The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection held its 10th public hearing, unveiling new evidence and video that showed how former President Donald Trump knew he had lost the election but still went forward with efforts to overturn the results, leading to the attack at the US Capitol.
During the hearing, the panel also voted unanimously to subpoena Trump. It’s rare but not without precedent for Congress to subpoena sitting and former presidents for testimony.
"The need for this committee to hear from Donald Trump goes beyond our fact-finding. This is a question about accountability to the American people. He must be accountable. He is required to answer for his actions," Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson said.
Additionally, in the roughly three months since the last hearing, the panel has obtained more than 1 million records from the Secret Service. These messages revealed agents spotted numerous guns in the crowd the morning of Jan. 6 before Trump was set to speak at the Ellipse. Agents were also aware of the involvement of right-wing groups.
Here are some other key takeaways:
- Never-before-seen video: The committee played previously unseen footage from Fort McNair, the DC-area Army base where congressional leaders took refuge during the insurrection and scrambled to respond to the unfolding crisis. The footage shows House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, then-Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other top officials working the phones and coordinating with Trump Cabinet members and other officials to secure the resources needed to quell the insurrection and secure the Capitol.
- Violent online rhetoric: Days before the attack, 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. “Our ‘lawmakers’ in Congress can leave one of two ways: 1. in a body bag 2. After rightfully certifying Trump the winner,” one post on the webpage said. “Gallows don’t require electricity,” another post read. The committee said the Secret Service was also monitoring this kind of online activity.
- Threats against Pence: The Secret Service 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,’” according to committee member Rep. Adam Schiff. On the day of the attack, Pence ultimately rejected pleas from Trump and his top allies to halt certification of Joe Biden's victory
- 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.
- Trump knew he lost — but tried to change results anyway: Cassidy Hutchinson, the former top aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, provided new testimony to the committee relaying anecdotes of Trump acknowledging he had lost the election. Hutchinson’s testimony had been some of the most damning against Trump during the summer hearings, as she provided detailed accounts about Trump’s actions on Jan. 6. On Thursday, the committee showed a new video deposition from Hutchinson where she spoke to Meadows about Trump’s January 2021 call where he urged the Georgia secretary of state to “find” the votes he needed to win. Hutchinson also said that she witnessed a conversation between Meadows and Trump where he was furious the Supreme Court had rejected a lawsuit seeking to overturn the election result.