Jan. 6 committee report said the risk to Capitol was ‘foreseeable’ – live updates

Written by on December 23, 2022

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 assault on the U.S. Capitol released its highly-anticipated final report Thursday, presenting a full account of its findings on former President Donald Trump’s efforts to maintain power.

Here are some key findings from the report: 

  • The report puts the blame squarely on the former president: “The central cause of January 6th was one man, former President Donald Trump, whom many others followed. None of the events of January 6th would have happened without him.”
  • The more than 800-page report describes the panel’s findings as a result of its 18-month investigation into the Capitol attack, including the basis for the committee’s recommendation that the Justice Department prosecute a former president for the first time in U.S. history.
  • The committee recommended anyone involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, including Trump, should be barred from government office.
  • One Trump speechwriter texted to someone during the riot: ‘Potus im sure is loving this.’
  • The former CEO of Overstock.com paid for Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio’s flight to a Washington, D.C., protest weeks before the attack. 
  • The report gives a damning account of law enforcement’s response to troubling intelligence before the attack. The risk to the Capitol was “foreseeable,” the report said.  
  • Trump tried to speak with Georgia’s secretary of state 18 times in an effort to overturn Joe Biden’s win in the state. 

Trump aide feared ‘Trump world’:Cassidy Hutchinson says ‘Trump world’ tried to stifle her – Takeaways from Jan. 6 records

The latest from the report: 

Trump called claims of Dominion voting systems fraud ‘crazy’ before pushing that narrative himself

Top Trump advisor Hope Hicks told the Jan. 6 committee that Trump laughed at his campaign lawyer Sidney Powell’s claims of how three foreign countries had helped Joe Biden win by manipulating Dominion voting systems – before going public with how Dominion lost him the election through widespread fraud.

Trump’s comments on Nov. 20, 2020 came a day after Powell and two other Trump campaign lawyers, Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, held a press conference at Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, where Powell claimed there was a “massive influence of communist money through Venezuela, Cuba, and likely China in the interference with our elections here in the United States.” She singled out Dominion’s election software and did the same in the follow-up call to Trump.

“While (Powell) was speaking, the President muted his speakerphone and laughed at Powell, telling the others in the room, ‘This does sound crazy, doesn’t it?’” But while the Trump campaign soon distanced itself from Powell, Trump began pushing the same narrative through tweets and other comments, the committee said. 

 – Josh Meyer

Hope Hicks’ Jan. 6 testimony:Will Trump loyalist Hope Hicks’ Jan. 6 testimony incriminate the former president?

Details emerge of parking garage meeting between Oath Keepers, Proud Boys leaders 

Leaders of the right-wing extremist groups Oath Keepers and Proud Boys discussed standing as a united front on Jan. 6, 2021 during a parking garage meeting that took place the day prior, according to the final report by the House committee investigating the Capitol attack. 

During the meeting, Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio acknowledged that he and Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes “don’t get along,” but needed to “unite regardless of our differences” in a “situation like this.” Tarrio had just been released from custody and ordered to leave Washington, D.C. after burning a church’s Black Lives Matter banner.

Parts of the meeting were captured on video by documentary filmmaker Nick Quested, though the committee conceded that much of the discussion between the two extremist group leaders is unknown because Quested was asked to stop filming. But the committee determined that the Oath Keepers’ quick reaction forces, stockpiled with firearms in Virginia, were discussed at the meeting, according to the report.

– Ella Lee

Oath Keepers lawyer: ‘Storming the Capitol’ discussed, but ‘normal’

Also present at the meeting were Latinos for Trump leader Bianca Gracia and Oath Keepers lawyer Kelley SoRelle.

SoRelle told the panel that right-wing political activists – including Gracia, Rhodes, Vets for Trump leader Joshua Macias and Virginia State Sen. Amanda Chase – discussed “storming the Capitol” at a get-together ahead of the parking garage meeting, though she claimed talk like that was “normal” and not indicative of violence.

– Ella Lee

‘No evidence’ delayed National Guard response was intentional

The House committee described the National Guard’s delayed response to the Capitol violence as “unnecessary and unacceptable,” but the panel concluded that there was “no evidence” officials intended to deny assistance.

Investigators said the poor response was the “byproduct of military processes and institutional caution.”

“We have no evidence that the delay was intentional,” the committee concluded. “Likewise, it appears that none of the individuals involved understood what President Trump planned for January 6th, and how he would behave during the violence.”

The panel noted then-President Donald Trump’s unexpected “active encouragement” of the rioters, as prompting the “full-blown” assault that ultimately outpaced the response.

– Kevin Johnson

Trump tried to speak with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger 18 times

Much has been reported about the phone call on Jan. 2, 2021, when Trump asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” votes to overturn Joe Biden’s election in the state.

But the final Jan. 6 committee report reveals  just how vociferously the former president was chasing any basis to stay in power. Before the call, the report notes, Trump “had tried to speak by phone with Raffensperger at least 18 times.”

“Raffensperger, for his part, had avoided talking to the President because of ongoing litigation with the President’s Campaign,” the report says.

When they did speak, with lawyers on the line, Trump made the infamous ask of Georgia’s top election official to “find 11,780 votes” to tip the state his way. Not to do so, Trump threatened, would be a criminal offense.

– Donovan Slack 

RNC staffers were assigned to help with fake electors scheme

The final report from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack further revealed details surrounding the Trump campaign’s effort to send an alternate slate of electors to Congress in the former president’s effort to stay in power.

Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniel testified that former President Donald Trump and his attorney John Eastman in a phone call asked for the RNC’s help in gathering a slate of fake electors ahead of Dec. 14, 2020 in case the Trump campaign won any of its legal challenges.

The Jan. 6 report shows McDaniel called back Trump soon after that call ended, “letting him know that she agreed to his request and that some RNC staffers were already assisting.”

– Candy Woodall

Ex-Overstock.com CEO paid for Proud Boys leader’s flight to DC protest, committee says

Businessman Patrick Byrne, former Overstock CEO, paid for Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio’s travel by private jet to a November 2020 protest in Washington where he met with other extremists, according to the Jan. 6 committee’s final report.

Tarrio met with Ali Alexander, the “Stop the Steal” organizer, and described the Nov. 14 Million MAGA March protest as a “historic” meeting of Trump supporters, the report says. 

Byrne confirmed that he paid for the flight on Friday, suggesting in a tweet he was told that “a bunch of patriotic Latinos” wanted to attend the rally before agreeing to front the cost for their travel.

A month after the protest, on Dec. 18, Byrne argued to Trump in a White House meeting that he had the authority to seize voting machines under a 2018 executive order, the report says. The suggestion was “forcefully condemned” by other administration officials at the meeting, according to the report.

– Ella Lee

Risk to Capitol was ‘foreseeable’

Although the House committee heaped primary blame on former President Donald Trump for the deadly Capitol assault, the report also offered a damning account of law enforcement’s response to troubling intelligence gathered in the weeks before the attack.

“Federal and local law enforcement authorities were in possession of multiple streams of intelligence predicting violence directed at the Capitol prior to January 6th,” the committee concluded. “Although some of that intelligence was fragmentary, it should have been sufficient to warrant far more vigorous preparations for the security of the joint session.”

The panel said the failure to share and act on the warnings “jeopardized the lives of the police officers defending the Capitol and everyone in it.”

“While the danger to the Capitol posed by an armed and angry crowd was foreseeable, the fact that the President of the United States would be the catalyst of their fury and facilitate the attack was unprecedented in American history.”

– Kevin Johnson

Ban Trump from government office?

Those who swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, and then engaged in insurrection during the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot should be barred from government office of any kind, the committee’s final report recommends.  The report based the proposal on the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which includes a disqualification clause originally intended to keep Confederates from taking part in the government after the Civil War.

The report said disqualification also should apply to former President Donald Trump.

“The Select Committee has referred Donald Trump and others for possible prosecution … including for assisting and providing aid and comfort to an insurrection,” the  report said. “The Committee also notes that Donald J. Trump was impeached by a majority of the House of Representatives for Incitement of an Insurrection, and there were 57 votes in the Senate for his conviction.”

– Kevin McCoy

Trump speechwriter during Jan. 6 riot: ‘Potus im sure is loving this’

As rioters stormed the Capitol and the chilling images played out on television across the nation, Trump wanted to talk about upending the counting of electoral votes that would validate Biden’s victory.

“I said, ‘Mr. President, they’ve taken the Vice President out. They want me to get off the phone, I gotta go,’” Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., recalled telling him.

Trump then rang Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. The Republican leader said he urged the president to go on TV and Twitter and “call these people off.”

But the president was non-plussed, falsely asserting they weren’t his people and then telling McCarthy, “Kevin, maybe these people are just more angry about this than you are.”

As the violence at the Capitol escalated, Trump’s speechwriter, Gabriel Robert texted someone, “Potus im sure is loving this.”

– Donovan Slack

Trump reacts to Jan. 6 committee report

Former President Donald Trump on Thursday condemned the final report of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol attack, decrying it as a “witch hunt” again.

Rather than respond to the report’s specific findings, Trump criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s over security issues. The post: “The highly partisan Unselect Committee Report purposely fails to mention the failure of Pelosi to heed my recommendation for troops to be used in D.C., show the ‘Peacefully and Patrioticly’ words I used, or study the reason for the protest, Election Fraud. WITCH HUNT!”

There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election.

– Ella Lee

Read the full PDF of the Jan. 6 committee report here 

The committee’s final report made 17 findings about the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021, including that Trump plotted to overturn the 2020 results despite knowing he’d lost, sent an angry and armed mob to the Capitol and failed to respond to the violence as it unfolded on television.

Committee recommended Trump be prosecuted at final hearing

  • The committee voted Monday 9-0 to refer four criminal referrals against Trump to the Justice Department: obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to make a false statement, and “incite,” “assist” or “aid and comfort” an insurrection.
  • There could be enough evidence for criminal charges against other Trump allies, like attorneys John Eastman, Rudy Giuliani, Jeffrey Clark and Kenneth Chesebro, the panel said.
  • The committee also is recommending the House Ethics Committee investigate four Republican lawmakers – including Kevin McCarthy, the potential next House speaker  – for defying the committee’s subpoenas.

Jan. 6 hearing recap:House committee recommends DOJ prosecute Trump over Capitol attack

Next steps:Jan. 6 committee to recommend DOJ pursue criminal charges, but hasn’t yet decided on names

Jan. 6 committee final report: How we got here

  • Throughout nine public hearings, the committee made the case that Trump oversaw a “sprawling, multistep conspiracy” to overturn the election and prevent the transfer of presidential power to Joe Biden. 
  • In October, the House panel took the extraordinary step of formally subpoenaing Trump, kicking off a legal battle with the former president who has denounced the committee’s investigation as political.
  • Though the committee’s work has been widely lauded by the left, it has drawn ire from Republicans, who dismissed the panel’s work as partisan writ large. With the GOP set to retake the House in January after winning a majority, the committee’s end is imminent. 

Dig deeper on the Jan. 6 committee


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