Jan. 6 committee has voted to subpoena Trump

Published October 13, 2022 at 10:58 AM EDT
Rep. Adam Schiff (C) (D-CA) listens to testimony with other committee members during today's hearing.
Drew Angerer
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Rep. Adam Schiff (C) (D-CA) listens to testimony with other committee members during today's hearing.

The House Jan. 6 committee just wrapped up what could be the final hearing about its U.S. Capitol insurrection investigation. At the hearing's end, the panel unanimously voted to subpoena former President Donald Trump.

Get caught up:

  • Trump subpoena: The Jan. 6 committee voted to subpoena former President Donald Trump to testify. Before the hearing started, Chairman Thompson also told reporters that the panel is considering hearing directly from former Vice President Mike Pence as well.
  • Election lies: Trump "maliciously" repeated false claims about the election "to a wide audience over and over again. His intent was to deceive," committee member Rep. Elaine Luria said.
  • Key moments: Revisit some of the revelations from the past 8 blockbuster hearings.

For more coverage of the Jan. 6 hearings and the 2022 Midterm Elections, sign up for our weekly Politics Newsletter or listen to the NPR Politics Podcast on Apple or Spotify.

FYI

Keep following NPR's Jan 6 hearing coverage

Posted October 13, 2022 at 5:56 PM EDT

This blog is closing for the day, but NPR's coverage of the Jan 6 committee investigation is far from over.

Keep up with the latest politics news by signing up for our weekly Politics Newsletter and listening to the NPR Politics Podcast on Apple or Spotify.

Thanks for joining us today!

ICYMI
Trump testimony

Committee wants Trump testimony to explain why the president failed to act

Posted October 13, 2022 at 5:55 PM EDT

During an interview on All Things Considered, Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., said it’s unclear whether or not former President Donald Trump will cooperate with the committee’s subpoena.

Aguilar said other presidents have testified before Congress in the past, some by subpoena, so subpoenaing Trump is not unprecedented.

“In fact, it would be unprecedented if we didn’t do our job and if we didn’t seek to turnover every rock to find out what happened on that violent insurrection, or if we gave the former president a pass to not share his side of the story,” Aguilar said.

Ultimately, he said, the committee is trying to learn why Trump didn’t do anything while the Capitol was under siege.

“The record has shown that he knew there was going to be violence,” Aguilar told NPR. “Yet, for 187 minutes, he was in the White house not lifting a finger, while law enforcement was getting pummeled on each side of the Capitol.”

In response to the vote, Trump questioned why the committee waited so long to demand his testimony, and Aguilar said he thought it was likely that Trump would have had a similar rebuttal had he been ordered to testify earlier in the proceedings.

Recap

Top takeaways from today's hearing

Posted October 13, 2022 at 5:28 PM EDT

Unlike the House Select Committee's previous hearings, which lasered in on specific witnesses and details, today's took a wide view, attempting to put the evidence into a broader context.

The panel shed light on new evidence produced by the Secret Service, played new testimony from former Trump administration officials and opened a legal can of worms by voting to subpoena the former president to testify.

This leaves the state of the investigation in limbo. If former President Donald Trump chooses to ignore the subpoena (he called the committee a "total bust" following the news), the panel may take the issue to court, where it's likely to get tangled up in questions about the separation of powers.

NPR's Barbara Sprunt spelled out what else we should be taking away from this hearing. Here are the top four:

  1. Trump had long planned to declare victory, no matter the results.
  2. Despite publicly declaring he won, Trump privately admitted he lost the election.
  3. The Secret Service received tips about expected violence on Jan. 6.
  4. New footage revealed how House and Senate leaders of both parties tried to solicit help during the attack.

Read the full piece here.

Trump reacts

Reacting to subpoena, Trump calls the Jan. 6 committee a 'total bust'

Posted October 13, 2022 at 5:02 PM EDT

Former President Donald Trump said on social media that the Jan. 6 House committee waited far too long to ask him to testify.

In a post on his Truth Social platform, Trump questioned why the panel waited until its last hearing to make the request. He called the committee a "total bust" and said it divided the country.

The committee voted unanimously to subpoena the former president at the end of today's hearing.

Breaking news

Chairman Thompson says 'let's see what happens' about pushing the Trump subpoena question in court

Posted October 13, 2022 at 4:14 PM EDT
U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) speaks to the media after the committee voted to subpoena former President Donald Trump during today's hearing.
Tasos Katopodis
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U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) speaks to the media after the committee voted to subpoena former President Donald Trump during today's hearing.

Jan. 6 committee Chairman Bennie Thompson spoke to a few reporters in the hallway as he was leaving the hearing room. NPR's Lexie Schapitl was on the scene, and grabbed these quotes:

On why the committee isn't moving to talk to Mike Pence:

"Well, we have collected enough evidence that Mr. Former Vice President Pence did his job. We now need to hear from the president. What we presented today clearly shows the president's culpability in what occurred on Jan. 6, so if he wants to clear the record, he will have an opportunity to do it."

On what Trump's lack of testimony would mean for the evidence:

"We hope with this subpoenaing of Donald Trump, and his agreeing to it, it closes the chapter on a lot of the evidence we've shared. And so if we get his attention fine, if not we'll go with the evidence we've collected."

On whether the committee will fight Trump's possible refusal to testify in court:

"Let's see what happens."

ICYMI
Call for Trump testimony

Cheney says the American people are entitled to answers from Trump

Posted October 13, 2022 at 4:03 PM EDT
Rep. Liz Cheney (C) (R-WY), Vice Chairwoman of the Select Committee during today's hearing.
Drew Angerer
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Rep. Liz Cheney (C) (R-WY), Vice Chairwoman of the Select Committee during today's hearing.

Calling for the Jan. 6 committee to subpoena former President Donald Trump, Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney, R- Wyo., said the last task for the panel is to hold him accountable.

She said the committee has gathered sufficient information to answer questions from Congress and to hold criminals accountable for their actions. However, the committee and the American people still have questions about what happened.

Cheney said that over 30 witnesses invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Some of Trump’s key allies -- Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, John Eastman and others -- refused to answer questions about their correspondence with the former president on the day before and the day of the attacks on the Capitol.

Ultimately, she said, the American people are entitled to answers from the former president.

“At some point, the Department of Justice may well unearth the facts that these and other witnesses are currently concealing, but our duty today is to our country and our children and our Constitution,” Cheney said. “We are obligated to seek answers directly from the man who set this all in motion, and every American is entitled to those answers so we can act now to protect our republic.”

Cheney called for the committee to subpoena Trump for relevant documents and testimony, which passed unanimously.

Context

Trump has dodged a subpoena before (in an unrelated case)

Posted October 13, 2022 at 3:48 PM EDT
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a rally hosted by the former president at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on April 23, 2022 in Delaware, Ohio.
Drew Angerer
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Getty Images North America
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a rally hosted by the former president at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on April 23, 2022 in Delaware, Ohio.

The Jan. 6 panel closed today's hearing by voting unanimously to subpoena former President Donald Trump.

Presidential subpoenas are complicated, though not unprecedented. They have been known to raise complicated questions about the extent to which a president can be compelled to testify in a legal case. In fact, this particular subpoena vote has been the subject of debate because committee members worry Trump would ignore it and set off a lengthy legal battle.

And that wouldn't be unprecedented, either.

In April of this year, a New York judge held Trump in contempt of court for not complying with a civil subpoena for documents that the state attorney general had issued as part of an investigation into Trump's business practices.

The judge ordered Trump to pay a fine of $10,000 per day until he turned over the records, in the hopes that it would "coerce compliance."

The judge agreed in May to lift the contempt order if Trump paid the requisite fines and submitted affidavits explaining his and his company's document retention policies and efforts to find those records.

Trump paid $110,000. CNN reported in June that he was no longer in contempt of court.

ICYMI
Trump's actions

Trump didn't try to stop the mob

Posted October 13, 2022 at 3:44 PM EDT
This exhibit from video released by the House Select Committee, shows a tweet from President Donald Trump, displayed at a hearing by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Thursday, July 21, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (House Select Committee via AP)
AP
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House Select Committee via AP
This exhibit from video released by the House Select Committee, shows a tweet from President Donald Trump, displayed at the hearing on Thursday, July 21, 2022.

President Donald Trump failed to take action to stop the Jan. 6 mob from storming the U.S. Capitol. Instead, he sent a tweet attacking Vice President Mike Pence, adding fuel to the fire.

House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R- Calif., said in January 2021 that Trump had responsibility to bear for the attack on the Capitol because the president failed to intervene. "He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding," McCarthy said in a video clip.

Instead of calling for the rioters to stop, Trump attacked then Pence over social media.

"The impact of that tweet was foreseeable and predictable. It further inflamed the mob which was chanting, 'hang Mike Pence' and provoked them to even greater violence," committee member Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said. "This deliberate decision to further enrage the mob against Vice President Pence cannot be justified by anything that President Trump might have thought about the election."

Just In
Breaking News

Committee voted unanimously to subpoena Trump

Posted October 13, 2022 at 3:36 PM EDT
The House Select Committee during today's hearing.
Alex Wong
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Getty Images North America
The House Select Committee during today's hearing.

Vice Chairwoman Liz Cheney made the motion to vote on former President Donald Trump's subpoena to testify, describing Trump's testimony as an obligation given that more than 30 witnesses in the investigation invoked the Fifth Amendment in answer to the committee's questions about Trump.

All nine members of the committee voted in favor of the motion.

Video

New footage shows congressional leaders scrambling for security help

Posted October 13, 2022 at 3:34 PM EDT

In new video footage shown by the committee, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is shown talking on the phone to then-Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam about whether he could send help to the Capitol.

Pelosi can be seen insisting that the government must continue to function and elect a president.

“Do you believe this?” she can be heard saying.

Other footage showed congressional leaders — including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Rep. Steve Scalise — in secure locations working the phones to ensure their colleagues were safe. Snippets of them huddled around cell phones are interspersed with tense scenes of the rioters chanting outside.

At one point, Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sit on a bench talking to Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen on speakerphone, calmly acknowledging that rioters are ransacking their officers and expressing concerns about their personal safety.

Schumer asks Rosen to issue a public statement, in his capacity as a law enforcement officer, asking the rioters to leave.

"They're breaking the law in many different ways," Pelosi says. "And quite frankly, much of it at the instigation of the president of the United States."

Washington Post reporter Jacqueline Alemany tweeted that the footage was shot by Alexandra Pelosi — a documentary filmmaker — who was with her mother to capture footage of the historic day.

A dangerous tweet

Secret Service had concerns about Pence's safety after Trump's tweet, committee says

Posted October 13, 2022 at 3:31 PM EDT
In this image from video released by the House Select Committee, Vice President Mike Pence looks at a phone from his secure evacuation location on Jan. 6 that is displayed as House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing June 16, 2022.
House Select Committee
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AP, File
In this image from video released by the House Select Committee, Vice President Mike Pence looks at a phone from his secure evacuation location on Jan. 6 that is displayed as House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing June 16, 2022.

The Secret Service communicated concern about Vice President Mike Pence's safety following a tweet from President Donald Trump, the Jan. 6 committee said.

New documents from the Secret Service show that after Trump tweeted about Pence, an agent warned "POTUS just tweeted about Pence. Probably not going to be good for Pence." Another agent remarked that there were 24,000 likes on the tweet in under two minutes.

A former Twitter employee testified to the committee and said on the insurrectionists, "they were literally calling for assassination" as Trump's tweet on Pence went out.

ICYMI
Court filings

Trump’s efforts have been repeatedly overturned in court

Posted October 13, 2022 at 3:26 PM EDT
Former U.S. President Donald Trump during a campaign rally at Minden-Tahoe Airport on October 08, 2022 in Minden, Nevada.
Justin Sullivan
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Getty Images North America
Former U.S. President Donald Trump during a campaign rally at Minden-Tahoe Airport on October 08, 2022 in Minden, Nevada.

The former president filed 62 lawsuits to try to overturn election results, all of which were unsuccessful.

“The claims were not supported by any sufficient evidence of fraud or irregularities; in fact, they were baseless, as judges repeatedly recognized,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., told the committee. “In none of these 62 cases was President Trump able to establish any viable claims of election fraud sufficient to overturn the results of the election.”

A federal judge in Wisconsin said the former president’s efforts were lost on the merits of his claim. Another judge in Michigan described the claims as speculation and conjecture, “A historic and profound abuse of the judicial process.”

Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson said Trump was irate when his request was shot down by the Supreme Court, an observation confirmed by text messages by Secret Service members.

Ignored advice

Trump watched the insurrection for nearly 3 hours from White House dining room, committee says

Posted October 13, 2022 at 3:15 PM EDT
Police clash with supporters of US President Donald Trump who breached security and entered the Capitol building in Washington D.C., United States on January 6, 2021.
Mostafa Bassim
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Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Police clash with Trump supporters who breached security and entered the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021.

President Donald Trump resisted advice from his advisers to speak up and send a message to his supporters to stop the violence at the Capitol after they had already stormed the building, the Jan. 6 committee said.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said that from 1:20 p.m. to about 4 p.m. on Jan. 6, Trump watched television coverage of the insurrection unfolding from the White House dining room off the Oval Office. He ignored advisers and others, including Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, who urged him to make a statement to stop the violence.

Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified that she overheard White House chief of staff Mark Meadows saying that Trump didn't want to do anything because "he doesn't think they're doing anything wrong," referring to the protesters.

ICYMI
Armed rallygoers

Trump knew the crowd was armed and dangerous

Posted October 13, 2022 at 3:14 PM EDT
Secret service documents are presented during today's hearing.
Mandel Ngan
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AFP via Getty Images
Secret service documents are presented during today's hearing.

Representative Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., said it was important to understand the lengths the former president was willing to go to stay in power, including allowing armed protestors to walk to the Capitol.

Former White House aid Cassidy Hutchinson said in her testimony that she overheard a conversation in which Trump demanded security at his rally stop searching for weapons.

“They’re not here to hurt me, take the f*****g mags away, let my people in, they can march to the Capitol from here, let the people away,” Hutchinson recalled Trump saying.

The committee’s investigation found emails that circulated among the intelligence community that showed messages from rallygoers pushing for violence, including orders about carrying weapons and ammunition.

“What is clear from this record is that the White House had more than enough warning to warrant stopping any plan for an Ellipse rally and certainly for stopping any march to the Capitol, and as evidence from our prior hearings suggested, the president was aware of this information,” Aguilar said.

Despite knowing that crowd members were armed, Trump still urged security to allow the mob to move to the Capitol. “There’s no scenario where that action is benign and there is no scenario where an American president should have been engaged in that conduct.’ Aguilar said. “ ... This could not be justified on any basis for any reason.”

ICYMI
Pence's ceremonial role

Trump pressured former Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the results

Posted October 13, 2022 at 3:09 PM EDT
Former Vice President Mike Pence appears on screen during the fourth hearing on June 21, 2022.
Al Drago
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POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Former Vice President Mike Pence appears on the screen during the hearing..

On the morning of Jan. 6, former President Donald Trump called then-Vice President Mike Pence and demanded he overturned the election results, Rep Stephanie Murphy, D- Fla., said.

“President Trump said I had the right to overturn the election, but President Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election,” Pence said in a video recorded during a speech at the conservative Federalist Society in February. “The presidency belongs to the American people and the American people alone, and frankly there is no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president.”

An email from Trump lawyer John Eastman showed that the former president knew before Jan. 6, that it would be illegal for Pence to overturn the election, breaking the Electoral Count Act. Eastman admitted that he had advised Trump that Pence did not have the power to decide what electoral votes did or did not count.

Advance warnings

The Secret Service had tips and other evidence that violence would happen on Jan. 6, committee says

Posted October 13, 2022 at 2:50 PM EDT
U.S. Secret Service reports from today's hearing.
Jacquelyn Martin
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AP
U.S. Secret Service reports from today's hearing.

The Secret Service had advance notice that there was going to be potential violence on Jan. 6, 2021, Rep. Adam Schiff said.

Schiff said that on Dec. 31, 2020, agents had sent out intelligence reports that Trump supporters had plans to occupy Capitol Hill. On Jan. 5, 2021, the Secret Service flagged a social media account that said someone threatened to bring a sniper rifle to a rally the following day, the committee said.

"By the morning of Jan. 6, it was clear that the Secret Service anticipated violence," Schiff said, reading out chats from a Secret Service division where one agent said that morning felt like the "calm before the storm."

Schiff said federal agents knew, even before Trump began his remarks, that the crowd had weapons and had the intention of going toward the Capitol. He also said Trump advisers were aware of threats of violence.

In a text from Jason Miller, a senior communications adviser to Mark Meadows, Trump's chief of staff, Miller said, "I GOT THE BASE FIRED UP," and sent a link to a webpage that had violence comments about Jan. 6.

One of those comments said: "Our lawmakers in Congress can leave one of two ways. One, in a body bag. Two, after rightfully certifying Trump the winner."

Schiff said Miller claims he had no idea about these comments when he sent the link to Meadows.

Breaking news

Committee will vote today to subpoena Trump

Posted October 13, 2022 at 2:44 PM EDT
Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (C), with Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R), speaks at a US House Select Committee hearing on October 13, 2022.
Mandel Ngan
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AFP via Getty Images
Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (center), with Vice Chair Liz Cheney (right), speaks at today's hearing.

A source familiar with the process tells NPR's Deirdre Walsh that the Jan. 6 committee plans to vote to subpoena former President Donald Trump to testify and continue its investigation.

The issue of whether to subpoena Trump has been debated inside the committee, with some members concerned that the former president would ignore the subpoena, leading to a lengthy litigation process that'd involve complex questions about the separation of powers.

None of that is likely to be wrapped up ahead of midterms or the start of a new congress, and most of these committee members are up for re-election.

We'll cover the vote here in the live blog. Stay with us for continuing coverage.

Background

What we know about the deleted Secret Service texts

Posted October 13, 2022 at 2:29 PM EDT
Excerpts of Secret Service emails are displayed during the hearing.
Alex Wong
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Getty Images North America
Excerpts of Secret Service emails are displayed during the hearing.

Rep. Adam Schiff said at today's hearing that the committee was able to obtain nearly 1 million emails, records and other electronic records from the U.S. Secret Service that shed light on what happened during and before the Capitol riot.

The inspector general for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Secret Service, found in July that the Secret Service deleted many of the text messages sent during a two-day period surrounding Jan. 6.

Those texts were deleted even after the watchdog had asked for records of them as part of its investigation into the events of that day, the inspector general's office said.

The Secret Service's communications chief disputed that characterization, saying the agency had started to reset its mobile phones in January 2021as part of a months-long system migration plan and that the messages weren't requested until the following month.

NPR's Claudia Grisales recently reported on the mass exodus of lawyers from the Department of Homeland Security's watchdog agency, which you can read about here.

Schiff said at today's hearing that the committee's review of "hundreds of thousands of pages" provided by the Secret Service continues.

False claims

Committee member says Trump repeated election lies about suitcases of ballots, even though he knew there was no fraud

Posted October 13, 2022 at 2:15 PM EDT
The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol meets for the hearing.
Drew Angerer
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Getty Images North America
The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol meets for the hearing.

Donald Trump was fixated on repeating the lie that there were suitcases of ballots that contributed to widespread election fraud, despite multiple advisers telling him there were no suitcases and there was no fraud, a Democrat on the Jan. 6 committee said.

Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., said Trump continued to make these false claims, even though they were "directly at odds with what Donald Trump knew."

Trump "maliciously repeated this nonsense to a wide audience over and over again. His intent was to deceive," Luria said.

After Trump tried to pressure state election officials in Georgia to change the election results, he tried to appoint Jeff Clark as attorney general. The only reason that did not happen, Luria said, was because several White House and Justice Department officials threatened to resign.

Context

How many election-related lawsuits did Trump lose? A look at the numbers

Posted October 13, 2022 at 2:08 PM EDT
A video of former President Donald Trump is played during the hearing.
Alex Wong
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Getty Images
A video of former President Donald Trump is played during the hearing.

There isn't one exact count of lawsuits filed by former President Donald Trump after the 2020 election, though there are some numbers that keep coming up.

Trump and his allies filed 62 suits in states and federal courts seeking to overturn election results in states that he had lost, according to Democratic lawyer Marc Elias. All but one failed, he says. (USA Today offers this analysis by the numbers).

But Russell Wheeler, a visiting fellow at the nonprofit, nonpartisan Brookings Institution, wanted a more granular look at the data. He combed through cases listed on Elias' tracker, as well as Ballotpedia and Wikipedia (so again, a grain of salt is needed).

Ultimately, Wheeler examined 194 judicial votes in 42 post-election cases: 29 state cases with 150 votes by 75 judges, and 13 federal cases with 44 votes by 41 judges.

"I coded these votes by a simple binary measure — Trump won, or Trump lost," Wheeler explains. "For sure, a judge’s decision — many involved jurisdictional or procedural questions — is not necessarily an indication of the judge’s view of Trump’s basic claim of election fraud."

He found that just 28 judicial decisions at the combined state and federal level were decided in Trump's favor, compared to 166 against him. In other words, Trump lost 86% of them. Take a closer look here.

The election

Committee says Trump admitted in private that he lost the 2020 election

Posted October 13, 2022 at 1:57 PM EDT
A video is shown of former US President Donald Trump at the US House Select Committee hearing to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the US Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on October 13, 2022.
Andrew Harnik
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POOL/AFP via Getty Images
A video of former President Donald Trump is played during the hearing.

Testimony from former White House aides, including Communications Director Alyssa Farah, shows that former President Donald Trump acknowledged in private that he lost the election — despite making baseless claims in public that there was election fraud.

"I popped into the Oval just to give the president the headlines and see how he was doing. And he was looking at the TV and he said, 'Can you believe I lost to this f***ing guy?' " Farah said in her testimony.

The committee also said that the former president issued an immediate withdrawal of troops from Somalia and Afghanistan, which would take place before Biden's inauguration, despite military officials advising otherwise. The order was signed but was never carried out. The committee says this was evidence that Trump knew he had lost the election.

Sidebar

Steve Bannon will be sentenced next week on contempt of Congress charges

Posted October 13, 2022 at 1:55 PM EDT
Former White House strategist Steve Bannon leaves court, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in New York.
John Minchillo
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AP
Former White House strategist Steve Bannon leaves court, Tuesday, Oct. 4, in New York.

The committee has played tape of former Trump presidential adviser Steve Bannon speaking to associates about Trump's plan to declare victory even before results came in, adding at one point that "if Biden's winning, Trump is gonna do some crazy s***."

After playing the tape Rep. Zoe Lofgren noted that Bannon has refused to testify before the committee.

A federal jury convicted Bannon of two counts of criminal contempt of Congress for defying the committee's subpoena. He put on no defense in the case, which you can read more about here. He faces the prospect of jail time and monetary fines when he is sentenced on Oct. 21.

It's not Bannon's only legal woe. In early September, he was indicted on six charges under New York state law, including conspiracy and money laundering, on charges of diverting funds donated to the We Build the Wall organization. He pleaded not guilty.

What Trump knew

Steve Bannon knew Trump would declare victory

Posted October 13, 2022 at 1:49 PM EDT
A video of Steve Bannon, former adviser to former U.S. President Donald Trump, is played during the hearing on October 13, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong
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Getty Images North America
A video of Steve Bannon, former adviser to former President Donald Trump, is played during the hearing.

Steve Bannon knew in advance that Trump would declare victory at the end of election night, said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.

A video clip during the hearing showed Bannon saying, “What Trump's going to do is declare victory ... but that doesn’t mean he’s a winner, he’s going to say he’s a winner."

Lofgren went on to say that Bannon, currently being held in contempt of Congress and awaiting trial, knew that there would be an attack during the election certification on Jan. 6.
“All hell is going to break loose tomorrow,” Bannon said on Jan. 5. “It’s all converging, and it’s at ... the point of attack, tomorrow.”

Opening statements

Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney says another Jan. 6 could happen without accountability

Posted October 13, 2022 at 1:29 PM EDT
Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, holds a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022.
J. Scott Applewhite
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AP
Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks at the House Jan. 6 committee hearing on Thursday.

Committee Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said in her opening remarks that another attack like Jan. 6 could happen again "if we do not take necessary action to prevent it."

"Without accountability, it all becomes normal and will recur," Cheney said.

Cheney said Trump was the "central cause" of the insurrection and was "personally and substantially involved in all of it." The hearing today, she said, will focus on Trump's state of mind and intentions.

Cheney said in her statement that the committee may decide to make a "series of criminal referrals" to the Department of Justice, but she reiterated that it is not the committee's role to make decisions regarding prosecutions.

Context

Previous hearings have drawn millions of viewers

Posted October 13, 2022 at 1:28 PM EDT
Representative Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi and chairman of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol, speaks virtually during a hearing in Washington, D.C., US, on Thursday, July 21, 2022.
Al Drago
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Bloomberg via Getty Images
Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the committee, speaks virtually during a hearing on July 21.

Committee Chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., used part of his opening statement to urge viewers to focus on the facts and evidence about to be presented. He specifically addressed people who may be tuning in for the first time.

It's not clear how big an audience that actually is. But we do have some viewership numbers from previous hearings, thanks to the Nielsen Company.

Some 20 million people tuned into the committee's first hearing on June 9, and an estimated 17.7 million watched the second prime-time hearing on July 21, the Associated Press has reported.

The six other hearings held during the daytime averaged 11.2 million viewers, with a peak audience of 13.2 million on June 28 — a surprise hearing that featured explosive testimony from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson about Trump's behavior.

NPR's media correspondent David Folkenflik has reported on how the committee has used tricks of the TV trade to make its hearings easy to follow. Read that here.

Opening remarks

Chairman Bennie Thompson’s opening remarks

Posted October 13, 2022 at 1:24 PM EDT
U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Chair of the House Select Committee delivers remarks during a hearing on the January 6th investigation in the Cannon House Office Building on October 13, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong
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Getty Images
Rep. Bennie Thompson, chair of the House Jan. 6 committee, gives opening remarks on Thursday.

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson began the proceedings by reiterating that the committee has found overwhelming evidence that the attack on Jan. 6 was part of a multi-part plan by former President Trump.

Trump knew that he had lost the election, but took the matter to court, where he lost time and time again. When that didn’t work, the former president “pulled out all the stops to stay in power,” Thompson said.

“In a staggering betrayal of his oath, Donald Trump attempted a plan that led to an attack on a pillar of our democracy; it’s still hard to believe.”

Thompson went on to say that the investigation was not about politics or party, but instead to find the facts about what unfolded on Jan. 6., and to ensure that “our government functions under the rule of law, as our constitution demands.”

Breaking News

Chairman Thompson says the committee hasn't ruled out a subpoena for Trump

Posted October 13, 2022 at 1:07 PM EDT
U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) (R), Chair of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, presides over a hearing on the January 6th investigation in the Cannon House Office Building on October 13, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong
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Getty Images North America
Rep. Bennie Thompson, far right, during the hearing.

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson spoke briefly with reporters, including NPR's Lexie Schapitl, before heading into the hearing room.

Thompson said the committee has "not ruled out a subpoena" for former President Donald Trump and is still considering hearing directly from former Vice President Mike Pence as well.

Thompson also added that the committee will put out "some work" before the midterms but stopped short of committing to an interim report.

Key players

A committee refresher: Who's who, and who's up for reelection

Posted October 13, 2022 at 1:03 PM EDT
The US House Select Committee convenes a hearing to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the US Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on October 13, 2022.
Mandel Ngan
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AFP via Getty Images
The House Jan. 6 committee convenes on Thursday.

Today's hearing doesn't feature any live witness testimony, so we're seeing a lot of the nine-member panel.

Here's a crash course on who's who (and who's up for re-election):

· Chairperson Bennie Thompson, D-Miss. Thompson has served in politics for more than 50 years, with deep roots in civil rights activism. He told NPR earlier this year that he sees the committee's mission as helping to preserve democracy. The chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security is running for reelection this November.

· Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif. Lofgren represents the district covering parts of Santa Clara County, including the city of San Jose. She is currently running for a 14th term.

· Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. The former prosecutor served as the lead House impeachment manager in President Donald Trump's first impeachment trial. Schiff is up for reelection this November, hoping to win what would be his 12th term.

· Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif. Aguilar is running for a fifth term. He currently serves as the vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus.

· Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla. Murphy, part of the Democratic Party's moderate wing, announced last winter that she will not seek re-election in order to focus on her family, but didn't rule out running for another public role in the future.

· Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md. Raskin is on the ballot for the upcoming general election. Some may recognize him from leading the Senate trial of Trump's second impeachment (related to the events of Jan. 6, which happened just days after Raskin's son died by suicide).

· Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va. Luria was first elected to Congress in 2018, after serving in the U.S. Navy for two decades. She's also up for reelection.

· Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo. Cheney lost her August primary to Trump-endorsed attorney Harriet Hageman. The loss was expected, given Cheney's outspoken criticism of Trump and, increasingly, her own party. She hasn't ruled out a possible presidential run in 2024.

· Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill. Kinzinger, who was one of just 10 House Republicans (including Cheney) who voted to impeach Trump in 2021, announced last winter he would not be seeking re-election. He made headlines earlier this week for endorsing Democrats in key swing-state races.

Context

Here's the latest on the investigations into the rioters

Posted October 13, 2022 at 12:53 PM EDT
Demonstrators attempt to enter the U.S. Capitol building during a protest in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.
Eric Lee
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Bloomberg via Getty Images
Demonstrators attempt to enter the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021.

It's not just former President Donald Trump who's being investigated for his role in the Jan. 6 attacks.

Hundreds of his supporters broke through police lines to storm the U.S. Capitol in an event that the FBI has labeled an act of domestic terrorism. The ongoing investigation into those supporters has become the largest Department of Justice criminal investigation in U.S. history.

So far, more than 875 individuals have been charged, according to an NPR database that has been tracking the investigations. Here are a few key numbers:

  • 2,000 people may have been involved in the attack, according to the FBI.
  • All 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, are represented in the charges.
  • 407 individuals have pled guilty so far.
  • 277 people have received sentences and 51% of those people have received jail time.
  • 10 defendants have had jury trials, with each one being convicted on all counts.
  • At least 153 defendants have alleged ties to extremist groups such as the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.

Read more about the investigations here.

Legal

What investigations is Trump facing?

Posted October 13, 2022 at 12:42 PM EDT
A video of President Donald Trump recording a statement in the Rose Garden of the White House on Jan. 6 is played as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, July 21, 2022.
Patrick Semansky
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AP
A video of former President Donald Trump plays during a Jan. 6 committee hearing on July 21.

Former President Donald Trump is considering another run for office. But he's also facing a number of investigations — both related to his business and his presidency — that could potentially impact that decision.

NPR's Deepa Shivaram has this roundup of the various probes involving Trump. They include:

  • The Department of Justice is conducting a criminal investigation into Trump's handling of classified documents after the FBI seized documents from his Mar-a-Lago estate.
  • The House committee investigating the Capitol riot is also looking into Trump's efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election and could decide to refer the case to the Justice Department for prosecution.
  • After a three-year investigation, New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a civil lawsuit accusing Trump and three of his adult children of engaging in a decade's worth of fraud.
Evidence

Secret Service texts could be shown in today's hearing

Posted October 13, 2022 at 12:33 PM EDT
The House select committee members arrive for the hearing on October 13, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Andrew Harnik
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Pool/Getty Images
The House select committee members arrive for the hearing on October 13, 2022 in Washington, DC.

The role of the Secret Service in the Jan. 6 attack emerged as a top focus for earlier hearings, especially after the panel learned details about deleted text messages from the agency, including that the Department of Homeland Security's watchdog agency knew about the missing documents.

NPR's congressional correspondent Claudia Grisalesreported that the agency has seen an exodus of lawyers since a new Trump appointee took over three years ago. That, in turn, has hurt the attorneys' abilities to establish key relationships to oversight work.

The panel issued a subpoena to the Secret Service. The result was over 800,000 pages of material, according to the vice chair of the House Select Committee and its top Republican, Liz Cheney.

It's possible some of those documents could be shared at today's hearing.

Outcomes

What happens when the hearings are finished?

Posted October 13, 2022 at 12:22 PM EDT
A image of former President Donald Trump talking to his Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is seen the hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2022.
Sean Thew
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Pool EPA
A image of former President Donald Trump talking to his Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is seen the hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

NPR's Dierdre Walsh and Claudia Grisales have been covering these hearings since the start. Here's what they have to say about how to tailor our expectations for what comes after today:

"Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., has repeatedly stressed that the panel's charge is to follow the facts, come up with recommendations to protect democracy and issue a report with the committee's findings. He says the report will be released before the select committee sunsets at the end of this year.

Even rank-and-file Democrats were skeptical the committee's hearings would break through or reveal substantial new information. But the series of summer public sessions — two in prime time — delivered many dramatic moments, with largely Republican witnesses disclosing new details about how then-President Trump was told repeatedly he lost the 2020 election and that the effort to overturn the results or push fraud claims was illegal, but he ignored that advice and pushed to reverse the election's outcome."

Readthe full story here.

Interview

3 things a former committee adviser wants to hear today

Posted October 13, 2022 at 12:01 PM EDT
Rep. Denver Riggleman, R-Va., is seen on the House steps of the Capitol during votes on Friday, December 4, 2020.
Tom Williams
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CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
Rep. Denver Riggleman, R-Va., is seen on the House steps of the Capitol during votes on Dec. 4, 2020.

Denver Riggleman, a former Republican congressman who spent eight months serving as a senior adviser to the Jan. 6 committee, spoke to Morning Edition about what he's hoping to see from today's hearing.

New evidence about key figures: He's particularly curious to hear more about controversial political operative Roger Stone and what he was saying about violence that day (as captured by a documentary film crew), as well as texts obtained from the Secret Service in the lead-up to the insurrection.

The role of Ginni Thomas: He's also looking to learn more about the actions of Ginni Thomas, the political activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. She testified before the committee last month about her communications with people pursuing efforts to overturn the election results, including Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows.

The nine-second phone call: Riggleman also has questions about the nine-second phone call from a general number inside the White House to one of the rioters during the attack (the content of which is unknown). The former military intelligence officer says just a few seconds "is a lifetime to a counter-terrorism analyst."

Riggleman wrote about his experience working with the committee in the new book The Breach: The Untold Story of the Investigation into January 6th. Click here to listen to his conversation with Morning Edition host A Martínez.

Witnesses

We still don't know if Ginni Thomas will testify

Posted October 13, 2022 at 11:44 AM EDT
Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, walks during a break as she speaks behind closed doors with investigators on the Jan. 6 Select Committee in the Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. House Office Building on Capitol Hill on Thursday, Sept 29, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Jabin Botsford
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The Washington Post via Getty Images
Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, walks during a break as she speaks behind closed doors with investigators on the Jan. 6 Select Committee in the Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. House Office Building on Capitol Hill on Sept. 29, 2022, in Washington, D.C.

House committee aides who briefed reporters yesterday said that no live witnesses would appear during the hearing, which is expected to last about two and a half hours.

The aides did say that the hearing might involve new testimony, but declined to state which witnesses might be providing that information. That means we still don't know if the committee will share testimony from Ginni Thomas.

The wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and a GOP activist, Thomas spent several hours testifying before the committee behind closed doors in late September.

NPR's Congressional Correspondent Claudia Grisales spoke to Thomas's lawyer about the testimony and learned that the panel wanted to talk to Thomas about her conversations with two key figures, both of whom have been mentioned often throughout the last eight hearings:

  1. Then-President Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows.
  2. Conservative lawyerJohn Eastman.

Read more about what to expect in today's hearing here.

Key moments

Here's what we've learned from the hearings so far

Posted October 13, 2022 at 10:58 AM EDT
A video of William Barr, former US attorney general, center, is played on a screen during a hearing of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., US, on Tuesday, July 12, 2022.
Al Drago
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Bloomberg via Getty Images
A video of William Barr, former US attorney general, center, is played on a screen during a hearing of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., US, on Tuesday, July 12, 2022.

If you haven't been following the previous eight hearings, NPR's Senior Political Editor Domenico Montanaro has you covered.

He writes there were 14 key moments that occurred as the committee laid out its case that former President Donald Trump is responsible for the attack on the Capitol.

Here's a sample of what we learned:

1. Those close to Trump, including former Attorney General William Barr, told Trump that claims of election fraud were false. But Rudy Giuliani took the opposite approach on election night.

2. Trump's pressure campaign ruined the lives of everyday Americans, including a Georgia election worker and a former Trump supporter who entered the Capitol on Jan. 6.

3. Trump's behavior on Jan. 6 shocked his security staff. According to committee witnesses, Trump demanded that armed rally attendees be let in to his speech location and tried to steer his Secret Service vehicle towards the Capitol.

You can read Montanaro's full piece here.

FYI

What to expect in today's hearing

Posted October 13, 2022 at 10:56 AM EDT
A video of President Donald Trump speaking on Jan. 6 is played as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, July 21, 2022.
Patrick Semansky
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AP
A video of President Donald Trump speaking on Jan. 6 is played as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, July 21, 2022.

On Wednesday, aides to the House committee briefed reporters, including NPR Washington correspondents Deirdre Walsh and Claudia Grisales, on what to expect. Here's what our reporters learned:

  • New testimony: There will be no live witnesses, but the hearing will present "new testimony." Some witnesses have appeared in previous hearings and some the committee has not presented before. The aides declined to name the witnesses.
  • New documents: The panel will present "a great deal of new documentary evidence" and among that evidence is some of the information from the hundreds of thousands of pages that the U.S. Secret Service has turned over to the committee since it issued a subpoena to the agency in July. Some text messages the committee wanted, though, have been deleted.
  • New video of the violence: Unlike previous hearings that examined one topic, Thursday's session will take "a step back." The panel will bring a particular focus to the "former president's state of mind" and his involvement in the events as they unfolded.

You can read the full story here.

Watch live

Here's how to watch today's January 6 hearing

Posted October 13, 2022 at 10:56 AM EDT
From left to right, Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., and Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., during the hearing at the Capitol in Washington, June 9, 2022.
J. Scott Applewhite
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AP
From left to right, Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., and Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., during the hearing at the Capitol in Washington, June 9, 2022.

Today's hearing is the ninth public hearing held by the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. It also could be the committee's final televised hearing.

Opening statements are scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m. ET. You can follow the livestream at the top of this page, and check this feed for summaries, updates and context.

NPR will also broadcast live special coverage of the hearings and tonight on the NPR Politics Podcast, which you can find on Apple or Spotify.

Most TV news station carried the previous eight hearings in full. You can also stream the hearing on CSPAN orthe House Committee's livestream.