The bipartisan House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol held what was expected to be its last public hearing — certainly the final one before the midterm elections — on Thursday afternoon. And it was a doozy.
The Jan. 6 committee has been building a case that former President Donald Trump instigated the rioters to attack the Capitol in an “attempted coup” to keep Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory. And the panel composed of Republicans and Democrats alike wrapped its ninth televised session on Friday by unanimously voting to subpoena Trump.
“We have left no doubt, none, that Donald Trump led an effort to upend American democracy that directly resulted in the violence of Jan. 6,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Mississippi Democrat leading the committee. “He tried to take away the voice of the American people in choosing their president, and replacing the will of the voters with his will to remain in power. He is the one person at the center of the story of what happened on Jan. 6. So we want to hear from him.”
““We have left no doubt, none, that Donald Trump led an effort to upend American democracy that directly resulted in the violence of Jan. 6.””
Thompson added that Trump “must be accountable” and “he is required to answer for his actions.” The former president is unlikely to comply, however, according to a CNN analyst, so the panel could decide to hold Trump in criminal contempt of Congress.
In an apparent reference to the subpoena, a spokesman for Trump tweeted that the former president “will not be intimidate [sic] by [Democrats’] meritless rhetoric or un-American actions.”
While the subpoena was arguably the most notable outcome of Thursday’s hearing, it was just one of several surprising new revelations. Here are some of the other key moments that came out of the latest (and maybe last) Jan. 6 committee hearing.
Trump planned to say he won the election, even if he lost, back in July 2020
Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren said that Brad Parscale, Trump’s one-time campaign manager, testified before the committee that “he understood that President Trump planned as early as July that he would say he won the election, even if he lost.”
What’s more, just a few days before the 2020 election, Trump’s former chief White House strategist Steve Bannon was recorded on video telling a group of associates from China that Trump was going to declare victory on election night, whether the votes were in or not.
““If Biden’s winning, Trump’s gonna do some crazy shit.””
“But that doesn’t mean he’s the winner — he’s just gonna say he’s the winner,” Bannon is shown saying. What’s more, he warned that, “If Biden’s winning, Trump’s gonna do some crazy shit.”
Roger Stone pleaded the Fifth. A few times.
The committee aired the testimony of conservative strategist and long-time Trump advisor Roger Stone – and as Stone had warned last year, he invoked the Fifth Amendment against self incrimination in response to the committee’s questioning. That included two key questions:
Committee: “Do you believe the violence on January 6th was justified?”
Stone: “On the advice of counsel, I respectfully decline to answer your question on the basis of the Fifth Amendment.”
Committee: “And Mr. Stone did you have any role in planning for the violence on January 6th.”
Stone: “Once again I will assert my Fifth Amendment right to decline to answer your question.”
What’s more, a previously-released clip of Stone promoting violence ahead of the 2020 election was also presented by the Jan. 6 panel, which soon began making the rounds on Twitter again on Tuesday. “I said f— the voting, let’s get right to the violence,” Stone was recorded saying on Nov. 2, 2020. He later sought a presidential pardon.
The Secret Service was warned protestors and Proud Boys planned to attack the Capitol.
The Jan. 6 committee is still poring over more than 1 million documents from the Secret Service, including emails and memos. But it revealed several documented warnings that the Secret Service received in December 2020 and January 2021 that there could be violence at the Capitol complex on Jan. 6. This included a December 2020 tip passed along to the Secret Service warning that the Proud Boys believed they would have a “large enough group to march into DC armed and will outnumber the police so they can’t be stopped” and that “their plan is to literally kill people.”
New footage shows Nancy Pelosi working the phones to stop the violence while she was hunkering down on Jan. 6
For those wondering what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other lawmakers were doing during the riot, the committee showed new, never-before-seen footage of several members of Congress working to get security reinforcements to quell the mob – and Pelosi telling the then-Attorney General to get Trump to tell the protestors to go home.
“We have to finish the proceedings, otherwise they will have complete victory,” Pelosi was shown saying at one point. And during a call with then-Vice President Mike Pence, she said, “We’re trying to figure out how we can get this job [certifying Biden’s election victory] done today.” Pelosi and Chuck Schumer were also shown conferring with McConnell about securing the building so they could certify the election results. And Pelosi was also shown calling the governors of Maryland and Virginia to muster their National Guard forces toward the Capitol. “It could take time to clean up the poo poo that they are making all over – literally and figuratively – the Capitol,” she said at one point.
This led Pelosi’s name to go viral, with many praising her composure.
If you missed the hearing, you can watch this one and all of the previous hearings on the select committee’s website.
And MarketWatch has a recap of the first eight hearings here.