The House Select Committee that investigated on January 6, 2021 presented a damning 800-plus page case that former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election led to violence at the State Capitol United, documenting the actions of the former executive chairman for the record. and potentially for criminal investigators.
On Monday, the committee referred Trump to the Justice Department on four criminal charges. On Thursday, the committee effectively showed its work on why it believes Trump is criminally responsible for his actions.
In its report, the committee recommends barring Trump from re-election.
Here are the key points of the commission’s final report:
The committee didn’t mince words to lay the blame for the Jan. 6 violence squarely at Trump’s feet.
After holding nine public hearings and releasing a summary of the report earlier this week, the final document reads like an indictment of Trump, outlining his direct role in every facet of the plot to overturn the election. 2020, drawing a clear line between Trump. electoral denial and the violence that developed.
The panel focuses on the section of the Constitution that states that a person who has taken an oath to support the Constitution but has “involved” or given “aid or comfort to the enemies of the Constitution” can be disqualified from charge
The former president and others have been referred by the committee to the Department of Justice for aiding or abetting an insurrection. The group is asking congressional jurisdiction committees to create a “formal mechanism” to evaluate whether people who violate this section of the 14th Amendment should be barred from future federal or state office.
Despite Trump’s attempts to blame Democrats for security failures that day and a GOP rebuttal report released earlier this week that completely ignored the former president’s role in the attack, the select committee’s report it is an effective conclusion of the panel’s 18 months. long research
It leaves no doubt that the committee believes Trump, and Trump alone, was responsible for the January 6 attack.
“None of the events of January 6 would have happened without him,” the report states.
There were no major new developments in the report the committee released Thursday; instead, the committee focused on exposing the depth and detail of their work through their research.
The report offered the most comprehensive account yet of what happened in the two months between Election Day on November 3, 2020 and Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, 2021.
It’s a narrative that expands on the committee’s public hearings over the summer, taking readers step-by-step through the various schemes Trump orchestrated and the help he had from allies inside and outside his administration.
Along the way, the committee showed more details about what it had learned from interviews with more than 1,000 witnesses conducted during the 18-month investigation, including things it had not previously made public, such as the call from Trump’s lawyer , Eric Herschmann, with Rudy Giuliani on the morning of Jan. 6, and that Trump and his inner circle targeted election officials at least 200 times.
The committee’s public hearings focused heavily on Trump’s role, and there were questions in the weeks leading up to the report’s release about how far it would go beyond the former president.
But while the report’s main headlines were about Trump, the final report also offers a definitive picture of the attack on Congress, the factors contributing to American discourse, as well as the preparation and failures of the law enforcement.
The report covers intelligence assessments before Jan. 6 from the federal government, including key messages that law enforcement had seen among Trump supporters in online forums.
The committee also interviewed leaders of agencies leading the law enforcement response, including Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and police chiefs.
The select committee also says it interviewed 24 witnesses and reviewed 37,000 pages of documents for a review of the D.C. National Guard’s response, which seeks to explain the force’s late response to the Capitol.
The committee was told, for example, that the commander of the D.C. National Guard, Maj. Gen. William Walker, “strongly” considered deploying troops to the U.S. Capitol on the afternoon of Jan. 6 without the approval of his superiors, even if that meant he would have to resign the next day.
The committee was unable to corroborate a secondhand account from former Trump aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who was told that Trump lunged at his top Secret Service agent while riding in his presidential SUV on Jan. 6 and tried to grab the steering wheel because he was angry that he was. t be brought to the Capitol.
Perhaps in an attempt to pivot beyond the explosive anecdote itself, the select committee emphasized that its goal was to uncover the intent behind Trump’s actions in the SUV. Many witnesses, including Trump press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and the Secret Service press secretary, have said Trump wanted to go to the Capitol and became angry when told he couldn’t.
Both the driver of Trump’s SUV and the lead Secret Service agent that day, Robert Engel, told the panel that they did not recall the events of that day the way Hutchinson described them.
“Engel did not characterize the exchange in the vehicle the way Hutchinson described the account he heard from (White House Deputy Chief of Staff Tony) Ornato and indicated that he did not recall President Trump making gestures to him.” wrote the panel.
Engel also told the panel that he did not remember being present when Ornato told the story with Hutchinson in the courtroom.
Hutchinson testified over the summer that Ornato told him the story while Engel was in the room and he did not dispute Ornato’s account.
The driver of the vehicle testified before the committee that he did not recall seeing what Trump was doing or whether there was any movement.
But the driver described Trump as “animated and irritated” and testified that Trump said shortly after getting into the vehicle, “I’m the president and I’m going to decide where I’m going.”
Ornato told the panel that he did not recall communications about the incident in the SUV and that he had no knowledge of Trump’s anger, the report said.
The committee makes it clear in its report that it does not find Ornato’s testimony credible.
The committee’s report underscores how the House subpoena’s success in obtaining loose documents, emails and phone records played an important role in helping the committee flesh out its Jan. 6 narrative.
Some of the most explosive moments in the committee’s investigation stemmed from records the committee obtained, from text messages from former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and other top aides to emails from conservative attorney John Eastman on Vice President Mike Pence’s role on Jan. 6.
The committee obtained Eastman’s emails after a judge sided with the House in a lawsuit where the committee accused both Eastman and Trump of a criminal conspiracy to obstruct Congress and defraud the government.
The report included some new details from the emails, including how Eastman emailed Trump’s assistant the day he drafted his memo falsely claiming Pence could block the certification of the Jan. 6 election. Eastman reportedly received a call from the White House switchboard shortly thereafter. phone records obtained by the committee.
In addition to Eastman, the committee identifies a little-known pro-Trump attorney as the original architect of the legally dubious bogus voter scheme: Kenneth Chesebro. “The bogus voter scheme arose out of a series of legal memoranda written by an outside legal adviser to the Trump campaign: Kenneth Chesebro,” the report said.
Thursday’s report is the final word from the committee on Jan. 6, but the committee has not yet finished releasing documents.
In addition to the summary and report released this week, the committee also began releasing some of the transcripts of the closed-door depositions, including interviews with numerous witnesses who invoked their Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination, as well as Hutchinson’s testimony.
More transcripts are expected in the committee’s final days of other testimony from witnesses, showing increasing detail in the hours before the committee adjourns as expected in the new Congress.
Several parties will be eagerly awaiting his release, including Republican lawmakers and Trump himself, who still faces legal scrutiny on several fronts related to his role in the January 6 uprising and efforts to overturn the 2020 elections.
The committee has already begun sharing evidence with the Justice Department and special counsel Jack Smith, CNN reported this week.