The United States House select committee, informally known as the Jan. 6 Panel, met to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the United States Capitol. The panel voted unanimously to subpoena former President Donald Trump after presenting a narrative of Trump’s state of mind and behavior on Jan. 6, 2021.
In what may be the panel’s last public hearing, the committee didn’t leave much to be inferred. All nine members took turns combining evidence and testimony to name Trump as the centerpiece and mastermind of the failed insurrection almost two years ago.
“He is the one person at the center of the story of what happened on Jan. 6,” said Bennie Thompson, the committee’s chairman.
The committee began by laying out information to prove that Trump had a premeditated plan to claim a stolen election before knowing the election results. It showed a clip where Trump reassured his followers, “ … (we) will be going to the Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop.” This occurred on Nov. 4, 2020.
This was followed by Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist, warning people to “strap in” on Jan. 5, 2021, and that “all hell is going to break loose tomorrow.”
The former president also signed a military order in November 2020 to take effect immediately. The plans were to withdraw all U.S. troops from Somalia by December 2020 and Afghanistan by January 2021. The panel saw this as a move by a desperate president who was aware his term was coming to a close.
A total of 62 election lawsuits were filed by the Trump campaign and its allies. They lost 61 cases due to a lack of specific allegations and proof. The single victory did nothing to move the case forward.
Trump also had General Richard Donoghoe, former acting deputy attorney general, ask a favor of the Department of Justice.
“Just say that the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican Congressmen,” was on a piece of paper that Donoghoe was to deliver to the Supreme Court Justices.
False electoral slates were also sent to the Capitol, and former Vice President Mike Pence was urged to not count certain electoral votes in favor of President Joe Biden.
The Secret Service was also placed under scrutiny by the panel. It was proven that they had received plenty of notice about the possibility of a siege on the capitol. The organization had received an email of information gathered by artificial intelligence titled “Armed and Ready, Mr. President,” sharing that people on the internet were targeting Congress members, planning to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6 and to “make sure they know who to fear.”
The Secret Service was also aware of armed people at the Ellipsis, where Trump was delivering his address on Jan. 6. It was noted that people were hanging back and that the former president urged Secret Service members to “take the (magnetometers) away,” which would make it impossible to screen for weapons.
Trump arrived at the White House at about 1:20 p.m. after delivering his speech. He was immediately informed about the violence sparking at the Capitol. Despite family members and advisors urging him to stop the mob, many testifiers stated that he remained in the Oval Office dining room and refused to do anything to stop the violence for roughly two and a half hours.
To juxtapose this scene of inaction, the panel showed a never-before-seen video of Congress officials hunkering down in undisclosed locations within the Capitol during the attack. Figures like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer scrambled to make phone calls, while others put on gas masks.
Moments after the video was played, the panel held a unanimous vote to subpoena Trump.
The former president has publicly attacked the committee, so it is unclear whether he would be interested in testifying. Preliminary discussions among the panel members have shown they would be open to a live interview with Trump.