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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8:47 p.m. ET, June 9, 2022

At least 4 Trump aides testified that they told him — and his team — that he lost reelection

From CNN's Marshall Cohen

At least four Trump aides testified to the Jan. 6 House select committee that they told former President Trump or his former chief of staff Mark Meadows that he lost the 2020 election and there wasn’t widespread voter fraud, according to portions of their depositions that were revealed Thursday at the panel’s first major public hearing.

The officials included Attorney General Bill Barr, Trump campaign spokesperson Jason Miller, the Trump campaign’s general counsel Matt Morgan, and another Trump campaign lawyer Alex Cannon.

“I was in the Oval Office,” Miller said in his deposition, a clip of which was played at Thursday’s hearing. “At some point in the conversation, Matt Oczkowski, who was the lead data person, was brought on, and I remember he delivered to the President in pretty blunt terms that he was going to lose.”

According to a clip of Barr’s testimony, played during Thursday’s hearing, Barr said: “I repeatedly told the President in no uncertain terms that I did not see evidence of fraud, you know, that would have affected the outcome of the election. And frankly, a year and a half later, I still haven’t seen anything to change my mind on that.”

Barr also said the conspiracy theories that Trump embraced about Dominion voting machines rigging the election were “complete nonsense,” and that he advised Trump that it was “crazy stuff.”

And Cannon testified that he told Meadows by “mid-to-late November” that the campaigns came up empty when it tried to find widespread fraud in key states that Trump lost. Cannon said Meadows responded to his assessment by saying, "so there’s no there there.” (Despite that acknowledgement, Meadows continued aiding Trump's efforts to push false voter fraud claims.)

This was the first time that it became publicly known that Morgan and Cannon met with the committee behind closed doors, and shows that the panel got some cooperation from Trump campaign operatives, even though other senior Trump advisers have resisted the subpoenas and refused to provide documents.

Many of these witnesses sat for lengthy interviews, but the committee showed only selective excerpts during Thursday’s primetime hearing, and has not yet released full transcripts of their depositions.

9:45 p.m. ET, June 9, 2022

Ex-Trump adviser says former President was told "in pretty blunt terms that he was going to lose"

From CNN's Paul LeBlanc

(January 6 Committee Deposition)
(January 6 Committee Deposition)

The House select committee played a clip of recorded testimony from ex-Trump adviser Jason Miller stating that then-President Donald Trump was told by the campaign's lead data aide "in pretty blunt terms that he was going to lose."

A former senior adviser to Trump, Miller was involved in the former President's 2016 and 2020 White House bids.

CNN previously reported that, days after the election, his campaign's top data adviser told Trump in "blunt terms" that he was headed towards defeat, according to an account Miller gave the committee, which was disclosed in deposition excerpts filed with the court.

Miller himself gave Trump his opinion — in "several" conversations — that "specific to election day fraud and irregularities, there were not enough to overturn the election," according to his account to the committee.

8:51 p.m. ET, June 9, 2022

Panel plans to use future hearings to examine role of Trump lawyer in plans to subvert election certification

From CNN's Katelyn Polantz

John Eastman speaks in Boulder, Colorado, in April 2021.
John Eastman speaks in Boulder, Colorado, in April 2021. (Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post/Getty Images)

The House Select Committee plans to use future hearings to examine how former President Donald Trump used a conduit, lawyer John Eastman, in his plans to subvert the certification of the election on Jan. 6, 2021.

The committee has obtained hundreds of Eastman’s emails on the subject as recently as yesterday, though they have not yet been released publicly.

In response to the House committee, Eastman invoked his Fifth Amendment right protecting him from self-incrimination, so he did not provide any testimony.

Michael Luttig, a former federal judge who advised former Vice President Mike Pence not to throw out the electoral vote, spoke to the committee about Eastman.  

Luttig said Eastman was “wrong at every turn,” according to GOP. Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice chair of the Jan. 6 committee.

Cheney also highlighted a searing email from another lawyer close to Pence, his former chief counsel Greg Jacob. “Thanks to your bullshit, we are under siege,” Jacob wrote to Eastman during the insurrection.

Cheney then said the committee has learned new details “about the Trump campaign and other Trump associates’ efforts to instruct Republicans in multiple states to create intentionally false electoral slates, and transmit those slates to Congress, and the National Archives, falsely certifying that Trump won states he actually lost.”  

On Wednesday, the House Committee was still obtaining some of Eastman’s emails. A handful of additional emails they received yesterday largely focused on the electors plan, and getting state legislators on board with it, according to court proceedings.

Some of those emails documented meeting agendas where Eastman laid out a so-called “ground game” in the states. Others “do not offer legal advice but aim to persuade legislators to take political action," the judge wrote.  

The electors scheme is now under investigation in two criminal probes—in Georgia and by federal authorities.�� 

8:38 p.m. ET, June 9, 2022

Thompson contrasts Trump's election lies to Lincoln's commitment to a peaceful transfer of power

Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the Jan. 6 committee, highlighted the oath that lawmakers take to "defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic" and how the attack on Jan. 6 tested the oath, during his opening statement.

"When the United States Capitol was stormed and burned in 1814, foreign enemies were responsible. After war in 1862, when American citizens had taken up arms on this country, Congress adopted a new oath to help make sure that no person who had supported the rebellion could hold a position of public trust. Therefore, congresspersons and United States federal government employees were required for the first time to swear an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That oath was put to test on January 6, 2021," Thompson said.

He added, "But unlike in 1814, it was domestic enemies of the Constitution who stormed the Capitol and occupied the Capitol, who sought to thwart the will of the people, to stop the transfer of power. And, so, they did at the encouragement of the President of the United States, the President of the United States trying to stop the transfer of power, a precedent that had stood for 220 years, even as our democracy had faced its most difficult test," referring to former President Trump.

Thompson contrasted Trump's reluctance to transfer power to President Abraham Lincoln's commitment to maintain the tradition despite the Civil War.

"Thinking back again to the Civil War in the summer of 1864, the President of the United States believed that we would be doom as be it for reelection. He believed his opponent, General George McClellan would wave the white flag when it came to preserving the union. But even with that grim fate hanging in the balance, President Lincoln was ready to accept the will of the voters come what may. He made a quiet pledge. He wrote down the words, 'This morning, as for some days passed, it seems exceedingly probable that this administration will not be reelected, and it will be my duty to so cooperate with the President-elect...'  Lincoln sealed that memo and asked his cabinet secretaries to sign it, sight unseen. He asked them to make the same commitment that he did, to accept defeat if indeed defeat was the will of the people to uphold the rule of law, to do whatever president came before him did and why every president who followed him would do. Until Donald Trump. Donald Trump lost the presidential election in 2020. The American people voted him out of office. It was not because of a rigged system. It was not because of voter fraud." Thompson said.

12:47 a.m. ET, June 10, 2022

Ivanka Trump testified she accepted there was no fraud sufficient to overturn election

From CNN's Zachary Cohen

Former White House Senior Adviser Ivanka Trump is seen on a video screen during Thursday night's public hearing.
Former White House Senior Adviser Ivanka Trump is seen on a video screen during Thursday night's public hearing. (Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters)

The House select committee played a clip of recorded testimony from former President Donald Trump's daughter and former White House adviser Ivanka Trump during their first prime-time hearing.

In the clip, Ivanka Trump comments on then-Attorney General Bill Barr's statement that the Justice Department found no sufficient evidence to overturn the election.

Question: "How did that affect your perception about the election when Attorney General Barr made that statement?"
Ivanka Trump: "It affected my perspective. I respect Attorney General Barr so I accepted what he was saying."

Ivanka Trump’s testimony that she accepted Barr’s statement stands in stark contrast to her father who continues to falsely insist the 2020 election was stolen and sought to use unfounded claims of widespread election fraud to overturn Joe Biden’s legitimate electoral victory. 

Despite testifying that she accepted what Barr said, Ivanka Trump did still accompany her father to the Jan. 6 rally at the White House Ellipse, which preceded the US Capitol attack. 

Ivanka Trump met virtually with the committee in April for nearly eight hours and CNN previously reported that she corroborated critical testimony from other witnesses who said the then-President was reluctant to try to call off the rioters despite being asked to do so.

Watch the moment:

8:38 p.m. ET, June 9, 2022

What you need to know about the sedition charges that Rep. Liz Cheney touted

From CNN's Marshall Cohen

US Rep. Liz Cheney delivers remarks on Thursday night.
US Rep. Liz Cheney delivers remarks on Thursday night. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the Republican vice chair of the House select committee, touted the seditious conspiracy charges that are pending against members of far-right extremist groups who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.

“You will also hear about plots to commit seditious conspiracy on January 6th, a crime defined in our laws as “conspir[ing] to overthrow, put down or destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to oppose by force the authority thereof,” Cheney said, adding that “multiple members” of the groups were charged with this crime and that “some have pled guilty.”

As of Thursday, the Justice Department has charged 17 alleged members of these groups with seditious conspiracy, and three of them have pleaded guilty. (The other defendants deny the allegations.)

What you need to know: For context, this is a tiny slice of the overall pool of more than 800 Americans facing charges related the Capitol riot.

About 98% of defendants are not charged with seditious conspiracy, though hundreds of alleged rioters are charged with a different felony – obstructing an official proceeding, namely the joint session of Congress that was convened on Jan. 6, 2021 to certify President Biden’s victory in the Electoral College.

8:42 a.m. ET, June 10, 2022

Cheney: Trump had a "seven-part plan" to overturn the election

From CNN's Dana Bash, Jake Tapper and Jeremy Herb

Former President Donald Trump had a "sophisticated seven-point plan" to overturn the 2020 presidential election over the course of several months, Jan. 6 committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney said, detailing how the panel plans to use its future hearings to tackle each part of the scheme.

"On the morning of January 6, President Donald Trump's intention was to remain president of the United States, despite the lawful outcome of the 2020 election and in violation of his Constitutional obligation to relinquish power," Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, said in her opening statement at Thursday's prime-time hearing.

Cheney did not detail the specific points of the plan in her opening statement. She said that the rioters who breached the Capitol and fought with police were motivated by Trump's actions falsely claiming that the election was stolen from him.

"President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack," Cheney said, echoing the statement she made in 2021 when she voted to impeach Trump.

A committee source later provided CNN the following description of the "sophisticated seven-part plan":

"President Trump oversaw a sophisticated seven-part plan to overturn the 2020 election and prevent the transition of presidential power.

  1. President Trump engaged in a massive effort to spread false and fraudulent information to the American public claiming the 2020 election was stolen from him.
  2. President Trump corruptly planned to replace the Acting Attorney General, so that the Department of Justice would support his fake election claims.
  3. President Trump corruptly pressured Vice President Pence to refuse to count certified electoral votes in violation of the US Constitution and the law.
  4. President Trump corruptly pressured state election officials, and state legislators, to change election results.
  5. President Trump's legal team and other Trump associates instructed Republicans in multiple states to create false electoral slates and transmit those slates to Congress and the National Archives.
  6. President Trump summoned and assembled a violent mob in Washington and directed them to march on the US Capitol.
  7. As the violence was underway, President Trump ignored multiple pleas for assistance and failed to take immediate action to stop the violence and instruct his supporters to leave the Capitol.

These are initial findings and the Select Committee's investigation is still ongoing. In addition, the Department of Justice is currently working with cooperating witnesses, and has disclosed to date only certain of the information it has identified from encrypted communications and other sources."

9:46 p.m. ET, June 9, 2022

Trump was "really angry" at advisers who told him to call off rioters on Jan. 6, witnesses told committee

From CNN's Zachary Cohen

The House Jan. 6 committee is in possession of witness testimony detailing how former President Donald Trump angrily resisted when advisers urged him to put out a statement calling off the rioters as the violence was unfolding on Jan. 6, 2021, the panel’s Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney revealed tonight.

Cheney said the panel will present testimony from former White House officials that Trump “didn’t really want to put anything out,” telling those carrying out the violence to stop or his supporters to leave.

“You will hear that President Trump was yelling, and [quote] ‘really angry at advisers who told him he needed to do be doing something more,’” Cheney said.  

Cheney also described testimony from a witness who detailed Trump’s animosity toward then-Vice-President Mike Pence when those around him voiced concerns about the rioters chanting to hang him.

“And, aware of the rioters’ chants to ‘hang Mike Pence,’ the President responded with this sentiment: [quote] ‘maybe our supporters have the right idea.’ Mike Pence [quote] ‘deserves’ it,” she added.

What Cheney presented tonight goes further than what was known about the committee’s focus on Trump’s inaction during the riot and underscores how he actively resisted calls from advisers to help put an end to it.

Cheney has previously characterized Trump’s inaction on Jan. 6 during those 187 minutes as a “dereliction of duty” and what the former President was doing, and not doing, is expected to be a key area of focus during the committee’s public hearings.

As is Trump’s anger at Pence for refusing to help overturn the 2020 election outcome.

12:06 a.m. ET, June 10, 2022

Cheney: "Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack"

From CNN's Clare Foran

(Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
(Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice chair of the committee, laid the blame for the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol squarely at former President Donald Trump's feet during her opening statement.

"On this point, there is no room for debate," Cheney said. "Those who invaded our Capitol and battled law enforcement for hours were motivated by what President Trump had told them — that the election was stolen, and that he was the rightful President."

"President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack," Cheney said.