the president, multiple hours and hot blooded and contentious. the executive order behind me on the screen was drafted on december 16th, just two days after the electoral college vote by several of the president's 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 "effective immediately," goes further than that. under the order, president trump would appoint a special counsel with the power to seize machines and then charge people with crimes with all resources necessary to carry out her duties.
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the specific plan was to name sydney powell a special counsel. the trump lawyer who had spend post election period making out lan dish claims about venezuela and chinese interference in the election among others. what pat cipollone, white house counsel, had to say about sydney powell's qualifications to take on expansive authority. >> i don't think sydney powell would say that i thought it was a good idea for the special counsel, i didn't think she should be appointed to anything. >> she told the president these steps were justified because of her evidence of foreign interference in the 2020 election, however as we have seen trump's allies had no such evidence and of course no legal authority for the federal government to seize state voting machines. mr. cipollone again denouncing sydney powell's terrible idea.
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>> it was a real question in my mind and real concern, you know, 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 answer is what is it? and 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? >> had the federal government seized voting machines, it's a terrible idea. that's not how we do things in the united states, 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 seize election machines,
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that's -- i don't understand why we would 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. president trump got to watch up close for several hours as his white house counsel and other white house lawyers destroyed the baseless factual claims and ridiculous legal arguments being offered by sidney powell, mike flynn and others. president trump now knew all the claims were nonsense, not just from his able 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, it to me is sort of, if you are going to make those kind of claims and people were open to them early on because people were making all sorts of claims and the
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question is show the evidence, ok. >> wasn't just the justice department, the trump campaign and the trump white house lawyers who 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. here is an email from rudy giuliani's lead investigator, on december 28, 2020, to chief of staff mark meadows. he did not mince any words. we can do all the investigations later, but if the president plans on winning the legislature has to move. he wanted the president to win but did not say what he would later tell the select committee in a letter his lawyer wrote to us in november. letter said "it was impossible for mr. carrick and his team to
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determine whether there was widespread fraud or whether it would have altered the outcome of the election." in other words, even rudy giuliani's own legal team knew before january 6th they had not collected enough actual evidence to support any of their stolen election claims. here is what trump campaign senior adviser jason miller told the committee about evidence of fraud that the campaign had seen from the giuliani team. >> you know the examples of fraud, numbers, names and supporting evidence was you sent to mo brooks' office, you or the campaign? >> there is some very, very general documents as far as -- as far as, say for example, here the handful of dead people in several different states, here
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are explanations on a couple legal challenges, as far as saying that the rules were changed in an unconstitutional manner. >> president trump's deputy 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 bauers, about an exchange 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.
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>> chief of staff mark meadows told people that he thought trump should concede around the time the electoral college certified the results, but nonetheless, he later worked to try to facilitate president trump's wishes. here is what cassidy hutchinson told us. >> during this period he -- i perceived his goal with all this to keep trump in office. he had very seriously and deeply considered that allegations of voter fraud but when he began acknowledging maybe there was not enough voter fraud to overturn the election, and i witnessed him start to explore potential constitutional loopholes more extensively,
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which i then connected with john eastman. >> the startling conclusion is this. even 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. 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 sidney powell, retired lieutenant governor michael flynn and former c.e.o. patrick burn. after gaining access from the building by a junior staffer, they went to the oval office. they spoke with the president for some time until white house officials learned of the meeting. what 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
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fight. the meeting would last over six hours, beginning here in the oval office. moving around the west wing and many hours later ending up in the president's private residence. the select committee had spoken with six participants as well as staffers who could hear the screaming from outside 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 it was going to work, that you were going to be able to get to see the president without an appointment? >> i had no idea. >> in fact, you did get to see the president without an appointment. >> we did. >> how much time did you have alone with the president, i say alone, you had other people with you, but from his aides before the crowd came running? >> probably no more than 10 or 15 minutes. >> was in that -- >> pat cipollone set a new land speed record. >> i got a call, either from
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molly, i need to get to the oval office. >> the first point i recognized, ok, 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, saw general flynn, i saw sidney powell sitting there. i was not happy to see the people in the oval office. again, i don't think they were providing -- first of all, overstock person, i didn't know who the guy was. i walked in, i looked at him and said who are you, and he told me. i don't think -- i don't think any of these people were providing the president with good advice, and so i didn't understand how they had gotten in. >> in the short period of time that you had with the president, did he seem receptive to the
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presentation that you were making? >> he was very interested in hearing particularly about the finding and the terms of 13848 that apparently nobody else had bothered to inform him of. >> claim the democrats were working with hugo chavez, venezuelans and whoever else and at one point general flynn took out a diagram that supposedly showed all over the world and who was communicating with whom via the machines and some comment about like nest thermostats hooked up to the internet. >> it's been reported during this meeting miss powell talked about dominion voting machines and election claims that involved foreign countries, such as venezuela, iran and china.
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is that accurate? >> the fifth. >> was the meeting tense? >> oh, yeah. it was not a casual meeting. >> explain. >> i mean, at sometimes there were people shouting at each other, throwing insults at each other. it wasn't just sort of people sitting around on the couch like chitchatting. >> do you recall whether he raised to miss powell the fact she and the campaign had lost all the 60 cases they had brought in litigation? >> yes, he raised that. >> and what was the response? >> i don't remember who she said. i don't think it was a good response. >> cipollone and herschmann and whoever the other guy was showed nothing but contempt and disdain of the president. >> really sort of forcefully
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attacking me verbally, eric, and we were pushing back, and we were asking one simple question. as a general matter. where is the evidence? so -- >> what response did you get when you asked miss powell and her colleagues where is the evidence? >> variety of responses based on my current recollection, including i can't believe you would say something like that, what do you mean where is the evidence, things like that, or you know -- disregard, a general disregard for the importance of actually backing up what they are saying with facts. >> and you know, then there was discussion of well, we don't have it, or whoever. >> if it had been me sitting in his chair, i would have fired all of them that night and had them escorted out of the building. >> challenge what she was saying, and she says well the
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judges are corrupt, and like every one? every single case you've done in the country you guys lost, every one is corrupt, even the ones we appointed? >> and i'm being nice, i was much more harsh to her. >> one of the other things reported said during this meeting was that president trump told the white house lawyers mr. herschmann, mr. cipollone, that they were not offering him any solutions but miss powells and others were, so why not try what miss powell and others were proposing. do you remember anything along those lines being said by president trump? >> i do, that sounds right. >> i think it got to the point where the screaming was completely, completely out there, i mean, you have people walk in, late at night, it had been a long day and what they were proposing i thought was nuts. >> i'm going to describe it as
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you guys are not tough enough, or maybe i put it another way, you are a bunch of pussies, excuse the expression. i'm almost certain the word was used. >> screamed at me that i was a quitter, and standing up and turning around and screaming at me, a certain point i had it with him and i yelled back. either come over or sit your f-ing ass back down. >> the president and the white house team went upstairs to the residence but to the public part of the residence, the big parlor where you can have meetings in the conference room. >> they call it the yellow oval>> yes, exactly, the yellow oval office, i always called it the upper. and i'm not exactly sure where the sidney group went.
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i think maybe the roosevelt room, and i stayed in the cabinet room, which is kind of cool, i really like that, all by myself. >> at the end of the day we landed where they started the meeting, at least from a structural standpoint, which was sidney powell was fighting, mike flynn was fighting, they were looking for avenues that would enable, that would result in president trump 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 that the meeting in the west wing was unhinged. the meeting finally broke up after midnight, during the early
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morning of december 19th. cassidy hutchinson captured the moment of mark meadows escorting rudy giuliani off the white house grounds to "make sure he didn't wander back into the mansion." certain accounts of this meeting indicate president trump actually granted miss powell security clearance and appointed her to a somewhat ill defined position of special counsel. >> he asked pat cipollone if he had the authority to name me special counsel and he said yes, and then he asked him if he had the authority to give me whatever security clearance i needed and pat cipollone said yes. and then the president said ok, i'm naming her that and giving her security clearance and then shortly before we left and totally blew up, which one cipollone and/or herschmann and whoever the other young man was said you can name her whatever you want to name her and no one
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is going to pay any attention to it. >> how did he 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 appoint sidney powell, but there is some ambiguity about what the president actually said and did during the meeting. here is how pat cipollone described it. >> i don't know what her understanding of, whether she had been appointed, what she got appointed to, ok. in my view, she had not been appointed to anything, and ultimately wasn't -- had to be other steps taken, and that was my view when i left the meeting, but she may have a different view and others may have a different view and the president may have a different view. >> were any steps taken, including the president himself telling her she had been appointed? >> again, i'm not going to get into what the president said in the meeting, you know.
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my recollection is you do not appoint, not appointed until steps are taken to get the paperwork done, and when i left the meeting, ok, i guess what i'm trying to say is i'm not going to get into what the president said. >> mr. cipollone, when the matter continued to flare up over the next several days, was it your understanding that sidney powell was still seeking an appointment or asserting she had been appointed by the president at the december 18th meeting? >> you know, now that you mentioned it, probably both, you know. in terms of -- i think she may have been of the view she had been appointed and was seeking to, you know, get that done and
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that she should be appointed. >> as you listen to these clips, remember that miss powell, the person president trump tried to make special counsel was ultimately sanctioned by a federal court and sued by dominion voting systems for defamation. in her own defense to that lawsuit, sidney powell argued that "no reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact." not long after sidney powell, flynn and rudy giuliani left the white house in the early hours of the morning, president trump turned away from the outlandish and unworkable schemes and swallow hard to accept the reality of the loss. instead, donald trump issued a tweet that would galvanize his followers, unleash a political fire storm and change the course of our history as a country.
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trump's purpose was to mobilize a crowd and 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 a.m. on december 19, 2020, shortly after the last participants left the unhinged meeting, trump sent out the tweet with his explosive invitation. trump repeated his big lie and claimed it was "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. trump supporters responded immediately. women for america first, a pro trump organizing group had previously applied for a rally permit several days after joe biden was to be inaugurated.
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but 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 organization and key supporter,, named after trump's tweet. comprehensive information about newly organized protest events in washington, included event times, places, speakers and details on transportation to 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 year is 2020, and 1 of the most historic events in american
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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 6, 2021. >> now donald trump is calling on his supporters to descend on washington, d.c., january 6th. >> he is calling on we the people to take action and show our numbers. >> we are only going to be saved by millions of americans moving to washington, occupying the entire area, if necessary storming right into the capitol. 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. and it's a time when he has specifically called on his supporters to arrive in d.c. that is something that may
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actually be the big push, trump supporters need to say this is it. it's now or never. >> you better understand something, son. you better understand something. red wave bitch, it's going to be a red wedding going down january 6th. >> on that day, trump says show up for a protest, it's gonna be wild. and based on what we have already seen from the previous events, i think trump is absolutely correct. >> mother [bleep] you better look outside, look out january 6th, kick that [bleep] door open. look down the street. you are going to be a million plus geeked up americans. >> the time for games is over, the time for action is now. where were you when history called? where were you when you and your children's destiny and future was on the line? >> next clip you heard one of the trump supporters a red wedding, pop culture for mass
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slaughter. but the call to washington reverberated online. the committee has interviewed a former twitter employee who explained the effect that trump had on the twitter platform. this employee was on the team responsible for platform and content moderation, policies on twitter throughout 2020, and 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 lec turn at the september 29th presidential debate. twitter chose not to act. the former employee whose voice is 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
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organizations and giving them directive. we had not seen that sort of direct communication before and that concerned me. >> just to clarify further, you were worried, and others at twitter were worried the president might use your platform to speak directly to folks who might be incited to violence? >> i believe the twitter relished in the knowledge that they were also be 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 have taken until
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january 8, 2021, for him to be suspended. >> absolutely not. >> if former president trump were any other user on twitter, he would have been permanently suspended a very long time ago. >> despite these grave concerns, trump remained on the platform completely unchecked. then came the december 19th 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 --
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it was nonspecific, but very clear that individuals were ready, willing and able to take up arms. after this tweet on december 19th, again it became clear not only were these individuals ready and willing, but the leader of their cause was asking them to join him in this cause inviting for this cause in d.c. on january 6th as well. i will also say what shocked me was the responses to these tweets, right. so, these were a lot of the locked and loaded, stand back, stand by tweets were in response to donald trump saying things like this, right, so there would be a response that said big protest in d.c. on january 6th,
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be there, be wild, and someone responded saying i'm locked and loaded and ready for civil war part two, right. i very much believe donald trump posting this tweet on december 19th was essentially sticking a flag in d.c. on january 6th for his supporters to come and rally. >> and you were 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 6th d-day, is that why trump wants everyone there? another asserted trump just told us all to come armed. f-ing a, this is happening. the third took it even further. it will be wild means we need
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volunteers for the firing squad. jim watkins, the owner of the fringe online forum, birth case of the qanon extremist movement confirmed the importance of trump's tweet. >> why did you first decide to go to d.c. january 6th? >> when the president of the united states announced he was going to have a rally, i bought a ticket and went. >> watkins was at the capitol on january 6th. some who have since been indicted for their involvement in this attack on the capitol also responded, one of them posted on the 19th, "calling and patriots, be in washington, d.c., january 6th" this wasn't organized by any group, d.j.t. has invited us and it's going to be wild. some of the online rhetoric
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turned homicideal, kill them, every last democrat, down to the last man, woman and child and time for the day of the rope. white revolution is the only solution. others realized that police would be standing in the way of their effort to overturn the election so one wrote i'm ready to die for my beliefs. are you ready to die, police? another wrote on the, cops don't have standing if they are laying on the ground in a pool of their own blood. was openly racist and anti-semitic forum. and how the tweet was a laser-like focus on the date of january 6th. >> people have been talking about going to d.c. since the election was over.
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and do you recall whether or not the conversation around those dates centered on the 6th after the president's tweet? >> oh, sure, yeah, after it was announced he was going to be there on the 6th to talk, yes, anything else was kind of shut out and it was just going to be on the 6th. >> and pretty clearly reflected in the content on the site? >> yeah, sure. >> on that site, many shared plans and violent threats. bring handcuffs and wait near the tunnels, wrote one user. a commenter replied, suggesting zip ties instead. one encouraged others to come with body armor, knuckles, shields, bats, pepper spray, whatever it takes. all of those were used on the 6th. the post concluded, join your local proud boys chapter as well.
11:08 am featured discussions of the tunnels beneath the capitol complex, suggestions for targeting members of congress and encouragement to attend this once in a lifetime event. trump supporters grew more aggressive online, he continued to rile up his base on twitter. said there was overwhelming evidence that the election was the biggest scam in our nation's history, as you can see the president continued to boost the event, tweeting about it more than a dozen times in the lead-up to january 6th. mr. chairman, i reserve. >> the chair requests that those in the 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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>> sandra: as you just heard, the committee breaking for a quick recess, this is the committee holding its seventh now public hearing in washington on capitol hill with today's hearings clearly as you heard over the last 68 minutes or so on how some of these groups came together, how they organized to come together to storm the capitol that day, and also obviously on former president trump's connections to some of the far right extremist groups. they are in a brief recess a few moments. >> john: and the december 18th meeting across the white house, competing factions in the white house staff, the counsel's office and outside advisors trying to convince the president of different things. andy mccarthy, jonathan turley and martha is also with us. how were you struck by the descriptions of that meeting,
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pat cipollone going into the oval office, clearly troubled that sidney powell and michael flynn and the fellow from overstock and the idea the meeting ranged for hours in the white house, eventually ending up in the yellow oval in the residence. >> the first time we have heard anything from pat cipollone's testimony, which just happened on friday, john and sandra. and you know, it kind of lines up with what we expected to hear because we knew there was a lot of friction between the in-house white house counsel, pat cipollone and eric herschmann on the team and the people who came in who supported the president's theories that the election had been stolen from him, so you have sidney powell and michael flynn in the room and folks, patrick, the former head of overstock, who pat cipollone walked in and said who are you. and then it sort of explodes according to the testimony we
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just heard into this battle where sidney powell said the president says see what i have to deal with, these people don't support me, they are not giving me options at this point, and flynn and powell sort of saying that they can provide these other options, they are talking about, you know, thermostats and links to the voting machines and why they should be seized and bill barr had said he did not see any evidence that would allow the d.o.j. to go further into that investigation to seize any machines. painted a vivid picture, john and sandra, of who was happening in the room and the case they are making, is because that was such an unsatisfactory and chaotic night, the case they are making is that led the then president donald trump to tweet, you know, jan 6, be there, it will be wild, and reach out over twitter and make sure people came to make their feelings known, and near the capitol
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building on january 6th, and then they make the leap i think is a little tricky, goes into the response of people on twitter, what they were saying, what they were gleaning from that be there be wild, and you know, anybody who spends any time on twitter knows that you cannot channel or program responses. so drawing the line between what the president said he wanted and how the people interpreted it becomes difficult at that point and i think that's where you are going to see some, and that's where also it would be helpful to also hear a little bit of some cross examination which we have talked about a lot, but i think if the case is strong you don't have to worry about having someone in there poking and prodding and more challenging questions. >> sandra: jonathan, we were able to speak to you briefly before we got into the hearing on what you were looking for, what struck you as you were listening. >> well, not what i was looking for was not a nexus between the president and any conspiracy, perhaps they will bring that
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type of evidence forward after the break. but i want to amplify what martha says. interview anonymous former twitter employee or picking out these alarming comments from the internet really does not make a very persuasive case of a conspiracy. it's clear the president wanted a rally, the president tends to call for rallies almost as much as he used to tweet. it does not necessarily mean because the meeting failed this was plan b to take over congress. that's not saying they cannot produce evidence fo show that, but remains circumstantial. so the purpose seems more persuasive than investigative. witnesses generally have been very confined in answering questions, they have been taking little snippets out of depositions and basically hanging them on this tree to make a persuasive narrative, and
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the head of the oath keepers said in spite the fact he's facing trial he's willing to testify in public but does not want to be subject to that type of editing. he wants to testify live. and the committee has not responded yet to that request. >> john: and when the committee reconvenes hear from a former member of the oath keepers, jason von tatenhove, did not attend on january 6th, and steven ayers pled guilty of entering the capitol, and how the president's tweet was interpreted and what were they planning to do about it. andy, back to something that pat cipollone said, when i was the white house correspondent for fox news after the election and i was told by senior
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administration officials, this idea that towards the end of november there appeared to be a sentiment in the white house that senior staff were convincing -- successfully convincing the president to concede the election. i was told look, he is going to pursue some challenges, and second week of december he would concede to joe biden. we know where it went after that. >> i think time and again what we have seen and you saw a lot of this in the two-month period from election day to january 6th, i think people who were experienced government officials who were used to the way how things generally go overestimated their ability ultimately to influence president trump that it was time to give up, it was time to just concede and acknowledge the results. it turns out even though they
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should have had enough experience to know otherwise that he was not wired the same way they were. so i think because -- once you pass the december 8th deadline under federal law, really there's not supposed to be any more challenges under federal law. once you pass the december 14th deadline, when the electoral college meets and actually transmits its certified results to congress, as you've heard government official after government official say that's the end of the game. everybody just sort of throws up their hands and says it's over. but the fact that they believe that and there are their sense of finality led them to think they were going to bring president trump along to that conclusion does not mean and never meant that president trump thought that way. >> sandra: martha, just a few minutes from the hearing resuming there in washington. going back to that moment, though, when the former white house counsel, pat cipollone told the committee that there
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was no evidence of widespread election fraud in the 2020 presidential election and that the former president should have conceded. here was the exchange, let's listen. >> start by asking if you agree, mr. cipollone, to the conclusion bill barr, and other individuals who evaluate the claims that there was no evidence of election fraud sufficient to undermine the outcome. >> yes, i agree with that. >> did you in your mind form the belief the president should concede the election loss after the election? >> i was the white house counsel. some of those decisions are political but if your question is did i believe he should concede the election at a point in time, yes, i did. >> he went on to say, martha, his thinking at the time was in line with remarks made by then senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, december 14th. >> it's clear that cipollone, the legal staff at the white
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house and including he makes, he cites comments from jared kushner as well, we also saw ivanka trump testimony say by that point she felt that it was over, it was time to move on. clearly we know the president did not feel that way, and he sought out people who would support that notion that he wanted to continue to perpetuate. so that's sort of where they are at at this point and you know, they talk about how the president was basically disgusted with what he was being told at that point and bill barr had also weighed in, so you know, it's a pretty clear picture, he didn't want to -- he didn't want to take, he didn't want that answer and still does not like that answer. he still pushes back at every one of these rallies. i think it's also interesting and love to hear andy and jonathan on this, with regard to how pat cipollone is carving out the executive privilege. we have other people involved at
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that level who say they will not testify because of that, and you can hear him saying well, i can't talk about what the president said in that meeting but i'll tell you what i felt overall. >> yeah, i mean -- i thought it was actually -- sorry. i actually thought it was very interesting because cipollone was very abridged, very narrow, very careful in his remarks. he specifically at one point said i don't want to say anything that the president said in these meetings, and so he's trying to hold that line. this did not seem to be a gold mine for the committee, and in fact, there were some reports cipollone was not specifically asked about contradictions that he had with other witnesses but he was trying to keep that careful line. it's still damaging. the account of that meeting and the office is really breathtaking, it's very disturbing. at one point there was a suggestion there might be
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fisticuffs, almost like doctor strangelove and no fighting in the war room. you are in the oval office and people seem to be actually chest pounding. so, this is very disturbing. all of these details should disturb everyone. but the question is what is trying to be achieved here. are they trying to show they have an actual criminal case, are they trying to amplify the previous narrative. >> john: to that point, andy, where we are going to go when the committee reconvenes, is to see what influence the president's tweets might have had on the far right wing groups in terms of encouraging them to come down to the capitol potentially encouraging them. we don't have the benefit of cross examination here so a one-sided version of events, is that the link you expect them to try to make here, the president was trying to incite the right ring groups, i don't want to say violence but to do something.
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>> to act like they have made, there's no cross examination. the committee as we heard yet again today and very powerfully noted that there was 61 legal challenges by the trump administration, by president trump's campaign during the course of the stop the steal campaign challenging the election results and they lost 60 times and they thought that was a big deal and i agree with them it was a big deal to lose in court that many times. what i would point out is the justice department has indicted 800 people and defendant after defendant after defendant has gone into district court and tried to shift the blame from himself to president trump, tried to argue he was following president trump's orders, try to argue that president trump is a co-conspirator and should be the one who should be the most liable or the most culpable, and time after time the justice department has opposed those motions, and the courts have
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rejected them. so the fact no one here to challenge the lack of a link is going to make it appear that there may be a link, that actually the fact that people acted in an irrational violent way means that because president trump told them to come to washington to rally he was ordering them to riot. but that argument has been made time and time in the courts. and not successful. >> sandra: martha, go around the horn and your thoughts, you'll be taking over at 3:00, martha. >> obviously we are going to be watching the testimony of these two individuals, one was a spokesperson for the proud boys, but not during the time period of january 6th. he was done prior to that, but will talk about their frame of mind, things along those lines, how they worked to grow their
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following online, all of that, and stevens ayres, pled guilty to entering the capitol building. and it would be great to have a little bit of cross examination here. and yes, two republicans are on the panel but are like-minded with the rest of the panel. and interesting to hear how they made the choices, how exactly the president forced them to do these things, to make these choices, towards violence or inciting violence. so that's the link we have yet to see here and it is sort of, is definitely the pretext that this part of this hearing, today's hearing, was presented. >> john: jonathan, you know, there are more republicans that are questioning kevin mccarthy's strategy about taking his cards and going home after nancy pelosi nixed jim banks and jim jordan from appearing on the committee, that mccarthy should
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have picked another couple so he could have gotten more republican representation on this panel. even president trump has said he thought that was a mistake. your thoughts about this as we see this presentation, which really goes unchallenged. >> mccarthy's view, he put forward five names and they turned down two of them. but that the democrats put on this committee people like raskin and adam schiff, outspoken against the president. position of the speaker is the two people could be potential witnesses or subject to subpoenas. the tradition has been to allow each party to select their members. by collecting your marbles and going home, you left this a largely one-sided hearing. there are no republican-appointed members and i think mccarthy may have hoped and perhaps the case, it will chip away at some credibility because the committee is making no effort at all from what i can
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see to offer alternative views, and in fact, they have edited out material like parts of trump's speech that sort of cut the other way. they don't exonerate, but it's that level of editing and framing that i think undermines the hearing, regardless of whether mccarthy made a mistake, i think the committee made a mistake by saying it's a license not to give any alternative view or allow witnesses more time to respond. and that's why this offer from the head of the oath keepers is interesting. no defense attorney on earth would want their client to go in front of a congressional hearing for an open-ended testimony when you are facing criminal charges. he's made that offer but he wants it to be live because he does not want his remarks edited. that's the head of one of the two groups that they say was in this conspiracy. >> sandra: and i was going to
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say screen left earlier, the witness on the near portion of the screen there. so obviously not at the riot, but he's going to testify we have been told at least on the group's radicalization over the years, andy, how important will this be for the american people to hear? >> well, i think it's very important on the separate question of the presence of militias in the country and the threat they pose, but linking that to what happened on january 6th is one thing. linking president trump and the people around him in an operational way to these militias is quite something else, and even in the lead-up to this in the first part of today's session, you know, they did mention again and again that these groups already seem to be poised to attack the government even before january 6th, and that's consistent with the justice department position so far, which is that president trump more than a catalyst of
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what happened with respect to these militias is more of a pretext for them to do something that they were already disposed to do, namely to attack the capitol. >> john: martha, as we look at the witnesses there, steven ayres, screen left with the short hair and then jason van totenhove on the right. he left oath keepers, he says i purged my life of that world years ago. wonder what the immediate relevance connection to january 6th will be, since he was not with the organization for six years before january, or for four years before january 6th happened. but steven, the fellow on the left, actually was there and can probably speak with greater degree of knowledge of exactly what was being said among these groups leading up to january 6th. your thoughts. >> you know, it just makes me
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think that these two people have been selected by this committee for a purpose, right. so, what we are about to hear from them i imagine will line up with the purpose of this committee, and that's the issue that we are talking about. when you think about all the people there that day, right. and as andy pointed out, 800 people were arrested, including steven ayres, and what drove them to breach the building, trespass the building, injured anybody, those are the isolated 800 cases that have been adjudicated, and you know, a small number of them have actually received jail time, real sentences. so, this is a process that has been in the mix in the department of justice for quite some time. but there is a purpose here, to lay out a narrative, and potentially this department of justice under merrick garland sees a narrative, indictable
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offenses, that's the leap that has to be made. congress cannot go any further than laying this out, that's the burden on them right now and we'll see what the justice department decides to do with the evidence that they have laid out here. >> sandra: as we await the hearing to resume, you obviously cannot see the chairman at the front of the room, a little bit of a technical difficulty getting back in there. ahead of that, maybe hear a little more sound from what we just heard, jamie raskin on the possible use of executive action. let's listen there. >> as you can see here, this proposed order directs the secretary of defense to seize voting machines "effective immediately," but further than that. under the order president trump would appoint a special counsel with the power to seize machines and then charge people with crimes with all resources necessary to carry out her duties. >> sandra: andy, your reaction
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to that moment. >> feels like mueller all over again. he's going to fire mueller, he ordered mueller to be fired, and nothing ever happened. we heard they had it for six hours and at the end of it, after trump heard enough he decided to move on to the eastman plan and leave the other thing behind. a lot of heavy breathing but nothing ever happened. obviously the capitol riot is not nothing, but they have not been able to hang that on him yet. >> john: jonathan, looks like a minute to go here. one more hearing left after this hearing, unless they call more special sessions. where do you think this goes after this? will there be a referral to the d.o.j., does it end with the committee, where do you think it heads? >> well, there have been reports there is opposition for referral even among the members of the committee. i tend to look at these things as a criminal defense attorney and i got to tell you, i still don't see the criminal case here
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to be made out. they have not created the nexus, and bringing in someone who left this organization years before the riot or bringing in an anonymous twitter former employee is not going to make it for prosecutors. they need something much more clear and direct. and bringing up horrible ideas that were not adopted does not exactly build a conspiracy. i was sort of surprised, we spent so much time talking about this horrific plan that nobody would support, that the president ultimately apparently rejected. i don't see how that is making material progress towards what they said is a case against the president. >> john: the plan you mentioned being the military seize the voting machines in the disputted districts. >> sandra: martha, final
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thought, we were expected to resume ten minutes ago, things they are getting things straightened out. we are told we are inside the one minute. your thoughts as we anticipate another day. i should tell everybody another hearing, obviously as we knew, was scheduled for july 14th, that was postponed until next week, so this is the last of the public hearings we will see and hear this week, the seventh of which we have seen, we'll wait for next week to have another one. looks like the chairman might be entering the room. quick thought? >> they have not put the lid on it, gathering more evidence, so we'll see if there is one more, primetime on thursday but now pushing that off as well. don't forget the politics that surround all of this as we head towards the midterms, democrats would like for all of this to be lingering in people's minds closer to that. jan 6 is one of the major pulse points they are going to hit in 2022, and i imagine 2024 as well.
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>> john: the chairman and co-chairman have sat down, and gavel the hearing back in. witnesses we will hear from, a former spokesman for the oath keepers group, and a man from ohio who pled guilty to illegally entering the capitol on january 6th. i expect we could hear more from pat cipollone as well, former white house counsel. >> committee will be in order. chair recognizes the gentleman from maryland, mr. raskin. >> mr. chairman, president trump's tweet drew tens of thousands of americans to washington to form the angry crowd that would be transformed on january 6th into a violent mob. dr. dennel harvin, told the committee how his team saw trump's december 19th tweet unite violent groups across the spectrum on the far right. >> we got information suggesting
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that some very, very violent individuals were organizing to come to d.c. and not only would they organize to come to d.c., but the nonaligned groups were aligning and so the, all the red flags went up at that point. when you have armed militia collaborating with white supremacy groups, collaborating with conspiracy theory groups online, all for the common goal, you start seeing what we call in terrorism a blended ideology, a very, very bad sign. clearly, not just across one platform but across multiple platforms these groups coordinating, not just like chatting, hey, how is it going, what's the weather like where you are at, but like what are you bringing, what are you wearing, you know, where do we
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meet up, do you have plans for the capitol, that's operational, that's like preoperational intelligence, right. and that is something that clearly alarming. >> the proud boys and the oath keepers are two key groups that responded immediately to president trump's call. the proud boys are a far right street fighting group that glorifies violence and white supremacy. the oath keepers promote a wide range of conspiracy theories and sought to act as a private para military force for donald trump. department of justice has charged leaders of both groups with seditious conspiracy to overthrow the government of the united states on january 6th. trump's december 19th tweet motivated these two extremist groups which have historically not worked together to coordinate their activities. december 19th at 10:22 a.m., just hours after president trump's tweet, kelly migs, the
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head of the florida oath keepers declared alliance between three militia groups, we have decided to work together and shut this [bleep] down. phone records obtained showed mr. migs called the proud boys and the next day the proud boys gat to work. they launched an encrypted chat called the ministry of self-defense. committee obtained hundreds of these messages which show strategic and tactical planning about january 6th, including maps of washington, d.c. that pinpoint the location of police. in the weeks leading up to the attack, leaders in the proud boys and oath keepers worked with trump allies. one such ally was lieutenant general michael flynn, trump's former national security advisor
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and one of the participants in the unhinged meeting at the white house on december 18th. he also had connections to the oath keepers. this photo from december 12th shows flynn and patrick burn, another trump ally, present at that december 18th meeting, guarded by indicted oath keeper roberto minuta. another view of the scene shows oath keepers leader stewart rhodes in the picture as well. another central figure with ties to this network of extremist groups was roger stone, a political consultant and the long time confidante of president trump. he pardoned both flynn and stone in the weeks between the election on november 3rd and january 6th. in the same time frame, stone communicated with both the proud boys and the oath keepers regularly. the committee obtained encrypted content from a group chat called friends of stone, fos, including
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stone, rhodes, tario, and alexander, the chat focused on various pro trump events in november and december of 2020 as well as january 6th. as you can see here, stewart rhodes himself urged the friends of stone to have people go to their state capitols if they cannot make it to washington for the first million maga march on november 14th. friends of roger stone had a significant presence at multiple pro trump events after the election, including in washington on december 12th. on that day, stewart rhodes called for donald trump to invoke martial law promising bloodshed if he did not. >> know that you are with him, that he does not do it now while he is commander in chief we are going to have to do it ourselves later in a much more desperate, much more bloody war. let's get it on now while he is
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still the commander in chief. >> that night the proud boys engaged in violence on the streets of washington and hurled aggressive insults at the police. >> oath breakers, do your [bleep] job. give us one hour, one hour. >> just the previous night, the co-host of info wards issued an ominous warning alongside stone and tario, proud boys founder. >> encrypted chats obtained by the select committee shows the
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indicted leader of the oath keepers spoke directly with roger stone about security on january 5th and six. in fact, on january 6th, stone was guarded by two oath keepers who have since been criminally indicted for seditious conspiracy. one of them later pled guilty and admitted the oath keepers were ready to use legal force if necessary from any one trying to remove president trump from the white house including the national guard. proud boys were also part of the friends of stone network. stone's ties to the proud boys go back many years, even taken the so-called fraternity creed, the first level of initiation to the group. >> hi, i'm roger stone. refuse to apologize --
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>> thank you, roger. >> kelly surreal, a lawyer who assists the oath keepers and volunteer lawyer for the trump campaign explained to the committee how roger stone and others brought extremists of different stripes and views together. >> you mentioned that mr. stone wanted to start the stop the steal series of rallies. who did you consider the leader of these rallies, the sounds like mr. stone, mr. jones, and mr. ali alexander, is that correct? >> those are the ones that became like the center point for everything. >> we'll learn more from ms. murphy about these individuals and their involvement in the days leading up to the violent attack on january 6th. also hear how they were allowed to speak at a rally for president trump the night before january 6th even though
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organizers had expressed serious concerns about their violent and extremist rhetoric directly to mark meadows, and you'll hear testimony from white house aides who were with the president as he watched the crowd from the oval office and will testify about how excited he was for the following day. let me note now that our investigation continues on these critical issues. we have only shown a small fraction of what we have found. i look forward to the public release of more of our findings later, mr. chairman. and i now yield back. >> gentleman yields back. miss murphy. >> during our most recent hearing, the committee showed some evidence what president trump, chief of staff mark meadows, and other white house officials knew about the potential for violence on january 6th. despite this information, they made no effort to cancel the rally, halt the march to the capitol or even to lower the
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temperature among president trump supporters. katrina pearson, one of the organizers of the rally and former campaign spokeswoman for president trump was increasingly apprehensive. speakers included some of the people we discussed earlier in the hearing, roger stone, a long time outside advisor to president trump, alex jones, founder of the conspiracy theory website info wars, and ali alexander, activist known for his violent political rhetoric. on december 30th, miss pearson exchanged text messages with another key rally organizers about why people like mr. alexander and mr. jones were being suggested as speakers at the president's rally on january 6th. miss pearson's explanation was potus, and remarked the president likes the crazies. the committee asked her about the messages and what she said.
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>> when you said he likes the crazies, were you talking about president trump? >> yes, i was talking about president trump. he loved people who viciously defended him in public. >> consistent in terms of the support for these people, at least with what the president likes from what you could tell. >> yes, these are people that would be very, very vicious and publicly defending him. >> on january 2nd, miss pearson's concerns about the potential rally speakers will grown serious enough she reached out to mr. meadows directly. she wrote, good afternoon, would you mind giving me a call regarding this january 6th event? things have gotten crazy and i desperately need some direction, please. according to phone records obtained by the committee, miss pearson received a phone call eight minutes later from mr. meadows. what she said about that conversation. >> so what specifically did you tell him, though, about other
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events? >> just that there were a bunch of entities coming in, some were respect, but they are going to be on other stages, some on other days, very, very brief overview of what was actually happening and why i raised the red flag. >> when you told him that people were respect, what -- did you tell him what you meant by that, or what did you convey to him about what the problems with the folks? >> i think i even texted him some of my concerns but i did briefly go over some of the concerns i had raised to everybody with alex jones or ali alexander and some rhetoric they were doing. probably mentioned to him they had already caused trouble at other capitols, or the previous event, the previous march they did for protesting, and i just had a concern about it. >> miss pearson was especially concerned about ali alexander
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and alex jones because in november 2020, both men and some of their supporters had entered the georgia state capitol to protest the results of the 2020 election. the miss pearson believed she mentioned this to mark meadows on this january 2nd call. notably, january 2nd is the same day on which, according to cassidy hutchinson, mr. meadows warned her things might get real, real bad on january 6th. after her january 2nd call with mr. meadows, she sent an email to fellow rally organizers. wrote potus expectations are to have something intimate at the ellipse and call on everyone to march to the capitol. the president's own document suggests the president had decided to call on his supporters to go to the capitol on january 6th. but that he chose not to widely announce it until his speech that morning. the committee has obtained this draft updated -- undated tweet
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from the national archives, includes a stamp stating president has seen. the draft tweet reads, i will be making a big speech at 10:00 a.m. on january 6th at the ellipse south of the white house. please arrive early. massive crowds expected. march to the capitol after. stop the steal. although the tweet was never sent, rally organizers were discussing and preparing for the march leading up to january 6th. this is the january 4th text message from a rally organizer to mike lindell, the my pillow c.e.o., says this stays before us, a second stage at the supreme court, potus will have us march there/the capitol. it cannot get out about the second stage because people will try and set up another and sabotage it, and not get out about the march because i will be in trouble with the national park service and all the
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agencies. but potus is going to just call for it "unexpectedly." the end of the message indicates the plan to march to the capitol was not broadly discussed. and the morning of january 5th, ali alexander, whose firebrand style concerned katrina pearson, sent a similar text to a conservative journalist. mr. alexander said, tomorrow, ellipse then u.s. capitol. trump is supposed to order us to the capitol at the end of the speech, we will see. president trump did follow through on his plan using his january 6th speech to tell his supporters to march to the capitol on january 6th. the evidence confirms this was not a spontaneous call to action, but rather was a deliberate strategy decided upon in advance by the president. another part of the president's strategy involved certain
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members of congress who amplified his unsupported assertions that the election had been stolen. in the weeks after the election, the white house coordinated closely with president trump's allies and congress to disseminate his false claims and encourage members of the public to fight the outcome on january 6th. we know that the president met with various members to discuss january 6th well before the joint session. the president's private schedule for december 21, 2020, shows a private meeting with republican members of congress. we know that vice president pence, chief of staff mark meadows, and rudy giuliani also attended that meeting. we obtained an email that was sent from congressman mo brooks of alabama to mark meadows setting up that meeting. the subject line is, white house meeting december 21st, regarding january 6th. in his email, congressman brooks explained that he had not asked anyone to join him in the "january 6th effort."
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because in his view "only citizens can exert the necessary influence on senators and congressmen to join this fight against massive voter fraud and election theft." at this point you may also recall testimony in the earlier hearing by acting attorney general who said the president asked the department of justice to "just say that the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the republican congressmen." according to white house visitor logs obtained by the committee, members of congress present at the white house on december 21st included congressman brian babin, andy bigs, matt gates, louie gomer, paul gosar, andy harris, scott perry. then marjorie taylor green was also there. we heard testimony in an early hearing that a pardon was
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ultimately requested by congressman mo brooks and other members of congress who attended this meeting. we have asked witnesses what happened during the december 21st meeting and learned part of the discussions centered on the role of the vice president during the counting of the electoral votes. these members of congress were discussing what would later be known as the eastman theory, pushed by attorney john eastman. in an earlier hearing you heard in great detail president trump was trying to convince mike pence to do something illegal. confirmed in testimony last week. >> your views upon the discussions, what was your assessment as to what the vice president could or could not do? >> what was my assessment what he could or couldn't do? >> yes, your view of the issue. >> the vice president did not
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have legal authority to do anything but what he did. >> [inaudible] looked very closely at the eastman memos, and theory and thought that it had no basis, that it was not a strategy that the president understood, sounds like that's consistent with your question as well. >> my impression would have been formed certainly by them. >> campaign senior advisor jason miller told us mr. cipollone thought john eastman's theories were nutty, something he would not refute. >> we received testimony from various people about this, jason miller, a campaign, said that thought he was nutty and one point confronted eastman with the same sentiment. >> i don't have any reason to contradict what he said. >> on january 4th, john eastman went to the white house to meet with the president and vice president. mr. cipollone tried to participate in this meeting but he was apparently turned away.
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>> you didn't go to the meeting in the oval office where eastman met with the president and the vice president. do you know -- do you remember why you didn't personally attend? >> i did walk to the meeting and do go into the oval office with the idea of attending the meeting but ultimately did not attend the meeting. >> why not? >> the reasons -- >> were you asked to not attend the meeting or personal decision not to attend the meeting? >> again, without not getting into -- greg jacob, the vice president's counsel, stated mr. eastman acknowledged he would lose 9-0 if the legal theory were challenged in the supreme court. mr. cipollone had reviewed mr. eastman's legal theory and expressed his view repeatedly the vice president was right. even offered to take the blame for the vice president's position. >> i thought that the vice president did not have the
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authority to do what was being suggested under a proper reading of the law. i conveyed that. i think i actually -- somebody, you know, in the vice president's -- just blame me, you know, just -- i'm not a politician, you know, but i just said i'm a lawyer, this is my legal opinion. but let me tell you this. can i say a word about the vice president? >> please. >> i think the vice president did the right thing. i think he did the courageous thing. i have a great deal of respect for vice president pence. i worked with him very closely. i think he understood my opinion. i think he understood my opinion afterwards as well. i think he did a great service to this country and i think i suggested to somebody that he should get a presidential medal of freedom for his actions.
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>> earlier this year a federal district court judge concluded that president trump and mr. eastman relying on mr. eastman's theory more likely than not violated multiple federal criminal laws in their pressure campaign against the vice president. also recall earlier in this hearing we saw that rudy giuliani's team did not have actual evidence of fraud sufficient to change the result of the election. that's important because as january 6th approached, the republican members of the house and senate were looking for reasons to object to the electors. no real evidence was ever given to them. and we know that republican members of the house received a memorandum from the chair woman of the house republican caucus in the days before january 6th explaining in detail the many constitutional and legal problems with objections in describing the principle judicial rulings dismissing the claims of widespread fraud. but their plan to object to the
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certification of the election on january 6th went forward anyway. the next day on january 5th, the day before the attack on the capitol, tens of thousands of people converged on washington. while certain close associates of president trump privately expressed concerns about what would occur on january 6th, other members of the president's inner circle spoke with great anticipation about the events to come. the committee has learned from the white house phone logs that the president spoke to steve bannon, his close advisor, at least twice on january 5th. the first conversation they had lasted for 11 minutes. listen to what mr. bannon said that day after the first call he had with the president. >> all hell is going to break loose tomorrow. it's all converging and now we are on as they say the point of attack, right. the point of attack tomorrow. i'll tell you this. it's not gonna happen like you think it's gonna happen, ok. it's gonna be quite extraordinarily different, and
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all i can say is strap in. >> from those same phone logs we know the president and mr. bannon spoke again on the phone that evening, this time for six minutes. that same day on the eve of january 6th, supporters of president trump gathered in washington, d.c. at another rally. this rally was held at freedom plaza, located near the white house, and featured some of the speakers who ca -- katrina pearson and others deemed too much. let's hear from the white house aides in the oval office that night. >> i was in the office in the oval office when he had asked me to open the door so that he could hear, i guess there was a concert or a, something going on. >> did he say anything other than just open the door? >> he made a comment, i don't
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remember specifically what he said, but a lot of energy. >> when we walked in, the staff was kind of standing up and assembled along the wall, and the president was at the desk and dan scavino was on the couch and the president was dictating a tweet that he wanted him to send out. then the president started talking about the rally the next day. he had the door of the oval open to the rose garden because you could hear the crowd already assembled outside on the ellipse and they were playing music and it was so loud that you could feel it shaking in the oval. he was in a very good mood, and i say that because he had not been in a good mood for weeks leading up to that, and then it seemed like he was in a fantastic mood that evening.
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>> being asked if -- if members of congress would be with him tomorrow. >> and what did you understand, in his favor? physically with him? >> yeah, i took that to mean not going to certify the election. >> then he did look to the staff and ask for ideas of how, if i recall, he said that we could mine the rinos do the right thing is the way he phrased it, and no one spoke up initially, because i think everyone was trying to process what he meant by that. >> the president was making notes, and talking then about we should go up to the capitol, what's the best route to go to the capitol. >> said he should focus on policy accomplishments -- >> what was his response? >> he acknowledged that and said
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we have had a lot, something along those lines, and then he fairly quickly moved to how fired up the crowd is, was going to be. >> and >> just that they were fired up. they were angry. the election was stolen, the election was rigged. >> did he give any communication how he knew that the crowd was fired up or angry? >> he continued referencing hearing them outside. >> through the open door of the oval us a, the president could hear the sound of the crowd and the music at the freedom plaza. these are some of the things that they were saying there at the plaza. just blocks from where the president sat that evening


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