Jan. 6 committee votes to subpoena Trump

By Maureen Chowdhury, Elise Hammond, Clare Foran and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 11:20 a.m. ET, October 14, 2022
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12:29 p.m. ET, October 13, 2022

Evidence from today's hearing could highlight what DOJ is arguing in court proceedings

From CNN's Evan Perez

(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Any new evidence from the Jan. 6 committee’s hearing on Thursday could highlight what the Justice Department is arguing in secret court proceedings a short distance away from the Capitol. 

A federal judge has been overseeing a fight by Donald Trump to prevent key White House witnesses from testifying in the broader investigation into Jan. 6 and efforts to impede the transfer of power after the 2020 election. 

Trump is trying to limit what former witnesses can testify, some of whom have already talked to the Jan. 6 committee. 

Federal prosecutors don’t have full access to what the committee has, but prosecutors are pushing for witnesses to be allowed to testify beyond the narrow parameters Trump is trying to set.

Trump is arguing privilege rights, including attorney-client and executive privilege, should shield witnesses like former Vice President Mike Pence aides, Greg Jacob and Marc Short, as well as White House lawyers Pat Cipollone and Patrick Philbin, from bring compelled to provide certain testimony. 

A judge is weighing whether the events surrounding the efforts by Trump to remain in office despite losing the election supersede any privilege rights the former president may have.

12:14 p.m. ET, October 13, 2022

The Jan. 6 committee is still wrangling over whether to send criminal referrals to DOJ

From CNN's Sara Murray

The Jan. 6 committee is still wrangling over whether and when to send criminal referrals to the Justice Department, but in the meantime, it is aiming to showcase evidence that could be of use to prosecutors who plan to monitor today’s hearing, sources tell CNN.

The panel has already had success in nudging prosecutors toward new information.

The committee recently sent a letter seeking a voluntary interview with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. That interview hasn’t been scheduled yet. But in the meantime, prosecutors in Georgia fired off a subpoena seeking Gingrich’s testimony – and citing the letter from the Jan. 6 committee.  

12:15 p.m. ET, October 13, 2022

Secret Service messages to show the agency was aware of Trump's mindset, source says

From CNN's Manu Raju

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection is expected to use US Secret Service messages today to show that the agency was aware of violent rhetoric directed at government officials on the social media site Parler ahead of the riot, a source with direct knowledge tells CNN.

In particular, one agent reported an increased in chatter focused on Vice President Mike Pence on Jan. 5, a day before the attack.

The committee also has messages showing how the Secret Service was aware that that people in the Jan. 6 crowd had weapons, such as bear spray, riot shields and were armed with guns. They were aware that people were wearing body armor, ballistic helmets and had radio equipment and military grade backpacks.

The source said the committee has an email from the Secret Service saying they were aware Trump was "pissed" that the US Supreme Court on Dec. 11, 2020, threw out an effort to overturn the election. The email will help show that they were aware of Trump's mindset, the source said.

12:11 p.m. ET, October 13, 2022

Ginni Thomas is not expected to play a major role in today's hearing

From CNN's Manu Raju

Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, came before the House committee in recent days but was not videotaped during her interview, according to two sources familiar with the matter. 

This was the result of an agreement with her lawyer, a source told CNN. She is not expected to play a major role in the hearing today but the committee has been planning to display some of what she said through graphics, one of the sources said.

Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the committee, told CNN recently that Thomas reaffirmed her belief that the election was stolen during her closed door interview.

12:21 p.m. ET, October 13, 2022

Today's hearing will showcase broader timeline of Trump's actions around the Jan. 6 riot

From CNN's Sara Murray

House select committee aides say they plan to look at a broader timeline in today’s hearing, addressing former President Donald Trump’s efforts to lay the groundwork to overturn the election and how he continued those efforts even after the Jan. 6 riot.

The expanded timeline is meant to show that Trump was central to the scheme that led to the violence on Jan. 6 and to reinforce that notion that his continued embrace of election lies remains a danger ahead of the 2022 and 2024 elections.

As part of their new evidence today, the hearing will also feature new footage showing efforts to respond in real time to the violence on Jan. 6.

11:53 a.m. ET, October 13, 2022

Where the Justice Department's Jan. 6 riot investigation stands

From CNN staff

Twenty one months after the riot at the US Capitol, the Justice Department has arrested more than 880 individuals, charging roughly 272 with assaulting, resisting or impeding officers that day – 95 of whom are charged with using a weapon or causing serious injury to an officer.  

Roughly 280 Capitol rioters have been sentenced so far, with over 152 receiving jail time. Twenty individuals have been found guilty at contested trials. Another five individuals have been convicted following an agreed-upon set of facts.  

But the investigation is nowhere close to being over. The Justice Department is still looking for more than 360 individuals who they say, “committed violent acts on Capitol grounds.”  

There was an estimated $2.7 million in damage to the Capitol, an amount slowly being paid for in part by convicted rioters who have agreed to pay restitution for the damage as part of plea agreements with the government. So far, however, the total number of restitution and fines judges have ordered January 6 rioters pay is over $375,000, according to CNN’s tally. 

Roughly 140 police officers were assaulted during the attack on the Capitol, including approximately 80 U.S. Capitol Police and 60 Metropolitan Police officers, according to the Justice Department. 

Officer Brian Sicknick died of a stroke on Jan. 7, and four additional officers – Metropolitan Police Department Officers Gunther Hashida, Kyle DeFreytag and Jeffrey Smith, and Capitol Police officer Howard Liebengood – died of suicide in the months after the attack.  

In all five jury trials, Jan. 6 defendants have been convicted of each count they faced. One Jan. 6 defendant was acquitted in a bench trial before Judge Trevor McFadden after arguing that he believed an officer waved him into the building.  

11:25 a.m. ET, October 13, 2022

Here's what the Jan. 6 committee has been up to since its last hearing — and what it will present today 

From CNN's Annie Grayer, Jamie Gangel, Zachary Cohen and Sara Murray

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol will treat its Thursday hearing as a closing argument ahead of the November midterms, which will seek to hammer home that former President Donald Trump remains a clear and present danger to democracy, particularly in the context of the upcoming 2024 presidential election, multiple sources tell CNN.

Although there will not be witnesses appearing in-person on Thursday, sources say, the hearing will feature new testimony and evidence that the committee has uncovered. Since its last hearing in July, the committee has interviewed more former members of Trump’s cabinet, received more than a million communications from the Secret Service from the lead-up to the riot, and sat down with Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

“We discovered through our work through this summer what the President’s intentions were, what he knew, what he did, what others did,” committee member Rep. Zoe Lofgren told CNN on Tuesday evening, referring to the material gathered since the panel’s last hearing in July.

What will be presented in today's hearing: Some of the evidence presented on Thursday will come from new witnesses, sources say, which could include Trump’s former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin, and former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. Some of the new testimony will come from witnesses the committee has presented in previous hearings.

Committee members have insisted, albeit with few details, that they will bring new information to the forefront.

“I do think it will be worth watching,” Lofgren said on “The Situation Room” Tuesday evening. “There’s some new material that I found, as we got into it, pretty surprising.”

That will likely include previously unseen video and also new Secret Service emails, sources familiar with the matter told CNN. The trove of communications between agents could reveal more about why certain messages were deleted on the days leading up to and on the day of the Capitol attack.

As part of its closing message, the committee will frame the US Capitol attack within a broader context and emphasize that the “danger to our democracy did not end that day,” according to Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff.

The reason, Schiff told reporters last week, is because Trump and his allies continue to push the same baseless claims about the 2020 election that led to the violence nearly two years ago.

While Schiff declined to discuss specific themes that will be covered during Thursday’s hearing, he made clear that the committee plans to focus not only on how Trump’s failed efforts to overturn the 2020 election culminated in his supporters ultimately storming the US Capitol on Jan. 6 but how the former President remains a threat to democracy.

“I think that what you’ve seen consistently and increasingly is Donald Trump continuing to suggest and to say the same things that we know caused violence on January 6,” GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, who serves as vice chair of the committee, told CNN.

11:22 a.m. ET, October 13, 2022

New documentary film footage shows Roger Stone discussing violence pre-Election Day

From CNN's Zachary Cohen, Holmes Lybrand and Jackson Grigsby

Roger Stone is seen in documentary footage obtained by CNN that the filmmakers also shared with the House select committee.
Roger Stone is seen in documentary footage obtained by CNN that the filmmakers also shared with the House select committee. (Christoffer Guldbrandsen)

The day before the 2020 election, Roger Stone, the long-time Republican operative and ally of former President Donald Trump, said in front of a documentary film crew that he had no interest in waiting to tally actual votes before contesting the election results.

“F**k the voting, let’s get right to the violence,” Stone can be heard saying, according to footage provided by a Danish documentary film crew and obtained by CNN.

The clip is one of multiple pieces of footage obtained by CNN that the filmmakers also shared with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol. The video shows Stone as an early proponent of contesting the election – even before the results were in – and raising the possibility of violence months before January 6.

The filmmakers tell CNN they came to an agreement to share certain clips with the committee after a subpoena for the footage was signed by the panel’s chairman, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, and delivered to the filmmakers in Copenhagen about two months ago.

The filmmakers, Christoffer Guldbrandsen and Frederik Marbell, followed Stone for portions of about three years for their documentary film.

The footage shared with the committee may be incorporated into its upcoming hearing this week. Committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat, suggested publicly over the weekend that the panel has more to reveal about the connection between Stone and domestic extremist groups, as well as efforts to keep Trump in power after the US Capitol attack and the ongoing threats to democracy.

“Stay tuned,” Raskin said at the Texas Tribune festival last month when asked about Stone’s possible connections to the Capitol riot.

“He’s someone who I think saw where things were going,” Raskin said.

In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, the filmmakers said the committee appeared interested in footage that focused on Stone’s relationship with the White House, and also his alleged ties to the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys. The filmmakers said they were not able to establish a link between Stone, those groups and the White House.

Read more about the documentary here.

12:08 p.m. ET, October 13, 2022

As the Jan. 6 committee holds its hearing, a historic Oath Keepers trial is also unfolding in DC

From CNN's Tierney Sneed

(Sketch by Bill Hennessy)
(Sketch by Bill Hennessy)

The Justice Department’s response to the Jan. 6 US Capitol assault is meeting one of its biggest tests yet as prosecutors present their case for why the alleged plotting of several far-right militia members ahead of the attack amounted to a seditious conspiracy.

The charge has rarely been brought in the century and a half that the statute and its forerunners have been on the books. By using it against members of the Oath Keepers the Justice Department is expressing that it sees the breach of the Capitol as a grave threat to the operation of the US government.

“They concocted a plan for armed rebellion to shatter a bedrock of American democracy,” prosecutor Jeffrey Nestler told jurors as the trial began in a Washington, DC, federal courthouse on Oct. 3.

“To charge someone with seditious conspiracy is to send a signal that not only have they done a bunch of bad stuff,” said Alan Rozenshtein, a former official in the Justice Department’s National Security Division, “but that they’ve done bad stuff that rises to the level where we as the government want to express that this is an attack on the basic functioning of a democratic system and is even more dangerous for that reason.”

Attorney General Merrick Garland balked at initial efforts to add the charge to Oath Keepers case, CNN previously reported, but as the case developed, investigators were able to build out the evidence with cooperators and internal communications. The charge was added in a superseding indictment unveiled in January.

That symbolic significance has been lingering over the trial happening in the DC federal courthouse. There, five alleged members of the Oath Keepers, including leader Stewart Rhodes, are facing a jury considering whether to convict them of the charge and of other alleged crimes.

They’re accused of planning to use force to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power, with the grand jury indictment alleging that they “coordinated travel across the country to enter Washington, DC, equipped themselves with a variety of weapons, donned combat and tactical gear, and were prepared to answer Rhodes’s call to take up arms at Rhodes’s direction.” The defendants have pleaded not guilty.

Read more about the trial here.