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Introductory Material to the Final Report of the Select Committee (Plain text searchable version of report below)

1 Introductory Material to the Final Report of the Select Committee

2 On October 31, 2022, in a Federal courthouse in Washington, DC, Graydon Young testified against Stewart Rhodes and other members of the Oath Keepers militia group. The defendants had been charged with seditious conspiracy against the United States and other crimes related to the January 6, 2021, attack on Congress. 1 In his testimony that day, Young explained to the jury how he and other Oath Keepers were provoked to travel to Washington by President Donald Trump’s tweets and by Trump’s false claims that the 2020 Presidential election was “stolen” from him. 2 And, in emotional testimony, Young acknowledged what he and others believed they were doing on January 6th: attacking Congress in the manner the French had attacked the Bastille at the outset of the French Revolution.3 Reflecting on that day more than a year and half later, Young testified: Prosecutor: And so how do you feel about the fact that you were pushing towards a line of police officers? Young: Today I feel extremely ashamed and embarrassed.… Prosecutor: How did you feel at the time? Young: I felt like, again, we were continuing in some kind of historical event to achieve a goal. * * * Prosecutor: Looking back now almost two years later, what would that make you as someone who was coming to D.C. to fight against the government? Young: I guess I was [acting] like a traitor, somebody against my own government.4 Young’s testimony was dramatic, but not unique. Many participants in the attack on the Capitol acknowledged that they had betrayed their own country: • Reimler: “And I’m sorry to the people of this country for threatening the democracy that makes this country so great…My participation in the events that day were part of an attack on the rule of law.”5 • Pert: “I know that the peaceful transition of power is to ensure the common good for our nation and that it is critical in protecting our country’s security needs. I am truly sorry for my part and accept full responsibility for my actions.”6 • Markofski: “My actions put me on the other side of the line from my brothers in the Army. The wrong side. Had I lived in the area, I would have been called up to defend the Capitol and restore order…My actions brought dishonor to my beloved U.S. Army National Guard.”7 • Witcher: “Every member—every male member of my family has served in the military, in the Marine Corps, and most have saw combat. And I cast a shadow and cast embarrassment upon my family name and that legacy.”8

3 • Edwards: “I am ashamed to be for the first time in my 68 years, standing before a judge, having pleaded guilty to committing a crime, ashamed to be associated with an attack on the United States Capitol, a symbol of American democracy and greatness that means a great deal to me.”9 Hundreds of other participants in the January 6th attack have pleaded guilty, been convicted, or await trial for crimes related to their actions that day. And, like Young, hundreds of others have acknowledged exactly what provoked them to travel to Washington, and to engage in violence. For example: • Ronald Sandlin, who threatened police officers in the Capitol saying, “[y]ou’re going to die,” posted on December 23, 2020: “I’m going to be there to show support for our president and to do my part to stop the steal and stand behind Trump when he decides to cross the rubicon. If you are a patriot I believe it’s your duty to be there. I see it as my civic responsibility.”10 • Garret Miller, who brought a gun to the Capitol on January 6th, explained: “I was in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021, because I believed I was following the instructions of former President Trump and he was my president and the commander-in-chief. His statements also had me believing the election was stolen from him.”11 • John Douglas Wright explained that he brought busloads of people to Washington, DC, on January 6th “because [Trump] called me there, and he laid out what is happening in our government.”12 • Lewis Cantwell testified: If “the President of the United States … [is] out on TV telling the world that it was stolen, what else would I believe, as a patriotic American who voted for him and wants to continue to see the country thrive as I thought it was?”13 • Likewise, Stephen Ayres testified that “with everything the President was putting out” ahead of January 6th that “the election was rigged … the votes were wrong and stuff… it just got into my head.” “The President [was] calling on us to come” to Washington, DC. 14 Ayres “was hanging on every word he [President Trump] was saying”15 Ayres posted that “Civil War will ensue” if President Trump did not stay in power after January 6th. 16 The Committee has compiled hundreds of similar statements from participants in the January 6th attack.17 House Resolution 503 instructed the Select Committee to “investigate and report upon the facts, circumstances, and causes relating to the January 6, 2021, domestic terrorist attack upon the United States Capitol Complex” and to “issue a final report” containing “findings, conclusions, and recommendations for corrective measures.” The Select Committee has conducted nine public hearings, presenting testimony from more than 70 witnesses. In structuring our investigation and hearings, we began with President Trump’s contentions that the election was stolen and took testimony from nearly all of the President’s principal advisors on this topic. We focused on the rulings of more than 60 Federal and State courts rejecting President Trump’s and his supporters’ efforts to reverse the electoral outcome.

4 Despite the rulings of these courts, we understood that millions of Americans still lack the information necessary to understand and evaluate what President Trump has told them about the election. For that reason, our hearings featured a number of members of President Trump’s inner circle refuting his fraud claims and testifying that the election was not in fact stolen. In all, the Committee displayed the testimony of more than four dozen Republicans— by far the majority of witnesses in our hearings—including two of President Trump’s former Attorneys General, his former White House Counsel, numerous members of his White House staff, and the highest-ranking members of his 2020 election campaign, including his campaign manager and his campaign general counsel. Even key individuals who worked closely with President Trump to try to overturn the 2020 election on January 6th ultimately admitted that they lacked actual evidence sufficient to change the election result, and they admitted that what they were attempting was unlawful.18 This Report supplies an immense volume of information and testimony assembled through the Select Committee’s investigation, including information obtained following litigation in Federal district and appellate courts, as well as in the U.S. Supreme Court. Based upon this assembled evidence, the Committee has reached a series of specific findings, 19 including the following: 1. Beginning election night and continuing through January 6th and thereafter, Donald Trump purposely disseminated false allegations of fraud related to the 2020 Presidential election in order to aid his effort to overturn the election and for purposes of soliciting contributions. These false claims provoked his supporters to violence on January 6th. 2. Knowing that he and his supporters had lost dozens of election lawsuits, and despite his own senior advisors refuting his election fraud claims and urging him to concede his election loss, Donald Trump refused to accept the lawful result of the 2020 election. Rather than honor his constitutional obligation to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” President Trump instead plotted to overturn the election outcome. 3. Despite knowing that such an action would be illegal, and that no State had or would submit an altered electoral slate, Donald Trump corruptly pressured Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to count electoral votes during Congress’s joint session on January 6th. 4. Donald Trump sought to corrupt the U.S. Department of Justice by attempting to enlist Department officials to make purposely false statements and thereby aid his effort to overturn the Presidential election. After that effort failed, Donald Trump offered the position of Acting Attorney General to Jeff Clark knowing that Clark intended to disseminate false information aimed at overturning the election. 5. Without any evidentiary basis and contrary to State and Federal law, Donald Trump unlawfully pressured State officials and legislators to change the results of the election in their States. 6. Donald Trump oversaw an effort to obtain and transmit false electoral certificates to Congress and the National Archives. 7. Donald Trump pressured Members of Congress to object to valid slates of electors from several States.

5 8. Donald Trump purposely verified false information filed in Federal court. 9. Based on false allegations that the election was stolen, Donald Trump summoned tens of thousands of supporters to Washington for January 6th. Although these supporters were angry and some were armed, Donald Trump instructed them to march to the Capitol on January 6th to “take back” their country. 10. Knowing that a violent attack on the Capitol was underway and knowing that his words would incite further violence, Donald Trump purposely sent a social media message publicly condemning Vice President Pence at 2:24 p.m. on January 6th. 11. Knowing that violence was underway at the Capitol, and despite his duty to ensure that the laws are faithfully executed, Donald Trump refused repeated requests over a multiple hour period that he instruct his violent supporters to disperse and leave the Capitol, and instead watched the violent attack unfold on television. This failure to act perpetuated the violence at the Capitol and obstructed Congress’s proceeding to count electoral votes. 12. Each of these actions by Donald Trump was taken in support of a multi-part conspiracy to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 Presidential election. 13. The intelligence community and law enforcement agencies did successfully detect the planning for potential violence on January 6th, including planning specifically by the Proud Boys and Oath Keeper militia groups who ultimately led the attack on the Capitol. As January 6th approached, the intelligence specifically identified the potential for violence at the U.S. Capitol. This intelligence was shared within the executive branch, including with the Secret Service and the President’s National Security Council. 14. Intelligence gathered in advance of January 6th did not support a conclusion that Antifa or other left-wing groups would likely engage in a violent counterdemonstration, or attack Trump supporters on January 6th. Indeed, intelligence from January 5th indicated that some left-wing groups were instructing their members to “stay at home” and not attend on January 6th.20 Ultimately, none of these groups was involved to any material extent with the attack on the Capitol on January 6th. 15. Neither the intelligence community nor law enforcement obtained intelligence in advance of January 6th on the full extent of the ongoing planning by President Trump, John Eastman, Rudolph Giuliani and their associates to overturn the certified election results. Such agencies apparently did not (and potentially could not) anticipate the provocation President Trump would offer the crowd in his Ellipse speech, that President Trump would “spontaneously” instruct the crowd to march to the Capitol, that President Trump would exacerbate the violent riot by sending his 2:24 p.m. tweet condemning Vice President Pence, or the full scale of the violence and lawlessness that would ensue. Nor did law enforcement anticipate that President Trump would refuse to direct his supporters to leave the Capitol once violence began. No intelligence community advance analysis predicted exactly how President Trump would behave; no such analysis recognized the full scale and extent of the threat to the Capitol on January 6th.

6 16. Hundreds of Capitol and DC Metropolitan police officers performed their duties bravely on January 6th, and America owes those individual immense gratitude for their courage in the defense of Congress and our Constitution. Without their bravery, January 6th would have been far worse. Although certain members of the Capitol Police leadership regarded their approach to January 6th as “all hands on deck,” the Capitol Police leadership did not have sufficient assets in place to address the violent and lawless crowd. 21 Capitol Police leadership did not anticipate the scale of the violence that would ensue after President Trump instructed tens of thousands of his supporters in the Ellipse crowd to march to the Capitol, and then tweeted at 2:24 p.m. Although Chief Steven Sund raised the idea of National Guard support, the Capitol Police Board did not request Guard assistance prior to January 6th. The Metropolitan Police took an even more proactive approach to January 6th, and deployed roughly 800 officers, including responding to the emergency calls for help at the Capitol. Rioters still managed to break their line in certain locations, when the crowd surged forward in the immediate aftermath of Donald Trump’s 2:24 p.m. tweet. The Department of Justice readied a group of Federal agents at Quantico and in the District of Columbia, anticipating that January 6th could become violent, and then deployed those agents once it became clear that police at the Capitol were overwhelmed. Agents from the Department of Homeland Security were also deployed to assist. 17. President Trump had authority and responsibility to direct deployment of the National Guard in the District of Columbia, but never gave any order to deploy the National Guard on January 6th or on any other day. Nor did he instruct any Federal law enforcement agency to assist. Because the authority to deploy the National Guard had been delegated to the Department of Defense, the Secretary of Defense could, and ultimately did deploy the Guard. Although evidence identifies a likely miscommunication between members of the civilian leadership in the Department of Defense impacting the timing of deployment, the Committee has found no evidence that the Department of Defense intentionally delayed deployment of the National Guard. The Select Committee recognizes that some at the Department had genuine concerns, counseling caution, that President Trump might give an illegal order to use the military in support of his efforts to overturn the election. * * * This Report begins with a factual overview framing each of these conclusions and summarizing what our investigation found. That overview is in turn supported by eight chapters identifying the very specific evidence of each of the principal elements of President Trump’s multi-part plan to overturn the election, along with evidence regarding intelligence gathered before January 6th and security shortfalls that day. Although the Committee’s hearings were viewed live by tens of millions of Americans and widely publicized in nearly every major news source,22 the Committee also recognizes that other news outlets and commentators have actively discouraged viewers from watching, and that millions of other Americans have not yet seen the actual evidence addressed by this Report. Accordingly, the Committee is also releasing video summaries of relevant evidence on each major topic investigated.

7 This Report also examines the legal implications of Donald Trump and his coconspirators’ conduct and includes criminal referrals to the Department of Justice regarding President Trump and certain other individuals. The criminal referrals build upon three relevant rulings issued by a Federal district court and explain in detail how the facts found support further evaluation by the Department of Justice of specific criminal charges. To assist the public in understanding the nature and importance of this material, this Report also contains sections identifying how the Committee has evaluated the credibility of its witnesses and suggests that the Department of Justice further examine possible efforts to obstruct our investigation. We also note that more than 30 witnesses invoked their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, others invoked Executive Privilege or categorically refused to appear (including Steve Bannon, who has since been convicted of contempt of Congress). Finally, this report identifies a series of legislative recommendations, including the Presidential Election Reform Act, which has already passed the House of Representatives. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: OVERVIEW OF THE EVIDENCE DEVELOPED In the Committee’s hearings, we presented evidence of what ultimately became a multi-part plan to overturn the 2020 Presidential election. That evidence has led to an overriding and straight-forward conclusion: the central cause of January 6th was one man, former President Donald Trump, who many others followed. None of the events of January 6th would have happened without him. THE BIG LIE In the weeks before election day 2020, Donald Trump’s campaign experts, including his campaign manager Bill Stepien, advised him that the election results would not be fully known on election night.23 This was because certain States would not begin to count absentee and other mail-in votes until election day or after election-day polls had closed.24 Because Republican voters tend to vote in greater numbers on election day and Democratic voters tend to vote in greater numbers in advance of election day, it was widely anticipated that Donald Trump could initially appear to have a lead, but that the continued counting of mail-in, absentee and other votes beginning election night would erode and could overcome that perceived lead.25 Thus, as President Trump’s campaign manager cautioned, understanding the results of the 2020 election would be a lengthy “process,” and an initial appearance of a Trump lead could be a “red mirage.”26 This was not unique to the 2020 election; similar scenarios had played out in prior elections as well.27 Prior to the 2020 election, Donald Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien, along with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, urged President Trump to embrace mail-in voting as potentially beneficial to the Trump campaign.28 Presidential advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner recounted others giving Donald Trump the same advice: “[M]ail in ballots could be a good thing for us if we looked at it correctly.”29 Multiple States, including Florida, had successfully utilized mail-in voting in prior elections, and in 2020.30 Trump White House Counselor Hope Hicks testified: “I think he [President Trump] understood that a lot of people vote via absentee ballot in places like Florida and have for a long time and that it’s worked fine.”31 Donald Trump won in numerous States that allowed no-excuse absentee voting in 2020, including Alaska, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming. 32

8 On election night 2020, the election returns were reported in almost exactly the way that Stepien and other Trump Campaign experts predicted, with the counting of mail-in and absentee ballots gradually diminishing President Trump’s perceived lead. As the evening progressed, President Trump called in his campaign team to discuss the results. Stepien and other campaign experts advised him that the results of the election would not be known for some time, and that he could not truthfully declare victory.33 “It was far too early to be making any calls like that. Ballots—ballots were still being counted. Ballots were still going to be counted for days.”34 Campaign Senior Advisor Jason Miller told the Select Committee that he argued against declaring victory at that time as well, because “it was too early to say one way [or] the other” still who had won. 35 Stepien advised Trump to say that “votes were still being counted. It’s too early to tell, too early to call the race but, you know, we are proud of the race we run – we ran and we, you know, think we’re—think we’re in a good position” and would say more in the coming days.36 President Trump refused, and instead said this in his public remarks that evening: “This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election. We did win this election…. We want all voting to stop.”37 And on the morning of November 5th, he tweeted “STOP THE COUNT!”38 Halting the counting of votes at that point would have violated both State and Federal laws. 39 According to testimony received by the Select Committee, the only advisor present who supported President Trump’s inclination to declare victory was Rudolph Giuliani, who appeared to be inebriated.40 President Trump’s Attorney General, Bill Barr, who had earlier left the election night gathering, perceived the President’s statement this way: [R]ight out of the box on election night, the President claimed that there was major fraud underway. I mean, this happened, as far as I could tell, before there was actually any potential of looking at evidence. He claimed there was major fraud. And it seemed to be based on the dynamic that, at the end of the evening, a lot of Democratic votes came in which changed the vote counts in certain States, and that seemed to be the basis for this broad claim that there was major fraud. And I didn’t think much of that, because people had been talking for weeks and everyone understood for weeks that that was going to be what happened on election night…. 41 President Trump’s decision to declare victory falsely on election night and, unlawfully, to call for the vote counting to stop, was not a spontaneous decision. It was premeditated. The Committee has assembled a range of evidence of Trump’s preplanning for a false declaration of victory. This includes multiple written communications on October 31 and November 3, 2020, to the White House by Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. 42 This evidence demonstrates that Fitton was in direct contact with Trump and understood that Trump would falsely declare victory on election night and call for vote counting to stop. The evidence also includes an audio recording of President Trump’s advisor Steve Bannon, who said this on October 31, 2020, to a group of his associates from China: And what Trump’s gonna do is just declare victory, right? He’s gonna declare victory. But that doesn’t mean he’s a winner. He’s just gonna say he’s a winner… The Democrats – more of our people vote early that count. Theirs

9 vote in mail. And so they’re gonna have a natural disadvantage, and Trump’s going to take advantage of it – that’s our strategy. He’s gonna declare himself a winner. So when you wake up Wednesday morning, it’s going to be a firestorm…. Also, if Trump, if Trump is losing, by 10 or 11 o’clock at night, it’s going to be even crazier. No, because he’s gonna sit right there and say ‘They stole it. I’m directing the Attorney General to shut down all ballot places in all 50 states. It’s going to be, no, he’s not going out easy. If Trump – if Biden’s winning, Trump is going to do some crazy shit.43 Also in advance of the election, Roger Stone, another outside advisor to President Trump, made this statement: I really do suspect it will still be up in the air. When that happens, the key thing to do is to claim victory. Possession is nine-tenths of the law. No, we won. Fuck you, Sorry. Over. We won. You’re wrong. Fuck you.44 On election day, Vice President Pence’s staff, including his Chief of Staff and Counsel, became concerned that President Trump might falsely claim victory that evening. The Vice President’s Counsel, Greg Jacob, testified about their concern that the Vice President might be asked improperly to echo such a false statement.45 Jacob drafted a memorandum with this specific recommendation: “[I]t is essential that the Vice President not be perceived by the public as having decided questions concerning disputed electoral votes prior to the full development of all relevant facts.”46 Millions of Americans believed that Trump was telling the truth on election night – that Trump actually had proof the election was stolen and that the ongoing counting of votes was an act of fraud. As votes were being counted in the days after the election, President Trump’s senior campaign advisors informed him that his chances of success were almost zero. Former Trump Campaign Manager Bill Stepien testified that he had come to this conclusion by November 7th, and told President Trump: Committee Staff: What was your view on the state of the election at that point? Stepien: You know, very, very, very bleak. You know, I – we told him – the group that went over there outlined, you know, my belief and chances for success at this point. And then we pegged that at, you know, 5, maybe 10 percent based on recounts that were – that, you know, either were automatically initiated or could be – could be initiated based on, you know, realistic legal challenges, not all the legal challenges that eventually were pursued. But, you know, it was – you know, my belief is that it was a very, very – 5 to 10 percent is not a very good optimistic outlook.47 Trump Campaign Senior Advisor Jason Miller testified to the Committee about this exchange: Miller: I was in the Oval Office. And at some point in the conversation Matt Oczkowski, who was the lead data person, was brought on, and I remember he delivered to the President in pretty blunt terms that he was going to lose.

10 Committee Staff: And that was based, Mr. Miller, on Matt and the data team’s assessment of this sort of county-by-county, State-by-State results as reported? Miller: Correct.48 In one of the Select Committee’s hearings, former Fox News political editor Chris Stirewalt was asked what the chance President Trump had of winning the election after November 7th, when the votes were tallied and every news organization had called the race for now-President Biden. His response: “None.”49 As the Committee’s hearings demonstrated, President Trump made a series of statements to White House staff and others during this time period indicating his understanding that he had lost. 50 President Trump also took consequential actions reflecting his understanding that he would be leaving office on January 20th. For example, President Trump personally signed a Memorandum and Order instructing his Department of Defense to withdraw all military forces from Somalia by December 31, 2020, and from Afghanistan by January 15, 2021.51 General Keith Kellogg (ret.), who had been appointed by President Trump as Chief of Staff for the National Security Council and was Vice President Pence’s National Security Advisor on January 6th, told the Select Committee that “[a]n immediate departure that that memo said would have been catastrophic. It’s the same thing what President Biden went through. It would have been a debacle.”52 In the weeks that followed the election, President Trump’s campaign experts and his senior Justice Department officials were informing him and others in the White House that there was no genuine evidence of fraud sufficient to change the results of the election. For example, former Attorney General Bill Barr testified: And I repeatedly told the President in no uncertain terms that I did not see evidence of fraud, you know, that would have affected the outcome of the election. And, frankly, a year and a half later, I haven’t seen anything to change my mind on that. 53 Former Trump Campaign lawyer Alex Cannon, who was asked to oversee incoming information about voter fraud and set up a voter fraud tip line, told the Select Committee about a pertinent call with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in November 2020: Cannon: So I remember a call with Mr. Meadows where Mr. Meadows was asking me what I was finding and if I was finding anything. And I remember sharing with him that we weren’t finding anything that would be sufficient to change the results in any of the key States. Committee Staff: When was that conversation? Cannon: Probably in November. Mid- to late November…. Committee Staff: And what was Mr. Meadows’s reaction to that information? Cannon: I believe the words he used were: “So there is no there there?”54 President Trump’s Campaign Manager Bill Stepien recalled that President Trump was being told “wild allegations” and that it was the campaign’s job to “track [the allegations] down”:

11 Committee Staff: You said that you were very confident that you were telling the President the truth in your dealings with [him]. And had your team been able to verify any of these allegations of fraud, would you have reported those to the President? Stepien: Sure. Committee Staff: Did you ever have to report that – Stepien: One of my frustrations would be that, you know, people would throw out, you know, these reports, these allegations, these things that they heard or saw in a State, and they’d tell President Trump. And, you know, it would be the campaign’s job to track down the information, the facts. And, you know, President Trump, you know – if someone’s saying, hey, you know, all these votes aren’t counted or were miscounted, you know, if you’re down in a State like Arizona, you liked hearing that. It would be our job to track it down and come up dry because the allegation didn’t prove to be true. And we’d have to, you know, relay the news that, yeah, that tip that someone told you about those votes or that fraud or, you know, nothing came of it. That would be our job as, you know, the truth telling squad and, you know, not – not a fun job to be, you know, much – it’s an easier job to be telling the President about, you know, wild allegations. It’s a harder job to be telling him on the back end that, yeah, that wasn’t true. Committee Staff: How did he react to those types of conversations where you [told] him that an allegation or another wasn’t true? Stepien: He was—he had—usually he had pretty clear eyes. Like, he understood, you know – you know, we told him where we thought the race was, and I think he was pretty realistic with our viewpoint, in agreement with our viewpoint of kind of the forecast and the uphill climb we thought he had. 55 Trump Campaign Senior Advisor Jason Miller told the Committee that he informed President Trump “several” times that “specific to election day fraud and irregularities, there were not enough to overturn the election.”56 Vice President Pence has also said publicly that he told President Trump there was no basis to allege that the election was stolen. When a reporter recently asked “Did you ever point blank say to the President [that] we lost this election?,” Pence responded that “I did… Many times.”57 Pence has also explained: There was never evidence of widespread fraud. I don’t believe fraud changed the outcome of the election. But the President and the campaign had every right to have those examined in court. But I told the President that, once those legal challenges played out, he should simply accept the outcome of the election and move on.58 The General Counsel of President Trump’s campaign, Matthew Morgan, informed members of the White House staff, and likely many others, of the campaign’s conclusion that none of the allegation of fraud and irregularities could be sufficient to change the outcome of the election:

12 What was generally discussed on that topic was whether the fraud, maladministration, abuse, or irregularities, if aggregated and read most favorably to the campaign, would that be outcome determinative. And I think everyone’s assessment in the room, at least amongst the staff, Marc Short, myself, and Greg Jacob, was that it was not sufficient to be outcome determinative.59 In a meeting on November 23rd, Barr told President Trump that the Justice Department was doing its duty by investigating every fraud allegation “if it’s specific, credible, and could’ve affected the outcome,” but that “they’re just not meritorious. They’re not panning out”60 Barr then told the Associated Press on December 1st that the Department had “not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”61 Next, he reiterated this point in private meetings with the President both that afternoon and on December 14th, as well as in his final press conference as Attorney General later that month.62 The Department of Homeland Security had reached a similar determination 2 weeks earlier: “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”63 In addition, multiple other high ranking Justice Department personnel appointed by President Trump also informed him repeatedly that the allegations were false. As January 6th drew closer, Acting Attorney General Rosen and Acting Deputy Attorney General Donoghue had calls with President Trump on almost a daily basis explaining in detail what the Department’s investigations showed.64 Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue told the Select Committee that he and Acting Attorney General Rosen tried “to put it in very clear terms to the President. And I said something to the effect of ‘Sir, we’ve done dozens of investigations, hundreds of interviews. The major allegations are not supported by the evidence developed. We’ve looked in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada. We’re doing our job.’”65 On December 31st, Donoghue recalls telling the President that “people keep telling you these things and they turn out not to be true.”66 And then on January 3rd, Donoghue reiterated this point with the President: [A]s in previous conservations, we would say to him, you know, “We checked that out, and there’s nothing to it.”67 Acting Attorney General Rosen testified before the Select Committee that “the common element” of all of his communications with President Trump was President Trump urging the Department to find widespread fraud that did not actually exist. None of the Department’s investigations identified any genuine fraud sufficient to impact the election outcome: During my tenure as the Acting Attorney General, which began on December 24 of [2020], the Department of Justice maintained the position, publicly announced by former Attorney General William Barr, that the Department had been presented with no evidence of widespread voter fraud in a scale sufficient to change the outcome of the 2020 election. 68 As President Trump was hearing from his campaign and his Justice Department that the allegations of widespread fraud were not supported by the evidence, his White House legal staff also reached the same conclusions, and agreed specifically with what Bill Barr told Trump. Both White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and White House Senior Advisor Eric Herschmann reinforced to President Trump that the Justice Department was doing its duty to investigate allegations of supposed voter fraud. 69

13 Cipollone told the Select Committee that he “had seen no evidence of massive fraud in the election” and that he “forcefully” made this point “over and over again.” For example, during a late-night group meeting with President Trump on December 18th, at which he and Herschmann urged Trump not to heed the advice of several election conspiracists at the meeting: Cipollone: They didn’t think that we were, you know – they didn’t think we believed this, you know, that there had been massive fraud in the election, and the reason they didn’t think we believed it is because we didn’t. Committee Staff: And you articulated that forcefully to them during the meeting? Cipollone: I did, yeah. I had seen no evidence of massive fraud in the election…. At some point, you have to deliver with the evidence. And I – again, I just to go back to what [Bill Barr] said, he had not seen and I was not aware of any evidence of fraud to the extent that it would change the results of the election. That was made clear to them, okay, over and over again.70 Similarly, White House Attorney Eric Herschmann was also very clear about his views: [T]hey never proved the allegations that they were making, and they were trying to develop.71 In short, President Trump was informed over and over again, by his senior appointees, campaign experts and those who had served him for years, that his election fraud allegations were nonsense. How did President Trump continue to make false allegations despite all of this unequivocal information? Trump sought out those who were not scrupulous with the facts, and were willing to be dishonest. He found a new legal team to assert claims that his existing advisors and the Justice Department had specifically informed him were false. President Trump’s new legal team, headed by Rudolph Giuliani, and their allies ultimately lost dozens of election lawsuits in Federal and State courts. The testimony of Trump Campaign Manager Bill Stepien helps to put this series of events in perspective. Stepien described his interaction with Giuliani as an intentional “selfdemotion,” with Stepien stepping aside once it became clear that President Trump intended to spread falsehoods. Stepien knew the President’s new team was relying on unsupportable accusations, and he refused to be associated with their approach: “There were two groups of family. We called them kind of my team and Rudy’s team. I didn’t mind being characterized as being part of ‘team normal,’ as reporters, you know, kind of started to do around that point in time.”72 Having worked for Republican campaigns for over two decades, Stepien said, “I think along the way I’ve built up a pretty good -- I hope a good reputation for being honest and professional, and I didn’t think what was happening was necessarily honest or professional at that point in time.”73

14 As Giuliani visited Campaign headquarters to discuss election litigation, the Trump Campaign’s professional staff began to view him as unhinged.74 In addition, multiple law firms previously engaged to work for the Trump campaign decided that they could not participate in the strategy being instituted by Giuliani. They quit. Campaign General Counsel Matthew Morgan explained that he had conversations with “probably all of our counsel who [we]re signed up to assist on election day as they disengaged with the campaign.”75 The “general consensus was that the law firms were not comfortable making the arguments that Rudy Giuliani was making publicly.”76 When asked how many outside firms expressed this concern, Morgan recalled having “a similar conversation with most all of them.”77 Stepien grew so wary of the new team that he locked Giuliani out of his office: Committee Staff: Yeah. I’m getting the sense from listening to you here for a few hours that you sort of chose to pull back, that you were uncomfortable with what Mr. Giuliani and others were saying and doing and, therefore, you were purposefully stepping back from a day-to-day role as the leader of the campaign. Is that—I don’t want to put words in your mouth. Is that accurate? Stepien: That’s accurate. That’s accurate. You know, I had my assistant -- it was a big glass kind of wall office in our headquarters, and I had my assistant lock my door. I told her, don’t let anyone in. You know, I’ll be around when I need to be around. You know, tell me what I need to know. Tell me what’s going on here, but, you know, you’re going to see less of me. And, you know, sure enough, you know, Mayor Giuliani tried to, you know, get in my office and ordered her to unlock the door, and she didn’t do that, you know. She’s, you know, smart about that. But your words are ones I agree with.78 Over the weeks that followed, dozens of judges across the country specifically rejected the allegations of fraud and irregularities being advanced by the Trump team and their allies. For example, courts described the arguments as “an amalgamation of theories, conjecture, and speculation,” “allegations … sorely wanting of relevant or reliable evidence,” “strained legal arguments without merit,” assertions that “did not prove by any standard of proof that any illegal votes were cast and counted,” and even a “fundamental and obvious misreading of the Constitution.”79 Reflecting back on this period, Trump Campaign Communications Director Tim Murtaugh texted colleagues in January 2021 about a news report that the New York State Bar was considering expelling Rudolph Giuliani over the Ellipse rally: “Why wouldn’t they expel him based solely on the outrageous lies he told for 2 1/2 months?”80 This is exactly what ultimately came to pass. When suspending his license, a New York court said that Giuliani “communicated demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers and the public at large in his capacity as lawyer for former President Donald J. Trump and the Trump campaign in connection with Trump’s failed effort at reelection in 2020.”81 The court added that “[t]he seriousness of [Giuliani’s] uncontroverted misconduct cannot be overstated.”82 Other Trump lawyers were sanctioned for making outlandish claims of election fraud without the evidence to back them up, including Sidney Powell, Lin Wood and seven other

15 pro-Trump lawyers in a case that a Federal judge described as “a historic and profound abuse of the judicial process”: It is one thing to take on the charge of vindicating rights associated with an allegedly fraudulent election. It is another to take on the charge of deceiving a federal court and the American people into believing that rights were infringed, without regard to whether any laws or rights were in fact violated. This is what happened here.83 A group of prominent Republicans have more recently issued a report – titled Lost, Not Stolen – examining “every count of every case brought in these six battleground states” by President Trump and his allies. The report concludes “that Donald Trump and his supporters had their day in court and failed to produce substantive evidence to make their case.”84 President Trump and his legal allies “failed because of a lack of evidence and not because of erroneous rulings or unfair judges…. In many cases, after making extravagant claims of wrongdoing, Trump’s legal representatives showed up in court or state proceedings emptyhanded, and then returned to their rallies and media campaigns to repeat the same unsupported claims.”85 There is no reasonable basis for the allegation that these dozens of rulings by State and Federal courts were somehow politically motivated.86 The outcome of these suits was uniform regardless of who appointed the judges. One of the authors of Lost, Not Stolen, longtime Republican election lawyer Benjamin Ginsberg, testified before the Select Committee that “in no instance did a court find that the charges of fraud were real,” without variation based on the judges involved. 87 Indeed, eleven of the judges who ruled against Donald Trump and his supporters were appointed by Donald Trump himself. One of those Trump nominees, Judge Stephanos Bibas of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, rejected an appeal by the Trump Campaign claiming that Pennsylvania officials “did not undertake any meaningful effort” to fight illegal absentee ballots and uneven treatment of voters across counties.88 Judge Bibas wrote in his decision that “calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.”89 Another Trump nominee, Judge Brett Ludwig of the Eastern District of Wisconsin, ruled against President Trump’s lawsuit alleging that the result was skewed by illegal procedures that governed drop boxes, ballot address information, and individuals who claimed “indefinitely confined” status to vote from home.90 Judge Ludwig wrote in his decision, that “[t]his Court has allowed plaintiff the chance to make his case and he has lost on the merits” because the procedures used “do not remotely rise to the level” of breaking Wisconsin’s election rules. 91 Nor is it true that these rulings focused solely on standing, or procedural issues. As Ginsberg confirmed in his testimony to the Select Committee, President Trump’s team “did have their day in court.”92 Indeed, he and his co-authors determined in their report that 30 of these post-election cases were dismissed by a judge after an evidentiary hearing had been held, and many of these judges explicitly indicated in their decisions that the evidence presented by the plaintiffs was wholly insufficient on the merits. 93 Ultimately, even Rudolph Giuliani and his legal team acknowledged that they had no definitive evidence of election fraud sufficient to change the election outcome. For example, although Giuliani repeatedly had claimed in public that Dominion voting machines stole the election, he admitted during his Select Committee deposition that “I do not think the machines stole the election.”94 An attorney representing his lead investigator, Bernard Kerik,

16 declared in a letter to the Select Committee that “it was impossible for Kerik and his team to determine conclusively whether there was widespread fraud or whether that widespread fraud would have altered the outcome of the election.”95 Kerik also emailed President Trump’s chief of staff on December 28, 2020, writing: “We can do all the investigations we want later, but if the president plans on winning, it’s the legislators that have to be moved and this will do just that.”96 Other Trump lawyers and supporters, Jenna Ellis, John Eastman, Phil Waldron, and Michael Flynn, all invoked their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination when asked by the Select Committee what supposed proof they uncovered that the election was stolen.97 Not a single witness--nor any combination of witnesses--provided the Select Committee with evidence demonstrating that fraud occurred on a scale even remotely close to changing the outcome in any State. 98 By mid-December 2020, Donald Trump had come to what most of his staff believed was the end of the line. The Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit he supported filed by the State of Texas in the Supreme Court, and Donald Trump had this exchange, according to Special Assistant to the President Cassidy Hutchinson: The President was fired up about the Supreme Court decision. And so I was standing next to [Chief of Staff Mark] Meadows, but I had stepped back… The President [was] just raging about the decision and how it’s wrong, and why didn’t we make more calls, and just this typical anger outburst at this decision... And the President said I think – so he had said something to the effect of, “I don’t want people to know we lost, Mark. This is embarrassing. Figure it out. We need to figure it out. I don’t want people to know that we lost.”99 On December 14, 2020, the Electoral College met to cast and certify each State’s electoral votes. By this time, many of President Trump’s senior staff, and certain members of his family, were urging him to concede that he had lost. Labor Secretary Gene Scalia told the Committee that he called President Trump around this time and gave him such feedback quite directly: [S]o, I had put a call in to the President—I might have called on the 13th; we spoke, I believe, on the 14th—in which I conveyed to him that I thought that it was time for him to acknowledge that President Biden had prevailed in the

election…. But I

communicated to the President that when that legal process is exhausted and when

the electors have voted, that that’s the point at which that outcome needs to be

expected…. And I told him that I did believe, yes, that once those legal processes were

run, if fraud had not been established that had affected the outcome of the election,

that, unfortunately, I believed that what had to be done was concede the outcome.100

Deputy White House Press Secretary Judd Deere also told President Trump that he

should concede. He recalled other staffers advising President Trump at some point to concede

and that he “encouraged him to do it at least once after the electoral college met in midDecember.”101 White House Counsel Pat Cipollone also believed that President Trump should

concede: “[I]f your question is did I believe he should concede the election at a point in time,

yes, I did.”102

Attorney General Barr told the Select Committee this: “And in my view, that [the

December 14 electoral college vote] was the end of the matter. I didn’t see – you know, I


thought that this would lead inexorably to a new administration. I was not aware at that time

of any theory, you know, why this could be reversed. And so I felt that the die was cast….”103

Barr also told the Committee that he suggested several weeks earlier that the

President’s efforts in this regard needed to come to an end soon, in conversation with several

White House officials after his meeting with Trump on November 23rd:

[A]s I walked out of the Oval Office, Jared was there with Dan Scavino, who ran the

President’s social media and who I thought was a reasonable guy and believe is a

reasonable guy. And I said, how long is he going to carry on with this ‘stolen election’

stuff? Where is this going to go?

And by that time, Meadows had caught up with me and – leaving the office, and caught

up to me and said that – he said, look, I think that he's becoming more realistic and

knows that there's a limit to how far he can take this. And then Jared said, you know,

yeah, we're working on this, we're working on it.104

Despite all that Donald Trump was being told, he continued to purposely and

maliciously make false claims. To understand the very stark differences between what he

was being told and what he said publicly and in fundraising solicitations, the Committee has

assembled the following examples.

Then-Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen


 “And so he said, ‘Well, what about this?

I saw it on the videotape, somebody

delivering a suitcase of ballots.’ And we

said, ‘It wasn’t a suitcase. It was a bin.

That’s what they use when they’re

counting ballots. It’s benign.’”105

President Trump one week later (12/22/20):

 “There is even security camera footage

from Georgia that shows officials telling poll

watchers to leave the room before pulling

suitcases of ballots out from under the tables

and continuing to count for hours.”106

Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard

Donoghue (12/27 & 12/31/20):

 “I told the President myself that several

times, in several conversations, that these

allegations about ballots being smuggled in

in a suitcase and run through the machine

several times, it was not true, that we

looked at it, we looked at the video, we

interviewed the witnesses, that it was not

true…. I believe it was in the phone call on

December 27th. It was also in a meeting in

the Oval Office on December 31st.”107

President Trump later that week (1/2/21):

 “[S]he stuffed the machine. She stuffed

the ballot. Each ballot went three times, they

were showing: Here’s ballot number one.

Here it is a second time, third time, next

ballot.” 108

GA Sec. State Brad Raffensperger (1/2/21):

 “You’re talking about the State Farm

video. And I think it’s extremely

unfortunate that Rudy Giuliani or his

people, they sliced and diced that video and

took it out of context.” … “[W]e did an

audit of that and we proved conclusively

that they were not scanned three times….

President Trump one day later (1/3/21):

 “I spoke to Secretary of State Brad

Raffensperger yesterday about Fulton County

and voter fraud in Georgia. He was unwilling,

or unable, to answer questions such as the

‘ballots under table’ scam, ballot destruction,

out of state ‘voters’, dead voters, and more.

He has no clue!”110


Yes, Mr. President, we’ll send you the link

from WSB”

 [Trump]: “I don’t care about a link. I

don’t need it.”109

Attorney General Bill Barr (12/1/20):

 “Then he raised the ‘big vote dump,’ as

he called it, in Detroit. And, you know, he

said, people saw boxes coming into the

counting station at all hours of the morning

and so forth…. I said, ‘Mr. President, there

are 630 precincts in Detroit, and unlike

elsewhere in the State, they centralize the

counting process, so they’re not counted in

each precinct, they’re moved to counting

stations, and so the normal process would

involve boxes coming in at all different


 And I said, ‘Did anyone point out to you

-- did all the people complaining about it

point out to you, you actually did better in

Detroit than you did last time? I mean,

there’s no indication of fraud in Detroit.’”111

President Trump one day later (12/2/20):

 “I’ll tell you what’s wrong, voter fraud.

Here’s an example. This is Michigan. At 6:31

in the morning, a vote dump of 149,772 votes

came in unexpectedly. We were winning by a

lot. That batch was received in horror….

 In Detroit everybody saw the tremendous

conflict… there were more votes than there

were voters.”112

Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard

Donoghue (12/27/20):

 “The President then continued, there

are ‘more votes than voters…’. But I was

aware of that allegation, and I said, you

know, that was just a matter of them

‘comparing the 2020 votes cast to 2016

registration numbers.’ That is ‘not a valid


President Trump ten days later (1/6/21):

 “More votes than they had voters. And

many other States also.”114

Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard

Donoghue (1/3/21):

 “[W]e would say to him, you know, ‘We

checked that out, and there’s nothing to

it…. And we would cite to certain

allegations. And so – like such as

Pennsylvania, right. ‘No, there were not

250,000 more votes reported than were

actually cast. That’s not true.’ So we would

say things like that.”115

President Trump three days later (1/6/21):

 “In Pennsylvania, you had 205,000 more

votes than you had voters. And the number is

actually much greater than that now. That

was as of a week ago. And this is a

mathematical impossibility unless you want

to say it’s a total fraud.”116

GA Sec. State Brad Raffensperger (1/2/21):

 [Trump]: “[I]t’s 4,502 who voted, but

they weren’t on the voter registration roll,

which they had to be. You had 18,325 vacant

address voters. The address was vacant, and

they’re not allowed to be counted. That’s

18,325.” …

President Trump two days later (1/4/21):

 “4,502 illegal ballots were cast by

individuals who do not appear on the state’s

voter rolls. Well, that’s sort of strange. 18,325

illegal ballots were cast by individuals who

registered to vote using an address listed as

vacant according to the postal service.”118


 [Raffensperger]: “Well, Mr. President,

the challenge that you have is the data you

have is wrong.”117

GA Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger (1/2/21):

 [Trump]: “So dead people voted, and I

think the number is close to 5,000 people.

And they went to obituaries. They went to

all sorts of methods to come up with an

accurate number, and a minimum is close

to about 5,000 voters.” …

 [Raffensperger]: “The actual number

were two. Two. Two people that were dead

that voted. So that’s wrong.”119

President Trump four days later (1/6/21):

 “[T]he number of fraudulent ballots that

we've identified across the state is

staggering. Over 10,300 ballots in Georgia

were cast by individuals whose names and

dates of birth match Georgia residents who

died in 2020 and prior to the election.”120

GA Sec. State General Counsel Ryan Germany


 [Trump]: “You had out-of-state voters.

They voted in Georgia, but they were from

out of state, of 4,925.” …

 [Germany]: “Every one we’ve been

through are people that lived in Georgia,

moved to a different state, but then moved

back to Georgia legitimately.” … “They

moved back in years ago. This was not like

something just before the election. So

there’s something about that data that, it’s

just not accurate.”121

President Trump four days later (1/6/21):

 “And at least 15,000 ballots were cast by

individuals who moved out of the state prior

to November 3rd election. They say they

moved right back.”122

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh

McEnany (n.d.):

 “[T]he one specific I remember

referencing was I don’t agree with the

Dominion track.” …

 “I specifically referenced waving him off

of the Dominion theory earlier in my

testimony.” …

 [Q] “Are you saying you think he still

continued to tweet that after you waved

him off of it?”

 [A] “Yeah…”123

President Trump:

Between mid-November and January 5, 2021,

President Trump tweeted or retweeted

conspiracy theories about Dominion nearly

three dozen times.124

Trump Campaign Senior Advisor Jason Miller:

 “…the international allegations for

Dominion were not valid.”

 [Q] “Okay. Did anybody communicate

that to the President?”

 [A]: “I know that that was -- I know

that was communicated. I know I

communicated it”125

President Trump:

 “You have Dominion, which is very, very

suspect to start off with. Nobody knows the

ownership. People say the votes are counted

in foreign countries and much worse…”126

Attorney General Bill Barr (11/23/20): President Trump three days later (11/26/20):


 “I specifically raised the Dominion

voting machines, which I found to be one of

the most disturbing allegations –

‘disturbing’ in the sense that I saw

absolutely zero basis for the allegations … I

told him that it was crazy stuff and they

were wasting their time on that and it was

doing great, great disservice to the


 “[T]hose machines are fixed, they’re

rigged. You can press Trump and the vote

goes to Biden…. All you have to do is play

with a chip, and they played with a chip,

especially in Wayne County and Detroit.”128

Attorney General Bill Barr (12/1/20):

 “I explained, I said, look, if you have a

machine and it counts 500 votes for Biden

and 500 votes for Trump, and then you go

back later and you have a -- you will have

the 1,000 pieces of paper put through that

machine, and you can see if there’s any

discrepancy… there has been no


President Trump one day later (12/2/20):

 “In one Michigan County, as an example,

that used Dominion systems, they found that

nearly 6,000 votes had been wrongly

switched from Trump to Biden, and this is

just the tip of the iceberg. This is what we

caught. How many didn’t we catch?”130

Attorney General Bill Barr (12/14/20):

 “‘I will, Mr. President. But there are a

couple of things,’ I responded. ‘My

understanding is that our experts have

looked at the Antrim situation and are sure

it was a human error that did not occur

anywhere else. And, in any event, Antrim is

doing a hand recount of the paper ballots,

so we should know in a couple of days

whether there is any real problem with the


President Trump one day later (12/15/20):

 “This is BIG NEWS. Dominion Voting

Machines are a disaster all over the Country.

Changed the results of a landslide election.

Can’t let this happen….”132

Then-Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen


 “[O]ther people were telling him there

was fraud, you know, corruption in the

election. The voting machines were no

good. And we were telling him that is

inconsistent, by ‘we,’ I mean Richard

Donoghue and myself, that that was not

what we were seeing.” … “There was this

open issue as to the Michigan report. And -

- I think it was Mr. Cuccinelli, not certain,

but had indicated that there was a hand

recount. And I think he said, "That's the

gold standard.”133

President Trump one day later (12/16/20):

 “Study: Dominion Machines shifted 2-3%

of Trump Votes to Biden. Far more votes than

needed to sway election.” Florida, Ohio,

Texas and many other states were won by

even greater margins than projected. Did just

as well with Swing States, but bad things

happened. @OANN”134

National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien


 “I got a call from, I think, Molly Michael

in outer oval, the President’s assistant, and

she said, ‘I’m connecting you to the Oval’…

somebody asked me, was there -- did I

President Trump one day later (12/19/20):

 “…There could also have been a hit on our

ridiculous voting machines during the

election, which is now obvious that I won big,

making it an even more corrupted


have any evidence of election fraud in the

voting machines or foreign interference in

our voting machines. And I said, no, we’ve

looked into that and there’s no evidence of


embarrassment for the USA. @DNI_Ratcliffe



Acting Deputy AG Richard Donoghue


 “We definitely talked about Antrim

County again. That was sort of done at that

point, because the hand recount had been

done and all of that. But we cited back to

that to say, you know, this is an example of

what people are telling you and what’s

being filed in some of these court filings

that are just not supported by the


President Trump two days later (1/2/21):

 “Well, Brad. Not that there’s not an issue,

because we have a big issue with Dominion in

other states and perhaps in yours…. in other

states, we think we found tremendous

corruption with Dominion machines, but

we’ll have to see.” … “I won’t give Dominion

a pass because we found too many bad


GA Sec. State Brad Raffensperger (1/2/21):

 “I don’t believe that you’re really

questioning the Dominion machines.

Because we did a hand re-tally, a 100

percent re-tally of all the ballots, and

compared them to what the machines said

and came up with virtually the same result.

Then we did the recount, and we got

virtually the same result.”139

President Trump four days later (1/6/21):

 “In addition, there is the highly troubling

matter of Dominion Voting Systems. In one

Michigan county alone, 6,000 votes were

switched from Trump to Biden and the same

systems are used in the majority of states in

our country.” … “There is clear evidence that

tens of thousands of votes were switched

from President Trump to former Vice

President Biden in several counties in


Evidence gathered by the Committee indicates that President Trump raised roughly

one quarter of a billion dollars in fundraising efforts between the election and January 6th.


Those solicitations persistently claimed and referred to election fraud that did not exist. For

example, the Trump Campaign, along with the Republican National Committee, sent millions

of emails to their supporters, with messaging claiming that the election was “rigged,” that

their donations could stop Democrats from “trying to steal the election,” and that Vice

President Biden would be an “illegitimate president” if he took office.


Ultimately, Attorney General Bill Barr suggested that the Department of Justice’s

investigations disproving President Trump’s fraud claims may have prevented an even more

serious series of events:

[F]rankly, I think the fact that I put myself in the position that I could say that we had

looked at this and didn’t think there was fraud was really important to moving things

forward. And I sort of shudder to think what the situation would have been if the

position of the Department was, “We’re not even looking at this until after Biden’s in

office.” I’m not sure we would’ve had a transition at all.142




President Trump disregarded the rulings of the courts and rejected the findings and

conclusions and advice from his Justice Department, his campaign experts, and his White

House and Cabinet advisors. He chose instead to try to overturn the election on January 6th

and took a series of very specific steps to attempt to achieve that result.

A central element of Donald Trump’s plan to overturn the election relied upon Vice

President Mike Pence. As Vice President, Pence served as the President of the Senate, the

presiding officer for the joint session of Congress on January 6th. Beginning in December,

and with greater frequency as January 6th approached, Trump repeatedly and unlawfully

pressured Pence in private and public to prevent Congress from counting lawful electoral votes

from several States.

To understand the plan President Trump devised with attorney and law professor John

Eastman, it is necessary to understand the constitutional structure for selecting our President.

At the Constitutional Convention 233 years ago, the framers considered but rejected

multiple proposals that Congress itself vote to select the President of the United States.143

Indeed the Framers voiced very specific concerns with Congress selecting the President. They

viewed it as important that the electors, chosen for the specific purpose of selecting the

President, should make the determination rather than Congress:

It was desireable, that the sense of the people should operate in the choice of

the person to whom so important a trust was to be confided. This end will be

answered by committing the right of making it, not to any pre-established

body, but to men, chosen by the people for the special purpose, and at the

particular conjuncture.144

The Framers understood that a thoughtful structure for the appointment of the

President was necessary to avoid certain evils: “Nothing was more to be desired, than that

every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue and corruption.”145 They were

careful to ensure that “those who from situation might be suspected of too great devotion to

the president in office” “were not among those that chose the president.”146 For that reason,

“[n]o senator, representative, or other person holding a place of trust or profit under the

United States, can be of the number of the electors.”147

Article II of our Constitution, as modified by the Twelfth Amendment, governs election

of the President. Article II created the electoral college, providing that the States would select

electors in the manner provided by State legislatures, and those electors would in turn vote

for the President. Today, every State selects Presidential electors by popular vote, and each

State’s laws provide for procedures to resolve election disputes, including through lawsuits if

necessary. After any election issues are resolved in State or Federal court, each State’s

government transmits a certificate of the ascertainment of the appointed electors to Congress

and the National Archives.

The electoral college meets in mid-December to cast their votes, and all of these

electoral votes are then ultimately counted by Congress on January 6th. The Vice President,

as President of the Senate, presides over the joint session of Congress to count votes. The

Twelfth Amendment provides this straight-forward instruction: “The president of the Senate

shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and

the votes shall then be counted; The person having the greatest number of votes for President


shall be the President…” The Vice President has only a ministerial role, opening the envelopes

and ensuring that the votes are counted. Likewise, the Electoral Count Act of 1887 provides

no substantive role for the Vice President in counting votes, reinforcing that he or she can

only act in a ministerial fashion—the Vice President may not choose, for example, to decline

to count particular votes. In most cases (e.g., when one candidate has a majority of votes

submitted by the States) Congress has only a ministerial role, as well. It simply counts

electoral college votes provided by each State’s governor. Congress is not a court and cannot

overrule State and Federal court rulings in election challenges.

As January 6th approached, John Eastman and others devised a plan whereby Vice

President Pence would, as the presiding officer, declare that certain electoral votes from

certain States could not be counted at the joint session.148 John Eastman knew before proposing

this plan that it was not legal. Indeed, in a pre-election document discussing Congress’s

counting of electoral votes, Dr. Eastman specifically disagreed with a colleague’s proposed

argument that the Vice President had the power to choose which envelopes to “open” and

which votes to “count.” Dr. Eastman wrote:

I don’t agree with this. The 12th Amendment only says that the President of

the Senate opens the ballots in the joint session then, in the passive voice, that

the votes shall then be counted. 3 USC § 12 [of the Electoral Count Act] says

merely that he is the presiding officer, and then it spells out specific

procedures, presumptions, and default rules for which slates will be counted.

Nowhere does it suggest that the president of the Senate gets to make the

determination on his own. § 15 [of the Electoral Count Act] doesn’t either.149

Despite recognizing prior to the 2020 election that the Vice President had no power to

refuse to count certain electoral votes, Eastman nevertheless drafted memoranda 2 months

later proposing that Pence could do exactly that on January 6th—refuse to count certified

electoral votes from Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and


150Eastman v. Thompson et al.

Eastman’s theory was related to other efforts overseen by President Trump (described

in detail below, see infra [])to create and transmit fake electoral slates to Congress and the

National Archives, and to pressure States to change the election outcome and issue new

electoral slates. Eastman supported these ideas despite writing two months earlier that:

Article II [of the Constitution] says the electors are appointed “in such manner

as the Legislature thereof may direct,” but I don’t think that entitles the

Legislature to change the rules after the election and appoint a different slate

of electors in a manner different than what was in place on election day. And

3 U.S.C. §15 [of the Electoral Count Act] gives dispositive weight to the slate of

electors that was certified by the Governor in accord with 3 U.S.C. §5.151

Even after Eastman proposed the theories in his December and January memoranda,

he acknowledged in conversations with Vice President Pence’s counsel Greg Jacob that Pence

could not lawfully do what his own memoranda proposed.152 Eastman admitted that the U.S.

Supreme Court would unanimously reject his legal theory. “He [Eastman] had acknowledged

that he would lose 9-0 at the Supreme Court.”153 Moreover, Dr. Eastman acknowledged to

Jacob that he didn’t think Vice President Al Gore had that power in 2001, nor did he think Vice

President Kamala Harris should have that power in 2025.154


In testimony before the Select Committee, Jacob described in detail why the Trump

plan for Pence was illegal:

[T]he Vice President’s first instinct, when he heard this theory, was that there

was no way that our Framers, who abhorred concentrated power, who had

broken away from the tyranny of George III, would ever have put one person –

particularly not a person who had a direct interest in the outcome because they

were on the ticket for the election –in a role to have decisive impact on the

outcome of the election. And our review of text, history, and, frankly, just

common sense, all confirmed the Vice President’s first instinct on that point.

There is no justifiable basis to conclude that the Vice President has that kind of


This is how the Vice President later described his views in a public speech:

I had no right to overturn the election. The Presidency belongs to the American

people, and the American people alone. And frankly, there is no idea more unAmerican than the notion that any one person could choose the American

President. Under the Constitution, I had no right to change the outcome of our



But as January 6th approached, President Trump nevertheless embraced the new

Eastman theories, and attempted to implement them. In a series of meetings and calls,

President Trump attempted to pressure Pence to intervene on January 6th to prevent Congress

from counting multiple States’ electoral votes for Joe Biden. At several points in the days

before January 6th, President Trump was told directly that Vice President Pence could not

legally do what Trump was asking. For example, at a January 4th meeting in the Oval Office,

Dr. Eastman acknowledged that any variation of his proposal – whether rejecting electoral

votes outright or delaying certification to send them back to the States – would violate several

provisions of the Electoral Count Act. According to Greg Jacob:

In the conversation in the Oval Office on the 4th, I had raised the fact that . . .

[Dr. Eastman’s] preferred course had issues with the Electoral Count Act, which

he had acknowledged was the case, that there would be an inconsistency with

the Electoral Count Act[.]157

Jacob recorded Eastman’s admission in an internal memo he drafted for Vice President

Pence on the evening of January 4th: “Professor Eastman acknowledges that his proposal

violates several provisions of statutory law.”158 And, during a phone call with President

Trump and Dr. Eastman on the evening of January 5, 2021, Dr. Eastman again acknowledged

that his proposal also would violate several provisions of the Electoral Count Act.

[W]e did have an in-depth discussion about [the Electoral Count Act] in the

subsequent phone calls as I walked him through provision after provision on

the recess and on the fact that . . . Congressmen and Senators are supposed to

get to object and debate. And he acknowledged, one after another, that those

provisions would -- in order for us to send it back to the States, we couldn’t

do those things as well. We can’t do a 10-day, send it back to the States, and

honor an Electoral Count Act provision that says you can’t recess for more than

one day and, once you get to the 5th, you have to stay continuously in session.159


As Pence’s Chief of Staff, Marc Short, testified that the Vice President also repeatedly

informed President Trump that the Vice President’s role on January 6th was only ministerial.

Committee Staff: But just to pick up on that, Mr. Short, was it your impression that

the Vice President had directly conveyed his position on these issues to the President,

not just to the world through a Dear Colleague Letter, but directly to President Trump?

Marc Short: Many times.

Committee Staff: And had been consistent in conveying his position to the President?

Short: Very consistent.160

As the situation grew increasingly acrimonious, Vice President Pence’s private counsel

Richard Cullen contacted former Fourth Circuit Judge Michael Luttig, a renowned conservative

judge for whom Dr. Eastman had previously clerked, and asked Luttig to make a public

statement. On January 5th, Luttig wrote the following on Twitter: “The only responsibility

and power of the Vice President under the Constitution is to faithfully count the electoral

college votes as they have been cast.”161 As Judge Luttig testified in the Committee’s hearings,

“there was no basis in the Constitution or laws of the United States at all for the theory

espoused by Dr. Eastman – at all. None.”162 Judge Luttig completely rejected Dr. Eastman’s

“blueprint to overturn the 2020 election” as “constitutional mischief” and ‘the most reckless,

insidious, and calamitous failure[] in both legal and political judgment in American


Contemporaneous written correspondence also confirms both that: (1) Eastman

himself recognized Pence could not lawfully refuse to count electoral votes, and (2) President

Trump also knew this. While sheltering in a loading dock with the Vice President during the

violent January 6th attack, Greg Jacob asked Dr. Eastman in an email, “Did you advise the

President that in your professional judgment the Vice President DOES NOT have the power to

decide things unilaterally?” Dr. Eastman’s response stated that the President had “been so

advised,” but then indicated that President Trump continued to pressure the Vice President

to act illegally: “But you know him – once he gets something in his head, it is hard to get

him to change course.”164

To be absolutely clear, no White House lawyer believed Pence could lawfully refuse to

count electoral votes. White House Counsel Pat Cipollone told the Select Committee this:

I thought that the Vice President did not have the authority to do what was

being suggested under a proper reading of the law. I conveyed that, ok? I think

I actually told somebody, you know, in the Vice President’s – “Just blame me.”

You know this is – I’m not a politician, you know… but, you know, I just said,

“I’m a lawyer. This is my legal opinion.”165

Cipollone also testified that he was “sure [he] conveyed” his views.166 Indeed, other

testimony from Cipollone indicates that Trump knew of Cipollone’s view and suggests that

Trump purposely excluded Cipollone from the meeting with Pence and Pence’s General

Counsel on January 4th.

167 Indeed, at one point, Cipollone confronted Dr. Eastman in the

hallway outside the Oval Office and expressed his disapproval of and anger with Dr. Eastman’s

position. According to Jason Miller, “Pat Cipollone thought the idea was nutty and had at one

point confronted Eastman basically with the same sentiment” outside the Oval Office.168 Pat


Cipollone did not deny having an angry confrontation with Dr. Eastman outside of the Oval

Office – though he said he didn’t have a specific recollection, he had no reason to contradict

what Jason Miller said and, moreover, said that Dr. Eastman was aware of his views.169

Likewise, Eric Herschmann, another White House lawyer, expressed the same

understanding that Dr. Eastman’s plan “obviously made no sense” and “had no practical

ability to work.”170 Herschmann also recounted telling Dr. Eastman directly that his plan

was “completely crazy:”

And I said to [Dr. Eastman], hold on a second, I want to understand what you’re

saying. You’re saying you believe the Vice President, acting as President of the

Senate, can be the sole decisionmaker as to, under your theory, who becomes

the next President of the United States? And he said, yes. And I said, are you

out of your F’ing mind, right. And that was pretty blunt. I said, you’re

completely crazy.171

Deputy White House Counsel Pat Philbin also had the same understanding.

172 Indeed,

as Herschmann testified, even Rudolph Giuliani doubted that Vice President Mike Pence had

any legal ability to do what Dr. Eastman had proposed.


Despite all this opposition from all White House lawyers, Trump nevertheless

continued to exert immense pressure on Pence to refuse to count electoral votes.

The pressure began before the January 4th Oval Office meeting with Pence, Dr.

Eastman, Jacob, Short and Trump, but became even more intense thereafter. On the evening

of January 5, 2021, the New York Times published an article reporting that “Vice President

Mike Pence told President Trump on Tuesday that he did not believe he had the power to

block congressional certification of Joseph R. Biden, Jr.’s victory in the Presidential election

despite President Trump’s baseless insistence that he did.”174 This reporting was correct –

both as to the Vice President’s power and as to Vice President Pence having informed President

Trump that he did not have the authority to change the outcome of the election. But in

response to that story, late in the evening before January 6th Joint Session, President Trump

dictated to Jason Miller a statement falsely asserting, “The Vice President and I are in total

agreement that the Vice President has the power to act.”175 This statement was released at

President Trump’s direction and was false.


Thereafter Trump continued to apply public pressure in a series of tweets. At 1:00

a.m. on January 6th, “[i]f Vice President @Mike_Pence comes through for us, we will win

the Presidency. Many States want to decertify the mistake they made in certifying incorrect

& even fraudulent numbers in a process NOT approved by their State Legislatures (which it

must be). Mike can send it back!”177 At 8:17 a.m. on January 6th, he tweeted again: “States

want to correct their votes, which they now know were based on irregularities and fraud, plus

corrupt process never received legislative approval. All Mike Pence has to do is send them

back to the States, AND WE WIN. Do it Mike, this is a time for extreme courage!”178

President Trump tried to reach the Vice President early in the morning of January 6th,

but the Vice President did not take the call. The President finally reached the Vice President

later that morning, shouting from the Oval Office to his assistants to “get the Vice President

on the phone.”179 After again telling the Vice President that he had “the legal authority to

send [electoral votes] back to the respective states,” President Trump grew very heated.180

Witnesses in the Oval Office during this call told the Select Committee that the President


called Vice President Pence a “wimp,”181 told him it would be “a political career killer” to

certify the lawful electoral votes electing President Biden,182 and accused him of “not [being]

tough enough to make the call.”183 As Ivanka Trump would recount to her chief of staff

moments later, her father called the Vice President “the p-word” for refusing to overturn the


In response, Vice President Pence again refused to take any action other than counting

the lawfully certified electoral votes of the States. But President Trump was angry and

undeterred. After the conclusion of this call, he edited his speech for the Ellipse to insert

language to which his lawyers objected – targeting Vice President Pence directly.185

Earlier that morning, Eric Herschmann had tried to remove the reference to Vice

President Pence from the speech. As he told speechwriter Stephen Miller, he “didn’t concur

with the legal analysis” that John Eastman had advanced and believed it “wouldn’t advance

the ball” to discuss it publicly.186 But after the call with Vice President Pence, speechwriters

were instructed to reinsert the line. Although the final written draft of his speech referred to

Pence just once – a line President Trump didn’t end up reading187 – the President went offscript five different times to pressure the Vice President:

“I hope Mike is going to do the right thing. I hope so. Because if Mike Pence does the

right thing, we win the election,” Trump first told the crowd.188

“Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us,” Trump later said, “and if he

doesn’t, that will be a, a sad day for our country because you’re sworn to uphold our


Addressing Pence directly, Trump told the assembled crowd: “Mike Pence, I hope

you’re going to stand up for the good of our Constitution and for the good of our country.”

Trump said at another point, “And if you’re not, I’m going to be very disappointed in you. I

will tell you right now. I’m not hearing good stories.”190

“So I hope Mike has the courage to do what he has to do. And I hope he doesn’t listen

to the RINOs and the stupid people that he’s listening to,” Trump said.191

These statements to the assembled crowd at the Ellipse had Trump’s intended effect

– they produced substantial anger against Pence. When Pence released a statement

confirming that he would not act to prevent Congress from counting electoral votes, the

crowd’s reaction was harshly negative:

I’m telling you what, I’m hearing that Pence — hearing the Pence just caved.

No. Is that true? I didn’t hear it. I’m hear — I’m hearing reports that Pence

caved. No way. I’m telling you, if Pence caved, we’re going to drag

motherfuckers through the streets. You fucking politicians are going to get

fucking drug through the streets.192

Pence voted against Trump. [Interviewer: “Ok. And that’s when all this

started?”] Yup. That’s when we marched on the Capitol. 193

We just heard that Mike Pence is not going to reject any fraudulent electoral

votes. [Other speaker: “Boo. You’re a traitor!”] That's right. You’ve heard it

here first. Mike Pence has betrayed the United States of America. [Other


speaker: “Fuck you, Mike Pence!”] Mike Pence has betrayed this President and

he has betrayed the people of the United States and we will never, ever forget.


This woman cames [sic] up to the side of us and she says Pence folded. So it

was kind of, like, Ok, well — in my mind I was thinking, well that’s it. You

know. Well, my son-in-law looks at me and he says I want to go in.195

[Q] What percentage of the crowd is going to the Capitol? [A] [Oath Keeper

Jessica Watkins]: One hundred percent. It has, it has spread like wildfire that

Pence has betrayed us, and everybody’s marching on the Capitol. All million of

us. It’s insane.196

Bring him out. Bring out Pence. Bring him out. Bring out Pence. Bring him out.

Bring out Pence. Bring him out. Bring out Pence.197

Hang Mike Pence. Hang Mike Pence. Hang Mike Pence. Hang Mike Pence. Hang

Mike Pence.198

Once Trump returned to the White House, he was informed almost immediately that

violence and lawlessness had broken out at the Capitol among his supporters.199 At 2:24 p.m.,

President Trump applied yet further pressure to Pence (see infra []), posting a tweet accusing

Vice President Mike Pence of cowardice for not using his role as President of the Senate to

change the outcome of the election: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should

have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify

a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to

previously certify. USA demands the truth!”200 Almost immediately thereafter, the crowd

around the Capitol surged, and more individuals joined the effort to confront police and break

further into the building.

The sentiment expressed in President Trump's 2:24 p.m. tweet, already present in the

crowd, only grew more powerful as the President’s words spread. Timothy Hale-Cusanelli –

a white supremacist who expressed Nazi sympathies – heard about the tweet while in the

Crypt around 2:25 p.m., and he, according to the Department of Justice, “knew what that

meant.” Vice President Pence had decided not to keep President Trump in power.201 Other

rioters described what happened next as follows:

Once we found out Pence turned on us and that they had stolen the election,

like officially, the crowd went crazy. I mean, it became a mob. We crossed the


Then we heard the news on [P]ence…And lost it…So we stormed.203

They’re making an announcement right now saying if Pence betrays us you

better get your mind right because we’re storming that building.204

Minutes after the tweet—at 2:35 p.m.—rioters continued their surge and broke a

security line of the DC Metropolitan Police Department, resulting in the first fighting

withdrawal in the history of the that force.



President Trump issued this tweet after he had falsely claimed to the angry crowd that

Vice President Mike Pence could “do the right thing” and ensure a second Trump term, after

that angry crowd had turned into a violent mob assaulting the Capitol while chanting, “Hang

Mike Pence!”206 and after the U.S. Secret Service had evacuated the Vice President from the

Senate floor.207 One minute after the President’s tweet, at 2:25 p.m., the Secret Service

determined they could no longer protect the Vice President in his ceremonial office near the

Senate Chamber, and evacuated the Vice President and his family to a secure location, missing

the violent mob by a mere 40 feet.208

Further evidence presented at our hearing shows the violent reaction following

President Trump’s 2:24 p.m. tweet and the efforts to protect Vice President Pence in the time

that followed.209

The day after the attack on the Capitol, Dr. Eastman called Eric Herschmann to talk

about continuing litigation on behalf of the Trump Presidential campaign in Georgia.

Herschmann described his reaction to Eastman this way:

And I said to him, are you out of your F'ing mind? Right? I said, because I only

want to hear two words coming out of your mouth from now on: Orderly

transition. I said, I don't want to hear any other F'ing words coming out of

your mouth, no matter what, other than orderly transition. Repeat those words

to me.”210

Herschmann concluded the call by telling Dr. Eastman: “Now I’m going to give you

the best free legal advice you’re ever getting in your life. Get a great F’ing criminal defense

lawyer, you’re going to need it,” and hanging up the phone.211

In the course of investigating this series of facts, the Select Committee subpoenaed Dr.

John Eastman’s emails from his employer, Chapman University.212 Dr. Eastman sued to

prevent Chapman from producing the emails, arguing that the emails were attorney-client

privileged. Federal District Court Judge David Carter reviewed Dr. Eastman’s emails in camera

to determine, among other things, whether the emails had to be produced because they likely

furthered a crime committed by one of Dr. Eastman’s clients or by Dr. Eastman himself. In

addition to reviewing the emails themselves, Judge Carter reviewed substantial additional

evidence presented by the Select Committee and by Dr. Eastman.

After reciting a series of factual findings regarding President Trump’s multi-part plan

to overturn the election, Judge Carter concluded that President Trump likely violated two

criminal statutes: 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c) (corruptly obstructing, impeding or influencing

Congress’s official proceeding to count electoral votes); and 18 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiring to

defraud the United States). The Court also concluded that John Eastman likely violated at

least one of these criminal laws. As to §1512(c), Judge Carter explained:

Taken together, this evidence demonstrates that President Trump likely knew

the electoral count plan had no factual justification.

The plan not only lacked factual basis but also legal justification. . . .

The illegality of the plan was obvious. Our nation was founded on the peaceful

transition of power, epitomized by George Washington laying down his sword

to make way for democratic elections. Ignoring this history, President Trump


vigorously campaigned for the Vice President to single-handedly determine the

results of the 2020 election. . . . Every American – and certainly the President

of the United States – knows that in a democracy, leaders are elected, not

installed. With a plan this “BOLD,” President Trump knowingly tried to

subvert this fundamental principle. Based on the evidence, the Court finds it

more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the

Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021.213

As to 18 U.S.C. § 371, Judge Carter identified evidence demonstrating that both

President Trump and John Eastman knew their electoral count plan was illegal, and knew it

could not “survive judicial scrutiny” in any of its iterations:

Dr. Eastman himself repeatedly recognized that his plan had no legal

support. . . . Dr. Eastman likely acted deceitfully and dishonestly each time he

pushed an outcome-driven plan that he knew was unsupported by the law.214

Finally, Judge Carter concluded:

Dr. Eastman and President Trump launched a campaign to overturn a

democratic election, an action unprecedented in American history. Their

campaign was not confined to the ivory tower – it was a coup in search of a

legal theory. The plan spurred violent attacks on the seat of our nation’s

government, led to the deaths of several law enforcement officers, and

deepened public distrust in our political process.215

Judge Luttig reached similar conclusions during his live hearing testimony: “I have

written, as you said, Chairman Thompson, that, today, almost 2 years after that fateful day

in January 2021, that, still, Donald Trump and his allies and supporters are a clear and present

danger to American democracy.”216

During the hearing, Judge Luttig took issue with certain of Greg Jacob’s

characterizations of the 12th Amendment’s text, explaining that the applicable text was not

ambiguous in any way. The Committee agrees with Judge Luttig: the application of the

Twelfth Amendment’s text is plain in this context; it does not authorize Congress to secondguess State and Federal courts and refuse to count State electoral votes based on concerns

about fraud. See infra []. Although Jacob did not discuss his position in great detail during

the hearing, his private testimony gives more insight on his actual views:

In my view, a lot has been said about the fact that the role of the Vice President

in the electoral count on January 6th is purely ministerial, and that is a correct

conclusion. But if you look at the constitutional text, the role of Congress is

purely ministerial as well. You open the certificates and you count them. Those

are the only things provided for in the Constitution.217



Anticipating that the Eastman strategy for January 6th would be implemented,

President Trump worked with a handful of others to prepare a series of false Trump electoral

slates for seven States Biden actually won. President Trump personally conducted a


teleconference with Eastman and Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel “a

few days before December 14” and solicited the RNC’s assistance with the scheme.


McDaniel agreed to provide that assistance.


A series of contemporaneous documents demonstrate what President Trump and his

allies, including attorney Kenneth Chesebro, were attempting to accomplish: they anticipated

that the President of the Senate (which, under the Constitution, is the Vice President) could

rely upon these false slates of electors on January 6th to justify refusing to count genuine

electoral votes.220

The false slates were created by fake Republican electors on December 14th, at the

same time the actual, certified electors in those States were meeting to cast their States’

Electoral College votes for President Biden. By that point in time, election-related litigation

was over in all or nearly all of the subject States, and Trump Campaign election lawyers

realized that the fake slates could not be lawful or justifiable on any grounds. Justin Clark,

the Trump Campaign Deputy Campaign Manager and Senior Counsel told the Select

Committee that he “had real problems with the process.”221 Clark warned his colleagues,

“unless we have litigation pending like in these States, like, I don’t think this is appropriate

or, you know, this isn’t the right thing to do. I don’t remember how I phrased it, but I got

into a little bit of a back and forth and I think it was with Ken Chesebro, where I said, Alright,

you know, you just get after it, like, I’m out.”222

Matthew Morgan, the Trump Campaign General Counsel, told the Select Committee

that without an official State certificate of ascertainment,

223 “the [fake] electors were, for lack

of a better way of saying it, no good or not -- not valid.”224

The Office of White House Counsel also appears to have expressed concerns with this

fake elector plan. In his interview by the Select Committee White House Counsel Pat Cipollone

acknowledged his view that by mid-December, the process was “done” and that his deputy,

Pat Philbin, may have advised against the fake elector strategy.

225 In an informal Committee

interview, Philbin described the fake elector scheme as one of the “bad theories” that were

like “whack-a-mole” in the White House during this period.226 Cipollone agreed with this


In her testimony, Cassidy Hutchinson testified that she heard at least one member of

the White House Counsel’s Office say that the plan was not legal:

Committee Staff: … to be clear, did you hear the White House Counsel’s Office say that

this plan to have alternate electors meet and cast votes for Donald Trump in States

that he had lost was not legally sound?

Hutchinson: Yes, sir.228

Multiple Republicans who were persuaded to sign the fake certificates also testified

that they felt misled or betrayed, and would not have done so had they known that the fake

votes would be used on January 6th without an intervening court ruling One elector told the

Select Committee that he thought his vote would be strictly contingent: “[I]t was a very

consistent message that we were told throughout all of that, is this is the only reason why

we’re doing this, is to preserve the integrity of being able to have a challenge.”229


The “Chairperson” of the Wisconsin fake electors, who was also at the time Chairman

of the Wisconsin Republican Party, insisted in testimony to the Select Committee that he “was

told that these would only count if a court ruled in our favor” and that he wouldn’t have

supported anyone using the Trump electors’ votes without a court ruling.


Despite the fact that all major election lawsuits thus far had failed, Trump and his coconspirators in this effort, including John Eastman and Kenneth Chesebro, pressed forward

with the fake elector scheme. Ultimately, these false electoral slates, five of which purported

to represent the “duly elected” electoral college votes of their States, were transmitted to

Executive Branch officials at the National Archives, and to the Legislative Branch, including

to the Office of the President of the Senate, Vice President Mike Pence.231

The fake electors followed Chesebro’s step-by-step instructions for completing and

mailing the fake certificates to multiple officials in the U.S. Government,

232 complete with

registered mail stickers and return address labels identifying senders like the “Arizona

Republican Party” and the “Georgia Republican Party.”233 The Wisconsin Republican Party’s

fake certificates apparently weren’t properly delivered, however, so the Trump campaign

arranged to fly them to Washington just before the joint session on January 6th, and try to

deliver them to the Vice President via Senator Ron Johnson and Representative Mike Kelly’s

offices.234 Both Johnson and Kelly’s offices attempted to do so, but Vice President Pence’s aide

refused the delivery.


Despite pressure from President Trump, Vice President Pence and the Senate

parliamentarian refused to recognize or count the unofficial fake electoral votes. Greg Jacob

testified that he advised Vice President Pence on January 2nd that “none of the slates that had

been sent in would qualify as an alternate slate” under the law and that the Senate

Parliamentarian “was in agreement” with this conclusion.236

* * *

In addition to this plan to create and transmit fake electoral slates, Donald Trump was

also personally and substantially involved in multiple efforts to pressure State election

officials and State legislatures to alter official lawful election results. As U.S. District Judge

Carter stated in his June 7, 2022, opinion:

Dr. Eastman’s actions in these few weeks [in December 2022] indicate that his and

President Trump’s pressure campaign to stop the electoral count did not end with Vice

President Pence – it targeted every tier of federal and state elected officials.

Convincing state legislatures to certify competing electors was essential to stop the

count and ensure President Trump’s reelection.237

Judge Carter also explained that “Dr. Eastman and President Trump’s plan to disrupt

the Joint Session was fully formed and actionable as early as December 7, 2020.”238

Chapter 2 of this report provides substantial detail on many of President Trump’s

specific efforts to apply pressure to State officials and legislators. We provide a few examples


During a January 2, 2021, call, President Trump pressured Georgia’s Republican

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes.” During that call, President Trump

asserted conspiracy theories about the election that Department of Justice officials had already


debunked. Trump also made a thinly veiled threat to Raffensperger and his attorney about

his failure to respond to Trump’s demands: “That’s a criminal, that’s a criminal offense . . .

That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer . . . I’m notifying you that you’re letting it


Judge Carter drew these conclusions:

Mr. Raffensperger debunked the President’s allegations “point by point” and

explained that “the data you have is wrong;” however, President Trump still

told him, “I just want to find 11,780 votes.”240

* * *

President Trump’s repeated pleas for Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger

clearly demonstrate that his justification was not to investigate fraud, but to

win the election. … Taken together, this evidence demonstrates that President

Trump likely knew the electoral count plan had no factual justification. The

plan not only lacked factual basis but also legal justification.241

That call to Raffensperger came on the heels of Trump’s repeated attacks on

Raffensperger, election workers, and other public servants about Trump’s loss in the election.

A month earlier, the Georgia Secretary of State’s Chief Operating Officer, Gabriel Sterling, had

given this explicit public warning to Trump and his team, a warning that the Select Committee

has determined President Trump apparently saw and disregarded:


[I]t has all gone too far. All of it....

A 20-something tech in Gwinnett County today has death threats and a noose

put out, saying he should be hung for treason because he was transferring a

report on batches from an EMS to a county computer so he could read it.

It has to stop.

Mr. President, you have not condemned these actions or this language.

Senators, you have not condemned this language or these actions. This has to

stop. We need you to step up. And if you’re going to take a position of

leadership, show some.

My boss, Secretary Raffensperger – his address is out there. They have people

doing caravans in front of their house, they’ve had people come onto their

property. Tricia, his wife of 40 years, is getting sexualized threats through her


It has to stop.

This is elections, this is the backbone of democracy, and all of you who have

not said a damn word are complicit in this. It’s too much….

What you don’t have the ability to do – and you need to step up and say this –

is stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence. Someone’s going

to get hurt. Someone’s going to get shot. Someone’s going to get killed.243


The stark warning was entirely appropriate, and prescient. In addition to the examples

Sterling identified, Trump and his team were also fixated on Georgia election workers Ruby

Freeman and Wandrea “Shaye” Moss. He and Giuliani mentioned Freeman repeatedly in

meetings with State legislators, public rallies, and in the January 2nd call with Raffensperger.

Referring to a video clip, Giuliani even accused Freeman and Moss of trading USB drives to

affect votes “as if they [were] vials of heroin or cocaine.”244 This was completely bogus: it

was not a USB drive; it was a ginger mint.245

After their contact information was published, Trump supporters sent hundreds of

threats to the women and even showed up at Freeman’s home.246 As Freeman testified to

the Select Committee, Trump and his followers’ conduct had a profound impact on her life.

She left her home based on advice from the FBI, and wouldn’t move back for months.247 And

she explained, “I’ve lost my sense of security – all because a group of people, starting with

Number 45 [Donald Trump] and his ally Rudy Giuliani, decided to scapegoat me and my

daughter Shaye to push their own lies about how the Presidential election was stolen.”248 The

treatment of Freeman and Moss was callous, inhumane, and inexcusable. Rudolph Giuliani

and others with responsibility should be held accountable.

In Arizona, a primary target of Trump’s pressure, and ire, was House Speaker Russell

“Rusty” Bowers, a longtime Republican who had served 17 years in the State legislature.

Throughout November and December, Bowers spoke to Trump, Giuliani, and members of

Giuliani’s legal team, in person or on the phone. During these calls, Trump and others alleged

that the results in Arizona were affected by fraud and asked that Bowers consider replacing

Presidential electors for Biden with electors for Trump.249 Bowers demanded proof for the

claims of fraud, but never got it. At one point, after Bowers pressed Giuliani on the claims of

fraud, Giuliani responded, “we’ve got lots of theories, we just don’t have the evidence.”250

Bowers explained to Giuliani: “You are asking me do something against my oath, and I will

not break my oath.”251

Trump and his supporters’ intimidation tactics affected Bowers, too. Bowers’s

personal cell phone and home address were doxed,

252 leading demonstrators to show up at his

home and shout insults until police arrived. One protestor who showed up at his home was

armed and believed to be a member of an extremist militia.253 Another hired a truck with a

defamatory and profane allegation that Bowers, a deeply religious man, was a pedophile, and

drove it through Bowers’s neighborhood.254 This, again, is the conduct of thugs and criminals,

each of whom should be held accountable.

In Michigan, Trump focused on Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and

Republican House Speaker Lee Chatfield. He invited them to the White House for a November

20, 2020, meeting during which Trump and Giuliani, who joined by phone, went through a

“litany” of false allegations about supposed fraud in Michigan’s election.255 Chatfield recalled

Trump’s more generic directive for the group to “have some backbone and do the right thing,”

which he understood to mean overturning the election by naming Michigan’s Electoral College

electors for Trump.256 Shirkey told Trump that he wouldn’t do anything that would violate

Michigan law,

257 and after the meeting ended, issued a joint statement with Chatfield: “We

have not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the

election in Michigan and as legislative leaders, we will follow the law and follow the normal

process regarding Michigan’s electors, just as we have said throughout this election.”258


When Trump couldn’t convince Shirkey and Chatfield to change the outcome of the

election in Michigan during that meeting or in calls after, he or his team maliciously tweeted

out Shirkey’s personal cell phone number and a number for Chatfield that turned out to be

wrong.259 Shirkey received nearly 4,000 text messages after that, and another private citizen

reported being inundated with calls and texts intended for Chatfield.260

None of Donald Trump’s efforts ultimately succeeded in changing the official results

in any State. That these efforts had failed was apparent to Donald Trump and his coconspirators well before January 6th. By January 6th, there was no evidence at all that a

majority of any State legislature would even attempt to change its electoral votes.261

This past October, Federal District Court Judge David Carter issued a further ruling

relating to one of President Trump’s lawsuits in Georgia. Judge Carter applied the crimefraud exception to attorney-client privilege again, and identified potential criminal activity

related to a knowingly false representation by Donald Trump to a Federal court. He wrote:

The emails show that President Trump knew that the specific numbers of voter fraud

were wrong but continued to tout those numbers, both in court and in public.262

As John Eastman wrote in an email on December 31, 2020, President Trump was “made

aware that some of the allegations (and evidence proffered by the experts)” in a verified State

court complaint was “inaccurate.”263 Dr. Eastman noted that “with that knowledge”

President Trump could not accurately verify a Federal court complaint that incorporated by

reference the “inaccurate” State court complaint: “I have no doubt that an aggressive DA or

US Atty someplace will go after both the President and his lawyers once all the dust settles on

this.”264 Despite this specific warning, “President Trump and his attorneys ultimately filed

the complaint with the same inaccurate numbers without rectifying, clarifying, or otherwise

changing them.”265 And President Trump personally “signed a verification swearing under

oath that the incorporated, inaccurate numbers ‘are true and correct’ or ‘believed to be true

and correct’ to the best of his knowledge and belief.”266 The numbers were not correct, and

President Trump and his legal team knew it.


In the weeks after the 2020 election, Attorney General Bill Barr advised President

Trump that the Department of Justice had not seen any evidence to support Trump’s theory

that the election was stolen by fraud. Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and his Deputy

repeatedly reinforced to President Trump that his claims of election fraud were false when

they took over in mid-December. Also in mid-December 2020, Attorney General Barr

announced his plans to resign. Between that time and January 6th, Trump spoke with Acting

Attorney General Jeff Rosen and Acting Deputy Richard Donoghue repeatedly, attempting to

persuade them and the Department of Justice to find factual support for his stolen election

claims and thereby to assist his efforts to reverse election results.

As Rosen publicly testified, “… between December 23rd and January 3rd, the President

either called me or met with me virtually every day, with one or two exceptions, like

Christmas Day.”267 As discussed earlier, Justice Department investigations had demonstrated

that these stolen election claims were false; both Rosen and Donoghue told Trump this

comprehensively and repeatedly.


One of those conversations occurred on December 27th, when Trump called Rosen to

go through a “stream of allegations” about the election.

268 Donoghue described that call as

an “escalation of the earlier conversations” they had.

269 Initially, Trump called Rosen directly.

When Donoghue joined the call, he sought to “make it clear to the President [that] these

allegations were simply not true.”270

So [the President] went through [the allegations] – in what for me was a 90-minute

conversation or so, and what for the former Acting AG was a 2-hour conversation – as

the President went through them I went piece by piece to say “no, that’s false, that is

not true,” and to correct him really in a serial fashion as he moved from one theory to


The President raised, among others, debunked claims about voting machines in

Michigan, a truck driver who allegedly moved ballots from New York to Pennsylvania, and a

purported election fraud at the State Farm Arena in Georgia.

272 None of the allegations were

credible, and Rosen and Donoghue said so to the President.273

At one point during the December 27th call in which Donoghue refuted Trump’s fraud

allegations, Donoghue recorded in handwritten notes a request Trump made specifically to

him and Acting Attorney General Rosen: “Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest

to me and the Republican Congressmen.”274 Donoghue explained: “[T]he Department had

zero involvement in anyone’s political strategy,” and “he wanted us to say that it was

corrupt.”275 “We told him we were not going to do that.”276 At the time, neither Rosen nor

Donoghue knew the full extent to which Republican Congressmen, including Representative

Scott Perry, were attempting to assist Trump to overturn the election results.

The Committee’s investigation has shown that Congressman Perry was working with

one Department of Justice official, Jeffrey Clark, regarding the stolen election claims. Perry

was working with Clark and with President Trump and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows with

this goal: to enlist Clark to reverse the Department of Justice’s findings regarding the election

and help overturn the election outcome.277

After introducing Jeffrey Clark to the President, Perry sent multiple text messages to

Meadows between December 26th and December 28th, pressing that Clark be elevated within

the Department. Perry reminded Meadows that there are only “11 days to 1/6…We gotta get

going!,” and, as the days went on, one asking, “Did you call Jeff Clark?”278

Acting Attorney General Rosen first learned about Clark’s contact with Trump in a call

on Christmas Eve. On that call, President Trump mentioned Clark to Rosen, who was

surprised to learn that Trump knew Clark and had met with him. Rosen later confronted

Clark about the contact: “Jeff, anything going on that you think I should know about?”279

Clark didn’t “immediately volunteer” the fact that he had met with the President, but

ultimately “acknowledged that he had been at a meeting with the President in the Oval Office,

not alone, with other people.”280 Clark was “kind of defensive” and “somewhat apologetic,”

“casting it as that he had had a meeting with Congressman Perry from Pennsylvania and that,

to his surprise, or, you know, he hadn’t anticipated it, that they somehow wound up at a

meeting in the Oval Office.”281 Clark’s contact with Trump violated both Justice Department

and White House policies designed to prevent political pressure on the Department.282

While Clark initially appeared apologetic and assured Rosen that “[i]t won’t happen

again,”283 he nevertheless continued to work and meet secretly with Trump and Congressman


Perry. Less than five days after assuring Rosen that he would comply with the Department’s

White House contacts policy, Clark told Rosen and Donoghue that he had again violated that

policy. Donoghue confronted him: “I reminded him that I was his boss and that I had directed

him to do otherwise.”284

Around the same time, Representative Perry called Acting Deputy Attorney General

Donoghue, criticized the FBI, and suggested that the Department hadn’t been doing its job.

Perry told Donoghue that Clark “would do something about this.”285

On December 28th, Clark worked with a Department employee named Kenneth

Klukowski – a political appointee who had earlier worked with John Eastman – to produce a

draft letter from the Justice Department to the State legislature of Georgia.

286 That letter

mirrored a number of the positions Trump and Eastman were taking at the time.287 (Although

both Clark and Eastman refused to answer questions by asserting their Fifth Amendment

right against self-incrimination, evidence shows that Clark and Eastman were in

communication in this period leading up to January 6th.

288 The draft letter to Georgia was

intended to be one of several Department letters to State legislatures in swing States that had

voted for Biden.289

The letter read: “The Department of Justice is investigating various irregularities in

the 2020 election for President of the United States.”290 Clark continued: “The Department

will update you as we are able on investigatory progress, but at this time we have identified

significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election in multiple States,

including the State of Georgia.”291 This was affirmatively untrue. The Department had

conducted many investigations of election fraud allegations by that point, but it absolutely

did not have “significant concerns” that fraud “may have impacted the outcome of the

election” in any State. Jeff Clark knew this; Donoghue confirmed it again in an email

responding to Clark’s letter: “[W]e simply do not currently have a basis to make such a

statement. Despite dramatic claims to the contrary, we have not seen the type of fraud that

calls into question the reported (and certified) results of the election.”292

The letter also explicitly recommended that Georgia’s State legislature should call a

special session to evaluate potential election fraud. “In light of these developments, the

Department recommends that the Georgia General Assembly should convene in special

session so that its legislators are in a special position to take additional testimony, receive

new evidence, and deliberate on the matter consistent with its duties under the U.S.


Clark’s draft letter also referenced the fake electors that Trump and his campaign

organized – arguing falsely that there were currently two competing slates of legitimate

Presidential electors in Georgia:


The Department believes that in Georgia and several other States, both a slate of

electors supporting Joseph R. Biden, Jr., and a separate slate of electors supporting

Donald J. Trump, gathered on [December 14, 2020] at the proper location to cast their

ballots, and that both sets of those ballots have been transmitted to Washington, D.C.,

to be opened by Vice President Pence.


This, of course, was part of Donald Trump and John Eastman’s plan for January 6th.

This letter reflects an effort to use the Department of Justice to help overturn the election

outcome in Georgia and elsewhere.


Rosen and Donoghue reacted immediately to this draft letter:

“[T]here’s no chance that I would sign this letter or anything remotely like this,”

Donoghue wrote.296 The plan set forth by Clark was “not even within the realm of

possibility,”297 and Donoghue warned that if they sent Clark’s letter, it “would be a grave step

for the Department to take and it could have tremendous Constitutional, political and social

ramifications for the country.”298

As Richard Donoghue testified when describing his response to Clark’s proposed letter:

Well, I had to read both the email and the attached letter twice to make sure I really

understood what he was proposing because it was so extreme to me I had a hard time

getting my head around it initially.

But I read it, and I did understand it for what he intended, and I had to sit down and

sort of compose what I thought was an appropriate response....

In my response I explained a number of reasons this is not the Department’s role to

suggest or dictate to State legislatures how they should select their electors. But more

importantly, this was not based on fact. This was actually contrary to the facts as

developed by Department investigations over the last several weeks and months.

So, I respond to that. And for the department to insert itself into the political process

this way I think would have had grave consequences for the country. It may very well

have spiraled us into a constitutional crisis.299

Rosen and Donoghue also met with Clark about the letter. Their conversation “was a

very difficult and contentious” one, according to Donoghue.300 “What you’re proposing is

nothing less than the United States Justice Department meddling in the outcome of a

Presidential election,” Donoghue admonished Clark, to which Clark indignantly responded,

“I think a lot of people have meddled in this election.”301

Both Rosen and Donoghue refused to sign the letter, and confronted Clark with the

actual results of the Department’s investigations.

302 They also permitted Clark access to a

classified briefing from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (“ODNI”) showing

Clark that allegations he made to Rosen and Donoghue about foreign interference with voting

machines were not true. According to Rosen, the decision to give Clark the briefing at that

point “was a difficult question because, if he’s going to brief the President, I reluctantly think

it’s probably better that he’s heard from Director Ratcliffe than that he not, even if – I don’t

think he should brief the President. But, at this point, he’s telling me that this is happening

whether I agree with it or not. So, so I let him have that briefing.”303

After Clark received the ODNI briefing, “he acknowledged [to Donoghue] that there

was nothing in that briefing that would have supported his earlier suspicion about foreign

involvement.”304 While Clark then dropped his claims about foreign interference, he

continued to press to send the letter to Georgia and other States, despite being told that the

Department of Justice investigations had found no fraud sufficient to overturn the election

outcome in Georgia or any other States. This was an intentional choice by Jeff Clark to

contradict specific Department findings on election fraud, and purposely insert the


Department into the Presidential election on President Trump’s behalf and risk creating or

exacerbating a constitutional crisis.

By this point, President Trump recognized that neither Rosen nor Donoghue would

sign the letter or support his false election claims. Trump and his team then communicated

further with Clark and offered him the job of Acting Attorney General. On January 2nd, Clark

told Rosen that he “… would turn down the President’s offer if [Rosen] reversed [his] position

and signed the letter” that he and Klukowski had drafted.

305 The next day, Clark decided to

accept and informed Rosen, who then called White House Counsel to seek a meeting directly

with Trump. As Rosen put it, “… I wasn’t going to accept being fired by my subordinate, so

I wanted to talk to the President directly.”306

On January 3rd, that meeting was convened. Although contemporaneous White House

documents suggest that Clark had already been appointed as the Acting Attorney General,307

all the participants in the meeting other than Clark and President Trump aggressively opposed

Clark’s appointment.

At that point, Rosen decided to “broaden the circle” and ask that his subordinates

inform all the other Assistant Attorneys General (AAGs) what was afoot.308 Rosen wanted to

know how the AAGs would respond if Jeff Clark was installed as the Acting Attorney General.

Pat Hovakimian, who worked for Rosen, then set up a conference call. The AAGs almost

immediately agreed that they would resign if Rosen was removed from office.309

Rosen, Donoghue, and Steve Engel, the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of

Legal Counsel, attended the meeting. White House lawyers Pat Cipollone, Eric Herschmann

and Pat Philbin joined as well.

When the meeting started, Clark attempted to defend his appointment. Clark declared

that this was the “last opportunity to sort of set things straight with this defective election,”

and he had the “intelligence,” the “will,” and “desire” to “pursue these matters in the way

that the President thought most appropriate.”310 Everyone else present disagreed that Clark

could conceivably accomplish these things.

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone threatened to resign as well, describing Clark’s

letter as a “murder-suicide pact.”311 Cipollone warned that the letter would “damage

everyone who touches it” and no one should have anything to do with it.312

Trump asked Donoghue and Engel what they would do if Clark took office. Both

confirmed they would resign.313 Steve Engel recalled that the President next asked if he would


At some point, [] I believe Rich Donoghue said that senior Department officials would

all resign if Mr. Clark were put in, and the President turned to me and said, ‘Steve,

you wouldn’t resign, would you?’ I said, ‘Well, Mr. President, I’ve been with you

through four Attorneys General, including two Acting Attorneys General, and I just

couldn’t be part of this if Mr. Clark were here.’ And I said, ‘And I believe that the

other senior Department officials would resign as well. And Mr. Clark would be here

by himself with a hostile building, those folks who remained, and nothing would get



Donoghue added that they would not be the only ones to resign. “You should

understand that your entire Department leadership will resign,” Donoghue recalled saying.

This included every Assistant Attorney General. “Mr. President, these aren’t bureaucratic

leftovers from another administration,” Donoghue reminded Trump, “You picked them. This

is your leadership team.” Donoghue added, “And what happens if, within 48 hours, we have

hundreds of resignations from your Justice Department because of your actions? What does

that say about your leadership?”315 Steve Engel then reinforced Donoghue’s point, saying that

Clark would be leading a “graveyard.”

Faced with mass resignations and recognizing that the “breakage” could be too severe,

Donald Trump decided to rescind his offer to Clark and drop his plans to use the Justice

Department to aid in his efforts to overturn the election outcome.316 The President looked at

Clark and said, “I appreciate your willingness to do it. I appreciate you being willing to suffer

the abuse. But the reality is, you’re not going to get anything done. These guys are going to

quit. Everyone else is going to resign. It’s going to be a disaster. The bureaucracy will eat you

alive. And no matter how much you want to get things done in the next few weeks, you won’t

be able to get it done, and it’s not going to be worth the breakage.”317

* * *

Evidence gathered by the Committee also suggests that President Trump offered

Sidney Powell the position of Special Counsel for election related matters during a highly

charged White House meeting on December 18, 2020.

318 White House lawyers vehemently

opposed Powell’s appointment, and it also was not ultimately made formal.



In the early morning hours of December 19th, shortly after the contentious December

18th White House meeting with Sidney Powell and others, Donald Trump sent a tweet urging

his supporters to travel to Washington for January 6th. In that tweet, Trump attached false

allegations that the election was stolen and promised a “wild” time on January 6th.319 This

Twitter invitation was followed by over a dozen other instances in which he used Twitter to

encourage supporters to rally for him in Washington, DC on January 6th.320

The Committee has assembled detailed material demonstrating the effects of these

communications from members of far-right extremist groups, like the Proud Boys, Oath

Keepers, Three Percenters, and others, and from individuals looking to respond to their

president’s call to action. President Trump’s supporters believed the election was stolen

because they listened to his words,321 and they knew what he had called them to do; stop the

certification of the electoral count.


For example, one supporter, Charles Bradford Smith, noted on December 22, 2020 that

“Trump is asking everyone to go” to Washington, DC on January 6th “to fill the streets” on

the “day Pence counts up the votes.”323 Derek Sulenta posted to Facebook on December 23,

2020 that “I’ll be there Jan 6th to support the president no matter what happens” because

“That’s the day he called for patriots to show up.”324 By December 31, 2020, Robert Morss

believed January 6th stood for the moment when “1776 Will Commence Again” because

President Trump asked them to “Be there, Will be Wild.”325 Kenneth Grayson predicted what

would eventually happen on January 6th, when on December 23, 2020, he wrote on Facebook


that President Trump called people to Washington, DC through his December 19th tweet and


Some demonstrated their inspiration for January 6th by circulating flyers, which proclaimed

“#OccupyCongress” over images of the United States Capitol.327 Robert Gieswein, a Coloradan

affiliated with Three Percenters who was among the first to breach the Capitol, said that he

came to Washington, DC “to keep President Trump in.”328

Chapter 8 of this report documents how the Proud Boys led the attack, penetrated the

Capitol, and led hundreds of others inside. Multiple Proud Boys reacted immediately to

President Trump’s December 19th tweet and began their planning. Immediately, Proud Boys

leaders reorganized their hierarchy, with Enrique Tarrio, Joseph Biggs, and Ethan Nordean

messaging groups of Proud Boys about what to expect on January 6th.329 Tarrio created a

group chat known as the Ministry of Self-Defense for hand-selected Proud Boys whom he

wanted to “organize and direct” plans for January 6th.330 On social media, Tarrio referenced

“revolt” and “[r]evolution,” and conspicuously asked “What if we invade it?” on Telegram.331

As of December 29, 2020, Tarrio told the group the events on January 6th would be “centered

around the Capitol.”332

At the time of publication of this report, prosecutions of certain Proud Boys are

ongoing. To date, one Proud Boy has pled guilty to seditious conspiracy and other Proud Boys

have pled guilty to other crimes, including conspiracy to obstruct Congress.333 Jeremy Bertino,

a Proud Boy who pled guilty to seditious conspiracy, admitted that he:

understood from internal discussions among the Proud Boys that in the leadup

to January 6, the willingness to resort to unlawful conduct increasingly

included a willingness to use and promote violence to achieve political



Bertino believed that the 2020 election had been “stolen” and, as January 6,

2021, approached, believed that drastic measures, including violence, were

necessary to prevent Congress from certifying the Electoral College Vote on

January 6, 2021. Bertino made his views in this regard known publicly, as well

as in private discussions with MOSD leadership. Bertino understood from his

discussions with MOSD leadership that they agreed that the election had been

stolen, that the purpose of traveling to Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021,

was to stop the certification of the Electoral College Vote, and that the MOSD

leaders were willing to do whatever it would take, including using force against

police and others, to achieve that objective.335

As set out in Bertino’s plea agreement, members of MOSD:

openly discussed plans for potential violence at the Capitol [… and] members

of MOSD leadership were discussing the possibility of storming the Capitol.

Bertino believed that storming the Capitol would achieve the group's goal of

stopping Congress from certifying the Electoral College Vote. Bertino

understood that storming the Capitol or its grounds would be illegal and would

require using force against police or other government officials.336


Another Proud Boy who has pled guilty to conspiracy and assault charges, Charles

Donohoe, understood that the Proud Boys planned to storm the Capitol. Donohoe, a Proud

Boys local chapter leader from North Carolina:

was aware [as early as January 4, 2021] that members of MOSD leadership were

discussing the possibility of storming the Capitol. Donohoe believed that

storming the Capitol would achieve the group’s goal of stopping the

government from carrying out the transfer of presidential power.337

The Department of Justice has charged a number of Oath Keepers with seditious

conspiracy. Specifically, the government alleges that “[a]fter the Presidential Election, Elmer

Stewart Rhodes III conspired with his co-defendants, introduced below, and other coconspirators, known and unknown to the Grand Jury, to oppose by force the lawful transfer

of presidential power.”338 A jury agreed, convicting Stewart Rhodes and Kelly Meggs – the

leader of the Florida Oath Keepers chapter – of seditious conspiracy. The jury also convicted

Rhodes and Meggs, as well as fellow Oath Keepers Jessica Watkins, Kenneth Harrelson, and

Thomas Caldwell,339 of other serious felonies for their actions on January 6th.340

Meggs celebrated the December 19th tweet, sending an encrypted Signal message to

Florida Oath Keepers that President Trump “wants us to make it WILD that’s what he’s

saying. He called us all to the Capitol and wants us to make it wild!!! … Gentlemen we are

heading to DC pack your shit!!”341 Similarly, Oath Keeper Joshua James – who pleaded guilty

to seditious conspiracy – told Oath Keepers that there was now a “NATIONAL CALL TO ACTION

FOR DC JAN 6TH” following President Trump’s words.342

Stewart Rhodes, the Oath Keepers’ founder, felt that “the time for peaceful protest is

over” after December 19th and, according to the government, “urged President Trump to use

military force to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power, describing January 6, 2021, as

“a hard constitutional deadline” to do so.343 Rhodes created a “an invitation-only Signal

group chat titled, ‘DC OP: Jan 6 21’” on December 30, 2020, which he and other Oath Keepers,

like Meggs and James, used to plan for January 6th, including by creating a “quick reaction

force” of firearms to be stashed in Virginia.344

Multiple members of the Oath Keepers have pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy.

Brian Ulrich started planning for January 6th right after President Trump sent out his

December 19th tweet. The Department of Justice summarized Ulrich’s communications, as


Ulrich messaged the “Oath Keepers of Georgia” Signal group chat, “Trump acts

now maybe a few hundred radicals die trying to burn down cities ... Trump sits

on his hands Biden wins ... millions die resisting the death of the 1st and 2nd

amendment.” On December 20, 2020, an individual in the “Oath Keepers of

Georgia” Signal group chat, who later traveled with Ulrich to Washington, D.C.,

and breached the Capitol grounds with Ulrich on January 6, 2021, messaged,

“January 6th. The great reset. America or not.”345

The Justice Department’s Statement of Offense for Oath Keeper Joshua James provided

these details:

In advance of and on January 6, 2021, James and others agreed to take part in

the plan developed by Rhodes to use any means necessary, up to and including


the use of force, to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power. In the weeks

leading up to January 6, 2021, Rhodes instructed James and other

coconspirators to be prepared, if called upon, to report to the White House

grounds to secure the perimeter and use lethal force if necessary against anyone

who tried to remove President Trump from the White House, including the

National Guard or other government actors who might be sent to remove

President Trump as a result of the Presidential Election.346

The former President’s call also galvanized Three Percenters to act. A group known

as The Three Percenters Original sent a message to its members on December 16, 2020, noting

they “stand ready and are standing by to answer the call from our President should the need

arise” to combat the “pure evil that is conspiring to steal our country away from the american

people” through the “2020 presidential election.”347 After President Trump’s tweet, the group

put out another letter instructing “any member who can attend … to participate” on January

6th because “[t]he President of the United States has put out a general call for the patriots of

this Nation to gather” in Washington, DC.


Other Three Percenter groups also responded. Alan Hostetter and Russell Taylor led a

group of Three Percenters calling themselves the California Patriots – DC Brigade, who have

been charged with conspiracy to obstruct Congress because they organized to fight to keep

President Trump in power on January 6th after President Trump’s December 19th tweet

inspired them to come to Washington, DC.

349 On December 19th, Hostetter posted on


President Trump tweeted that all patriots should descend on Washington DC

on Wednesday l/6/2021. This is the date of the Joint Session of Congress in

which they will either accept or reject the fake/phony/stolen electoral college


Between December 19th and January 6th, Hostetter, Taylor, and other members of

the California Patriots – DC Brigade exchanged messages and posted to social media about

bringing gear, including “weaponry,” like “hatchet[s],” “bat[s],” or “[l]arge metal

flashlights,” and possibly “firearms,” and, about being “ready and willing to fight” like it

was “1776.” Taylor even spoke in front of the Supreme Court on January 5, 2021, explaining

that “[p]atriots” would “not return to our peaceful way of life until this election is made right

… .”351 On December 29, 2020, Taylor exclaimed “I personally want to be on the front steps

and be one of the first ones to breach the doors!”352

Similarly, members of the Florida Guardians of Freedom, Three Percent sent around a

flyer on December 24, 2020, saying they were “responding to the call from President Donald

J. Trump to assist in the security, protection, and support of the people as we all protest the

fraudulent election and re-establish liberty for our nation.”353 Their leader, Jeremy Liggett,

posted a meme to Facebook stating that “3% Will Show In Record Numbers In DC”354 and put

out a “safety video” instructing people that they could bring “an expandable metal baton, a

walking cane and a folding knife”355 to Washington, DC on January 6th. Several have been

arrested for participating in the violence around the tunnel on January 6th.356

When interviewed by the FBI on March 31, 2021, Danny Rodriguez – a Three Percenter

from California who tased Officer Michael Fanone in the neck as rioters tried to break through

a door on the west side of the Capitol – reflected on his decision to go to Washington, DC357:


Trump called us to D.C. ... and he’s calling for help -- I thought he was calling

for help. I thought he was -- I thought we were doing the right thing. … [W]e

thought we were going to hit it like a civil war. There was going to be a big

battle. … I thought that the main fight, the main battle, was going to be in D.C.

because Trump called everyone there.358

These groups were not operating in silos. Meggs bragged on Facebook that following

President Trump’s December 19th tweet he had formed an alliance between the Oath Keepers,

the Florida Three Percenters, and the Proud Boys “to work together to shut this shit down.”359

On December 19th, Meggs called Enrique Tarrio and they spoke for more than three

minutes.360 Three days later, Meggs messaged Liggett, echoing his excitement about the

December 19th tweet and specifically referencing the seat of Congress: “He called us all to the

Capitol and wants us to make it wild!!!”361 Liggett said “I will have a ton of men with me”

and Meggs replied that “we have made Contact [sic] with PB [Proud Boys] and they always

have a big group. Force multiplier. … I figure we could splinter off the main group of PB and

come up behind them. Fucking crush them for good.”362 Aside from Meggs, Stewart Rhodes

brought in at least one local militia leader363 and Three Percenters into the Oath Keepers

January 6th planning chats that came about following President Trump’s tweet.


Even on January 6th, rioters referenced the tweet. An unknown rioter was caught on

video as they ascended the Capitol steps saying “He said it was gonna be wild. He didn’t

lie.”365 MPD body-worn cameras captured Cale Clayton around 3:15 p.m. as he taunted

officers from under the scaffolding: “Your fucking president told us to be here. You should be

on this side, right here, going with us. You are an American citizen. Your fucking President

told you to do that. You too. You too. You. All of you guys. That Tweet was for you guys. For

us. For you.”366

As January 6th neared, intelligence emerged indicating that January 6th was likely to

be violent, and specifically that the Capitol was a target. On January 3rd, an intelligence

summary informed Department of Justice officials of plans to “occupy the Capitol” and

“invade” the Capitol on January 6th. This summarized a “SITE Intelligence Group” report

about the “online rhetoric focused on the 6 Jan event.” Some of the reporting includes: “Calls

to occupy federal buildings.” “intimidating Congress and invading the capitol building.” The

email also quoted WUSA9 local reporting: “one of the websites used for organizing the event

was encouraging attendees to bring guns.”367

Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue testified:

And we knew that if you have tens of thousands of very upset people showing up in

Washington, DC, that there was potential for violence.368

At the same time, a Defense Department official predicted on a White House National

Security Council call that violence could be targeted at the Capitol on January 6th. According

to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley:

So during these calls, I — I only remember in hindsight because he was almost

like clairvoyant. [Deputy Secretary of Defense David] Norquist says during one

of these calls, the greatest threat is a direct assault on the Capitol. I’ll never

forget it.369


Likewise, documentation received by the Committee from the Secret Service

demonstrates a growing number of warnings both that January 6th was likely to be violent,

and specifically that the Capitol would likely be the target, including intelligence directly

regarding the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers militia groups.

Even two weeks ahead of January 6th, the intelligence started to show what could

happen. On December 22, 2020, the FBI received a screenshot of an online chat among Oath

Keepers, seemingly referring to the State capitols besieged by protesters across the country

earlier that year: “if they were going to go in, then they should have went all the way.”370

“There is only one way. It is not signs. It’s not rallies. It’s fucking bullets,” one user replied.371

A public source emailed the Secret Service a document titled “Armed and Ready, Mr.

President,” on December 24th, which summarized online comments responding to President

Trump’s December 19th tweet.372 Protestors should “start marching into the chambers,” one

user wrote.373 Trump “can’t exactly openly tell you to revolt,” another replied. “This is the

closest he’ll ever get.”374 “I read [the President’s tweet] as armed,” someone said.375 “[T]here

is not enough cops in DC to stop what is coming,” replied yet another.376 “[B]e already in

place when Congress tries to get to their meeting,” the comments continued, and “make sure

they know who to fear.’”377 “[W]aiting for Trump to say the word,” a person said, and “this

is what Trump expects,” exclaimed another.378 Capitol Police’s head of intelligence, Jack

Donohue, got the same compilation from a former colleague at the New York Police

Department on December 28, 2020.379

On December 26, 2020, the Secret Service received a tip about the Proud Boys detailing

plans to have “a large enough group to march into DC armed [that] will outnumber the police

so they can’t be stopped.”380 “Their plan is to literally kill people,” the informant stated.

“Please please take this tip seriously ….”381 On December 29, 2020, Secret Service forwarded

related warnings to Capitol Police that pro-Trump demonstrators were being urged to

“occupy federal building[s],” including “march[ing] into the capital building and mak[ing]

them quake in their shoes by our mere presence.”382

Civilians also tipped off Capitol Police about bringing weapons to besiege the Capitol.

One tipster, who had “track[ed] online far right extremism for years,” emailed Capitol Police

warning “I’ve seen countless tweets from Trump supporters saying they will be armed,” and

“I[’]ve also seen tweets from people organizing to ‘storm the Capitol’ on January 6th.”383

On December 29, 2020, Secret Service forwarded related warnings to Capitol Police that

pro-Trump demonstrators were being urged to “occupy federal building,” including

“march[ing] into the capital building and mak[ing] them quake in their shoes by our mere

presence.”384 Indeed, a Secret Service intelligence briefing on December 30th entitled “March

for Trump,” highlighted the President’s “Will be wild!” tweet alongside hashtags

#WeAreTheStorm, #1776Rebel, and #OccupyCapitols, writing “President Trump supporters

have proposed a movement to occupy Capitol Hill.”385

On January 1, 2021, a lieutenant in the intelligence branch at DC Police forwarded a

civilian tip about “a website planning terroristic behavior on Jan 6th, during the rally” to

Capitol Police intelligence.386 “There are detailed plans to storm federal buildings,” including

“the capitol in DC on Jan 6th,” the tipster reported, linking to thedonald.win.387


On January 2, 2021, the FBI discovered a social media posting that read, “This is not a

rally and it’s no longer a protest. This is a final stand . . . many are ready to die to take back

#USA . . . . And don’t be surprised if we take the #capital building.”388

On January 3, 2021, a Parler user’s post – under the name 1776(2.0) Minuteman –

noting “after weds we are going to need a new congress” and “Jan 6 may actually be their

[Members of Congress] last day in office” reached the FBI and Capitol Police.389

The FBI field office in Norfolk, Virginia issued an alert to law enforcement agencies on

January 5th tiled “Potential for Violence in Washington, D.C. Area in Connection with Planned

‘StopTheSteal’ Protest on 6 January 2021,” which noted:

An online thread discussed specific calls for violence to include stating ‘Be

ready to fight. Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in,

and blood… being spilled. Get violent...stop calling this a march, or rally, or a

protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else

will achieve this goal.’390

In addition, the alert copied “perimeter maps [of the Capitol] and caravan pictures [that] were

posted” on thedonald.win, particularly worrying that the “caravans … had the same colors as

the sections of the perimeter” of the Capitol.391 Secret Service also knew about caravans

planning to come to DC to “Occupy the Capitol.”392

That same day, representatives from DHS, FBI, DC’s Homeland Security and

Emergency Management Agency, Secret Service, DC Police, and Capitol Police shared a

website, Red State Secession, which had a post titled “Why the Second American Revolution

Starts Jan 6.” A user asked visitors to post where they could find the home addresses of

Democratic congressmen and “political enemies” and asked if “any of our enemies [will] be

working in offices in DC that afternoon.” 393 “What are their routes to and from the event?”

the post continued.

394 “[T]he crowd will be looking for enemies.”395

A Secret Service open-source unit flagged an account on thedonald.win that threatened

to bring a sniper rifle to a rally on January 6th. The user also posted a picture of a handgun

and rifle with the caption, “Sunday Gun Day Providing Overwatch January 6th Will be


The Secret Service learned from the FBI on January 5th about right-wing groups

establishing armed quick reaction forces in Virginia, where they could amass firearms illegal

in DC.397 Trump supporters staged there waiting across the river “to respond to ‘calls for

help.’”398 The Oath Keepers were such a group.399

President Trump’s closest aides knew about the political power of sites like

thedonald.win, which is where much of this violent rhetoric and planning happened. On

December 30, 2020, Jason Miller – a senior adviser to and former spokesman for the former

President – texted Chief of Staff Mark Meadows a link to the thedonald.win, adding “I got

the base FIRED UP.”400 The link connected to a page with comments like “Gallows don’t

require electricity,” “if the filthy commie maggots try to push their fraud through, there will

be hell to pay,” and Congress can certify Trump the winner or leave “in a bodybag.”401

Symbolic gallows were constructed on January 6th at the foot of the Capitol.402 [consider

adding photo here]


After President Trump’s signal, his supporters did not hide their plans for violence at

the Capitol, and those threats made their way to national and local law enforcement agencies.

As described in this report, the intelligence agencies did detect this planning, and they shared

it with the White House and with the U.S. Secret Service.

Testimony from White House staff also suggests real concerns about the risk of

violence as January 6th approached. Cassidy Hutchinson, for example, testified about a

conversation she had with her boss, Mark Meadows, on January 2nd:

I went into Mark’s office, and he was still on his phone. . . . . I said to Mark,

“Rudy [Giuliani] said these things to me. What’s going on here? Anything I

should know about?”

This was – he was, like, looking at his phone. He was like, “Oh, it’s all about

the rally on Wednesday. Isn’t that what he was talking to you about?”

I said, “Yeah. Yeah, sounds like we’re going to the Capitol.”

He said, “Yeah. Are you talking with Tony?”

"I’m having a conversation, sir.”

He said – still looking at his phone. I remember he was scrolling. He was like,

“Yeah. You know, things might get real, real bad on the 6th.”

And I remember saying to him, “What do you mean?”

He was like, “I don’t know. There’s just going to be a lot of people here, and

there’s a lot of different ideas right now. I’m not really sure of everything that’s

going on. Let's just make sure we keep tabs on it.”403

Hutchinson also testified about a conversation she had with Director of National

Intelligence, Ratcliffe:

He had expressed to me that he was concerned that it could spiral out of control

and potentially be dangerous, either for our democracy or the way that things

were going for the 6th.404

Hope Hicks texted Trump Campaign spokesperson Hogan Gidley in the midst of the

January 6th violence, explaining that she had “suggested … several times” on the preceding

days (January 4th and January 5th) that President Trump publicly state that January 6th must

remain peaceful and that he had refused her advice to do so.

405 Her recollection was that

Herschmann earlier advised President Trump to make a preemptive public statement in

advance of January 6th calling for no violence that day.406 No such statement was made.

The District of Columbia Homeland Security office explicitly warned that groups were

planning to “occupy the [Capitol] to halt the vote.”407

[W]e got derogatory information from OSINT suggesting that some very, very

violent individuals were organizing to come to DC, and not only were they


organized to come to DC, but they were — these groups, these nonaligned

groups were aligning. And so all the red flags went up at that point, you know,

when you have armed militia, you know, collaborating with White supremacy

groups, collaborating with conspiracy theory groups online all toward a

common goal, you start seeing what we call in, you know, terrorism, a blended

ideology, and that’s a very, very bad sign. … [T]hen when they were clearly

across — not just across one platform but across multiple platforms of these

groups coordinating, not just like chatting, “Hey, how’s it going, what’s the

weather like where you’re at,” but like, “what are you bringing, what are you

wearing, you know, where do we meet up, do you have plans for the Capitol.”

That’s operational – that’s like preoperational intelligence, right, and that is

something that's clearly alarming.408

Again, this type of intelligence was shared, including obvious warnings about potential

violence prior to January 6th.

409 What was not shared, and was not fully understood by

intelligence and law enforcement entities, is what role President Trump would play on

January 6th in exacerbating the violence, and later refusing for multiple hours to instruct his

supporters to stand down and leave the Capitol. No intelligence collection was apparently

performed on President Trump’s plans for January 6th, nor was there any analysis performed

on what he might do to exacerbate potential violence. Certain Republican members of

Congress who were working with Trump and the Giuliani team may have had insight on this

particular risk, but none appear to have alerted the Capitol Police or any other law

enforcement authority.

On January 2, 2021, Katrina Pierson wrote in an email to fellow rally organizers,

“POTUS expectations are to have something intimate at the [E]llipse, and call on everyone to

march to the Capitol.”410 And, on January 4, 2021, another rally organizer texted Mike Lindell,

the MyPillow CEO, that President Trump would “unexpectedly” call on his supporters to

march to the Capitol:

This stays only between us … . It can also not get out about the march because

I will be in trouble with the national park service and all the agencies but POTUS

is going to just call for it “unexpectedly.”411

Testimony obtained by the Committee also indicates that President Trump was

specifically aware that the crowd he had called to Washington was fired up and angry on the

evening of January 5th. Judd Deere, a deputy White House press secretary recalled a

conversation with President Trump in the Oval Office on the evening of January 5th:

Judd Deere: “I said he should focus on policy accomplishments. I didn’t

mention the 2020 election.”

Committee Staff: “Okay. What was his response?”

Deere: “He acknowledged that and said, ‘We’ve had a lot,’ something along

those lines, but didn’t – he fairly quickly moved to how fired up the crowd is,

or was going to be.”

Committee Staff: “Okay. What did he say about it?”


Deere: “Just that they were – they were fired up. They were angry. They feel

like the election’s been stolen, that the election was rigged, that – he went on

and on about that for a little bit.”412

Testimony indicated that President Trump was briefed on the risk of violence on the

morning of the 6th before he left the White House. Cassidy Hutchinson provided this


Vice Chair Cheney: So, Ms. Hutchinson, is it your understanding that Mr. Ornato told

the President about weapons at the rally on the morning of January 6th?

Hutchinson: That is what Mr. Ornato relayed to me.413

The head of President Trump’s security detail, Bobby Engel, told the Select Committee

that he when he shared critical information with White House Deputy Chief of Staff Anthony

Ornato, it was a means of conveying that information with the Oval Office: “So, when it came

to passing information to Mr. Ornato, I – my assumption was that it would get to the chief

[of staff, Mark Meadows], or that he was sharing the information with the chief. I don’t –

and the filtering process, or if the chief thinks it needs to get to the President, then he would

share it with the President.”414 Also, Engel confirmed that if “information would come to

my attention, whether it was a protective intelligence issue or a concern or – primarily, I

would – I would make sure that the information got filtered up through the appropriate chain

usually through Mr. Ornato. So if I received a report on something that was happening in the

DC area, I’d either forward that information to Mr. Ornato, or call him about that information

or communicate in some way.”415

The Select Committee also queried Deputy Chief of Staff Ornato this November about

what he generally would have done in this sort of situation, asking him the following:

“Generally you receive information about things like the groups that are coming, the stuff

that we talked earlier. You would bring that to Mr. Meadows and likely did here, although

you don’t have a specific recollection?”416 Ornato responded: “That is correct, sir.”417 Ornato

also explained to the Committee that “… in my normal daily functions, in my general

functions as my job, I would’ve had a conversation with him about all the groups coming in

and what was expected from the secret service.”418 As for the morning of January 6th itself,

he had the following answer:

Committee Staff: Do you remember talking to Chief of Staff Mark Meadows about any

of your concerns about the threat landscape going into January 6th?

Ornato: I don’t recall; however, in my position I would’ve made sure he was tracking

the demos, which he received a daily brief, Presidential briefing. So he most likely

was getting all this in his daily brief as well. I wouldn’t know what was in his

intelligence brief that day, but I would’ve made sure that he was tracking these things

and just mentioned, “Hey, are you tracking the demos?” If he gave me a “yeah”, I

don’t recall it today, but I’m sure that was something that took place.419

Ornato had access to intelligence that suggested violence at the Capitol on January 6th,

and it was his job to inform Meadows and Trump of that. Although Ornato told us that he

did not recall doing so, the Select Committee found multiple parts of Ornato’s testimony

questionable. The Select Committee finds it difficult to believe that neither Meadows nor


Ornato told Trump, as was their job, about the intelligence that was emerging as the January

6th rally approached.

Hours before the Ellipse rally on January 6th, the fact that the assembled crowd was

prepared for potential violence was widely known. In addition to intelligence reports

indicating potential violence at the Capitol, weapons and other prohibited items were being

seized by police on the streets and by Secret Service at the magnetometers for the Ellipse

speech. Secret Service confiscated a haul of weapons from the 28,000 spectators who did pass

through the magnetometers: 242 cannisters of pepper spray, 269 knives or blades, 18 brass

knuckles, 18 tasers, 6 pieces of body armor, 3 gas masks, 30 batons or blunt instruments, and

17 miscellaneous items like scissors, needles, or screwdrivers.420 And thousands of others

purposely remained outside the magnetometers, or left their packs outside.421

Others brought firearms. Three men in fatigues from Broward County, Florida

brandished AR-15s in front of Metropolitan police officers on 14th Street and Independence

Avenue on the morning of January 6th.422 MPD advised over the radio that one individual was

possibly armed with a “Glock” at 14th and Constitution Avenue, and another was possibly

armed with a “rifle” at 15th and Constitution Avenue around 11:23 a.m.423 The National Park

Service detained an individual with a rifle between 12 and 1 p.m.

424 Almost all of this was

known before Donald Trump took the stage at the Ellipse.

By the time President Trump was preparing to give his speech, he and his advisors

knew enough to cancel the rally. And he certainly knew enough to cancel any plans for a

march to the Capitol. According to testimony obtained by the Select Committee, Trump knew

that elements of the crowd were armed, and had prohibited items, and that many thousands

would not pass through the magnetometers for that reason. Testimony indicates that the

President had received an earlier security briefing, and testimony indicates that the Secret

Service mentioned the prohibited items again as they drove President Trump to the Ellipse.

Cassidy Hutchinson was with the President backstage. Her contemporaneous text

messages indicate that President Trump was “effing furious” about the fact that a large

number of his supporters would not go through the magnetometers:

Cassidy Hutchinson: But the crowd looks good from this vanish [sic] point. As

long as we get the shot. He was fucking furious

Tony Ornato: He doesn’t get it that the people on the monument side don’t

want to come in. They can see from there and don’t want to come in. They

can see from there and don’t have to go through mags. With 30k magged


Cassidy Hutchinson: That’s what was relayed several times and in different


Cassidy Hutchinson: Poor max got chewed out

Cassidy Hutchinson: He also kept mentioning [an off the record trip] to Capitol

before he took the stage

Tony Ornato: Bobby will tell him no. It’s not safe to do. No assets available

to safely do it.425


And Hutchinson described what President Trump said as he prepared to take the stage:

When we were in the off-stage announce area tent behind the stage, he was

very concerned about the shot. Meaning the photograph that we would get

because the rally space wasn’t full. One of the reasons, which I’ve previously

stated, was because he wanted it to be full and for people to not feel excluded

because they had come far to watch him at the rally. And he felt the mags were

at fault for not letting everybody in, but another leading reason and likely the

primary reasons is because he wanted it full and he was angry that we weren’t

letting people through the mags with weapons—what the Secret Service

deemed as weapons, and are, are weapons. But when we were in the off-stage

announce tent, I was a part of a conversation, I was in the vicinity of a

conversation where I overheard the President say something to the effect of, “I

don’t F’ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take

the F’ing mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from

here. Let the people in. Take the F’ing mags away.”426

The Secret Service special agent who drove the President after his speech told the Select

Committee that Trump made a similar remark in the vehicle when his demand to go to the

Capitol was refused—essentially that Trump did not believe his supporters posed a security

risk to him personally.427

Minutes after the exchange that Hutchinson described—when President Trump took

the stage—he pointedly expressed his concern about the thousands of attendees who would

not enter the rally area and instructed Secret Service to allow that part of the crowd to enter


… I’d love to have if those tens of thousands of people would be allowed. The military,

the secret service. And we want to thank you and the police law enforcement. Great.

You’re doing a great job. But I’d love it if they could be allowed to come up here with

us. Is that possible? Can you just let [them] come up, please?428

Although President Trump and his advisors knew of the risk of violence, and knew

specifically that elements of the crowd were angry and some were armed, from intelligence

and law enforcement reports that morning, President Trump nevertheless went forward with

the rally, and then specifically instructed the crowd to march to the Capitol: “Because you’ll

never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be

strong. We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors

who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated.”429 Much of President Trump’s speech was

improvised. Even before his improvisation, during the review of President Trump’s prepared

remarks, White House lawyer Eric Herschmann specifically requested that “if there were any

factual allegations, someone needed to independently validate or verify the statements.”430

And in the days just before January 6th, Herschmann “chewed out” John Eastman and told

him he was “out of [his] F’ing mind” to argue that the Vice President could be the sole

decision-maker as to who becomes the next President.431 Herschmann told us, “I so berated

him that I believed that theory would not go forward.”432 But President Trump made that

very argument during his speech at the Ellipse and made many false statements. Herschmann

attended that speech, but walked out during the middle of it.433


President Trump’s speech to the crowd that day lasted more than an hour. The speech

walked through dozens of known falsehoods about purported election fraud. And Trump

again made false and malicious claims about Dominion voting systems.434 As discussed

earlier, he again pressured Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to count lawful electoral votes,

going off script repeatedly, leading the crowd to believe falsely that Pence could and would

alter the election outcome:

And I actually, I just spoke to Mike. I said: “Mike, that doesn’t take courage.

What takes courage is to do nothing. That takes courage.” And then we’re stuck

with a president who lost the election by a lot and we have to live with that for

four more years. We’re just not going to let that happen….

When you catch somebody in a fraud, you’re allowed to go by very different


So I hope Mike has the courage to do what he has to do. And I hope he doesn’t

listen to the RINOs and the stupid people that he’s listening to.”435

This characterization of Vice President Pence’s decision had a direct impact on those

who marched to and approached the Capitol, as illustrated by this testimony from a person

convicted of crimes committed on January 6th:

So this woman came up to the side of us, and she, says, Pence folded. So it was kind

of, like, okay. Well, in my mind I was thinking, Well, that’s it, you know. Well, my

son-in-law looks at me, and he says, I want to go in.436

Trump used the word “peacefully,” written by speech writers, one time. But he

delivered many other scripted and unscripted comments that conveyed a very different


Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show

strength and you have to be strong. We have come to demand that Congress do

the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated,

lawfully slated. . . .

And we fight. We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not

going to have a country anymore….437

Trump also was not the only rally speaker to do these things. Mayor Giuliani for

instance also said that “Let’s have trial by combat.”438 Likewise, John Eastman used his two

minutes on the Ellipse stage to make a claim already known to be false – that corrupted voted

machines stole the election.439

The best indication of the impact of Trump’s words, both during the Ellipse speech

and beforehand, are the comments from those supporters who attended the Ellipse rally and

their conduct immediately thereafter. Videoclips show several of the attendees on their way

to the Capitol or shortly after they arrived:


I’m telling you what, I’m hearing that Pence — hearing the Pence just caved. No. Is

that true? I didn’t hear it. I’m hear — I’m hearing reports that Pence caved. No way.

I’m telling you, if Pence caved, we’re going to drag motherfuckers through the streets.

You fucking politicians are going to get fucking drug through the streets.440

Yes. I guess the hope is that there’s such a show of force here that Pence will decide

do the right thing, according to Trump.441

Pence voted against Trump. [Interviewer: “Ok. And that’s when all this started?”] Yup.

That’s when we marched on the Capitol.” 442

We just heard that Mike Pence is not going to reject any fraudulent electoral votes.

[Other speaker: “Boo. You're a traitor! Boo!”] That’s right. You’ve heard it here first.

Mike Pence has betrayed the United States of America. [Other speaker: “Boo! Fuck you,

Mike Pence!”] Mike Pence has betrayed this President and he has betrayed the people

of the United States and we will never, ever forget. [Cheers]443

[Q] What percentage of the crowd is going to the Capitol? [A] [Oath Keeper Jessica

Watkins]: One hundred percent. It has, it has spread like wildfire that Pence has

betrayed us, and everybody’s marching on the Capitol. All million of us. It’s insane.444

Another criminal defendant—charged with assaulting an officer with a flagpole and

other crimes—explained in an interview why he went to the Capitol and fought:

Dale Huttle: We were not there illegally, we were invited there by the President

himself. . . . Trump’s backers had been told that the election had been stolen.

. . .

Reporter Megan Hickey: But do you think he encouraged violence?

Dale Huttle: Well, I sat there, or stood there, with half a million people listening

to his speech. And in that speech, both Giuliani and [Trump] said we were

going to have to fight like hell to save our country. Now, whether it was a

figure of speech or not—it wasn’t taken that way.

Reporter Megan Hickey: You didn’t take it as a figure of speech?

Dale Huttle: No.445

President Trump concluded his speech at 1:10 p.m.

Among other statements from the Ellipse podium, President Trump informed the

crowd that he would be marching to the Capitol with them:

Now, it is up to Congress to confront this egregious assault on our democracy.

And after this, we’re going to walk down, and I’ll be there with you, we’re

going to walk down, we’re going to walk down. Anyone you want, but I think

right here, we’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer


on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not

going to be cheering so much for some of them.446

Hutchinson testified that she first became aware of President Trump’s plans to attend

Congress’s session to count votes on or about January 2nd. She learned this from a

conversation with Giuliani: “It’s going to be great. The President’s going to be there. He’s

going to look powerful. He’s – he’s going to be with the members. He’s going to be with the

Senators.”447 Evidence also indicates that multiple members of the White House staff,

including White House lawyers, were concerned about the President’s apparent intentions to

go to the Capitol. 448

After he exited the stage, President Trump entered the Presidential SUV and forcefully

expressed his intention that Bobby Engel, the head of his Secret Service detail, direct the

motorcade to the Capitol. The Committee has now obtained evidence from several sources

about a “furious interaction” in the SUV. The vast majority of witnesses who have testified

before the Select Committee about this topic, including multiple members of the Secret

Service, a member of the Metropolitan police, and national security officials in the White

House, described President Trump’s behavior as “irate,” “furious,” “insistent,” “profane”

and “heated.” Hutchinson heard about the exchange second-hand and related what she

heard in our June 28, 2022, hearing from Ornato (as did another witness, a White House

employee with national security responsibilities, who shared that Ornato also recounted to

him President Trump’s “irate” behavior in the Presidential vehicle.) Other members of the

White House staff and Secret Service also heard about the exchange after the fact. The White

House employee with national security responsibilities gave this testimony:

Committee Staff: But it sounds like you recall some rumor or some discussion

around the West Wing about the President’s anger about being told that he

couldn’t go to the Capitol. Is that right?

Employee: So Mr. Ornato said that he was angry that he couldn’t go right away.

In the days following that, I do remember, you know, again, hearing again how

angry the President was when, you know, they were in the limo. But beyond

specifics of that, that's pretty much the extent of the cooler talk.449

The Committee has regarded both Hutchinson and the corroborating testimony by the

White House employee with national security responsibilities as earnest and has no reason to

conclude that either had a reason to invent their accounts. A Secret Service agent who worked

on one of the details in the White House and was present in the Ellipse motorcade had this


Committee Staff: Ms. Hutchinson has suggested to the committee that you

sympathized with her after her testimony, and believed her account. Is that accurate?

Special Agent: I have no – yeah, that’s accurate. I have no reason – I mean, we – we

became friends. We worked – I worked every day with her for 6 months. Yeah, she

became a friend of mine. We had a good working relationship. I have no reason –

she’s never done me wrong. She’s never lied that I know of.450

The Committee’s principal concern was that the President actually intended to

participate personally in the January 6th efforts at the Capitol, leading the attempt to overturn

the election either from inside the House Chamber, from a stage outside the Capitol, or


otherwise. The Committee regarded those facts as important because they are relevant to

President Trump’s intent on January 6th. There is no question from all the evidence

assembled that President Trump did have that intent.


As it became clear that Donald Trump desired to travel to the Capitol on January 6th,

a White House Security Official in the White House complex became very concerned about his


To be completely honest, we were all in a state of shock. . . . it just – one, I think the

actual physical feasibility of doing it, and then also we all knew what that implicated

and what that meant, that this was no longer a rally, that this was going to move to

something else if he physically walked to the Capitol. I – I don’t know if you want to

use the word “insurrection,” “coup,” whatever. We all knew that this would move

from a normal, democratic, you know, public event into something else.452

President Trump continued to push to travel to the Capitol even after his return to the

White House, despite knowing that a riot was underway. Kayleigh McEnany, the White House

press secretary, spoke with President Trump about his desire to go to the Capitol after he

returned to the White House from the Ellipse. “So to the best of my recollection, I recall him

being – wanting to – saying that he wanted to physically walk and be a part of the march and

then saying that he would ride the Beast if he needed to, ride in the Presidential limo.”453

Later in the afternoon, Mark Meadows relayed to Cassidy Hutchinson that President

Trump was still upset that he would not be able to go to the Capitol that day. As he told

Hutchinson, “the President wasn’t happy that Bobby [Engel] didn’t pull it off for him and

that Mark didn’t work hard enough to get the movement on the books.”454


Just after 1:00 p.m., Vice President Pence, serving as President of the Senate under

Article I of the Constitution, gaveled the Congress into its Joint Session. President Trump was

giving a speech at the Ellipse, which he concluded at 1:10 pm. For the next few hours, an

attack on our Capitol occurred, perpetrated by Trump supporters many of whom were present

at the Ellipse for President Trump’s speech. More than 140 Capitol and Metropolitan police

were injured, some very seriously.455 A perimeter security line of Metropolitan Police intended

to secure the Capitol against intrusion broke in the face of thousands of armed rioters – more

than two thousand of whom gained access to the interior of the Capitol building.456 A woman

who attempted to forcibly enter the Chamber of the House of Representatives through a

broken window while the House was in session was shot and killed by police guarding the

chamber. Vice President Pence and his family were at risk, as were those Secret Service

professionals protecting him. Congressional proceedings were halted, and legislators were

rushed to secure locations.

From the outset of the violence and for several hours that followed, people at the

Capitol, people inside President Trump’s Administration, elected officials of both parties,

members of President Trump’s family, and Fox News commentators sympathetic to President

Trump all tried to contact him to urge him to do one singular thing – one thing that all of

these people immediately understood was required: Instruct his supporters to stand down

and disperse – to leave the Capitol.



As the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates, President Trump specifically and

repeatedly refused to do so – for multiple hours – while the mayhem ensued. Chapter 8 of

this report explains in meticulous detail the horrific nature of the violence taking place, that

was directed at law enforcement officers at the Capitol and that put the lives of American

lawmakers at risk. Yet in spite of this, President Trump watched the violence on television

from a dining room adjacent to the Oval Office, calling Senators to urge them to help him

delay the electoral count, but refusing to supply the specific help that everyone knew was

unequivocally required. As this report shows, when Trump finally did make such a statement

at 4:17 p.m. – after hours of violence – the statement immediately had the expected effect;

the rioters began to disperse immediately and leave the Capitol.457

To fully understand the President’s behavior during those hours – now commonly

known as the “187 minutes” – it is important to understand the context in which it occurred.

As outlined in this report, by the afternoon of January 6th, virtually all of President Trump’s

efforts to overturn the outcome of the 2020 election had failed. Virtually all the lawsuits had

already been lost. Vice President Mike Pence had refused Trump’s pressure to stop the count

of certain electoral votes. State officials and legislators had refused to reverse the election

outcomes in every State where Trump and his team applied pressure. The Justice

Department’s investigations of alleged election fraud had all contradicted Trump’s



The only factor working in Trump’s favor that might succeed in materially delaying

the counting of electoral votes for President-elect Biden was the violent crowd at the Capitol.

And for much of the afternoon of January 6th, it appeared that the crowd had accomplished

that purpose. Congressional leaders were advised by Capitol Police at one or more points

during the attack that it would likely take several days before the Capitol could safely be


By the time the President’s speech concluded, the lawlessness at the United States

Capitol had already begun, but the situation was about to get much worse.


By 1:25 p.m., President Trump was informed that the Capitol was under attack.


Minutes after arriving back at the White House, the President ran into a member of

the White House staff and asked if they had watched his speech on television. “Sir, they cut

it off because they’re rioting down at the Capitol,” the employee said. The President asked

what they meant by that. “[T]hey’re rioting down there at the Capitol,” the employee

repeated. “Oh really?” the President asked. “All right, let’s go see.”459 A photograph taken

by the White House photographer—the last one permitted until later in the day—captures

the moment the President was made aware of the violent uprising at the Capitol.460

Not long thereafter, as thousands of Trump supporters from the Ellipse speech

continued to arrive at the Capitol, the DC Metropolitan Police Department declared a riot at

the Capitol at 1:49 p.m., the same time Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund informed the DC

National Guard “that there was a dire emergency on Capitol Hill and requested the immediate

assistance” of as many national guard troops as possible.461


No photographs exist of the President for the remainder of the afternoon until after 4

p.m. President Trump appears to have instructed that the White House photographer was

not to take any photographs.462 The Select Committee also was unable to locate any official

records of President Trump’s telephone calls that afternoon.463 And the President’s official

Daily Diary contains no information for this afternoon between the hours of 1:19 p.m. and

4:03 p.m., at the height of the worst attack on the seat of the United States Congress in over

two centuries.464

The Select Committee did, however, obtain records from non-official sources that

contained data of some phone calls President Trump made that afternoon. Even though “he

was placing lots of calls” that afternoon, according to his personal assistant,465 the Select

Committee was given no records of any calls from the President to security or law

enforcement officials that afternoon, and that absence of data is consistent with testimony of

witnesses who would have knowledge of any such calls, who said that he did not do so.466

Based on testimony from President Trump’s close aides, we know that President Trump

remained in the Dining Room adjacent to the Oval Office for the rest of the afternoon until

after 4:03 p.m.467


In fact, from cellular telephone records, it appears that at 1:39 p.m. and 2:03 p.m.,

after being informed of the riot at the Capitol, President Trump called his lawyer, Rudolph

Giuliani. These calls lasted approximately four minutes and eight minutes, respectively.


And Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany testified that President Trump also called a number of

Senators.469 The number or names of all such Members of Congress is unknown, although

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) received one such outgoing call from the President within the hour

that followed.470

At 1:49 p.m., just as the DC Metropolitan Police officially declared a riot and the Capitol

Police were calling for help from the National Guard to address the crisis, President Trump

sent a tweet with a link to a recording of his speech at the Ellipse.471

At about that point, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone became aware of the Capitol

riot. The Committee collected sworn testimony from several White House officials, each with

similar accounts. The President’s White House Counsel Pat Cipollone testified that he raced

downstairs, and went to the Oval Office Dining Room as soon as he learned about the violence

at the Capitol—likely just around or just after 2 p.m. Cipollone knew immediately that the

President had to deliver a message to the rioters—asking them to leave the Capitol.

Here is how he described this series of events:

… the first time I remember going downstairs was when people had breached the

Capitol… But I went down with [Deputy White House Counsel] Pat [Philbin], and I

remember we were both very upset about what was happening. And we both wanted,

you know, action to be taken related to that… But we went down to the Oval Office,

we went through the Oval office, and we went to the back where the President was….

I think he was already in the dining room… I can’t talk about conversations [with the


President]. I think I was pretty clear there needed to be an immediate and forceful

response, statement, public statement, that people need to leave the Capitol now.472

Cipollone also left little doubt that virtually everyone among senior White House staff

had the same view:

There were a lot of people in the White House that day . . . Senior people who, you

know, felt the same way that I did and who were working very hard to achieve that

result. There were – I think Ivanka was one of them. And Eric Herschmann was there,

Pat Philbin was there, and a number of other people…. many people suggested it. …

Many people felt the same way. I’m sure I had conversations with Mark [Meadows]

about this during the course of the day and expressed my opinion very forcefully that

this needs to be done.473

Likewise, senior staff cooperated to produce a message for the President on a notecard,

which read:



The President declined to make the statement. Cipollone also made it clear that the

advice they were giving to the President never changed throughout this three-hour period.

Trump refused to do what was necessary.

Committee Staff: … [I]t sounds like you from the very onset of violence at the Capitol

right around 2 o’clock were pushing for a strong statement that

people should leave the Capitol. Is that right?

Cipollone: I was, and others were as well.475

Cassidy Hutchinson, who worked closely with Mark Meadows and sat directly outside

his office, confirmed this account and described several additional details:

I see Pat Cipollone barreling down the hallway towards our office. And he rushed right

in, looked at me, said, “Is Mark in his office?” And I said, “Yes.” And on a normal day

he would’ve said, “Can I pop in,” or, “Is he talking to anyone,” or, “Is it an

appropriate time for me to go chat with him,” and myself or Eliza would go let him

in or tell him no. But after I had said yes, he just looked at me and started shaking his

head and went over, opened Mark’s office door, stood there with the door propped

open, and said something to the – Mark was still sitting on his phone. I remember,

like, glancing in. He was still sitting on his phone.

And I remember Pat saying to him something to the effect of, “The rioters have gotten

to the Capitol, Mark. We need to go down and see the President now.” And Mark looked

up at him and said, “He doesn't want to do anything, Pat.” And Pat said something to

the effect of – and very clearly said this to Mark – something to the effect of, “Mark,


something needs to be done, or people are going to die and the blood’s gonna be on

your F’ing hands. This is getting out of control. I’m going down there.476

The Select Committee believes that the entire White House senior staff was in favor of

a Presidential statement specifically instructing the violent rioters to leave. But President

Trump refused. White House Counsel Pat Cipollone answered certain questions from the

Select Committee on this subject as follows:

Vice Chair Cheney: And when you talk about others on the staff thinking

more should be done, or thinking that the President needed to

tell people to go home, who would you put in that category?

Cipollone: Well, I would put … Pat Philbin, Eric Herschmann. Overall, Mark

Meadows, Ivanka. Once Jared go there, Jared, General Kellogg.

I’m probably missing some, but those are – Kayleigh I think was

there. But I don’t – Dan Scavino.

Vice Chair Cheney: And who on the staff did not want people to leave the


Cipollone: On the staff?

Vice Chair Cheney: In the White House?

Cipollone: I can’t think of anybody on that day who didn’t want people to

get out of the Capitol once the – particularly once the violence

started. No. I mean –

Mr. Schiff: What about the President?

Vice Chair Cheney: Yeah.

[Consultation between Mr. Cipollone and his counsel.]

Cipollone: Yeah. I can’t reveal communications. But obviously I think, you

know – yeah.477

The testimony of a White House employee with national security responsibilities also

corroborated these facts. This employee testified about a conversation between Pat Cipollone

and Eric Herschmann in which Herschmann indicated that the President does not want to do

anything to halt the violence. That employee told the Select Committee that he overheard

Herschmann saying something to the effect of “the President didn’t want anything done.”478

Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere also testified to the Select Committee that as soon

as it was clear that the Capitol’s outer perimeter had been breached, he urged that the

President make a statement telling the rioters to go home:


Committee Staff: And so what did you do at that point?

Judd Deere: If I recall, I went back up to [Press Secretary] Kayleigh

[McEnany]’s office and indicated that we now likely needed to

say something.

Committee Staff: Okay. And why did you think it was necessary to say something?

Deere: Well, I mean, it appears that individuals are storming the U.S.

Capitol building. They also appear to be supporters of Donald

Trump, who may have been in attendance at the rally. We’re

going to need to say something.

Committee Staff: And did you have a view as to what should be said by the White


Deere: If I recall, I told Kayleigh that I thought that we needed to

encourage individuals to stop, to respect law enforcement, and

to go home…. And it was – it was incumbent upon us to

encourage those individuals, should they be supporters of ours,

to stop.479

Testimony from both Deputy Press Secretary Matthews and White House Counsel

Cipollone indicated that it would have been easy, and nearly instantaneous, for Trump to

make a public statement insisting that the crowd disperse. As Deputy Press Secretary Sarah

Matthews explained, he could have done so in under a minute:

… it would take probably less than 60 seconds from the Oval Office dining room over

to the Press Briefing Room. And, for folks that might not know, the Briefing Room is

the room that you see the White House Press Secretary do briefings from with the

podium and the blue backdrop. And there is a camera that is on in there at all times.

And so, if the President had wanted to make a statement and address the American

people, he could have been on camera almost instantly.480

Cipollone also shared that assessment:

Committee Staff: Would it have been possible at any moment for the President to

walk down to the podium in the briefing room and talk to the

nation at any time between when you first gave him that advice

at 2 o’clock and 4:17 when the video statement went out? Would

that have been possible?

Cipollone: Would it have been possible?”

Committee Staff: Yes.

Cipollone: Yes, it would have been possible.481


At 2:13 p.m., rioters broke into the Capitol and flooded the building.482

As the violence began to escalate, many Trump supporters and others outside the

White House began urgently seeking his intervention. Mark Meadows’s phone was flooded

with text messages. These are just some of them:

2:32 p.m. from Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham: “Hey Mark, The president

needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home.”483

2:35 p.m. from Mick Mulvaney: “Mark: he needs to stop this, now. Can I do

anything to help?”484

2:46 p.m. from Rep. William Timmons (R-SC): “The president needs to stop

this ASAP”485

2:53 p.m. from Donald Trump, Jr.: “He’s got to condem [sic] this shit. Asap.

The captiol [sic] police tweet is not enough.”486

3:04 p.m. from Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC): “POTUS needs to calm this shit


3:09 p.m. from former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus: “TELL THEM

TO GO HOME !!!”488

3:13 p.m. from Alyssa Farah Griffin: “Potus has to come out firmly and tell

protestors to dissipate. Someone is going to get killed.”489

3:15 p.m. from Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX): “Fix this now.”490

3:31 p.m. from Fox News anchor Sean Hannity: “Can he make a statement. I

saw the tweet. Ask people to peacefully leave the capital [sic]”491

3:58 p.m. from Fox News anchor Brian Kilmeade: “Please get him on tv.

Destroying every thing you guys have accomplished”492

Others on Capitol Hill appeared in the media, or otherwise appeared via internet.

Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI) issued a video appealing directly to the President:

Mr. President, you have got to stop this. You are the only person who can call this off.

Call it off. The election is over. Call it off!493

Some Members of Congress sent texts to President Trump’s immediate staff or took

to Twitter, where they knew the President spent time:

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) issued a tweet: @realDonaldTrump please appear on TV,

condemn the violence and tell people to disband.494


Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) sent a text to Mark Meadows: We need to hear

from the president. On TV. I hate that Biden jumped him on it.495

Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy tried repeatedly to reach President Trump, and did

at least once. He also reached out for help to multiple members of President Trump’s family,

including Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.496 Kushner characterized Leader McCarthy’s

demeanor on the call as “scared”:

Kushner: I could hear in his voice that he really was nervous, and

so, obviously, I took that seriously. And, you know, I

didn’t know if I’d be able to have any impact, but I said,

you know, it’s better to at least try. And so I – like I said,

I turned the shower off, threw on a suit, and, you know,

and rushed into the White House as quickly as I could.

Committee Staff: Yeah. What did he ask you to do? When you say have an

impact, what is it specifically that he needed your help


Kushner: I don't recall a specific ask, just anything you could do.

Again, I got the sense that, you know, they were – they

were – you know, they were scared.

Committee Staff: “They” meaning Leader McCarthy and people on the Hill

because of the violence?

Kushner: That he was scared, yes.497

Kevin McCarthy told Fox News at 3:09 p.m. about his call with the President498 and elaborated

about its contents in a conversation with CBS News’s Norah O’Donnell at around 3:30 p.m.:

O’Donnell: Have you spoken with the President and asked him to perhaps come

to the Capitol and tell his supporters it’s time to leave?

Leader McCarthy: I have spoken to the President. I asked him to talk to the

nation and tell them to stop this….

* * *

O’Donnell: The President invited tens of thousands of people to quote unquote

stop the steal. I don’t know if you heard his more-than-hour-long remarks

or the remarks of his son, who was the wind-up. It was some heated stuff,

Leader McCarthy. I just wonder whether someone is going to accurately call a

spade a spade, and I am giving you the opportunity right now that your precious

and beloved United States Capitol and our democracy is witnessing this. Call a

spade a spade.


Leader McCarthy: I was very clear with the President when I called him. This

has to stop. And he has to, he’s gotta go to the American public and tell them

to stop this.

* * *

O’Donnell: Leader McCarthy, the President of the United States has a briefing

room steps from the Oval Office. It is, the cameras are hot 24/7, as you know.

Why hasn’t he walked down and said that, now?

Leader McCarthy: I conveyed to the President what I think is best to do, and

I’m hopeful the President will do it.499

The Committee has evidence from multiple sources regarding the content of Kevin

McCarthy’s direct conversation with Donald Trump during the violence.

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), to whom McCarthy spoke soon after, relayed more

of the conversation between McCarthy and President Trump:

And he said [to President Trump], “You have got to get on TV. You’ve got to get on

Twitter. You’ve got to call these people off.” You know what the President said to

him? This is as it’s happening. He said, “Well Kevin, these aren’t my people. You

know, these are Antifa. And Kevin responded and said, “No, they’re your people. They

literally just came through my office windows and my staff are running for cover. I

mean they’re running for their lives. You need to call them off.” And the President’s

response to Kevin to me was chilling. He said, “Well Kevin, I guess they’re just more

upset about the election, you know, theft than you are”.500

Rep. Herrera Beutler’s account of the incident was also corroborated by former Acting

White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who testified that Leader McCarthy told him

several days later that President Trump had said during their call: “Kevin, maybe these people

are just more angry about this than you are. Maybe they’re more upset.”501


Mulvaney was also trying to reach administration officials to urge President Trump to

instruct his supporters to leave the Capitol.502 As were many elected officials in both parties,

including Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, and several Republican Members of Congress.


As already noted, Pat Cipollone and others in the White House repeatedly urged

President Trump to tell his supporters to leave the Capitol. Cipollone described his

conversations with Mark Meadows after they failed to convince President Trump to deliver

the necessary message:

Committee Staff: Do you remember any discussion with Mark Meadows

with respect to his view that the President didn’t want to

do anything or was somehow resistant to wanting to say

something along the lines that you suggested.


Pat Cipollone: Not just – just to be clear, many people suggested it.”

Committee Staff: Yeah.

Cipollone: Not just me. Many people felt the same way. I’m sure I

had conversations with Mark about this during the course

of the day and expressed my opinion very forcefully that

this needs to be done.504

* * *

Committee Staff: So your advice was tell people to leave the Capitol, and

that took over 2 hours when there were subsequent

statements made, tweets put forth, that in your view were

insufficient. Did you continue, Mr. Cipollone, throughout

the period of time up until 4:17, continue, you and others,

to push for a stronger statement?

Cipollone: Yes.505

* * *

Committee Staff: … at the onset of the violence when you first notice on

television or wherever that rioters have actually breached

the Capitol, did you have a conversation with Mark

Meadows in which Meadows indicated he doesn’t want to

do anything, “he” meaning the President?

Cipollone: I don’t – I had a conversation I’m sure with Mark

Meadows, I’m sure with other people, of what I thought

should be done. Did Mark say that to me? I don’t have a

recollection of him saying that to me, but he may have

said something along the lines.506

At 2:16 p.m., security records indicate that the Vice President was “being pulled” to a

safer location.507

In an interview with the Select Committee, a White House Security Official on duty at

the White House explained his observations as he listened to Secret Service communications

and made contemporaneous entries into a security log. In particular, he explained an entry

he made at 2:24 p.m.:

Committee Staff: Ok. That last entry on this page is: “Service at the Capitol

does not sound good right now.

Official: Correct.


Committee Staff: What does that mean?

Official: The members of the VP detail at this time were starting to fear for their

own lives. There were a lot of -- there was a lot of yelling, a lot of – I don’t

know – a lot [of] very personal calls over the radio. So – it was disturbing. I

don’t like talking about it, but there were calls to say good-bye to family

members, so on and so forth. It was getting -- for whatever the reason was

on the ground, the VP detail thought that this was about to get very ugly.

Committee Staff: And did you hear that over the radio?

Official: Correct.

Committee Staff: … obviously, you’ve conveyed that’s disturbing, but what

prompted you to put it into an entry as it states there, Service at the Capitol –

Official: That they’re running out of options, and they’re getting nervous. It

sounds like that we came very close to either Service having to use lethal

options or worse. At that point, I don’t know. Is the VP compromised? Is the

detail – like, I don’t know. like, we didn’t have visibility, but it doesn’t – if

they’re screaming and saying things, like, say good-bye to the family, like, the

floor needs to know this is going to a whole another level soon.508

Also at 2:24 p.m., knowing the riot was underway and that Vice President Pence was

at the Capitol, President Trump sent this tweet:

Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect

our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected

set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to

previously certify. USA demands the truth!509

Evidence shows that the 2:24 p.m. tweet immediately precipitated further violence at

the Capitol. Immediately after this tweet, the crowds both inside and outside of the Capitol

building violently surged forward.510 Outside the building, within ten minutes thousands of

rioters overran the line on the west side of the Capitol that was being held by the Metropolitan

Police Force’s Civil Disturbance Unit, the first time in history of the DC Metro Police that such

a security line had ever been broken.511

Virtually everyone in the White House staff the Select Committee interviewed

condemned the 2:24 p.m. tweet in the strongest terms.

Deputy National Security Adviser Matthew Pottinger told the Select Committee that

the 2:24 p.m. tweet was so destructive that it convinced him to resign as soon as possible:

One of my aides handed me a sheet of paper that contained the tweet that you just

read. I read it and was quite disturbed by it. I was disturbed and worried to see that

the President was attacking Vice President Pence for doing his constitutional duty.


So the tweet looked to me like the opposite of what we really needed at that moment,

which was a de-escalation. And that is why I had said earlier that it looked like fuel

being poured on the fire.

So that was the moment that I decided that I was going to resign, that that would be

my last day at the White House. I simply didn’t want to be associated with the events

with the events that were unfolding at the Capitol.512

Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Matthews had a similar reaction:

So it was obvious that the situation at the Capitol was violent and escalating quickly.

And so I thought that the tweet about the Vice President was the last thing that was

needed in that moment.

And I remember thinking that this was going to be bad for him to tweet this, because

it was essentially him giving the green light to these people, telling them that what

they were doing at the steps of the Capitol and entering the Capitol was okay, that

they were justified in their anger.

And he shouldn’t have been doing that. He should have been telling these people to go

home and to leave and to condemn the violence that we were seeing.

And I am someone who has worked with him, you know, I worked on the campaign,

traveled all around the country, going to countless rallies with him, and I have seen

the impact that his words have on his supporters. They truly latch onto every word

and every tweet that he says.

And so, I think that in that moment for him to tweet out the message about Mike

Pence, it was him pouring gasoline on the fire and making it much worse.513

Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere stated the following:

Committee Staff: What was your reaction when you saw that tweet?

Deere: Extremely unhelpful.

Committee Staff: Why?

Deere: It wasn’t the message that we needed at that time. It wasn’t going to – the

scenes at the U.S. Capitol were only getting worse at that point. This was not going

to help that.514

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone told the Select Committee, “I don’t remember when

exactly I heard about that tweet, but my reaction to it is that’s a terrible tweet, and I disagreed

with the sentiment. And I thought it was wrong.”515


Likewise, Counselor to the President Hope Hicks texted a colleague that evening:

“Attacking the VP? Wtf is wrong with him”.516

At 2:26 p.m., Vice President Pence was again moved to a different location.517

President Trump had the TV on in the dining room.518 At 2:38 p.m., Fox News was

showing video of the chaos and attack, with tear gas filling the air in the Capitol Rotunda.

And a newscaster reported, “[T]his is a very dangerous situation.”519 This is the context in

which Trump sent the tweet.

Testimony obtained by the Committee indicates that President Trump knew about the

rioters’ anger at Vice President Mike Pence, and indicated something to the effect that “Mike

[Pence] deserves it.”520 As Cassidy Hutchinson explained:

I remember Pat saying something to the effect of, “Mark, we need to do

something more. They’re literally calling for the Vice President to be f’ing

hung.” And Mark had responded something to the effect of, “You heard him,

Pat. He thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn’t think they're doing anything

wrong.” To which Pat said something, “[t]his is f’ing crazy, we need to be

doing something more,” briefly stepped into Mark’s office, and when Mark had

said something – when Mark had said something to the effect of, “He doesn’t

think they’re doing anything wrong,” knowing what I had heard briefly in the

dining room coupled with Pat discussing the hanging Mike Pence chants in the

lobby of our office and then Mark’s response, I understood “they’re” to be the

rioters in the Capitol that were chanting for the Vice President to be hung.521

Although White House Counsel Pat Cipollone was limited in what he would discuss

because of privilege concerns, he stated the following:

Committee Staff: Do you remember any discussion at any point during the day

about rioters at the Capitol chanting “hang Mike Pence?”

Cipollone: Yes. I remember – I remember hearing that – about that. Yes.

Committee Staff: Yeah. And –

Cipollone: I don’t know if I observed that myself on TV. I don’t remember.

Committee Staff: I'm just curious, I understand the privilege line you’ve drawn,

but do you remember what you can share with us about the discussion about

those chants, the ‘hang Mike Pence’ chants?

Cipollone: I could tell you my view of that.

Committee Staff: Yeah. Please.

Cipollone: My view of that is that is outrageous.


Committee Staff: Uh-huh.

Cipollone: And for anyone to suggest such a thing as the Vice President of the United

States, for people in that crowd to be chanting that I thought was terrible. I thought it

was outrageous and wrong. And I expressed that very clearly to people.522

Almost immediately after the 2:24 p.m. tweet, Eric Herschmann went upstairs in the

West Wing to try to enlist Ivanka Trump’s assistance to persuade her father to do the right

thing.523 Ivanka rushed down to the Oval Office dining room. Although no one could convince

President Trump to call for the violent rioters to leave the Capitol, Ivanka persuaded President

Trump that a tweet could be issued to discourage violence against the police.

At 2:38 p.m., President Trump sent this tweet:

“Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of

our Country. Stay peaceful!”524

While some in the meeting invoked executive privilege, or failed to recall the specifics,

others told us what happened at that point. Sarah Matthews, the White House Deputy Press

Secretary, had urged her boss, Kayleigh McEnany, to have the President make a stronger

statement. But she informed us that President Trump resisted using the word “peaceful” in

his message:

[Q]: Ms. Matthews, Ms. McEnany told us she came right back to the press office

after meeting with the President about this particular tweet. What did she tell

you about what happened in that dining room?

[A]: When she got back, she told me that a tweet had been sent out. And I told

her that I thought the tweet did not go far enough, that I thought there needed

to be a call to action and he needed to condemn the violence. And we were in a

room full of people, but people weren’t paying attention. And so, she looked

directly at me and in a hushed tone shared with me that the President did not

want to include any sort of mention of peace in that tweet and that it took some

convincing on their part, those who were in the room. And she said that there

was a back and forth going over different phrases to find something that he

was comfortable with. And it wasn’t until Ivanka Trump suggested the phrase

‘stay peaceful’ that he finally agreed to include it.”525

At 3:13 p.m., President Trump sent another tweet, but again declined to tell people to

go home:

“I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence!

Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great

men and women in Blue. Thank you!”526

Almost everyone, including staff in the White House also found the President’s 2:38

p.m. and 3:13 p.m. tweets to be insufficient because they did not instruct the rioters to leave

the Capitol. As mentioned, President Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., texted Meadows:


He’s got to condem [sic] this shit. Asap. The captiol [sic] police tweet is not


Sean Hannity also texted Mark Meadows:

Can he make a statement. I saw the tweet. Ask people to peacefully leave the

capital [sic].528

None of these efforts resulted in President Trump immediately issuing the message

that was needed. White House staff had these comments:

Pottinger: Yeah. It was insufficient. I think what – you you could count me

among those who was hoping to see an unequivocal strong statement clearing

out the Capitol, telling people to stand down, leave, go home. I think that’s

what we were hoping for.529

Matthews: Yeah. So a conversation started in the press office after the

President sent out those two tweets that I deemed were insufficient.... I

thought that we should condemn the violence and condemn it unequivocally.

And I thought that he needed to include a call to action and to tell these people

to go home.530

And they were right. Evidence showed that neither of these tweets had any appreciable

impact on the violent rioters. Unlike the video-message tweet that did not come until 4:17

finally instructing rioters to leave, neither the 2:38 nor the 3:13 tweets made any difference.

At some point after 3:05 p.m. that afternoon, President Trump’s Chief of Staff – and

President Trump himself – were informed that someone was shot.531 That person was Ashli

Babbitt, who was fatally shot at 2:44 p.m. as she and other rioters tried to gain access to the

House chamber.532 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.

Meanwhile, leaders in Congress – including Speaker Pelosi, Senator Schumer, Senator

McConnell – and the Vice President, were taking action. They called the Secretary of Defense,

the Attorney General, governors and officials in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of

Columbia, begging for assistance.533

President-elect Biden also broadcast a video calling on President Trump to take action:

I call on President Trump to go on national television now to fulfill his oath

and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege.534

President Trump could have done this, of course, anytime after he learned of the

violence at the Capitol. At 4:17 p.m., 187 minutes after finishing his speech (and even longer

after the attack began), President Trump finally broadcast a video message in which he asked

those attacking the Capitol to leave:


I know your pain. I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from

us. It was a landslide election, and everyone knows it, especially the other side,

but you have to go home now. We have to have peace.535

President Trump’s Deputy Press Secretary, Sarah Matthews testified about her reaction

to this video message:

[H]e told the people who we had just watched storm our nation’s Capitol with

the intent on overthrowing our democracy, violently attack police officers, and

chant heinous things like, “Hang Mike Pence,” “We love you. You’re very

special.” As a spokesperson for him, I knew that I would be asked to defend

that. And to me, his refusal to act and call off the mob that day and his refusal

to condemn the violence was indefensible. And so, I knew that I would be

resigning that evening.536

By this time, the National Guard and other additional law enforcement had begun to

arrive in force and started to turn the tide of the violence. Many of those attackers in the

Capitol saw or received word of President Trump’s 4:17 p.m. message, and they understood

this message as an instruction to leave:


• Stephen Ayres testified in front of the Select Committee that: “Well, we were there. As

soon as that come out, everybody started talking about it, and it seemed like it started

to disperse, you know, some of the crowd. Obviously, you know, once we got back to

the hotel room, we seen that it was still going on, but it definitely dispersed a lot of

the crowd.”538

• Jacob Chansley, also known as the QAnon-Shaman answered Trump’s directive: “I’m

here delivering the President’s message. Donald Trump has asked everybody to go

home.” Another responded to Chansley: “That’s our order.”539

• Other unknown individuals also listened to President Trump’s message while outside

the Capitol, and responded: “He says, go home. He says, go home.” And “Yeah. Here.

He said to go home.”540

At 6:01 p.m., President Trump sent his last tweet of the day, not condemning the

violence, but instead attempting to justify it:

These are the things and events that happen when a sacred election landslide

victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots

who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in

peace. Remember this day forever!541

Staff in President Trump’s own White House and campaign had a strong reaction to

this message:

Sarah Matthews: At that point I had already made the decision to resign and

this tweet just further cemented my decision. I thought that January 6, 2021,

was one of the darkest days in our Nation’s history and President Trump was


treating it as a celebratory occasion with that tweet. And so, it just further

cemented my decision to resign.542

Tim Murtaugh: I don’t think it’s a patriotic act to attack the Capitol. But I

have no idea how to characterize the people other than they trespassed,

destroyed property, and assaulted the U.S. Capitol. I think calling them patriots

is a, let’s say, a stretch, to say the least. . . . I don’t think it’s a patriotic act to

attack the U.S. Capitol.543

Pat Cipollone: [W]hat happened at the Capitol cannot be justified in any form

or fashion. It was wrong, and it was tragic. And a lot – and it was a terrible

day. It was a terrible day for this country.544

Greg Jacob: I thought it was inappropriate. . . . To my mind, it was a day that

should live in infamy.545

At 6:27 p.m., President Trump retired to his residence for the night. As he did, he had

one final comment to an employee who accompanied him to the residence. The one takeaway

that the President expressed in that moment, following a horrific afternoon of violence and

the worst attack against the U.S. Capitol building in over two centuries, was this: “Mike Pence

let me down.”546

President Trump’s inner circle was still trying to delay the counting of electoral votes

into the evening, even after the violence had been quelled. Rudolph Giuliani tried calling

numerous Members of Congress in the hour before the joint session resumed, including Rep.

Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Bill

Hagerty (R-TN), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Josh Hawley (R-MO), and Ted Cruz (R-TX).547 His

voicemail intended for Senator Tuberville at 7:02 p.m. that evening eventually was made


Sen. Tuberville? Or I should say Coach Tuberville. This is Rudy Giuliani, the President’s

lawyer. I’m calling you because I want to discuss with you how they’re trying to rush

this hearing and how we need you, our Republican friends, to try to just slow it down

so we can get these legislatures to get more information to you.548

Reflecting on President Trump’s conduct that day, Vice President Pence noted that

President Trump “had made no effort to contact me in the midst of the rioting or any point

afterward.”549 He wrote that President Trump’s “reckless words had endangered my family

and all those serving at the Capitol.”550

President Trump did not contact a single top national security official during the day.

Not at the Pentagon, nor at the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice,

the F.B.I., the Capitol Police Department, or the D.C. Mayor’s office.551 As Vice President Pence

has confirmed, President Trump didn’t even try to reach his own Vice President to make sure

that Pence was safe.552 President Trump did not order any of his staff to facilitate a law

enforcement response of any sort.553 His Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—who is by

statute the primary military advisor to the President—had this reaction:


General Milley: “You know, you’re the Commander in Chief. You’ve got an

assault going on on the Capitol of the United States of America. And there’s

nothing? No call? Nothing? Zero?”554

General Milley did, however, receive a call from President Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark

Meadows that day. Here is how he described that call:

He said, “We have to kill the narrative that the Vice President is making all the

decisions. We need to establish the narrative, you know, that the President is

still in charge and that things are steady or stable, or words to that effect. I

immediately interpreted that as politics, politics, politics. Red flag for me,

personally. No action. But I remember it distinctly. And I don’t do political


Some have suggested that President Trump gave an order to have 10,000 troops ready

for January 6th.556 The Select Committee found no evidence of this. In fact, President

Trump’s Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller directly refuted this when he testified

under oath:

Committee Staff: To be crystal clear, there was no direct order from President

Trump to put 10,000 troops to be on the ready for January 6th, correct?

Miller: No. Yeah. That’s correct. There was no direct—there was no order

from the President.557

Later, on the evening of January 6th, President Trump’s former campaign manager,

Brad Parscale, texted Katrina Pierson, one of President Trump’s rally organizers, that the

events of the day were the result of a “sitting president asking for civil war” and that “This

week I feel guilty for helping him win” now that “… a woman is dead.” Pierson answered:

“You do realize this was going to happen.” Parscale replied: “Yeah. If I was Trump and knew

my rhetoric killed someone.” “It wasn’t the rhetoric,” Pierson suggested. But Parscale

insisted: “Yes it was.”558


In days following January 6th, President Trump’s family and staff attempted

repeatedly to persuade him not to repeat his election fraud allegations, to concede defeat, and

to allow the transition to President Biden to proceed. Trump did make two video recordings,

which initially appeared contrite. But evidence suggests that these statements were designed

at least in part to ward off other potential consequences of January 6th, such as invocation of

the 25th Amendment or impeachment.

In fact, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy indicated after the attack, in a discussion with

House Republican leaders that he would ask President Trump to resign:


Rep. Cheney: I guess there’s a question when we were talking about the 25th

Amendment resolution, and you asked what would happen after he’s gone? Is there

any chance? Are you hearing that he might resign? Is there any reason to think that

might happen?

Leader McCarthy: I’ve had a few discussions. My gut tells me no. I’m seriously

thinking of having that discussion with him tonight. I haven’t talked to him in a

couple of days. From what I know of him, I mean, you guys all know him too, do you

think he’d ever back away? But what I think I’m going to do is I’m going to call him.

This is what I think. We know [the 25th Amendment resolution] will pass the House.

I think there’s a chance it will pass the Senate, even when he’s gone. And I think

there’s a lot of different ramifications for that. . . . Again, the only discussion I would

have with him is that I think this will pass, and it would be my recommendation you

should resign.559

Before January 6th, Fox News personality Sean Hannity warned that January 6th could

be disastrous:

Dec. 31, 2020 text from Sean Hannity to Mark Meadows:

We can’t lose the entire WH counsels office. I do NOT see January 6 happening

the way he is being told. After the 6 th. He should announce will lead the

nationwide effort to reform voting integrity. Go to Fl and watch Joe mess up

daily. Stay engaged. When he speaks people will listen.560

January 5, 2021 texts from Sean Hannity to Mark Meadows:

Im very worried about the next 48 hours

Pence pressure. WH counsel will leave.

Sorry, I can’t talk right now.

On with boss561

A member of the Republican Freedom caucus also warned, on December 31, 2020, and

on January 1, 2021:

The President should call everyone off. It’s the only path. If we substitute the

will of states through electors with a vote by Congress every 4 years... we have

destroyed the electoral college... Respectfully.562 If POTUS allows this to occur...

we’re driving a stake in the heart of the federal republic...563

After January 6th, Sean Hannity of Fox News worked to persuade President Trump to

stop talking about election fraud, proposed that Trump pardon Hunter Biden, and discussed

attending the Inauguration:

1- No more stolen election talk.


2- Yes, impeachment and 25 th amendment are real, and many people will


3- He was intrigued by the Pardon idea!! (Hunter)

4- Resistant but listened to Pence thoughts, to make it right.

5- Seemed to like attending Inauguration talk.564

Ultimately, President Trump took little of the advice from Hannity and his White House

staff. A few days later, Hannity wrote again to Meadows and Jim Jordan:

Guys, we have a clear path to land the plane in 9 days. He can’t mention the

election again. Ever. I did not have a good call with him today. And worse, I’m

not sure what is left to do or say, and I don t like not knowing if it’s truly

understood. Ideas?565

Likewise, despite her many contrary public statements, Republican Congresswoman

Marjorie Taylor Greene privately texted her concerns on January 6th about a continuing and

real threat of violence:

Mark I was just told there is an active shooter on the first floor of the Capitol

Please tell the President to calm people This isn’t the way to solve anything566

Donald Trump was impeached on January 13th. In a speech that day, Republican Leader

Kevin McCarthy made this statement from the House floor, but voted against impeachment:

The President bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob

rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what

was unfolding. These facts require immediate action by President Trump,

accept his share of responsibility, quell the brewing unrest and ensure

President-elect Biden is able to successfully begin his term. The President’s

immediate action also deserves congressional action, which is why I think a

fact-finding commission and a censure resolution would be prudent.567

Later, McCarthy told members of the House Republican conference that Trump had

acknowledged that he was at least partially responsible for the January 6th attack.

I asked him personally today, does he hold responsibility for what happened?

Does he feel bad about what happened? He told me he does have some

responsibility for what happened. And he need to acknowledge that.568


Since January 6th, President Trump has continued to claim falsely that the 2020

Presidential election was stolen. Not only that, he has urged other politicians to push this

argument as well. Representative Mo Brooks has issued a public statement appearing to

represent Trump’s private views and intentions:

President Trump asked me to rescind the 2020 elections, immediately remove Joe

Biden from the White House, immediately put President Trump back in the White

House, and hold a new special election for the presidency.569




The Committee’s work has produced a substantial body of new information. We know

far more about the President’s plans and actions to overturn the election than almost all

Members of Congress did when President Trump was impeached on January 13, 2021, or when

he was tried by the Senate in February of that year. Fifty-seven of 100 Senators voted to

convict President Trump at that time, and more than 20 others condemned the President’s

conduct and said they were voting against conviction because the President’s term had already

expired.570 At the time, the Republican Leader of the U.S. Senate said this about Donald

Trump: “A mob was assaulting the Capitol in his name. These criminals were carrying his

banners, hanging his flags, and screaming their loyalty to him. It was obvious that only

President Trump could end this. He was the only one who could.”571 House Republican Leader

Kevin McCarthy, who spoke directly with President Trump during the violence of January 6th,

expressed similar views both in private and in public. Privately, McCarthy stated: “But let

me be very clear to you and I have been very clear to the President. He bears responsibility

for his words and actions. No if, ands or buts.”572 In public, Rep. McCarthy concluded: “The

President bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters.”573

Today we know that the planning to overturn the election on January 6th was

substantially more extensive, and involved many other players, and many other efforts over

a longer time period. Indeed, the violent attack and invasion of the Capitol, and what

provoked it, are only a part of the story.

From the outset of its hearings, the Committee has explained that President Trump

and a number of other individuals made a series of very specific plans, ultimately with

multiple separate elements, but all with one overriding objective: to corruptly obstruct,

impede, or influence the counting of electoral votes on January 6th, and thereby overturn the

lawful results of the election. The underlying and fundamental feature of that planning was

the effort to get one man, Vice President Mike Pence, to assert and then exercise

unprecedented and lawless powers to unilaterally alter the actual election outcome on January

6th. Evidence obtained by the Committee demonstrates that John Eastman, who worked with

President Trump to put that and other elements of the plan in place, knew even before the

2020 Presidential election that Vice President Pence could not lawfully refuse to count official,

certified electoral slates submitted by the governors of the States.574 Testimony and

contemporaneous documentary evidence also indicate that President Trump knew that the

plan was unlawful before January 6th.575 When the Vice President’s Counsel wrote to Eastman

on January 6th to ask whether the latter had informed the President that the Vice President

did not have authority to decide the election unilaterally, Eastman responded: “He’s been so

advised,” and added “[b]ut you know him – once he gets something in his head, it is hard to

get him to change course.”576

Many of the other elements of President Trump’s plans were specifically designed to

create a set of circumstances on January 6th to assist President Trump in overturning the

lawful election outcome during Congress’s Joint Session that day. For example, President

Trump pressured State legislatures to adopt new electoral slates that Vice President Pence

could, unlawfully, count. Trump solicited State officials to “find” a sufficient number of votes


to alter the final count, and instructed the Department of Justice to “just say that the election

was was [sic] corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R[epublican] Congressmen.”577 President

Trump offered the job of Acting Attorney General to Jeffrey Clark: as our evidence has

unequivocally demonstrated, Clark intended to use that position to send a series of letters

from the Department of Justice to multiple States falsely asserting that the Department had

found fraud and urging those States to convene their legislatures to alter their official electoral

slates578. And President Trump, with the help of the Republican National Committee and

others, oversaw an effort to create and transmit to Government officials a series of

intentionally false electoral slates for Vice President Pence to utilize on January 6th to alter

or delay the count of lawful votes.579

Of course, other elements of the plan complemented these efforts too. As this Report

documents, President Trump was advised by his own experts and the Justice Department that

his election fraud allegations were false, and he knew he had lost virtually all the legal

challenges to the election, but he nevertheless engaged in a successful but fraudulent effort

to persuade tens of millions of Americans that the election was stolen from him. This effort

was designed to convince Americans that President Trump’s actions to overturn the election

were justified. President Trump then urged his supporters to travel to Washington on January

6th to apply pressure to Congress to halt the count and change the election outcome,

explaining to those who were coming to Washington that they needed to “take back” their

country and “stop the steal.”580

It is helpful in understanding these facts to focus on specific moments in time when

President Trump made corrupt, dishonest and unlawful choices to pursue his plans. For

example, by December 14th when the Electoral College met and certified Joe Biden’s victory,

President Trump knew that he had failed in all the relevant litigation; he had been advised by

his own experts and the Justice Department that his election fraud claims were false; and he

had been told by numerous advisors that he had lost and should concede. But despite his duty

as President to take care that the laws are faithfully executed, he chose instead to ignore all

of the judicial rulings and the facts before him and push forward to overturn the

election. Likewise, in the days and hours before the violence of January 6th, President Trump

knew that no State had issued any changed electoral slate. Indeed, neither President Trump

nor his co-conspirators had any evidence that any majority of any State legislature was

willing to do so. President Trump also knew that Vice President Pence could not lawfully

refuse to count legitimate votes. Despite all of these facts, President Trump nevertheless

proceeded to instruct Vice President Pence to execute a plan he already knew was illegal. And

then knowing that a violent riot was underway, President Trump breached his oath of office;

our Commander in Chief refused for hours to take the one simple step that his advisors were

begging him to take—to instruct his supports to disperse, stand down, and leave the

Capitol. Instead, fully understanding what had unfolded at the Capitol, President Trump

exacerbated the violence with a tweet attacking Vice President Pence.581 Any rational person

who had watched the events that day knew that President Trump’s 2:24 p.m. tweet would

lead to further violence. It did. And, at almost exactly the same time, President Trump

continued to lobby Congress to delay the electoral count.

As the evidence demonstrates, the rioters at the Capitol had invaded the building and

halted the electoral count. They did not begin to relent until President Trump finally issued


a video statement instructing his supporters to leave the Capitol at 4:17 p.m., which had an

immediate and helpful effect: rioters began to disperse582 – but not before the Capitol was

invaded, the election count was halted, feces were smeared in the Capitol, the Vice President

and his family and many others were put in danger, and more than 140 law enforcement

officers were attacked and seriously injured by mob rioters. Even if it were true that President

Trump genuinely believed the election was stolen, this is no defense. No President can ignore

the courts and purposely violate the law no matter what supposed “justification” he or she


These conclusions are not the Committee’s alone. In the course of its investigation,

the Committee had occasion to present evidence to Federal District Court Judge David Carter,

who weighed that evidence against submissions from President Trump’s lawyer, John

Eastman. Judge Carter considered this evidence in the context of a discovery dispute –

specifically whether the Committee could obtain certain of Eastman’s documents pursuant to

the “crime-fraud” exception to the attorney-client privilege. That exception provides that

otherwise privileged documents may lose their privilege if they were part of an effort to

commit a crime or a fraud, in this case by President Trump. Judge Carter set out his factual

findings, discussing multiple elements of President Trump’s multi-part plan to overturn the

election,583 and then addressed whether the evidence, including Eastman’s email

communications, demonstrated that Trump and Eastman committed crimes. “Based on the

evidence,” Judge Carter explained, “the Court finds it more likely than not” that President

Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021,” and

“more likely than not that President Trump and Dr. Eastman dishonestly conspired to

obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6th.”584 Judge Carter also concluded that

President Trump’s and Eastman’s “pressure campaign to stop the electoral count did not end

with Vice President Pence—it targeted every tier of federal and state elected officials”585 and

was “a coup in search of a legal theory.”586 “The plan spurred violent attacks on the seat of

our nation’s government,” Judge Carter wrote, and it threatened to “permanently end[] the

peaceful transition of power. . . .”587

The U.S. Department of Justice has been investigating and prosecuting persons who

invaded the Capitol, engaged in violence, and planned violence on that day. The Department

has charged more than 900 individuals, and nearly 500 have already been convicted or pleaded

guilty as we write.588 As the Committee’s investigation progressed through its hearings,

public reporting emerged suggesting that the Department of Justice had also begun to

investigate several others specifically involved in the events being examined by the

Committee. Such reports indicated that search warrants had been issued, based on findings

of probable cause, for the cell phones of John Eastman, Jeffrey Clark, and Representative Scott

Perry.589 Other reports suggested that the Department had empaneled one or more grand

juries and was pursuing a ruling compelling several of this Committee’s witnesses, including

Pat Cipollone and Greg Jacob, to give testimony on topics for which President Trump had

apparently asserted executive privilege. Recent reporting suggests that a Federal District

Court judge has now rejected President Trump’s executive privilege claims in that context.590

Criminal referrals from a Congressional committee are often made in circumstances

where prosecutors are not yet known to be pursuing some of the same facts and

evidence. That is not the case here. During the course of our investigation, both the U.S.


Department of Justice and at least one local prosecutor’s office (Fulton County, Georgia) have

been actively conducting criminal investigations concurrently with this Congressional

investigation.591 In fact, the U.S. Department of Justice has recently taken the extraordinary

step of appointing a Special Counsel to investigate the former President’s conduct.592

The Committee recognizes that the Department of Justice and other prosecutorial

authorities may be in a position to utilize investigative tools, including search warrants and

grand juries, superior to the means the Committee has for obtaining relevant information and

testimony. Indeed, both the Department of Justice and the Fulton County District Attorney

may now have access to witness testimony and records that have been unavailable to the

Committee, including testimony from President Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and

others who either asserted privileges or invoked their Fifth Amendment rights.593 The

Department may also be able to access, via grand jury subpoena or otherwise, the testimony

of Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, Representative Scott Perry, Representative Jim Jordan

and others, each of whom appears to have had materially relevant communications with

Donald Trump or others in the White House but who failed to comply with the Select

Committee’s subpoenas.

Taking all of these facts into account, and based on the breadth of the evidence it has

accumulated, the Committee makes the following criminal referrals to the Department of

Justice’s Special Counsel.

I. Obstruction of an Official Proceeding (18 U.S.C. § 1512(c))

Section 1512(c)(2) of Title 18 of the United States Code makes it a crime to “corruptly”

“obstruct[], influence[], or impede[] any official proceeding, or attempt[] to do so.”594

Sufficient evidence exists of one or more potential violations of this statute for a criminal

referral of President Trump and others.595

First, there should be no question that Congress’s Joint Session to count electoral votes

on January 6th was an “official proceeding” under Section 1512(c). Many Federal judges have

already reached that specific conclusion.596

Second, there should be no doubt that President Trump knew that his actions were

likely to “obstruct, influence or impede” that proceeding. Based on the evidence developed,

President Trump was attempting to prevent or delay the counting of lawful certified Electoral

College votes from multiple States.597 President Trump was directly and personally involved

in this effort, personally pressuring Vice President Pence relentlessly as the Joint Session on

January 6th approached.598

Third, President Trump acted with a “corrupt” purpose. Vice President Pence, Greg

Jacob and others repeatedly told the President that the Vice President had no unilateral

authority to prevent certification of the election.599 Indeed, in an email exchange during the

violence of January 6th, Eastman admitted that President Trump had been “advised” that

Vice President Pence could not lawfully refuse to count votes under the Electoral Count Act,

but “once he gets something in his head, it’s hard to get him to change course.”600 In

addition, President Trump knew that he had lost dozens of State and Federal lawsuits, and


that the Justice Department, his campaign and his other advisors concluded that there was

insufficient fraud to alter the outcome. President Trump also knew that no majority of any

State legislature had taken or manifested any intention to take any official action that could

change a State’s electoral college votes.601 But President Trump pushed forward anyway. As

Judge Carter explained, “[b]ecause President Trump likely knew that the plan to disrupt the

electoral count was wrongful, his mindset exceeds the threshold for acting ‘corruptly’ under

§ 1512(c).”602

Sufficient evidence exists of one or more potential violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c) for

a criminal referral of President Trump based solely on his plan to get Vice President Pence to

prevent certification of the election at the Joint Session of Congress. Those facts standing

alone are sufficient. But such a charge under that statute can also be based on the plan to

create and transmit to the Executive and Legislative branches fraudulent electoral slates,

which were ultimately intended to facilitate an unlawful action by Vice President Pence –to

refuse to count legitimate, certified electoral votes during Congress’s official January 6th

proceeding.603 Additionally, evidence developed about the many other elements of President

Trump’s plans to overturn the election, including soliciting State legislatures, State officials,

and others to alter official electoral outcomes, provides further evidence that President Trump

was attempting through multiple means to corruptly obstruct, impede or influence the

counting of electoral votes on January 6th. This is also true of President Trump’s personal

directive to the Department of Justice to “just say that the election was was [sic] corrupt +

leave the rest to me and the R[epublican] Congressmen.”604

We also stress in particular the draft letter to the Georgia legislature authored by

Jeffrey Clark and another Trump political appointee at the Department of Justice. The draft

letter embraces many of the same theories that John Eastman and others were asserting in

President Trump’s effort to lobby State legislatures. White House Counsel Pat Cipollone

described that letter as “a murder-suicide pact,” and other White House and Justice

Department officials offered similar descriptions.605 As described herein, that draft letter was

intended to help persuade a State legislature to change its certified slate of Electoral College

electors based on false allegations of fraud, so Vice President Pence could unilaterally and

unlawfully decide to count a different slate on January 6th.606 The letter was transparently

false, improper, and illegal. President Trump had multiple communications with Clark in the

days before January 6th, and there is no basis to doubt that President Trump offered Clark the

position of Acting Attorney General knowing that Clark would send the letter and others like


Of course, President Trump is also responsible for recruiting tens of thousands of his

supporters to Washington for January 6th, and knowing they were angry and some were

armed, instructing them to march to the Capitol and “fight like hell.”608 And then, while

knowing a violent riot was underway, he refused for multiple hours to take the single step

his advisors and supporters were begging him to take to halt the violence: to make a public

statement instructing his supporters to disperse and leave the Capitol.609 Through action and

inaction, President Trump corruptly obstructed, delayed and impeded the vote count.

In addition, the Committee believes sufficient evidence exists for a criminal referral of

John Eastman and certain other Trump associates under 18 U.S.C. §1512(c). The evidence


shows that Eastman knew in advance of the 2020 election that Vice President Pence could not

refuse to count electoral votes on January 6th.

610 In the days before January 6th, Eastman was

warned repeatedly that his plan was illegal and “completely crazy,” and would “cause riots

in the streets.”611 Nonetheless, Eastman continued to assist President Trump’s pressure

campaign in public and in private, including in meetings with the Vice President and in his

own speech at the Ellipse on January 6th. And even as the violence was playing out at the

Capitol, Eastman admitted in writing that his plan violated the law but pressed for Pence to

do it anyway.612 In the immediate aftermath of January 6th, White House lawyer Eric

Herschmann told Eastman that he should “[g]et a great F'ing criminal defense lawyer, you’re

going to need it.”613 Others working with Eastman likely share in Eastman’s culpability. For

example, Kenneth Chesebro was a central player in the scheme to submit fake electors to the

Congress and the National Archives.

The Committee notes that multiple Republican Members of Congress, including

Representative Scott Perry, likely have material facts regarding President Trump’s plans to

overturn the election. For example, many Members of Congress attended a White House

meeting on December 21, 2020, in which the plan to have the Vice President affect the outcome

of the election was disclosed and discussed. Evidence indicates that certain of those Members

unsuccessfully sought Presidential pardons from President Trump after January 6th,

614 as did

Eastman,615 revealing their own clear consciousness of guilt.

II. Conspiracy to Defraud the United States (18 U.S.C. § 371)

Section 371 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code provides that “[i]f two or more persons conspire

either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any

agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act

to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not

more than five years, or both.” The Committee believes sufficient evidence exists for a

criminal referral of President Trump and others under this statute.616

First, President Trump entered into an agreement with individuals to obstruct a lawful

function of the government (the certification of the election). The evidence of this element

overlaps greatly with the evidence of the Section 1512(c)(2) violations, so we will not repeat it

at length here. President Trump engaged in a multi-part plan described in this Report to

obstruct a lawful certification of the election. Judge Carter focused his opinions largely on

John Eastman’s role, as Eastman’s documents were at issue in that case, concluding that “the

evidence shows that an agreement to enact the electoral count plan likely existed between

President Trump and Dr. Eastman.”617 But President Trump entered into agreements –

whether formal or informal618 – with several other individuals who assisted with the multipart plan. With regard to the Department of Justice, Jeffrey Clark stands out as a participant

in the conspiracy, as the evidence suggests that Clark entered into an agreement with

President Trump that if appointed Acting Attorney General, he would send a letter to State

officials falsely stating that the Department of Justice believed that State legislatures had a

sufficient factual basis to convene to select new electors. This was false – the Department of

Justice had reached the conclusion that there was no factual basis to contend that the election

was stolen. Again, as with Section 1512(c), the conspiracy under Section 371 appears to have

also included other individuals such as Chesebro, Rudolph Giuliani, and Mark Meadows, but


this Committee does not attempt to determine all of the participants of the conspiracy, many

of whom refused to answer this Committee’s questions.

Second, there are several bases for finding that the conspirators used “deceitful or

dishonest means.” For example, President Trump repeatedly lied about the election, after he

had been told by his advisors that there was no evidence of fraud sufficient to change the

results of the election.619 In addition, the plot to get the Vice President to unilaterally prevent

certification of the election was manifestly (and admittedly) illegal, as discussed above.

Eastman and others told President Trump that it would violate the Electoral Count Act if the

Vice President unilaterally rejected electors. Thus Judge Carter once again had little trouble

finding that the intent requirement (“deceitful or dishonest means”) was met, stating

that “President Trump continuing to push that plan despite being aware of its illegality

constituted obstruction by ‘dishonest’ means under § 371.”620 Judge Carter rejected the

notion that Eastman’s plan – which the President adopted and actualized – was a “good faith

interpretation” of the law, finding instead that it was “a partisan distortion of the democratic

process.”621 Similarly, both President Trump and Clark had been told repeatedly that the

Department of Justice had found no evidence of significant fraud in any of its investigations,

but they nonetheless pushed the Department of Justice to send a letter to State officials stating

that the Department had found such fraud. And Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger

and others made clear to President Trump that they had no authority to “find” him 11,780

votes, but the President relentlessly insisted that they do exactly that, even to the point of

suggesting there could be criminal consequences if they refused.622

Third, there were numerous overt acts in furtherance of the agreement, including each

of the parts of the President’s effort to overturn the election. As Judge Carter concluded,

President Trump and Dr. Eastman participated in “numerous overt acts in furtherance of their

shared plan.”623 These included, but certainly were not limited to, direct pleas to the Vice

President to reject electors or delay certification, including in Oval Office meetings and the

President’s vulgar comments to the Vice President on the morning of January 6. Judge Carter

also addressed evidence that President Trump knowingly made false representations to a

court. Judge Carter concluded that Dr. Eastman’s emails showed “that President Trump knew

that the specific numbers of voter fraud” cited in a complaint on behalf of President Trump

“were wrong but continued to tout those numbers, both in court and to the public.” Judge

Carter found that the emails in question were related to and in furtherance of a conspiracy to

defraud the United States.624

In finding that President Trump, Eastman, and others engaged in conspiracy to

defraud the United States under Section 371, Judge Carter relied on the documents at issue

(largely consisting of Eastman’s own emails) and evidence presented to the court by this

Committee. This Committee’s investigation has progressed significantly since Judge Carter

issued his first crime-fraud ruling in March 2022. The evidence found by this Committee and

discussed in detail in this Report further document that the conspiracy to defraud the United

States under Section 371 extended far beyond the effort to pressure the Vice President to

prevent certification of the election. The Committee believes there is sufficient evidence for

a criminal referral of the multi-part plan described in this Report under Section 371, as the

very purpose of the plan was to prevent the lawful certification of Joe Biden’s election as



III. Conspiracy to Make a False Statement (18 U.S.C. §§ 371, 1001)

President Trump, through others acting at his behest, submitted slates of fake electors

to Congress and the National Archives. Section 1001 of Title 18 of the United States Code

applies, in relevant part, to “whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive,

legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and


(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;

(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation;


(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any

materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry.”

According to the Department of Justice, whether a false statement is criminal under

Section 1001 “depends on whether there is an affirmative response to each of the following


1. Was the act or statement material?

2. Was the act within the jurisdiction of a department or agency of the United States?

3. Was the act done knowingly and willfully?”625

In addition, and as explained above, 18 U.S.C. § 371 makes it a crime to conspire to

“commit any offense against the United States.”626

The evidence suggests President Trump conspired with others to submit slates of fake

electors to Congress and the National Archives. Sufficient evidence exists of a violation of 18

U.S.C. §§ 371 and 1001 for a criminal referral of President Trump and others.

As explained earlier and in Chapter 3 of this Report, the certifications signed by Trump

electors in multiple States were patently false. Vice President Biden won each of those States,

and the relevant State authorities had so certified. It can hardly be disputed that the false

slates of electors were material, as nothing can be more material to the Joint Session of

Congress to certify the election than the question of which candidate won which States.

Indeed, evidence obtained by the Committee suggests that those attempting to submit certain

of the electoral votes regarded the need to provide that material to Vice President Pence as


There should be no question that Section 1001 applies here. The false electoral slates

were provided both to the Executive Branch (the National Archives) and the Legislative

Branch.628 The statute applies to “any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive,

legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States.”629 It is well established

that false statements to Congress can constitute violations of Section 1001.630

Finally, the false statement was made knowingly and willfully. There is some evidence

suggesting that some signatories of the fake certificates believed that the certificates were


contingent, to be used only in the event that President Trump prevailed in litigation

challenging the election results in their States. That may be relevant to the question whether

those electors knowingly and willfully signed a false statement at the time they signed the

certificates. But it is of no moment to President Trump’s conduct, as President Trump

(including acting through co-conspirators such as John Eastman and Kenneth Chesebro)

relied on the existence of those fake electors as a basis for asserting that the Vice President

could reject or delay certification of the Biden electors. In fact, as explained earlier and in

Chapter 5 of this Report, Eastman’s memorandum setting out a six-step plan for overturning

the election on January 6th begins by stating that “7 states have transmitted dual slates of

electors to the President of the Senate.”

The remaining question is who engaged in this conspiracy to make the false statement

to Congress under Section 1001. The evidence is clear that President Trump personally

participated in a scheme to have the Trump electors meet, cast votes, and send their votes to

the Joint Session of Congress in several States that Vice President Biden won, and then his

supporters relied on the existence of these fake electors as part of their effort to obstruct the

Joint Session. Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel testified

before this Committee that President Trump and Eastman directly requested that the RNC

organize the effort to have these fake (i.e. Trump) electors meet and cast their votes.631 Thus,

the Committee believes that sufficient evidence exists for a criminal referral of President

Trump for illegally engaging in a conspiracy to violate Section 1001; the evidence indicates

that he entered into an agreement with Eastman and others to make the false statement (the

fake electoral certificates), by deceitful or dishonest means, and at least one member of the

conspiracy engaged in at least one overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy (e.g. President

Trump and Eastman’s call to Ronna McDaniel).

IV. “Incite,” “Assist” or “Aid and Comfort” an Insurrection (18 U.S.C. § 2383)

Section 2383 of Title 18 of the United States Code applies to anyone who “incites, sets

on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United

States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto.”632 The Committee recognizes that

§2383 does not require evidence of an “agreement” between President Trump and the violent

rioters to establish a violation of that provision; instead, the President need only have incited,

assisted or aided and comforted those engaged in violence or other lawless activity in an effort

to prevent the peaceful transition of the Presidency under our Constitution. A Federal court

has already concluded that President Trump’s statements during his Ellipse speech were

“plausibly words of incitement not protected by the First Amendment.”633 Moreover,

President Trump was impeached for “Incitement of Insurrection,” and a majority of the

Senate voted to convict, with many more suggesting they might have voted to convict had

President Trump still been in office at the time.634

As explained throughout this Report and in this Committee’s hearings, President

Trump was directly responsible for summoning what became a violent mob to Washington,

DC, urging them to march to the Capitol, and then further provoking the already violent and

lawless crowd with his 2:24p.m. tweet about the Vice President. Even though President

Trump had repeatedly been told that Vice President Pence had no legal authority to stop the

certification of the election, he asserted in his speech on January 6 that if the Vice President


“comes through for us” that he could deliver victory to Trump: “if Mike Pence does the right

thing, we win the election.” This created a desperate and false expectation in President

Trump’s mob that ended up putting the Vice President and his entourage and many others at

the Capitol in physical danger. When President Trump tweeted at 2:24 p.m., he knew violence

was underway. His tweet exacerbated that violence.635

During the ensuing riot, the President refused to condemn the violence or encourage

the crowd to disperse despite repeated pleas from his staff and family that he do so. The

Committee has evidence from multiple sources establishing these facts, including testimony

from former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone. Although Cipollone’s testimony did not

disclose a number of direct communications with President Trump in light of concerns about

Executive Privilege, the Department now appears to have obtained a ruling that Cipollone can

testify before a grand jury about these communications. Based on the information it has

obtained, the Committee believes that Cipollone and others can provide direct testimony

establishing that President Trump refused repeatedly, for multiple hours, to make a public

statement directing his violent and lawless supporters to leave the Capitol. President Trump

did not want his supporters (who had effectively halted the vote counting) to disperse.

Evidence obtained by the Committee also indicates that President Trump did not want to

provide security assistance to the Capitol during that violent period.636 This appalling

behavior by our Commander in Chief occurred despite his affirmative Constitutional duty to

act, to ensure that the laws are faithfully executed.637

The Committee believes that sufficient evidence exists for a criminal referral of

President Trump for “assist[ing]” or “ai[ding] and comfort[ing]” those at the Capitol who

engaged in a violent attack on the United States. The Committee has developed significant

evidence that President Trump intended to disrupt the peaceful transition of power and

believes that the Department of Justice can likely elicit testimony relevant to an investigation

under Section 2383.

For example, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told White House Counsel

Pat Cipollone that the President “doesn’t want to do anything” to stop the violence.638 Worse,

at 2:24 p.m., the President inflamed and exacerbated the mob violence by sending a tweet

stating that the Vice President “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been

done.”639 The President threw gasoline on the fire despite knowing that there was a violent

riot underway at the Capitol. Indeed, video and audio footage from the attack shows that

many of the rioters specifically mentioned Vice President Pence.640 And immediately after

President Trump sent his tweet, the violence escalated. Between 2:25p.m. and 2:28 p.m.,

rioters breached the East Rotunda doors, other rioters breached the police line in the Capitol

Crypt, Vice President Pence had to be evacuated from his Senate office, and Rep. McCarthy

was evacuated from his Capitol office.641

Evidence developed in the Committee’s investigation showed that the President, when

told that the crowd was chanting “Hang Mike Pence,” responded that perhaps the Vice

President deserved to be hanged.642 And President Trump rebuffed pleas from Rep. Kevin

McCarthy to ask that his supporters leave the Capitol, stating “Well, Kevin, I

guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.” After hours of deadly

riot, President Trump eventually released a videotaped statement encouraging the crowd to


disperse, though openly professing his “love” for the members of the mob and empathizing

with their frustration at the “stolen” election. President Trump has since expressed a desire

to pardon those involved in the attack.643

Both the purpose and the effect of the President’s actions were to mobilize a large

crowd to descend on the Capitol. Several defendants in pending criminal cases identified the

President's allegations about the “stolen election” as the key motivation for their activities

at the Capitol. Many of them specifically cited the President’s tweets asking his supporters

to come to Washington, DC on January 6. For example, one defendant who later

pleaded guilty to threatening House Speaker Nancy Pelosi texted a family member on January

6th to say: “[Trump] wants heads and I'm going to deliver.”644 Another defendant released a

statement through his attorney, stating: “I was in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021,

because I believed I was following the instructions of former President Trump and he was my

President and the commander-in-chief. His statements also had me believing the election

was stolen from him.”645

As the violence began to subside and law enforcement continued to secure the Capitol,

President Trump tweeted again, at 6:01 pm to justify the actions of the rioters: “These are the

things and events that happen,” he wrote, when his so-called victory was “so

unceremoniously & viciously stripped away. . . .”646 When he wrote those words, he knew

exactly what he was doing. Before President Trump issued the tweet, a White House staffer

cautioned him that the statement would imply that he “had something to do with the events

that happened at the Capitol”—but he tweeted it anyway.647 The final words of that tweet

leave little doubt about President Trump’s sentiments toward those who invaded the Capitol:

“Remember this day forever!”648

V. Other Conspiracy Statutes (18 U.S.C. §§ 372 and 2384)

Depending on evidence developed by the Department of Justice, the President’s actions

with the knowledge of the risk of violence could also constitute a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 372

and § 2384, both of which require proof of a conspiracy. Section 372 prohibits a conspiracy

between two or more persons “to prevent, by force, intimidation, or threat, any person from

accepting or holding any office, trust, or place of confidence under the United States, or from

discharging any duties thereof, or to induce by like means any officer of the United States to

leave the place, where his duties as an officer are required to be performed, or to injure him in

the discharge of his official duties.”649 Oath Keepers Kelly Meggs, Kenneth Harrelson, and

Jessica Watkins were convicted of violating 18 U.S.C. 372 in connection with the January 6

attack on the Capitol.650 The Committee believes that former Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows

(who refused to testify and was held in contempt of Congress) could have specific evidence

relevant to such charges, as may witnesses who invoked their Fifth Amendment rights against

self-incrimination before this Committee.

Section 2384, the seditious conspiracy statute, prohibits “conspir[acy] to overthrow,

put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States . . . or to oppose by force

the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder or delay the execution of any law of the

United States . . . .”651 A jury has already determined beyond a reasonable doubt that a

conspiracy existed under Section 2384, as the leader of the Oath Keepers and at least one other


individual were convicted of seditious conspiracy under Section 2384 for their actions related

to the attack on the Capitol.652 A trial regarding a series of other “Proud Boy” defendants may

also address similar issues.653

The Department of Justice, through its investigative tools that exceed those of this

Committee, may have evidence sufficient to prosecute President Trump under Sections 372

and 2384. Accordingly, we believe sufficient evidence exists for a criminal referral of

President Trump under these two statutes.

VI. The Committee’s Concerns Regarding Possible Obstruction of its Investigation

The Committee has substantial concerns regarding potential efforts to obstruct its

investigation, including by certain counsel (some paid by groups connected to the former

President) who may have advised clients to provide false or misleading testimony to the

Committee.654 Such actions could violate 18 U.S.C. §§ 1505, 1512. The Committee is aware

that both the U.S. Department of Justice and the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office have

already obtained information relevant to these matters, including from the Committee

directly. We urge the Department of Justice to examine the facts to discern whether

prosecution is warranted. The Committee’s broad concerns regarding obstruction and

witness credibility are addressed in the Executive Summary to this Report.

VII. Accountability for Those Who Plotted Unlawfully to Overturn the Election is


To date, the Justice Department has pursued prosecution of hundreds of individuals who

planned and participated in the January 6th invasion of and attack on our Capitol. But the

Department has not yet charged individuals who engaged in the broader plan to overturn the

election through the means discussed in this Report. The Committee has concluded that it is

critical to hold those individuals accountable as well, including those who worked with

President Trump to create and effectuate these plans.

In his speech from the Ellipse on January 6th, President Trump recited a host of election

fraud allegations he knew to be false, and then told tens of thousands of his angry supporters


And fraud breaks up everything, doesn’t it? When you catch somebody in a

fraud, you’re allowed to go by very different rules. So I hope Mike has the

courage to do what he has to do. And I hope he doesn’t listen to the RINOs and

the stupid people that he’s listening to. 655

The meaning of President Trump’s comments was sufficiently clear then, but he

recently gave America an even more detailed understanding of his state of mind. Trump

wrote that allegations of “massive fraud” related to the 2020 election “allow[] for the

termination of all rules, regulations and articles, even those found in the Constitution.”656

And President Trump considered pardoning those involved in the attack and has since

expressed a desire to pardon them – and even give them an apology – if he returns to the

Oval Office.657


In the Committee’s judgment, based on all the evidence developed, President Trump

believed then, and continues to believe now, that he is above the law, not bound by our

Constitution and its explicit checks on Presidential authority. This recent Trump statement

only heightens our concern about accountability. If President Trump and the associates who

assisted him in an effort to overturn the lawful outcome of the 2020 election are not ultimately

held accountable under the law, their behavior may become a precedent and invitation to

danger for future elections. A failure to hold them accountable now may ultimately lead to

future unlawful efforts to overturn our elections, thereby threatening the security and

viability of our Republic.

VIII. Referral of Members to the House Ethics Committee for Failure to Comply

with Subpoenas

During the course of the Select Committee’s investigation of President Trump’s efforts

to subvert the election, the Committee learned that various Members of Congress had

information relevant to the investigation. Accordingly, the Committee wrote letters to a

number of Members involved in that activity inviting them to participate voluntarily in the

Select Committee’s investigation. None of the members was willing to provide information,

which forced the Select Committee to consider alternative means of securing evidence about

the conduct of these Members and the information they might have. On May 12, 2022, the

Select Committee subpoenaed several members of Congress—including House Minority

Leader Kevin McCarthy, Representative Jim Jordan, Representative Scott Perry, and

Representative Andy Biggs—to obtain information related to the Committee’s investigation.

This was a significant step, but it was one that was warranted by the certain volume

of information these Members possessed that was relevant to the Select Committee’s

investigation, as well as the centrality of their efforts to President Trump’s multi-part plan

to remain in power.

Representative McCarthy, among other things, had multiple communications with

President Trump, Vice President Pence, and others on and related to January 6th. For example,

during the attack on the Capitol, Representative McCarthy urgently requested that the former

President issue a statement calling off the rioters, to which President Trump responded by

“push[ing] back” and said: “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the

election than you are.”658 And, after the attack, Representative McCarthy spoke on the House

floor and said that, “[t]here is absolutely no evidence” that antifa caused the attack on the

Capitol and instead called on President Trump to “accept his share of responsibility” for the

violence.659 As noted above, Representative McCarthy privately confided in colleagues that

President Trump accepted some responsibility for the attack on the Capitol.660

Representative Jordan was a significant player in President Trump’s efforts. He

participated in numerous post-election meetings in which senior White House officials,

Rudolph Giuliani, and others, discussed strategies for challenging the election, chief among

them claims that the election had been tainted by fraud. On January 2, 2021, Representative

Jordan led a conference call in which he, President Trump, and other Members of Congress

discussed strategies for delaying the January 6th joint session. During that call, the group


also discussed issuing social media posts encouraging President Trump’s supporters to

“march to the Capitol” on the 6th.661 An hour and a half later, President Trump and

Representative Jordan spoke by phone for 18 minutes.

662 The day before January 6th,

Representative Jordan texted Mark Meadows, passing along advice that Vice President Pence

should “call out all the electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral

votes at all.”663 He spoke with President Trump by phone at least twice on January 6th, though

he has provided inconsistent public statements about how many times they spoke and what

they discussed.664 He also received five calls from Rudolph Giuliani that evening, and the two

connected at least twice, at 7:33 p.m. and 7:49 p.m.

665 During that time, Giuliani has testified,

he was attempting to reach Members of Congress after the joint session resumed to encourage

them to continue objecting to Joe Biden’s electoral votes.666 And, in the days following January

6th, Representative Jordan spoke with White House staff about the prospect of Presidential

pardons for Members of Congress.667

Like Representative Jordan, Representative Perry was also involved in early postelection messaging strategy. Both Representative Jordan and Representative Perry were

involved in discussions with White House officials about Vice President Pence’s role on

January 6th as early as November 2020.668 Representative Perry was present for conversations

in which the White House Counsel’s Office informed him and others that President Trump’s

efforts to submit fake electoral votes were not legally sound.669 But perhaps most pivotally,

he was involved in President Trump’s efforts to install Jeffrey Clark as the Acting Attorney

General in December 2020 and January 2021. Beginning in early December 2020,

Representative Perry suggested Clark as a candidate to Mark Meadows,670 then introduced

Clark to President Trump.671 In the days before January 6th, Representative Perry advocated

for President Trump to speak at the Capitol during the joint session, speaking to Mark

Meadows on at least one occasion about it.672 He was also a participant in the January 2, 2021

call in which Representative Jordan, President Trump, and others discussed issuing social

media posts to encourage Trump supporters to march to the Capitol on January 6th.673 After

January 6th, Representative Perry reached out to White House staff asking to receive a

Presidential pardon.674

Representative Biggs was involved in numerous elements of President Trump’s efforts

to contest the election results. As early as November 6, 2020, Representative Biggs texted

Mark Meadows, urging him to “encourage the state legislatures to appoint [electors].”675 In

the following days, Representative Biggs told Meadows not to let President Trump concede

his loss.676 Between then and January 6th, Representative Biggs coordinated with Arizona

State Representative Mark Finchem to gather signatures from Arizona lawmakers endorsing

fake Trump electors.677 He also contacted fake Trump electors in at least one State seeking

evidence related to voter fraud.678

To date, none of the subpoenaed Members has complied with either voluntary or

compulsory requests for participation.

Representative McCarthy initially responded to the Select Committee’s subpoena in

two letters on May 27 and May 30, 2022, in which he objected to the Select Committee’s

composition and validity of the subpoena and offered to submit written interrogatories in lieu

of deposition testimony. Although the Select Committee did not release Representative


McCarthy from his subpoena obligations, Representative McCarthy failed to appear for his

scheduled deposition on May 31, 2022. The Select Committee responded to Representative

McCarthy’s letters this same day, rejecting his proposal to participate via written

interrogatories and compelling his appearance for deposition testimony no later than June 11,

2022. Although Representative McCarthy again responded via letter on June 9, 2022, he did

not appear for deposition testimony on or before the specified June 11, 2022, deadline.

Representative Jordan also responded to the Select Committee’s subpoena just before

his scheduled deposition in a letter on May 25, 2022, containing a variety of objections.

Representative Jordan also requested material from the Select Committee, including all

materials referencing him in the Select Committee’s possession and all internal legal analysis

related to the constitutionality of Member subpoenas. Although the Select Committee did not

release Representative Jordan from his subpoena obligations, Representative Jordan failed to

appear for his scheduled deposition on May 27, 2022. On May 31, 2022, the Select Committee

responded to the substance of Representative Jordan’s May 25th letter and indicated that

Representative Jordan should appear for deposition testimony no later than June 11, 2022. On

June 9, 2022, Representative Jordan again wrote to reiterate the points from his May 25th

letter. That same day, Representative Jordan sent out a fundraising email with the subject

line: “I’VE BEEN SUBPOENED.”679 Representative Jordan did not appear before the Select

Committee on or before the June 11, 2022, deadline.

Representative Perry likewise responded to the Select Committee’s subpoena on May

24, 2022, in a letter, “declin[ing] to appear for deposition” and requesting that the subpoena

be “immediately withdrawn.”680 Although the Select Committee did not release

Representative Perry from his subpoena obligations, Representative Perry failed to appear on

May 26, 2022, for his scheduled deposition. Representative Perry sent a second letter to the

Select Committee on May 31, 2022, with additional objections. That same day, the Select

Committee responded to Representative Perry’s letters and stated that he should appear

before the Select Committee no later than June 11, 2022, for deposition testimony.

Representative Perry responded via letter on June 10, 2022, maintaining his objections. He

did not appear before the June 11, 2022, deadline.

Representative Biggs issued a press release on the day the Select Committee issued its

subpoena, calling the subpoena “illegitimate” and “pure political theater.” The day before

his scheduled deposition, Representative Biggs sent a letter to the Select Committee with a

series of objections and an invocation of Speech or Debate immunity. Although the Select

Committee did not release Representative Biggs from his subpoena obligations,

Representative Biggs did not appear for his scheduled deposition on May 26, 2022. On May

31, 2022, the Select Committee responded to the substance of Representative Biggs’s May 25th

letter and indicated that Representative Biggs should appear for deposition testimony no later

than June 11, 2022. Although Representative Biggs responded with another letter on June 9th,

he did not appear before the June 11, 2022, deadline.

Despite the Select Committee’s repeated attempts to obtain information from these

Members and the issuance of subpoenas, each has refused to cooperate and failed to comply

with a lawfully issued subpoena. Accordingly, the Select Committee is referring their failure


to comply with the subpoenas issued to them to the Ethics Committee for further action. To

be clear, this referral is only for failure to comply with lawfully issued subpoenas.

The Rules of the House of Representatives make clear that their willful noncompliance

violates multiple standards of conduct and subjects them to discipline. Willful noncompliance with compulsory congressional committee subpoenas by House Members violates

the spirit and letter of House Rule XXIII, Clause 1, which requires House Members to conduct

themselves “at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.” As a previous

version of the House Ethics Manual explained, this catchall provision encompasses “‘flagrant’

violations of the law that reflect on ‘Congress as a whole,’ and that might otherwise go

unpunished.”681 The subpoenaed House Members’ refusal to comply with their subpoena

obligations satisfies these criteria. A House Member’s willful failure to comply with a

congressional subpoena also reflects discredit on Congress. If left unpunished, such behavior

undermines Congress’s longstanding power to investigate in support of its lawmaking

authority and suggests that Members of Congress may disregard legal obligations that apply

to ordinary citizens.

For these reasons, the Select Committee refers Leader McCarthy and Representatives

Jordan, Perry, and Biggs for sanction by the House Ethics Committee for failure to comply

with subpoenas. The Committee also believes that each of these individuals, along with other

Members who attended the December 21st planning meeting with President Trump at the

White House,682 should be questioned in a public forum about their advance knowledge of and

role in President Trump’s plan to prevent the peaceful transition of power.



More than 30 witnesses before the Select Committee exercised their Fifth Amendment

privilege against self-incrimination and refused on that basis to provide testimony. They

included individuals central to the investigation, such as John Eastman, Jeffrey Clark, Roger

Stone, Michael Flynn, Kenneth Chesebro, and others.683 The law allows a civil litigant to rely

upon an “adverse inference” when a witness invokes the Fifth Amendment. “[T]he Fifth

Amendment does not forbid adverse inferences against parties to civil actions . . ..”684 The

Committee has not chosen to rely on any such inference in this Report or in its hearings.

We do note that certain witness assertions of the Fifth Amendment were particularly

troubling, including this:

Vice Chair Cheney: General Flynn, do you believe the violence on January 6th

was justified?

Counsel for the Witness: Can I get clarification, is that a moral question or are

you asking a legal question?

Vice Chair Cheney: I'm asking both.

General Flynn: The Fifth.


Vice Chair Cheney: Do you believe the violence on January 6th was justified


General Flynn: Take the Fifth.

Vice Chair Cheney: Do you believe the violence on January 6th was justified


General Flynn: Fifth.

Vice Chair Cheney: General Flynn, do you believe in the peaceful transition of

power in the United States of America?

General Flynn: The Fifth.685

President Trump refused to comply with the Committee’s subpoena, and also filed suit

to block the National Archives from supplying the Committee with White House records. The

Committee litigated the National Archives case in Federal District Court, in the Federal

Appellate Court for the District of Columbia, and before the Supreme Court. The Select

Committee was successful in this litigation. The opinion of the D.C. Circuit explained:

On January 6 2021, a mob professing support for then-President Trump

violently attacked the United States Capitol in an effort to prevent a Joint

Session of Congress from certifying the electoral college votes designating

Joseph R. Biden the 46th President of the United States. The rampage left

multiple people dead, injured more than 140 people, and inflicted millions of

dollars in damage to the Capitol. Then-Vice President Pence, Senators, and

Representatives were all forced to halt their constitutional duties and flee the

House and Senate chambers for safety.


Benjamin Franklin said, at the founding, that we have “[a] Republic” – “if [we]

can keep it.” The events of January 6th exposed the fragility of those

democratic institutions and traditions that we had perhaps come to take for

granted. In response, the President of the United States and Congress have

each made the judgment that access to this subset of presidential

communication records is necessary to address a matter of great constitutional

moment for the Republic. Former President Trump has given this court no

legal reason to cast aside President Biden’s assessment of the Executive Branch

interests at stake, or to create a separation of powers conflict that the Political

Branches have avoided.687

Several other witnesses have also avoided testifying in whole or in part by asserting

Executive Privilege or Absolute Immunity from any obligation to appear before Congress. For

example, the President’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows invoked both, and categorically refused

to testify, even about text messages he provided to the Committee. The House of

Representatives voted to hold him in criminal contempt.688 Although the Justice Department


has taken the position in litigation that a former high level White House staffer for a former

President is not entitled to absolute immunity,689 and that any interests in the confidentiality

of his communications with President Trump and others are overcome in this case, the Justice

Department declined to prosecute Meadows for criminal contempt. The reasons for Justice’s

refusal to do so are not apparent to the Committee.690 Commentators have speculated that

Meadows may be cooperating in the Justice Department’s January 6th investigation.691 The

same may be true for Daniel Scavino, President Trump’s White House Deputy Chief of Staff

for Communications and Director of Social Media, whom the House also voted to hold in


Steve Bannon also chose not to cooperate with the Committee, and the Justice

Department prosecuted him for contempt of Congress.693 Bannon has been sentenced and is

currently appealing his conviction. Peter Navarro, another White House Staffer who refused

to testify, is currently awaiting his criminal trial.694

Although the Committee issued letters and subpoenas to seven Republican members

of Congress who have unique knowledge of certain developments on or in relation to January

6th, none agreed to participate in the investigation; none considered themselves obligated to

comply with the subpoenas. A number of these same individuals were aware well in advance

of January 6th of the plotting by Donald Trump, John Eastman, and others to overturn the

election, and certain of them had an active role in that activity.695 None seem to have alerted

law enforcement of this activity, or of the known risk of violence. On January 5th, after

promoting unfounded objections to election results, Rep. Debbie Lesko appears to have

recognized the danger in a call with her colleagues:

I also ask leadership to come up with a safety plan for Members [of Congress].

. . . We also have, quite honestly, Trump supporters who actually believe that

we are going to overturn the election, and when that doesn’t happen—most

likely will not happen—they are going to go nuts.696

During our hearings, the Committee presented the testimony of numerous White

House witnesses who testified about efforts by certain Republican Members of Congress to

obtain Presidential pardons for their conduct in connection with January 6th.

697 Cassidy

Hutchinson provided extensive detail in this regard:

Vice Chair Cheney: And are you aware of any members of Congress seeking pardons?

Hutchinson: I guess Mr. Gaetz and Mr. Brooks, I know, have both advocated for

there'd be a blanket pardon for members involved in that meeting, and a — a handful

of other members that weren't at the December 21st meeting as the presumptive

pardons. Mr. Gaetz was personally pushing for a pardon, and he was doing so since

early December.

I’m not sure why Mr. Gaetz would reach out to me to ask if he could have a meeting

with Mr. Meadows about receiving a presidential pardon.

Vice Chair Cheney: Did they all contact you?


Hutchinson: Not all of them, but several of them did.

Vice Chair Cheney: So, you mentioned Mr. Gaetz, Mr. Brooks.

Hutchinson: Mr. Biggs did. Mr. Jordan talked about Congressional pardons, but he

never asked me for one. It was more for an update on whether the White House was

going to pardon members of Congress. Mr. Gohmert asked for one as well. Mr. Perry

asked for a pardon, too. I’m sorry.

Vice Chair Cheney: Mr. Perry? Did he talk to you directly?

Hutchinson: Yes, he did.

Vice Chair Cheney: Did Marjorie Taylor Greene contact you?

Hutchinson: No, she didn't contact me about it. I heard that she had asked White

House Counsel’s Office for a pardon from Mr. Philbin, but I didn't frequently

communicate with Ms. Greene.698

Many of these details were also corroborated by other sources. President Personnel

Director Johnny McEntee confirmed that he was personally asked for a pardon by

Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL).699 Eric Herschmann recalled that Rep. Gaetz “… asked for

a very, very broad pardon.… And I said Nixon’s pardon was never nearly that broad.”700 When

asked about reporting that Reps. Mo Brooks and Andy Biggs also requested pardons,

Herschmann did not reject either possibility out of hand, instead answering: “It’s possible

that Representative Brooks or Biggs, but I don’t remember.”701 The National Archives

produced to the Select Committee an email from Representative Mo Brooks to the President’s

executive assistant stating that “President Trump asked me to send you this letter” and “…

pursuant to a request from Matt Gaetz” that recommended blanket Presidential pardons to

every Member of Congress who objected to the electoral college votes on January 6th.702

These requests for pardons suggest that the members identified above were conscious

of the potential legal jeopardy arising from their conduct. As noted infra [], the Committee

has referred a number of these individuals to the House Ethics Committee for their failure to

comply with subpoenas, and believes that they each owe the American people their direct and

unvarnished testimony.

The Select Committee has also received a range of evidence suggesting specific efforts

to obstruct the Committee’s investigation. Much of this evidence is already known by the

Department of Justice and by other prosecutorial authorities. For example:

1. The Committee received testimony from a witness about her decision to terminate a

lawyer who was receiving payments for the representation from a group allied with

President Trump. Among other concerns expressed by the witness:


• The lawyer had advised the witness that the witness could, in certain

circumstances, tell the Committee that she did not recall facts when she actually

did recall them;

• During a break in the Select Committee’s interview, the witness expressed

concerns to her lawyer that an aspect of her testimony was not truthful. The

lawyer did not advise her to clarify the specific testimony that the witness believed

was not complete and accurate, and instead conveyed that, “They don’t know what

you know, [witness]. They don’t know that you can recall some of these things. So

you saying ‘I don't recall’ is an entirely acceptable response to this.”;

• The lawyer instructed the client about a particular issue that would cast a bad light

on President Trump: “No, no, no, no, no. We don’t want to go there. We don’t

want to talk about that.”;

• The lawyer refused directions from the client not to share her testimony before the

Committee with other lawyers representing other witnesses. The lawyer shared

such information over the client’s objection;

• The lawyer refused directions from the client not to share information regarding

her testimony with at least one and possibly more than one member of the press.

The lawyer shared the information with the press over her objection.

• The lawyer did not disclose who was paying for the lawyers’ representation of the

client, despite questions from the client seeking that information, and told her,

“we’re not telling people where funding is coming from right now”;

• The client was offered potential employment that would make her “financially very

comfortable” as the date of her testimony approached by entities apparently linked

to Donald Trump and his associates. Such offers were withdrawn or did not

materialize as reports of the content of her testimony circulated. The client

believed this was an effort to impact her testimony.

Further details regarding these instances will be available to the public when

transcripts are released.

2. Similarly, the witness testified that multiple persons affiliated with President Trump

contacted her in advance of the witness’s testimony and made the following


• What they said to me is, as long as I continue to be a team player, they know

that I am on the right team. I am doing the right thing. I am protecting

who I need to protect. You know, I will continue to stay in good graces in

Trump World. And they have reminded me a couple of times that Trump

does read transcripts and just keep that in mind as I proceed through my

interviews with the committee.


Here is another sample in a different context. This is a call received by one of our


• [A person] let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. He wants me

to let you know he’s thinking about you. He knows you’re a team player,

you’re loyal, and you’re going do the right thing when you go in for your


3. The Select Committee is aware of multiple efforts by President Trump to contact Select

Committee witnesses. The Department of Justice is aware of at least one of those


4. Rather than relying on representation by Secret Service lawyers at no cost, a small

number of Secret Service agents engaged private counsel for their interviews before

the Committee.

704 During one such witness’s transcribed interview, a retained private

counsel was observed writing notes to the witness regarding the content of the

witness’s testimony while the questioning was underway. The witness’s counsel

admitted on the record that he had done so.705

Recently, published accounts of the Justice Department’s Mar-a-Lago investigation

suggest that the Department is investigating the conduct of counsel for certain witnesses

whose fees are being paid by President Trump’s Save America Political Action Committee.706

The public report implies the Department is concerned that such individuals are seeking to

influence the testimony of the witnesses they represent.707 This Committee also has these

concerns, including that lawyers who are receiving such payments have specific incentives to

defend President Trump rather than zealously represent their own clients. The Department

of Justice and the Fulton County District Attorney have been provided with certain information

related to this topic.

The Select Committee recognizes of course that most of the testimony we have

gathered was given more than a year after January 6th. Recollections are not perfect, and the

Committee expects that different accounts of the same events will naturally vary. Indeed, the

lack of any inconsistencies in witness accounts would itself be suspicious. And many

witnesses may simply recall different things than others.

Many of the witnesses before this Committee had nothing at all to gain from their

testimony, gave straightforward responses to the questions posted, and made no effort to

downplay, deflect, or rationalize. Trump Administration Justice Department officials such as

Attorney General Bill Barr, Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, and Acting Deputy Attorney

General Richard Donoghue are good examples. Multiple members of President Trump’s White

House staff were also suitably forthcoming, including Sarah Matthews, Matthew Pottinger,

Greg Jacob, and Pat Philbin, as were multiple career White House and agency personnel whose

names the Committee agreed not to disclose publicly; as were former Secretary of Labor

Eugene Scalia, Bill Stepien, and certain other members of the Trump Campaign. The

Committee very much appreciates the earnestness and bravery of Cassidy Hutchinson, Rusty

Bowers, Shaye Moss, Ruby Freeman, Brad Raffensperger, Gabriel Sterling, Al Schmidt, and

many others who provided important live testimony during the Committees hearings.708


The Committee, along with our nation, offers particular thanks to Officers Caroline

Edwards, Michael Fanone, Harry Dunn, Aquilino Gonell, and Daniel Hodges, along with

hundreds of other members of law enforcement who defended the Capitol on that fateful day,

all of whom should be commended for their bravery and sacrifice. We especially thank the

families of Officer Brian Sicknick, Howard Liebengood and Jeffrey Smith, whose loss can never

be repaid.

The Committee very much appreciates the invaluable testimony of General Milley and

other members of our military, Judge J. Michael Luttig, and the important contributions of

Benjamin Ginsberg and Chris Stirewalt. This, of course is only a partial list, and the

Committee is indebted to many others, as well.

The Committee believes that White House Counsel Pat Cipollone gave a particularly

important account of the events of January 6th, as did White House lawyer, Eric Herschmann.

For multiple months, Cipollone resisted giving any testimony at all, asserting concerns about

executive privilege and other issues, until after the Committee’s hearing with Hutchinson.

When he did testify, Cipollone corroborated key elements of testimony given by several White

House staff, including Hutchinson – most importantly, regarding what happened in the

White House during the violence of January 6th – but also frankly recognized the limits on

what he could say due to privilege: “Again, I’m not going to get into either my legal advice

on matters, and the other thing I don’t want to do is, again, other witnesses have their own

recollections of things.” Cipollone also told the Committee that, to the extent that other

witnesses recall communications attributable to White House counsel that he does not, the

communications might have been with his deputy Pat Philbin, or with Eric Herschmann, who

had strong feelings and was particularly animated about certain issues.709

Of course, that is not to say that all witnesses were entirely frank or forthcoming.

Other witnesses, including certain witnesses from the Trump White House, displayed a lack

of full recollection of certain issues, or were not otherwise as frank or direct as Cipollone.

We cite two examples here, both relating to testimony played during the hearings.

Kayleigh McEnany was President Trump’s Press Secretary on January 6th. Her

deposition was taken early in the investigation. McEnany seemed to acknowledge that

President Trump: (1) should have instructed his violent supporters to leave the Capitol earlier

than he ultimately did on January 6th;

710 (2) should have respected the rulings of the courts;711

and (3) was wrong to publicly allege that Dominion voting machines stole the election.712 But

a segment of McEnany’s testimony seemed evasive, as if she was testifying from preprepared talking points. In multiple instances, McEnany’s testimony did not seem nearly as

forthright as that of her press office staff, who testified about what McEnany said.

For example, McEnany disputed suggestions that President Trump was resistant to

condemning the violence and urging the crowd at the Capitol to act peacefully when they

crafted his tweet at 2:38 p.m. on January 6th.

713 Yet one of her deputies, Sarah Matthews, told

the Select Committee that McEnany informed her otherwise: that McEnany and other

advisors in the dining room with President Trump persuaded him to send the tweet, but that

“… she said that he did not want to put that in and that they went through different phrasing


of that, of the mention of peace, in order to get him to agree to include it, and that it was

Ivanka Trump who came up with ‘stay peaceful’ and that he agreed to that phrasing to include

in the tweet, but he was initially resistant to mentioning peace of any sort.”714 When the

Select Committee asked “Did Ms. McEnany describe in any way how resistant the President

was to including something about being peaceful,” Matthews answered: “Just that he didn’t

want to include it, but they got him to agree on the phrasing ‘stay peaceful.’”715

The Committee invites the public to compare McEnany’s testimony with the

testimony of Pat Cipollone, Sarah Matthews, Judd Deere, and others,

Ivanka Trump is another example. Among other things, Ivanka Trump acknowledged

to the Committee that: (1) she agreed with Attorney General Barr’s statements that there was

no evidence of sufficient fraud to overturn the election; (2) the President and others are bound

by the rulings of the courts and the rule of law; (3) President Trump pressured Vice President

Pence on the morning of January 6th regarding his authorities at the joint session of Congress

that day to count electoral votes; and (4) President Trump watched the violence on television

as it was occurring.716 But again, Ivanka Trump was not as forthcoming as Cipollone and

others about President Trump’s conduct.

Indeed, Ivanka Trump’s Chief of Staff Julie Radford had a more specific recollection of

Ivanka Trump’s actions and statements. For example, Ivanka Trump had the following

exchange with the Committee about her attendance at her father’s speech on January 6th that

was at odds with what the Committee learned from Radford:

Committee Staff: It’s been reported that you ultimately decided to attend the rally

because you hoped that you would calm the President and keep the event on an even

keel. Is that accurate?

Ivanka Trump: No. I don’t know who said that or where that came from.717

However, this is what Radford said about her boss’s decision:

Committee Staff: What did she share with you about why it was concerning that her

father was upset or agitated after that call with Vice President Pence in relation to the

Ellipse rally? Why did that matter? Why did he have to be calmed down, I should say.

Radford: Well, she shared that he had called the Vice President a not – an expletive

word. I think that bothered her. And I think she could tell based on the conversations

and what was going on in the office that he was angry and upset and people were

providing misinformation. And she felt like she might be able to help calm the

situation down, at least before he went on stage.

Committee Staff: And the word that she relayed to you that the President called the

Vice President – apologize for being impolite – but do you remember what she said

her father called him?

Radford: The “P” word.718


When the Committee asked Ivanka Trump whether there were “[a]ny particular words

that you recall your father using during the conversation” that morning with Vice President

Pence, she answered simply: “No.”719

In several circumstances, the Committee has found that less senior White House aides

had significantly better recollection of events than senior staff purported to have.

The Select Committee also has concerns regarding certain other witnesses, including

those who still rely for their income or employment by organizations linked to President

Trump, such as the America First Policy Institute. Certain witnesses and lawyers were

unnecessarily combative, answered hundreds of questions with variants of “I do not recall”

in circumstances where that answer seemed unbelievable, appeared to testify from lawyerwritten talking points rather than their own recollections, provided highly questionable

rationalizations or otherwise resisted telling the truth. The public can ultimately make its

own assessment of these issues when it reviews the Committee transcripts and can compare

the accounts of different witnesses and the conduct of counsel.

One particular concern arose from what the Committee realized early on were a

number of intentional falsehoods in former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’s

December 7, 2021 book, The Chief’s Chief. 720 Here is one of several examples: Meadows wrote,

“When he got offstage, President Trump let me know that he had been speaking

metaphorically about going to the Capitol.”721 Meadows goes on in his book to claim that it

“was clear the whole time” President Trump didn’t intend to go to the Capitol.722 This

appeared to be an intentional effort to conceal the facts. Multiple witnesses directly

contradicted Meadows’s account about President Trump’s desire to travel to the Capitol,

including Kayleigh McEnany, Cassidy Hutchinson, multiple Secret Service agents, a White

House employee with national security responsibilities and other staff in the White House, a

member of the Metropolitan Police and others. This and several other statements in the

Meadows book were false, and the Select Committee was concerned that multiple witnesses

might attempt to repeat elements of these false accounts, as if they were the party line. Most

witnesses did not, but a few did.

President Trump’s desire to travel to the Capitol was particularly important for the

Committee to evaluate because it bears on President Trump’s intent on January 6th. One

witness account suggests that President Trump even wished to participate in the electoral

vote count from the House floor, standing with Republican Congressmen, perhaps in an effort

to apply further pressure to Vice President Mike Pence and others.


Mark Meadows’s former Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Anthony Ornato gave

testimony consistent with the false account in Meadows’s book. In particular, Ornato told

the Committee that he was not aware of a genuine push by the President to go to the Capitol,

suggesting instead that “it was one of those hypotheticals from the good idea fairy . . .

[b]ecause it’s ridiculous to think that a President of the United States can travel especially

with, you know, people around just on the street up to the Capitol and peacefully protest

outside the Capitol . . ..” 724 He told the Select Committee that the only conversation he had

about the possibility of the President traveling to the Capitol was in a single meeting officials


from the President’s advance team,

725 and his understanding is that this idea “wasn’t from

the President.”726 Two witnesses before the Committee, including a White House employee

with national security responsibilities and Hutchinson, testified that Ornato related an

account of PresidentTrump’s “irate” behavior when he was told in the Presidential SUV on

January 6th that he would not be driven to the Capitol.727 Both accounts recall Ornato doing

so from his office in the White House, with another member of the Secret Service present.728

Multiple other witness accounts indicate that the President genuinely was “irate,” “heated,”

“angry,” and “insistent” in the Presidential vehicle.729 But Ornato professed that he did not

recall either communication, and that he had no knowledge at all about the President’s


Likewise, despite a significant and increasing volume of intelligence information in

the days before January 6th showing that violence at the Capitol was indeed possible or likely,

and despite other intelligence and law enforcement agencies similar conclusions,

731 Ornato

claims never to have reviewed or had any knowledge of that specific information732 He testified

that he was only aware of warnings that opposing groups might “clash on the Washington

Monument” and that is what he “would have brief to [Chief of Staff] Meadows.”733 The

Committee has significant concerns about the credibility of this testimony, including because

it was Ornato’s responsibility to be aware of this information and convey it to

decisionmakers.734 The Committee will release Ornato’s November Transcript so the public

can review his testimony on these topics.


In the week after January 6th, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy initially

supported legislation to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6th attack

on the United States Capitol, stating that “the President bears responsibility for Wednesday’s

attack on Congress by mob rioters” and calling for creation of a “fact-finding commission.”735

Leader McCarthy repeated his support for a bipartisan commission during a press conference

on January 21: “The only way you will be able to answer these questions is through a

bipartisan commission.”736

On February 15, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced in a letter to the House

Democratic Caucus her intent to establish the type of independent commission McCarthy had

supported, to “investigate and report on the facts and causes relating to the January 6, 2021

domestic terrorist attack upon the United States Capitol Complex.”737 A few days thereafter,

Leader McCarthy provided the Speaker a wish list that mirrored “suggestions from the CoChairs of the 9/11 Commission” that he and House Republicans hoped would be included in

the House’s legislation to establish the Commission.738

In particular, Leader McCarthy requested an equal ratio of Democratic and Republican

nominations, equal subpoena power for the Democratic Chair and Republican Vice Chair of

the Commission, and the exclusion of predetermined findings or outcomes that the

Commission itself would produce. Closing his letter, Leader McCarthy quoted the 9/11

Commission Co-Chairs, writing that a “bipartisan independent investigation will earn

credibility with the American public.”739 He again repeated his confidence in achieving that

goal.740 In April 2021, Speaker Pelosi agreed to make the number of Republican and Democrat


members of the Commission equal, and to provide both parties with an equal say in

subpoenas, as McCarthy had requested.741

In May 2021, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson

began to negotiate more of the details for the Commission with his Republican counterpart,

Ranking Member John Katko.742 On May 14, Chairman Thompson announced that he and

Ranking Member Katko had reached an agreement on legislation to “form a bipartisan,

independent Commission to investigate the January 6th domestic terrorism attack on the

United States Capitol and recommend changes to further protect the Capitol, the citadel of our


On May 18, the day before the House’s consideration of the Thompson-Katko

agreement, Leader McCarthy released a statement in opposition to the legislation.744 Speaker

Pelosi responded to that statement, saying: “Leader McCarthy won’t take yes for an

answer.”745 The Speaker referred to Leader McCarthy’s February 22 letter where “he made

three requests to be addressed in Democrats’ discussion draft.”746 She noted that “every single

one was granted by Democrats, yet he still says no.”747

In the days that followed, Republican Ranking Member Katko defended the bipartisan

nature of the bill to create the Commission:

As I have called for since the days just after the attack, an independent, 9/11-style

review is critical for removing the politics around January 6 and focusing solely on the

facts and circumstances of the security breach at the Capitol, as well as other instances

of violence relevant to such a review. Make no mistake about it, Mr. Thompson and I

know this is about facts. It’s not partisan politics. We would have never gotten to this

point if it was about partisan politics.


That evening, the House passed the legislation to establish a National Commission to

Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol Complex in a bipartisan

fashion, with 35 Republicans joining 217 Democrats voting in favor and 175 Republicans voting

against.749 In the days thereafter, however, only six Senate Republicans joined Senate

Democrats in supporting the legislation, killing the bill in the Senate.750

On June 24, Speaker Pelosi announced her intent to create a House select committee

to investigate the attack.751 On June 25, Leader McCarthy met with DC Metropolitan Police

Officer Michael Fanone, who was seriously injured on January 6th.752 Officer Fanone pressed

Leader McCarthy “for a commitment not to put obstructionists and the wrong people in that


On June 30, the House voted on H. Res. 503 to establish the 13-member Select

Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol by a vote of 222

Yeas and 190 Nays with just two Republicans supporting the measure: Representative Liz

Cheney and Representative Adam Kinzinger.754 On July 1, Speaker Pelosi named eight initial

members to the Select Committee, including one Republican: Representative Cheney.755

On July 17th, Leader McCarthy proposed his selection of five members:

Rep. Jim Jordan, Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee;

Rep. Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota; House Energy and Commerce Committee;


Rep. Troy Nehls, House Transportation & Infrastructure and Veterans’ Affairs Committees.

Rep. Jim Banks, Armed Services, Veterans’ Affairs and Education and Labor Committees;

Rep. Rodney Davis, Ranking Member of the Committee on House Administration.756

Jordan was personally involved in the acts and circumstances of January 6th, and

would be one of the targets of the investigation. By that point, Banks had made public

statements indicating that he had already reached his own conclusions and had no intention

of cooperating in any objective investigation of January 6th, proclaiming, for example, that

the Select Committee was created “… solely to malign conservatives and to justify the Left’s

authoritarian agenda.”757

On July 21, Speaker Nancy Pelosi exercised her power under H. Res. 503 not to approve

the appointments of Rep. Jordan or Rep. Banks, expressing “concern about statements made

and actions taken by these Members” and “the impact their appointments may have on the

integrity of the investigation.”758 However, she also stated that she had informed Leader

McCarthy “… that I was prepared to appoint Representatives Rodney Davis, Kelly Armstrong

and Troy Nehls, and requested that he recommend two other Members.”759

In response, Leader McCarthy elected to remove all five of his Republican appointments,

refusing to allow Reps. Armstrong, Davis and Nehls to participate on the Select Committee.760

On July 25, 2021, Speaker Pelosi then appointed Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger.761 In

resisting the Committee’s subpoenas, certain litigants attempted to argue that the

Commission’s composition violated House Rules or H. Res. 503, but those arguments failed

in court.762


In its ten hearings or business meetings, the Select Committee called live testimony

or played video for several dozen witnesses, the vast majority of whom were Republicans. A

full list is set forth below.


● John McEntee (served as Director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office in

the Trump Administration)

● Judd Deere (served as deputy assistant to the President and White House deputy press

secretary in the administration of Donald Trump)

● Jared Kushner (served as a senior advisor to President Donald Trump)

● Pat Cipollone (served as White House Counsel for President Donald Trump)

● Eric Herschmann (served as a senior advisor to former President Donald Trump)

● Kayleigh McEnany (served the administration of Donald Trump as the 33rd White

House press secretary from April 2020 to January 2021)

● Derek Lyons (served as White House Staff Secretary and Counselor to the President in

the administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump)

● Cassidy Hutchinson (assistant to former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows during the

Trump administration)

● Matt Pottinger (served as the United States deputy national security advisor)


● Ben Williamson (senior advisor to chief of staff Mark Meadows)

● Sarah Matthews (served as the deputy press secretary for the Trump administration)

● William Barr (served as Attorney General for the Trump administration)

● Mike Pompeo (served as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency and as the 70th

United States Secretary of State for the Trump administration)

● Ivanka Trump (served as a senior advisor and director of the Office of Economic

Initiatives and Entrepreneurship for the Trump administration)

● Donald Trump Jr. (eldest child of Donald Trump)

● Molly Michael (served as Special Assistant to the President and Oval Office Operations


● Tim Murtaugh (served as director of communications for President Donald J. Trump’s

re-election campaign)

● Richard Donoghue (served as the acting United States deputy attorney general)

● Jeffrey Rosen (served as the acting United States attorney general from December 2020

to January 2021)

● Steven Engel (served as the United States Assistant Attorney General for the Office of

Legal Counsel in the Trump administration)

● Marc Short (served as chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence)

● Greg Jacob (served as White House lawyer to former Vice President Mike Pence)

● Keith Kellogg (served as National Security Advisor to the Vice President of the United


● Chris Hodgson (served as director of legislative affairs for Vice President Mike Pence)

● Douglas Macgregor (former advisor to the Secretary of Defense in the Trump


● Jason Miller (served as spokesman for the Donald Trump 2016 Presidential Campaign

and was a Senior Adviser to the Trump 2020 Re-election Campaign)

● Alex Cannon (an attorney for Donald Trump)

● Bill Stepien (served as the Campaign manager for Donald Trump's 2020 Presidential

Campaign and was the White House Director of Political Affairs in the Trump

administration from 2017 to 2018)

● Rudolph Giuliani (an attorney for Donald Trump)

● John Eastman (an attorney central to the Electoral College election theories to overturn

the results of the election)

● Michael Flynn (served as former National Security Advisor for the Trump


● Eugene Scalia (served as the United States secretary of labor during the final 16 months

of the Donald Trump administration)

● Matthew Morgan (Deputy Assistant to the Vice President and Deputy Counsel)

● Sidney Powell (served on President Trump’s legal team to overturn the results of the

2020 election)

● Jeffrey Clark (former United States Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division)

● Cleta Mitchell (served on President Trump’s legal team to overturn the results of the

2020 election)

● Ronna Romney McDaniel (serving as the chair of the Republican National Committee)


● Justin Clark (served as Director of Public Liaison and Director of Intergovernmental

Affairs at the White House under the Trump administration)

● Robert Sinners (a former campaign staffer for Donald Trump)

● Andrew Hitt (Former Wisconsin Republican Party Chair)

● Laura Cox (Former Michigan Republican Party Chair)

● Mike Shirkey (Majority Leader, Michigan State Senate - Republican)

● Bryan Cutler (Speaker, Pennsylvania House of Representatives - Republican)

● Rusty Bowers (Arizona House Speaker - Republican)

● Brad Raffensperger (Georgia Secretary of State - Republican)

● Gabriel Sterling (Georgia Secretary of State Chief Operating Officer - Republican)

● BJay Pak (Former United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia)

● Al Schmidt (Former City Commissioner of Philadelphia)

● Chris Stirewalt (Former Fox News Political Editor)

● Benjamin Ginsberg (Election Attorney)

● J. Michael Luttig (Retired judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and

informal advisor to Vice President Mike Pence)

● Katrina Pierson (served as a liaison for the White House and organizers at Donald

Trump’s “Save America” rally on January 6)