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tv   Attack on Democracy The January 6th Hearings  CNN  July 12, 2022 6:00am-1:01pm PDT

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california and they did a great job why they say they're confident of the plan to save the trees. they do not expect those trees to come under any danger again from the fire. fingers crossed. >> thank you. cnn's coverage continues right now. ♪ good tuesday morning to you. >> good morning, everyone. the january 6 committee will hole the seventh public hearing zeroing in on president trump's last-ditch effort to hold on to power why the panel is expected to show how right wing extremist groups prepared to attack the u.s. control leading up to january 6.
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the committee will also link those groups of former president's inner circle trying to tie them to roger stone and michael flynn. >> select committee member congresswoman murphy will jointly lead the session said expect details linking trump to the violent mob. >> do you think people will be surprised by what they hear? >> i think the hearings always have surprises so i anticipate tomorrow's hearing is nothing short of that. >> we expect to hear pat cipollone's closed door interview including what he witnessed at a meeting on december 18, 2020, at the white house welcoming a group of extreme election deniers to block joe biden's certification
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as pl. >> exactly. joining us now is pamela brown. good morning. a lot of the analysis ahead of the hearing is it might be the most complex case to make. can you explain why and what we know about at least some of the witnesses? i don't think we know about all the witnesses, right? >> that's right. bottom line here is the reason why it's called a complex case compared to the other hearings is what the committee is setting out to do is draw connections between people in trump's orkt and extremists and extremist groups. and how trump's actions, tweets such as december 19 calling people to the capitol building saying it will be wild and spurred on the extremists to go to the capitol building.
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one is steven ayers that pleaded guilty to going to the capitol and entering it illegally and posted trump's tweet on social media saying there will be a civil war. you have a rioter to testify today. also testifying today is jason who is the former spokesperson for the oathkeepers and will provide insight into what was going inside the oathkeepers and the role the former president played in calling them to the capitol today. >> hutchinson's testimony was a changing point in the investigation and pat cipollone agreed to come in following that. i imagine to corroborate the accounts that hutchinson gave. what do we expect to hear from
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cipollone's testimony today? >> that's right. he did corroborate the larger narrative of what we heard from cassidy hutchinson's of trump's efforts to overturn the election results. he did corroborate the overall points. and the main points that trump thought the election was stolen and pushed to have the election results overturned using the power of the presidency to do so. pat cipollone was in the key meeting december 18th in the oval office. they were going head to head. it was contentious and heated. he said it was insane and expressed that to the committee and trying to seize voting machines to inspect them and
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have powell as a special counsel looking at voter fraud. the excerpts could shed light on the meeting and other aspects like pardoning and the trump's views of overturning election. >> this is about a week's long effort to overturn the election. pamela brown, do stay with us. >> yeah. let's bring in to join us is shan woo and terance gainer. shan, starting with pat cipollone, a significant development that the committee got him to agree to come. they are going to air the clips of speaking with him apparently corroborating what hutchinson said. what do you think is most important about the account of
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that december 18th meeting at the white house? >> it is really coming directly from him. i think that will make it more powerful to the american people and possibly more powerful to the justice department which is an important part of the audience here. i think cipollone negotiated a situation not talking about direct private communications between him and trump. there's no time to fight over it. much of what he said isn't covered under that. trump allies in that meeting. speaking to other people than trump. >> quick follow on that. "the new york times" reporting that the doj surprised by hutch sonson's testimony. are you surprised by that?
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two, how far does that set back then any doj investigation of the same line there? what was trump's involvement particularly on that day. >> i'm surprised and yet not surprised. those who worked at the high levels of doj and led complex investigations it doesn't look like until now they kicked into greer to look at the higher level inner circle. i think there's nothing wrong with the approach from the bottom up and going to take maybe too much time unfortunately and also problems with the analogies to a mob prosecution. there is differences between flipping low level witnesses versus the witnesses who are highly sophisticated and lawyered up and there are important differences there. >> can you talk about the
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significance of the two witnesses that we know about? i think it sounds like others but steven ayers who was at the capitol. later pled guilty ton'tering the capitol illegally. hear from him and then hear from van totenho who said he is not associated with the oathkeepers any longer. how do you think the committee ties in the testimony of the folks to make the connection between the two extremist groups to the former president? >> i think -- >> sorry. >> go ahead, terrance. >> i think they will try and late thes aspects and what the character actors know.
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someone really there part of the inner circle of the insurrectionists. when the threat level is elevated the slightest spark can make that get worse so hearing the things at this meeting people on the fringe become more dangerous. >> pam brown, can you connect the dots for folks what the panel is trying to do with each hearing and therefore where is it headed? what is the end result the committee wants americans the public to come away with? >> the end result is that donald trump the former president incited the insurrection. they're trying to build on the case and why today there's focus on donald trump and the tweet put out on december 19. that's a central part of this
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and how it spurred the extremists to come to the capitol building and engage in violent riot so they try to connect these dots. right? and how there was a chain of events from december 18 with that wild oval office meeting with trump and allies and then the tweet and the riot we see on january 6 but basically to show that all roads lead to donald trump and the january 6 riot. >> speaking about that tweet that pamela just mentioned on december 19 the former president tweeted big protest. be there. will be wild. shan, do you agree with the assessment of ab drew weissman who really criticized doj right now and merrick garland saying
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the approach you are taking bottom up typical is wrong. you need to start at that tweet, start at the ellipse and the president and move out. >> there's nothing wrong with going from the bottom up but i think at this point and frankly they needed to be simultaneously looking at the inner circle. a mob style case is you have unsophisticated witnesses that you can lock in and possibly get them to flip. here everyone is very sophisticated witness with lawyers and need to have a whole separate team being able to be focused on that not wait to gather the violent protest pleas or cooperation deals.
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i agree. there's noing among but this is not a simplistic mob violent situation prosecution. >> the fbi, the dhs identifies the right wing extremist groups as a threat. you have extremist group that is took part in january 6 and some evidence of contacts of trump uner circle and with these groups. how should americans view that from a national security perspective? should they view that as the then sitting president was encouraging extremist groups? >> i think that's the likely conclusion to draw. we said it's not just about today. it is an elevated threat,
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dynamic. as you watch it come together the fringe groups are still waiting for one more push and the more it points to the president the more resent. they get and the greater risk to all of us. there's a lot of things unfolding and we have to be careful. >> thanks very much. a few hours until the hearing kicks off. president biden is meeting with mexico's president today after a tense standoff when mexico skipped the summit of the americas. also heathrow airlines is asking asking airlines to stop selling tickets. resources are so low.
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later this morning president biden will meet with mexico's president at the white house. >> this is being seen as a makeup meeting after lopez boycotted the summit of the americas in los angeles last month amid growing sins over migration across the southern border. arlette saenz is at the white house. will they make up? >> reporter: we'll see but migration is expected to be at the top of the agenda meeting
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with mexican president in the oval office. the mexican president is at the naval observatory having breakfast with vice president kamala harris. they said they looked forward to the conversations and harris tried to serve as the point person on addressing the root causes of migration but the pair of meetings with the mexican president after the snub by lopez obrador last month not attending the summit of the americas. but even despite that very public spat the u.s. and mexico said they have a host of issues to work and cooperate on with migration being at the top among the prioritys. after the meeting with president biden the two leaders are expected to announce a bilateral working group.
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the biden administration will also be announcing some new ways to improve border infrastructure including investments in ports of entry and enhance law enforcement cooperation to try to disrupt the distribution of fentanyl. this is playing out against the backdrop of described as a worst smuggling event when 53 migrants found dead in a semitruck in san antonio, texas. the issue is key and important for both leaders. while the president is engaged with the mexican president this evening he is set to depart to the middle east with stops in israel and west bank.
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high he is expected to engage with the saudi arabia crown prince. he will be heading to saudi arabia in just a few days and the white house insists human rights will be at the top of the list of priorities in the region. >> thank you so much. former governor richardson is expected to travel to russia to try to secure the release of americans griber and whelan. >> it is notable. he went there before the release of trevor reed a few weeks before. jon kirby told cnn the administration supports the trip there. >> we definitely are interested in government to government
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contact here with russia to try to secure the release of griner, whelan and all americans unjustly detained around the world. >> richardson play add role in secure reed from russia in april. the team's visit there a couple months in advance. long lines in airports. as the euro is giving americans a great reason to visit overseas. ♪ lunchables! built to be eaten. ♪
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heathrow airport in london asking airlines to stop selling tickets for summer travel, a request that could disrupt plans for millions. >> i have never heard of something like this happening. it is remarkable. obviously a huge hub in europe. it is struggling to meet the demands from the surge in summer travel. anna stewart is live outside heathrow. how bad is this if the ceo of the airport is basically saying stop selling tickets? i assume the iairlines are not that thrilled about that request. >> reporter: airlines are
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struggling from strikes over the issues and so on. heathrow airport has canceled flights by a week by week basis. this is trying to get ahead of this. it is absolutely fascinating. this is a huge resurgence in travel demand. he said in a letter they have seen 40 years of passenger growth. they want to cap it at 100,000. airlines have capacity for additional 4,000. they want them to stop selling tickets and likely to try to reduce the capacity with flight cancelations. it is extraordinary. the issue for heathrow is staff issues of ground handling. they are trying to get ahead for
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the summer but didn't fill many roles and the big issue is baggage. well done, jim. you traveled from london and got the bags there. brave is the traveler with more than carry on. you have the day by day, week by week cancelations based on strikes or delays and shortages of people and trying to get on top of capacity ahead of time. >> goodness. >> glad you got your bag, jim. >> i didn't check one. >> i don't care how long you go. you are carrying on. that is how we roll. anna, thank you. here is good news for americans traveling to europe. the euro is the same as a dollar. >> it loths 12% of the value
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since the start of the year. business correspondent allison kosik following. this is a result of results of concerns of the europe economy. >> yes. there's a growing energy crisis making it harder to fight inflation. what we saw is the euro crumble. hitting $1 on tuesday. down 12%. there are also the fears of inflation. dealing with that here in the u.s. and high inflation with energy supply uncertainty caused by russia's invasion of ukraine is pressuring the euro. rush pulled back on gas supplies to eu countries and cut the flow. there's a concern russia may not turn the pipeline back on.
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there's an economic slowdown and doubts to tighten policy to bring down inflation. the ecb announced to hike interest rates this month since 2011 for the first time but the fed's already ahead on tightening and many say that the ecb is late to the party. this is great news as an american tourist. the americans have more spending power outside the country. if you are invested in to the stock market it is not good. u.s. firms generate 30% of the seams from abroad and a pressure on the earnings. corporate america's earnings. this week thursday comes second quarter earnings begin in
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irnest. >> thank you. two people are dead and three injured after a string of robberies in southern california this morning. >> authorities working to determine how many crimes are connected. josh campbell is following the story. do authorities see a connection? >> a brazen crime spree yesterday. this all started around midnight. authorities believe some are connected and working to investigate them. 7-eleven recking all stores in the los angeles area close overnight. this was in the city of ontario. a suspect with a handgun. robbed an employee and according to police not shooting anyone there. there were no injurys. later in riverside a customer
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shot after a suspect entered the store and robbed the clerk. later in santa ana another person fatally shot. another incident after that, brea. a call of someone suffering from a gunshot wound and found a man then pronounced deceased. yet another incident in city of la habra. this is troubling for officials. police released footage showing the person they believe responsible as 5'10", 160 pounds. i got a statement in from the corporation telling us that the hearts are with the victims and loved ones and gathering information and working with local law enforcement. they say that with all this mind
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they encourage the stores to close overnight. finally obviously yesterday is 7/11. police say it's too soon to make a connection to that date but something they look into. last check overnight no new incidents. police want to get the suspect off the street. >> of course. >> thank you. those sequoias, more than 500 firefighters racing to protect the grove of trees as a raging wild fire spreads inside yosemite. >> fire crews are trying to protect the park's iconic grizzly giant sequoia. all of this warning the fire is 22% contained. 2500 acres of land burned so
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quality images ever captured in deep space. this is blowing my mind. like likely yours, as well. nasa will release the photos from the james web space telescope. president biden unveiled this photo last night at the white house showing a massive group of galaxy clisers as they appeared 4.6 billion years of rust with clouds, exo-planets and the cutting edge telescope launched christmas day and will be used for years to come around the world. so happy to bring in miles o'brien. this is so great to report good news, images that will change the lives us and children and generations to come. how big is this moment? >> poppy, this is why i love
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this beat. very few things in our lives and the news budget that bring us together that is positive. this is a moment in history, a telescope that's been invisioned by astrom hers many, many decades and coming to pass finally. we will see to the very, very edges of the universe. right back to the beginning of time. so-called big bang. and to say we are fortunate to be alive at this moment seems like an understatement. >> so when we look at the first images, well, the first image and next hour i think five more and they will help to research exo planets.
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what could we learn about them? >> they interestingly enough nothing when the telescope was first invisioned. since that time we discovered thousands of them. when you look at every star there's a planet orbiting it. we have identified many. some of them are we call rocky goldilocks type planets. that perfect zone where you might have a solid surface, the right temperatures for water to exist. you see where i'm headed for this. it could be a place where there could be some ore kind of life. web is not designed to be a life detector and gets us closer to identify where maybe somebody is locking back at us. >> i think it also gives us
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perspective. right? we know we are right and insignificant but this is a sense of perspective because when the first image released last night it showed the galaxy cluster and what they said releasing the image is slice of the vast universe covers a patch of sky the size of a grain of sand by somebody on the ground. this image of many galaxies like a grain of sand. what does that mean? >> that's in the category of mind blowing. isn't it? take a tiny piece of the night sky that looks like the void. you spend a little bit of time focusing on it with this amazing instrument and out comes literally thousands, millions,
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billions of potential targets. where did they come from? that image identifies galaxies that we have not seen here to fore. here we are seeing more and measure of the possible locations for planets, for life, for galaxies as we know them. isn't it almost inconceivable that we are alone? >> yes, it is. it is amazing. i can't wait to see this together in less than an hour's time. thank you for the good news this morning. >> all right. pleasure. >> jim? coming up, russia's war, a lifeline from iran. the new kremlin's new ally in its brutal invasion of ukraine.
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a new entrant in the war over ukraine. u.s. officials say that iran is prepared to supply russia with drones to use against ukrainian forces. according to newly declassified u.s. intelligence iran will train russian forces to use the drones later this month. >> i think it was important to make it clear to the world that we know that russia, a, needs these additional capabilities. b, that they're leaning
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>> joining me now a former assistant secretary of state for political military affairs under president george w. bush. good to have you back on. thanks for taking the time. >> hey, jim. >> so, first of all, how do we read iran's aid to russia here on the one hand, it shows an expansion of this conflict to one degree to have iran supplying weapons, but does it show weakness from russia's military machine that it needs those weapons? >> yes, jim, i think it's all of the above. clearly the iranians are doing this linked to the pace of the nuclear talks with the west. i think this was probably released by the pentagon in advance of the biden visit to the middle east to show what a threat iran remains. and it also shows, as you say, that the russians are running out of capability. the drones, the russian drones, have limited capability and the
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drones from iran are pretty advanced, so i think it's significant assistance to the russians, but they're not silver bullets. >> let's talk big picture because you wrote recently in "wall street journal" a criticism in effect of the broader nato strategy with ukraine. you write rather than win through man europe the goal is to win through exhaustion, both mr. putin and president volodymyr zelenskyy seek to wear the other side down and the nato promise of indefinite resupply to offset the artillery advantage will likely result in even more static front lines. i wonder what is the fix in your view for nato and the u.s. is it more weapons? is it a different category of weapons? what changes that stalemate? t >> first of all it was meant to be an observation of what i'm seeing on the ground. i think we're going to get to a stalemate because as russians continue to fight, we're going to continue to help the ukrainians, and that could lead
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to, as i say, static warfare. what could change on the participate of the americans in the west we could expand the kinds of weapons and capabilities we're giving them. we've talked about f-16s, no-fly zones, longer range missiles. and on the part of the russians they could do a full conscription of military, get more weapons in there. there are a number of things either side can do to try to tip the balance literally in this case on what, to me, seems to be heading towards a static stalemate. >> now to date one of the barriers to further western assistance has been a fear of further antagonizing russia and ending up but we have seen that wear down over time, whole categories of weapons going in such as the himars missile system that would not have been considered in the early days or weeks of this war. do you believe the west? do you believe the biden
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administration has overestimated the risk of direct conflict with russia here and, therefore, that has held them back? >> well, i think the entire west has felt that way. i believe if we are conducting a unilateral operation, just the americans, we may be less cautious about deterring ourselves in this conflict. when you're doing this as an alliance you, in many ways, have to go to the lowest common denominator and understand the concerns and fears of some of the european partners in this and make sure to keep the unity and the alliance that you basically give as much as necessary, as i say, enough to fight but not enough to win. >> final question, we showed pictures of an explosion in a russian-controlled area of kherson in the south. it's not the first time we've seen this and we're seeing it with more frequency, what would appear to be counterattacks. ukrainian forces going after russians in an attempt to push them out of territory they've
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already gained. are they having success? >> i think they're having minor success. there seems to be a back and forth of small amounts of territory between both sides, but i think the real success when we're starting to use our precision weapons to go against the logistics of the weapons. they're depending so much on fires and artillery that their achilles heel are those ammunition dumps and the supply dumps necessary to keep this fight going on their part. >> some of the new weapons able to hit 40, 50 miles away. always good to have you on. >> thanks for having me. >> in tokyo family and close friends attended the private funeral of former japanese prime minister shinzo abe who was assassinated while campaigning for candidates in his party. >> a true shock for the entire nation of japan. this held at the centuries old
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zojoji temple. crowds gathered to pay their final respects to abe. he was japan's longest serving head of government there. the suspected gunman is now in custody. japan's public broadcaster nhk reports investigators believe the suspect decided to kill abe as long as a year ago. >> wow. coming up right-wing extremists take center stage at the january 6 committee hearing today. the committee is examining their role in the insurrection at the capitol and their connection to the former president's inner circle. he 5 vital electrolytes found in natural tears, theratears® is one-of-a-kind hydration that feels like silk. theratears®. a drop like no other™. [lazer beam and sizzling sounds] ♪ the lows of bipolar deession
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top of the hour. good morning, everyone. i'm poppy harlow. >> and i'm jim sciutto. the january 6 select committee turns its focus to how right-wing extremist groups, including the proud boys and
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oath keepers prepare to attack the u.s. capitol in the days leading up to the deadly insurrection and the group's ties to former president trump's inner circle. the committee is expected to show how trump's actions fueled those groups such as his december 2020 tweet telling his supporters to descend on washington on january 6 claiming it will be wild. one committee member calling that tweet a clarion call to violent extremists. >> this panel today is also expected to play clips from former white house counsel pat cipollone's closed door interview that happened on friday. cipollone was at a critical white house meeting the day before trump posted that tweet where the former president welcomed a group of his most extreme election denying allies. sources tell cnn the meeting broke out at one point into screaming, chaos, at certain points some trump aides pushed back on some of the most outrageous suggestions about overturning the election.
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>> let's begin with manu raju on capitol hill. tell us what their plans are today and how they're going to back up these allegations. >> reporter: yeah, they are promising new evidence that will show the methodical planning under way by the right-wing extremists groups, the proud boys, the oath keepers, as well as communication that occurred between some trump associates and some of these groups. and we heard from this committee roger stone, michael flynn, the trump associate and also, flynn, the former national security adviser at the trump white house, both will be singled out as part of this hearing. now in addition to that a big focus will be on a december 18th meeting that occurred in the white house where there were a number of discussions under way about how to overturn the elections, december 18, 2020, several weeks after joe biden won, talking about seizing of voting machines, potentially naming a special counsel. all of which we expect to hear from the committee more details
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about. also we expect to hear video deposition from pat cipollone, the trump white house counsel who was questioned extensively about that mid-december meeting. after that mid-december meeting there was a tweet that came out from donald trump that essentially urged his supporters to come to washington. the committee plans to show how that tweet led to the planning of these extremist groups that led to all the death and destruction that occurred in the capitol on january 6. but there will be live witness testimony, too. one is a former oath keeper spokesperson, a self-described propag propagandaist, a rioter coming to this building. there could be additional surprises, too, guys. they are saying they are not going to disclose all the identify fits of the witnesses out of of fear of security concerns, fear of potential witness tampering, intimidation and the like. but new evidence promised in the hearing which will be the only one of this week. >> right. a big change from yesterday,
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manu. thanks very much. all right, joining us now to discuss elliott williams, former deputy assistant attorney general and the special counsel for the house judiciary and trump's first of two impeachment trials. elliott, the essential allegation here from the committee seems to be incitement, that the president incited the rioters that day. when you hear that phrase clarion call looking at the december 2020 tweet from the former president, big protest in d.c. on january 6, be there, will be wild. what is the legal standard to establish criminal caulpability for incitement? >> you have to know that the individual intended to cause the violence or intended to cause the underlying crime that follows. now look, what the committee is trying to prove and establish in this december 18 meeting is either did president trump or intermediaries, people who weren't necessarily the president, made aware of the
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violence, and did the president seek to have it carried out? the whole -- we hear the word conspiracy a lot, and the whole point in proving a conspiracy is, number one, not every person needs to be equally guilty and, number two, not every person needs to have communicated directly. i'm looking for intermediaries, other people, what they knew, what they heard, what they passed on. >> norm, building on that great question that jim asked about incitement like what's the legal bar, i also wonder is it just about the start of something, inciting something to begin or a lack of action in the 187 minutes between when it began and when the president actually put that tape recorded video out? can lack of action also be used in an incitement case? >> it can be and that point, the start of something, is so, so critical here because, remember, a federal judge has already
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found that trump likely committed crimes including conspiracy to defraud the united states, and what we're hearing, that's an easier crime to prove than incitement. and what we're hearing today is another phase of that, the story the committee has told is that he was desperate after the electoral college. we're today going to hear about this meeting in the white house, the signal that followed on december 19 to the proud boys and the oath keepers, and how that culminated in the violence. it's part of a calculated attack that started, we've heard, from the committee and other places and culminates in the violence. >> elliott williams, you worked in the justice department. cassidy hutchinson's testimony was reported a couple weeks ago surprised the doj, and it exposed that they had not quite, in their investigation at least, parallel investigation, penetrated trump's inner circle
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in terms of his activities in the days leading up and on that day, january 6. my first question, are you surprised by that? but how far does that set back the doj investigation if they're just beginning down that path? >> it's hard to say, jim. look, i worked at the justice department a long time, i was a prosecutor and deputy assistant attorney general. nobody knows truly, for certain, what is happening within the justice department because much of what happens in criminal investigations happens in secret. the work of grand juries happens in secret. by law investigations happen in secret. we don't know. that's not to dispute or quaul into questions anything the great reporters of "the new york times" are finding but we just simply don't know. now if the justice department is truly only finding about cassidy hutchinson for the first time that's obviously quite troubling given that, frankly, you and i, jim, have been throwing around and discussing her for months. i have a very hard time believing that this all was coming so out of the blue.
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i think all should pause regarding the justice department and congress, two different bodies that do different things with different degrees of public exposure of the work they do and just wait and see what comes. >> norm, a lot of focus today we're hearing will be on the december 18, 2020, white house meeting where then attorney sidney powell was, former national security adviser michael flynn, a lot of the biggest pushers of conspiracy theories, election deniers there, talk of seizing voting machines, et cetera, and pat cipollone was there, the former white house counsel. we know he was asked about it behind closed doors on friday. what are you looking for most in these clips the committee will play today in that questioning about what happened in that meeting and how it would tie to an incitement potential charge? >> any prosecution of trump and we mustn't forget that a state prosecutor is very advanced, the
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d.a. in atlanta, whatever may be going on at doj. any prosecutor who is looking at this conspiracy is going to want to prove that trump knew he had lost the election. he knew he had no basis to pursue it. so cipollone, i expect, we'll see tape from cipollone today that will say that he made clear for the umpteenth time, no, you can't seize these voting machines. indeed, this group that came in referred to sometimes as king crazy, i think the committee has done a pretty good job so far showing trump knew better, and we're going to hear more about that today. >> elliott williams, norm, great to have you both on. >> thank you. >> thanks, guys. let's speak now to darrel johnson, a former senior domestic terrorism analyst at the department of homeland security and author of "hate land: a long, hard look at america's extremist heart." good to have you on. as you know, like yourself, the
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fbi and the dhs identify these groups as the country's primary domestic terrorism threat today, the greatest terror threat, greater than international terror groups. just for framing here should folks look at the events leading up to january 6th and that day and the involvement of these groups as a domestic terror attack? >> so what we witnessed on january 6th last year i call an insurrection did you within this insurrection there were many different moving parts and participants. we had people that placed pipe bombs at the democratic and republican offices. that is an act of terrorism. we had other individuals that stormed the capitol and destroyed property, more of an insurrection. so this terror threat that we've seen, this right-wing terror threat, has evolved over the past ten years.
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and dose pose the greatest national threat today. >> i've often wondered because i've covered january 6 but have covered for years terrorism emanating from other groups overseas and wondered what the reaction would be if a sitting president echoed some of the propaganda and the hate behind international terror groups, what would the reaction be? can we talk about the president's repeat ed calls not just the december 20th but in your view of an american goading international terror groups to attack. >> i wouldn't go that far but the president, former president trump , definitely played into these extremist narratives and fanned the flames to get people to react this is the first time as an intelligence analyst
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studying this phenomenon for almost 30 to 40 years as an individual where i saw that these right-wing extremist groups thrive under a republican administration. typically these groups are less motivated to act and to recruit and radicalize under republican administrations because they don't have to fear gun legislation being passed or minority rights being expanded or immigration policies being lax. they agitate groups and typically under democratic administrations we see a rise in activity. this is the first time under a republican administration i saw a continued rise in increase in the right-wing extremist threat. >> these hundreds of prosecutions and indictments and convictions of those involved have given authorities vision,
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how they organize. on the flip side the groups are not necessarily cowed. near 2 dozen arrested near idaho. are these groups stronger or weaker today than they were prior to january 6th? >> just like we saw in the aftermath of the 1995 oklahoma city bombing, many of the groups have gone underground and it makes it more difficult for law enforcement to monitor them and detect and deter threats. on the one hand the 800-plus arrests we've had in connection with the capitol insurrection last year did kind of send a chilling effect on these groups and kind of put them on notice that the government is going to pursue justice in these matters. however, the sentencing to date has been fairly light and so it almost gives a green light to these groups that, hey, it's
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okay, we'll tolerate a certain level of tolerance and activity because you will not be going to prison for a long time. >> to your point out do they wait for a more welcoming leadership or is that their view? appreciate having you on this morning. >> thank you. still to come, new covid cases are rising as you have likely noticed across the united states. this is fueled by a highly transmissible subvariant. what the white house is doing to fight the new surge. ahead, fighting to save yosemite's legendary giant sequoias. why the fire is proving extremely difficult to change. and wait for it. minutes from now nasa will release new images from the remarkable james webb telescope looking billions of years back in time. giving us perhaps our best view of the universe ever. w car ought to come with
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so this morning u.s. health officials are working on a plan to allow a second covid-19 vaccine booster shot for all adults, not just those over 50. a senior white house official tells cnn the fda is making it a high priority as omicron subvariants fuel a new increase, the cdc reporting these s subvariants make up 70% of new infections. it's good to have you here, dr. wen. we are talking ba.4 and 5. if we have this sound from dr.
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fauci a few minutes ago, i want to play it and have you respond to what he said about the new subvariants. >> it substantially evades neutralizing antibodies induced in people by vaccination and infection. but the vaccine effectiveness against severe disease, fortunately for us, is not reduced substantially or at least compared to other omicron subvariants. >> am i correct what i'm hearing him say is even if you are vaccinated, boosted, you may be a little more likely to get these subvariants than others. but still the vaccine is as effective in terms of preventing you from getting really sick. >> right, poppy. that is the key takeaway. even if you're vaccinated and
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boosted and even if you recently had covid you could still contract ba.4, ba.5, these subvariants. at the same time the key is those of us vaccinated and boosted are very well protected against severe illness. i think we need to reset the expectation that was the entire goal of vaccination. it would be great if they did but they don't. they were supposed to prevent us from becoming severely ill and to keep us from overwhelming hospitals. that's what we're seeing though we're seeing a rise in cases, we know the actual number is probably far more than what's actually reported. but our hospitals are not getting overwhelmed. they are only one-fifth of where they were at the peak of the omicron surge in december and january. vaccines still work very well against severe illness. >> the white house we know is looking right now at whether
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adults of any age, not just those over 50, should get a second booster. that would be four shots for those getting pfizer and moderna. dr. jha at the white house said they will leave that up to agencies. is it important for healthy adults under 50 to also get a second booster? >> i think it's reasonable for the fda and cdc to give what's called a permissive recommendation, to say if that's something you want to do you should be able to do it. i know that i have patients, i have colleagues anxious who may be under 50 but have chronic medical illnesses or got one dose of johnson & johnson and one of moderna but now they are nine months out of getting their last shot and maybe they want an additional booster. if they are healthy and boosted once they are well protected against severe illness and probably don't need to rush out
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if they recently had covid and in a sense got their second booster. >> does it protect you more than just one booster? >> that second booster definitely protects you if you are 60 and older or if you are 50 and older with chronic medical conditions. if you're under 50 it's unclear it will give you additional protection. it probably gives you against symptomatic illness but a lot of people saying it doesn't matter so much if i get illness. >> okay, dr. wen, thanks. coming up, a wildfire is threatening one of yosemite national park's most precious landmarks. firefighters struggling to gain the upper hand. those giant sequoias in danger. live from yosemite next. d. but i haven't even thrown yet. you threw good money away when you bought those glasseses.
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so some potential good news, firefighters in yosemite are gaining some ground in the fight to protect the park's more than 500 giant sequoia trees as the wildfire continues to spread in the area. >> at the moment the fire is only 22% contained with more than 2,700 acres of land burned so far.
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the big concern is weather with temperatures expected to rise by this evening. nick, how are firefighters trying to get ahead of this and protect the sequoias? >> reporter: poppy, the real key is how many firefighters. there isn't much fire activity in the rest of california so they have flooded this zone digging trenches, back burning. they are burning fuel in front of the fire so when the fire gets there, there is no fuel to continue and they are attacking it from the air. it is slow moving with intense heat. how intense? over the weekend it was so hot that one branch got lifted so high in the updraft when it came back down-to-earth it narrowly missed two aircraft involved in fighting the fire. the past 24 hours or so the fire has been moving east.
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that is good news. that is not the direction where those sequoias are. nearing 70 degrees now. and the moisture, the humidity in the air is very low. that means this fire burns and burns very hot. the headline here firefighters say they are in a good place, confident they are going to save those trees. guys? >> it's a relief. >> great news. our thanks to all of them. thanks, to you and your team on the ground. so the excitement is building. seconds from now nasa will reveal peck tours from the james webb space telescope, a project that could help scientists solve the mysteries of the universe will all unfold live here next.
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any second now nasa is going to unveil new images collected from deep space, the clearest in human history. this is the one they sent out yesterday captured by the powerful james webb telescope. the images show, look at that one, the size of a grain of sand held up to the sky, in that one photo, poppy, i am amazed, intimidated, bowled over,
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thousands of galaxies. not stars. each is a galaxy with millions of stars. >> it's so mind-blowing and beautiful and we're all very excited. no one is more excited than rachel crane. you live for this stuff. what are we waiting for? >> poppy, i am honestly shaking here. i am so excited to see these images and that first image that the white house released is the deepest and sharpest infrared image of our early universe we have ever seen. infrared is invisible to the human eye. this telescope, this time machine is really making the invisible visible to us. as jim pointed out in this tiny sliver of our universe, this image here, thousands of galaxies and only just 100 years ago we thought the milky way was
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the only galaxy out there. there's hundreds of billions of them, all those stars have planets. the james webb telescope will be able to look at some of those exo planets and their atmosphere, if they have one, what it's comprised of. could life potentially be harbored on one of these exo planets. it will look at nebulas. those are essentially stellar nurseries, seen back 13 billion years into the past here and you see in the foreground there are galaxies but some of the light is stretched around them. now that's as a result of gravitational lensing. essentially it warps the light of the galaxies behind it so you are able to see behind those galaxies so some are 4.6 billion years away, some are 13 billion
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light years away. our universe is 13.6 billion years old. we are seeing back to the cosmic dawn here. this telescope will be operational for 20 years so it's really going to help us get a better understanding of those huge questions we all ask ourselves. are we alone out there? where do we come from? where do we originate from? leading to this historic space moment somebody said this gives new meaning to the phrase as far as the eye can see. it's an emotional moment for scientists around the world. scientists will be able to learn so much from these different
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images. while we are sitting here and our minds are blown this is three decades in the making for them. they are so eager to get their hands on these images and all of the science to come and be surprised by what we can't even imagine james webb will reveal to us. >> it's almost, and the comparison may be the moon landing. i'm refreshing on my phone to wait for the images to be released. it's a time machine, right? we are looking billions of years back for it to reach us here. it is a reflection of the technology. an image like this would have taken weeks for the hubbell telescope but the webb telescope does it much more quickly. >> it still does take a
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considerable amount of time for the images to be made. it doesn't come down like an image from an iphone. it's data they have to put into these images. it's 100 times more powerful than hubbell so it's really building upon the history of hubbell. we know how much we learned from hubbell itself. we learned the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. we learned about the age of our universe. every astronomy book is filled with information we learned from hubbell over the last three decades and james webb is going to rewrite all of that for us. as you pointed out one thing that sticks out to me is the earth rising photo that "apollo 8" took. the power of a picture, that image where you saw the lunar surface and the earth just over it really gave birth to the modern environmental movement.
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we can't even imagine what will come out science wise from these images. also the power on humanity, how small we are, from these images and all the images to come. the power of the picture, never underestimate it. we're about to have our minds blown right now. at the risk of being punny, it's out of this world. >> the overview effect multiplied many times in what we're about to see. we're just going to wait, take a quick break while we wait for the images to come any second from nasa. you'll see them right here as soon as we get them.
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turning back to nasa and the first images from the james webb telescope, photos that will give us an unpress denied look at our universe and answer many of the mysterious questions. the president of explore mars inc. an astro physicist and dean of arts and services at cornell, has spent the last 18 years as a team member working on one of the telescope's key instruments.
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we're waiting on pins and needles for the next one. janet, let me begin with you. this will show us the deepest and sharpest images of space we've ever seen. why does it matter to us and those kids sitting behind you? >> i am joyfully aware and marvel at the fact that we our witnessing our cosmic inheritance that we are the elemental descendents of the ancient stars that we are atomcally related and a reminder to all of humanity how interconnected we are. when thousands upon thousands of scientists and astronomers and engineers put their minds to it.
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we hope this is a watershed moment. i'm hoping there are a few astronomers today. >> janet, thank you. ray, great work. you did a good job here. early results -- >> good job building it. >> i was trying to place this in the context, to janet's point, the calcium in our bones carry star dust. the moon is 240 miles away. we're looking trillions and billions of years back in time. in terms of our exploration of the universe have we ever been to a point like this? >> we are living through an extraordinary age of discovery
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here. the latest and the greatest in the era of discovery. in my own little bit of astronomy when i work on planets around other stars we've had a true revolution. 30 years ago we knew only one solar system. and then there was pluto that we struggled to classify. and after millennia, decades of failed attempts we now have discovered dozens of worlds around nearby stars. we now know of thousands of others and the diversity of
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planetary systems is mind blowing. it's not only that we're finding but we can take measure of them, figure out what they're made of. looking at worlds we couldn't directly see and yet we can start to tell you what they're made of, what temperatures they have, weather phenomena in the atmosphere. i can't wait to see what the webb telescope has in store for us. >> shall we see one new, i think, image. do we have it? >> this is what is called an indirect image. it looks different the image you saw this is of exo planet wasp
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96-b and what it reveals here is the atmosphere of this planet this is a gas giant. it's smaller than jupiter. it shows there's water. it's not water as we know it. it's far too hot. it orbits its star every three and a half days. that water is steam. what you are seeing this telescope, able to pear into the atmosphere of an exo planet more than 1,000 light years away. this is just the start. we're going to be able to look at exo planets that might be in the goldilocks zone of their host star. life could potentially be there. people might be looking back at us. today is really about
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demonstrating james webb's capabilities and showing off this investment this incredible observatory in the sky. this is a taste of the science in the next 20 years. >> let's look at what the webb, nasa is saying what they found of this ex owe planet. ind cases of haze, evidence of clouds once thought not to exist there. those are some of the elements of life. how significant to see a planet like this? >> this particular graphic may not look as dazzling as the image released last season.
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this is spreading out the light of the star in the atmosphere and reaching the webb telescope. the various fingerprints of different elements telling us what it is made of, it is exciting. however this particular planet is 1,800 degrees fahrenheit. it's a giant ball of gas more like jupiter. it's not the kind of planet we expect to detect light but as was described before this is really just a teaser of what's to come. we are dedicating 200 hours of webb observing time to target 14 planets ranging from ultra hot,
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scorching planets like this one to planets that are not bigger than the earth and testimony comparable to what we have in our own atmosphere and that's where the true excitement, the true frontier of discovery is ahead of us. i am so excite d 3 of the 14 targets have been observed by webb. i can't wait to get my hands on the data along with my teammates and this is the work of thousands of scientists and engineers coming together. around the world will be getting their hands on. and really what it's telling us, telling us about the farthest reaches, the dawn of the cosmos.
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if some might have the conditions that would lend themselves to life. >> janet, speaking to those future generations, what do you think? what is this going to allow our children to learn and study and discover they couldn't before? >> we owe a huge debt of gratitude to hubbell. i don't know when an astronomer or space lover who wasn't g gobsmacked when that first arrived. i believe today's images will propagate an entirely new generation of folks who will be astronomers and astro physicists or planetary geologists or space explorers and, again, it is one of these moments we have the technology. i saw a great meme for hubbell taking its bough and handing the
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torch over to webb. i think it's just that we're going to be able to directly observe how this universe went to stars and planets and then we'll be able to peer into, wow, what does it really take to have those conditions for life. i think you'll see major advancements in astronomy. >> to say the least it's exciting to watch, i'll tell you. >> it's exciting. >> to say the least really. it's hard to find the words for it. janet, ray, and also rachel, thanks so much to all of you helping us digest this. >> thanks, guys. i hope you get to have a big party afterwards and celebrate all of this. thanks so much and thanks to all of you for joining us. and also coming up cnn's special coverage of the january 6 committee hearings. those are happening in just three hours from now. the committee is focusing on
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right-wing extremists and their role in the insurrection at the capitol. more next. (sighs) here, i'll take thatat. ensure max protein with 30 0 grams of protein, one gram of sugar. enter powerered by protein challenge for a chance to win big. ♪ new projects means new project managers. you need to hire. i need indeed. indeed you do. when you sponsor a job, you immediately get your shortlist of quality candidates, whose resumes on indeed match your job criteria. visit and get started today.
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this morning the nation still in shock, the people of tokyo paid their respects to shinzo abe as he was laid to rest in a private funeral. >> abe was the longest serving prime minister. his assassination has left millions reeling as japan has one of the lowest gun violence rates typically in the world. our international correspondent is live in tokyo. what's the latest?
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>> reporter: it is a sad day here in japan where even the weather, gray skies and at times a lot of rain seems to be reflecting the mood. funeral service for shinzo abe limited to only family and friends was held at temple in tokyo. abe's body then traveled in procession to the prime minister's office and the ldp headquarters before heading to the funeral hall to be cremated, his body visited those locations because sometimes the body will be driven to places the deceased was associated to show respect. hundreds lined the street including children, diet members and diet police all there to say farewell to abe's body. poppy, jim? >> of course. blake, thanks very much for being on the ground for your reporting from there.
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>> thank you for joining us today. a lot of news and images from space. we'll see you tomorrow. i'm poppy harlow. >> our special coverage of the january 6 hearings starts with our colleagues right now. the january 6 committee is getting ready to go public with new testimony by a key witness though a panel is promising to dive into the role of extremist groups and expose their ties to top trump allies. welcome to "attack on democracy: the january 6 hearings." i'm anderson cooper. >> and i'm jake tapper. the final phase of then-president trump's radical efforts to overturn the legal and legitimate results of the
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2020 election including trump's role in inspiring, inciting, instructing his supporters to come to washington, d.c., and march to the capitol. how many did trump and people in his circle know were armed and planning to violently stop the counting of votes. we don't know yet. pat cipollone was interviewed behind closed doors on friday. cnn has learned cipollone was asked extensively about a meeting in 2020 involving trump and some of the most extreme, perhaps even unhinged, election deniers. we're told that meeting will be spotlighted in the hearing. cnn has confirmed stephen ayres, a rioter who pleaded guilty to entering the capitol illegally, will appear as will a former spokesman for the oath keepers.
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jason van tatenhove who said he was the propagandist. this will shed new light on the actions and motivations of the oath keepers and proud boys whose leaders face sedition charges in connection with the january 6 riot and how those extremists were tied to trump allies including longtime adviser roger stone and trump former national security adviser michael flynn both of whom trump pardoned for unrelated crimes. investigators will target in on the tweet urging supporters to come to washington, d.c., on january 6 promising it will be wild. one house committee member said that was a siren call to violent extremists sum among them to d.c. to join what became an insurrectionist mob. the hearing will be led by representatives jamie raskin of maryland and stephanie murphy of
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florida, both democrats. right to capitol hill and ryan nobles. tell us more what you're learning of the testimony of pat cipollone and the key white house meeting. we know cipollone was asked about. >> reporter: there's a reason the committee was so aggressive in efforts to get pat cipollone to testify in front of committee investigators and that's because he was privy to so much and so many things that happened in the trump white house and a meeting that took place december 18th in the trump white house that featured a whole host of election denies, michael flynn, rudy giuliani and others. cnn reported it was an explosive meeting and folks like pat cipollone were warning the former president it was time to move on but instead took the advice of these election deniers. that following day trump sent out the tweet the committee will focus so much upon calling his
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supporters to washington on january 6th. cipollone's testimony will be so important, jake, because we are told he described an insane meeting on december 18 to the committee investigators, something that made him very concerned in the days leading up to january 6th and it's expected we will see him talking about that on video today during this hearing on capitol hill. jake? >> to manu raju. >> reporter: this committee plans to show extensive coordination and planning by these extremist groups, committed so much violence on that day. they obtained encrypted messages and they plan to showcase some of those messages, interactions between members of the extremist groups and trump allies. a source would not say which are
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at issue. they plan to explore roger stone, michael flynn, a former national security adviser under donald trump. at the same time this committee also expected to look into the role of some of the republican members of congress at today's hearings. we've seen how republican members of congress have done everything from pushing to overturn electoral result to seeking pardons allegedly from donald trump at the time. it points to ample new evidence they are promising to showcase later today. >> thanks so much. let's talk about this with my panel. jamie, let me start with you. i'm curious what pat cipollone said behind closed doors. i think he testified for something like eight hours. >> correct. there's a reason the committee wanted pat cipollone and shamed him after the cassidy hutchinson testimony and while her
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testimony was full of bombshells and was a game changer i am told cipollone is the key witness. why? let's go back to alexander hamilton. he was the man in the room where it happened. over and over and over again. and what i'm told is unlike eric hi hirschman, also white house counsel, cipollone is quiet, he is reserved but his testimony, i am told, is extensive and will give the public a very clear understanding of just how off the rails trump was and also one of the key things the committee wants to show is dereliction of duty, what trump was and wasn't doing on january 6th and that
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cipollone speaks exactly to that point. >> and another thing, dana bash, we will hear today is about the oath keepers and the proud boys, the far-right militia groups and the question, of course, is what's the connection in terms of people in trump's circle and these far-right groups? is there coordination, communication? >> i'm told what we are going to see today is laying out of narratives on both tracks. how the proud boys and oath keepers were acting and planning on january 6 and how the trump orbit were doing it. i'm told they will show communication more than coordination between the two meaning there's no directive, i'm told, they have found about the oath keepers from anybody in trump world saying go do this on january 6.
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there's no evidence that the president, for example, said go to this street corner or do that. what they have found is serious communication particularly manu mentioned this between two figures, roger stone, michael flynn and members of these groups who ended up attacking the capitol. >> this connects to the previous hearings. even if there is no coordination in the hearing, the communication is significant, too, because trump knew the individuals were armed. he was also in close contact with people like roger stone and giuliani who were in contact with those plotting to attack the capitol. some of this is common sense. if you know people are armed, you know they are planning to go to the capitol, what's the
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obligation on the part of people in power, the president on down, to act on that information? and i think that's part of what the committee is trying to present here. >> then you connect to inside the white house, they were well aware of the threat of violence. a whole bunch of disappointed people at a rally. come to washington january 6th. >> let's put that up and this will be referred to a lot. >> be there. will be wild. >> what the committee is going to show internally within the proud boys, within the oath keepers, this is donald trump sending up a flare, come to washington. to the point nobody said come to washington and attack or break things, everybody knows who the groups are. these are not yoga instructors.
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that's what they do. cipollone is key because the warnings reached the white house. you have the vice president, the entire congress in the building. they knew about these communications for days. they get word to the white house. when the president is going out to say i won when he didn't, bad idea, reckless, maybe illegal. this is dangerous to this is potentially illegal. >> i'm told we'll hear up to a dozen clips in today's hearing. >> there will be more down the road. >> let's remember from the past hearing the moment from cassidy hutchinson's testimony where we know he said take down the
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magnatometers, they are not here for me. and what the committee wants to show is at every turn he was told, a, the election was not stolen. and, b, that he chose to go down a path of violence. still ahead, how former trump remains riveted as the insurrection investigation plays out on television. we're going to squeeze in a quick break. wealth is breaking ground on your biggest project yet.
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on capitol hill last-minute preparations under way for today's january 6 hearing. panel members say they will connect the dots between extremist groups involved in the insurrection and trump allies and enablers who are encouraging him to overturn the 2020 election. a case against the former president, more on that. what are you hearing from trump world? >> reporter: we're hearing donald trump remains triveted on the january 6 hearings much to the chagrin of top aides. we learned he was privately fuming about pat cipollone sitting for those questions eventually going to his social media page saying why would a future president of the united states want to have candid and important conversations with his white house counsel if he thought there was even a small
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chance, and i'm going to paraphrase here, there would be questions about inner workings, inner secrets. he calls it bad for the usa. about today's hearing, a source close to trump, i asked if he would be watching, he's always watching. he's not the only one. roger stone, once a close ally, has been watching these hearings very closely. he believes the committee is trying to put him in peril. one thing to note this source says that while roger and donald trump were once thick as thieves they talk almost every single day now they are still in touch but it just hasn't been the same since january 6. >> no doubt he's in mar-a-lago watching feverishly, getting sandwiches brought to him.
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what do you think is the most important thing pat cipollone can fill in? >> we can know did he specifically tell the president of the united states there were going to be laws that would be violated if they carried on with the false electors, if there was a discussion about having somebody incertaintied as a loyalist at the top of the doj and what he knew about the coord coordination. this is the person who is uniquely positioned to tell what you the president of the united states knew. not through innuendo but what he actually knew. as far as privilege, the idea of it actually has -- you kept between the two of you if there was a privilege. it can't be because you're the president of the united states and you had a conversation, even if it violated the law, it has to be about forward thinking because pat cipollone is not donald trump's private attorney,
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the legitimacy of the presidency hangs on him. >> doesn't cipollone have the power to set the rules on what he wants to say? they're not going to take him to court. there's no time to really flesh that out. >> he carved out and said i'm not going to address certain conversations between donald trump and myself. if you're the committee you would take him to court. that takes months and months. we don't have near that time. pat cipollone was everywhere, every one of the schemes, pat cipollone was there. this december 18 meeting, just to be clear, this is a crazy meeting that happened inside the white house. you have a lawyer, sidney powell, a former general, michael flynn, urging the sitting president to declare martial law, use armed agents. pat cipollone is there for that. was there anything in that
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meeting, which ends around midnight that led to the will be wild tweet which was sent at 1:42 a.m., could be coincidence, but i would want to nope what led you to say january 6 will be wild? >> that is not coincidence. we're going to hear all about that. i think that's saying something. people were standing up yelling at each other. they almost got in physical fights. flynn and one of the white house lawyers. and the president is sort of taking this all in listening to the four conspiracy theorists and pat cipollone hopefully will hear about that. >> it's interesting this is the moment we're going to step back from the tweet. fwha does advanced planning, coordination mean between the groups. we know there was a
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constellation of conspiratorial ideologists in the crowd. what, if anything, do we mean by links? roger stone used proud boys as security. that doesn't necessarily mean he told them to storm the capital. lawmakers will have to show specificity in terms of the connection. >> and that's a big lift. the statement there is a coordination between extremist groups, some have been charged with conspiracy charges, that's a big ask to lean in and trust. i knew the code. i understood the code. >> the same defendants right now are awaiting trial. their cases have been pushed to december because of the effects of the hearing. the hearings are poisoning the well for d.c. jurists. this is becoming a problem. >> it isn't so much coordination
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as communication. i remember in a previous hearing where cassidy hutchinson was saying that the president told mark meadows to call general flynn and, you know, roger stone and get in touch with them. these are the two people the committee is looking at in terms of communication, perhaps coordination. >> depending on your goals which is enough. >> that's right, that's right. but why is the president of the united states saying before january 6 get in touch with my lieutenant. what is it? i don't know the answer to that. >> i would love to learn more about that phone call mark meadows made. i'm not sure we will because the participants are not testifying. >> exactly. >> to this broader point there is a really important line here between connections which is sort of the theme of the day and conspiracy. as laura knows as a former federal prosecutor that's a tough line to cross. just knowing something is happening doesn't necessarily get you over the line to a conspiracy. you have to show there was some
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agreement to commit some criminal act. >> there were supposed to be two hearings today and then a hearing i guess it was thursday night as the concluding thing. that's now being moved. unclear how many more hearings there will be this is still very much, it seems, a dynamic process. >> as more people speak they get more information. also we see this as such a polished presentation. i've joked in the past this is a tiktok era, not the watergate hearings. they want to present this information in ways that can counter the narrative that right now many other people are hearing from what i guess you would call the other side from trump world, right? there are documentaries. you're one algorithm away from hearing the alternative narrative.
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>> this is an unfolding story people are watching. it's like a reality show. we didn't know who the mystery witness was last time. well, we postponed the hearing for this thursday because we have more information coming in and suddenly steve bannon who refused to testify before the committee has decided, oh, well maybe i want to come in and testify in person just as he's going to trial. >> he wants to be a part of that show but, remember -- >> they're not going to make it -- >> the job of this committee is not prosecutorial. it might be they will refer for prosecution. we just don't know. their job is to present the american public the court of the electorate. having said that remember this is not intended to be something that will allow for the other s side. the messengers themselves are republicans, are trump allies, are those who have said they still might vote for the republican nominee even if it were to be donald trump.
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at the end of the day they're going to have to prove at least to the american public that there was a connection more than just a wink and a nod, a nudge, because they're trying, i think, to discredit the former president from being the president once again. >> this happens naturally, by the way, in investigations. i can't tell you how many times you get one witness, they come forward and can open up all new arenas for you and i think cassidy hutchinson may well have been one of those tipping point witnesses. one day after she testified, subpoena to pat cipollone. now today we're going to see a dozen clips of pat cipollone. one door tends to open up another. >> there's much more ahead. we'll take you inside the extremist groups at the center of today's hearing as well as former president trump's circle of allies. alright, limu, give me a socket wrench, pliers, and a phone open to they customize your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need... and a blowtorch. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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the january 6th house select committee is gearing up for another high-stakes hearing the panel says. it will show the elements of the efforts to overturn the 2020 election came together and erupted into the deadly riot at the u.s. capitol. john king is at the magic wall right now to give us a deeper look of what the committee will try to emphasize today in terms of the constant connection between the trump inner circle and some of these far-right
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militia groups. >> and that's the key, jake, not only the planning but their communications with key trump advisers. so let's go through some of the time line. number one donald trump, then president, is central to all of this. the committee will lay out and we've seen sidney powell, rudy giuliani, michael flynn, three advisers trying to help him steal the election were in constant communication with the proud boys, the oath keepers, with others as this played out. one of the things we will see here both the proud boys, the oath keepers and a lesser known group called the first amendment ex-military guys, several close to michael flynn, the former military man himself, providing security for right-wing events including rallies in washington about contesting the election, including on january 5. we know here often the committee has teed up good testimony, good material for the justice department. in this case the justice department has been out ahead and charging members of the grums. 17 members of the oath keepers and the proud boys are charged with seditious conspiracy.
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three of them have already entered guilty pleas. the justice department has laid out the planning, the come to washington prepared to fight messaging between these groups in many of the criminal cases. then the key is can you connect it to the white house? the head of the oath keepers, this is right after election day. we aren't getting through this. we aren't going through this without civil war. too late for that. prepare your mind, body and spirit. that's right after election day and then at the end of the year december 31st there's no standard political or legal way out of this. that tweet follows this tweet that was the organizing call. a 36-page report, full of bogus claims. be there. will be wild. what was the understanding of the world wild? rudy giuliani was at the white
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house one day and said this. [ no audio ] >> that's one piece of it. cassidy hutchinson, key aide to mark meadows says rudy giuliani talked about it and bannon constantly stirring this up on his podcast known to be in touch with members of the group. all hell will break loose tomorrow. just understand this, all hell is going to break loose tomorrow. it will be moving. it will be quick. so people close to donald trump will say, well, these are agitators outside of trump land. he didn't do anything about it. was donald trump involved in trying to keep in touch with these groups? >> is it your understanding president trump asked mark meadows to speak with roger stone and general flynn on january 5?
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>> that's correct. that is my understanding. >> and is it your understanding mr. meadows called mr. stone on the 5th? >> i'm under the impression that mr. meadows did complete both the call to mr. stone and general flynn the evening of the 5th. >> so, jake, consider that your tee-up. in the aftermath all of the charges filed so far, 855 defendants, 325 individuals pleading guilty. cassidy hutchinson, the president asked to reach out the night before. a look at the hearing for more details as the committee tries to prove everybody involved knew. you bring the proud boys, the oath keepers here to washington, you're going to get violence. >> that was stunning to hear from cassidy hutchinson. john king, thanks so much. let's talk about this with our security panel here. we know that oath keepers were on roger stone's protective detail the day before the insurrection. a man who pleaded guilty served as roger stone's chauffeur. stone has also been linked to the proud boys in other ways.
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those facts alone do not prove a conspiracy. what more is needed to connect the dots? >> like every large investigation, the key to the investigation is communications. it sounds like we'll be hearing that today. actual communications, text messages, whatever those might be or simply phone contacts between mark meadows and flynn and giuliani. those connections build the enterprise, the group that's working together to accomplish some sort of illegal end. that's how your viewers should think about it. >> congressman jamie raskin who will be one of the co-leaders, he said in a recent interview there were proud boys, oath keepers, militia men and other assorted extremists that
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assembled under the banner of stop the steal. did that coalition exist before trump started his anti-democracy campaign? >> no, and monitoring the darkest part of the web what's happening in this time period, because we're focused on the election period, it's going on for years, the way he talks, out of charlottesville. each of the groups is in their own lane. some is pure white supremacy. others voting and realignment. they then coalesce in this time period around stop the steal. it is the first time that people were monitoring them see, wow, they now have one common cause. and that is part of the atmospherics who donald trump who says he's online all the time anyway is seeing. he knows that they're absorbing it, adapting, and he plays that week after week after week and
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then december 19, just a tweet. the tweet is the moment when he gives all that energy a focus. i'm going to give you a date, a time, a place, a motivation. i'll be there. that's why the tweet becomes relevant for this discussion today. >> and so part of what i think the committee is doing they're really putting together the time line and piecing together all the things seen publicly. those of us were wondering what's going on behind-the-scenes. we'll see how they put it together today, they're connecting all these public pieces whether it's bannon, whether it's trump's tweets, whether it's the public statements online. and then they're putting together the communications that were going on behind-the-scenes. >> commissioner ramsay, we'll hear from a guy named stephen
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ayres. he recorded and posted a video online that night, january 6, claiming the whole attack was a false flag operation. he also blamed antifa. we know that's not true. this about d.c. law enforcement. >> we had footage all over the place. you can see for yourself. cops letting people in the capitol, cops standing there. they chanted and cops escorted them out, go this way, go this way. it was planned. just so you know that. >> ayres and several others posted online about the events of the day. claiming police let everybody walk in. ayres has a history of spreading false information.
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how was the committee to take his testimony today given the fact he has said so many false things in the past? >> i know there is an investigation whether or not there were any police officers that were engaged in any way at all. i think you can see from the footage the vast fought to keep the rioters, the insurrectionists out of the capitol and many were seriously injured. a couple of them died, i believe, as a result of their activities that day. that's false information and defames the organization. i till have concerns over how much information made it to the capitol police in terms of intel prior to january 6. i think that they could have done a better job in terms of preparing and being ready though they may have been overwhelmed. when you look at the size of the
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crowd and there was no barrier at all around the capital like now it would have been difficult to hold them at bay for that extended period of time. i do believe perhaps they might have been able to prevent it from penetrating the capitol itself. that is totally separate from what he's talking about. >> as a legal matter donald trump says it's going to be wild. donald trump is putting out all these lies. donald trump is talking about this great injustice happening. all of these followers come and they do what they did. is trump responsible if he did not directly say go there and break the law? he said basically everything but that. he did not say go there and break the law. >> as a legal matter, trying to prove a conspiracy needing
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agreement, show trump and the folks had a mutual understanding or agreement that's what he wanted and that's what they agreed to do. we are not quite there yet with the evidence that's been made public. we've been surprised in the last few so maybe we'll get some surprises. >> your panel before were the lawyers. this is security. one way, are they putting together pieces for doj and opponents of trump are looking at it, they want him in jail. there is an ongoing insurgency. the only way insurgencies end they either grow, and that's bad, or you eviscerate them in nonviolent ways. one way to think of what the committee is doing so successfully it's like a nonviolent counter insurgency. they are exposing, they are
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humiliating. they are bringing in his team who are all saying he was crazy. we were telling him he was crazy. we may be looking for this light bulb, there is the email trump told the head of the oath keepers do x, y and z and what we're really seeing is the sort of protection of democracyevisc. >> the broader january 6th investigation, watergate star witness john dean will weigh in as our special coverage continues. ♪ ♪
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the new pastrami cheese steak. try steak or chicken, too. now at togo's we are standing by for the seventh public hearing of the select committee. pat cipollone may prove to be a star witness today as we see clips from his recorded testimony for the first time. we are joined by former nixon white house counsel and star witness, john dean. how important do you think hearing from pat cipollone is going to be today? >> i think they will probably use some clips to make points for their already planned hearings, the stuff that came out in his testimony. it will certainly bolster the case. i would assume they pretty well lined up their witness support
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for the points they're going to make today. he's just icing on the cake at this point on these issues. so what they have they'll use, clearly. >> what is it like -- cipollone was techgstifying for eight hou behind closed doors, on videotape. we don't know how much of that was him pleading -- claiming presidential privilege for certain conversations. he had a wide latitude to set the rules for him to do this. they wanted him in. what is it going through that kind of testimony? >> the most difficult thing, anderson, is don't drink too much water. >> because then you have to take a lot of breaks? >> it comes down to practical issues. >> maybe it's a good thing to take breaks. >> collect your thoughts. i think -- i found as a witness who was ready to be there, wanted to be be there and wanted
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to share, there was a certain relief. i can't imagine that pat cipollone didn't feel some relief as well. he had issues on his mind. he tried to stop things that were elicit and tried to stop them before they became a crime. i'm sure there was satisfaction laying that out, he cleared himself. he also was protecting the office of the president at that point, which he didn't do for me in the impeachment inquiry where he is defending donald trump and not the office. >> the awkward position that cipollone was in is not just his relationship with president trump and the need to defend the white house counsel office, he also, quite frankly, wants to continue working in republican circles. he, like a lot of the former people around trump, they're continuing in republican politics and they want to have
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viable businesses. pat cipollone, i'm sure, has lots of republican clients from maga world and needs to keep them. >> it was a fine line. he also has the problem of making clear that he wasn't part of any of this improper behavior and showing that he took the right actions. conspiracies can be fuzzy, and you can get in one and you have to make it pretty clear how you break and get out of it. he certainly made the final break when he testified. up to there we don't know what he did. >> if memory serves me he testified on behalf of the president in the first impeachment hearing and this is a man who stuck through the white house despite apparently threatening to quit many times
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>> he knew what kind of job he was getting into from his predecessor, and appreciated that this is a president, was a president, who walked a fine line and pushed the envelope and used a couple metaphors that are really dangerous. he knew what trump was capable of. it was a tough job for that reason. nixon had a propensity, but i did not see it until very late when i confronted him. he is not going to change. trump was that way all the time. >> there were supposed to be two hearings today and another one on thursday. the thursday one has been pushed forward to next week, we believe. there is only one hearing today. how much more of a story do you think this committee needs to tell? >> as long as they have strong material, they are going to continue to give us information
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and they are collecting material that they did not anticipate getting. yes, they know the overview. i think they are smart enough in what we see so far that they are going to tell the essential story and not a lot more. they are not going to try to overdo it. they are not going to let the audience get bored, and they will try to keep us in suspense. delaying these hearings builds more suspense. this will be milked out what happens today. they are getting into the danger zone and the criminal zone. i think they will keep going as long as they have solid material and they will not beat it to death. this is not showboating. this is clearly planned. >> any republican testifying knows that the president is watching and judging and keeping notes, and everyone knows his willingness to go
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scorched-earth after anyone who speaks against him. if you're pat cipollone, that must also be in your mind when you sit down to testify.>> it is , but i knew when i finished testifying that nixon would be weaker. when pat cipollone he finished, i think that trump was much weaker. >> you knew he would be weaker and that give you strength. you knew that this person who could try to figure out a way to destroy you and you were banished from that camp had less power over you.>> that is the way i felt. i would think that -- what pat cipollone's job is is to not offend, as you mentioned, maga
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world and do it and protect the office of the president and do it in a way that he can build the case -- the committee needs to make legislation that will deal some of these issues. >> in an ideal world you would want an attorney testifying openly and honestly and bravely and courageously and in the ideal world that would bring that attorney-client cut because we want attorneys that are honest and open -- the world does not always work like that and people will be looking if they want to give this guy business based on their loyalty to the president or not. john dean, thank you very much. our coverage begins in a moment. and the one question trump is asking as we wait for the start of the hearing. carvana..
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jurassic world dominion, in theaters now. rule your home security with xfinity home. >> we are one hour away from another blockbuster hearing on capitol hill. we will soon get the first glimpse that testimony by the former white house counsel revealing what he told
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investigators behind closed doors. you're watching cnn special coverage of the january 6th hearings. >> the house select committee will take us inside then president trump's circle of radical 2020 election deniers and their ties to extremist groups that played a leading role in the capitol riot. pat cipollone may be key to making the case as a first-hand witness to personal events on or before january 6th. we expect clips from his eight hour recorded interview. it will be featured today. the first time they will be seen publicly. we expect live testimony from a rioter . we will also hear from jason van tatenhoven who is a propagandist for the oath keepers. the committees aiming to show how trump was a critical force in mobilizing extremists and other rioters to come to d.c.
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and marching to the capitol were hundreds of trump supporters committed acts of violence against law enforcement and some had clearly prepared for that violence and what ended up being the hideous crescendo of a months long campaign to stop democracy led by trump and his team. the piano will focus on a pivotal moment in the chain of events. it urged supporters to come to d.c. and promised it will be wild. the panel will reveal how allies roger stone and michael flynn and others were interacting with these far right extremist militias. some charged with seditious conspiracy as they focused on january 6th as last chance to block the legal transfer of presidential power. jamie raskin and stephanie murphy will lead the hearing that gets underway about one
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hour from now. let's go back to capitol hill. ryan, you have new information. >> if there is a name you should expect to hear come up over and over again during the hearing, it is that of the armor national security advisor, michael flynn. he was among the loudest voices in the former president your continued him to push claims that the election was stolen and take dramatic action to that and encouraging the military to seize voting machines in swing states. he was also peddling a lot of false claims of lection interference from foreign entities and was pushing the former president to try to investigate those claims as well. he is also someone that has direct ties to extremist groups that will be featured in the hearing. some of them served as security for flynn in the week leading up to january 6th, and he was a part of that meeting on december 18th, which we know
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will be a key part of today's hearing and he was also part of the willard hotel war room where the biggest conspiracies there are's work huddling. there's a good chance that we will actually see michael flynn's taped deposition, but it's likely he will not be saying very much. we have already seen clips of his deposition in prior hearings and he seems to take the fifth over and over and over again, and of course, jake, he took the fifth one asked a very specific question, do you believe in the peaceful transfer of power. that was a question he refused to answer. >> kind of an easy question to answer if you believe in democracy. we are also learning more about trump's thinking as these hearings play out. let's go to caitlin collins. she is working her sources in trump world. tell us more and what you're hearing about trump's reaction. >> reporter: for president trump he has repeatedly downplayed the significance of
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these hearings saying they would never amount to much. that is something you purred echoed by those who are in his orbit. one thing i've heard from sources that trump has been asking people in recent days is whether these hearings going to come to an end. they have been more effective than many people in his orbit expected. these are people who have been through multiple impeachment hearings. a lot of investigations. they didn't think this would be effective in any way but you have seen the compelling testimony, including people from cassidy hutchinson. that has led to this question of when these hearings are going to end and where they have to stop wearing about what the next shoe to drop will be. some people had assured him that they believed that this would be the end of this committee hearings and they thought there would be a second one on thursday and that would be the final one. as you heard from committee
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members in recent days, those plans shifted and the interview cipollone and they say they want to get more information in order. as these hearings have gone on, trump has been watching them and he has continued to complain about the one thing that bothers him the most, which is that none of his republican allies are up there defending him. or trying to cross-examine these witnesses. there are two republicans on the committee, adam kinzinger, and liz cheney, but they are far from being trump allies. that is why you've seen that consideration and maybe having steve bannon come in and testify publicly. that is something that trump world has entertained and they said it would not be happening in a public setting. it goes back to that he hates the idea that there's no one up there defending him and it is getting several hours of these televised hearings about his actions leading up to january 6th. they keep asking when they will and and that remains unclear when the final one will be. he has been watching them closely.>> thank you so much. it is interesting that donald trump is upset that there is no one up there to defend him. there is no way to defend it.
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that is why you have people who are these useful idiots, who are trump allies on capitol hill , who are willing to say anything until i. how do you defend any of this? >> let's just say from the committees point of view that their strategy, i don't think that the hearing we've seen next week, which is tentatively happening will be the last. the committee is talking about how it will be the end of the series of hearings. i think we are likely to see more as the summer goes on. they know that this triggers donald trump. and it helps new witnesses come forward and new information come. liz cheney never says anything by accident, and at the
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beginning of the hearings you remember that she said he summoned the mob and assembled them, and lit the flame of the attack. trump is the hub and all of these people are the spokes.>> >> you know, i'm not going to allow the other republican who are trump apologists to participate in this. he did that because donald trump said that. >> he is obviously having regrets about this as he watches.
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the people that have been subpoenaed and won't testify are those who might have some semblance of support or defense or sympathy, at the very least, for donald trump. they are not testifying, they are defying subpoenas. it is not as if they haven't been asked. they have. >> he has himself to blame for the fact -- >> gnomon on the committee and no one in the witness chair. >> this was supposed to be an independent commission and not members of congress, 50-50. nancy pelosi acceded to everyone. >> that is what i was going to say. it didn't even have to be this kind of structure in which it is the members of congress who are partisan by definition carrying this out. it could have been outlanders and experts and it could have been done in a way that would have given, at least, you know, a veneer of kind of neutrality to it all and they didn't want to do that.
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republicans did not want to do that so they can't really complain about that now, but, even that aside, i mean come i am so struck today that we are sitting here, i think, discussing, very calmly, this idea that a former sitting president of the united states had very close ties to violent extremist groups while he was president. this is a president who tried to tie, you know, and t5 to democrats for years and years. he is in the white house, his close advisors are sitting there with probably is and, you know, all these other extremist groups and they plotted violence. they are known to be violent, they were armed and they carried out violence on his behalf. all of those things actually happened, and it is extraordinary to me that that doesn't get that much attention. i mean, i think if we were
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talking about, you know, violent those ties alone i think are really extraordinary and that is what we will learn more about. >> we're having somewhat lunatic conversation, the path donald trump puts you on is donald trump's feelings are hurt. his feelings are hurt because people who work in his white house and testify that he tried to still the united states government and there is no one to defend him, i mean, what we are looking at today is just part of the story. he has not apologized for part of the story. he has not one set i did the bad thing i've made a wrong call. he tried in court. he failed. he tried in government, he failed. he tried to get his vice president and failed. they said we will try but we
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need mike pence's help. he said no we try to place the attorney general and he said we will all resign en masse. so what do we do then? when all of the levels of government were not available to them, he had him bring the thugs to washington and we are supposed to feel bad for donald trump. these voting machines attack the capital. so, just a note on the snowflakes who are upset about what is going on we should also take a note to acknowledge the courage of republicans who are doing the right thing here whether it is liz cheney or adam can linger on the community , risking it all to tell the truth and being subjective to the smears of the snowflakes down in maryland go but don't have the courage to comport themselves. coming up next what the select committee hopes to reveal about members of congress and their actions and the lead up. we are going to squeeze in a quick break. we will be right back.
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the committee also plans to spot the white house meeting with republicans in congress. which meaning is this? people have mentioned in past hearings as well, brooks, biggs, andy harrison and others, i am told, that they will be mentioned they were part of
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this meeting. some of those members had been subpoenaed by the committee, some of them have fought this of subpoenas and some have actually been elected to solve pardons from donald trump. they have denied that but nevertheless a timeline of events. we already know the december 18th meeting at the white house will also be discussed . >> appreciate it. just from a legal standpoint, i keep having to remind ourselves we are talking about the planning for coup.
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a lot of people say this wasn't that at all, this was a demonstration that got out of hand. but we have already seen the levers being put in place, the efforts being made across the board at the state level, you know, the phony electors. it is stunning to think about. >> it is. this is the falbo planning at every point in time, somebody could have said this is wrong, this is antidemocratic and, oh, by the way, you had voters at the president of the united states and it is not donald trump but instead you have members who were part of congress that would learn about it. the president of the united states saying to remove the magnetic meters and decide there was actually weapons on the process. somebody who later on suggested anyone who would believe me was
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out of their mind come i am paraphrasing on these notions. this is what is so stunning that every point in time there was every opportunity to stop what was happening and now remember on january six they said this was just tourists who was visiting. oh, what do you mean there is an attack on the x and they weren't welcoming people inside, they were running and leaving police officers and capitol police to fend off an attack. >> >> it was important to keep in mind. by and large in my view the committee thus far has painted a remarkable picture. they have been detailed and precise in what they have shown us but one area where they have tiptoed a bit is what was going on with your colleagues. let's run through this. it took them until the very end the issued hundreds and hundreds of subpoenas not until the very end today subpoena five of their colleagues and, exactly, all five recipients
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said, no, no thanks and they did nothing to follow it up. so, i think they need to fill in this gap today. what was the involvement of members of congress? in these members of congress who are the part of me caucus eventually because they knew that by dissipating in these meetings to overthrow the government it might be a legal problem for them, correct? and even though lots of them are denying pardons, they were going to see what the committee has, but, the portrait we are seeing of the president right now is somebody who is unhinged, obsessed, turning everywhere, so, the people who work for them have already said, forget about it. he thinks they are quitters, then he goes to the crazy conspiracists who give him all of this, you know, you can see is the voting machines and there is this is venezuela, china, whatever it is and everybody tells us they are
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nuts, you can't do it. so who does he go to? he goes to the members of congress and he says we will learn today, what do you think about all of this, what can i do with the certification? you think it is right for me to get mike pence, to do what he needs to do? let's see what those conversations were. >> at the same time all of this was swirling around and i think it bears sort of noting that there is already a kind of spirit see that a lot of people are familiar with once you have reached this point. the president doesn't have to use any particular language, he is sort of speaking in this language full-time and, you know, you have had jenny raskin call this, and i just want to get this right, the idea that this is an attempted coup right inside a rap violent riot and some cosmetic protests on the outside. today we are going to highlight that cosmetic part. i think the
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house committee is really going to try and say, look, none of this is accidental. yes there were people who were there to be part of the rally but there was also a strong constituency of people with violent histories who also were talked about insurrection and that there will be a lot of information to show about that. in still to come, former trump administrators share what they know explosive white house discussion of radical ways to overturn the election. fiing the perfect developer isn't easy. but, at upwork, we found her. she's in prague, between the perfect cup of coffee and her museum of personal computers. and you can find her,
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about a half hour from now the january 6th house select committee is promising to pull back the curtain on what one member calls the craziest meeting of the trump presidency which is saying something, the panel says it will showcase a heated discussion involving then president trump and extreme election deniers scoring radical ways to try to overturn the 2020 election. we're joined now by former members of the trump administration and the trump white house, olivia troy. alyssa fairgarden and stephanie grisham who served as white house press secretary as well as many other roles and let me start with you because we expect to hear a lot about an oval office meeting on december 18th with sidney powell and michael flynn. i know you weren't in the meeting, but, what is your reaction? work for the first lady at the time and there were these, i mean, these were radical extremist fringe elements. this
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is sidney powell and michael flynn. >> towards the end of the administration it was my understanding that there were less people there to kind of safeguard against the french coming in. that was something we battled having the secret meetings up in the residence so that doesn't surprise me at all that there were no gatekeepers toward the end is my understanding. we have seen that meadows was maybe checked out a little bit i believe that is what cassidy hutchinson was talking about so it doesn't surprise me. even beyond no gatekeepers i actually think there were a few facilitators. even in the final weeks after the election was called for biden i would start seeing people like sidney powell in the west wing lobby or you would see people who are extremists. he believes in a peaceful transition of power, and extremist person who was granting an audience multiple
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times with the president. my understanding is it was the former chief of staff who facilitated those meetings and i think it is part of the narrative that shows how we got where we did on january sixth which was the craziest ideas being presented to frankly and unhinged president who was desperate for something to hold onto power and those voices never should have gone in front of him. >> he was giving interviews to the french networks at the time in which he was talking about things like the president, advising the president to declare martial law to have the military go into states and sees voting machines and demand new elections in the states that biden won. >> it is incredibly disturbing to see the former general doing that kind of thing and embracing these radical measures to prevent the peaceful transfer of power and i think that is something that you see that catches on. i think it will piece out together for americans which i think is important to really understand the extent of the
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cooperation that went on and coming from a national security background i worked with mike flynn, i was a defense intelligence agency. it is just so appalling to me still today that he continues to brace a series. to see how inbred they were with these extremist groups and the reporting and court documents show the extent to which the planning was happening and the fact that they wanted to come over government buildings. that is still, to me, egregious. i think that will be important today. >> you told michael you testified about possible links between these extremist groups and trump campaign officials, people may be, i don't know what you call roger stone, but he is an advisor to donald trump but what can you tell us about what you testified? >> not a whole lot, i hope that will come out today but there are people within the campaign who had connections to a lot of those radicalized groups. i
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just gave kind of a roadmap to the committee about that so i look forward to seeing if that comes out and i and with olivia that this is so important i think for the american people because it is a vital link right now that the president, his closest advisors of these militia groups work together. >> i can't help but observe that so many of them that are showing courage, whether it is you two or you or cassidy hutchinson, all our young women as opposed to a lot of the older men who have been cowardly and weak and refusing to tell the truth because they might have death threats or i don't want to make light of that, it is not fun to get that threat as all four of us know, but, what do you make of that? >> it is an honor to be surrounded by women who have done the thing and spoken out but cassidy hutchinson is my friend, 26 years old and showed more integrity, courage and patriotism than many men twice her age and more senior roles who had a duty to do the right
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thing. i don't know what is in the water who makes it with that we are the willing women to speak out but i am grateful for it. alyse cheney has been very and powerful to us who have stepped forward. she made me feel like i was in a position to share everything that i could and i think that has been very helpful throughout this. >> you were talking about the national security implications of michael flynn being so unhinged. and, you know, all of his very disturbing fringe beliefs, not just about voting machines but also he seems allied with q and on, which is that crazy cult that believes this insanity about, we don't even have to go into it, but, as somebody who has a focus and experience and expertise, there must be very disturbing to see, i mean with ties to these groups that are national security threats. these far right groups. >> absolutely. i have the homeland security portfolio for former vice
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president pends. this is something we try to closely at dhs and the concern about the growing rise of extremism here in our country and to think of the fact that there are links to the oval office and the inner circle of presidents being connected to these groups is incredibly appalling in these threats still remain today. they are showing up at board meetings. i was at a group last night where i had a group of moms saying they are still out there, they show up in the meetings, it is very dangerous and this is why it is so incredibly important to show the american people that this is a threat that still exists and is not going away anytime soon. the violence is there and it is on the rise. >> i hate to admit studying up on that the first time i even heard of the proud boys was that famous stanback and standby moment during the presidential debate. >> when instead of chris wallace asking him to condemn the group. i think jill biden mentioned
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that specifically and he didn't. >> he essentially green let them in the way that i interpreted it. but they say they are for traditional values and standing up for women and chivalry. now, these men attach the capital including female police officers who were be in and ended up in the hospital. it is a joke, a cold, but i don't want to diminish it because it is also an organized extremist group that we've got to get serious about cracking down on because the online recruitment has taken off and i just, i think we were asleep at the wheel ahead of january 6th with regard to them and i hope this was front and center. >> did you talk about trump about it? >> after that i said who are they, what is the position they are in and he just said something along the lines of like, they are just people who support me. it is like q and on. they sound like they are for good things. they are against pedophilia and other things. he never acknowledged that he knew what they were truly for but he was more familiar with them and that alone shows a
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level of supporting. >> he made fun of them and call them basement dwellers behind closed doors so just like he does many of his own supporters, but anybody who supported him it didn't matter so i think that was the standdown, and. i'm going to deny anybody who supports me no matter how horrific they are. >> when you found out that people on the campaign had ties to these groups, what was your reaction? >> him sad and ashamed to say i wasn't surprised, it is little things that i have seen throughout the first campaign. i didn't realize it was at quite the level that it was but again i and is glad that these things are coming to light and i want to say i do think these hearings are having an impact, certainly on the former president. i'm hearing from mara lago he
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is very nervous and if you just see the cadence of his ridiculous statement, knowing him like i do, he is scared and i like that. they are having an impact for people saying nobody's watching these meetings and they are just a joke, he is sure commenting on a lot. >> he sure is on truth social or whatever the name is of the trump social media platform. don't want to be under investigation again. >> our legal experts will weigh in on what they expected and whether this could ultimately lead to any criminal charges against trump or anyone in his orbits. live continue coverage after the break. we will be right back.
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today's hearing by the house select committee investigating january 6th. the panel plans to share some of its newly investigated testimony. it will also focus on the far right militia groups. the so- called proud boys have been present and digging in on this. they are key to the justice department's investigation of january 6th, right? >> that is right. and this is part of the january 6th story that i think we have seen a lot more from the justice department. we know a lot more about what they found so far and one of
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the things we have learned is that they have gone a ton of cooperation from people inside those organizations. we know that some people have turned over encrypted communications. they have been able to get testimony from some of these people to essentially flip on other members of the proud boys and the oath keepers and what is interesting is we haven't seen that yet emerge in some other parts of the investigation by the justice department. for instance, the investigation into the electors. we know that the fbi has approached people who are involved in the a collector scheme and trying to get some cooperation from them. we will see. that is one of the things we know prosecutors and the fbi are working on. they are trying to get people who are involved and know exactly what donald trump and what other people inside his circle were involved, what they were doing to be involved in that whole scheme to present buffet collectors and overturn the election. >> all right, we will check
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back in with you with our panel of attorneys. i mean a lot of comparisons drawn between the watergate hearings and january 6th hearings. i want to talk about accountability. pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice, you served time in federal custody, what you think the consequences should be for federal prosecutors as a way of accountability for trump? >> there are many that prosecutors have cooperation, the degree of involvement and the activity. when you take somebody to trial if they take them to trial they are likely to throw the book at them and build the best and strongest case they have and in my own case, i was in the witness protection program at the time. it really started when i testified and so all the way on through for the next 18 months. >> you were in a witness
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protection for 18 months while testifying and after prexy >> right. that meant mostly i had two agents with me or two marshals with me 24 seven. they would rotate out when my time came to serve time, i was in the federal custody. i was kept at a safe house and that involved being driven to the prosecutor's office every day except on weekends for 127 days . i was either at the courthouse, i was at the k street office. >> what do you think should happen in their inner circle? >> it depends upon who they are and what offense they have committed. there is some pretty serious offense. seditious conspiracy is just about the worst thing you can do is to overthrow the government. these have very hefty sentences with them. so, i think some people are going to get the book thrown at
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them particularly if they fight to the very end and resist this. >> do you think mark meadows will serve time? >> i think he is certainly a target of the investigation. bob haldeman, nixon's chief of staff did 18 months for his role . he added a couple perjury is along the way which mark reynolds may or may not have. nixon's chief of staff got the same sentences of the former attend our generate attorney general that he got. >> obviously they have been very aggressive about people who entered the capital, who attacked the capital, who hurt officers. what lays ahead legally here? >> one of the things to keep in mind is if you have cooperators you are sort of a double-edged sword. on the one hand it is great because you get information but on the other hand a jury might receive them with skepticism and think you are only doing
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this or saying what you need to say because you are preservation which is obviously a very big enticing factor and so it can cut both ways but the idea these are very serious charges. up to 20 years for these conspiracy based charges. the burden of proof has however different than the legislative committee. accountability looks like in cases like this, jail time, when somebody has tried to overthrow the government and undermine democracy, jurors are not particularly, this is a dc jury we are talking about as well. not known for thumbing its nose on politics in general. >> we need to be clear if we are talking about meaningful accountability, it will foster faulty prosecutors and the justice department because there is only so much congress can do. they can hold hearings and help us with the historical record which is hugely important. but you know what is going to happen when the end? they are going to end. there is no verdict, no vote, no thumbs up or down and at that point we are all going to be looking at doj and anderson, speaking about where is doj at
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this point? we always have to say we don't know. the grand jury is inherently secret and as evan said doj has done a remarkable job going after prosecuting the leaders and members of oath keepers and proud boys but there was a big morningside a couple times ago that they did not get to cassidy hutchinson yet which is to me, inexplicable. >> of course there was the committee about not getting information and wanting them to hand over information and doj which is a little bit stunning they could've had access. they more just learned later on and think about to the mother probe for example. there was a tension between what congress was able to get because they were fearful of the molar probe because it could lead to jail. there was idea of who do i speak to first? >> i don't understand why wouldn't the commission just automatically be sending over the transcripts to justice? then he thompson from the commissions that we are not going to stop our work in order
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to brief them. can't they just send over the transcripts? >> i asked that very question and they said they are on different platforms and different parallel courses but for the credibility of the public and the transparency component, why not be as forthcoming in canada as you can possibly be? their thought was they didn't want people to believe in some form or fashion that they were in cahoots because that can undermine the credibility as well. everything i have i give to you how do they distinguish who is actually in charge? >> i want to play part of cassidy hutchinson about a conversation she had. >> i saw mr. cipollone right before i walked out that morning and mr. cipollone said something to the effect of, please make sure we don't go up to the capital, cassidy, keep in touch with me. we are going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen. >> and do you remember which crimes mr. cipollone was concerned with?
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>> in the days leading up to the sixth, we had conversations about potentially obstructing justice or defrauding the electoral count. >> you would think that would be something we would hear more about today. >> we also understand they tried out to stay out of asking questions which would create a conflict between their witnesses. there is, committees watch this for building their own record as well as the prosecutor versus the congressional committee. there is a natural strain. archibald cox, the watergate special prosecutor tried to block my testimony and when he couldn't do that he tried to block it being televised so they couldn't do that and that was to not create adverse publicity. >> we are going to take a short break. the hearings begin just moments from now. we will be right back. ur old phone,
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we are just minutes away from the start of today's january 6th house committing hearing. the house select committee promising new revelations today about alleged ties between trump allies and
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these far right extremist militias that played a leading role in the deadly insurrection at the u.s. capitol. the panel is aiming to show how all the elements of trump's various efforts to overturn the 2020 election came together and erupted into violence on january sixth. we expect to see the first excerpts from recorded testimony by a crucial witness that is the former white house counsel pat cipollone who sat behind closed doors for hours on friday with the committee. let's go back to ryan. as we await the start of the hearing, the gavel banging, what more can you tell us about pat cipollone's reported testimony? >> reporter: we have known for some time that they viewed his testimony as very important and they really demonstrated that by the way the deposition was conducted. for the most part, these closed- door interviews is are conducted largely by the investigative team that is because they last so long,
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sometimes seven and eight hours. members of the committee, the actual members of congress, are able to join whatever they would like. they can slip in and out and do so virtually as well as with their schedules. i am told with the pat cipollone interview that every single member of the select committee was part of that deposition and most of them were there for the entire more than seven hours that he was a witness in front of the committee. that just demonstrates how important the community use his testimony. our sources told us after the deposition that they found the conversation to be very fruitful, that they learned a lot about what was happening inside the trump white house in a period of time after the election leading up to january six. we do expect to see the first clips of that deposition in today's hearing but, where, where he will take a starring role is in the next hearing scheduled to take place next week possibly in prime time where the outline that what hundred 87 ministering the c use where they believe and what they described as donald trump's dereliction of duty, he is one
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that knows a lot about what was happening on the white house than that date and that is where we expect to see a lot of his witness testimony. >> thank you so much. let's talk about this with the panel before we wait for this hearing. one of the things we have not heard directly, but you and i have discussed and other people on the panel have discussed is the degree to which liz cheney has been trying to either shame or abate various witnesses to come testify and i think she used cassidy hutchinson's very compelling testimony in some ways, to shame pat cipollone. here is this young woman, 26 years old, brave, courageous, risking it all to tell the truth. where is the white house counsel? and that seemed to work. i would also note that we have heard off the record rumblings from 20 oh nadeau, the former chief of staff who is said to dispute some of the characterizations, although, he
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hasn't testified. he hasn't come forward and put his hand and sworn and answered the questions. my understanding is there was a lot of i do not recalls but he has not come forward. anybody can legalize, right? >> i don't really have the time of day for this when a friend of a friend says he didn't do this. if someone said you said something explosive or i said something explosive, in about five seconds, we would put out a statement and say, we didn't say that and we would put our name to it. so, there is no question or an attempt to discredit cassidy hutchinson. i think the counter to that is her testimony. she just, i think, put that to rest. one point but i just was told that we are going to focus here are trump's words and his demeanor. especially on january six.
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so, we have seen evidence of intent with the violent groups. the pipe bomb are we still don't know who it is. the gallows that didn't just appear so i think we will see some connections made there. >> one thing when it comes to his credibility as we have had olivia troy, who we spoke with earlier, former trump white house officials saying that they don't think he tells the truth. that they think he is somebody that is not honest and he could come forward to testify if he wants to. what did he have to say? >> reporter: i talked to him about some of the other key issues including the former trump advisor who has been charged with contempt but now says he is willing to testify before the january 6th committee. i asked if he expects them to
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testify and he said, quote, not yet. he says he has to comply with all of the terms and the subpoena such as document production. also jenny thomas, the wife of the supreme court justice and clarence thomas, someone who was involved with efforts to try to overturn the election. there has been some interest in talking to her. he said not at this point. it is a matter of determining the priorities. whether she was resisting the subpoena and lastly, pat cipollone who of course we expect to hear from today in the video deposition. we ask if he is expected to come for a live witness of the committee and he said no, at that point roughly 7 1/2 hours is good enough for the committee so we don't expect to hear any more from cipollone. >> interesting. and obviously, the committee taking the step of subpoenaing and forcing jenny thomas to testify, which they are not doing, could be controversial within the committee.
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i don't know that the republicans on the committee would be behind that or not, but her fingerprints are all over this conspiracy. >> yes, you are trying to outside stretch those groups. she is working with some of the rudy giuliani groups. the question they have to make in the time that is left even though they may have another chapter that we are including liz cheney's where do you want to put your eggs in the basket? which eggs are most important for you to put in the basket? today they believe it is critical to the violence question. >> we want to interrupt briefly, there is the committee walking in. benny thompson b he behind them i believe is stephanie who will be cochairing the committee. the vice chair behind. >> remember cassidy hutchinson said they wanted donald trump not to speak that day but if he was going to to take all the references to fight. >> and on cipollone as i mentioned we will hear several clips from him and although he
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was very careful not to disclose conversations that he had with the president, he was giving his own opinion in the seven-hour testimony, which, people who were inside this meeting with him said they can take -- >> let's listen. >> the select committee to investigate the january 6th attack on the united states capital will be in order. without objection, the chair is authorized to declare the committee in recess at any point
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. pursuant to house deposition authority regulation 10, the chair announces the committee's 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 is a phrase that always comes to mind . it may sound straightforward, but it is meaningful. we settle our differences at the ballot box. sometimes my choice prevails, sometimes yours does. but, it is that simple. we 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 doesn't mean you have to be happy about it. and in the united states, there is plenty you can do and say so. can protest, you can organize,
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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 force or harassment or intimidation. in a any real leader who sees their supporters going down that path, approaching that line , has a responsibility to say, stop. we gave it our best, we came up short, we try again next time. because we settled our differences at the ballot box. on december 14th, 2020, the presidential election was officially over. the electoral college had cast its vote. joe biden was the president- elect of the united states. by that point, many of donald
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trump supporters were already convinced that the election had been stolen because that is what donald trump had been telling them. so, what donald trump was required to do in that moment, what would have been required of any american leader, was to say, we did our best, and we came up short. he went the opposite way. he sees on the anger he had already stoped among his most loyal supporters and as they approached the 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 dc 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 the story . first, i'm pleased to recognize our distinguished vice chair, miss cheney of wyoming, for any opening comments she cared to offer. >> 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 14th, 2020, when the electoral college met and certified the results of the 2020 presidential election, up through the morning of january six.
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you will see certain segments of pat cipollone's testimony today. we will also see today how president trump summoned a mob to washington and how the president stolen election lies provoked that mob to attack the capital. and we will hear from a man who was induced by president trump slides 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 approached this committee. initially, their strategy and some cases appeared to be to deny and delay. today, there appears to be a general recognition that the committee has established key facts, including that virtually everyone close to president trump, his justice department officials, his white house advisors, his white house
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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 that president trump was manipulated by others outside the administration. that he was persuaded to ignore his closest advisors and that he was incapable of telling right from wrong. this new strategy is to try to blame only john eastman or sidney powell or congressman scott perry or others and not president trump. in this version, the president was, quote, poorly served by these outside advisors. the strategy is to blame people, his advisors called, quote, the crazies, for what donald trump did. this, of course, is nonsense. president trump is a 76-year- old man. he is not an
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impressionable child. just like everyone else in our country, he is responsible for his own actions and his own choices. as our investigation has shown, donald trump had access to more detailed and specific information showing that the election was not actually stolen than almost any other 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 excused president trump's behavior during the violent attack on january sixth. as you watch our hearing today, i would urge you to keep your eye on two specific points. first, you will see evidence that trumps legal team, led by rudy giuliani, knew that they
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lacked actual evidence of widespread fraud, sufficient to prove that the election was actually stolen. they knew it. but they went ahead with january 6th anyway. and second, consider how millions of americans were persuaded to believe what donald trump's closest advisors and his administration did not. these americans did not have access to the truth like donald trump did. they put their faith and their trust in donald trump. they wanted to believe in him. they wanted to fight for their country and he deceived them. it may be painful to accept but it is true. thank you mr. chairman. i yelled back. >> without objection the chair realizes recognizes miss murphy and mr. raskin for opening statements. >> thank you mr. chairman. we know beyond a shadow of a
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doubt that then president donald trump lost in a free and fair election and yet president trump insisted that his loss was due to fraud in the election process rather than to the democratic will of the voters. the president continued to make this claim despite being told again and again by the courts, by the justice department, by his campaign officials, and by some of his closest advisors that the evidence did not support disassociation. this was the big line. and millions of them were deceived by it. to many of our fellow citizens still believe it to this day. it is corrosive to our country and damaging to our democracy. as our committee 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 mike pence, at space state
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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 them enough votes to overturn 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 sixth at which the vice president would preside. and their warped view, the ceremonial event was the next
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and perhaps the last inflection point that could be used to reverse the outcome of the election before mr. biden's inauguration. as president trump put it, the vice president and enough members of congress simply needed to summon the courage to act, to help them find that courage, the president called for backup. early in the morning of december 19th, the president sent out a tweet urging his followers to travel to washington dc for january six. be there, we will be wild, the president wrote. as my colleague will describe in detail, that's street served as a call to action and in some cases as a call to arms for many of president trump's most loyal supporters. it is clear the president intended the assembled crowd on the january 6th to serve his goal. and as you have already seen and as you will see with you today.
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in today's hearing, we will focus on events that took place in the final weeks leading up to january six starting in mid- december and will add color and context to evidence you have already heard about and will also provide additional new evidence. for example you will hear about meetings in which the president entertained extreme measures to help him stay in power like the seizure of voting machines. these members of congress would later seek pardons. we will also examine some of the planning for the january 6th protest, placing special emphasis on one rally planners concerns about the potential violence and we will describe some of the presidents key actions on the evening of january fifth and the morning of january six including how the president edited and ad- libbed his speech that morning
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and directed the crowd to march to the capital and spoke off script in a way that further inflamed and 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 onto the presidency. on friday, december 18th, his team of outside advisors paid him a surprise visit in the white house that would quickly become the stuff of legend. the meeting has become called unhinged, not normal in the craziest meeting of the trump presidency. the outside lawyers who have been involved in dozens of failed lawsuits have 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 that they had prepared for president trump to further his ends, specifically they proposed the immediate mass seizure of state election machines by the u.s.
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military. the meeting ended after midnight with apparent rejection of that idea in the wee hours of december 19th, to set aside with his options, donald trump decided to call for a large and wild crowd on wednesday, january sixth, 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. will see donald trump's tweet electrified and galvanized his supporters, especially the dangerous extremist and the oath keepers, the proud boys and other white nationalist groups spoiling for a fight against the government.
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inside ring, trump continued trying to work to overturn the election by getting mike pence to abandon his oath of office as vice president and assert the unilateral power to reject electoral votes. this would've been a fundamental and unprecedented breach of the constitution that would promise trump multiple ways of staying in office. meanwhile in the middle ring, members of domestic violent extremist groups created an alliance both online and in person to coordinate a massive effort to storm, invade and occupy the capital. trump had mobilized these groups around a common goal, emboldening them, strengthening their working relationships and helping build their numbers. finally in the outer ring on january sixth, there assembled
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a large and angry crowd. the political force that trump considered both the touchstone and the measure of his political power. there were thousands of followers that traveled from across the country to join trumps wild rally to stop the steel. but the proper incitement by political leaders and the proper instigation from the extremists, many members of this crowd could be led to storm the capital, confront the vice president in congress and try to overturn the 2020 election results. all of these efforts would converge and explode on january six. 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 with mob violence to destroy the fair elections is the oldest domestic enemy of constitutional democracy in america. abraham lincoln knew it too and in 1837 a racist mob in alton,
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illinois, broke into the offices of an abolitionist newspaper and killed its editor. they wrote a speak in which he said that no transatlantic military giant could ever crush us as a nation even with all of the fortunes in the world, but, if downfall ever comes to america, he said, of ourselves would be its author and finisher. if it's if racist mobs are encouraged by politicians to rampage and terrorize, they will violate the rights of other citizens and quickly destroy the bonds of social trust necessary for democracy to work, mobs and demagogues will put us on a path to political tyranny, lincoln said, as we will see today, this very old problem has returned with new ferocity today as a president who lost an election deployed a mob which included dangerous extremist to attack the constitutional
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system of election and the peaceful transfer of power and as we will see the creation of the internet and social media has given today's tyrants tools of propaganda and disinformation that they could only have dreamed of. i yield back. >> on december 14th, 2020, electors met in all 50 states in the district of columbia to cast their votes . they lost over and over again,
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including in front of multiple judges, president trump had nominated to the bench. and many of these cases the judges were highly critical of the arguments put forward, explaining that no genuine evidence of widespread fraud had been presented. for example, a federal judge in pennsylvania said this court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations unsupported by evidence. in the united states of america, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its six most populated state. on 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 that the president on july 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 court and the absence of evidence brought. they also respect of 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 jean scalia an accomplished lawyer and the son of late justice scalia called president trump in mid december and advised him to concede the rulings of the court's.
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>> so, i had to put a call into the president and we 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 is the point of which that outcome needs to be expected. i told him that i did believe, yes, that once those legal processes were run, that fraud had not been established, that affected the outcome of the election that unfortunately i believe what 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 on the pat cipollone. you will see a number of excerpts of that interview today and even more in our next hearing. mr. cipollone told us that he agreed that there was no evidence of fraud sufficient to overturn the election. >> i'm going to start by asking you if you agree, all of the individuals who value this that there was no evidence of election fraud sufficient to undermine the outcome? >> yes, i agree with that. >> and mr. cipollone also specifically testified that he believed that donald trump should have completed the election. >> did you believe that the president should concede once you may determination based on the investigations that you credited, did you come in your mind, form the fact that the
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president should concede the election loss at a certain 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 do i believe that he should concede the election at a point in time, yes i did. i believe leader mcconnell went onto the floor of the senate. i believe in late december and basically said that. you know, that that would be in line with my thinking on those things. >> is 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 idea, that was the end of the matter. i didn't say, you know, i thought that this would lead to
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a new administration. >> mr. cipollone also testified that the president's chief of staff, mark meadows, said he shared this view. >> as early as november 23rd meeting, we understand there was discussion about the president possibly conceding the election and specifically we understand that mark meadows assured both you and attorney general barr that he would eventually agree to a graceful exit. do you remember making any such representation? >> are using as part of that meeting? again without getting into that meeting i would say that that is a statement and sentiment that i had heard. >> and again, do you know if it was on november 23rd? >> again, it was probably around that time and probably subsequent to that time.
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>> mr. meadows has continued to testify in the committee is in litigation with him. but, many other white house officials shared the view that once the litigation entered and the electoral college met, the election was over and here is president trump's former press secretary. >> i want to clarify, that is my previous question, it was your view then, or was it your view, that the efforts to overturn the election should have stopped once litigation was complete? >> in my view, upon the conclusion of litigation was 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 these electors around the country met and cast the electoral vote consistent with the popular vote in each state
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and it was obviously a public proceeding or a series of proceedings that president biden had obtained the requisite number of electors. what's that an important day for you? did that affect your planning or realization as to whether or not this would be in and to this administration? >> i think so. i think it was my, my sentiment probably prior as well. >> judge year was a white house press secretary. this was his testimony about what he told president trump. >> i told him that my personal viewpoint was that the electoral college had met, which is the system that our country is set under to elect a president and vice president and i believed, at that point, that the means for him to
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pursue litigation was probably closed. >> we have also seen this testimony from attorney general barr reflecting a view of the white house staff in late november 2020. >> and then at that point i laughed and as i walked out of the oval office, jared was there with dan's covino who ran the presidents social media and who i thought was a reasonable guy and believe is a reasonable guy , and, i said, how long is he going to carry on with this? 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,
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look, i think that he is becoming more realistic and knows that there is a limit to how far he can take this and then jared said, 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 john ratcliffe a former republican congressman. >> he had expressed he was concerned about control and potentially dangerous for democracy or the way things were going. >> of course, underlying all of this is the fundamental principle that the president of the united states cannot simply disregard the rulings of state and federal courts, which are empowered to address specific
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election related claims. the president cannot simply pretend that the courts had not ruled. >> by that time, the president or his associates had brought or lost 60 out of 61 cases, that they have brought to challenge different aspects of the election and the number of states. they lost 60 out of 60 one of those cases. so by the time we get to january third, that has been clear. i assume that you would agree the president is obligated to abide by the rulings. >> of course. >> and i assume you also -- >> everybody is obligated to abide by the rules. >> and i assume you also would agree that the president has a particular obligation to take care that the laws be
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faithfully executed. >> that is one of the presidents 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 about president trump's attempts to pressure president penn to corrupt the department of justice, to pressure state officials and state legislatures and to create and submit a series of fake electoral slates . now, we will show you what other actions president trump was taking between december 14, 2020 and january 6th. i yield to the gentleman from maryland. >> thank you miss murphy. throughout our hearings you have heard that president trump made baseless claims that voting machines were being manipulated by foreign powers in the 2020 election. you have also heard trump's
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attorney general, bill barr, describe such claims as complete nonsense which he told the president. let's review that testimony. >> i saw absolutely zero basis for the allegations, but they were made in such a sensational way that they obviously were influencing a lot of people, members of the public, that there was this systemic corruption in the system and that their votes didn't count and that these machines controlled by somebody else were actually determining it which was complete nonsense and it was being laid out there and i told them that it was crazy stuff and they were wasting their time on that. and it was doing a great disservice to the country. >> we have learned that president trump's white house counsel agreed with the department of justice about this. >> attorney general barr made an announcement about this that he had seen fraud and they say
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first. >> it is fair to say that i agreed with attorney general barr's conclusion on december first, yes i did and i supported that. >> however, the strong rejection of the attorney general and the white house counsel of these claims did not stop the president from trying to address them in public but that is not only did. as you will see in this clip the president asked attorney bill barr to have the department of justice ease voting machines in the states. >> my recollection is the president said something like, well, we could get, you know, some people said we could get to the bottom of this if the department sees the machines. it was a typical way of raising the point. and i said absolutely not, there is no probable cause and i'm not going to seize any machines. and that was that.
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>> this wasn't the end of the matter. on the evening of december 18th, 2020, they entered the white house for an unplanned meeting with the president, the meeting that would last multiple hours and become hot- blooded and contentious. the executive order behind me on this screen was drafted on december 16th, just two days after the electoral college vote by several of the presidents outside advisors over a luncheon at the trump international hotel. as you can see here this proposed order directs the secretary of defense to seize voting machines, quote, effective immediately but it goes even further than that. under the order, president trump would appoint a special counsel with the power to seize machines and charge people with crimes with all resources necessary to carry out their duties.
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to name sydney powell as special counsel. the trump lawyer who had spent the postelection period making outlandish claims about venezuelan and chinese interference in the election among others. here is what pat cipollone had to say about sydney powell's qualifications to take on such expansive authority. >> i don't think sydney powell would say that i thought was a good idea. sydney powell told the president that 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. here is mr. cipollone against announcing sydney powell's terrible idea.
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>> there was real question in my mind and a real concern, you know, particularly after the attorney general had reached the occlude conclusion that it was 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 know, you have to put up or shut up. that was my view. >> why was this on a broader scale? >> to have the federal government seize voting machines . it is a terrible idea. that is not how we do things in the united states. it was illegal 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 sees election machines, now,
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that, i don't understand why we would tell you why that is a bad thing. it is a terrible idea. >> for all of its absurdity, the december 18th meeting was critically important because president trump got to watch up close for several hours as his white house counsel and other white house lawyers destroyed the baseless factual claims and ridiculous legal arguments being offered by sydney powell, mike flynn and others. president trump now knew all of these claims were nonsense. not just from his 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, to me, it is sort of senseless claims and people were open to them early on because people were making all sense of claims and the real question is, show the
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evidence. okay? >> it 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 28th, 2022 chief of staff mark meadows. he did not mince any words. we can do all of the investigations we want later but if the president plans on winning it is the legislators that have to be moved and this will do just that. he wanted the president to win but he didn't say in this email what he would later tell the select committee and a letter that has lawyer wrote to us in november. the letter said, quote, it was impossible for him and his team
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to determine conclusively whether or not there was widespread fraud or whether that would have altered the outcome of the election. in other words, even rudy giuliani's own legal team knew before january six that they hadn't collected enough actual evidence to support any of their stolen election claims. here is what jason miller told the committee about some of the so-called evidence of fraud that the campaign had seen from the giuliani team. >> do you know what the examples of fraud, numbers, names and supporting evidence was? that you sent to mel brooks's office quickly and when i said you, you are the campaign. >> there are some very, very general documents as far as, say for example, the handful of dead people in several different states.
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here are explanations on a couple of the legal challenges as far as saying that the rules were changed and in an unconstitutional manner and it was that was probably an understatement. >> here is how the deputy campaign manager described the evidence of fraud that the campaign had seen. >> never came to lauren or understand that mayor giuliani had produced evidence of election fraud. is that fair? >> that is fair. >> and hear his testimony that we received from the speaker of the house about an exchange that he had with rudy giuliani after the election. >> at some point, did one of them make a comment that they didn't have evidence but they had a lot of theories? >> that was rudy giuliani. >> chief of staff, mark
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meadows, told people that he thought trump should concede around the time the electoral college certified the result. but nonetheless, he later worked to try to facilitate president trump's wishes. here is what cassidy hutchinson told us. >> during this period, i perceived his goal with all of this to keep trump in office. and he had very seriously and deeply considered the allegations of voter fraud. but when he began acknowledging that maybe there wasn't enough voter fraud to overturn the election, i witnessed him start to explore potential constitutional loopholes. more extensively, which had been connected with the theories.
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>> the startling conclusion is this. even an agreed-upon complete lack of evidence could not stop president trump, mark meadows and their allies from trying to overturn the result of a free and fair election. so, let's return to the meeting at the white house on the meeting of december 18th. that night a group showed up at the white house including suit sydney powell and michael flynn and the former ceo patrick byrne. after gaining access to the junior white house staffer, the group made their way to the oval office. they were able to speak with the president by himself for some time until the white house officials learned of the meeting. what ensued was a heated and profane clash between this group and president trump's white house advisors who treated personal insults and disloyalty to the president and even charges to physically fight. the meeting
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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 spoke with six of the participants as well as staffers that 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. >> do you believe it was going to work? that you would be able to see the president without an appointment? >> i had no idea. >> in fact you did get to see them without an appointment. how much time did you have along with the president? >> probably no more than 10 or 15 minutes. >> he set a new land speed record.
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>> that was the first point that i had recognized, okay, there was nobody from the white house, mark is gone. what is going on right now? >> i walked in and i saw sydney powell sitting there. i was not happy to see the people in the oval office. first of all, the overstock person, the first thing i did was i walked in and i looked at it and i said who are you? and he said 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 a short period of time that you had with the president
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, did he seem receptive to the presentation that you were making? >> he was very interested in hearing particularly about the terms of 13848 but apparently nobody else had bothered to inform him of. >> they have to was communicating with the of the machines .
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>> there were times they were throwing insults at each other. it wasn't just sort of people sitting around and chitchatting. >> do you recall whether he raised after they had litigation? >> yes .
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>> >> i would say a general disregard for the importance of what they would say with fax. >> then there was the discussion of we won't have it now but we will have it.
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while the judges are corrupt and i was like everyone. every single case that you have done in the country, every one of them is corrupt. >> one of the other things that has been reported during this meeting so, why not try? will they were proposing . completely, completely out there. you got people walking and late at night it had been a long day and what they were proposing, i thought was nuts. >> i'm going to categorically describe it as you guys are not
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tough enough. or maybe i put it enough, excuse the expression, but i'm almost certain the word was used. >> he kept standing up and turning around and screaming at me and at a certain point i had it with him. so i yelled back. >> the president and the white house team went upstairs to they went to the big part of the residence where you could have meetings. >> they call that the yellow oval i always called it the upper and i'm not exactly sure where the sydney group went.
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i think maybe the roosevelt room. i stayed in the cabinet room. i like that all by myself. >> at the end of the day we landed where we started the meeting at least from a structural standpoint which was sydney powell was biting, mike flynn was fighting. they were looking for avenues that would enable and result in president trump remaining president trump for a second term. >> the fee meeting finally ended after midnight. here are text messages sent by cassidy hutchinson during and after the meeting. as you can see, ms. hutchinson reported the meeting in the west wing was unhinged with the meeting only broke up after
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midnight during the early morning of december 19. cassidy hutchinson capture the moment of mark meadows escorting rudy giuliani off the white house grounds to make sure he did not wander back into the mansion. certain accounts of this meeting indicate that president trump actually granted ms. powell's security clearance and appointed her to a somewhat ill- defined position of special counsel. >> asked pat cipollone if he had the authority to name the special counsel and he said yes. then he asked him if he had the authority to give me whatever security clearance i needed and pat cipollone he said yes. and then the president said okay. i am naming her that and giving her security clearance and shortly before we left and it totally blew up as once a baloney and/or hirschman and whoever the other young man was sent you can name her whatever you want to name her and no one
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will pay any attention to it. >> how did the real president respond to that. >> you see what i deal with? i deal with this all the time. >> over the ensuing days no further steps were taken to a point sydney powell that there is some ambiguity about what the president 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 had been appointed to. in my view she had not been appointed to anything and ultimately there had to be other steps taken. that was my view when i left the meeting and she may have a different view and the president may have a different view. >> or any steps taken including the president telling her she had been appointed? >> again, i'm not going to get into what the president said in the meeting.
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my recollection is you are not appointed until steps are taken to get the paperwork done. and when i left the meeting, okay, i guess what i am trying to say is, i'm not going to get into what the president said or said he wanted. >> mistress a baloney, when the matter continued to flareup over the next several days, was it your understanding that sydney powell was seeking an appointment or he rather she had been asserting she had been appointed at the president at the december 18 meeting. >> you know, now that you mention it, probably both. you know? i think she may have been of the view that she had been appointed and was seeking to get that done and that she
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should be appointed. >> as you listen to these clips remember ms. powell, a person who president trump tried to make ms. powell was ultimately sanctioned and sued by dominion voting services for defamation. in her own defense to that lawsuit sydney powell argued that no reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact. not long after sydney powell, donald flynn and rudy giuliani left the white house in the early morning of the hours he turned away from outside advisors outlandish and unworkable schemes and is white house counsel's advice to swallow hard and accept the reality of the loss instead he would galvanize his followers and unleash a political firestorm and change the course of our history as a country.
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trumps purpose was to mobilize a crowd. how do you mobilize a crowd in 2020? with millions of flowers on twitter president trump knew how to do it. 1:42 a.m. on december 19, 2020, shortly after the left participants left the meeting trump sent out the tweet with his explosive invitation. trump repeated his big lie and complained it was, statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 election. before calling for a big protest in d.c. on january 6, be there, it will be a while. trump supporters responded immediately. women for america first, approach trump organization group previously applied for a rally permit for january 22nd and 23rd in washington d.c. several days after joe biden was to be inaugurated. in the hours after the tweet
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they moved their permit to january 6, two weeks before. this rescheduling created a rally for trump would eventually speak. the next day allie alexander, leader of the stop the steel mobilization and key supporters registered while named after trumps tweet. he provided comprehensive information about numerous newly organized protest events in washington including event times, places, speakers and details on transportation in washington d.c.. meanwhile other supporters including far right radio personalities began promoting the wild protest on january 6. >> it is saturday, december 19th. the year is 2020 and one of the most historic events in american history has just taken
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place. president trump in the early morning hours today tweeted that he want the american people to march on washington d.c. on january 6th 2021. >> and now donald trump is calling on his supporters to descend on washington d.c. january 6. >> he is now calling and we, the people to take action and show our numbers. >> we will only 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 fence or a wall. >> this could be trump's last stand and a time when he has specifically called on his reporters to arrive in d.c. that is something that may be
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the big push trump supporters need to say this is it. it is now or never. >> you better understand something, son, red wave, pitch. a red wedding going on january 6. >> on that day trump says show up for a protest and it will be a while. based on what we've seen i think trump is correct. >> mother, you better look outside. kick that effing door open. there will be a million plus the armed americans. >> the time for games is over and the action is now. where were you when history called? where were you and you and your children's destiny and future was on the line? >> that click you heard one of trumps supporters predict a red wedding which is a popular culture to manslaughter. the call to washington
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reverberated powerfully and pervasively online the committee interviewed a former twitter employee who explain the effect that trump had on the twitter platform. this employee was on the team responsible for platform and contact moderation policies and twitter throughout 2020 2021. the employee testified that twitter considered adopting a stricter contact moderation policy after president trump told the proud boys to stand back and stand by from the lectern at the september 29th presidential debate. twitter chose not to act. here is a former employee whose voice has been seared to protect their identity discussing the stand back and stand by comment and the effect it had. >> might concern was that the former president for the first time was speaking directly to
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extremist organizations and giving them directives. we have not seen that sort of direct communication before. and that concerned me. >> just to clarify further. you are worried and other people were worried that the president might use your platform to speak directly to folks who might be incited to violence? >> yes. i believe twitter relished in the knowledge they were also the favorite and most used service of the former president and enjoyed having that sort of power within the social media ecosystem.
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>> president trump or anyone else would have taken until january 8, 2021 to be suspended? >> absolutely not. if the platform or president or any other user he would have been permanently banned a long time ago. >> trump remained on the platform completely untracked. 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 reasoning behind why they were prepared to fight prior to december 19. again it was vague.
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it was nonspecific but very clear that individuals are ready, willing and able to take up arms. after the street 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 and infighting for this cause in d.c. on january 6 as well. i will also say what shocked me was the responses to the streets. right? a lot of these standby tweets were in response to donald trump saying things like this. right? so there would be a response that said big protest january 6
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be there and be wild and someone responded saying get ready for civil war part two. i very much believe that donald trump posting this tweet on december 19th was sticking a flag in d.c. on january 6th for his supporters to come and rally. >> you are concerned about the potential for this gathering becoming violent? >> absolutely. >> indeed, many of trumps followers took to social media to declare they were ready to answer trumps call. one user asked is the sixth the day, is that why he wants everyone there? another asserted, trump just told us all to come armed or effing a, this is happening. and a third ticket further. it will be wild means we need volunteers for the firing squad
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jim watkins the owner of a kuhn the french online form that was the birthplace of the cueing on extremist movement confirmed the importance of trumps tweet. >> why did you first decide to go to d.c. when the president announced he would have a rally then i bought a ticket and went. >> watkins was at the capitol on january 6. some, who has since been indicted for their involvement on the attack on the capitol also responded. two of them posted on the 19th, calling all patriots. be in washington d.c. january 6. this was not organized by any group. dj tea has invited us and it is going to be wild some of the online rhetoric and openly homicidal and white nationalist such as why don't we just kill
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them, every last democrat down to the last man, woman and child. it's time for the day of the rope. white revolution is the only solution. others realize police would be standing in their way to overturn the election. one road i am ready to die for my beliefs. are you ready to die, police? another wrote cops don't have standing if they are standing and laying on the ground in a pool of their own blood. an openly racist and anti- semitic form. jody williams confirmed how the presidents tweet created the laserlike focus on the date of january 6th. >> people have been talking about going to d.c. as soon as the election is over.
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>> you recall whether or not the conversation around those dates centered around the sixth after the presidents tweet? >> sure. after it was announced he would be there on the sixth to talk. >> yes. than anything else was shot out and it was just going to be on the sixth. >> okay. it was pretty clear with the content on the site. >> yes. sure. >> on that site, many shared plans and violent threats bring handcuffs and wait near the tunnels wrote one user and a comment was create zip ties and stand and body armer, knuckles, shields, bats, pepper spray, all of those were used in the post concluded join your local proud boys chapter as well. the donald that win featured discussions of the tunnels
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denise the capitol complex. suggestions for targeting members of congress and encouragement to attend this once-in-a-lifetime event. what trump supporters grew more aggressive online he continued to pile up is based on twitter. he 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 one dozen times in the lead up to january 6th. mr. chairman i reserve. >> the chair request that those in the hearing room remained 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 pick of approximately 10 minutes.
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shocking and even terrifying testimony today from the january 6 hearing including tape decks are a former white house counsel pat cipollone making it very clear there was not evidence that the election was stolen or there was sufficient rod to change the results in any state except loney went on to describe an epitaph filled conversation between white house officials such as himself with others pushing deranged conspiracy theories and unhinged courses of actions and schemes, rudy giuliani, sidney powell and mike flynn. that followed by donald trump's tweet calling for his supporters to come to washington d.c. on january 6th and it will be wild. and the committee made it clear the response to that tweet from not only trump supporters but violent groups, unhinged and others thinking this was a call
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to arms. a call to come to washington d.c. and commit acts of violence. pat cipollone was quite a witness not only for the idea or the fact i should say there was not sufficient fraud and the election to change the results but also the idea that donald trump had appointed this unhinged attorney, sidney powell, and her mind to become an independent counsel investigating this fraud and who knows if it had not been principal only, eric hirschman was in the white house counsel's office and the staff secretary, and their clients, if it has not been for them who knows what would've happened. >> what we have heard is an extraordinary screaming match. people could hear outside the door for the white house counsel, and their clients were
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pushing back on team crazy. but there is something that the committee has laid out here that i think is key in liz cheney's opening statement. she said president trump is a 76-year-old man, he is not an impressionable child. i think what the committee is building here is the case that yes, there was a white house counsel on one side and team crazy and the other but this was up to donald trump and he went with team crazy. >> and you saw the way that they built this really unbelievable meeting in the white house, and the climax of that that the then president did not get he wanted from the people he appointed to work for him in the white house, to give him the important advice he kept going back to, as they say, team crazy to feed what he wanted to hear which there was
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evidence. even though pat cipollone said at some point you have to put up or shut up. that was my view. i think that really encapsulates it. what is really remarkable that at 1:40 a.m. after he was so frustrated by that meeting he did what he did so many times but this was the most fatal, he took it in his own hands and he did as liz cheney said some in the mob and everybody he was trying to reach got it they understood what he meant. he did not have to say it. >> i thought liz cheney's opening statement. they said he was a convene her and he liked to hear from all kinds of different people. the message she was trying to convey today is he is responsible for bringing the crazies into the white house. and even entertaining these crazy conspiracies and is undemocratic conspiracies. and that is evidenced by the
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fact that this meeting went from the west wing into the residence of the white house and continued well into the night. that is only because donald trump allowed it. >> i have to make sure he did not go back into the meeting. >> liz cheney's statement about donald trump was aimed at the justice department, in case they were thinking oh, well this is just a bunch of crazies and we can't hold trump accountable. liz cheney was saying attorney general garland. this is a grown man who did this. >> the committee certainly is trying to lay out the case and communicate to the justice department. whether the justice department goes in that direction, we will still need to see. one of the things i come away with this part of the hearing is again with more questions and in particular, what happened between the time that the meeting, this wild meeting that took place in the white
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house on december 18, once that beating broke and then the president showed his treat, which then spoke to all of his supporters who saw that tweet and it's these connections between okay he keeps going back at it. and so then what happened that caused him to say okay, if these individuals in the white house, i white house counsel, the lawyers won't let me appoint sidney powell now i have to go public and speak directly to the supporters. >> that's the next part what the donald trump do in that time . just think about this would be a farce otherwise. if the circumstances were not so high. a junior staffer sneaks them into the white house. they are in the oval office and nobody in the senior white house staff knows anybody about it. they russian and the president is told a cockamamie scheme he cannot do it.
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he doesn't say oh, thank you. never mind. they are tough and they are trying to fight for me and they are not. that plan didn't work go find another one expect let's remind people pat cipollone, eric hirschman, oil trump supporters. these are not progressive snuck into the white house and stalwarts for donald trump and our condition continues in one minute. as an expedia member you earn points on your travels, and that's on top of your airline miles. so you can go and see... or taste or do absolutely nothing with all those bubbles. without ever wondering if you're getting the most out of your trip. because you are. ♪ limu emu ♪ and doug. [power-drill noises]
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alright, limu, give me a socket wrench, pliers, and a phone open to they customize your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need... and you could even save $652 when you switch. ok, i need a crowbar. and a blowtorch. [teddy bear squeaks] [doug sighs] limu, call a mechanic. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ january 6 select house committee hearing is about to resume after the explosive and occasionally scary first round of evidence. we still expect to hear about the ties of already extremist groups, militia groups to trump's allies, along with live testimony from someone who describes himself as a former propagandist for the far right
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militia group, the old keepers and from a writer who he did donald trump's call to come to washington on january 6. it will be wild. the writer pled guilty to illegally entering the capitol and abby phillip let me start with you. one of the things that is interesting is the idea and obviously people who commit crimes are people who commit crimes. there is an element throughout all of these hearings of a lot of trump supporters were misled. they were lied to, not trying to engender sympathy to people who committed crimes on the capitol, necessarily, but also not trying to demonize trump supporters. that has clearly been part of this expect to take the scales off people's lives and scales place there by trump you heard cheney say in her opening statement trump had more information that the election was not stolen and anyone else in the entire country and yet
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he misled his own supporters. another connection the committee made in some of the earlier hearings is about the money. not only did he mislead them about what happened and he took money from them and used it for his own ends. >> there is one thing that somebody for donald trump just texted me and it helps to crystallize this. they were talking about team crazy. this person said to me from this person's experience is not normal and crazy. it is team me meaning donald trump and placate me and do what i say versus team reality and stick with the facts and what is real. and that is what clashed here in a very deadly way. >> let's talk if we can for a second, jamie, the witnesses at the table stephen ayres and jason. i believe that is mr. ayers on
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the left. it's an opposite angle now from the back. mr. ayers came on january 6 and he listened to donald trump. he believed donald trump and we ran early video of him spewing a bunch of conspiracy theories. >> i think he is fascinating because he appears to be unaffiliated. he wasn't a part of the proud boys or the old keepers. he came, he says, because donald trump invited him and told him to come. and my understanding is his testimony will include that it has ruined his life and that he was fooled and duped. but not by anyone else. i donald trump. he lays it at donald trump's feet. the other witness was, i believe, a spokesman. >> self described person who
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split with the group five years ago. >> my understanding is in his testimony he was not at january 6 but he will give an inside account of how they work, what they think and that they are violent. >> carrie, jason's testimony, i suspect will be about the degree to which the old keepers, and groups like it, pose a threat to the u.s.. >> we will see if he gets in. he will provide a broader context. he has not been affiliated with the group for a number of years now. if the committee is really trying to connect the mobilization of these violent groups which recruit from law enforcement and recruit from military have continued to grow throughout the former administration, if the committee is trying to prove those groups were mobilized by the white house's
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efforts in these individuals, one who is not affiliated and one who is several years affiliated, i know they are the individuals to have that kind of inside information and i think based on the earlier part of the hearing the individuals may be lynn and stone and they have taken the fifth and as the committee has shown michael for with interviews. >> michael flynn has ties in communications some of these groups. we have some encrypted signaling. to these witnesses, if they can fill in the color and details about that day and this group than the committee has the other evidence. the specificity of the communications. there is no question trump knew who they were and they were prone to violence. when you know the proud boys and goalkeepers are coming to know violence is coming your way or do they have specific communications in that key
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time. to make it clear that everyone knew with clarity. >> it seems that one of the goals today has to introduce these groups and this kind of mindset to the american public. we are sitting here talking about it now because they have become part of the dialogue around this former president. they are a recent phenomenon coming into existence in this post obama years and the obama years and the years that foul and i think a lot of americans really don't know what these guys stand for and what they are about and what motivates them and why there would be a group of people willing to use violence for their political needs expect the answer is donald trump. and what was so powerful and what we saw before, and i'm sure we will see amplified is that they used donald trump's own language. did he say go to the national
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mall? go to 13th and constitution and marked this way and break this window. but he was specific enough that they understood the message to the point that they parroted him and acted based on those not-so-subtle messages. one question i had, given all of this, where was the national guard and where was security. did the president knowing this was a potential stop it or did somebody else? what happened? >> that is such an important point. the committee, really, having been in my view has left the federal government and national security apparatus off the hook. they have chosen to focus their efforts on the white house. they have chosen to focus their efforts on the former president. we will see if they have more explanation in the report that comes from the committee's work. they have given a pass to all
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the federal government national security institutions that should have been on better warning and should've had better backup for the capitol police and the metropolitan police department and the clips the committee just played earlier that shows all of the far right wing media that was previewing the violence that would occur and should've put everyone, including all the national security institutions on notice to be better prepared to attack the capitol. >> remember and occasionally we will see in the audience to see the four police officers at least three of the four testified and months and months ago harry dunn and michael fanone and other individuals who were traumatized physically abused, and worse in the case of other police officers with the metropolitan police department and also the capitol hill police, police officers that were the ones who bore the brunt of the attack. these were the ones who were injured, who lost parts of
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their body. in some cases had traumatic brain injuries. in some cases have posttraumatic stress in the wake of this horrific assault on the capitol. several died by suicide and whether that was because of the trauma or the tramatic brain injury, those are the ones that donald trump when he sent this mob to the capitol, those are the ones trying to protect the lives of individuals and that congress building, whether members of the house or the senate or their staffs or journalists and individuals who in some cases when it comes to house republicans don't stand up for those police officers some house republicans voted against giving them any sort of commendation for protecting the capitol on that day. i find it remarkable not only that there are sides to this horrific event in american history. it should be everyone condemns what happens but that's not
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what happened. also sides to police versus an inflamed mob that have far right extremist militias who are armed amongst them. there are people who decide not with the police officers who are mainstream politicians. >> right. and, by the way the people who you are describing claim to back the blue all the time except for one the blue are trying to protect them inside the u.s. capitol when ahmad was coming towards them. on a related note part of what we saw in the posts in the videos leading up to the second part of today's hearing was an eerie recognition that they could overwhelm the capitol police. if there were enough of them and if they were aggressive enough and relentless enough they could overwhelm the police and that is what happened. >> they were explicit that the police were the targets and some of these messages going
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around on the message boards that was the objective. pushback on police guarding the capitol and we should note to your point, jake, some of the people, the trump supporter shot tried to break into the capitol rotunda, ashley barrett, into a folk hero. one of the people doing that is former president trump. as recently as a few weeks ago in his rallies bringing her up as an argument that the police were the ones who acted improperly in defending the capitol. >> to your point, the fact that 90% or the overwhelming majority of the washington republican party has ignored what has been heard in these committee hearings including the threat against the police officers do not recognize the police officers everything we've heard today in the previous hearings about the conduct and state of mind. how he conducted the government.
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they say sham committee they won't listen to anything because they question the makeup of the committee. >> there is no question on the committee. >> it is the rationalization to not listen or process to what has been incredibly damaging information and about the number one who is still the most dominant force in their party and number two set donald trump aside this political climate mood still exists and the people in power need to prevented and lowered the temperature and they want to deny it because it's uncomfortable for them. >> it raises the point of what is the endgame for the committee in these hearings overall. if one of the goals is to try to pass legislation and make recommendations about the security of the capitol and the security of members and potentially changing the political environment which is empowering members of congress who are leaders of their party all of that is very different
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than the squads a criminal culpability that they continue to explore for the former president. those were very different objectives. i continue to wonder what the endgame is for the committee. >> step one, forgive me. respect your very own institution. it came under attack that day. the proud boys and donald j trump, they found a hero who wanted to attack american institutions. taking down the u.s. government and attacking u.s. institutions. they found a hero the rest of the republican should repudiate that. >> members of the sedition caucus they voted not to count the votes based on lies. >> how many are running in primaries as election deniers. this is a key part of winning
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and politics today. go back to carrie's point about the goal of the committee. i think it is there to say two things can be done and be true at the same time. it's about passing legislation but there is no question that the committees focus has been on donald trump. the phrase i've heard over and over again as we are looking for over ask traceable to trump. and just to go back to the twitter, the former twitter employee who said trump had been anybody else he would've been suspended a very long time ago. it felt this is i'm paraphrasing as if the mop was being organized and they were gathering together with their weaponry. >> the point on that is the moment of the october debate in chris wallace and now president biden challenge donald trump to condemn these far right militia groups, like the proud boys and
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donald trump said stand back and stand by. that was the moment he talked about suspending donald trump. not january 6. we are talking october. >> absolutely. whatever else happens i think you are going to see the focus remained on donald trump. >> and remember who gave sterling the georgia election official in december 2020, he was talking to donald trump when he said stop these lies. someone will get killed. >> with respect to the over ask that the committee is describing and the hearing that featured the georgia election officials and the justice department officials hearing about those two hearings laid out a series of, i counted about half a dozen over ask the president did that would fall into the category of defrauding the united states in terms of trying to overturn the election
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and the pressure he placed on all the election officials, justice department officials and other state government officials trying to overturn the election. the next piece i suspect we will hear about more this afternoon is the other piece. the violence piece and whether or not they can trace that violent instigation to something other than his public tweet. >> they are connected and he wasn't successful in all of the attempts in various forms, whether it was state politics, state government, his own federal government to overturn the election, then that was the frustration that they described earlier that he had that he was up until 1:42 a.m. when he treated okay, come and you do it. >> the committee members are finally back in. bennie thompson, democrat of mississippi next to him congresswoman liz cheney the vice chair. stephanie murphy on the left democrat from florida, jimmy raskin on the right. they are cochairing this
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hearing and we've heard a lot of shocking information in the first part of the hearing for the second part more directly about the threat of these far right militia groups and also how much culpability donald trump holds for individuals coming to the capitol on january 6 and committing those heinous acts of violence. let's listen in. . the committee will be in order. the chair recognizes the gentleman from maryland, mr. raskin expect mr. chairman, president trump's sweet drew tens of thousands of americans to washington to form the angry crowd that would be transformed into a violent mob. dr. janelle who is chief of intelligence in d.c. told how they saw the december 19th tweet unite violent groups across the spectrum on the far right. >> we got derogatory
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information from osha suggesting some very, very violent individuals were organizing to come to d.c.. not only were they organizing to come to d.c. but these groups and these nonaligned groups were aligning. and so all the red flags went up at that point and when you have more militia collaborating with white supremacy groups. collaborating with conspiracy theory groups online all for a common goal you start seeing what we call in terrorism is a blended ideology and that's very bad. not just across one platform but across multiple platforms these groups coordinating and not just chatting. what are you bringing and what are you wearing and where do you meet up and do you have
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plans for the capitol and that its preoperational intelligence. right? that is something that is 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 right streetfighting group that glorifies violence and white supremacy. the oath keepers promote a wide range of conspiracy theories and saw it to act as a private military force for donald trump the department of justice charged leaders with seditious conspiracy to overthrow the government of the united states on january 6. trump's december 19th tweet motivated these two extremes groups which have historically not work together to coordinate their activities. december 19th at 10:22 a.m. and hours after president
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trump's tweet kelly manx had a vote keepers declared an alliance. among the oath keepers proud boys m 43 percenters, another militia group and hero we have decided to work together and shut this ship down. later this afternoon he called the proud boys leader henrique and they spoke for several minutes. the very next day the proud boys got to work. the proud boys launched the ministry of self defense. the committee obtained hundreds of messages which show strategic and tactical planning about january 6, including maps of washington d.c. that pinpoint the location of police. in the weeks leading up to the attack bleeding in the proud boys and goalkeepers worked with allies. one such ally was lieutenant general michael flynn, trump's former national security advisor and one of the
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participants in the unhinged meeting at the white house. he also had connections to the oath keepers. this photo from december 12 shows flynn and patrick byrne, another trump ally, who is present at the december 18th meeting guarded by indicted oath keeper roberto neutra. another view of the scene shows oath keepers leader, gordon rhodes, in the picture as well. another central figure with ties to this network of extremist groups was roger stone, a political consultant and longtime confidant of president trump. he pardoned both flynn and stone in between the weeks between the election november 3rd and january 6. in the same timeframe 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 which included stone,
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roads, cario and ellie alexander. it focused on various pro trump events in november and december of 2020 as well as january 6. as you can see here, stuart rhodes himself urged the friends of stone to have people go to their state capitals if they cannot make it to washington for the first million mega march on november 14th these friends of roger stone had a significant present at multiple pro trump events after the election including washington on december 12th. on that day stuart rhodes pulled for donald trump to invoke martial law promising bloodshed if he did not. >> he needs a note from you that you are with him. he does not do it now for his commander-in-chief will have to do it ourselves later in a much more desperate and much more bloody war let's get it on now while he is still the commander
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and chief. >> at night the proud boys engaged in violence on the streets of washington and hurled aggressive insults at the police. >> you are oath breakers. do your job. give us one hour. one our. >> just the previous night the cohosts of info wars issued anonymous warning at a rally alongside proud boys leader henrique. >> i don't give a >> we will be back and genuine. encrypted chat show kelly
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makes, the indicted leader of the florida oath keepers spoke directly with roger stone about security on january 5th an. in fact, on january 6 joan was guarded by two oath keepers who have since been criminally indicted for seditious conspiracy. one pled guilty and according to the department of justice admitted the oath keepers were going to use lethal force if necessary against anyone who tried to remove president trump from the white house, including the national guard. as we have seen the proud boys were also part of the friends of stone network. stones ties to the proud boys go back many years and he has taken their fraternity creed required for the first level of initiation to the group. >> high, i am roger stone.
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>> thank you, roger. >> kelly, a lawyer who assists the oath keeper and a volunteer lawyer for the trump campaign explained to the committee how roger stone and other figures brought extremists of different stripes and views together. >> you mentioned that mr. stone wanted to stop the steel series of rallies. who did you consider a leader of these valleys? it sounds like from what you just said it was mr. stone, mr. jones and mr. alexander. is that correct? >> those are the ones that became the center point for everything. >> we will learn more from ms. murphy about these individuals and their involvement in the days leading up to the violent attack on january 6. we will also hear how they were allowed to speak at a rally for president trump the night before january 6 even though
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organizers expressed serious concerns about the violent and extremist rhetoric directly to mark meadows. you will 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 know you back. >> the gentleman use back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida, ms. murphy. >> during our most recent hearing the community showed what president trump, jesus of 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 valley or halt the march or to lower the temperature among
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president trump supporters. katrina pearson, one of the organizers of the january 6th rally and former campaign for president trump grew increasingly apprehensive after learning multiple activists had been proposed as speakers for the january 6th rally. these included some of the people we discussed earlier in this hearing. roger stone, a longtime outside advisor to president trump. alex jones the founder of the conspiracy theory website info wars. and ellie alexander, an activist known for his violent political rhetoric. on december 30th ms. pearson exchanged text messages with another key valley organizer about why people like mr. alexander and mr. jones were being suggested as speakers at the presidents rally on january 6. will spiers is explanation was potus. the president likes the crazies the committee asked ms. pearson about these messages and this is what she said.
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>> when you said he likes the crazies. were you talking about president trump expect yes. i was talking about president trump and he loves people who viciously defend him in public. >> support for what this people is support for what the president likes as you can tell. >> yes. these are people who would be very, very vicious and publicly defending him. >> on january 2nd is pearson's about the potential valley speakers had grown serious enough that she reached out to mr. meadows directly she wrote, good afternoon. would you mind giving me a call regarding this january 6 event. things have gotten crazy and i desperately need some direction, please. >> according to phone records obtained by the committee's person received a component call from mr. meadows 8 minutes later. here is what ms. pearson said about the conversation. >> so what specifically did you
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tell him about other events? >> just that there were a bunch of entities coming in. some were suspect and they are going to be on other stages. a very, very brief overview of what was actually happening and why i raised the red flags. >> when you told him people were suspect, what did you convey to him about the problems with these folks? >> i think i texted him some of my concerns. i did briefly go over some concerns i raised to everyone with alex jones or alexander. i probably mentioned to him that they already caused trouble at other capitals at the previous events, the previous march dated for protesting and i just had a concern about it. >> ms. pearson was concerned about allie alexander lorenz
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jones. in november 2020 boltman had protested the election. she believes she mentioned it to mark meadows on this january 2nd call. anyway second is the same day on which according to cassidy hutchinson, mr. meadows warned her that things might get real, real bad on january 6th. after her january 2nd call with mr. meadows, katrina pearson said and e-mail to fellow rally organizers and wrote potus expectations are to have something intimate and call on everyone to march to the capitol. the president's own documents suggest the president had decided to call on his supporters to go to the capitol on january 6 but he chose not to widely announce it until his speech that morning. the committee has obtained this
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draft update, undated tweet from the national archives including a stamp stating the president has seen. draft tweet reads i will be making a big speech at 10:00 a.m. january 6 south of the white house. please arrive early. massive crowds expected. march to the capitol after. stop the steal. although this tweet was never said rally organizers were discussing and preparing for the march to the capitol in the days leading up to january 6. this is a january 4th text message from a rally organizer to mike lindell, the mic cihla ceo. the organizer says this stays between us. we are having a second stage at the supreme court again. potus will have a smart there/the capitol. it cannot get out about the second stage because people will try to set up another and sabotage it. it cannot get out about the march because i will be in trouble with the national park
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service and all the agencies. but potus is going to call for it, unexpectedly. the end of the message indicates that the president's plan to have his followers parts to the capitol was not being broadly discussed. on the morning of january 5th, alexander's was stout concerned katrina sent a similar tax to a concerned journalist. mr. alexander said tomorrow. trump is supposed to order us to the capitol at the end of his speech. well we will see president trump did follow through on his plan using his january 6 speech to tell his supporters 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 presidents
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strategy involves certain 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 in congress to disseminate his false claims and to encourage members of the public to fight the outcome on january 6. we know that the president met with various members to discuss january 6 well before the joint session. the presidents private schedule for december 21st, 2020 shows a private meeting with republican members of congress. we know vice president mike pence, chief of staff, mark meadows, and rudy giuliani also attended the meeting and we obtained an e-mail that was sent by congressman mo brooks of alabama to mo brooks setting up the meeting with the subject line is white house meeting december 21st regarding january 6. in his e-mail congressman brooks explained he had not asked anyone to join him in the january 6 effort because in his
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view only his citizens can exert the necessary influence to join this fight against massive voter fraud and election that. at this point you may recall testimony given in our earlier hearing by richard donoghue that the president asked the department of justice to 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 babbin, andy biggs, matt gaetz, louie goe mer, paul go, jim perry, and congresswoman elect marjorie taylor greene was also there. we heard testimony in an earlier th hearing that a pardon was requested by congressmen mo
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brooks and other members of congress who attended this meeting. we've asked witnesses what happened during the december 21st meeting, and we've learned that part of the discussion 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, which was being pushed by attorney john eastman. in one of our earlier hearings, you heard in great detail that president trump was trying to convince vice president pence to do something illegal. his white house counsel confirmed all of that in testimony last week. >> your view, mr. cipollone, upon those discussions with mr. philbin, what was your perception of 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 issues. >> my view was the vice president didn't have the legal authority to do anything except what he did.
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>> they both told us that they looked very closely at the eastman memos, the eastman theory, and thought that it had no basis, that it was not a strategy that the president should pursue. sound like that's consistent with your queimpression as well >> my impression would have been informed certainly by then. >> campaign senior adviser, jason miller said mr. sipcipoll thought john eastman's theories were nutty. >> we have seen testimony from various people about this, one from jason miller who was a campaign said that it was communicated that pat cipollone thought the idea was nutty, and 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. >> you didn't go to the meeting
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in the oval office where eastman met with the president and vice president. do you remember why you didn't personally attend? >> i did walk through that meeting, and i did go into the oval office with the idea of attending that meeting, and i ultimately did not attend that meeting. >> why not? >> the reasons for that are privileged. >> okay. were you asked to not attend the meeting or did you make a personal decision not to attend the meeting? >> again, without getting into privilege -- >> recall that greg jacob, the vice president's counsel stated that mr. eastman acknowledged he would lose 9-0 if his legal theory were challenged in the supreme court. mr. cipollone had reviewed mr. eastman's legal theory and expressed his view repeatedly that the vice president was right. he even offered to take the blame for the vice president's position. >> i thought that the vice president did not have the authority to do what was being
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suggested under a proper reading of the law. i conveyed that. i think i actually told somebody in the vice president, i'm not a politician, you know, i don't -- but, you know, 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 be given the presidential medal of freedom for his actions. >> earlier this year, a federal
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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 a reason to object to the electors, and no real evidence was ever given to them, and we know that republican members of the house received a memorandum from the chairwoman 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 certification of the election on
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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 adviser, at least twice on january 5th. the first conversation they had lasted for eleven 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. all converging and now we're on, as they say, the point of attack, right, the point of attack tomorrow. i'll tell you this, it's not going to happen like you think it's going to happen. okay. it's going to be quite extraordinarily different. and all i can say is strap in.
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>> from those same phone logs, we know that 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 which is located near the white house and featured some of the speakers who katrina pierson and others deemed too extreme to share the stage with the president the next morning. and as this rally was underway, the president asked members of his staff to come to the oval office. let's hear from the white house aides who were in the oval office that night? >> i was in the office, in the oval office, and he had asked me to open the door so that he could hear, i guess there was a concert or something going on. >> did you say anything other than just open the door. >> he made a comment. i don't remember specifically what he said but there was a lot
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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 scavino 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. >> he asked if members of
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congress would be with him tomorrow. >> and what do you understand meaning voting in his favor? not physically with him or anything like that. >> i took that to mean not voting 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 make the rhinos 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, talking then about we should go up to the capitol, what's the best route to go to the capitol. >> i said he should focus on policy accomplishments. >> what was his response? >> he acknowledged that and said we've had a lot.
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something along those lines, and then he fairly quickly moved to how fired up the crowd is, was going to be. >> and what did he say about it? >> just that they were fired up, they were angry, they feel like the election has been stolen, that the election was rigged. >> did he give any indication of how he knew that the crowd was fired up or angry? >> he continued to reference being able to hear them outside. >> through the open door of the va oval office, the president could hear the sound of the music and the crowd at the rally at the freedom plaza, and these are some of the things that they were saying there at the plaza, just blocks from where the president sat that evening, excited for the next day.
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>> this is nothing less than an epic struggle for the future of this country between dark and light. between the godly and the godless. between good and evil. and we will win this fight or america will step off into a thousand years of darkness. >> tomorrow, tomorrow, trust me, the american people that are standing on the soil that we are standing on tonight and they're going to be standing on this soil tomorrow, this is soil that we have fought over, fought for, and we will fight for in the future. the members of congress, the members of the house of representatives, the members of the united states senate, those of you who are feeling weak tonight, those of you that don't have the moral fiber in your body, get some tonight because tomorrow we the people are going to be here, and we want you to
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know that we will not stand for a lie. we will not stand for a lie. i . >> i want them to know that 1776 is always an option. these degenerates in the deep state are going to give us what we want or we are going to shut this country down. >> in 1776, 1776, 1776, 1776. >> at 5:05 p.m., as the freedom plaza rally was underway just blocks away, president trump tweeted, washington is being inundated with people who don't want to see an election victory stolen by emboldened radical
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left democrats, our country has had enough. they won't take it anymore. to the crowds gathering in d.c., he added, we hear you and love you from the oval office. the committee has learned that on january 5th, there were serious questions at twitter about the anticipated violence the next day. listen to what the twitter witness told us about their desperate efforts to get twitter to do something. >> what was your gut feeling the night of january 5th. >> i believe i sent a slack message to someone that said something along the lines of when people are shooting each other tomorrow, i will try and rest in the knowledge that we tried. and so i went to -- i don't know that i slept that night to be honest with you. i was on pins and needles, because, again, for months i had been begging and anticipating
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and attempting to raise the reality that if nothing -- if we made no intervention into what i saw occurring, people were going to die. and on january 5th, i realized no intervention was coming. and even as hard as i had tried to create one or implement one, there was nothing and we were -- we were at the whims and the mercy of a violent crowd that was locked and loaded. >> and just for the record, this was content that was echoing statements by the former president but also proud boys and other known violent extremist groups.
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>> yeah. >> there were also concerns among members of congress. we have a recently released recording of a conversation that took place among republican members of the u.s. capitol on the eve of january 6th. this is republican congresswoman de debbie lesko from arizona who led some of the unfounded objections to election results. >> i asked leadership to come up with a safety plan for members. i'm actually very concerned about this because we have who knows how many hundreds of thousands of people coming here. we have antifa. we also have, quite honestly, trump supporters who actually believe that we are going to overturn the election, and when that doesn't happen most likely will not happen, they are going to go nuts. >> that same evening, as president trump listened to the rally from the oval office, he was also working on his speech to be delivered the next day.
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and based on documents we've received from the national archives including multiple drafts of the president's speech as well as from witness testimony, we understand how that speech devolved into a call for action and a call to fight. one of the first edits president trump made to his speech was to incorporate his 5:05 p.m. tweet, revising his speech to say all of us are here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened radical left democrats. our country has had enough. we will not take it tomorrow. he also added together we will stop the steal. president trump's edits continued into the morning of january 6th. and as you can see from the president's daily diary here, the president spoke to his chief speech writer steven miller for 25 minutes that morning. following his call for mr. miller, president trump inserted for the first time a line in his speech that said, quote, and we will see whether mike pence
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enters history as a truly great and courageous leader, all he has to do is refer the illegally submitted electoral votes back to the states that were given false and fraudulent information where they want to recertify. no prior version of this speech had referenced vice president pence or his role during the joint session on january 6th. these last-minute edits by president trump to his speech were part of the president's pressure campaign against his own vice president. but not everyone wanted these lines regarding the vice president included in the president's speech including white house lawyer eric h herschmann. >> did you ever speak to anybody in the white house at the time about this disagreement between the president and the vice president other than the president based on the objection from counsel? >> maybe had a brief conversation about it with eric herschmann. >> tell me about that. what do you remember him saying to you about this disagreement?
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>> i just remember him saying that he had a -- i don't want to get this wrong -- sort of something to the effect of thinking that it would be counter productive, i think he thought to discuss the matter publicly. >> so it came up in the context of editing the president's speech on january the 6th? >> the conversation where eric knew it was in the speech, and so he had a side bar with me about it. >> and so the speech writers took that advice and removed the lines about vice president pence. and later that morning at 11:20 a.m., president trump had a phone call with the vice president. and as the committee detailed in an earlier hearing, that phone call was, by all accounts, tense and heated. during this call, the vice president told the president
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that he would not attempt to change the outcome of the election. in response, the president called the vice president of the united states a wimp and other derogatory words. as you can see in this e-mail, after vice president pence told president trump that he would not unilaterally deliver him a second term in office, the speech writers were directed to reinsert the mike pence lines. here's how one of the speech writers described president trump's last minute change to the speech. >> and as i recall tl, there wa very tough, a tough sentence about the vice president that was added. >> president trump wanted to use his speech to attack vice president pence in front of a crowd of thousands of angry supporters who had been led to believe the election was stolen. when president trump arrived at the ellipse to deliver his speech, he was still worked up from his call with vice
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president pence. and although ivanka trump would not say so, her chief of staff gave the committee some insight into the president's frustration. >> it's been reported that you ultimately decided to attend the rally because you hoped that you would calm the president and keep the event on an even keel. is that accurate? >> no. i don't know who said that or where that came from. >> what did she share with you about why it was concerning that her father was upset or agitated after the call with vice president pence in relation to the ellipse rally. why did that matter? why did he have to be calmed down, i should say? >> well, she shared that he had called the vice president a not -- an expletive word. i think that bothered her, and i think she could tell based on the conversations and what was going on in the office that he
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was angry and upset and people were providing misinformation. and she felt like she might be able to help calm the situation down. at least before he went on to stage. >> the president did go on stage, and then he gave the speech that he wanted to give. it included the formal changes he had requested the night before, and in that morning, but also many important last-minute ad-lib changes. a single scripted reference in the speech to mike pence became eight. a single scripted reference to rally goers marching to the capitol became four with president trump ad-libbing that he would be joining the proertss -- protesters at the capitol. added was the reference to fighting, the need for people to
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have courage. the word peacefully was in the staff written script and used only ones. here are some of the ad-lib changes the president made to his speech. >> because you'll never take back our country with weakness. you have to show strength. and you have to be strong. so i hope mike has the courage to do what he has to do. and i hope he doesn't listen to the rhinos and the stupid people that he's listening to. we fight like hell and if you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a country anymore, but we're going to try and give our republicans, the weak ones because the strong ones don't need any of our help, we're going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. so let's walk down pennsylvania avenue. >> white house counsel pat cipollone and his deputy did not attend the speech. and they were concerned that the
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statements in the speech about the election were false. in fact, the message that president trump delivered that day was built on a foundation of lies. he lied to his supporters that the election was stolen. he stoked their anger. he called for them to fight for him. he directed them to the u.s. capitol. he told them he would join them. and his supporters believed him, and many headed towards the capitol. as a result, people died. people were injured. many of his supporters lives will never be the same. president trump's former campaign manager brad recognized the impact of the speech immediately and this is what he said on january 6th in excerpts of text messages to katrina pierson. he said this is about a sitting president asking for civil war, and then when he said this week i felt guilty for helping him
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win, katrina pierson responded, you did what you felt right at the time, and therefore it was right. mr. parscale added, yeah, but a woman is dead, and yeah if i was trump and i knew my rhetoric killed someone, when ms. pierson replied, it wasn't the rhetoric. mr. parscale said, katrina, yes, it was. thank you, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> gentle lady yields back. we're joined today by mr. jason v van patteand a close associate ma stewart rhodes, the founder and president of oath keepers who has been charged with seditious conspiracy in relation to the capitol attack. mr. van tatenhove broke with the
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oath keepers and has since spoken out forcefully against the violent group. mr. hairs is a former supporter of president trump. he answered the president's call to come to washington, d.c. on january 6th. he marched to the capitol on the president's orders, he pleaded guilty last month to disorderly and disruptive conduct at the capitol. mr. ayers who no longer supports president trump came forward voluntarily to share his story as a warning. i will now swear in our witnesses, the witnesses will please stand and raise their right hand. do you swear or affirm on the penalty of perjury that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing butt t the truth so help you god. thank you, you may be seated.
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let the record reflect that the witnesses answered in the affirmative. i recognize myself for questions. today we've discussed how president trump summoned an angry mob of supporters to washington, d.c., many of whom came prepared to do battle against police and politicians alike. we're fortunate enough to be joined by two witnesses who can help us understand who was in the mob that day. both hard core violent extremists like the oath keepers and proud boys and average trump supp supporters swept up in the fervor of the day. mr. van tatenhove, can you help us understand who the oath keepers are. >> i can, thank you. >> my time with the oath keepers began back at bundy ranch at that first standoff when i went to cover them as an independent journalist.
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i then subsequently covered two more standoffs, the sugar pine mine standoff, and the white hope mine standoff. it was at that time i was offered a job as national media director and associate editor for the web page. so i spent a few years with the oath keepers, and i can tell you that they may not like to call themselves a militia, but they are. they are a violent militia, and they are largely stewart rhodes. and i think rather than try to use words, i think the best illustration for what the oath keepers are happened january 6th when we saw that stacked military formation going up the stairs of our capitol. i saw radicalization that
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started with my beginning of my time with them and continued over a period of time as the member base and who it was that stewart rhodes was courting drifted further and further right into the alt-right world into white nationalists, and straight up racists. and it came to a point where i could no longer continue to work for them, but the oath keepers are a dangerous militia that is in large part fed by the ego and drive of stewart rhodes who at times seemed to see himself as this para military leader. i think that drove a lot of it. so in my opinion, the oath keepers are a very dangerous organization. >> well, thank you very much,
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you've talked a little bit about that danger. so what is the oath keeper's vision for america, and why should americans be concerned about it? >> i think we saw a glimpse of what the vision of the oath keepers is on january 6th. it doesn't necessarily include the rule of law. it doesn't necessarily include -- it includes violence. it includes trying to get their way through lies, through deceit, through intimidation, and through the perpetration of violence, the swaying of people who may not know better through lies and rhetoric and propaganda that can get swept up in these moments. and i'll admit i was swept up at one point as well too, but i don't know if that answers the
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question. >> well, it does. and you talk about being swept up. so at what point did you break with the oath keepers? >> there came a point -- there were many red flags, and i probably should have broke with them much earlier than i did, but the straw that broke the camel's back really came when i walked into a grocery store and we were living up in the very remote town of eureka, montana, and there was a group of core members of the group, the oath keepers and some associates and they were having a conversation at that public area where they were talking about how the holocaust was not real. and that was, for me, something i just could not abide. you know, we were not -- we were not wealthy people at all. we were barely surviving, and it
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didn't matter. i went home to my wife and my kids, and i told them that i've got to walk away at this point. i don't know how we're going to survive or where we're going to go, what we're going to do, but i just can no longer continue and put in my resignation. >> thank you very much. mr. ayers, there were many people in the crowd that day, on january 6th, including you, who were not part of an extremist group. i'd like to start by having you tell the american people a little bit about yourself. can you tell us about your life before january 6th? >> yeah, basically nothing but a family man and a working man. i worked at the company, a cabinet company up in northeast ohio for going on 20 years.
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you know, family is my life, you know, i was a supervisor there, so that took up a lot of my other, you know, a lot of my free time. other than that, with my family, camping, playing basketball, playing games with my son. >> just what any ordinary american, citizen, family man would do. >> yep, exactly. >> so this committee has reviewed thousands of hours of surveillance footage from january 6th. during this review, we identified you entering the capitol as we see in this video. mr. ayres, why did you decide to come to washington on january 6th? >> for me personally, you know, i was, you know, pretty hard core into the social media, facebook, twitter, instagram, i followed, you know, president
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trump. you know, on all of the web sites, you know. he basically put out, you know, come to stop the steal rally you know, and i felt like i needed to be down here. >> so you basically learned about the rally on social media and at some point made a decision to come to washington? >> yep. i had some friends i found out were coming down. i just hopped, you know, hopped on with them right at the tail end when i found out, and came down here with them. >> thank you very much. the chair recognizes the vice chair mr. cheney of wyoming for any questions that she may have. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. mr. ayres, when you entered the capitol last year, did you believe that the election had been stolen? >> at that time, yeah, you know, everything that i was seeing online. i definitely believed that's
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exactly was the case. >> and when you heard from president trump that the election was stolen, how did that make you feel? >> oh, i was -- you know, i was very upset. as were most of his supporters. you know, that's basically what got me to come down here. >> and do you still believe the election was stolen? >> not so much now. i got away from all the social media. when january 6th happened, basically deleted it all. you know, i started doing my own research and everything, and for me, for something like that to be that -- for that to actually take place, it's too big. you know, there's no way you can keep something like that quiet as big as something like that, you know. with all the, you know, all the lawsuits being shut down, one after another. that was mainly what convinced me. >> well, and i think that's very
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important and we've also talked about today and in previous hearings the extent to which the president himself was told that the election hadn't been stolen by his justice department, by his white house counsel, by his campaign. would it have made a difference to you to know that president trump himself had no evidence of widespread fraud? >> oh, definitely. you know, who knows, i may not have come down here then, you know. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> gentle lady yields back. chair recognizes, gentlewoman from florida, ms. murphy. >> thank you, mr. chairman. you know, earlier today we showed how donald trump's december 19th tweet summoned both extremist groups as well as rank and file supporters of president trump to come to washington, d.c. average americans. he told them to quote be there, will be wild, and they came.
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we showed how president trump repeatedly told them, fight, fight, fight, and they marched to the capitol. mr. ayres, you were in that crowd at the rally, and then the crowd that marched to the capitol. when you arrived on the ellipse that morning, were you planning on going to the capitol? >> no, we didn't actually plan to go down there. you know, we went basically to see the stop the steal rally, and that was it. >> so why did you decide to march to the capitol? >> well, basically, you know, the president, you know, he got everybody riled up, told everybody to head on down, so we basically were just following what he said. >> after the president's speech as you're marching down to the capitol, how did you feel? >> i was, you know, i'm angry, you know, after everything that was basically said in the
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speech, you know, a lot of the stuff he said he put out in tweets, i've already seen it and heard it before, so, i mean, i was already worked up and so were most of the people there. >> so as you started marching, did you think there was still a chance the election would be overturned? >> yeah, at that time, i did. you know, because everybody was kind of like in the hope that, you know, vice president pence was not going to certify the election. you know, also the whole time on our way down there, we kept hearing about this big reveal. i remember i was talking about, and we kind of thought maybe that was it, so that hope was there. >> did you think that the president would be marching with you? >> yeah, i think everybody thought he was going to be coming down. you know, he said in his speech, you know, kind of like he's going to be there with us. so i mean, i believed it. >> i understand. we know that you illegally
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entered the capitol that afternoon, and then left the capitol area later on. what made you decide to leave? >> basically when president trump put his tweet out, we literally left right after that come out. you know, to me, if he would have done that earlier in the day, 1:30, you know, we wouldn't be in this -- maybe wouldn't be in this bad of a situation or something. >> thank you. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> chair recognizes the gentleman from maryland, mr. raskin. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. van tatenhove, in the run up to january 6th, stewart rhodes implored president trump to invoke the insurrection act, the 1807 law that allows the president to call up militias to put down a rebellion against the united states, and i want to get your thoughts about this in the context of your prior relationship with stewart rhodes.
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i understand that you had conversations with rhodes about the insurrection act. why was he so fixated on that, and what did he think it would enable the oath keepers to do? >> well, i think it gave him a sense of legitimacy that it was a path forward to move forward with his goals and agendas. i think we need to quit mincing words and just talk about truths and what it was going to be was an armed revolution. i mean, people died that day. law enforcement officers died that day. there was a gallo set up in front of the capitol. this could have been a spark that started a new civil war, and no one would have won there. that would have been good for no one. he was always looking for ways to legitimize what he was doing, whether by wrapping it in the
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trappings of it's not a militia, it's a community preparedness team. we're not a militia, we're an educational outreach group. it's a veterans support group, but again, we've got to stop with this dishonesty and the mincing of words and call things for what they are, you know, he's a militia leader. he's ran visions of being a para military leader. and the insurrection act would have given him a path forward with that. the fact that the president was communicating whether directly or indirectly messaging, you know, kind of that gave him the nod, and all i can do is thank the gods that things did not go any worse that day. >> what did the oath keepers see in president trump? >> they saw a path forward that would have legitimacy. they saw opportunity, i think,
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in my opinion, to become a para military force. you know. >> last week the department of justice indicated that it has evidence of the oath keepers bringing not just firearms but explosives to washington ahead of january 6th. and the committee's also learned that stewart rhodes stopped to buy weapons on his way to washington and shipped roughly $7,000 worth of tactical gear to a january 6th rally planner in virginia before the attack. did you ever hear rhodes discuss committing violence against elected political leaders? >> yeah, i mean, that went back from the very beginning of my tenure. one of the first assignments that he brought to me wanting me to do is more