Jan. 6 committee holds first prime-time hearing

By Elise Hammond, Maureen Chowdhury and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 5:15 p.m. ET, June 10, 2022
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9:40 p.m. ET, June 9, 2022

Footage shown of people fleeing House GOP leader's office from Trump mob

From CNN's Marshall Cohen

The Jan. 6 committee showed never-before-seen footage of people rushing out of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office during the early stages of the riot.

The clip was included in a montage of some of the most violent moments from the riot, including Trump supporters attacking police officers and smashing windows.

In the days after the insurrection, McCarthy said former President Donald Trump “bears responsibility” for the attack.

But over time, he cozied back up to Trump. Asked by CNN at a news conference earlier today about Trump’s culpability, McCarthy said, “everybody in the country bears some responsibility.” 

9:43 p.m. ET, June 9, 2022

Former Trump White House counsel repeatedly threatened to quit, Jared Kushner told Jan. 6 committee

From CNN's Katelyn Polantz

(Pool)
(Pool)

Former President Trump's final White House counsel Pat Cipollone repeatedly threatened to quit, the committee revealed, citing testimony from Trump’s son-in-law and former White House adviser Jared Kushner. 

"I know that he was always, him and the team, were always saying, ‘Oh we are going to resign. We are not going to be here if this happens, if that happens, so, I kind of took it up to just be whining, to be honest with you," Kushner said, according to a clip of his testimony played during the hearing on Thursday.

"The White House Counsel was so concerned about potentially lawless activity, he threatened to resign, multiple times," Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice chair of the committee, said at the hearing.

“That is exceedingly rare and exceedingly serious. It requires immediate attention, especially when the entire team threatens to resign. However, in the Trump White House, it was not exceedingly rare and it was not treated seriously.”

It is not known whether Cipollone will testify to the House select committee. 

Kushner, in his testimony, also said he believed those threatening to quit could have been "whining." 

The committee didn’t provide further detail about the near-resignations on Thursday.

The incident echoed a significant moment central to the Russia investigation in the first half of Trump's presidency. Special counsel Robert Mueller documented how then-White House Counsel Don McGahn prepared to quit rather than shut down the investigation at Trump's order, and Mueller found the incident met the legal threshold for obstruction of justice, though Trump was not charged. 

9:54 p.m. ET, June 9, 2022

The committee plays never-before-seen video footage

(Pool)
(Pool)

Right now, the committee is playing video footage that has not yet been released. The video shows the day of Jan. 6, 2021 in chronological order, starting in the morning before the Capitol is breached.

"It is hard to watch," Rep. Bennie Thompson said ahead of the video.

The video includes timestamps and audio of officers responding to crowds storming the building.

"We need backup," a voice said as violent scenes play out.

The clips show rioters breaking windows and pushing through barricades. Some people are specifically identified as Proud Boys by captions written on the screen.

"Hold the line! Hold the line!" officers yell as they physically clash with rioters at about 2 p.m. ET, according to the video.

"I need support," an officer says over body camera footage of another officer getting pushed by crowds. "We lost the line," the officer continues.

Watch the full video here.

12:46 a.m. ET, June 10, 2022

Rep. Cheney outlines Jan. 6 committee's upcoming hearings

From CNN's Alex Rogers

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot is starting to present their findings to the public. They have been looking into what happened before and after the insurrection, interviewing witnesses and going through messages.

But, Thursday's presentation is just the first of many. There are several other hearings scheduled for the rest of June, including three next week.

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice chair of the committee, said there are a few things Americans should keep in mind as the committee releases these initial findings.

First, the investigation is still ongoing. "What we make public here will not be the complete set of information we will ultimately disclose," Cheney said.

Secondly, Cheney said the Department of Justice is currently working with cooperating witnesses. She added that the department has only released some of the information it has uncovered from "encrypted communications and other sources."

While the committee cannot bring legal charges against former President Donald Trump, its central mission has been to uncover the full scope of Trump's unprecedented attempt to stop the transfer of power.

Cheney also outlined what topics are likely to come up at the upcoming hearings:

  • She said the second hearing on Monday will show “Trump engaged in a massive effort to spread false and fraudulent information” even though “Trump and his advisors knew that he had, in fact, lost the election.” Ivanka Trump, the former President’s daughter and senior adviser, told the committee that she respected Attorney General Bill Barr and “accepted” his statement that there wasn’t sufficient fraud to overturn the election.
  • The third hearing on Wednesday will show how “Trump corruptly planned to replace the Attorney General of the United States so the US Justice Department would spread his false stolen election claims," Cheney said.
  • Cheney said the fourth hearing will illustrate “Trump’s efforts to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to count electoral votes on Jan. 6th.”
  • The fifth hearing will provide “evidence that President Trump corruptly pressured state legislators and election officials to change election results,” including “details” about Trump’s call to Georgia officials urging them to “find” votes.
  • Finally, the last two June hearings will show how “Trump summoned a violent mob and directed them, illegally, to march on the US Capitol” and “failed to take immediate action to stop the violence and instruct his supporters to leave the Capitol.”
9:44 p.m. ET, June 9, 2022

Top US general testified that Pence — not Trump — ordered National Guard troops to respond to Jan. 6 riot

From CNN's Zach Cohen

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley is seen on video during the hearing on Thursday.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley is seen on video during the hearing on Thursday. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice chair of the Jan 6. committee, revealed new video from the committee’s interview with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley saying then-Vice President Mike Pence was the one who ordered National Guard troops to respond to the violence on Jan. 6, 2021, but that he was told by the White House to say it was former President Trump.

“Vice President Pence – there were two or three calls with Vice President Pence. He was very animated, and he issued very explicit, very direct, unambiguous orders. There was no question about that,” Milley says in the video.

“He was very animated, very direct, very firm to Secretary Miller. Get the military down here, get the guard down here. Put down this situation, et cetera,” he added, referring to Pence.

Milley also described his interactions with Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows that day, drawing a stark contrast between those conversations with Pence.

“He said: We have to kill the narrative that the Vice President is making all the decisions. We need to establish the narrative, you know, that the President is still in charge and that things are steady or stable, or words to that effect,” Milley says in the video, referring to what Meadows told him.

“I immediately interpreted that as politics. Politics. Politics. Red flag for me, personally. No action. But I remember it distinctly,” he added.

CNN previously reported that Pence, not Trump, facilitated the mobilization of National Guard troops to respond to the riot.

The video of Milley’s testimony, who remains the top US military officer now in the Biden administration, speaks to how the committee will seek to highlight what Trump was doing, and not doing, as the violence was spiraling out of control – something CNN has previously reported will be an area of focus during the public hearings.

9:24 p.m. ET, June 9, 2022

Cheney tells Jan. 6 defenders: "Your dishonor will remain" after Trump is gone

From CNN's Clare Foran

GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, vice chair of the Jan. 6 committee, had a critical message to members of her own party who, in her words, defend what is "indefensible."

"Tonight I say this to my Republican colleagues who are defending the indefensible: There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain," Cheney said.

Cheney herself has faced a major backlash from fellow Republicans for becoming a prominent critic of Trump and his lies over the election outcome.

Last year, Cheney lost her post in House Republican leadership after publicly rejecting for months Trump's lie that he won the 2020 presidential election.

"In our country, we don't swear an oath to an individual or a political party. We take our oath to defend the United States Constitution. That oath must mean something," Cheney said during the hearing.

9:43 p.m. ET, June 9, 2022

Top DOJ official says Trump loyalist was proposing "meddling" in election outcome

From CNN's Alex Rogers

The House select committee investigating Jan. 6 will hold a hearing next week exploring how former President Donald Trump “corruptly” planned to replace acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen “so the US Justice Department would spread his false stolen election claims,” according to Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney.

In her opening statement, Cheney said that Trump offered Jeff Clark, the acting attorney general of the civil division, the job of acting attorney general, and wanted him to send a letter to battleground states saying that the Justice Department had “identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election.” 

After the letter was circulated around the Justice Department, the plan drew fierce blowback from top officials, including then-acting deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue.

In audio aired on Thursday night, Donoghue testified that he told Clark, “What you are proposing is nothing less than the United States Justice Department meddling in the outcome of a presidential election.”

Rosen and Donoghue have been invited by the committee to publicly testify in its hearings. Clark has refused to testify.

The House committee’s effort follows a months-long investigation by the Senate Judiciary committee, which released a report last year on how Trump and Clark sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

9:44 p.m. ET, June 9, 2022

Pence's fidelity to Constitution was more important than to Trump, VP's chief of staff told committee 

From CNN's Zachary Cohen

Former Vice President Mike Pence’s then-chief of staff, Marc Short, acknowledged to the Jan. 6 committee during closed-door testimony that his former boss knew former President Donald Trump lost the election and determined his “fidelity to the Constitution was more important that his fidelity to President Trump,” according to previously unseen video played during tonight's hearing.

“I think the vice president was proud of his four years of service and he felt like much had been accomplished during those four years. And I think he was proud to have stood beside the President for all that had been done.  But I think he ultimately knew that his fidelity to the Constitution was his first and foremost oath, and that’s – that’s what he articulated publicly and I think that’s what he felt,” Short said in the short video clip.

Short was then asked if Pence’s “fidelity to the Constitution was more important that his fidelity to President Trump and his desire …”

He responded: “The oath he took, yes.”

Short quietly testified before the committee behind closed doors in January after receiving a subpoena and his interview marked the most significant sign to date that Pence's team was cooperating with the probe.

9:44 p.m. ET, June 9, 2022

Rep. Scott Perry and other GOP lawmakers sought pardons from Trump after Jan. 6

From CNN's Katelyn Polantz

US Rep. Scott Perry takes a reporter's question in August 2021.
US Rep. Scott Perry takes a reporter's question in August 2021. (Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/AP/File)

GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice chair of the Jan. 6 committee, said that Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and "multiple other Republican congressmen" sought pardons from then-President Donald Trump after Jan. 6, 2021.

"Representative Perry contacted the White House in the weeks after January 6th to seek a presidential pardon. Multiple other Republican congressmen also sought presidential pardons for their roles in attempting to overturn the 2020 election," Cheney said on Thursday night during the committee's prime-time hearing.

Perry didn't speak at the pro-Trump rally on Jan. 6, 2021, but was a key player in multiple aspects of Trump's effort to undermine the 2020 election — and the committee has sought his testimony.

CNN previously reported that Reps. Andy Biggs, Mo Brooks and Paul Gosar were among some Republicans who feared their legal exposure and sought clemency. 

They were ultimately not pardoned, nor were charged Jan. 6 insurrection defendants who also lobbied for pardons.

Top advisers around Trump, including his family, told Trump not to pardon himself, his family or any GOP lawmakers prospectively.