Tuesday Reads: January 6 Committee Hearing #7Posted: July 12, 2022
The January 6 Committee will hold a hearing today beginning at 1PM. There won’t be a hearing on Thursday night, but at least one is planned for next week. As Dakinikat wrote yesterday, the hearing is expected to focus on ties between Trump and militia groups the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, and how Trump used tweets to communicate with them and urge his followers to converge on Washington DC to interfere with the certification of electoral votes on January 6, 2021.
Nicholas Wu and Kyle Cheney at Politico: Jan. 6 panel zeroes in on Trump’s ‘clarion call’ to extremists.
The Jan. 6 select committee plans to make its most complex case yet at its public hearing Tuesday: that Donald Trump’s words and actions influenced extremists and brought them to the steps of the Capitol.
“Be there. Will be wild,” Trump tweeted on Dec. 19, 2020, barely two weeks before a mob seeded with members of the far-right Proud Boys and Oath Keepers besieged the Capitol and threatened the transfer of power to Joe Biden. That tweet will be the focal point of the Jan. 6 panel’s seventh public hearing, as House investigators aim to show that the former president’s most extreme supporters were intently listening — and quickly began preparing for potential violence in support of Trump’s goal to stay in power.
The tweet was a “clarion call” to the groups, said Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), who is leading Tuesday’s hearing along with Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.).
Tuesday’s hearing will require investigators to delve into the sordid world of internet extremism and specifically lay out how Trump’s words rippled through its corners.
Former Oath Keepers spokesperson Jason Van Tatenhove is expected to be one of the witnesses Tuesday afternoon, according to a person familiar with the situation. Van Tatenhove has described himself as a former “propagandist” for the Oath Keepers, and left the group several years ago, he told local television station KDVR. The select panel has cited concerns about harassment and security of the witnesses, mostly declining to name them before the hearings begin.
A bit more detail:
The panel intends to highlight how adherents to the antisemitic, fringe conspiracy theories of QAnon latched onto Trump’s stolen-election claims, as well as how the extremist Proud Boys and Oath Keepers used Trump’s crusade to fundraise for a violent effort to keep Biden from office. Committee members will also get into how the White House pushed forward with plans for a march on the Capitol — one witnesses say Trump desperately tried to join — even as warnings about the likelihood of brutality grew.
The role of social media platforms in extremists’ mobilization will also play a role in Tuesday’s hearing, Murphy said. The select panel subpoenaed companies like Alphabet, the parent company of Google; Meta, Facebook’s parent company; and Twitter earlier this year for records related to the attack. The committee has scrutinized the companies’ roles in spreading misinformation and providing breeding grounds for extremism….
Committee aides previewing the hearing said it would also touch on members of Congress who helped fan the flames of the false election fraud claims and how that effort helped drive forward the pressure campaign against then-Vice President Mike Pence, who presided over the Jan. 6 session of Congress to count electoral votes.
Another preview of the hearing from Scott Wong at NBC News: Ties between Trump allies and extremist groups to be focus of Jan. 6 panel hearing.
The Jan. 6 committee on Tuesday plans to demonstrate how right-wing militia groups that led the assault on the U.S. Capitol were connected to key Trump allies, including Roger Stone and Michael Flynn, who were at the center of the plot to overturn the 2020 election.
“We’ll show how some of these right-wing extremist groups who came to D.C. and led the attack on the Capitol had ties to Trump associates, including Roger Stone and General Flynn,” a committee aide said Monday on a conference call with reporters.
“And we know that both members of the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys have been charged with seditious conspiracy by the DOJ in relation to their actions on Jan. 6.” [….]
In linking the domestic extremist groups and the Trump inner circle that was aggressively working to overturn Joe Biden’s election victory, the committee is making the case that actions by President Donald Trump and his allies resulted in the violence at the Capitol, which claimed the lives of both police officers and Trump supporters.
Aides said the hearing will also reveal ties between some Trump associates and the QAnon movement, which subscribes to a set of bizarre, sometimes antisemitic conspiracy theories in which Trump is viewed as a savior fighting the evil forces of the deep state.
ABC News Reports another expected witness: Accused Jan. 6 rioter who warned of possible ‘civil war’ expected to testify to House committee Tuesday.
An Ohio man who accused Joe Biden, other Democrats, and the mainstream media of “treason” is set to testify in a public hearing Tuesday before the House committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol last year, according to a source familiar with the matter.
The hearing is expected to focus on the rise of radical extremism in the United States, and the source said one of the key witnesses will be Stephen Ayres of Warren, Ohio, who recently admitted to illegally entering the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021….
In court documents filed last month, Ayres acknowledged that the day before the riot, he drove to Washington, D.C., to protest Congress’ certification of the 2020 presidential election results.
On Facebook, Ayres had spotlighted then-President Donald Trump’s call for supporters to descend on Washington on Jan. 6, which Trump said will “be wild” in a Tweet he posted on Dec. 19, 2020….
Two days before he left for the nation’s capital, Ayres posted a message on Facebook saying, “Mainstream media, social media, Democrat party, FISA courts, Chief Justice John Roberts, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, etc….all have committed TREASON against a sitting U.S. president!!! All are now put on notice by ‘We The People!'”
In the week before that, Ayres said in social media posts that it was “time for us to start standing up to tyranny!” and he warned that “If the [deep state] robs president Trump!!! Civil War will ensue!” according to the FBI.
Ayres joined the mob outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, then entered the building that afternoon, court documents say.
The Committee is also expected to show clips of testimony from Pat Cipillone, Trump’s White House Counsel. NBC News: Cipollone corroborated virtually everything from Hutchinson, Jan. 6 panel member says.
Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone corroborated virtually all of the revelations from previous witnesses, including former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, in lengthy testimony before the panel last week, a top Jan. 6 committee member told NBC News.
“Cipollone has corroborated almost everything that we’ve learned from the prior hearings,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said in an exclusive interview just hours before the next hearing. “I certainly did not hear him contradict Cassidy Hutchinson. … He had the opportunity to say whatever he wanted to say, so I didn’t see any contradiction there.”
It was unclear if Cipollone was directly asked by investigators about the specifics of some of the more explosive aspects of Hutchinson’s testimony — including that they would be charged with “every crime imaginable” if Trump went to the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Raskin added this additional preview of the hearing:
Raskin said the hearing will include new details about what committee members have been told was “the craziest meeting in the Trump presidency,” on Dec. 18, 2020, describing it as “hot-blooded, contentious, deranged” when the president met with outside and internal legal advisers for a “Hail Mary desperation ploy” to subvert an election they had lost, including possibly seizing state election machines and appointing Trump ally Sidney Powell as a special counsel.
More January 6 Committee news from CNN’s Jamie Gangel: Exclusive: Former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne to meet with January 6 investigators.
Former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne, an ally of former President Donald Trump, is expected to meet Friday with the House select committee investigating January 6, 2021, according to three sources familiar with the matter.
There have been no ground rules or topics defined, according to one of the sources. The meeting will be behind closed doors….
Byrne played an active role supporting efforts to question and push baseless claims about the 2020 election, including attending a meeting in mid-December at the White House to discuss strategies to overturn the election. That meeting with Trump also included former national security adviser Michael Flynn and his lawyer Sidney Powell, as well as some White House staff. It focused on ideas to block Joe Biden’s certification as president and discussed the prospect of seizing voting machines. White House officials in the meeting pushed back at the ideas in heated exchanges, CNN previously reported.
CNN reported earlier Monday that former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone had been asked about the December 18, 2020, meeting in his interview with the committee last week….
Two sources familiar with Cipollone’s testimony told CNN that he was asked extensively about his role in that meeting where Trump welcomed the group of extreme election deniers to the West Wing and what was discussed. One source familiar with Cipollone’s testimony told CNN that he described to the committee his view of how insane the meeting was.
The session, which, according to two people familiar with the matter, began as an impromptu gathering, devolved and eventually broke out into screaming matches at certain points as some of Trump’s aides pushed back on Powell and Flynn’s more outrageous suggestions about overturning the election.
The day after this meeting, Gangel notes, Trump sent his infamous “will be wild” tweet.
Finally, The New York Times’ Luke Broadwater has a profile of Rep. Jamie Raskin: Raskin Brings Expertise on Right-Wing Extremism to Jan. 6 Inquiry.
When Representative Jamie Raskin enters a Capitol Hill hearing room on Tuesday to lay out what the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack has uncovered about the role of domestic extremists in the riot, it will be his latest — and potentially most important — step in a five-year effort to crush a dangerous movement.
Long before the Jan. 6, 2021, assault, Mr. Raskin, Democrat of Maryland, had thrown himself into stamping out the rise of white nationalism and domestic extremism in America. He trained his focus on the issue after the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., five years ago. Since then, he has held teach-ins, led a multipart House investigation that exposed the lackluster federal effort to confront the threat, released intelligence assessments indicating that white supremacists have infiltrated law enforcement and strategized about ways to crack down on paramilitary groups.
Now, with millions of Americans expected to tune in, Mr. Raskin — along with Representative Stephanie Murphy, Democrat of Florida — is set to take a leading role in a hearing that promises to dig deeply into how far-right groups helped to orchestrate and carry out the Jan. 6 assault at the Capitol — and how they were brought together, incited and empowered by President Donald J. Trump.
“Charlottesville was a rude awakening for the country,” Mr. Raskin, 59, said in an interview, rattling off a list of deadly hate crimes that had taken place in the years before the siege on the Capitol. “There is a real pattern of young, white men getting hyped up on racist provocation and incitement.”
Tuesday’s session, set for 1 p.m., is expected to document how, after Mr. Trump’s many efforts to overturn the 2020 election had failed, he and his allies turned to violent far-right extremist groups whose support Mr. Trump had long cultivated, who in turn began assembling a mob to pressure Congress to reject the will of the voters.
Read the rest at the NYT.
Have a great Tuesday everyone! If you’re watching the hearings, I hope you’ll share your reactions with us.