Jan. 6 committee holds sixth hearing

By Adrienne Vogt, Elise Hammond, Aditi Sangal, Melissa Macaya and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:37 AM ET, Wed June 29, 2022
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11:43 a.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Meet the 9 lawmakers on the panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection 

From CNN's Annie Grayer and Ryan Nobles

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 will present 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: 


  • 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. 


  • 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. 
11:28 a.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Here's what was behind the decision to hold today's Jan. 6 hearing, according to sources

By Jamie Gangel and Ryan Nobles

The decision to hold the hearing today was due to a combination of factors for the Jan. 6 House select committee, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. Once the committee knew former Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson was willing to testify publicly, the committee did not want to risk waiting and her backing out. In addition, there was an overriding concern about security, which has been a factor for others — including members themselves who face threats over their roles on the committee. 

The committee also suggested in its announcement that there is new evidence to consider.  

Sources also observed that Hutchinson’s willingness to testify publicly could be a powerful incentive for other witnesses to come forward. 

Hutchinson’s posture with the committee changed dramatically when she recently switched attorneys, a source familiar with the planning for today’s hearing told CNN. She had been forthcoming with the committee previously, but she became much more willing to cooperate and provide the committee with new information that had not previously been heard in just the last few weeks. 

Hutchinson’s new insight was a tightly held secret, even within the committee. Sources said only a small group of members were kept apprised of the new information she was providing. Early this week, the committee decided that it needed to get the information out sooner rather than later. Members were concerned about Hutchinson’s security and the chance that she might become reluctant to testify if they waited until after July 4 to make her testimony public.  

Some members of the committee were not made fully aware of the information she was prepared to testify to until today.  

11:05 a.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Catch up: These are the key takeaways from the fifth day of Jan. 6 hearings

From CNN's Marshall Cohen, Jeremy Herb and Zachary Cohen

Rep. Bennie Thompson swears in Steven Engel, Jeffrey A. Rosen, and Richard Donoghue during the hearing on June 23.
Rep. Bennie Thompson swears in Steven Engel, Jeffrey A. Rosen, and Richard Donoghue during the hearing on June 23. (Doug Mills/Pool/Getty Images)

The Jan. 6 select committee's latest public hearing last Thursday shed considerable new light on former President Donald Trump's attempts to weaponize the Justice Department in the final months of his term as part of his plot to overturn the 2020 election and stay in power.

The hearing kicked off mere hours after federal investigators raided the home of Jeffrey Clark, who was one of the key Justice Department figures who was involved in Trump's schemes. He has denied any wrongdoing related to Jan. 6.

Three Trump appointees testified in-person on Thursday, joining a growing list of Republicans who have gone under oath to provide damning information about Trump's post-election shenanigans. The witnesses were former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, his deputy Richard Donoghue, and Steven Engel, who led the department's Office of Legal Counsel.

If you missed last Thursday's hearing, catch up on key takeaways from the event:

Select committee has the goods on GOP congressional pardons

Thursday's hearing underscored the role that Trump's Republican allies in Congress played in furthering his efforts to try to overturn the election — and how many of them sought pardons after Jan. 6.

The House select committee particular zeroed in on the efforts of Rep. Scott Perry, the Pennsylvania Republican who connected Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark to the White House in December 2020.

CNN has previously reported on the role that Perry played, and the committee in court filings released text messages Perry exchanged with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows about Clark.

"He wanted Mr. Clark — Mr. Jeff Clark to take over the Department of Justice," Cassidy Hutchinson, a former Meadows aide, said about Perry in a clip of her deposition that was played at Thursday's hearing.

The committee also unveiled new details about Republican members of Congress seeking pardons after Jan. 6, including Perry and Reps. Mo Brooks of Alabama and Matt Gaetz of Florida.

"President Trump asked me to send you this letter. This letter is also pursuant to a request from Matt Gaetz," said an email Brooks sent to the White House in January 2021, according to the committee. "As such, I recommend that president give general (all purpose) pardons to the following groups of people."

The email included a group of the names of "every congressman and senator who voted to reject the electoral college vote submissions of Arizona and Pennsylvania."

Thursday's hearing was led by Rep. Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican who has largely been ostracized by the Republican conference for his role on the Jan. 6 committee.

"My colleagues up here also take an oath. Some of them failed to uphold theirs and instead chose to spread the big lie," Kinzinger said before discussing pardons.

Kinzinger is retiring at the end of his term.

Inside a December 2020 Oval Office meeting

The hearing brought to life a high-stakes Oval Office meeting in December 2020, where Trump considered firing the acting attorney general and installing Clark, who was willing to use the powers of federal law enforcement to encourage state lawmakers to overturn Trump's loss.

Going into these summer hearings, we already knew a lot about the meeting. But on Thursday, for the first time, we heard live testimony from some of the Justice Department officials who were in the room, including Rosen, the then-acting attorney general. (He survived the meeting, after Trump was told that there would be mass resignations at the Justice Department if he replaced Rosen with Clark.)

Trump White House lawyer Eric Herschmann said Clark was repeatedly "clobbered over the head" during the meeting. He told the committee that he called Clark a "f---ing a--hole" and said his plans would've been illegal. He also said Clark's plan to send letters to battleground states was "nuts."

In videotaped testimony that was played Thursday, Donoghue said he eviscerated Clark's credentials during the meeting, explaining that Clark was woefully under-qualified to serve as attorney general.

"You're an environmental lawyer. How about you go back to your office, and we'll call you when there's an oil spill," Donoghue said in the deposition, describing what he told Clark at the White House meeting.

Donoghue said then-White House counsel Pat Cipollone called Clark's plan a "murder-suicide pact."

Donoghue himself described Clark's plan as "impossible" and "absurd."

"It's never going to happen," Donoghue said of the plan. "And it's going to fail."

Thanks to the pushback from Rosen, Donoghue, Herschmann, Cipollone, and perhaps others, Trump didn't follow through with his plan, which would've put the country in uncharted waters, and would have increased the chances of Trump successfully pulling off his coup attempt.

Keep reading here.

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

Here's what former Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson has already told the Jan. 6 committee

From CNN's Ryan Nobles, Zachary Cohen and Annie Grayer

A video of Cassidy Hutchinson, aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, appears on screen during the hearing on June 23.
A video of Cassidy Hutchinson, aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, appears on screen during the hearing on June 23. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who is expected to testify publicly on Tuesday, has answered the Jan. 6 House select committee’s questions during three separate sessions and went over “new ground” with the panel last month, though it was not immediately clear what was discussed during that deposition.

During one hearing last week, the committee played a video clip of Hutchinson testifying that Meadows and former President Donald Trump’s onetime attorney Rudy Giuliani were involved in early conversations about putting forward fake slates of electors – a core tenet of the broader effort to overturn the 2020 election.

The panel has also played video of Hutchinson testifying that Rep. Scott Perry, a Pennsylvania Republican, wanted then-Justice Department lawyer Jeffrey Clark to take over the department – connecting another key part of Trump’s effort to upend Joe Biden’s election win.

“He wanted Mr. Clark – Mr. Jeff Clark – to take over the Department of Justice,” she said of Perry in a clip of her deposition that was played at a hearing last week.

Hutchinson also named several Republican members of Congress who, she said, had inquired about pardons, either for themselves or others, in the lead-up to Jan. 6, according to other video played by the committee during its hearings, including: Perry and Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Jim Jordan of Ohio and Louie Gohmert of Texas.

CNN has reported that during one of her interviews with the committee, Hutchinson said Trump had suggested to Meadows that he approved of the “hang Mike Pence” chants from rioters who stormed the US Capitol.

She also testified that Trump had complained about his then-vice president being hustled to safety while Trump supporters breached the Capitol, the sources previously told CNN.

CNN previously reported that Hutchinson was likely to testify in person during one of the committee’s upcoming hearings after she replaced her lawyer who had significant links to Trump, according to a source familiar with the matter.

She was not willing to risk getting a contempt of Congress charge in order to impede the probe, the source familiar said, and the change in representation was a sign that she was more willing to cooperate with the committee.

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

Trump's former election attorney was searched and had phone seized by federal agents last week, he says

From CNN's Katelyn Polantz

John Eastman appears on screen during a hearing by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol on June 21.
John Eastman appears on screen during a hearing by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol on June 21. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

FBI seized the phone of former President Donald Trump's election attorney John Eastman last week, according to a new court filing from the conservative lawyer.

Eastman disclosed the search and seizure in federal court in a lawsuit that he filed in New Mexico on Monday, calling it improper.

The revelation highlights the aggressive steps the Justice Department has taken in recent weeks as part of its ongoing criminal probe.

Federal agents from the Justice Department's Office of Inspector General, which is coordinating with the wider FBI and US attorney investigation into January 6, 2021, last week raided the home of former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark, a source familiar previously told CNN. That search — during which the Justice Department inspector general's participation had not been previously reported — came the same day as Eastman's.

The inspector general investigates accusations of legal violations by Justice Department employees and has the ability to conduct searches and seizures. After investigating, the inspector general can refer possible criminal matters to prosecutors.

Eastman's lawyers cited a reference in the warrant to the inspector general's office potentially analyzing the phone's contents, though it remains unclear to what extent the watchdog may be involved in his case.

Neither Eastman nor Clark have been charged with any crime.

Attorneys for Clark haven't responded to requests for comment. A spokesperson for the DOJ inspector general's office declined to comment on Monday.

Last Wednesday, about six federal investigators approached Eastman in New Mexico when he was exiting a restaurant after dinner with his wife and a friend, according to the court filings. He was patted down, and "forced to provide [facial] biometric data to open" the phone, Eastman's court filing said.

Agents were able to get access to Eastman's email accounts on his iPhone 12 Pro, the filings said.

Eastman is the latest person whose communications have become part of extensive Justice Department investigations related to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.

Eastman contends the agents "forced" him to unlock his phone.

In court, he is asking a federal judge to force the Justice Department to return his property, destroy records they've obtained and put on hold investigators' access to the phone.

Read more here.

9:53 a.m. ET, June 28, 2022

Former Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson to testify before Jan. 6 committee, sources say

From CNN's Ryan Nobles and Zachary Cohen

Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and a witness to many critical events and conversations, is expected to testify publicly on Tuesday before the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack, according to two sources familiar with the matter. 

Her planned appearance was first reported by Punchbowl News. 

Hutchinson has already been interviewed by the committee behind closed doors and video clips from her deposition have been featured by the panel during earlier hearings. But her live testimony marks a significant moment in the committee’s series of hearings as Hutchinson has long been considered one of its most consequential witnesses due to her proximity to former President Donald Trump’s then-White House chief of staff. 

The appearance was hastily arranged on a week where no public activity was anticipated and announced by the committee just 24 hours before it commenced.

11:14 a.m. ET, June 28, 2022

The Jan. 6 committee added a previously unexpected public hearing for Tuesday afternoon 

From CNN's Annie Grayer

The US Capitol is seen on Tuesday morning.
The US Capitol is seen on Tuesday morning. (Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

The committee investigating the Capitol Hill insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, added a previously unexpected public hearing for Tuesday afternoon, the committee announced Monday.

The panel did not reveal the hearing's topic when it announced the schedule.

The announcement came as a surprise to many as the committee had said it was not going to resume its hearings until mid-July. Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the committee's chairman, told reporters last week that the panel needed more time to go through the new documentary footage it received from documentarian Alex Holder, who possesses never-before-seen footage of Trump and his family, new information from the National Archives, and new tips coming in through the panel's tip line since the hearings started in order to move forward with its hearings

The committee said it would "present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony."

Tuesday's hearing starts at 1 p.m. ET. It will be the panel's sixth hearing this month.

In its first five hearings, the committee laid out how former President Donald Trump knew he lost the 2020 presidential election but pressured former Vice President Mike Pence, state officials, and the Department of Justice to work to keep him in office anyway.

Members on the committee previously laid out that its final two hearings would focus on the role domestic extremist groups played in attacking the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and would fill in the gaps of what Trump was doing as the violence at the Capitol unfolded.

Holder's "Unprecedented" three-part docuseries about the 2020 election will be released on Discovery Plus, which is owned by CNN's parent company, later this summer. The documentary includes never-before-seen footage of the Trump family on the campaign trail and their reactions to the outcome of the election.