Dec 19, 2022 - Politics & Policy

New revelations from the Jan. 6 report

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) prepares to leave the final meeting of the House Jan. 6 Committee on December 19, 2022. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

New details of former President Trump's private conversations are among the revelations in the Jan. 6 select committee’s final report, portions of which were provided to Axios.

Why it matters: The evidence and testimony shed new light on key events from the Capitol riot and the events leading up to it, including Trump's wide-reaching efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

1) Stepien office incident: Former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien testified that he took an intentional, informal "self-demotion" after Trump brought on lawyer Rudy Giuliani to help spread baseless election fraud claims. He told the committee about an episode in which he locked Giuliani out of his office:

  • "It was a big glass ... office in our headquarters, and I had my assistant lock my door," he told the committee, "I told her, don’t let anyone in ... Tell me what’s going on here, but, you know, you’re going to see less of me."
  • "Sure enough," he continued, "Mayor Giuliani tried to... get in my office and ordered her to unlock the door, and she didn’t do that, you know."
  • Axios' Jonathan Swan and Zach Basu reported that Trump campaign aides would often take refuge from Giuliani's meetings in Stepien's office, with Giuliani coming to knock on the door and ask, "You guys, where did you go?"

2) Giuliani testimony: Despite his past claims of election fraud, Giuliani told the select committee during a deposition: “I do not think the machines stole the election.”

3) Pence call: Trump told former Vice President Mike Pence during a phone call on the morning of Jan. 6 that certifying President Biden's election victory would be "a political career killer," according to testimony from an anonymous White House employee.

  • Pence didn't initially take Trump's call, according to testimony from former White House lawyer Eric Herschmann, eventually getting through after shouting to aides to “get the Vice President on the phone."

4) Meeting with Michigan leaders: Trump told the GOP leaders of the Michigan state legislature to "have some backbone and do the right thing" during a Nov. 20 meeting at the White House, according to then-state House Speaker Lee Chatfield.

  • Chatfield told the committee he interpreted that as a request help overturn the election by sending Trump electors to Congress.

5) Hope Hicks texts: White House counselor Hope Hicks texted Trump campaign spokesperson Hogan Gidley as the Capitol riot unfolded that she had "suggested ... several times" on Jan. 4 and 5 that Trump publicly call for Jan. 6 to be peaceful.

  • In testimony played at the committee's meeting on Monday, Hicks said she "didn't speak to the president about this directly," but communicated with Herschmann.
  • "Mr. Herschmann said that he had made the same recommendation to the president, and [the president] had refused," Hicks testified.
  • Hicks also texted a colleague the evening of Jan. 6: “Attacking the VP? Wtf is wrong with him”.

6) Weapons at the Ellipse: Secret Service documents show that hundreds of weapons were confiscated from spectators who passed through the metal detectors at the Jan. 6 Ellipse rally.

  • They include 242 canisters of pepper spray, 269 knives or blades, 18 brass knuckles, 18 tasers, 6 pieces of body armor, 3 gas masks and 30 batons or blunt instruments.
  • There were also 17 other "miscellaneous items" including scissors, needles or screwdrivers.
  • Thousands of attendees "purposely remained outside the magnetometers," the report says, citing Secret Service documents, testimony from a rioter and documentary footage from British filmmaker Nick Quested.

7) Ashli Babbitt: Trump was informed of the shooting of rioter Ashli Babbitt at some point after 3:05 pm on Jan. 6 with a note, written by White House aide William “Beau” Harrison, that read: “1x CIVILIAN GUNSHOT WOUND TO CHEST @ DOOR OF HOUSE CHABER [sic]”.

  • Harrison was notified by an email at 3:05pm and told the committee he wrote the note and passed it to either White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows or his deputy, Anthony Ornato.
  • An anonymous White House employee told the committee, “I remember seeing that [note] in front of [President Trump], yeah.”
  • According to the report, “There is no indication that this affected the President’s state of mind that day, and we found no evidence that the President expressed any remorse that day.”
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