Jan. 6 committee holds second hearing

By Elise Hammond, Aditi Sangal, Mike Hayes, Maureen Chowdhury, Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 6:59 p.m. ET, June 13, 2022
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12:11 p.m. ET, June 13, 2022

White House doesn't intend for Biden to weigh in on incremental developments of Jan. 6 hearings

From CNN's MJ Lee

As the House Jan. 6 committee’s hearing plays out this morning, the White House is continuing to watch and monitor closely. 

However, as far as President Biden himself is concerned, White House officials do not intend on the President weighing in on the day-to-day, more incremental developments of the committee’s hearings. Instead, the hope is that when Biden does weigh in, those moments are more reserved for significant developments in the hearings, according to a source familiar with the White House’s thinking. 

The bigger context here is that there are certain things that White House officials want to be careful to try to avoid – including the perception that the White House is injecting politics into an ongoing congressional investigation, as well as handing former President Donald Trump and his allies more ammunition to accuse Biden and his team of politicizing the Jan. 6 committee’s work. (All of this, of course, doesn’t mean that there’s no chance that we see Biden – when confronted with questions from reporters in the coming days and weeks – engage on the topic of the Jan. 6 hearings more than his aides would like.)

Asked last week whether he had watched that day’s hearing, Biden shrugged as he told CNN's Kevin Liptak that he “didn’t have time” to do so.

12:16 p.m. ET, June 13, 2022

Peter Navarro refused to testify and now faces federal charges

From CNN's Dan Berman

Donald Trump campaign lawyer Alex Cannon testified that Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro accused him of being an agent of the "deep state" after Cannon dismissed various 2020 election fraud claims.

But there's no evidence from Navarro — who refused to cooperate with the select committee's subpoena — saying that he can't violate Trump's executive privilege.

He was arrested last week on contempt of Congress charges.

Navarro's next court appearance is Friday, but he's so far argued that he was mistreated by the FBI upon his arrest at Reagan National Airport and denied a post-arrest phone call. The FBI, on the other hand, say Navarro had wanted to call the media, rather than an attorney.

The FBI also says Navarro called the arresting officers "kind Nazis."

12:10 p.m. ET, June 13, 2022

Barr said he thought he would be fired after telling AP there was no widespread election fraud

From CNN's Clare Foran

(Pool)
(Pool)

In a video played at today's hearing, former Attorney General Bill Barr said he thought that he would be fired after telling the Associated Press that there was no widespread election fraud that would change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

Here's what Barr said in the clip:

"I felt it was time for me to say something — so I set up a lunch with the AP reporter Mike Balsamo and I told him at lunch, I made the statement, that to date we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election. I had a later meeting scheduled at the White House at 3 o'clock with Meadows, this was previously scheduled so I knew this was going to come up. I went over there and I told my secretary that I thought I would probably be fired and told not to go back to my office. I said you might have to pack up for me. So when I got over there, I met with the chief of staff, he said the President was angry."

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat from California, had this to say before playing the clip of the former attorney general: "Barr told the Associated Press on December 1, that there was no evidence of election fraud and immediately after Attorney General Barr's statement went public, Mr. Trump berated and he nearly fired Barr, but Barr persisted in telling the President that there was no evidence to support the fraud claims."

The AP published a story on Dec. 1 with the headline: Disputing Trump, Barr says no widespread election fraud

11:58 a.m. ET, June 13, 2022

Kushner and other Trump aides say they opposed Giuliani's 2020 election lies

From CNN's Marshall Cohen

(Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)
(Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

Some of then-President Donald Trump’s top aides were deeply uncomfortable with the conspiracy theories that his outside advisers were pushing about the 2020 election, according to new testimony revealed Monday at the Jan. 6 committee hearing. 

In a videotaped deposition, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner said he opposed Rudy Giuliani’s post-election activities, though based on Kushner’s own description of his pushback, it did not sound all that forceful. 

“I guess, yes,” Kushner said, explaining that he told Trump that Giuliani’s strategy was “basically not the approach I would take if I was you.” Kushner said Trump responded by expressing “confidence in Rudy.”  

Some lawyers who had been helping the Trump campaign also balked at what was happening. 

“I had conversations with probably all of our counsel who are signed up to assist on election day…. the general consensus was that the law firms were not comfortable making the arguments that Rudy Giuliani was making publicly,” Trump campaign general counsel Matt Morgan said in a videotaped deposition, a portion of which was played by the committee. 

This dynamic was reported in real time, with some prominent GOP lawyers steering clear of the more unhinged voter-fraud claims emanating from Trump’s orbit. One major law firm that was involved in a Republican-backed lawsuit put out a statement in November 2020, distancing itself from Trump’s legal strategy, and another law firm that represented the Trump campaign in a Pennsylvania case abruptly withdrew after Trump ramped up his election lies. 

11:44 a.m. ET, June 13, 2022

Ex-Trump campaign manager describes Trump’s reaction on election night

From CNN's Jeremy Herb

A video clip was played during Monday's hearing featuring former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien describing a conversation he had with then-President Donald Trump on election night, in which Trump disagreed with Stepien’s recommendation to say it was too early to call the race.

The conversation is one of the first instances during the Jan. 6 congressional hearings where a witness has detailed what conversations they were having with Trump on election night.

The committee played video from Stepien’s deposition where he said that it was his recommendation to say it was “too early to tell” who won the race.

“The President disagreed with that,” Stepien said. “I don’t recall the particular words. He thought I was wrong, he told me so, and that they were going to go in a different direction."

During Monday’s hearing, the committee also played a clip from Trump’s speech in the early morning hours of Nov. 5, 2020, where he falsely said he had won.

“This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election, frankly we did win this election,” Trump said at the time.

Stepien was supposed to testify in person at Monday’s hearing, but he was unable to appear after his wife went into labor. Instead, the committee used video from his previous deposition to help illustrate testimony.

11:55 a.m. ET, June 13, 2022

"Better off to play the Powerball" than expecting a recount to change results, former Fox journalist says

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

After then-President Trump lost Arizona in the 2020 presidential election, his chances of reelection were "none," said former Fox digital politics editor Chris Stirewalt.

Stirewalt, who was fired after backlash to the network after — correctly — calling Arizona for now-President Joe Biden during the 2020 presidential election, also explained why he didn't think a recount could change the election results in Trump's favor.

"Ahead of today, I thought about what are the largest margins that could ever be overturned by a recount," he told the Jan. 6 committee today. "In modern history, you're talking about 1,000-1,500 votes, at the way, way outside. Normally, you're talking about hundreds of votes, maybe 300 votes that will change."

"So the idea that through any normal process in any any of these states — remember he had to do it thrice. He needed three of these states to change ... You're better off to play the Powerball than to have that come in," Stirewalt said.
1:24 p.m. ET, June 13, 2022

Campaign officials say they told Trump not to prematurely declare victory on election night 2020

From CNN's Marshall Cohen

Video of Bill Stepien's testimony is shown during the hearing on June 13.
Video of Bill Stepien's testimony is shown during the hearing on June 13. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

Two senior Trump campaign officials testified to the Jan. 6 committee that they told him not to prematurely declare victory on election night 2020 – but that he went ahead and did it anyway.

“It was far too early to be making any calls like that,” Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said in videotaped testimony, a portion of which was played Monday. “Ballots were still being counted… it was far too early to be making any proclamation like that.”

Trump campaign spokesperson Jason Miller told the committee during his closed-door interview that he told Trump that “we should not go declare victory until we have a better sense of the numbers.”

This matters because it’s part of the committee’s central argument that Trump was told that he lost and shouldn’t declare victory – and that he kept lying about voter fraud and trying to overturn the results.

Stepien said in his deposition that he advised Trump to say that it was “too early to tell” who won but that “we were proud of the race we ran… and think we’re in good position.” But Stepien said Trump made it clear to him that he disagreed with that plan, and he would be declaring victory anyway. Miller said that Trump said that anyone who didn’t support that approach was “weak.”

Late on election night, in an address to the nation from the White House, Trump baselessly said, “we did win this election” and falsely claimed that he was the victim of a nationwide voter-fraud conspiracy.

The committee played clips of Stepien’s and Miller’s testimony, though they haven’t released transcripts of their full depositions. Miller complained last week that the panel cherry-picked some of his words. Stepien was supposed to testify in-person today but pulled out this morning because his wife is in labor.

11:29 a.m. ET, June 13, 2022

Committee shows video of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner interviews

From CNN's Kate Sullivan

(Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
(Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

During Monday’s hearing, the House Jan. 6 committee used video testimony from two of former President Donald Trump’s family members to describe what election night in 2020 was like inside the White House.

“There was an event that was organized in the residence so I moved between the residence, a room sort of off the residence where some family members were,” Trump’s daughter and former White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump said in a clip of her video testimony played on Monday.

Her husband and fellow former White House senior adviser Jared Kushner said the former President was “upstairs” in the residence at the White House.

“We were kind of on the first floor, so not upstairs. We were mostly with Ivanka and her brothers and a couple of other people who had been coming in and out,” Kushner said.

Today's hearing, the House January 6 committee's second this month, is focusing on Trump's lies about the 2020 election.

11:28 a.m. ET, June 13, 2022

Barr says Trump claimed major fraud before there was "any potential of looking at evidence"

From CNN's Zachary Cohen

(Pool)
(Pool)

Former Attorney General Bill Barr told the House Jan. 6 committee that then-President Donald Trump claimed there was major fraud underway “right out of the box on election night … before there was actually any potential of looking at evidence,” according to a previously unseen video clip from his closed-door interview with the panel played during today’s hearing. 

Barr’s testimony adds to the committee’s argument that Trump was already laying the groundwork for his unfounded claim that the election was stolen before it was conceivable that anyone had a chance to examine whether any evidence of widespread voter fraud existed. 

“It seemed to be based on the dynamic that, at the end of the evening, a lot of Democratic votes came in which changed the vote counts in certain states, and that seemed to be the basis for this broad claim that there was major fraud,” Barr says in the video. 

“And I didn’t think much of that, because people had been talking for weeks and everyone understood for weeks that that was going to be what happened on election night,” Barr adds.

Earlier in the hearing, Rep. Zoe Lofgren linked Trump’s pushing of unfounded fraud claims to fundraising efforts, after Election Day 2020, saying, “The big lie was also a big rip-off.”