US Capitol Attack: Probe Panel Votes to Sue Trump | Takeaways

The Jan. 6 House Committee took the extraordinary action to subpoena former President Donald Trump on Thursday as it issued a stark warning at its final public hearing before the midterm elections: The future of the country’s democracy is at stake. .

The panel hearing in October, just weeks before the midterm elections, focused on Trump’s state of mind on Jan. 6, 2021, when he incited his supporters with false claims of voter fraud and urged them to accompany them to the Capitol as lawmakers the voices, then stood still for hours as the crowd forcibly entered the building.

The commission is expected to close early next year and held its final public arguments ahead of a report expected in December.

“We are obligated to seek answers directly from the man who started all this,” said Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney, the panel’s vice chair and one of two Republicans on the nine-member committee. And every American is entitled to those answers. So we can act now to protect our republic.”


Trump’s subpoena is a major escalation in the investigation. After months of signaling that they can leave the former president alone, the unanimous 9-0 vote “for relevant documents and testimony, under oath” was final.

The committee had long debated whether to ask or subpoena Trump or former Vice President Mike Pence. Neither of them spoke directly with the committee. Although Trump was hostile to the investigation both in court and publicly, Pence’s attorneys had been in contact with the panel for several months with no clear resolution.

Pence could still be called or subpoenaed. But several of his closest associates have heeded the investigation, and several of them gave much detail about his moves and state of mind as he resisted Trump’s pleas to object to the certification of election votes that day and to undo their defeat. to make.

In contrast, the committee showed several clips of Trump allies refusing to answer questions for the panel.

Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat, said the commission was “able to pinpoint every notable detail in virtually every element of the violation” except for certain details about what Trump did and said as the insurgency unfolded.


A new video broadcast by the panel showed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reacting emotionally to the news that her colleagues were wearing gas masks in the House room as the rioters approached. She quickly set to work securing and reopening the Capitol.

Pelosi and Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer were seen in unidentified secure locations speaking to security officials. The footage features a conversation between Pelosi and Pence, who was also in a safe location, discussing their return to the session to confirm Biden’s win.

The footage was filmed by Pelosi’s daughter, Alexandra Pelosi, according to two people familiar with the video who requested anonymity to discuss it.

The two leaders are busy getting the National Guard to the Capitol with an hour’s delay. At one point, Schumer said he would call “the DOD effing secretary,” referring to the Department of Defense.

“We have a number of senators who are still in hiding,” Schumer told the defense on the phone. “They need huge staff now.”


The lesson from the commission’s investigation is that institutions will only survive if people of good faith protect them without regard for political costs, Cheney said at the hearing.

“Why should Americans assume that our constitution and our institutions in our Republic are invulnerable to another attack? Why would we assume that those institutions will not falter next time?” asked Cheney.

The warnings come as Trump still refuses to acknowledge he lost his reelection to Joe Biden and is considering another round in 2024 — and just as many Republicans who deny Biden’s victory are running in the midterm elections at all levels of government. Many states have replaced election officials who oppose Trump’s pressure campaign.

“Any future president who is inclined to try what Donald Trump did in 2020 has now learned not to install people who can get in the way,” said Cheney, who lost her own Republican primary in August. “Consider if we can survive another 246 years.”


The commission has obtained more than 1.5 million pages of Secret Service documents in recent weeks. They revealed some of that information during the hearing, including an email from the agency on December 11, 2020, the day the Supreme Court rejected one of Trump’s attempts to undermine the vote.

“Just f. POTUS is p—-d — breaking news — Supreme Court dismissed his lawsuit. He’s furious now,” said an anonymous Secret Service email.

Multiple emails revealed that the agency had been amply warned of violence in the weeks and days leading up to the uprising.

A warning received by the agency on Dec. 24 said multiple online users targeted members of Congress and ordered “others to march into the chambers,” said California Representative Adam Schiff, a Democratic panel member.

California Rep. Pete Aguilar, another Democratic member, said the commission will “recall witnesses and make further investigative statements” based on Secret Service material. The agency did not return text messages that it said had been deleted.

Aguilar also warned that the commission is reviewing testimony regarding possible obstruction of some witnesses. The commission has said in the past that some witnesses were intimidated to speak.


The commission showed pre-recorded interviews with cabinet members, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia, who said they believed that once legal options were exhausted, the should have been a solution. end of Trump’s attempt to stay in power.

Pompeo, who has been interviewed by the panel since its last hearing in July, said in his videotaped testimony that he believed that once the electoral college approved the vote, the process of contesting the election was over. “We must all obey the law at all times, to the best of our ability — each and every one of us,” Pompeo said.

Chao, who is married to Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnel, said she decided to step down after the uprising because “it was impossible for me to continue given my personal values ​​and my philosophy.”

At the same time, Trump continued to foist the false claims of fraud on his millions of supporters.

“President Trump knew the truth. He heard what all his experts and senior staff were telling him,” said Adam Kinzinger, the other Republican on the committee, from Illinois. “His intention was clear: ignore the rule of law and stay in power.”


Cheney answered one of the committee’s remaining questions at the start of the meeting, saying the panel “may ultimately decide to make a series of criminal justice referrals to the Justice Department.” At the end of the hearing, she again mentioned the possibility, saying it has “enough information to consider criminal referrals for multiple individuals.”

Members of the commission have long suggested that they can bring charges against Trump or others based on their own evidence. While such a referral wouldn’t force action, it would put political pressure on Attorney General Merrick Garland, as the department continued its own investigations around Jan. 6. And the committee has not yet shared transcripts of its more than 1,000 interviews.

Still, “we recognize that our role is not to make decisions about prosecution,” Cheney said.

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