US Capitol Riots: Six key points from committee testimony made public on January 6th Former White House personnel official John McEntee testified that Trump wanted to grant blanket pardons to all rioters. Here are some details.
The US House of Representatives committee recommended that former President Donald Trump be also charged with insurrection and conspiracy to defraud the US after concluding its investigation into the riot on January 6, 2021, at the US Capitol.
The committee also conducted over a thousand witness interviews, and the most important issues were discussed in open hearings. Since the release of its main report last week, the committee has also released testimony transcripts highlighting additional developments in Trump’s White House, both before and after the riot. Six of them are listed below:
US Capitol Riot: PARDONS ON A PADDLE
Former White House personnel chief John McEntee testified that Trump wanted to grant blanket pardons to everyone involved in the riot.
McEntee informed the committee that former White House counsel Pat Cipollone had rejected the idea after the president floated it. “Well, what if I pardoned the nonviolent people and they just walked into the building?” the president, in my memory, asked. And I believe he was turned down by the White House counsel.
DENIERS OF “THE BIG LIE” ARE FIRED.
Trump considered firing any member of his main staff who did not mainly believe the 2020 election was rigged, according to Cipollone and former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson. Both of them mentioned this memo.
The memo stated that “anyone who believes there was not massive fraud in the 2020 election should be fired,” according to Cipollone.
Pat looked at it. “He said something great to the effect of, God, no,” Hutchinson said, referring to the memo. Cipollone claimed he couldn’t remember this conversation.
DEBATE ON THE 25TH AMENDMENT
Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin revealed to the committee on January 6 that he and Mike Pompeo discussed using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. The 25th Amendment deals with presidential incapacity and succession.
Mnuchin told the committee that the subject “came up very briefly in our conversation” and that he had not done any extensive research on it.
IN THE MEADOWS, FILES WERE BURNED
Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff from late March 2020 until the end of the administration, was allegedly seen burning papers about a dozen times between President Joe Biden’s election and his inauguration, Hutchinson testified.
She was unsure of the documents’ nature or authenticity. All White House documentation must be kept in its original form for the archives, but copies may be destroyed.
Meadows frequently set fire to documents after meeting with lawmakers, including Republican Representative Scott Perry, who is involved in efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, according to Hutchinson.
HUTCHINSON WAS STRONGLY PRESSED.
During her depositions with the committee, Hutchinson was initially represented by a Trump-friendly attorney; however, she changed attorneys and was more open about the intense pressure she felt from the “Trump world” not to harm the former president.
“I was scared,” she said of her feelings after her depositions with the committee in May and June. Her former attorney, she believed, leaked her testimony to the media and told other people close to Trump about what she said to the committee.
She recalled telling a committee staff member, “I’m about to be fucking nuked,” as she turned to face him in September.
THE TRUMP CIRCLE WAS CHARGED IN JAN FOR SPEAKING.
According to Caroline Wren, a Trump aide, both Donald Trump Jr. and his fiancée Kimberley Guilfoyle accepted $60,000 speaking fees for a rally held prior to the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot. Moira Warburton, Vancouver correspondent; Alistair Bell and Josie Kao edited.)
Donald Trump should also never be allowed to run for main public office again after inciting an uprising, lawmakers investigating last year’s attack on the US Capitol concluded in their landmark final report.
The recommendation was the first in a series from the 845-page report meant to ensure that the deadly riot the former president is accused of orchestrating in a failed attempt to retain power after losing the 2020 election would not happen again.
The panel’s chairman, Bennie Thompson, stated in the report’s introduction that “our country has come too far to allow a defeated president to transform himself into a very successful tyrant by upending our main democratic institutions (and) fomenting violence.”
The letter urges lawmakers to pass legislation barring Trump and others who have “engaged in insurgency” from holding public office, “whether federal or state, civilian or military.”
Trump has announced his intention to run for president again in 2024. The report was the result of 18 months of work by congressional investigators who spoke with over 1,000 witnesses in order to identify the Republican billionaire as the primary cause of the attack.
Other recommendations made by the committee included a federal crackdown on extremist organisations, election law reforms, and designating Congress’ certification of presidential elections as a “national special security event” on par with the annual State of the Union address.
The panel’s final action before disbanding in January when the House of Representatives shifts to Republican control. The party has opposed the investigation from the start, and the shift in power casts doubt on the likelihood that the majority of the recommendations will ever be implemented.
– Numerous investigations – Trump, as he does with most investigations alleging wrongdoing against him, issued a statement on his Truth Social platform misrepresenting Democratic leadership’s role in security preparations prior to the attack and denouncing a “witch hunt.”
The committee’s seven Democrats and two dissenting Republicans had already presented their case against Trump during eight contentious public hearings earlier this summer, so the report was long on main detail but short on new revelations.
During their final open meeting on Monday, the panel referred the tycoon to the Department of Justice for four potential charges against him: obstructing an official proceeding, conspiring to defraud the United States, lying to the government, and inciting insurgency.
Trump is accused of lying to supporters for months about how the 2020 election was rigged against him, attempting to influence federal and state officials, inciting a mob to storm the Capitol despite knowing they were armed, and failing to intervene for hours to stop the violence.
The panel has begun providing transcripts and other documents to Jack Smith, an independent prosecutor in charge of federal investigations into Trump’s involvement in the riot and his handling of government secrets improperly kept at his Florida beach club.
In an interview with CNN before the report was made public, committee chairman Thompson predicted that if the evidence were as strong as it appeared, the Justice Department would charge former President Trump.
Trump, who has been impeached twice, is also the subject of criminal and civil investigations into his business dealings and attempted election rigging in Georgia.
Edited by Prakriti Arora