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Connecting The Dots: It's Your January 6 Hearings, Day 7 LIVEBLOG!
Be there, will be wild.
And we're back! The January 6 Select Committee reconvenes this afternoon for a public hearing focused on Donald Trump's infamous December 19, 2022, tweet urging his supporters to attend the “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”
“People are going to hear the story of that tweet, and then the explosive effect it had in Trumpworld, and specifically among the domestic violent extremist groups, the most dangerous political extremists in the country at that point,” Rep. Jamie B. Raskin told CBS News’s “Face the Nation.”
Raskin will lead the hearing along with Rep. Stephanie Murphy, who called the tweet a “siren call” that worked exactly as intended, to bring thousands of militants into DC in hopes of intimidating Congress into certifying a fraudulent victory for Trump.
After Cassidy Hutchinson faced a campaign of intimidation prior to her testimony, the committee is keeping the witness list under wraps. But it looks like we'll hear from former Oath Keepers spokesman Jason Van Tatenhove , Capitol riot defendant Stephen Ayres , who recently pled guilty to disorderly conduct, and former deputy White House press secretary Sarah Matthews , who will corroborate much of Hutchinson's testimony.
And speaking of corroboration, former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone finally cowboyed up and testified under oath, during which he did not contradict Hutchinson's version of events either. Will we finally get to see Patsy Baloney on tape today?
Let's find out together!
1: 00Away we go! Chair Bennie Thompson looks strapped for bear, says "we settle our differences at the ballot box."
1: 10Chair Thompson gives an opening statement, reading Trump for filth over his efforts to steal the election: "He didn't wave them off. He urged them on!"
Vice Chair Cheney gives her opening statement, says they finally bagged Cipollone as a witness and will show some of his testimony today as we discuss the events between December 14 and January 7.
"We have seen a change in how witnesses and lawyers approach this committee," she says, since the hearings have now proved that there was no election fraud, and that Trump knew it. Trumpland lawyers have come up with a new strategy to scapegoat "the crazies," like John Eastman, Rudy Giuliani, and Sidney Powell.
"President Trump is a 76yo man, he is not a child," she said, adding that "Donald Trump cannot escape responsibility by being willfully blind," particularly since he had better information than anyone.
1: 15Rep. Stephanie Murphy recaps Trump's efforts to ratfuck the Justice Department, state level election tabulations, and then Congressional certification of Biden's win.
On December 14, 2020, when the electoral college votes became official, Trump and his minions fixated on January 6, 2021. Hence the December 19 "wild protest" tweet, rightly interpreted by the pitchfork mob as a "call to action, and in some cases a call to arms."
Murphy previews some of the batshittier stuff, like appointing that Krakenhead Sidney Powell as special counsel.
1: 20Rep. Jamie Raskin is up to talk about that December 18 meeting where Sidney Powell, Patrick Byrne, and Mike Flynn squared off with the White House lawyers. The weirdos wanted Trump to seize all the voting machines and declare martial law. Cipollone and Eric Herschmann put the kibosh on that harebrained plan, but then just after midnight Trump sent the tweet that got this shit started.
If we're going to talk about that meeting, this day is going to be batshit. Here's how we covered it in February:
"There are guys with big guns and badges who can get these things," Byrne interjected, prompting Herschmann to ask, "What are you, three years old?"
We remember Herschmann screaming like a lunatic about Hunter Biden when he represented Trump at the last impeachment trial, so we weren't a bit surprised to see him throwing down here.
"All you do is promise, but never deliver," he said to Sidney Powell, deriding her typo-ridden legal work as shoddy and her claims that both the courts and FBI were corrupt as idiotic. "That's your argument? Even the judges we appointed? Are you out of your fucking mind?"
When Flynn stood up to berate the White House legal team, hollering at Herschmann, "You're quitting! You're a quitter! You're not fighting!" Herschmann retorted, "Why the fuck do you keep standing up and screaming at me? If you want to come over here, come over here. If not, sit your ass down." Then he reminded Flynn that "your ass would still be in jail" if the supposedly corrupt FBI and DOJ hadn't done him a solid.
1: 25Murphy is back to remind us about the massive asskicking Trump's legal team took in the courts, particularly that Pennsylvania case .
LOL, we're getting video ofJustice Antonin Scalia's son, who worked in the Trump White House, saying HELL NO THERE WAS NO FRAUD. Plus a cameo from Patsy Baloney saying he told Trump in December it was time to concede
1: 30And now we're getting a sizzle reel of all the Trumplanders who told Trump it was over after December 14 when all the bullshit lawsuits had failed. Bill Barr! Judd Deere! And some weird Snapchat filter lady!
Barr said that he spoke to Meadows, Dan Scavino, and Jared Kushner in mid-December and asked when Trump was going to pack it in. "We're working on it," they told him.
1: 35Bill Barr says the vote fraud allegations were all "complete nonsense" and that he told Trump on December 1 that it was "crazy stuff, and that they were wasting their time on that, and that it was doing a grave disservice to the country." He says that he pushed back on the effort to seize the voting machines without probable cause.
Yeah, the same Bill Barr who said mail in ballots were inherently unsafe, accused Democrats of being on a jihad against hydroxychloroquine, and lied about uniformed battalions of Antifa supersoldiers flying all over the country.
1: 40Now we're on to the December 18 meeting where Powell tried to get herself appointed Special Counsel.
COMMITTEE COUNSEL: Pat, what did you think about the plan to seize voting machines.
CIPOLLONE: Terrible idea! I don't understand why I have to tell you that's a terrible idea.
COMMITTEE COUNSEL: How about Special Counsel Krakenhead?
CIPOLLONE: Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck no.
COMMITTEE COUNSEL: Any evidence of substantial election fraud?
1: 35Raskin shows an email from Giuliani's "investigator" Bernie Kerik proving that he knew before January 6 that there was absolutely no evidence of election fraud. Then Jason Miller and Trump's campaign lawyer Justin Clark, who still represents him today, saying that there was ZERO evidence, and they all told Trump that.
Of course, none of them said at the time PEACE OUT, I'M NOT GOING TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS CHARADE ANYMORE.
1: 45Lol, the audible eye roll when Raskin describes "former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne." Cipollone refers to him as "the Overstock person."
Haha, Sidney Powell says "Pat Cipollone set a new land speed record" to get his ass into the Oval Office when he realize Flynn, Powell, and Byrne were in there.
1: 50BAHAHAHA Powell says that Cipollone and the White House lawyers "showed nothing but disdain for the president," and "if it had been me sit in the chair, I'd have fired all of 'em that night and had 'em escorted them off the premises."
Cipollone says that Powell had "a general disregard for the importance of backing up what you say with the facts."
Giuliani says that he told the White House lawyers they were "a bunch of pussies."
Herschmann told Flynn to quit yelling and "either come over here or sit your ass back down."
Very normal stuff!
1: 55Powell said Trump asked if he could make Sidney Powell Special Counsel and give her security clearance, and Cipollone said you can name her whatever you want, but no one is going to pay any attention to her.
"I don't know what her understanding of what she had been appointed to, in my understanding she wasn't appointed to anything," Cipollone said. He concedes that there might have been a verbal order, but everyone just ignored it, and Trump was too dumb to realize that he had to, like, sign something.
LOL, democracy saved by paperwork!
And now we're on to Sidney Powell invoking the "I'm full of shit defense" in the Dominion Voting defamation lawsuit.
2: 00Raskin says that after Trump's December 19 tweet, Women for America First moved their planned January 22 rally to January 6, and wackos like Alex Jones and Tim Pool started hyping the rally. Cool footage of Mike Bracken, a rightwing commentator, saying that "we know the rules of engagement, if you have enough people, you can push down any wall."
"Where were you when history called?" Jones screams.
2: 08A Twitter employee with his voice obscured says that Twitter's management was alarmed that Trump was using their platform to rally a violent mob, but also delighted that the supposed leader of the free world was so reliant on the platform.
Oh, holy shit they got deposition testimony from Jim Watkins of 4Chan, the guy some people think is the persona behind the Q avatar!
2: 09Day of the Rope? That's some Turner Diaries shit directly sparked by Trump and his call for violence.
Not to distract from the fine Trump supporter calling to kill "every last Democrat down to the last man woman and child."
Woof! Okay, ten minute recess. Barf amongst yourselves.
2: 22We're back, and the witnesses are here at the table. Looks like Van Tatenhove wore his good shirt for the occasion.
“Someone just showed up for congressional testimony wearing a Milo Goes to College shirt. There's a sentence I really didn't expect to type ever.”
— Joe Patrice (@Joe Patrice) 1657649943
While we're waiting for the action to start, did I ever tell you about the time that the Texas Bar Association said Sidney Powell was too disreputable to be a lawyer and moved for her disbarment? True story !
2: 35At laaaaaaaaast, my loooooove has come along ...
Raskin introduces video testimony from Donell Harvin, former chief of DC office of DHS, showing that, immediately after the "wild protest" tweet, they started to see coordination between the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, and the Three Percenters to overturn the election results.
2: 40Raskin connects the militia groups to Michael Flynn and Roger Stone, shows video of Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes calling for war, and video of the Proud Boys in DC in December promising "we will be back in January."
Stone was guarded by Oath Keepers on January 5, including one who has pled guilty to seditious conspiracy and who admitted that the group would engage in violence if Biden was inaugurated.
2: 47Former Oath Keepers lawyer Kelly Sorelle concedes that Stone, Alex Jones, and Ali Alexander were corralling the extremist groups.
Murphy calls out Trump and his advisors, who knew that they were bringing violent groups into DC.
Katrina Pierson, Trump's longtime advisor, concedes that Trump "likes the crazies" because they would be "vicious in public defending him."
We're getting to the power struggle between Pierson and a faction led by Don Jr's ladyfriend Kim Guilfoyle over letting "the crazies" like Jones and Alexander speak at the rally because of their demonstrated potential for violence.
2: 50Here's a draft tweet calling for supporters to march on the Capitol. There was no permit for that march, but it's clear that they were always planning to do it.
Here's a message from Amy Kremer of Women for America First referring to it, swearing him to secrecy because otherwise she'd be in trouble with the Parks people who issued her the Ellipse permit.
She also makes reference to a December 21 meeting of multiple Republican Reps with the White House in which they referred to the march on the Capitol. This was ALWAYS the plan. Here's our coverage of it!
2: 55Cipollone said he tried to intervene to keep Eastman away from Trump, but to no avail. Cipollone is all in on Pence, says "he did a great service for this country" and "should be awarded the presidential medal if freedom." HUH. Wonder if Patsy Baloney thinks Pence is a viable POTUS candidate. Well, he would .
3: 00Ah, shit, we're getting the video of Bannon on January 5 promising that "all hell is going to break loose tomorrow." Bannon's lawyers have been screaming bloody murder that he can't get a fair trail next week because of publicity from the committee. Judge Nichols said no to a postponement yesterday, but Bannon's lawyers are 100 percent going to try again on the basis of this brief mention.
3: 03Lots of testimony from Trump's comms team, including Judd Deere, Nick Luna, and Shealeah Craighead about how psyched Trump was on the morning of January 6. Sarah Matthews quotes Trump wondering if they'll be able to "make the RINOs do the right thing," while Deere says Trump asked if the Republican members of congress will "be with him."
Cut to footage of Roger Stone, Ali Alexander, and Alex Jones and the rest of the weirdos, who had been shunted to the January 5 rally.
"1776 is always an option," Alexander screamed, promising that "these degenerates in this country are going to give us what we want, or we are going to shut this thing down."
3: 05For the record, "1776 returns" was a plan floating around the Proud Boys and the militia groups, to occupy DC and take over the government.
3: 08Oh, hai, Debbie Lesko! Let's listen to that audio of her behind closed doors with the GOP caucus on January 5, demanding a safety plan for when all the deranged Trumpers descended on DC thinking that they were really going to overturn the election results.
'They are going to go nuts': Republican makes prediction before January 6 www.youtube.com
3: 10Gahhhh, remember when this ghoul was in power?
Stephen Miller says that attorney Eric Herschmann got them to take out language attacking Vice President Pence in his Ellipse speech. Trump put it back in.
3: 15LOL, Vanky testifies that she never had to "manage" Daddy like a toddler and calm him down. Cut to her chief of staff saying oh, yeah, Vanky heard Trump call Pence a pussy on the phone January 6, knew she'd have to work overtime to pacify the Baby in Chief .
And now we're getting a text exchange between Katrina Pierson and Brad Parscale where Parscale blames Trump's rhetoric for getting a woman killed.
3: 20Chair Thompson introduces the witnesses.
Jason van Tatenhove, who was an Oath Keepers spokesperson who has recanted his position, says the Oath Keepers is a racist, white nationalist group and a dangerous militia led by Rhodes. Van Tatenhove says the Oath Keepers don't believe in the rule of law, they believe in violence, and can sweep up vulnerable people to their cause.
"I'll admit I was swept up at one time, too," he says.
3: 25Chair Thompson introduces Ayres, who was arrested after invading the Capitol on January 6. Ayres says he's just a normal guy who got "pretty hardcore into the social media" and "felt like I needed to be down here" when Trump put out the call.
Ayres tells Vice Chair Cheney that he believed that the election was stolen, but once he got off social media he realized that there was no massive electoral fraud — "it's too big, there's no way you could keep something like that quiet."
Ayres says he wouldn't have come to DC if he knew that Trump was lying, particularly if he knew that Trump had good info that there was no major fraud.
3: 30Under questioning by Rep. Murphy, Ayres says he didn't come to march on the Capitol, but the president told them to go, so they did. And that they left when Trump told them to leave — would have left earlier if Trump could have been bothered to call off his followers.
3: 35Van Tatenhove says that Rhodes and the Oath Keepers wanted a civil war, that they wanted Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act to give their violence the patina of legitimacy.
Whoa, Rhodes wanted van Tatenhove, a graphic designer, to create a deck of cards with targets, like we did in Iraq, including Hillary Clinton as the Queen of Hearts.
He's an extremely convincing, sincere witness, saying he fears for the country with politicians who will foment civil war to maintain their own power. Good call, J6C!
"We've gotten exceedingly lucky that there was not more bloodshed, because the potential was there from the start," he says, invoking the history of militant separatists, tracing a line directly back the Bundy Ranch.
3: 40Rep. Raskin circles back with Ayres to reinforce the fact that most of the "normies" left the Capitol immediately when Trump finally put out the tweet telling them to go home.
Ayres testifies that, as a result of his participation in the Capitol Riot, he lost his job and his house; he's not deflecting blame, but just as a way of illustrating the cost to Trump's followers of his lies.
"I consider myself a family man, and I love my country. And I don't think any one man is bigger than those things," Ayres said. "I felt like I had horse blinders on, I was locked in the whole time."
Ayres finishes by saying, "I want people to take the blinders off before it's too late."
Very, very good witness.
3: 45Rep. Raskin is giving a stemwinder about the descent of the GOP into authoritarianism. He highlights Capitol Police Officer Gonell, who will have to retire from service due to injuries suffered in the attack.
"I wonder if Trump could understand what motivates a patriot like Sergeant Gonell?" he asks, adding that "The Watergate break in was like a cub scout meeting compared to this attack."
"This is not the problem of one party, it is the problem of the whole country now," Raskin laments.
3: 50Rep. Murphy gives a closing speech on "what actually makes America great: the rule of law and the peaceful transfer of power."
Murphy says that she fled communist dictatorship in Vietnam, and she feels an obligation to defend democracy and make sure the authoritarian mob doesn't win.
3: 52Liz Cheney is back to call out President Crime Boss, reiterating that he "oversaw or directed the activity of those involved" in every aspect of this coup plot. She previews next week's hearing where we'll find out about Trump sitting in the White House gleefully watching coverage of the mob, as his advisors begged him to put out a statement calling off the violence.
3: 55HO. LEE. SHIT.
Cheney says that "after our last haring President Trump tried to call a witness in this hearing." The witness refused to take the call, and the witness's lawyer alerted the committee, which reported the potential witness tampering to the Justice Department.
4: 00Thompson closes this hearing the way he opened it, shaming Trump for his unpatriotic, authoritarian conduct and "extreme dereliction."
"There is nothing in our great nation's history that has ever come close to that level of betrayal," he said somberly. "Thank goodness our constitution held."
And we are adjourned.
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