Jan. 6 committee holds fifth hearing

By Maureen Chowdhury, Elise Hammond, Adrienne Vogt and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 7:20 p.m. ET, June 23, 2022
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1:11 p.m. ET, June 23, 2022

Here's what to expect from the committee's fifth hearing this month

From CNN's Katelyn Polantz

Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Road to Majority conference in Nashville on June 17.
Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Road to Majority conference in Nashville on June 17. (Mark Humphrey/AP)

The House select committee said it will present evidence on Thursday about how former President Donald Trump's attempt to use the Justice Department to back his election disinformation.

It will be the fifth hearing this month, and feature live testimony from Richard Donoghue, the former deputy attorney general, committee chairman Bennie Thompson said.

Thompson said at the hearing on Tuesday, the committee is trying to show that the people Trump and his allies have pressured to overturn the election were roadblocks "for his attempt to cling to power."

"On Thursday, we hear about another part of that scheme. His attempt to corrupt the country's top law enforcement body — the Justice Department — to support his attempt to overturn the election," Thompson said.

More background: The hearing is poised to revisit the drama at the department the weekend before Jan. 6, 2021, when Trump tried to install the department's top energy lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, as attorney general because he was sympathetic to Trump's unfounded theories of voting fraud. Clark had proposed the DOJ could give Georgia support to convene a special session to investigate the election, well after federal investigators found no evidence of widespread election fraud.

At a Jan. 3, 2021, Oval Office meeting, Donoghue and others told Trump that resignations would cascade across the top tiers of the Justice Department if Clark were made attorney general.

CNN previously reported the committee was also planning to have testimony from then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and the Office of Legal Counsel head Steven Engel. They, along with Donoghue and others from the White House counsel's office, convinced Trump not to replace the department's leadership.

1:04 p.m. ET, June 23, 2022

How Trump and his team pressured election officials and workers, according to the Jan. 6 committee

From CNN's Sam Woodward

Wandrea "Shaye" Moss, a former Fulton County, Georgia, election worker, testifies during the June 21 hearing. Her mother, Ruby Freeman, sits behind her.
Wandrea "Shaye" Moss, a former Fulton County, Georgia, election worker, testifies during the June 21 hearing. Her mother, Ruby Freeman, sits behind her. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

A video produced by the House Select Committee played in its last hearing on Tuesday detailed former President Donald Trump and his team’s efforts to sway election officials and intimidate election workers following President Biden’s 2020 election win.

Here's a look at some of the details the committee laid out:

  • Protests outside officials' homes: In a video played by the committee, protesters stood outside the home of Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson calling her a “tyrant and a felon,” as she was putting her child to sleep. She described to the committee, via audio recording, her fear for her family’s safety.
  • Personal phone numbers posted online: In late November 2020, Trump invited delegations from Michigan and Pennsylvania to the White House. After Michigan State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, a Republican, told Trump that he would not break the law to keep Trump in office, he said Trump posted Shirkey’s personal phone number for his millions of followers on Facebook, urging them to contact him and demand he decertify Michigan’s election results. Shirkey said he received "just shy of 4,000 text messages over the short period of time, calling to take action.”
  • Daily phone calls: Following his refusal to contest his state’s election results, Pennsylvania House Speaker Brian Cutler said he received daily phone calls from former Trump lawyer’s Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Lewis asking to discuss the election. Cutler said he asked his lawyers to tell the pair to stop calling, saying their efforts were inappropriate: they did not stop. One month later, long-time Trump ally Steve Bannon announced a protest against Cutler at his home and offices. Cutler said his then-15-year-old son was home alone when the first protest happened. He said that his personal information was leaked online and received so many calls to his home phone, that he had to disconnect it because messages were filling up so fast at all hours of the night. The select committee showed an anonymous voice mail Cutler received saying that the caller was outside his home.
  • Millions of dollars in ads: According to the committee, the Trump campaign spent millions of dollars on ads pushing election fraud claims and urging Americans to call their legislators and demand they inspect voting machines.
  • "20,000 emails and tens of thousands of voicemails and texts": Arizona Republican House Speaker Rusty Bowers described to the committee the harassment he and his family faced after refusing to decertify his state’s election results. Bowers said he and his team received “20,000 emails and tens of thousands of voicemails and texts.” At home, Bowers’ Saturdays were filled with protests by various groups disrupting the neighborhood with trucks playing videos claiming he was a pedophile and pervert. He recalled a confrontation between a protester with a gun who was vocally threatening his neighbor. Bowers detailed his family’s strength during this time, especially that of his wife and then “gravely-ill” daughter.
  • Death threats and a home break in: The committee played excerpts of a Jan. 2, 2021, phone call obtained by CNN between Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Trump where the former President urged Raffensperger to “find” votes to overturn the election. Raffensperger refused, claiming Georgia’s election results were accurate. Following this conversation, he said both he and his wife were doxed and received death threats, he told the committee. Additionally, he said his widowed daughter-in-law’s home was broken into while she was alone with her two young children.
  • "I’ve lost my name, I’ve lost my reputation, I’ve lost my sense of security": Former Fulton County, Georgia, election workers Wandrea ArShaye "Shaye" Moss and her mother Ruby Freeman were specifically targeted by Trump’s team to push false allegations of voter fraud. The pair worked the 2020 presidential election and were named 18 times by Trump in the call made to Raffensperger. In that call, Trump called Freeman a “professional vote scammer and a hustler." Moss detailed the harassment her grandmother faced as well, including a home invasion where people were looking for Moss and Freeman, claiming to be making a citizen’s arrest. In a video testimony to the committee, Freeman said, “I’ve lost my name, I’ve lost my reputation, I’ve lost my sense of security.” Prior to Jan. 6, the FBI advised Freeman to leave her home for safety — she was gone for two months.

12:04 p.m. ET, June 23, 2022

These are the 9 lawmakers on the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection

From CNN's Annie Grayer and Ryan Nobles

Former President Donald Trump is displayed on a screen during a hearing of the House select committee on June 21.
Former President Donald Trump is displayed on a screen during a hearing of the House select committee on June 21. (Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Members of the House select committee have been investigating what happened before, after and during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol — and now they are presenting what they discovered to the public. 

The committee is made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans. It was formed after efforts to create an independent 9/11-style commission failed. 

Rep. Liz Cheney is one of two Republicans on the panel appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy pulled all five of his selections because Pelosi would not accept two of his picks. In July 2021, Pelosi invited GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois to join the committee, making him the second GOP lawmaker to sit on the committee. 

Here's who is on the panel — and key things to know about them: 

Democrats: 

  • Rep. Bennie Thompson, chair: Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, is the chair of the House select committee. Thompson also serves as chair of the Homeland Security Committee, the first ever Democrat to hold the position. As chair of the Homeland Security panel, Thompson introduced and oversaw the House's passage of the legislative recommendations after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Thompson is a civil rights pioneer who started his political career by registering fellow African Americans to vote in the segregated South. His first political victory was being elected the first Black mayor of his hometown of Bolton, Mississippi. He is the only Democrat serving in Mississippi's delegation. Thompson views the work of the Jan. 6 committee in the same vein as his work in the civil rights struggle. 
  • Rep. Pete Aguilar: Aguilar is a Democrat from Southern California. Before coming to Congress, he served as the mayor of Redlands, California. Aguilar is considered a rising star in the House Democratic Caucus. As vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus he is the highest-ranking Latino member in congressional leadership. In addition to his role on the Jan. 6 committee, Aguilar has several high-profile committee assignments. He also is a member of the committees on Appropriations and House Administration. Aguilar believes the committee's most important job is creating a full, comprehensive record of what led to the violence of Jan. 6, 2021. 
  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren: Lofgren is a Democrat from California who served as an impeachment manager in the first impeachment trial against Trump. Lofgren is also chair of the Committee on House Administration. She was first elected to Congress in 1994 and also served as a staffer on Capitol Hill for eight years. Lofgren has a background as an immigration lawyer and has made reforming immigration law a key part of her portfolio as a member of Congress. She also represents a big part of the Silicon Valley and as a result has had a heavy focus on tech related issues. She is a long-time ally and friend to Pelosi. The duo has served in the California Congressional delegation together for close to three decades and both represent different parts of the bay area in Northern California. 
  • Rep. Elaine Luria: Luria is a Democrat from the Virginia Beach area who represents a community with a significant number of constituents connected to the military. Luria is a Navy Veteran. She served 20 years as an officer on Navy ships, retiring as a commander. She has attributed her military background as part of her motivation for serving on the Jan. 6 committee and getting to the bottom of what happened on that day. Of the nine members of the committee, Luria is facing the toughest general election in the fall midterms. 
  • Rep. Stephanie Murphy: Murphy is a Democrat from Florida and is the first Vietnamese American woman elected to Congress. Before serving in Congress, Murphy was a national security specialist in the office of the US Secretary of Defense. Murphy said the challenge for committee members is to translate the mountains of information learned through the investigation into a digestible narrative for the American people. Murphy announced in December 2021 that she would not be seeking reelection. 
  • Rep. Jamie Raskin: Raskin is a Democrat from Maryland who previously served as the lead impeachment manager for Democrats during Trump's second impeachment trial. In the days before the Capitol insurrection, Raskin announced the death by suicide of his 25-year-old son, Tommy, on New Years Eve 2020. Raskin reflected on the tragic loss of his son, and his experience living through the attack on the Capitol, in his book "Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth and the Trials of American Democracy." Raskin said that becoming the lead House impeachment manager last year served as a "lifeline" in the aftermath of his son's death, describing to David Axelrod on "The Axe Files" podcast how Pelosi asked him to lead the second impeachment managers. 
  • Rep. Adam Schiff: Schiff is a Democrat from California and also serves as the chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He was the lead impeachment manager representing Democrats during Trump's first impeachment trial. "January 6 will be remembered as one of the darkest days in our nation's history. Yet, more than a year later, the threat to our democracy is as grave as ever. January 6 was not a day in isolation, but the violent culmination of multiple efforts to overturn the last presidential election and interfere with the peaceful transfer of power for the first time in our history," Schiff said in a statement to CNN. 

Republicans 

  • Rep. Liz Cheney, vice chair: Cheney, who represents Wyoming, serves as the vice chair on the committee. Cheney has been an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump and was one of 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach him. House Republicans have punished her for her public opposition to Trump by removing her as their party's conference chair in May of last year and she faces a Trump-endorsed challenger in the GOP primary in her reelection bid. That primary is in August. Cheney told CBS in an interview that aired over the weekend that she believes the January 6 attack was a conspiracy, saying when asked, "I do. It is extremely broad. It's extremely well organized. It's really chilling." She has even gone as far to say that Trump's inaction to intervene as the attack unfolded was a "dereliction of duty." 
  • Adam Kinzinger: Kinzinger of Illinois broke with his party by accepting the appointment from Pelosi. Kinzinger, once thought to have a bright future in GOP politics, has taken heavy criticism from his colleagues because of his criticism of Trump. He has placed much of the blame of inciting the violence that day on Trump and his allies. Kinzinger is one of 10 Republicans who voted twice to impeach Trump after the Capitol insurrection. He also voted for the bipartisan independent commission to investigate the riot. His willingness to take on Trump led to the former President personally promising to back a primary opponent. Instead of facing the prospect of a Trump back challenge, he chose to retire from Congress at the end of his current term. 

11:30 a.m. ET, June 23, 2022

Here's what you need to know about Trump's election lies

From CNN's Marshall Cohen

Then-President Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021.
Then-President Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021. (Evan Vucci/AP)

Throughout the 2020 campaign, former President Trump repeatedly lied about rampant voter fraud and claimed that the election would be “rigged” against him. He escalated this rhetoric after Election Day by falsely claiming victory, and continued pushing these lies after Biden became the projected President-elect.   

Trump’s campaign and his allies then filed dozens of unsuccessful lawsuits across the country, seeking to overturn the results, based on spurious fraud claims. Despite losing those lawsuits, Trump continued promoting these lies while pressuring federal, state, and local officials to help him stop the transition of power. These officials largely refused to help Trump with his plan.   

Trump repeated these lies during his Ellipse rally on Jan. 6, which helped spur the Capitol riot. Trump’s rhetoric inspired the majority of Republicans to believe that Biden did not win the 2020 election, according to CNN polling. Many of the Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol also expressed this view.  

The Jan. 6 committee has released testimony from Trump advisers revealing that he was told shortly after the election that he lost – but he kept pushing ahead with disinformation and false claims about the election. Some academics and historians have dubbed this phenomenon as “the Big Lie.” 

11:05 a.m. ET, June 23, 2022

Here's a recap of the key moments from the committee's last hearing

From CNN staff

Rusty Bowers, Arizona House speaker, Brad Raffensperger, Georgia's Secretary of State, and Gabriel Sterling, Georgia's Secretary of State chief operating officer, are sworn in for a hearing of the Select committee on June 21.
Rusty Bowers, Arizona House speaker, Brad Raffensperger, Georgia's Secretary of State, and Gabriel Sterling, Georgia's Secretary of State chief operating officer, are sworn in for a hearing of the Select committee on June 21. (Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol wrapped up its fourth hearing of the month on Tuesday. The panel presented evidence that showed how former President Donald Trump and his allies pressured election officials and workers in an effort to overturn the election.

Witnesses testified how they would not agree to Trump's requests and how election lies led to threats and harassment. The committee heard testimony from Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his chief operating officer Gabe Sterling as well as Fulton County, Georgia, election worker Wandrea ArShaye "Shaye" Moss.

Here are the top lines you might have missed:

  • Some of the same players: Liz Cheney, the vice chair of the committee, said that the same people — namely former President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani and former Trump lawyer John Eastman — were pressuring state election officials at the same time they were pressuring former Vice President Mike Pence. She said both pressure campaigns were happening “simultaneously” and are both “independently serious.” She then played a clip from a deposition by former Attorney General William Barr who said allegations of election fraud in Georgia had “no merit.”
  • Danger to election officials: The committee played a video that described what election officials had to deal with in the days after the election. This included text messages, phone calls, voicemails and protests outside their homes. Witnesses also described people calling them and their families.
  • Pressure in Arizona: Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers told the committee Tuesday that Trump pressured him to interfere with the election during a late December 2020 phone call and that he bluntly told the sitting President that he wouldn’t do anything illegal for him. “I took an oath,” Bowers said, recalling what he told Trump. “For me to do what you do would be counter to my oath.” About two weeks later, Trump lawyer John Eastman called Bowers to discuss the election, according to Bowers’ testimony. Eastman continued pressing Bowers to intervene in the Electoral College process, even if it was legally questionable, saying, “just do it and let the courts sort it out,” according to Bowers.
  • Brad Raffensperger: Raffensperger said he and his team investigated "every single allegation" of election fraud from former President Trump — and they came up with nothing indicating any fraud whatsoever. He said in the face of threats and harassment to him and his family, he didn’t walk away because he knew his office had followed the law. “I think sometimes, moments require you to stand up and just take the shots,” he said. “We followed the law and we followed the Constitution, and at the end of the day, President Trump came up short.”
  • Gabe Sterling: Sterling described the misinformation and threats that were being directed at workers in the days after the election. During testimony, he recalled the moment he "lost it" when he found out an election contractor working for Dominion Systems was receiving death threats "that had been posted by some QAnon supporters." After that, he started trying to combat misinformation at news conferences and said that he even argued with some family members about false claims of election fraud.
  • Wandrea ArShaye "Shaye" MossMoss was accused by Trump and others of carrying out a fake ballot scheme in Fulton County, Georgia. She said she and her family received threats and Trump's lies turned her life "upside down." Moss told the committee about "hateful" and "racist" threats she received via Facebook. The committee also played video of recorded testimony from Moss’ mother, Ruby Freeman. She said she lost her “name and her reputation,” adding that she left her home for about two months ahead of Jan. 6, 2021, after the FBI told her it wouldn’t be safe. Freeman said agents told her she needed to stay away until “at least the inauguration.” She also testified that even today there is "nowhere" she feels safe.

Read more takeaways here.

10:58 a.m. ET, June 23, 2022

3 high-ranking Department of Justice officials will testify at today's hearing

From CNN's Ryan Nobles

The Jan. 6 select committee will hear testimony Thursday from three high-ranking Department of Justice officials who rejected pleas from members of the Trump administration to investigate baseless claims of voter fraud between the November election and Jan. 6, 2021.

The hearing is expected to focus on the pressure campaign former President Donald Trump and his allies put on the Justice Department to any to intervene in the election.

These are the witnesses:

  • Jeffrey A. Rosen, former acting attorney general
  • Richard Donoghue, former acting deputy attorney general
  • Steven Engel, former assistant attorney general for the office of legal counsel