sometimes you have to see to believe and witness history as it unfolds when the news is breaking watch with the newsroom of the washington post we explain what's happening and why it matters thank you for choosing to watch the headlines as they're being written by our journalists you can subscribe with a special offer at washingtonpost.com watch subscribing through that link lets everyone hear from the front lines to the control room know that you care about our continued efforts to inform the public protect the first amendment and foster a healthy democracy we could not do this without you [Music] we cannot leave the violence of january 6 and its causes uninvestigated we'd like to know who participated in it who financed it who encouraged it who orchestrated it obviously the events of that day at the white house are our focus and making sure that we get to the bottom of everything that went on we know there's evidence in a coordinated planned attack we know that men and women who storm the capitol wanted to derail the peaceful transfer of power in this country we also know that the rioters came dangerously close to succeeding [Music] tonight the congressional committee investigating the january 6 insurrection at the capitol shares its work with the public we'll hear details about what happened that deadly day last year and what led up to the attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election welcome to this special report from the washington post i'm libby casey joining you from the washington post newsroom the select committee seven democrats and two republicans have spent nearly a year collecting evidence and conducting more than one thousand interviews tonight kicks off a series of hearings planned for this month to show the american public how vicious the attack was what led up to it and what's at stake in democracy going forward we will bring you each of the hearings live and uninterrupted with me tonight two of my colleagues who were on air with me on january 6 2021 rhonda colvin on capitol hill and james homan in the post newsroom rhonda let's start with this how significant is this moment for the work of the select committee this is quite a significant moment for this select committee it's a pivotal moment actually of course this committee it started back last summer it was put together by the speaker of the house after a vote to investigate the january 6 attack through an outside panel failed in a vote in the senate so there was a select committee put together for this reason and tonight what we know is that this is going to be a preview or a curtain raiser i'm not sure if you're able to hear that but it's very noisy here uh there are a lot of members of the media as well as security presence all around me so i'm not sure if you're able to hear that but basically this committee tonight what we've heard from aids is that they will be bringing forth a preview and a curtain raiser of what to expect for the subsequent hearings that they are planning next week tonight we are expecting two witnesses who will be here in person one is a filmmaker who helped stitch together some of the visuals of what happened that day outside here at the capitol the other person is one of the officers who went down first she is a woman who has worked here on the hill and and fell and was hurt by the rioters and even suffered brain trauma so she will be here telling her story but tonight what we know is that the committee plans to just lay out what uh their first steps are in making sure the american people know what happened on january 6 and what led up to it you know rhonda we hear you loud and clear and you have our total focus but it does sound very noisy there tonight give us a sense of how much attention is on this set of hearings especially given all the other major news stories facing the nation right now yeah to give you a sense of how crazy it is here right now this feels more like what it used to be like to cover the state of the union address when uh many of us were packed in and stat hall waiting for the president uh to come in and members of congress that's what it feels like right now there are many members of the press in front of me they're all waiting to see if some of the select committee members are going to be coming in this way there's a lot of police presence here and they're trying to wrangle in everyone who is set up here so it's a lot of people i really have not seen this many people here on the hill for really any committee hearing recently certainly because of covet but even before then this certainly is something different and you can sense it really on in the air here tonight thanks so much rhonda james let's bring you into the conversation how significant is this hearing and the series of hearings in terms of a national reckoning of what happened on january 6.
It's essential libby you'll recall that when donald trump was impeached for a second time during that transition period between presidents the senate while seven republicans voted to convict trump voted not to call witnesses or to subpoena documents and that is really the role that this special committee is performing to avoid a repeat of what happened in 2020 this is designed to figure out the flaws in the system and also to show americans that this was not some isolated event that this didn't just happen spontaneously on january 6th because people's passions got the better of them that this was something that for several months there was thinking planning coordinating certainly far more uh among the the rioters than among those who were tasked with defending the capital and that aspect we'd certainly expect to hear about tonight as well as in some of the hearings going forward that aspect of planning and plotting and coordination yes yes we really do we had a hearing that this from this committee that we carried last summer where we heard from multiple capitol police officers and a d.c police officer but mostly this committee's work has been under wraps behind closed doors they've conducted lots of depositions many on videotape we're going to see some of those clips potentially tonight they have gathered literally hundreds of thousands of pages of documents emails text messages there have been some leaks from this committee but they really have not until tonight publicly laid out what they have discovered and uh and this evening is really the preview of what jamie raskin a member of the committee a democrat from maryland said is going to blow the roof off the capitol there's a real question james of how visceral and memorable this day is in the minds of americans what does the committee need to do to accomplish tonight to remind people about what happened that day january 6th is one of those rare days libby that actually seems worse as more time passes as we've learned more about what was happening about what was going on behind the scenes about what trump was was doing uh you know we obviously knew it was traumatic on january 6th as we were watching all the images and it was it was terrifying but we didn't realize just how vulnerable so much of the infrastructure was the problem is that it's become deeply politicized initially when you had 10 house republicans and seven republican senators voting to impeach and convict trump there was this widespread outrage about what had happened but now uh the the big lie has taken hold uh you know about half of republicans believe that joe biden is not the legitimate president wrongly and uh and so the committee's job is to make this not seem political there are two republicans on this committee uh they need this to look objective and to to to explain and remind people uh of what it was like that day and how uh close the country came to not having a peaceful transfer power and frankly you know when i say those words it was not a peaceful transfer of power because we did see this violence at the capitol james let's go back and watch some of what happened that day and we'll start with the efforts of president trump and his allies to undermine trust in the 2020 election the vote to certify the 2020 presidential election was supposed to be procedural and uneventful but president donald trump had been lying for months that the election was stolen he wanted vice president mike pence to reject joe biden's victory when pence presided over the electoral vote count trump held a rally near the white house at noon if you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a country anymore and we're going to the capitol a wave of trump supporters surged down pennsylvania avenue they pushed past barriers on the capitol grounds police were outnumbered men in militia-style gear directed protesters toward an unguarded side of the capitol they chanted hang mike pence and f biden the rioters attacked police they crawled up scaffolding erected for biden's inauguration and scaled walls at 2 11 pm attackers used lumber and a police shield to break a window the capitol had been breached the secret service evacuated pence and his family from the senate chamber missing the mob by seconds capitol police told lawmakers to put on gas masks as rioter ashley babbitt tried to break into the speaker's lobby next to the house chamber police shot and killed her the marauders broke into offices shattering windows and smashing furniture police battled the attackers in hand-to-hand combat lawmakers begged president trump to call off his supporters for more than three hours trump did nothing after 4 p.m president-elect joe biden appeared on tv condemning the attack and calling on trump to demand that the siege end go on national television now about 10 minutes later trump finally posted a recorded video on twitter while he told supporters to go home he focused on repeating his lie that the election was stolen and praised the very supporters attacking the united states capital we love you you're very special meanwhile officers were still being assaulted beaten and crushed it was after six o'clock when the rioters were kicked out of the capitol an hour later the building was secured at 806 p.m lawmakers had returned and vice president pence gaveled the session back in it was after three o'clock in the morning when the election was finally certified the capital suffered more than one and a half million dollars in damage five people died including one police officer another 140 officers were injured and four officers who defended the capital killed themselves in the following months rhonda colvin you were there that day at the capitol what stands out in your mind you know i think what stands out in my mind is that there's uh somewhat of waning interest in january 6.
Even though to those who come in here every day those who are working here those who cover the hill it's very much still present just like i said today when i walked in there was a huge police presence when you get in the door when you go through security walk in the hallways and and that's not how it was before january 6. uh so it's you wonder if the story is really getting to people that they are understanding it understanding the importance understanding what it was like that day i think another thing that stands out to me is the fact that this committee it does seem to be working along the the timeline that they say they want to work on they as we've mentioned it's a majority of democrats and two republicans but they seem to have a bit of a unified front in terms of their sense of mission on this investigation and some people wonder are they going to come up with enough of their findings before the fall midterm elections is that too uh too soon when there have been many investigations in american history that have taken far longer than the track that they seem to be running at so um that is something that i have been struck with by watching this committee's action they do seem that they know that they are running against time here trying to get these findings out to people uh before this committee could be dissolved if the republican uh if there is a republican majority in the house and james homan we expect to hear a lot from the chair and vice chair today right uh thompson and cheney why are those two significant voices in this moment and and talk to us about the bipartisan nature of having those two republicans on this committee it's really important to that this is not an entirely democratic exercise and both of these republican members of congress are risking their political careers to tell the truth about what happened a poll came out today that showed liz cheney down two to one in her republican primary in wyoming adam kinzinger opted not to run for re-election in illinois there was a congressman in mississippi this week he was forced into a runoff because he actually voted to have a january 6 commission so there are consequences to republicans who aren't participating in the the kind of the charade to cover up january 6th and having liz cheney the daughter of a former vice president uh someone who you know was incredibly conservative in every way uh and happens to have also stood up to donald trump uh someone who clearly has in that way shown her medal and character it's going to be important that it that she's speaking just as much as benny thompson thompson is the uh a chairman of the house homeland security committee and that is an important role in the sense that this is a a very real security concern this is a a live issue these uh extremist groups continue to be quite active and continue to organize and if there was going to be some reform coming out of this process it would likely end up coming through his committee uh and so he plays an extraordinarily important role we saw footage a few moments ago of just how impactful this was for the men and women in law enforcement who fought back the rioters some in hand-to-hand combat that lasted hours rhonda you've interviewed capitol police officers this week on how they plan to follow these hearings what have they shared with you that's right if you remember back last july there were four officers two from the capitol police force and then two from the metropolitan dc force who testified in front of this panel that was actually the first public hearing of this committee and i've noticed in some of the business meetings that the january 6 committee has held since then that there have been two officers who have come in plain clothes to these meetings they've sit alongside the wall in these meetings and i i've just wondered what is their perspective on this investigation so one of them i tracked down sergeant gunnell and he shared with me why he has continued to follow this committee and why he comes in person take a listen it's part of my coping mechanism i still processing some of these things that happened to me every time i appear to some of these things i learned something new that i didn't learn although i didn't know back then one other thing aspect of it is i want accountability i'm it's personal to me i risk my life for them and i want a full accountability if that means uh making my myself present on in the room so they could see me that's there's a way for me to to hold them accountable and let them know that hey do your job because i'm still looking and i'm still hurt a year and a half after i'm still struggling with some of my injuries because of that horrific day before january 6 one of the things i used to do was be here in the capital patrol talk to people uh and and i don't even have my weapon anymore because of that injury that i sustained for liability purposes you know now what i'm doing is just administrating stuff you know not complaining but that's not what i signed up for that's not what i want to do uh and people need to realize how close we were to losing our democracy that day and one of my takeaways this week from speaking with him and also officer harry dunn who also comes to january 6 meetings is that the trauma is still very real with them you know they come in here every day this is their workplace and and it's hard both of them said it's hard uh the officer that you just saw sergeant gunnell he told me that uh he patrols the capitol or did before the six and he said he still has trouble coming in through one of the entrances that he typically comes would have come through usually and he said it's because that's where he knows he almost lost his life so he can't walk through there alone anymore and i also spoke to officer dunn who told me you know this week has been triggering and he's very anxious to see what this committee is coming up with um and and i just actually talked to uh sergeant yannell he's here right now and he uh is planning on walking in with the widows of two of the men who killed themselves in connection with the events of january 6th so they're very much a reality check on all of this when you see them in these meetings when you see them in the hallway you remember what happened that day thanks so much rhonda a haunting reminder indeed let's bring in our congressional investigations reporter jacqueline alemany she's joining us by phone because she's at the capitol waiting to get into that hearing room jackie thank you so much for joining us you know we were just hearing rhonda talk about the impact this has had on police officers who were just doing their job that day tell us about the witnesses we will hear from tonight especially caroline edwards why is her testimony something to listen for yeah libby thanks so much for having me and i apologize for the background noise there it is a very crowded canon building right now as we're all waiting to get into the caucus room uh 40 minutes ahead of the start time of the hearing but right now i'm i'm actually watching some lawmakers and law enforcement figures slowly filter into the room they're going to be in the audience as well as caroline edwards is going to be featured testimony she is significant because she was the first police officer that sustained serious injuries a traumatic brain injury during the january 6 attack when uh rioters and pro-trump supporters and far-right extremists first breached that security point before entering the capital i think that the committee feels like this opening salvo uh is it important to bring in the american public and and they can best accomplish that by having first-person testimony from people who were in the building that day who actually really suffered firsthand and can convey to the american public the gravity of the events the seriousness the seriousness why it matters and why they should be tuning in we're also going to hear from nick hugh said he is the other live witness on top of a bunch of pre-taped interviews and depositions from various witnesses that have appeared before the committee we're not exactly sure who they're going to feature but we do know that an array of officials did agree to have their testimony videotaped during their interviews but um nick hugh said this is a documentary filmmaker who actually was embedded with a lot of the with enrique tario one of the proud boys the leader of the proud boys uh who uh is being accused uh and was indicted actually this week of seditious conspiracy for um conspiring to attack the capital um and and hugh said uh we are expected to see new and never seen before footage from this documentary that he put together he embedded with his extremists for months ahead of the january sixth attack and uh so far we've you've probably seen the tease of um a bunch of sort of shadowy figures in a parking garage talking very quietly scheming the night before january 5th in downtown d.c enrique tario being one of those even though a judge had just recently ordered that he not be in dc um so a lot of a lot of new pieces of information that we're going to be watching for tonight but i want to stress that word watching this is going to be a very visual presentation tell us more about this question jackie of pre-taped interviews and information the committee has already gathered that they could be unveiling tonight because as you mentioned they've talked to some very high-placed members of the trump administration even trump family members over the last months yeah so i think i i not to beat a dead horse here but this is uh you know an investigation that's going on for 11 months now consists of over so the committee has collected over 140 000 records and documents through various records requests and from actual witnesses and individuals who were somehow connected to the push to overturn the results of the election and uh the committee also conducted over a thousand different interviews with various players um some uh voluntarily who came in uh just out of a patriotic moral obligation and others by force either because they were subpoenaed or were called repeatedly by the committee to come in of course there are a few notable players who did not cooperate but those people are the outliers people like mark meadows peter navarro steve bannon um but uh for the most part uh several uh uh many of the hype most high profile oh i'm so sorry i'm getting an overlay everyone sorry libby hold on one second no worries thank you so much oh i'm sorry sorry for the chaos guys uh anyways um we do know that jared and ivanka trump who both provided interviews to the committee are expected to see some video footage of them answering investigators questions there are senior trump administration officials who also cooperated with the investigation we could be seeing that video footage there's also people like cassidy hutchinson a mid-level aide who worked for mark meadows who witnessed a lot of these events you know she was in the room so to speak outside the oval office the day of january 6 and we also will be hearing from her either in pre-taped video deposition but also potentially as a live witness in the upcoming hearings there are already three scheduled for next week jackie alemany thank you so much really appreciate you talking with us and all the reporting you've been doing so jackie is waiting to get in that room right there that's a hearing room in the cannon house office building and jackie is going to be uh reporting dispatchers live from that hearing room i want to bring james homan into the conversation here you know james jackie was giving us a sense of people who've talked to the committee thus far and how revealing or informative their information may have been what are you going to be listening for to get a sense of the inner workings of of the trump circle the white house as well as uh people involved in his campaign and then the question of trying to overturn the election yeah yeah we have a very good sense of what was going on inside the capitol that has been pretty well established by this point minute by minute we have less of a sense of what was going on inside the white house we know as you said uh in your package that uh if trump eventually went and recorded that video we know that hundreds of people were texting mark meadows then the chief of staff and others pleading with trump to do something we've heard reports about things trump said like maybe the crowd was right that mike pence should be hanged uh but i mean james i want to just pause you right there because that's sort of a casual thing we rattle off now because it's part of the reporting but let's just emphasize that for a moment so there is reporting from the washington post that donald trump seemed apathetic or even keen on the idea of hanging mike pence which is what people were chanting outside the white house his very own vice president the vice president of the united states because he refused to overturn an election it's pretty stunning and you're right we can't lose track of some of this huge news that we've learned ahead of time it will be fascinating to see what really is truly new information committee aides promise that there is video we have not seen that we'll get for the first time tonight uh we there are there's witness testimony that we haven't heard the question is how close will trump himself be linked to the goings-on uh how close were the people who were in touch with the proud boys and the two percenters and the oath keepers and other extremist groups how how much were they talking to people who were talking to trump you know that is potentially the smoking gun uh that we have not yet seen let's bring in national video reporter hannah jewell who is keeping an eye on the reaction to these hearings hannah let's talk about how the media is covering these hearings especially these ones that are happening in prime time well libby uh it really depends which media you're talking about there are two very different narratives that are being shown on national television tonight um one is seen on cbs nbc abc the major um cnn msnbc all these major networks who are going to be airing uh these hearings live in prime time in full as we are tonight and then you have fox news which has decided not to show the um hearings in full in prime time um they will not be preempting their normal programming so while you know abc cbs these these networks are you know decided that the network president decided this is more important to show to americans than you know young sheldon and grey's anatomy and so on um tucker carlson will still be on tonight doing his normal show on fox news they will be airing it on fox business but you have tucker carlson you have laura ingraham all of these people who have actually really been at the forefront of pushing a narrative that uh january 6 was either not that big a deal or was without evidence saying that it was created fostered by the left by antifa those who have been pushing those narratives will be on tonight as usual and there will be a sort of reaction program that they're going to do on fox from 11 p.m or so on and this just shows that there's these two totally different views on this fox news has not been really covering the select committee at all whatsoever they certainly haven't been talking about the proud boys the oath keepers these groups that we might hear about and from um tonight and so it's really separate narratives depending what media americans are consuming hannah how do republican voters view what happened on january 6th well while consuming this conservative media you know it sort of follows that they they really don't see it as much as a big deal a majority of republicans think it is not as huge of a deal as democrats do whereas vast majority of democrats do think it was a huge deal and you have um you have more of a concern really about the tactics among many republicans even those who think that january 6 was very horrifying thought that the protest protesters had a point but went about it wrong and the heart of this is really that you still have this majority of republicans who believe that trump got more votes than biden that there was vast voter fraud again without evidence and that informs this view of january 6 saying well if something as terrible as that happened it sort of makes them more sympathetic characters the protesters themselves even if they didn't like how they went about it so how are the hearings likely to reach voters or change any minds hannah well even nancy pelosi has said that she's sort of downplayed the possibility the potential for these hearings to change minds ahead of the midterms and certainly that's what you have republican lawmakers saying also you had representative elise stefanik saying calling this hearing yesterday a smear campaign and a distraction and saying that there should actually be hearings about issues like gas prices and baby formula senator lindsey graham was on fox earlier saying that this this showing this in prime time particularly was an attempt to change the subject from failed policies is what he was the argument he was making and saying making the case basically that for voters actually you know democrats as well as republicans economic issues remain at the forefront when it comes to informing how they will choose their vote but of course democrats still see this as a huge issue an important issue something that needs to be get into the gotten to the bottom of via these hearings hannah jewell thank you so much about a half hour from now this committee the select committee investigating january 6 we'll gavel in in canon house office building that you see right there a prime time hearing designed to capture the attention of the american public and we will be bringing this to you live and uninterrupted once it gets underway let's bring rhonda colvin back in live with us from the very busy capital as rhonda has talked about a huge media footprint there as there are a lot of eyes and ears on what happens tonight um rhonda let's talk about the focus on capitol hill there is a question as hannah pointed out of democrats deciding how much focus they'll be putting on this as they grapple with other tough issues facing the caucus facing the country right now what are you hearing on capitol hill and in terms of how democrats are thinking about the productivity and importance of these hearings yeah democrats are pretty united that they want this information out they want to start getting the findings out there in this hearing setting to the american people they know that the november midterm election results may not be much in their favor and republicans may take over the house so they know they're working on a timeline so democrats do want this out there even though there are many many issues going on right now whether it is gun reform of course the house passed legislation yesterday on that issue it's not expected to pass the senate although negotiations are still going on on that side of the capitol but uh that's the type of uh balancing act that's going on here in capitol hill where they are having to uh put their attention on these issues that that matter day-to-day but also reacquaint everyone with the violence of january 6 and also what this committee has found of course there if you remember to back last summer there was a lot of disagreement on the hill about this panel between democrats and republicans at first the speaker of the house did want to put republicans on this committee and of course kevin mccarthy the minority leader uh said they would not be participating at all and of course we know the two that are on here are doing it on their own basically against the wishes of their party uh but on the republican side here on the hill they are still continuing to discuss this uh these hearings as well as the panel overall as fraudulent they don't think they have uh the subpoena power that they do and they have been very clear that if they take over the house in uh the fall or the beginning of the next year that they will dissolve this committee so there really hasn't been even though some of the information that's been coming out over the last few months from the committee the drips that we've been getting even though they have been pretty phenomenal if you take a step back and look at some of these things still you see both parties see this investigation very differently at least publicly james homan there is as ronda has stated a a not just a desire a a need by many in this country including democrats to to get these facts figured out on the books saved for history as well as figure out who's responsible and how to prevent an attack on democracy like this in the future but there is the political calculation and question that democrats have to make of just how hungry are the american people for this when they're also worried about inflation and other things so can you parse that out for us sort of the the politics of this moment versus the genuine work that many people want to see done tonight yeah libby that is the tension and democrats also need to make this effort not look overly partisan which is part of the challenge as well the midterm elections are going to be decided based on inflation and gas prices potentially the supreme court abortion decision rising crime those are much more top of mind for voters there is some feeling among democrats on this committee that this might help activate their base perhaps progressives who are frustrated that the build back better bill didn't pass you know that there hasn't been more accomplished maybe this will remind them democrats feel of why they should go vote but there's not really a sense among people involved in this process that it's going to persuade people in the middle on the other hand a part of the democratic campaign strategy this year is to paint republicans as uh as joe biden called them ultra magga and in the thralls of donald trump and so perhaps this series of hearings could remind a lot of americans of why in 2020 they voted against republicans and maybe they haven't liked what the democrats have done maybe they weren't even voting for democrats two years ago but democrats do hope that this reminds voters of of why republicans lost control of the senate rhonda the committee has heard from so many people you know we've talked about how they've talked to 1 000 witnesses but there are members of congress that they still want to hear from tell us about that that's right there are five members of congress that the committee has asked through the last few months that they could come in front of them on a voluntary basis and if we can bring up a screen of those five members they've all been subpoenaed by the committee last month because the committee feels they have pretty uh relevant information from different angles of involvement of january 6 whether it was the planning of it or what the the thinking was in the white house that day for instance you have representative mo brooks of alabama he of course was at that stop the steel rally that preceded the riot and the committee says they have evidence that brooks staff met with pence's staff ahead of january 6 and consulted them that pence should not have any constitution does not have any constitutional ability to overturn the election so uh they want to talk to him he has also said that trump did contact him multiple times to see if he could quote rescind the 2020 election you have andy biggs who uh the committee believes he worked to persuade state officials that the 2020 election was stolen you have representative jim jordan of ohio he most recently was given more time by this panel to appear in front of them the deadline is june 11 so i believe that's saturday and he has said that he wants to hear from them on what evidence they have on him but they say that he could have participated in discussions well before january 6 in fact they think it could have been as early as late 2020 about strategies for overturning the presidential election so that's what the committee says they're interested in hearing from jordan on there's scott perry the committee says he was directly involved with efforts to disrupt the doj and place uh as acting attorney general jeffrey clark and then of course we have minority leader kevin mccarthy he was in communication with trump before during and after january 6 and most recently we've learned that there are tapes that discuss where you hear mccarthy say that he thinks trump should be removed so mccarthy has said that he will not participate as well as all of these members have said they're not going to participate they've said that this committee doesn't have subpoena power to call in uh colleagues basically but there is there is a bit of a precedent with that because the ethics committee in the house has called as a peanut member there there is a little bit of precedent that the uh select committee is likely relying on but there's also the thought that these members could uh perhaps run out the clock that they could tie up their subpoena or negotiations to come in front of this committee over time with their lawyers in this committee and then if they take over in uh november then they would dissolve the committee and not have to uh discuss anything with it so that's where we are right now all the members said they're not going to participate but there do appear to be some sort of discussion at least with lawyers about the power this committee has to call other members of congress ronda there are some people who have been held in contempt of congress and even two who've been indicted tell us about that yeah so so far those who have been indicted include steve bannon of course he was a former aide of uh president trump and also peter navarro who also worked with trump those two the doj decided to take the contempt charges that were referred to them by the january select committee and they have decided to indict them also there were votes to hold mark meadows was the chief of staff at the time and uh mr scovino who worked as the social media director for the white house they were voted to be held in contempt of congress but the doj just days ago said that they have not decided to indict them so that's a difference of opinion between the select committee and the doj the members of this committee have said they are not happy with that decision uh between mccarthy and scovino they say that there shouldn't be any sort of immunity for them but it remains to be seen if any of the other subpoenas like i just mentioned the five lawmakers if any of those could result in any sort of further charges or where they will go political investigations reporter josh dossey joins us now josh how important are those voices that the committee wants to hear from people who are refusing to speak to them well the committee said to certainly do a work around and for example in the case of mark meadows its rely on kathy hutchinson who was a top aide to mr meadows and was in a lot of his meetings have collected more than 20 hours of testimony from her uh in some of the other cases they've gone to junior and low level aid to they believe that proximity around the meetings and the events of that time who are not stonewalling the committee like some of former president trump's top aides how important those voices are though i think it's kind of impossible to know i mean for example on the day of january 6 there was only an inner sanctum of folks who were around the former president uh in close proximity and a lot of those folks are not talking i mean ivanka trump is actually talking uh cassidy hutchinson as i said earlier who was there that day as clocks several other raids have talked but a lot of the closest advisors who were with him in kind of these pivotal moments and knew uh the the actual uh scheming and the strategizing that was going on have told the committee that they are not participating so um i guess the committee's doing the best they can with the people it has it says you know that they've they've got around a lot of those people and they say they've figured out a lot of things and i guess we'll see what are you listening for josh well what i'm listening for tonight is a sense of how uh the committee plans to go ahead i mean the way this hearing has been previewed to my colleague jackie alemany and me and others is that this will be a hearing that focuses heavily on footage tonight um from some of the folks who were uh embedded with these far right figures uh i think kind of violent footage at times and there will be kind of a road map on how the committee plans to proceed from here uh our understanding is that there will not necessarily be any exclusive bomb trail revelations but a sense for the general public okay we're asking you to tune in for six or seven more of these hearings uh here's how we're going to start and here's how we're going to go forward and you know uh what you're going to see in the coming weeks is hearings that focus on the department of justice and the pressure of the former president but there the pres the pressure of the former president put on his vice president the strategy to put together fake electors in various states and then obviously uh what exactly happened that day along with a focus on uh you know disinformation and right-wing extremism uh so i think those are going to be the main thematic buckets that you see the committee take on in the next couple weeks josh you and jackie alemany reported that the january 6 panel was told that former president trump indicated his support for hanging mike pence during the insurrection tell us more so what we reported was that on january 6 mark meadows the former chief of staff told other aides in the white house that former president trump had said that uh the the base this part of where the committee has that is based on the testimony of cassidy hutchinson who is a top aide to meadows at the time uh and we don't have the committee does not as best we know have any first-hand accounting of anyone who was sitting in the room with the former president when he said that but it's relying on an account that mr meadows allegedly provided to others josh dawsey thank you so much about 15 minutes until the committee gavels in and i'm going to now bring in philip bump national correspondent philip welcome to the program you wrote an analysis piece today saying that the riot is not the point what do you mean by that well what i mean is that the riot is simply one manifestation of this broad effort you just heard josh talking about how the committee is looking at a number of things a number of actions that were undertaken by donald trump and his allies in an effort to retain power in an effort to prevent joe biden from becoming president the riot was the most obvious the most violent the most visible manifestation of that fight but there were all these things happening behind the scenes the fake elector's idea is simply the idea of vice president pence getting up there and rejecting electors from certain states there were all of these paths that donald trump and his allies were walking down the riot was simply one of them and it seems pretty clear that what the committee is trying to do is not simply adjudicate what happened with the riot but more broadly this effort trying to parse out and explain this effort at large uh to try and retain power for trump even though he'd lost the 20 election what kind of a playbook or guy does the 911 commission offer this select committee phillip yeah i mean so there had been talk right after the right after the riot of forming that sort of committee that was broadly respected it was bipartisan you had democrats and republicans who were coming together and figure out what happened that led to the 9 11 terror attacks but if you actually look at the report what it did was not just simply say oh here's how this was able to happen here's how they were able to get the planes and and crash them into the world trade center and so on and so forth but it really is a broader look at all of the patterns that led up to it the the growth of al-qaeda how osama bin laden came to power the way in which the united states responded broadly to the threat of international terrorism and so when you compare that to where we are now simply focusing on what happened on the day of the riot at the capitol is like simply focusing on what happened in new york city on 9 11.
That's not what the commission did they looked more broadly at the patterns and circumstances that led up to it and i think that is what we should expect to see from this committee that they're going to look broadly at all the ways that donald trump was trying to retain power not simply the one that manifested in that violence on that day you know a big aspect of what we expect to hear explored tonight philip is the planning and plotting uh that went into the attack and nick custed one of the witnesses who will be live as a filmmaker who was embedded with the proud boys and filming what they were doing what's the significance there what will you be listening for well the proud boys are interesting i i don't think it we can safely say the riot probably would have happened had no one from the proud boys been there but the proud boys were really indicative of a lot of things first of all they had a tie to the to trump world they were they were close to roger stone in rickertario uh the head of the proud boys new stone stone they've provided protection to stone at times in the past uh that they were uh at the forefront of what was happening they weren't the triggers necessarily for everything that occurred but there was a proud boy there that when them at the moment when the first barrier fell on the northwest side of the capitol the proud boy was one of the first people to smash a window in the capital and gain entrance inside and they've been planning for this they've been talking in private chats about about putting together resources about what a plan might look like to actually seize buildings in washington they're all of these things that the proud boys in particular did that mirror or sort of a microcosm of everything that happened over the course of the day and that they had a documentarian there with them on that day i think that's what the appeal is the committee can use the proud boys and use this firsthand familiarity with what they were doing to sort of walk through what happened before and then on the day of the riot itself all right phillip um thank you so much rhonda colvin we just saw some of the officers who you've talked to enter this committee hearing room one of them surrounded by photographers capturing this moment yeah that's right this is a a day that they said that they've been looking forward to not in any sort of you know jovial way or excitement but out of anxiousness they want answers you know they put their bodies on the line uh officer gonnell who we uh played a clip of him earlier he still suffers from uh injuries from that day being crushed by the crowd there's also the mental trauma that we know many officers who responded that day have gone through so what they told me this week is that they they're ready for this they want answers in fact officer dunn who i believe is sitting next to uh sergeant mannell he told me that you know we did our job that day now they need to do theirs and uh i'll just leave it at that because that really says everything there's so many people who want answers about what happened that day and what preceded preceded it well separately from what's happening tonight the criminal justice system is finding investigating and charging the people accused of attacking the capital that day let's bring in mary beth albright who's been tracking the criminal charges so mary beth give us a sense of how many people have been charged at this point and how fast or slow the process is moving well i mean more than 840 people have been arrested in conjunction with the january 6 attack and the most important thing to know about that num 840 number is that it's a work in progress this is an ongoing investigation and some people might say to themselves it's been 18 months what are we still looking for and we need to remember this is not a typical investigation this is a large-scale event with a lot of people and a lot of potential evidence in the form of social media either tweets or images or video exactly what we were just talking about with the documentary evidence and we have to identify people too think about all the news organizations who were there that day on january 6th with all of the footage a lot of the people were masked and we need to find the people need to identify them arrest them charge them and then bring them to trial so it's a process that takes a long time and considering that there is a generally a five-year statute of limitation on federal crimes um this is going to be a while so mary beth what are people being charged with yeah so libby the the charges are wide-ranging and that reflects the wide-ranging activities that happened on january 6.
i've pulled up four charges for the most common charges for us to take a look at and they really range and you'll say you'll see that the first one we're going to take a look at is blocking an entrance and you can imagine that this happens in all sorts of uh protest situations on capitol hill still a crime but if you block an entrance or an exit it is a it is a federal crime to to a federal building now the second one gets higher in seriousness and that is an act of violence in a restricted building meaning a government building and this is obviously a more serious um accusation and there's more serious charge particularly you can get up to 10 years in prison plus a fine if you are found guilty of this of this crime so those are two two laws that are uh related to just federal government buildings and then you get to i have here with me the united states criminal code and in it the the laws are grouped by subject the next two common charges we have are under the subject of obstruction of justice that's because the sanctity of our government and our government processes are so important that we have a special section for them take a look at this one obstruction of an official proceeding if you are found guilty of this you could be imprisoned for up to 20 years plus a fine and remember this is under the same section as things like witness tampering in in a trial and then you get to the next one which is conspiracy so it's that same obstruction of an official proceeding but you're a conspirator you didn't even have to be there on on january 6 in the capital to be convicted of this crime so you can get an idea of how wide-ranging these are and how much of an investigation by the fbi and by the u.s attorney's office in dc needs to take place these charges are particularly problematic because here at the washington post we have an extraordinary data science team and an association with american university we've put together a database that has looked at what kind of affiliations some of the defendants have claimed 78 at least 78 people have claimed a military affiliation and at least 23 have claimed a law enforcement affiliation and this is particularly notable and problematic because in those two positions of public trust you take an oath to protect the constitution of the united states not as you want it to be but as it is and so libby those are particularly interesting cases that we'll be taking a look at so mary beth just today a man who's running as a republican candidate for governor in michigan was arrested on a capital riot charge what is he accused of doing yeah we have updated information on that here at the washington post ryan d kelly who is a republican candidate for the republican gubernatorial primary in michigan that's going to be held in august but he was arrested this morning on four misdemeanor charges now kelly has said that he left the building that he left the capitol generally when it was quote getting crazy and that he didn't even go into the building but the charging documents that we looked at this morning alleges that there is video identification of him inside of the capitol building waving on a mob up one of the main staircases that was initially breached and so his house was searched by the fbi this morning this is a very serious case his uh attorney told the washington post just a couple hours ago that kelly currently has every intention of continuing his campaign in earnest libby thanks so much mary beth albright james homan we're getting images here of this ever growing crowd in the cannon uh house office building i just caught a glimpse of rhonda on the camera there sitting at a table with other reporters as they prepare to cover tonight you know as maribeth is talking about the criminal charges uh how important is it that the committee referenced that but but make the point that that it doesn't end there right that it doesn't end with those individuals and their personal responsibility yeah and and ultimately you know mary beth did a great job of laying out the charges that will face you know the foot soldiers of this insurrection uh but this committee uh there's a different standard of you know public opinion and of the politics uh what's crazy is the guy that she was just talking about uh who's running for governor in michigan i talked to a democratic strategist in michigan a few minutes before we went on the air and he was saying i i think this is actually going to help him in the crowded republican primary you know doug mastriano the republican nominee for governor in pennsylvania uh used campaign funds from his state senate race to bus people down to the capitol walked from the ellipse to right outside the capitol he's cooperating uh with the january sixth committee according to his lawyer so the the this committee's job uh is is less about the people who breached the capitol and more about as phil bump was saying a little bit ago uh the people who were conspiring behind the scenes to get them to break into the capital if if that is in fact what happened let's go to white house bureau chief ashley parker and get her into the conversation before we go live to cover this hearing ashley the big question of course on many people's minds is the responsibility of former president trump and the people around him what will you be listening for as the committee tries to build its case well i'll be looking for sort of all of the details that frankly we in our reporting which which i should say felt uh quite rigorous but were unable to fill in as you know the washington post did this huge uh multimedia digital print project known as the attack where we sort of chronicled the before during and after of january 6.
Um and we had a ton of scoops and a ton of reporting but we also when we put this in the project we had some pools and we had some questions uh we still wanted answers because we were mere reporters and we didn't have subpoena power and we didn't have the ability to get some of those documents and some of those text messages and some of the testimony that this committee uh can get so you know for me um for as much as we found out there was still some sort of just unknowable areas for us of exactly what former president trump was doing on january 6 especially once he became aware of what was going on at the capitol and we know that he was sort of we know that he was watching on television we know that he initially was sort of enjoying it and kind of felt bullied by how fervent he viewed his supporters we know people were racing in and out of the oval and calling people close to him and trying to get him to put out a video or put out a statement or put out a tweet but we don't know you know every word he uttered um and so i'm very curious to see if the committee what the committee was able to uncover that we weren't there's also the question ashley of democracy going forward right and part of the project that you were involved with is looking at the aftermath what does the committee hope to achieve here and what is the exploration they need to do about what happens next how election integrity is preserved in the future well this is interesting because this is one of the sort of internal and we've heard it's been very respectful and collegial um but debates within the committee of sort of how far they should go uh in trying to make in their final report recommendations uh about you know what they think needs to happen to kind of protect democracy uh and there's some disagreement um in part between uh liz cheney on the committee and some of the democrats over that so ashley there's also the question of everything leading up to january 6 and what president trump was doing to try to subvert uh the will of the american people how are you going to be listening for that in this process well again i i one thing when i was sort of reporting and when we conceived about this and we're trying to understand it very much felt in the run-up that there was this moment where there were sort of it was a train um and there were kind of two tracks and there's this moment where it diverges and it goes to this track where former president trump is you know pitching the the big lie the false and absolutely baseless claim that the election was somehow stolen or rigged and and from that flows this idea that if this election was stolen then trump and his allies need to take steps uh to rightfully reclaim the election for himself and you had as it was described to us a couple of dates he dates on the calendar where they thought they could uh make a difference including you know when the electors gathered and of course in each step um it kept on getting deferred and trump and his allies would say well we we didn't succeed on election night um so you know we're kicking it down the road and then we didn't succeed when all the news organizations um you know counted the votes and called it for biden so now we're taking it to december 14th and the last and final date was january 6th where of course we know what happened and so i will sort of be looking for also that moment where you know the train kind of got out of control and went on on one track ashley parker white house bureau chief thank you so much james homan we are looking at this packed hearing room where everything will begin in just a few moments we've seen quite a few of the officers there who were defending the capitol that day who were injured i saw officer harry dunn also officer gannell who rhonda's been talking with former officer fanon officer dunn has a t-shirt on that has the definition of insurrection on it james yeah yeah it really is amazing you know the democrats have really struggled since 2020 with target you know criticism of uh some we're saying defund the police or what have you uh these law enforcement sources uh these officials uh these officers front line officers are such compelling witnesses uh because they underscore that this was not some kind of victimless crime uh that the their you know it wasn't just democracy that was under attack that day it was also these these officers of the law yeah men and women americans let's review in case people are just tuning in we will hear from two live witnesses today caroline edwards a capital police officer one of the first people if not the first person first officer injured in the attack on the capitol we'll also hear from nick houston who's a filmmaker who was embedded with the proud boys james what will be what will we be listening for from him with nick you said he's really going to show that this was not spontaneous that this was not just a bunch of angry insurrectionists or people who were caught up in in a mob but that there was planning and coordination that there was a meeting in a parking garage the night before uh the insurrection to talk through the plan where someone mentions the capital he is going to show his raw tape that will take us inside the deliberations we also anticipate getting a sense tonight james of what exactly the committee will be doing in the coming days and weeks we know there will be six hearings this month they could add on more but we expect them to lay out for us tonight the timeline as well as the plan how the hearings will drill down and focus on variance elements of this you see there the chair benny thompson also the vice chair liz cheney they are going to be presenting and asking questions tonight and the other members seven members of the committee two republicans seven democrats this is live coverage from the washington post stay with us tonight and throughout this month as we cover these prime time hearings as well as daytime hearings live from capitol hill the select committee to investigate the january 6th attack on the united states capitol will be in order without objection the chair is authorized to declare the committee in recess at any point pursuant to house deposition authority regulation 10 the chair announces the committee's approval to release the deposition material presented during tonight's hearing thanks to everyone watching tonight for sharing part of your evening to learn the facts and causes of the events leading up to and including the violent attack on january 6 2021 our democracy electoral system and country i'm benny thompson chairman of the january 6 2021 committee i was born raised and still live in bolton mississippi a town with a population of 521 which is midway between jackson and vicksburg mississippi and the mississippi river i'm from a part of the country where people justify the actions of slavery the ku klux klan and lynching i'm reminded of that dark history as i hear voices today try and justify the actions of the insurrectionists on january 6 20 21.
over the next few weeks hopefully you will get to know the other members my colleagues up here and me we represent a diversity of communities from all over the united states rural areas and cities east coast west coast and the heartland all of us have one thing in common we swore the same oath that same oath that all members of congress take upon taking office and afterwards every two years if they are re-elected we swore an oath to defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic the words of the current oath taken by all of us that nearly every united states government employee takes have their roots in the civil war throughout our history the united states has fought against foreign enemies to preserve our democracy electoral system and country when the united states capital was stormed and burned in 1814 foreign enemies were responsible after war in 1862 when american citizens had taken up arms against this country congress adopted a new oath to help make sure 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.
the police officers who held the line that day honored their oath many came out of that day blooded and broken they still bear those wounds visible and invisible they did their duty they repelled the mob and ended the occupation of the capitol they defended the constitution against domestic enemies so that congress could return uphold our own oath and count your votes to ensure the transfer of power just as we've done for hundreds of years but unlike in 1814 it was domestic enemies of the constitution who stormed the capital and occupied the capital who sought to throt the will of the people to stop the transfer of power and so they did so 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 tests thinking back again to the civil war in the summer of 1864 the president of the united states believed he we would be doomed to bid his bid 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 with me he made a quiet pledge he wrote down the words this morning as for some days past it seems exceedingly probable that this administration will not be reelected then it will be my duty to so cooperate with the president-elect will be my duty lincoln sealed that memo and asked his cabinet secretaries to sign it sight unseen he asked them to make the same commitment he did to accept defeat if indeed defeat was the will of the people to uphold the rule of law to do whatever president who came before him did and whatever 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 don't believe me hear what his former attorney general had to say about it i warn those who watching that this connect contains strong language know just what i've i've been i've had i had three discussions with the president that i can recall one was on november 23rd one was on december 1st and one was on december 14th and i've been through sort of the give and take of those discussions and in that context i made it clear i did not agree with the idea of saying the election was stolen and putting out this stuff which i told the president was [ __ ] and uh you know i didn't want to be a part of it and that's one of the reasons that went into me deciding to leave when i did i observed i think it was on december 1st that you know how can we you can't live in a world where where the incumbent administration stays in power based on its view unsupported by specific evidence that the election that there was fraud in the election bill barr on election day 2020 he was the attorney general of the united states the top law enforcement official in the country telling the president exactly what he thought about claims of a stolen election donald trump had his days in court to challenge the results he was within his rights to seek those judgment in the united states law-abiding citizens have those tools for pursuing justice he lost in the courts just as he did at the ballot box and in this country that's the end of the line but for donald trump that was only the beginning of what became a sprawling multi-step conspiracy aimed at overturning the presidential election aimed at throwing out the votes of millions of americans your votes your voice in our democracy and replacing the will of the american people with his will to remain in power after his turn ended donald trump was at the center of this conspiracy and ultimately donald trump the president of the united states spurred a mob of domestic enemies of the constitution to march down the capitol and subvert american democracy any legal jargon you hear about seditious conspiracy obstruction of an official proceeding conspiracy to defraud the united states boils down to this january 6 was the culmination of an attempted coup a brazen attempt as one riot to put it shortly after january 6 to overthrow the government the violence was no accident it represents senate trump's last stand most desperate chance to halt the transfer of power now you may hear those words and think this is just another political attack on donald trump by people who don't like him that's not the case my colleagues and i all wanted an outside independent commission to investigate january 6th similar to what we had after 9 11.
but after first agreeing to the idea donald trump's allies in congress put a stop to it apparently they don't want january 6 investigated at all and in the last 17 months many of those same people have tried to whitewash what happened on january 6th to rewrite history call it a tourist visit label it legitimate political discourse donald trump and his followers have adopted the words of the songwriter do you believe me or your lying eyes we can't sweep what happened under the rug the american people deserve answers so i come before you this evening not as a democrat but as an american who swore an oath to defend the constitution the constitution doesn't protect just democrats or just republicans it protects all of us we the people and this scheme was an attempt to undermine the will of the people so tonight and over the next few weeks we're going to remind you of the reality of what happened that day but our work must do much more than just look backwards because of our democracy remains in danger the conspiracy to thought the will of the people is not over there are those in this audience who thirst for power but have no love or respect for what makes america great devotion to the constitution allegiance to the rule of law our shared journey to build a more perfect union january 6th and the lies that led to insurrection have put two and a half centuries of constitutional democracy at risk the world is watching what we do here america has long been expected to be a shining city on the hill a beacon of hope and freedom a model for others when we are at our best how can we play that role when our house is in such disorder we must confront the truth with candor resolve and determination we need to show that we are worthy of the gifts that are the birthright of every american that begins here and it begins now with a true accounting of what happened and what led to the attack on our constitution and our democracy in this moment when the dangers of our constitution and our democracy loom large nothing could be more important working alongside the public servants on this dias has been one of the greatest honors of my time in congress it's been a particular privilege to count as a partner in this effort and to count as a friend the gentlewoman from wyoming miss cheney she's a patriot a public servant of profound courage of devotion to her oath and the constitution it's my pleasure to recognize miss cheney for her opening statement thank you very much mr chairman and let me echo uh those words about the importance of bipartisanship and what a tremendous honor it is to work on this committee mr chairman at 6 01 pm on january 6th after he spent hours watching a violent mob besiege attack and invade our capital donald trump tweeted but he did not condemn the attack instead he justified it these are the things and events that happen he said when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously and viciously stripped away from great patriots who've been badly and unfairly treated for so long as you will see in the hearings to come president trump believed his supporters at the capitol and i quote were doing what they should be doing this is what he told his staff as they pleaded with him to call off the mob to instruct his supporters to leave over a series of hearings in the coming weeks you will hear testimony live and on video from more than half a dozen former white house staff in the trump administration all of whom were in the west wing of the white house on january 6th you will hear testimony that quote the president did not really want to put anything out calling off the riot or asking his supporters to leave you will hear that president trump was yelling and quote really angry at advisers who told him he needed to be doing something more and aware of the rioters chance to hang mike pence the president responded with this sentiment quote maybe our supporters have the right idea mike pence quote deserves it you will hear evidence that president trump refused for hours to do what his staff his family and many of his other advisors begged him to do immediately instruct his supporters to stand down and evacuate the capital tonight you will see never-before-seen footage of the brutal attack on our capital an attack that unfolded while a few blocks away president trump sat watching television in the dining room next to the oval office you will hear audio from the brave police officers battling for their lives and ours fighting to defend our democracy against a violent mob donald trump refused to call off tonight and in the weeks to come you will see evidence of what motivated this violence including directly from those who participated in this attack you will see video of them explaining what caused them to do it you will see their posts on social media we will show you what they have said in federal court on this point there is no room for debate those who invaded our capital 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 you will also hear about plots to commit seditious conspiracy on january 6th a crime defined in our laws as conspiring to overthrow put down or destroy by force the government of the united states or to oppose by force the authority thereof multiple members of two groups the oath keepers and the proud boys have been charged with this crime for their involvement in the events leading up to and on january 6th some have pled guilty the attack on our capital was not a spontaneous riot intelligence available before january 6 identified plans to quote invade the capital occupy the capital and take other steps to halt congress's count of electoral votes that day in our hearings to come we will identify elements of those plans and we will show specifically how a group of proud boys led a mob into the capitol building on january sixth tonight i'm going to describe for you some of what our committee has learned and highlight initial findings you will see this month in our hearings as you hear this all americans should keep in fact in mind this fact 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 over multiple months donald trump oversaw and coordinated a sophisticated seven-part plan to overturn the presidential election and prevent the transfer of presidential power in our hearings you will see evidence of each element of this plan in our second hearing you will see that donald trump and his advisors knew that he had in fact lost the election but despite this president trump engaged in a massive effort to spread false and fraudulent information to convince huge portions of the u.s population that fraud had stolen the election from him this was not true jason miller was a senior trump campaign spokesman in this clip miller describes a call between the trump campaign's internal data expert and president trump a few days after the 2020 election i was in the oval office um and at some point in the conversation matt ostkowski who is the lead data person was brought on and i remember he delivered to the president pretty blunt terms that he was going to lose and that was based on mr miller on madd and the data team's assessment of the sort of county by county state by state results as reported correct alex cannon was one of president trump's campaign lawyers he previously worked for the trump organization one of his responsibilities was to assess allegations of election fraud in november 2020 here is one sample of his testimony discussing what he told white house chief of staff mark meadows i remember a call all with uh mr meadows where mr meadows was asking me what i was finding and if i was finding anything and i remember sharing with him that we weren't finding anything that would be sufficient to um change the results in any of the key states when was that conversation probably in november mid to late november i think it was before my child was born and what was mr meadow's reaction to that information i believe the words he used were so there's no there there there's no there there the trump campaign's general counsel matt morgan gave similar testimony he explained that all of the fraud allegations and the campaign's other election arguments taken together and viewed in the best possible light for president trump could still not change the outcome of the election president trump's attorney general bill barr also told donald trump his election claims were wrong repeatedly told the president in no uncertain terms that i did not see evidence of fraud and you know that would have affected the outcome of the election and frankly a year and a half later i haven't seen anything to change my mind on that attorney general barr also told president trump that his allegations about dominion voting machines were groundless i saw absolutely zero basis for the allegations but they were made in such a sensational way that they obviously were influencing a lot of people members of the public that there was this systemic corruption in the system and that their votes didn't count and that these machines controlled by somebody else were actually determining it which was complete nonsense and it was being laid out there and i told them that it was it was uh crazy stuff and they were wasting their time on that and was doing a great grave disservice to the country but president trump persisted repeating the false dominion allegations in public at least a dozen more times even after his attorney general told him they were quote complete nonsense and after barr's resignation on december 23rd the acting attorney general who replaced him jeff rosen and the acting deputy richard donahue told president trump over and over again that the evidence did not support allegations he was making in public many of president trump's white house staff also recognized that the evidence did not support the claims president trump was making this is the president's daughter commenting on bill barr's statement that the department found no fraud sufficient to overturn the election how did that affect your perspective about the election when attorney general barr made that statement it affected my perspective um i respect attorney general barr so i accepted what he said was saying as you will hear on monday the president had every right to litigate his campaign claims but he ultimately lost more than 60 cases in state and federal courts the president's claims in the election cases were so frivolous and unsupported that the president's lead lawyer rudy giuliani not only lost the lawsuits his license to practice law was suspended here's what the court said of mr giuliani giuliani communicated demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts lawmakers and the public at large in his capacity as lawyer for former president donald j trump and the trump campaign in connection with trump's failed effort at re-election in 2020 as you will see in great detail in our hearings president trump ignored the rulings of our nation's courts he ignored his own campaign leadership his white house staff many republican state officials he ignored the department of justice and the department of homeland security president trump invested millions of dollars of campaign funds purposely spreading false information running ads he knew were false and convincing millions of americans that the election was corrupt and that he was the true president as you will see this misinformation campaign provoked the violence on january 6th in our third hearing you will see that president trump corruptly planned to replace the attorney general of the united states so the u.s justice department would spread his false stolen election claims in the days before january 6 president trump told his top justice department officials quote just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the republican congressman senior justice department officials men he had appointed told him they could not do that because it was not true so president trump decided to replace them he offered jeff clark an environmental lawyer at the justice department the job of acting attorney general president trump wanted mr clark to take a number of steps including sending this letter to georgia and five other states saying the u.s department of justice had quote identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election this letter is a lie the department of justice had in fact repeatedly told president trump exactly the opposite that they had investigated his stolen election allegations and found no credible fraud that could impact the outcome of the election this letter and others like it would have urged multiple states to withdraw their official and lawful electoral votes for biden acting deputy attorney general richard donahue described jeff clark's letter this way quote this would be a grave step for the department to take and could have tremendous constitutional political and social ramifications for this country the committee agrees with mr donohue's assessment had clark assumed the role of attorney general in the days before january 6 and issued these letters the ramifications could indeed have been grave mr donohue also said this about clark's plan and i recall toward the end saying what you're proposing is nothing less than the united states justice department meddling in the outcome of a presidential election in our hearings you will hear firsthand how the senior leadership of the department of justice threatened to resign how the white house counsel threatened to resign and how they confronted donald trump and jeff clark in the oval office the men involved including acting attorney general jeff rosen and acting deputy attorney general richard donahue were appointed by president trump these men honored their oaths of office they did their duty and you will hear from them in our hearings by contrast jeff clark has invoked his fifth amendment privilege against self-incrimination and refused to testify representative scott perry who is also involved in trying to get clark appointed as attorney general has refused to testify here as you will see representative perry contacted the white house in the weeks after january 6 to seek a presidential pardon multiple other republican congressmen also sought presidential pardons for their roles in attempting to overturn the 2020 election in our fourth hearing we will focus on president trump's efforts to pressure vice president mike pence to refuse to count electoral votes on january 6.
vice president pence has spoken publicly about this president trump is wrong i had no right to overturn the election the presidency belongs to the american people and the american people alone and frankly there is no idea more on american than the notion that any one person could choose the american president what president trump demanded that mike pence do wasn't just wrong it was illegal and it was unconstitutional you will hear this in great detail from the vice president's former general counsel witnesses in these hearings will explain how the former vice president and his staff informed president trump over and over again that what he was pressuring mike pence to do was illegal as you will hear president trump engaged in a relentless effort to pressure pence both in private and in public you will see the evidence of that pressure from multiple witnesses live and on video vice president pence demonstrated his loyalty to donald trump consistently over four years but he knew that he had a higher duty to the united states constitution this is testimony from the vice president's chief of staff so i think the vice president was proud of his four years of service and he felt like much had been accomplished in 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 the constitution was his first and foremost oath and um and that's that's what he articulated publicly and i think that that's what he felt his fidelity to the constitution was more important than his fidelity to president trump and his death he took yes you'll also hear about a lawyer named john eastman mr eastman was deeply involved in president trump's plans you'll hear from former 4th circuit federal judge michael luedig a highly respected leading conservative judge john eastman clerked for judge ludwig judge ludig provided counsel to the vice president's team in the days before january 6th the judge will explain how eastman quote was wrong at every turn and you will see the email exchanges between eastman and the vice president's council as the violent attack on congress was underway mr jacob said this to me mr eastman thanks to your [ __ ] we are under siege you will also see evidence that john eastman did not actually believe the legal position he was taking in fact a month before the 2020 election eastman took exactly the opposite view on the same legal issues in the course of the select committee's work to obtain information from mr eastman we have had occasion to present evidence to a federal judge the judge evaluated the facts and he reached the conclusion that president trump's efforts to pressure vice president pence to act illegally by refusing to count electoral votes likely violated two federal criminal statutes and the judge also said this if dr eastman and president trump's plan had worked it would have permanently ended the peaceful transition of power undermining american democracy and the constitution if the country does not commit to investigating and pursuing accountability for those responsible the court fears january 6 will repeat itself every american should read what this federal judge has written the same judge judge carter issued another decision on tuesday night just this week indicating that john eastman and other trump lawyers knew that their legal arguments had no real chance of success in court but they relied on those arguments anyway to try to quote overturn a democratic election and you will hear that while congress was under attack on january 6 and the hours following the violence the trump legal team in the willard hotel war room continued to work to halt the count of electoral votes in our fifth hearing you will see evidence that president trump corruptly pressured state legislators and election officials to change election results you will hear additional details about president trump's call to georgia officials urging them to quote find 11 780 votes votes that did not exist and his efforts to get states to rescind certified electoral slates without factual basis and contrary to law you will hear new details about the trump campaign and other trump associates efforts to instruct republican officials in multiple states to create intentionally false electoral slates and transmit those slates to congress to the vice president and the national archives falsely certifying that trump won states he actually lost in our final two june hearings you will hear how president trump summoned a violent mob and directed them illegally to march on the united states capitol while the violence was underway president trump failed to take immediate action to stop the violence and instruct his supporters to leave the capitol as we present these initial findings keep two points in mind first our investigation is still ongoing so what we make public here will not be the complete set of information we will ultimately disclose and second the department of justice is currently working with cooperating witnesses and has disclosed to date only some of the information it is identified from encrypted communications and other sources on december 18 2020 a group including general michael flynn sydney powell rudy giuliani and others visited the white house they stayed late into the evening we know that the group discussed a number of dramatic steps including having the military seize voting machines and potentially re-run elections you will also hear that president trump met with that group alone for a period of time before white house lawyers and other staff discovered the group was there and rushed to intervene a little more than an hour after ms powell mr giuliani general flynn and the others finally left the white house president trump sent the tweet on the screen now telling people to come to washington on january 6th be there he instructed them will be wild as you will see this was a pivotal moment this tweet initiated a chain of events the tweet led to the planning for what occurred on january 6th including by the proud boys who ultimately led the invasion of the capitol and the violence on that day the indictment of a group of proud boys alleges that they planned to oppose by force the authority of the government of the united states and according to the department of justice on january 6 2021 the defendants directed mobilized and led members of the crowd onto the capitol grounds and into the capitol leading to the dismantling of metal barricades the destruction of property the breaching of the capitol building and the assaults on law enforcement although certain former trump officials have argued that they did not anticipate violence on january 6th the evidence suggests otherwise as you will see in our hearings the white house was receiving specific reports in the days leading up to january 6th including during president trump's ellipse rally indicating that elements in the crowd were preparing for violence at the capitol and on the evening of january 5th the president's close advisor steve bannon said this on his podcast all hell is going to break loose tomorrow just understand this all hell is going to break loose tomorrow as part of our investigation we will present information about what the white house and other intelligence agencies knew and why the capital was not better prepared but we will not lose sight of the fact that the capitol police did not cause the crowd to attack and we will not blame the violence that day violence provoked by donald trump on the officers who bravely defended all of us in our final hearing you will hear a moment-by-moment account of the hours-long attack from more than half a dozen white house staff both live in the hearing room and via videotaped testimony there's no doubt that president trump was well aware of the violence as it developed white house staff urged president trump to intervene and call off the mob here is a document written while the attack was underway by a member of the white house staff advising what the president needed to say quote anyone who entered the capitol without proper authority should leave immediately this is exactly what his supporters on capitol hill and nationwide were urging the president to do he would not you will hear that leaders on capitol hill begged the president for help including republican leader mccarthy who was quote scared and called multiple members of president trump's family after he could not persuade the president himself not only did president trump refuse to tell the mob to leave the capitol he placed no call to any element of the united states government to instruct that the capital be defended he did not call his secretary of defense on january 6th he did not talk to his attorney general he did not talk to the department of homeland security president trump gave no order to deploy the national guard that day and he made no effort to work with the department of justice to coordinate and displ and deploy law enforcement assets but vice president pence did each of those things for example here is what general milley the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff testified to this committee two or three calls with vice presidents he was very animated and he issued very explicit uh very direct unambiguous orders there was no question about that and he was and and i can get to the exact quotes i guess from some of our records somewhere but he was very animated very direct very firm uh and to secretary miller get the military down there get the guard down here put down this situation etc by contrast here is general millie's description of his conversation with president trump's chief of staff mark meadows on january 6th he said um we have we have to kill the narrative that the vice president is making all the decisions uh we need to establish the narrative that um you know that the president is still in charge and that things are steady or stable or would suffer i immediately interpret that as politics politics politics red flag for me personally no action but i remember distinctly and you will hear from witnesses how the day played out inside the white house how multiple white house staff resigned and discussed and how president trump would not ask his supporters to leave the capitol it was only after multiple hours of violence that president trump finally released a video instructing the riotous mob to leave and as he did so he said to them quote we love you and you're very special you will also hear that in the immediate aftermath of january 6th members of the president's family white house staff and others tried to step in to stabilize the situation quote to land the plane before the presidential transition on january 20th you will hear about members of the trump cabinet discussing the possibility of invoking the 25th amendment and replacing the president of the united states multiple members of president trump's own cabinet resigned immediately after january 6.
one member of the cabinet suggested that the remaining cabinet officers needed to take a more active role in running the white house and the administration but most emblematic of those days is this exchange of texts between sean hannity and former president uh trump's press secretary kaylee mcinanny sean hannity wrote in part key now no more crazy people no more stolen election talk yes impeachment and 25th amendment are real many people will quit ms mcaney responded in part love that that's the playbook the white house staff knew that president trump was willing to entertain and use conspiracy theories to achieve his ends they knew the president needed to be cut off from all of those who had encouraged him they knew that president donald trump was too dangerous to be left alone at least until he left office on january 20th these are important facts for congress and the american people to understand fully when a president fails to take the steps necessary to preserve our union or worse causes a constitutional crisis we're at a moment of maximum danger for our republic some in the white house took responsible steps to try to prevent january 6th others egged the president on others who could have acted refused to do so in this case the white house counsel was so concerned about potentially lawless activity that he threatened to resign multiple times 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 this is a clip of jared kushner addressing multiple threats by white house counsel pat sipoloni and his team of lawyers to resign in the weeks before january 6th jared are you aware of um instances where uh pat cipoloni threatened to resign i i kind of like i said my interest at that time was on trying to get as many pardons done and i know that you know he was always him and the team were always saying oh we're going to resign we're 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 whining there's a reason why people serving in our government take an oath to the constitution as our founding fathers recognize democracy is fragile people in positions of public trust are duty bound to defend it to step forward when action is required 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 and that oath must mean something 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 finally i ask all of our fellow americans as you watch our hearings over the coming weeks please remember what's at stake remember the men and women who have fought and died so that we can live under the rule of law not the rule of men i ask you to think of the scene in our capital rotunda on the night of january 6th there in a sacred space in our constitutional republic the place where our presidents lie in state watched over by statues of washington and jefferson lincoln and grant eisenhower ford and reagan against every wall that night encircling the room there were swat teams men and women in tactical gear with long guns deployed inside our capitol building there in the rotunda these brave men and women rested beneath paintings depicting the earliest scenes of our republic including one painted in 1824 depicting george washington resigning his commission voluntarily relinquishing power handing control of the continental army back to congress with this noble act washington set the indispensable example of the peaceful transfer of power what president reagan called nothing less than a miracle the sacred obligation to defend this peaceful transfer of power has been honored by every american president except one as americans we all have a duty to ensure that what happened on january 6th never happens again to set aside partisan battles to stand together to perpetuate and preserve our great republic thank you mr chairman as we provide answers to american people about january 6th it's important that we remember exactly what took place that this was no tourist visit to the capitol most of the footage we are about to play has never been seen the select committee obtained it as a part of our investigation this isn't easy to watch i want to warn everyone that this video includes violence and strong language without objection i include in the record a video presentation of the violence of january 6th [Applause] yeah just for awareness be advised there's probably about 300 uh proud boys they're marching eastbound and this 400 block of um kind of independence actually on the mall towards the united states capital i am not allowed to say what's going to happen today because everyone's just going to have to watch for themselves but it's going to happen something's going to happen oh [Music] i hope mike is going to do the right thing i hope so i hope so because if mike pence does the right thing we win the election all vice president pence has to do is send it back to the states to recertify and we become president and you are the happiest people mike pence is going to have to come through for us and if he doesn't that will be a sad day for our country because you'll never take back our country with weakness you have to show strength and you have to be [Applause] cruiser 50.
It stronger look like we're going to have an ad hoc march stepping off here there's a crowd search heading east we love trump we love trump we love trump we love trump we love mike pence i hope you're going to stand up for the good of our constitution and for the good of our country and if you're not i'm going to be very disappointed in you i will tell you right now [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Applause] preach the line we need backups [Applause] [Music] madam speaker the vice president and the united states senate [Applause] we're going to give ryan warning one advisor trying to bridge to get to the capitol [Music] [Applause] we're trying to make our way through all this [Applause] oh [Applause] [Applause] of the capitol coming up for levels these guys they're requesting additional resources on the east side as they've broken into that window and they're trying to kick it in [Music] without objection the chair declares the house in recess pursuant to clause 12b of rule courage to do one should have been done to protect our country and our constitution giving states a chance to certify a corrected set of facts not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify u.s demands [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Applause] oh [Applause] we can't hold this we're gonna get too many [ __ ] people here look at this [ __ ] vantage point [Applause] [Music] we need an area for the house members they're all walking over now through the tunnels [Applause] we need support [Applause] [Applause] come back [Applause] [Music] [Music] [Applause] first [Applause] h208 with four members the doors barricade there's people plunging the hallways outside we have no way out a vast officer is still remaining on the house floor in the on the third floor to use the subway themselves it's time to evacuate so we can secure [Applause] [Music] [Applause] and whatever it takes i'll lay my life down if it takes absolutely that's why we showed up today [Applause] get him up [Music] [Applause] up [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] they were peaceful people these were great people the crowd was unbelievable and i mentioned the word love the love the love in the air i've never seen anything like it pursuant to the order of the committee of tonight the chair declares the committee in recess for a period of approximately 10 minutes the january 6 select committee pausing for a brief recess this is live coverage from the washington post they're letting this moment breathe a moment in which we watched a timeline a chronological series of events of what happened on january 6 as the capital was being attacked presented by the chair and vice chair benny thompson and liz chaney we anticipate hearing some live testimony yet tonight let's go to james homan to talk about what the committee is doing today james let's work backwards we'll talk in a moment about the opening statements but first let's start where the committee has left off with those harrowing and horrific images of law enforcement under attack defending the capital trying to protect one another in some cases from being killed and the lawlessness of the men and women who were trying to breach and successfully did breach the capital i think we have a trouble with james's microphone so we'll get that ironed out in just a moment i think we've got you now james go ahead i would add hunting to your description the the videos are are really haunting and they are letting these breathe right now the the clips that we hadn't seen before included surveillance footage of kevin mccarthy's office uh he's the house leader who today was attacking the committee's work and you saw all of the republican staffers in leader mccarthy's office scurrying for their lives uh and then you know you see the the rioters going into nancy pelosi's office as they're creepily yelling nancy and hang mike pence and and you see the vitriol aimed directly at the the members of law enforcement who are just doing their jobs it really is remarkable that there was not more bloodshed that day only uh one of the rioters was fatally shot by police inside the capitol and when you see those videos and that level of confrontation it really is uh just remarkable uh that there was not more bloodshed yeah i mean it's incredible that that police didn't start shooting people as they were breaking into the united states capital frankly um we know that over 140 officers were injured that day we know that one officer died as you mentioned and four officers killed themselves in the subsequent weeks and months afterward their stories are part of the narrative that we will be hearing over the next weeks from this committee yeah absolutely and uh that word is a is an interesting one narrative i was really struck in the the videos that were played of uh how mark milley the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff recounted mark meadows calling him as this was unfolding what we just saw and saying we need to change the narrative that uh the president isn't in control of things that really encapsulates what we've seen for the last year and a half which is a fight by people close to the former president to control the narrative of that day and playing these these raw accounts playing the clips of these depositions is about reclaiming the narrative to reflect the reality okay so we have seen clips of people who have testified before this committee including ivanka trump james including jared kushner and others what stood out to you so far and what we've heard from those excerpts i the the jared kushner clip where he dismissed all the what he called whining of various white house lawyers who were threatening to resign uh the the fact that bill barr the former attorney general uh used profanity to to describe telling trump that uh there was nothing to his allegations of fraud the mark meadows white house chief of staff saying to one of trump's own campaign lawyers there's no there there as it related to their accounts of fraud it's it's important to establish that this isn't something trump really believed trump you know we saw them laying out knew that these allegations were false but he made them anyway uh and that makes it all the more damning and the fact that the the most damning video clips were played as part of the opening statement by liz chaney also seemed quite relevant this is a republican congresswoman and uh she was playing clips of republican officials talking uh not just one or two but you know more than a dozen and so it it it made it seem like less of a partisan exercise well the very first tape that we heard tonight came from former attorney general bill barr during the committee chairman benny thompson's opening statement thompson played a clip of bar describing what barr said he told former president trump about the outcome of the election let's listen i had three discussions with the president that i can recall one was on november 23rd one was on december 1st and one was on december 14th and i've been through sort of the give and take of those discussions and in that context i made it clear i did not agree with the idea of saying the election was stolen and putting out this stuff which i told the president was [ __ ] and uh you know i didn't want to be a part of it and that's one of the reasons that went into me deciding to leave when i did i observed i think it was on december 1st that you know how can we you can't live in a world where where the incumbent administration stays in power based on its view unsupported by specific evidence that the election that there was fraud in the election james what's the significance of hearing that as the very first piece of tape uh in in in this opening series of hearings it really is essential to establishing that it seems clear the committee wants to do this that trump broke the law that trump knowingly was trying to violate his constitutional oath but also the electoral count act and having the nation's chief law enforcement officer recount contemporaneously uh that that the president was told that what he was saying was [ __ ] to use barr's word uh does support that argument uh not just in the court of public opinion but as liz cheney was saying in in the court of law as well it shows that trump had knowledge that what he was saying publicly was false and bilbar resigned in december so he designed resigned december 14th after the election but far before the attack on the capitol let's go to rhonda coleman who's joining us by phone she's in the committee room rhonda what is the atmosphere like in there well i can tell you that video that we just saw from different angles of the riot the group's coming down constitution trying to get into the capitol i can tell you that i think everyone in the room gave it all of their attention i saw most eyes on the screen i glanced at the area where audience members are sitting and there are some members of congress in there and one looked visibly upset and she appeared to be crying it's really hard to see those scenes i know personally for me as someone who is inside the complex that day to see those scenes to see how it's built over a short period of time it was very tough to watch i also kept my eye on the officers who are here they're sitting in the front row i could see they were having a little bit of a tough time as well watching that i mean you know for the last year and a half we've seen the images we've seen photographs we think we've seen it all and we felt it all but when you see it in that type of layout that the committee just showed us it's hard to watch it just it kind of refreshes the moment and of course we know that's what the committee uh set out to do tonight is remind everyone what that day was like we're seeing the witnesses seated at the table we're going to hear this evening from caroline edwards a capitol police officer and nick houston a filmmaker who was embedded with the proud boys you see the chairman there benny thompson we will go back to this hearing live as soon as he gavels back in rhonda colvin is one of our reporters who is there in the hearing room watching all of this unfold in person rhonda before we let you go um they're really trying to make a seamless effort to take people let's go back to the hearing room now we'll talk to rhonda later the committee will be in order i want to thank our witnesses for being with us this evening to share their firsthand accounts of that terrible day i know that some of the witnesses from our first hearing are in the room with us along with some of the family members friends and widows of the officers who lost their lives as a result of the attack thank you all for being here for us and the american people officer carolyn edwards has been with the united states capitol police since 2017.
on january 6th officer edwards was assigned to the first responder unit which serves as the first line of defense at the capitol complex she also served as a member of the civil disturbance unit a special subset of the uniform division trained to respond to mass demonstration events officer edwards is a graduate of the university of georgia and currently is working on a master's degree in intelligence analysis from john hopkins university nick quisted is an acclaimed filmmaker who credits include documenting stories from war zones in afghanistan syria and iraq on january 6th mr quickstar was working on a documentary about quote why americans are so divided when americans have so much in common end quote during that day mr quested interviewed and documented movements of the people around the capitol including the first moments of the violence against the capitol police and the chaos that it ensued i will now swear in our witnesses the witnesses will please stand and raise your right hand do you swear and affirm on the penalty of perjury that the testimony you're about to give is the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god that directly reflect the witnesses answered in the affirmative without objection the witness's statement will be included in the record pursuant to section 5c 8 of house resolution 503 i recognize myself for questioning as you saw just a few minutes ago the proud boys instigated the first breach of the capitol just before one o'clock p.m where rioters pushed over barricades near the peace circle at the foot of the capitol our two witnesses tonight were both there at the time of that first breach officer edwards was standing with other officers behind a line of back racks that marked the perimeter of the capitol grounds she bravely tried to prevent an angry crowd from advancing on the capitol unfortunately she was overrun and knocked unconscious as a crowd advanced on the capitol mr quikster was a few yards away from officer edwards taking footage of the proud boys as part of his work on a documentary film most of his footage has never been shown publicly before we shared it this evening officer edwards i'd like to start by asking if you could tell us why you believe it's important for you to share your story this evening with the committee and the american public please your microphone um well thank you mr chairman i really appreciate it and thank you to the committee for having me here to testify um i was called a lot of things on january 6 2021 in the days thereafter i was called nancy pelosi's dog called incompetent called a hero and a villain i was called a traitor to my country my oath and my constitution in actuality i was none of those things i was an american standing face to face with other americans asking myself how many times many many times how we had gotten here i had been called names before but never had my patriotism or duty been called into question i who got up every day no matter how early the hour or how late i got in the night before to put on my uniform and to protect america's symbol of democracy i who spent countless hours in the baking sun and freezing snow to make sure that america's elected officials were able to do their job i whose literal blood sweat and tears were shed that day defending the building that i spent countless holidays and weekends working in i am the proud granddaughter of a marine that fought in the battle of the chosen reservoir in the korean war i think of my papa often in these days how he was so young and thrown into a battle he never saw coming and answered the call at a great personal cost how he lived the rest of his days with bullets and shrapnel in his legs but never once complained about his sacrifice i would like to think that he would be proud of me proud of his granddaughter that stood her ground that day and continued fighting even though she was wounded like he did many years ago i am my grandfather's granddaughter proud to put on a uniform and serve my country they dared to question my honor they dared to question my loyalty and they dared to question my duty i'm a proud american and i will gladly sacrifice everything to make sure that the america my grandfather defended is here for many years to come thank you officer edwards your story and your service is important and i thank you for being here tonight mrs quiksted i also like to ask you to introduce yourself can you tell us how you found yourself in washington dc on january 6 2021 good evening uh chair and madam vice chair thank you for the introduction um as stated in the winter of 2020 i was working on a documentary as part of that documentary i filmed several rallies in washington dc on december 11th and december the 12th and i learned there would be a rally on the mall in on january 6.
so my three colleagues and i came down to document the rally according to the permit of the event there was going to be a rally at the ellipse we arrived at the mall and observed a large contingent of proud boys marching towards the capital we filmed them [Music] and almost immediately i was separated from my colleagues i documented the crowd turned from protesters to rioters to insurrectionists i was surprised at the size of the group the anger and the profanity and for anyone who didn't understand how violent that event was i saw it i documented it and i experienced it i heard incredibly aggressive chanting and i shared subsequently shared that footage with the authorities i'm here today s pursuant to a house subpoena thank you so much thank you mr quested the select committee has conducted extensive investigative work to understand what led the proud boys and other rioters to the capitol on january 6.
we've obtained substantial evidence showing that the president's december 19th tweet calling his followers to washington d.c on january 6th energized individuals from the proud boys and others extremist groups i'd like to play a brief video highlighting some of this evidence my name is marcus childress and i'm an investigative counsel for the select committee to investigate the january 6 attack on the united states capital what do you want to call them give me your name give me a white supremacist you'd like me to continue stand back and stand by after he made this comment enrique theriot then chairman of the proud boys said on parlor standing by sir during our investigation we learned that this comment during the presidential debate actually led to an increase in membership from the proud boys would you say that proud boys numbers increased after the stand back standby comment exponentially i'd say tripled probably with the potential for a lot more eventually and did you ever sell any stand back and stand by merchandise uh one of the vendors on my page actually beat me to it but i wish i would have i wish i would have made a stand back standby shirt on december 19th president trump tweeted about the january 6 rally and told attendees be there will be wild many of the witnesses that we interviewed were inspired by the president's call and came to dc for january 6.
But the extremists they took it a step further they viewed this tweet as a call to arms a day later the department of justice describes how the proud boys created a chat called the ministry of self-defense leadership chat in this chat the proud boys established a command structure in anticipation of coming back to dc on january 6th the department of justice describes mr tario coming into possession of a document called the 1776 returns which describes individuals occupying key buildings around the united states capital the oath keepers are another group that the committee investigated you better get your ass to d.c folks this saturday yeah if you don't there's there'll be no more republic but we're not going to let that happen it's not even if it's it's either president trump is encouraged and bolstered strengthened to do what he must do or we wind up in a bloody fight we all know that the fight's coming the oath keepers began planning to block the peaceful transfer of power shortly after november 3rd election and according to the department of justice stuart rhodes the oath keeper's leader said to his followers that we were not going to get through this without the civil war in response to the december 19th 2020 tweet by president trump the oath keepers focused on january 6 in washington d.c in response to the tweet one member the president of the florida chapter put on social media the president called us to the capitol he wants us to make it wild the goal was for the oath keepers to be called to duty so that they could keep the president in power although president trump had just lost the election the committee learned that the oath keepers set up quick reaction forces outside of the city in virginia where they stored arms the goal of these quick reaction forces was to be on standby just in case president trump invoked the insurrection act did vo keepers ever provide weapons to members i'm going to incline to answer that and put them in the grounds for uh and due process trials in footage obtained by the committee we learned that on the night of january 5th enrique tario and stuart rhodes met in a parking garage in washington d.c there's mutual respect there i think we're we're fighting the same fight and i think that's what's important the committee learned that the oath keepers went into the capitol through the east doors and two stack formations the doj alleges that one of the stacks went into the capitol looking for speaker pelosi although they never found her as the attack was unfolding mr tario took credit and documents obtained by the department of justice mr tario said in an encrypted chat made no mistake and we did this [Music] later on that evening mr tario even posted a video which seemed to resemble him in front of the capitol with a black cape and the title of the video was premonition the evidence developed by the select committee and the department of justice highlights how each group participated on the attack on the capitol on january 6.
In fact the investigation revealed that it was individuals associated with the proud boys who instigated the initial breach at the peace circle at 12 53 pm [Applause] within 10 minutes rioters had already filled the lower west plaza [Applause] by two o'clock rioters had reached the doors on the west and the east plazas and by 213 rioters had actually broken through the senate wing door and got into the capitol building a series of breaches followed at 2 25 pm rioters reached the east side doors to the rotunda and then right after 2 40 pm riders breached the east side doors near the ways and means room [Applause] once the rioters infiltrated the capitol they moved to the crypt the rotunda the hallways leading to the house chambers and even inside the senate chambers individuals associated with two violent extremist groups have been charged with seditious conspiracy in connection with the january sixth attack one is the oath keepers they are a group of armed anti-government extremists the other group is the proud boys they promote white supremacist beliefs and have engaged in violence with people they view as their political enemies members of both groups have already pled guilty to crimes associated with the january sixth attack mr quested as part of the documentary you've been filming you gain access to the proud boys and their leader enrique tario your crew filmed them in washington dc on the evening of january 5th and then on january 6th on january 5th the night before the attack you were with the head of the proud boys mr tario in washington d.c what happened um we picked up mr tario from jail uh he'd been arrested for carrying um some magazines uh some long some extra capacity magazines and for the he took responsibility for the burning of the black lives matter flag that was stolen from the church on december the 12th we um we were attempting to get an interview with mr tario we had no idea of any of the events that were going to subsequently happen [Music] we drove him to pick up his bags from the property department of the police which is just south of the mall we picked up his bags and went to get some other bags from the phoenix hotel where we encountered mr stewart rhodes uh from the oath keepers um [Music] by the time i'd gone to park the car my colleague was saying who'd got into the car with mr terrio that they had moved to a location around the corner the parking garage of the hall of legends i believe and so we quickly drove over there we drove down into the parking garage and filmed the scene of mr tario and mr rhodes and certain other individuals in that garage we then continue to follow mr tario there was some discussion about where he was going to go he ended up going towards a hotel in baltimore and we conducted an interview with him in the hotel room and then we returned to dc for that night uh in a um and what was interesting that night actually was that was the first indication that dc was much more um busy than it had been any other time we'd been here because we couldn't get into the hotels we wanted to and we um ended up at a hotel that you know was not as satisfactory as we would hoped thank you so what you're saying is you filmed the meeting between mr tario and oath keepers leader stewart rose right indeed you couldn't hear what was said but according to the justice department indictment of mr tario a participant referenced the capital now on the morning of january 6th you learned the proud boys would gather near the rallies scheduled to take place near the white house what time did you meet up with the proud boys and what was happening when they met we met up with the proud boys somewhere around 10 30 a.m and they were starting to walk down the mile easterly direction towards the capital there was a large contingent more than i had expected and i was confused to a certain extent why we were walking away from the president's speech because that's what um i felt we were there to cover so at 10 30 a.m uh that's early in the day that's even before the president trump had started speaking am i correct yes sir so how many proud boys would you estimate were marching together to the capitol um a couple of hundred potentially yeah i say a couple of hundred proud boys were marching towards the capital at that point at the time was the area heavily guarded no that was we remember we walked past the we walked down the mall we walked to the right of the reflecting pool and then north along the road that leads to the peace circle and as we were walking past the peace circle i framed the proud boys to the right of my shot with the capital behind and we see one sole police officer at the barriers which subsequently breached we then walk up and past a um tactical unit preparing and there's you see that in the film where the man questions their duty and their honor and you see maybe a dozen capital police putting on their riot gear so how would you describe the atmosphere at that that time the atmosphere was it seemed to be much darker i i make efforts to create um familiarity between myself and my subjects to you know make them feel comfortable and um the the atmosphere was much darker than at this day than and had been in these other in these other in these other days and there was also a contingent of proud boys that i hadn't met before from arizona who appeared to wear these orange hats and had orange armbands so when the proud boys went back down the hill to the peace circle did a larger crowd start together well no first of all we went round to the back and down the steps and we took some photographs on the east side of the capitol and then we went for lunch we went for tacos so mr question you're a journalist so you are careful to stick to things that you have observed but what you've told us is highly relevant let me highlight a few key facts that you and others have provided the committee first there was a large group of proud boys present at the capitol we know that from multiple sources you now estimate that there were around 250 to 300 individuals that you've testified they weren't there for president trump's speech we know this because they left that area to march toward the capitol before the speech began they walked around the capitol that morning i'm concerned this allowed them to see what defenses were in place and where weaknesses might be and they decided to launch their attack at the peach peace circle which is a front door of the capital complex it's the first security perimeter that those marching from the ellipse would have to come to as they moved toward the capitol the peace circle walk away was walkway was always where the thousands of angry trump supporters would arrive after president trump sent them from the lips the proud boys timed their attack to the moments before the start of the joint session in the capitol which is also where president trump directed the angry mob quote we fight like hell end quote he told them before sending them down pennsylvania avenue right to where the proud boys gathered and where you were filming now central question is whether the attack on the capitol was coordinated and planned what you witnessed is what a coordinated and planned effort would look like it was the culmination of a months-long effort spearheaded by president trump mr question thank you for your eyewitness account of the lead lead-up to the breach of the pre-circle this brings us to a point in time where you and officer edwards were in close proximity at this point i reserved a balance of my time pursuant to 5 seat section 8 of house resolution 503 the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from wyoming miss cheney for questioning thank you very much mr chairman officer edwards i want to start by thanking you for your service and thank you for your courage thank you for being here this evening i know that it's not easy to relive what happened for you and and for the officers behind you and for the family members of officers uh in in the audience this evening um but it's it's really important for the country and to have a full accounting and understand what happened i want to start officer edwards with a short clip that shows the horrible moment when you were injured as the peace circle was breached [Applause] yes [Applause] [Music] [Applause] officer edwards can you describe uh the crowd that had assembled at the peace circle as as you and your fellow officers uh stood behind and guarded the bike racks at the peace circle yes so um there were about i want to say about five of us on that line um and there were so there was our bike rack and then at the bottom of the pennsylvania avenue walkway or right by peace circle there was another bike rack and so the crowd had kind of gathered there it was the crowd led by joseph biggs and they were mostly in civilian clothes there were some who had military fatigues on we could see people with bulletproof vests on you know things like that they didn't seem you know extremely cohesive but they had gathered there in their outfits but they had gathered there together and joseph biggs started he had a mic or a megaphone and he started talking about you know first it was things kind of relating to congress and then the table started turning once the um what is now that the arizona group is what you said the crowd with orange hats they came up chanting [ __ ] antifa and they joined that group and once they joined that group joseph biggs rhetoric turned to the capitol police he started asking us questions like you've you didn't miss a paycheck during the pandemic um mentioning stuff about our pay scale was mentioned and you know started turning the tables on us and i've worked i can you know conservatively say probably hundreds of civil disturbance events i know when i'm being turned into a villain and that's when i turned to my sergeant and i stated the understatement of the century i said sarge i think we're going to need a few more people down here um and so after that you know i think they started conferring they went a little silent they started conferring among each other i saw um the person now identified as ryan samsel he put his arm around joseph begs and they were talking and then they started approaching the first barricade they ripped the first barricade down and they approached our bike racks you know at that time [Music] we started holding on grabbing the bike racks you know there weren't many of us so i grabbed the middle between two different bike racks and you know i i wasn't under any pretense that i could hold it for very long but i just wanted to you know make sure that we could get more people down and get our cdu units time to to answer the call so we started grappling over the bike racks i felt the bike rack come on top of my head and i was pushed backwards and my foot caught the stair behind me and i my chin hit the handrail and then i at that point i had blacked out but my um the back of my head clipped the concrete stairs behind me and you were knocked unconscious is that right officer edwards yes ma'am um but then when you regained consciousness even with the injuries you returned to duty is that right yes ma'am um you know at that time adrenaline kicked in i ran towards the west front and i tried to hold the line at the senate steps at the lower west terrace um more people kept coming at us it just seemed like you know more and more people started you know coming on to the west front they started overpowering us and that was right about when mpd's officers showed up their bike officers pushed the crowd back and allowed our cdu units as well as theirs to form that line that you see that very thin line between us and the protesters or the rioters um you know at that time i fell behind that line and for a while i started [Music] decontaminating people who had gotten sprayed um and treating people medically who who needed it and then you were injured again uh there on the west terrace is that right officer edwards yes ma'am so um after a while i got back on the line um i got it was on the house side of the lower west terrace and um i was holding that line for a while there weren't many of us over there and officer siknik was behind me for most of the time for about 30 to 45 minutes that i was down there um we were just as the best we could we were just you know grappling over bike racks and trying to hold them as quick as possible all of the sudden i see movement to the left of me and i turned and it was officer sicknick with his head in his hands and he was ghostly pale which i i figured at that point that he had been sprayed and i was concerned my uh you know cop cop alarm bells went off um because if you get sprayed with pepper spray you're going to turn red he turned um just about as pale as this sheet of paper and so i looked back to see what had hit him what had happened and that's when i got sprayed in the eyes as well i was taken to be decontaminated by another officer but we didn't get the chance because we were then tear gassed and we um are going to play just a brief clip of that moment that you've just described officer edwards [Applause] officer edwards i just want to thank you for being here and and i know again how difficult it is i know um the family of officer stiknick as well who's here tonight um and um one of the things one of the capitol police officers said to me recently was to ask me whether or not as members of congress all of us understood that on that day on january 6 when we were evacuated from the chamber were led to a safe undisclosed location whether we knew that that so many of you had rushed out of the building and into the fight and i can assure you that we do know that and that we understand how important your service is thank you for your continued work with our committee and the interviews and thank you very much for both of you for being here this evening mr chairman i yield back thank you very much uh ms edwards um can you give us one memory of that awful day that stands out most vividly in your mind i can um that time when i talked about falling behind mpd's line i remember because i had been kind of shielded away because i was holding those stairs so i wasn't able to really see what was going on over here when i fell behind that line and i saw can just remember my my breath catching in my throat because i what i saw was just a war scene it was something like i'd seen out of the movies i i couldn't believe my eyes there were officers on the ground you know they were bleeding they were throwing up they were you know they had i mean i saw friends with blood all over their faces i was slipping in people's blood um you know i i was catching people as they fell i you know i was it was carnage it was chaos i i can't i can't even describe what i saw i never in my wildest dreams did i think that as a police officer as a law enforcement officer i would find myself in the middle of a battle you know i'm trained to detain you know a couple of subjects and and handle you know handle a crowd but i'm not combat trained and that day it was just hours of hand-to-hand combat hours of dealing with things that were way beyond any any a law enforcement officer has ever trained for um and i just remember it i just remember that moment of stepping behind the line and just seeing the absolute war zone that the west front had become let me thank you for your service and obviously your bravery that you have told the world about tonight uh it's unfortunate that you had to defend the capital uh from fellow americans none of us would ever ever think that that would have to happen but it did so let me thank our witnesses for joining us tonight and sharing their experiences with america throughout my chairmanship of this committee i've continuously vowed that this committee will ensure a comprehensive account of the heroic acts on january 6 and that we will follow the facts wherever they lead your testimony is an essential part of that record and helps us do our job mr quested thank you for sharing your footage and your account of the day's events with us the images you recorded and have shared with the committee do a better job than any of our words in reinforcing the violence of january 6.
we hope that the power of your footage helped encourage all americans to consider how citizens with such so much in common could viciously brawl at the seat of their democratic government officer edwards thank you for your brave service as i indicated on january 6th and all you did to protect us and most importantly our democracy if you and your fellow officers hadn't held the line against those violent insurrectionists we can only imagine the disaster that would have ensued your heroism is the face of danger is admirable and your will to continue to protect and serve despite your serious injuries should be an inspiration to all of us we wish you a continued recovery and look forward to seeing you back in uniform sometime soon the members of the select committee may have additional questions for tonight's witnesses and we ask that you respond expeditiously in writing to those questions without objections members we permitted 10 business days to submit statements for the record including opening remarks and additional questions for the witnesses the witnesses have just told us what they heard the rioters saying why they stormed the capitol on that day now we're going to hear it from the rioters themselves without objection i include in the record a video presentation [Applause] [Music] what really made me want to come was the fact that you know i had supported trump all that time uh i did believe you know that the election was being stolen um and trump asked us to come he personally asked for us to come to d.c that day and i thought for everything he's done for us if this is the only thing he's going to ask me i'll do it we're going to walk down to the capitol did you call president trump mentioning going to the capitol during his speech oh yeah so that's one of my disappointments he said he was going to go and go with us that he was going to be there i know why i was there and that's because he called me there and he laid out what is happening in our government he laid it out but i remember donald trump telling people to be there right i mean to support so you mentioned the pres that the president asked you uh do you remember a specific message basically yeah yes for us to come to dc i think things are going to happen what got me interested he said i have something very uh important to say on january 6 or something like that as what what one what got me interested to be there you know trump has only asked me for two things he asked me for my vote he asked me to come on january 6 when the committee reconvenes next week we're going to examine the lies that convince those men and others to storm the capital to try to stop the transfer of power we're going to take a close look at the first part of trump's attack on the rule of law when he hit the fuse that ultimately resulted in the violence of january 6th without objection and with with that the committee stands are joined with the bang of the gavel the chairman benny thompson has ended this first public hearing of this month of the select committee their next public hearing as you heard is monday morning testimony tonight from a capitol police officer injured defending the capitol grounds and a filmmaker who documented the extremist group the proud boys committee members are building their case that the january 6 attack on the capitol was coordinated and that former president donald trump fomented the riot and then did nothing to stop it you see their committee members not just the chair and the vice chair but the other seven members this committee is comprised of two republicans seven democrats this is live coverage from the washington post we will be back on monday morning we'll be on air starting at 9 30 a.m so please join us then james homan i want to talk about what we heard tonight it was such uh compelling and personal testimony from officer edwards as she recalled what happened and we saw that footage and heard her relay her experience you see her just toppled to the ground pushed over with that bike rack and then she got back up and kept defending the capital she talked a lot about officer siknik and what everyone in that room knows and hopefully her audience does too is that officer sicknick later died james yeah she she recalled seeing this pale look that didn't look right and if she after she hit her head and was knocked unconscious and came back she described slipping uh in people's blood as she was trying to hold the line uh and saying there at the end that i'm not combat trained that day was just hours of hand-to-hand combat i think we saw why fox news didn't carry that that hearing live just damning testimony especially there with that video at the end with all those members of the crowd saying that they were there because donald trump told them to come committee members are talking right now to officers who were injured that day officers who have testified before this committee last year who we've heard them speak about everything from being crushed in doors and by by attackers to being called racial slurs as officer dunn was right there uh to being pepper sprayed in the face having their their masks ripped off of them um james why revisit this tonight right because they have already taken testimony from these officers publicly the the frosted glass of memory is a is a weird thing libby and you watch those deposition interview clips uh and those are multi-hour interviews that have been boiled down to shortage sound bites but they still even though the quotes are pretty gripping uh there's they're low energy uh you're seeing you know bill barr and jared kushner ivanka trump when you contrast that when you contrast what trump was tweeting or what was going on in the white house with what was actually happening in the capitol it just makes it so much harder to present this as some political charade or to present this as a kind of a victimless crime uh because there were real people who if they hadn't have done their jobs that day the capital would have fallen and the electoral votes might not have been counted let's talk about what the committee is trying to do in terms of building a case james and presenting it to the american public you know we heard at the end some testimony from people who are either you know charged with overrunning the capital and actions they did there or have already been convicted or have pled guilty to it but what they're trying to do it seems is tie their decision-making process to what they heard from president donald trump there was a video that was part of that video i thought one of the more strong moments was when they they showed the the screen grab of trump's tweet on the screen but then you heard a guy on a bullhorn reading the tweet while they were at the capitol yelling uh you know as people were chaining hang mike pence and he was uh this man was reading trump's tweet attacking pence on a bullhorn uh it really does link the two uh and and it really shows that this crowd was summoned by trump but then really amped up uh by his rhetoric at the ellipse rhonda colvin joins us now rhonda you were in uh that hearing room i i want you to paint a picture for us of of what it felt like as some of this footage was being shown but also as you heard the testimony especially from the capitol police officer you know all eyes were on these videos all eyes were on the witnesses as they gave their testimony it really was an audience in there that really wanted to know answers you can sense that from the people who were sitting behind me in sort of a public viewing area you sensed it from some of the family members of those lost that day i was actually seated directly behind officer signick's mother and i noticed when carolyn edwards the officer who spoke today gave her story and talked about how he turned white as a sheet when he was sprayed instead of turning red like normal you know you can see his mother tear up and dab her eyes so while the committee seems to be presenting and laying out a case of how involved folks were behind the scenes how involved the former president trump was there's still that emotional aspect of the violence that played out but everyone in that room was following this there you didn't see anyone bored uh this was not like a typical congressional hearing where you might see people kind of drop off or or want to leave the room everyone paid attention everyone was very interested in how particularly how the vice chair liz cheney discussed some of the upcoming hearings and how they're going to be broken up into themes including uh how trump his advisors uh though the people on his data team and his campaign knew that he lost the election told him so but yet he he tried to strategize and overturn or possibly overturn the election so there was a lot of information there i think what this committee wanted to do tonight was sort of what the appetite of americans who are watching and and show that they have been building a case they have been doing all of these interviews wide-ranging interviews and you also see how sprawling this investigation is it goes from within the white house days and potentially months leading up to this and then it goes to what was happening on the street with the violence so there's so much there it almost makes you wonder how it's all going to be condensed in these uh follow-up hearings that we're going to see in the next few weeks but of course the committee did say that this is an ongoing investigation it may not stop in june with a series of hearings that may continue to go on as they see fit yeah james let's talk about what we can expect next week right we know so far there are hearings scheduled for monday wednesday and thursday of next week and we do have a better sense now of what they may look like and tackle yeah liz cheney in her speech sort of previewed what those she called a seven part conspiracy and it essentially seems like that's the organizational structure they're gonna go through seven different ways that they can establish what liz cheney called illegality by the president and that was really one of the striking takeaways for me would be because it felt like the target audience there as much as public opinion was merrick garland the attorney general this committee is racing against time the widespread expectation is that democrats are going to lose control of the house in november and the committee will then dissolve basically uh will lose its subpoena power uh when republicans take over and so they're trying to get out everything they can before the end of the year but then the ball really will be in the attorney general's and the justice department's court and it felt like liz cheney was essentially laying the groundwork to argue that trump himself broke the law and should be charged for crimes related to the the run-up to january 6 and it's aftermath so james there's the question of trump making decisions that were [Music] illegal or trump making decisions that were unpresidential then there's a whole big area in between of you know where his uh prerogative lies as the commander-in-chief to make some basic decisions yes and so that's that's the tension and you know a lot of it has seemed like well this is a political uh issue uh but there's sort of your constitutional oath to preserve protect and defend the constitution and we heard benny thompson talking in his opening statement about the origins of that being the civil war and the rebellion of the southern states and and then there are laws on the books uh you know one of the conversations on capitol hill recently has been about uh you know they talk about loopholes that trump took advantage of and that's why they're trying to reform the electoral count act of 1876.
But the argument we heard from liz cheney tonight was no it wasn't that trump was taking advantage of loopholes it's that trump's own lawyers knew what they were saying in court wasn't true they knew there was no merit to their arguments that they weren't going to succeed in court trump knew he had lost the election and they were making arguments that they didn't see as meritorious for the purpose of of trying to thwart the counting of votes and obstruct congress from doing its constitutional duty so that was sort of striking because they're they're they weren't talking about oh we need to fix this law so that uh there can't be these misunderstandings they were saying no the laws on the books trump broke that that was uh i was surprised by how hard she leaned into that especially because it does seem like that is going to be a consistent theme in the upcoming hearings james you're talking about what happened leading up to january 6 we also heard from vice chair cheney about what happened that day and the inaction she played two moments from the testimony of joint chiefs of staff chairman mark milley that i want to go back and revisit who is contrasting the conversations he had with then vice president pence and president trump let's watch president trump gave no order to deploy the national guard that day and he made no effort to work with the department of justice to coordinate and displa and deploy law enforcement assets but vice president pence did each of those things for example here is what general milley the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff testified to this committee two or three calls with vice president pence he was very animated and he issued very explicit uh very direct unambiguous orders there was no question about that and he was and and i can get to the exact quotes i guess from some of our records somewhere but he was very animated very direct very firm and to secretary miller get the military down there get the guard down here put down this situation etc by contrast here is general milley's description of his conversation with president trump's chief of staff mark meadows on january 6th he said we have we have to kill the narrative that the vice president is making all the decisions we need to establish the narrative that um you know that the president is still in charge and that things are steady or stable or what's happening i immediately interpret that as politics politics politics red flag for me personally no action but i remember it distinctly testimony from earlier tonight rhonda colvin as i set that up i misspoke and said that millie was recounting a conversation he had with donald trump of course it was with mark meadows but what is the connection there wha what is the importance of how mark meadows is characterizing that moment and what he's trying to accomplish as this riot is happening at the capitol well it seems to show that there was this scramble to protect image perhaps to kind of make sure that this was would be favorable or they could design it in a way that would be favorable to them as millie said it was politics politics politics and he thought that was a red flag they were very concerned it appeared or at least some in the white house may have been concerned about the image of the insurrection and how that would affect them uh versus stopping what happened which is what millie is saying uh pence was doing was asking for some help do all you can so that kind of fills out uh what many people have probably been suspicious of since the riot wondering how involved the president and his team were and stopping it versus how we know pence was reacting so i think a lot of what we might find out in the coming days and weeks is just confirmation on many things that people thought might be occurring and and that's one of them that we see that divide between uh pence and his team and we do know that the committee said we'll be hearing from those who served as council on his team versus the trump side which seemed to be uh caring about the image and how that might affect them james holman you know we already knew there was this division between the vice president and the president and we've had more and more reporting about it but there's still been so many questions about what donald trump was actually doing like the tick tock of what trump was doing as those hours went by and there was complete inaction from the white house yeah liz cheney said we're going to hear video of more than half a dozen trump administration officials who were in the west wing on january 6th talking about trump's reaction we didn't see a tape of it tonight but cheney said that we're going to see uh people recounting trump saying maybe the supporters uh in the capitol have the right idea and as people were saying uh hang mike pence uh trump kind of suggesting that he would be okay with that uh the post has reported on that before but it'll be striking to see trump officials saying that on tape and and it seems like the you know there's going to be a hearing the fourth hearing uh is going to be on trump's efforts to pressure pence directly we'll hear from trump's uh or we'll hear from pence's lawyer but then cheney said that in the final two hearings we're going to see how trump summoned the mob and then failed to take action as the mob was in the capital and that is where we may see some of that uh strong tape uh in that the committee has said is going to be the final hearing which will also be in prime time in that same context uh i i was struck again we've seen reports as rhonda was saying about a lot of this but uh to have it laid out in in this way that trump's legal team was working to halt the counting of the electoral vol about the electoral votes during the riot from their war room at the willard hotel not totally new uh but the fact that that is also part of the minute-by-minute story is that trump's own lawyers were still trying to to stop the count to overturn uh the electors while trump was not responding to this active threat on the capitol when you put all those pieces together when you connect to those dots it becomes a much more damning picture for donald trump well the committee played an excerpt of ivanka trump and we also heard an excerpt of testimony from jared kushner his son-in-law and advisor in which jared kushner minimized and downplayed the concerns of white house lawyers and their threats to resign as they watched trump continue to talk about trying to overturn the election results this is a clip of jared kushner addressing multiple threats by white house counsel pat sipoloni and his team of lawyers to resign in the weeks before january 6th jared are you aware of instances where uh pat cibolone threatened to resign i i kind of like i said my interest at that time was on trying to get as many pardons done uh and i know that you know he was always to him and the team were always saying oh we're going to resign we're 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 james what's your reaction to that that was one of the really most striking clips because it was new one it confirms that lots of white house lawyers were threatening to resign they knew there was a problem before january 6 they knew the president was doing things that they considered unethical unconstitutional potentially illegal that they were telling him those things were illegal and then you have his son-in-law the president's son-in-law senior white house advisor being so dismissive about all these lawyers threatening to resign calling it whining it was it was startling to see him say that because it does capture the the state of mind in trump's most inner circle yeah rhonda colvin what is your interpretation of the use of ivanka trump of jared kushner and seeing these these sort of you know intimate insiders commenting and weighing in here during these proceedings well since we may not see the full tape of both of those depositions or others also don jr testified or did an interview rather voluntarily with this committee rudy giuliani i think had one of the longest closed door sessions i think it went upward of seven hours with this committee so there are people who were very close uh to trump in his inner circle knew uh perhaps the plans before january 6 and also knew what he was thinking that day who have uh worked with the committee uh from from what we can see at least uh you know discussed with them uh but what it seems to show us is that uh at least some of these family members uh want to tell what they know but at what level you know since we aren't able to see the entire uh interview that they had with the trump children or any of the close associates you know it's hard to to say what might have happened or what was said or how they conducted it but it does seem that some wanted to share what they knew and when they knew it it was striking to me that ivanka trump said how much she looked up to william barr and trusted his assessment about the election so rhonda we will see you here on monday what will you be anticipating for next week well one thing just from watching this committee for you know the last year in some of their business meetings they usually include something that we didn't know and of course there were a few moments this uh tonight where we learned some things that were new or they filled in some puzzle pieces that were missing uh but i expect more of that i expect more of that on monday i expect more of it on wednesday this committee seems to be strategically dropping uh certain uh elements of their findings and then of course it it should culminate by the end of the month with their final hearing so i'll just be listening uh for these new facts and what they're going to roll out i know from watching them over the last year that they also split up and serve different speaking roles in the committee hearings so we'll likely hear from other members of this panel on monday as well as wednesday james homan a really tough night tonight for the officers who survived the january 6th attack and for the widows and parents of men who died that day or in the weeks afterwards because they committed suicide um i want you to contrast that with how republicans in the house are sort of spinning and talking about this hearing already yeah it's really striking uh the official twitter account for the house or republican judiciary committee uh tweeted nothing new here uh they tweeted a picture of of rioting in atlanta during the summer of 2020 and said why isn't congress talking about this uh kevin mccarthy earlier this afternoon or evening uh walked back his comment that trump bears responsibility for what happened on january 6 saying quote every american bears responsibility for what happened on january 6th so you have this full-scale effort to to play down these revelations and i do think that that's adding insult to injury for these widows and and for their families clearly the committee has been doing lots and lots of work behind the scenes and we're starting to see the fruits of their labor there were a lot of criticisms of this committee last year for moving too slow this series of hearings that we're about to watch together uh has been drawing lots of comparisons to watergate and the watergate summer of 1974.
those unspooled much more slowly there weren't videotaped depositions there were each of these witnesses being called and testifying for hours on on live television and here there's a much clearer story arc that we're going to see play out in a pretty compressed timeline during the month of june and uh and and i expect that we will see full transcripts of the depositions but what i'm interested to see uh in the coming days is how some of these people who are featured in these deposition clips respond are they going to to forcefully push back or if is trump going to push them to respond are they going to to say they were taken out of context that is going to be one of the interesting story lines coming out of tonight well james ronda and all of our colleagues in the washington post newsroom thank you so much james and ronda and i will be with you our audience throughout the coming weeks thank you for watching this moment in news and history with the newsroom of the washington post we will be back monday morning we start 9 30 a.m on monday to cover the second of these june hearings and we will be airing all of these uninterrupted and live so until then follow all the latest reporting on our website and our apps i'm libby casey and i'll see you monday have a good night sometimes you have to see to believe and witness history as it unfolds when the news is breaking watch with the newsroom of the washington post we explain what's happening and why it matters thank you for choosing to watch the headlines as they're being written by our journalists you can subscribe with a special offer at washingtonpost.com watch subscribing through that link lets everyone hear from the front lines to the control room know that you care about our continued efforts to inform the public protect the first amendment and foster a healthy democracy we could not do this without you [Music] you