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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3:51 p.m. ET, October 13, 2022

Panel is reviewing potential obstruction of testimony surrounding claim Trump lunged at Secret Service, member says

From CNN's Alex Rogers

The House Select Committee is reviewing a potential attempt to obstruct testimony surrounding claims that former President Donald Trump got in a heated exchange with his Secret Service detail on the day of the riot, a member of the panel says.

“The committee is reviewing testimony regarding potential obstruction on this issue, including testimony about advice given not to tell the committee about this specific topic,” Rep. Pete Aguilar, a Democrat from California, said at the panel’s hearing Thursday. “We will address this matter in our report.”

Aguilar said a former White House employee with national security responsibilities was informed of Trump’s “irate behavior” in the limo from then-White House deputy chief of staff Tony Ornato in Ornato’s office.

“It was Mr. Engel with Mr. Ornato in that office. They'd expressed to me that the President was irate, you know, on the drive up,” said the former White House employee, according to Aguilar. Secret Service lead agent Robert Engel “did not deny the fact that the President was irate,” added Aguilar.

Aguilar said the testimony “corresponds closely” with former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s previous testimony.

Remember: This summer, Hutchinson testified that she heard from Ornato that Trump was so enraged at his Secret Service detail for blocking him from going to the Capitol that “he reached up toward the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel” and “then used his free hand to lunge toward” Engel. Hutchinson testified that Ornato told her the story in front of Engel and he did not dispute the account. 

After that hearing, a Secret Service official familiar with the matter told CNN that Ornato denied telling Hutchinson that the former President grabbed the steering wheel or an agent on his detail. Hutchinson stood by her testimony.

4:46 p.m. ET, October 13, 2022

National Security official corroborates account of Trump’s angry outburst on Jan. 6

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

Rep. Pete Aguilar speaks as the hearing on Thursday.
Rep. Pete Aguilar speaks as the hearing on Thursday. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

A national security official who worked in the White House told the House select committee that former President Donald Trump’s angry outburst in the presidential SUV on Jan. 6, 2021 was so widely known that it became “water cooler talk," Rep. Pete Aguilar, a California Democrat, said Thursday.

The account of the official, whose identity was not revealed by the Jan. 6 committee, further corroborates earlier testimony from former Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson about Trump angrily reacting to being told by his Secret Service agents he could not go to the US Capitol after his speech on Jan. 6.

“In the days following that, I do remember, you know, again, hearing again how angry the President was when, you know, they were in the limo,” the official said, according to Aguilar. “But beyond specifics of that, that’s pretty much the extent of the cooler talk.”

More on the incident: Hutchinson testified in a June hearing that Tony Ornato told her Trump became "irate" when informed by security that he would not be going to the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, because the situation was not secure.

Ornato said that Trump was so enraged at his Secret Service detail for blocking him from going to the Capitol that “he reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel” and “then used his free hand to lunge towards” Secret Service agent Robert Engel.

Hutchinson testified that Ornato told her the story in front of Engel and he did not dispute the account. 

Trump and his Republican allies have contested Hutchinson’s account as they’ve sought to undermine her testimony against Trump.

6:51 p.m. ET, October 13, 2022

Committee details Trump's inaction on the afternoon of Jan. 6

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

(Alex Wong/Pool via Reuters)
(Alex Wong/Pool via Reuters)

The select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection sought to illustrate then-President Trump’s inaction as rioters stormed the Capitol Building, using new evidence to show the White House was aware of the violence as Trump returned to the building.

Trump has claimed he wasn’t aware of the riot until later in the day, telling New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman for her recent book that he was “on the late side” of learning about the events at the Capitol. 

But the committee showed an email sent to Secret Service, national security and Trump’s military advisers saying “hundreds of Trump supporters stormed through metal barricades at the back of the Capitol building about 1 pm Wednesday, running past security guards and breaking fences.”

The email was sent at 1:19 p.m. on Jan. 6.

One minute later, Trump returned to the White House and was told about the violence, according to committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin.

The committee played a series of clips from top aides to the President, suggesting Trump was watching television in the Oval Office dining room over the course of the afternoon, unwilling to intervene in the insurrection attempt.

A former White House employee with national security responsibilities told the committee that a White House adviser, Eric Hershmann, told White House Counsel Pat Cipollone that “the President didn’t want anything done.”

3:09 p.m. ET, October 13, 2022

The Jan. 6 committee plans to vote to subpoena Trump in today's hearing. Here's what could happen next. 

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 US Capitol attack will vote to subpoena former President Donald Trump during Thursday’s hearing, multiple sources tell CNN.

If he chooses not to appear, there will be a few things that could happen next, according to Elie Honig, a CNN analyst and former federal prosecutor.

Honig said that while it is "unlikely" that he will appear, he could "theoretically" testify.

If he does not, and refuses to comply with the subpoena, the select committee will have to decide if they will vote to hold him in criminal contempt of Congress. If they do, it will then go to the full House for a vote, Honig said.

"If that passes, it goes to the Justice Department where the DOJ, the attorney general, Merrick Garland, will have to decide — do we bring criminal charges for criminal contempt of Congress," he explained.

Criminal contempt is one of the three options the congressional panel can pursue to enforce its subpoenas, along with civil and inherent contempt.

The Jan. 6 committee has done this before, including approving a criminal contempt report against Trump ally Steve Bannon after he refused to comply with a subpoena deadline.

CNN's Paul LeBlanc contributed to this report

7:00 p.m. ET, October 13, 2022

House committee reveals new evidence that top Trump aide amplified violent online rhetoric ahead of Jan. 6

From CNN's Zachary Cohen 

(Pool)
(Pool)

Days before the Jan. 6 attack at the US Capitol, former President Donald Trump’s communication adviser, Jason Miller, boasted to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows that he “got the base FIRED UP,” and shared a link to a pro-Trump webpage containing hundreds of threatening comments about killing lawmakers if they went ahead with certifying Joe Biden’s legitimate electoral victory, according to a new text message presented by the House Select Committee on Thursday. 

“I got the base FIRED UP,” Miller texted Meadows on Dec. 30, 2020, appearing to take credit for amplifying the violent rhetoric about January 6 that was circulating on the pro-Trump website The Donald dot win. 

“Patriots will be there, armed to the teeth. And if the filthy commie maggots try to push their fraud through, there will be hell to pay,” one post presented by the committee reads.  

“Our ‘lawmakers’ in Congress can leave one of two ways: 1. in a body bag 2. After rightfully certifying Trump the winner,” another post on the webpage shared by Miller said.

“Gallows don’t require electricity,” another post read.  

Committee member Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, said Thursday that Miller claimed he had no idea about the hundreds of comments like these in the link he sent to Mark Meadows. The committee played a video from Miller’s deposition where he said he would have flagged something like that to the Secret Service.  

“But the Trump administration was aware of this type of violent rhetoric prior to January 6,” Schiff said. “The Secret Service was monitoring this kind of online activity … the same day Jason Miller sent his text message, agents received reports about a spike in activity on another platform called Parler,” he added. 

Watch the exchange:

7:00 p.m. ET, October 13, 2022

Secret Service received alerts of threats against Pence if he didn't "do the right thing" on day of riot

From CNN's Devan Cole 

Rep. Adam Schiff speaks during the hearing on Thursday.
Rep. Adam Schiff speaks during the hearing on Thursday. (Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters)

Committee member Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, said in Thursday's hearing that the US Secret Service had received alerts of online threats made against then-Vice President Mike Pence ahead of the Capitol insurrection, including that Pence would be "'a dead man walking if he doesn't do the right thing.'"

"On the morning of the 6th, agents received alerts of online threats that Vice President Pence would be, 'a dead man walking if he doesn't do the right thing,'" said Schiff, a California Democrat. 

He continued: "Another agent reported, 'I saw several other alerts saying they will storm the Capitol if he doesn't do the right thing.'"

On the day of the attack, Pence ultimately rejected pleas from Trump and his top allies to halt certification of Joe Biden's victory by the House and Senate, hours after he was forced to take shelter at a secure location inside the US Capitol while a mob of Trump supporters stormed the building — with some chanting "Hang Mike Pence" as they breached security barriers.

Former deputy White House press secretary Judd Deere told the committee in a video deposition that on the day of the attack, Trump talked at length about how "fired up" the crowd outside the White House waiting for his rally was.

Asked by investigators what he said about it, Deere replied: "Just that they were — they were fired up. They were angry. They feel like the election's been stolen, that the election was rigged, that — he went on and on about that for a little bit."

7:01 p.m. ET, October 13, 2022

The Jan. 6 committee is taking a break. Here are key lines from the hearing so far

From CNN staff

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection is taking a short break during its 10th public hearing on Thursday.

The committee is treating this presentation as a closing argument ahead of the November midterms, with the panel using never-before-seen video, interviews with additional witnesses and Secret Service messages, among other new evidence, to argue 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 have told CNN the panel will vote to subpoena former President Donald Trump during the hearing.

Catch up on the hearing's key lines so far: 

  • Premeditated plan to declare victory: Deposition video and a memo obtained from the National Archives showed how former Vice President Mike Pence’s Counsel, Greg Jacob, and Pence’s then-chief of staff Marc Short prepared for Trump to declare victory on Election Night, regardless of the results. “We also interviewed Brad Parscale, President Trump’s former campaign manager. He told us he understood that President Trump planned as early as July that he would say he won the election, even if he lost,” committee member Rep. Zoe Lofgren said.
  • Secret Service messages: New Secret Service emails and text messages revealed agents spotted numerous guns in the crowd the morning of Jan. 6 before Trump was set to speak at the Ellipse. Rep. Adam Schiff said that the intelligence indicated multiple online users were targeting members of Congress and instructing others to “start marching into the chambers.” Messages also showed the Secret Service learned about the involvement of right-wing groups such as the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers.
  • The Supreme Court’s rejected lawsuit: Cassidy Hutchinson, the former top aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, said Trump said he didn’t want “people to know we lost” after the Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit challenging the election in December 2020. “Just fyi. POTUS is pissed – breaking news – Supreme Court denied his law suit. He is livid now,” a Secret Service email said, presented by Rep. Adam Kinzinger.
  • Trump knew he lost — but tried to change results anyway: Hutchinson also told the committee last month that Meadows told her in early 2021 that Trump knew that he lost the election, despite asking officials in Georgia to "find" the votes necessary for Trump to win the state. “And he's like, 'No, Cass, you know, he knows it's over. He knows he lost. But we're going to keep trying,'" Hutchinson told the committee.
7:01 p.m. ET, October 13, 2022

A December 2020 Secret Service alert warned about protesters "marching into chambers"

From CNN's Jeremy Herb

New Secret Service emails and text messages revealed by the Jan. 6 committee on Thursday show how the Secret Service released warnings in December 2020 that protesters could “start marching into the chambers” on Jan. 6, 2021.

The Secret Service text messages also showed that Secret Service agents spotted numerous guns in the crowd the morning of Jan. 6 before then-President Donald Trump was set to speak at the Ellipse. 

The emails and text messages are part of the more than 1 million records that the Jan. 6 committee obtained from the Secret Service since the first round of hearings wrapped over the summer. The committee obtained the information from the agency as it’s continued to seek text messages from agents on Jan. 6 that were deleted. 

Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat on the panel, read a Secret Service alert received on Dec. 24, 2020, with a heading “Armed and Ready, Mr. President.”  

Schiff said that the intelligence indicated multiple online users were targeting members of Congress and instructing others to “start marching into the chambers.” 

In a Dec. 26 email, a Secret Service field office relayed a tip that the Proud Boys planned to march into Washington armed “and will outnumber the police so they can’t be stopped.” 

“Their plan is to literally kill people. Please please take this tip seriously and investigate further,” the tip read.

“The Secret Service had advance information more than 10 days beforehand regarding the Proud Boys planning for Jan. 6,” Schiff said. 

On Jan. 5, 2021, a Secret Service learned during an FBI briefing that right-wing groups were establishing “quick reaction forces” in Virginia.

Groups like the far-right Oath Keepers were “standing by at the ready should POTUS request assistance,” Schiff said that a Secret Service email about the briefing read. 

On Jan. 6, Secret Service agents sent reports from around the Ellipse, where Trump’s rally was being held. The reports included numerous reports of members of the crowd being armed, including one individual with a Glock and another with a rifle. Another report said a man in a tree had a pistol on his hip. Another individual detained in downtown Washington had an assault rifle.

One Secret Service agent texted at 12:36 p.m. ET that day, according to the committee, “With so many weapons found so far; you wonder how many are unknown. Could be sporty after dark.”

Another agent responded minutes later, “No doubt. The people at the Ellipse said they are moving to the Capitol after the POTUS speech.”

10:22 a.m. ET, October 14, 2022

Supreme Court rejects Trump’s request to intervene in Mar-a-Lago documents fight

From CNN's Ariane de Vogue and Katelyn Polantz

As the Jan. 6 hearing unfolded, the Supreme Court rejected an emergency request from former President Donald Trump to intervene in the dispute over classified documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate in August. 

Trump had asked the justices to reverse a federal appeals court and allow a special master to review about 100 documents marked classified, a move that could have opened the door for his legal team to review the records and argue that they should be off limits to prosecutors in a criminal case. 

But in a brief order, the court denied the request. There were no noted dissents.

For now, the documents marked classified will stay out of the reach of the special master.

The court’s decision steers the court away from the political fray at a time when approval ratings of the 6-3 conservative-leaning court have dipped to new lows, and as liberals including President Joe Biden have attacked the legitimacy of the institution.

Last term, the court, including three of Trump’s three appointees, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, ruled against Trump in a document dispute concerning the House Jan. 6 committee. Only Justice Clarence Thomas stated publicly that he would have ruled in Trump’s favor.

Calling the records "extraordinarily sensitive," the Justice Department had asked the Supreme Court to stay out of the dispute while legal challenges play out. 

"As this Court has emphasized, courts should be cautious before 'insisting upon an examination' of records whose disclosure would jeopardize national security 'even by the judge alone, in chambers,'" DOJ wrote earlier this week, citing a past case.

At issue are two orders US District Judge Aileen Cannon issued last month. She has authorized a special master to review thousands of seized documents —including those with classified markings. Earlier, Cannon temporarily enjoined the Justice Department from using the subset of documents as a part of its ongoing criminal probe. 

 A panel of judges on the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals, however, acting upon a request from the Justice Department, agreed to freeze portions of those orders while the legal dispute plays out. 

Trump has argued that he may have had a right, as a former president, to possess certain government documents, including documents potentially containing the country's most sensitive secrets. And he claimed that the appeals court exceeded its authority in ruling against him.