top of page

Final Report Searchable Text

Select Committee to Investigate the

January 6th

Attack on the United States Capitol

December 00, 2022
117th Congress Second Session
House Report 117-000

Union Calendar No. XXX
117th Congress
2d Session




Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
State of the Union and ordered to be printed



BENNIE G. THOMPSON Mississippi, Chairman
LIZ CHENEY Wyoming, Vice Chair
ZOE LOFGREN California
ADAM B. SCHIFF California

KATHERINE B. ABRAMS, Staff Associate
Investigative Counsel
ALEJANDRA APECECHEA, Investigative Counsel
LISA A. BIANCO, Director of Member Services
and Security Manager
BRYAN BONNER, Investigative Counsel
RICHARD R. BRUNO, Senior Administrative
MARCUS CHILDRESS, Investigative Counsel
JOHN MARCUS CLARK, Security Director
HEATHER I. CONNELLY, Professional Staff
MEGHAN E. CONROY, Investigator
HEATHER L. CROWELL, Printer Proofreader
WILLIAM C. DANVERS, Senior Researcher
Investigative Counsel
STEPHEN W. DEVINE, Senior Counsel
Staff Member
KEVIN S. ELLIKER, Investigative Counsel
SADALLAH A. FARAH, Professional Staff
DANIEL GEORGE, Senior Investigative Counsel
JACOB H. GLICK, Investigative Counsel
MARC S. HARRIS, Senior Investigative Counsel
QUINCY T. HENDERSON, Staff Assistant
JENNA HOPKINS, Professional Staff Member
CAMISHA L. JOHNSON, Professional Staff


Staff Director
Deputy Staff Director and Chief Counsel
Senior Counsel to the Chairman
Senior Counsel to the Vice Chair
Chief Investigative Counsel
Senior Advisor
Communications Director
Senior Counsel and Senior Advisor
Senior Investigative Counsel and
Of Counsel to the Vice Chair
THOMAS E. JOSCELYN, Senior Professional
Staff Member
CASEY E. LUCIER, Investigative Counsel
DAMON M. MARX, Professional Staff Member
EVAN B. MAULDIN, Chief Clerk
Communications Director
JONATHAN D. MURRAY, Professional Staff
JACOB A. NELSON, Professional Staff Member
RAYMOND O’MARA, Director of External
ELYES OUECHTATI, Technology Partner
ROBIN M. PEGUERO, Investigative Counsel
SANDEEP A. PRASANNA, Investigative Counsel
BARRY PUMP, Parliamentarian
SEAN M. QUINN, Investigative Counsel
BRITTANY M. J. RECORD, Senior Counsel
DENVER RIGGLEMAN, Senior Technical Advisor
JOSHUA D. ROSELMAN, Investigative Counsel
JAMES N. SASSO, Senior Investigative Counsel
GRANT H. SAUNDERS, Professional Staff
SAMANTHA O. STILES, Chief Administrative
SEAN P. TONOLLI, Senior Investigative Counsel
DAVID A. WEINBERG, Senior Professional Staff
AMANDA S. WICK, Senior Investigative
DARRIN L. WILLIAMS, JR., Staff Assistant



Washington, DC,
December 00, 2022.
Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives,
Washington, DC.
DEAR MS. JOHNSON: By direction of the Select
Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the
United States Capitol, I hereby transmit its final report
pursuant to section 4(a) of House Resolution 503, 117th




“I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of
the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will
bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation
freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I
will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am
about to enter: So help me God.”
All Members of the United States Congress take this sacred oath. On January
6, 2021, Democrats and Republicans agreed that we would fulfill this oath—
and that we had an obligation to signal to the world that American Democracy would prevail.
In furtherance of fulfilling this duty, the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol was charged with
investigating the facts, circumstances and causes that led to this domestic
terror attack on the Capitol, the Congress and the Constitution.
We owe a debt of gratitude to Chairman Bennie Thompson, Vice Chair
Liz Cheney, the patriotic Members of Congress and dedicated staff—who
devoted themselves to this investigation, to uncovering the truth and to
writing a report that is a “Roadmap for Justice.”
The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack has succeeded in bringing clarity and demonstrating with painstaking detail the
fragility of our Democracy. Above all, the work of the Select Committee
underscores that our democratic institutions are only as strong as the commitment of those who are entrusted with their care.
As the Select Committee concludes its work, their words must be a
clarion call to all Americans: to vigilantly
guard our Democracy and to give our vote
only to those dutiful in their defense of our
Let us always honor our oath to, as
Abraham Lincoln said, “nobly save, or
meanly lose, the last best hope of earth.”
So help us God.

Speaker of the House



We were told to remove our lapel pins. At the start of every new Congress,
House Members are presented with lapel pins. They are about the size of a
quarter and carry a seal of a bald eagle.
On a routine day in the Capitol, there are thousands of tourists, advocates, and workers. Typically, the pins are an easy way to spot House Members.
However, on January 6, 2021, the pin that once was a badge of honor
and distinction turned into a bullseye.
On that day, tear gas fogged the air as gunfire rang out, and a violent
mob crashed against the sealed doors. Concerned for our safety, Capitol
Police officers told us that our lapel pins would make us a target for rioters.
As the Capitol Police rushed Members of Congress and staff to safety,
that simple and, in context, sensible warning stuck with me. On January 6,
2021, my colleagues and I came to work with the intent of fulfilling our
oaths of office and constitutional duty to carry out the peaceful transfer of
power. We were the people’s representatives in the people’s House doing
the people’s business. Sadly, on that day, the danger was too great for our
work to continue and for us to remain in the Capitol. It was too dangerous
to be identified as a representative of the American people.
I’ve been a Member of the House for nearly 30 years. In that time,
there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t feel a profound sense of duty and
responsibility to the men and women who sent me to Congress to be their
voice. After all, I’m from a part of the country where, in my lifetime, Black
people were excluded entirely from political processes. Jim Crow laws prevented my father from registering to vote, and tragically during his life, he
never cast a vote.
For generations, the people in communities I represent have struggled
to have their voices heard by their government. Therefore, I take my duties
and responsibilities seriously, advocating for greater economic opportunity,
robust infrastructure, better schools, and safer housing for my constituents.
However, that long struggle to overcome oppression and secure basic
civil and human rights continues to be my highest priority. I am always
mindful of the journey that brought me to Washington as a member of
Congress to be the voice of the women and men of Mississippi. As a violent
mob stormed the Capitol trying to take away people’s votes, rioters carried
the battle flag from a failed rebellion of confederate states. This moment
resonated deeply with me because of my personal history. Additionally, I
continually think about the ongoing struggle to ensure justice and equality
for all Americans.



The Capitol building itself is a fixture in our country’s history, of both
good and bad. After all, this structure is among the most recognizable symbols of American democracy. The Capitol’s shining dome, topped with the
statue of goddess Freedom, was built partially by the labor of enslaved
people in the 18th and 19th centuries. Dark chapters of America’s history
are written into the building’s marble, sandstone, and mortar. And yet in
the halls and chambers of this building, leaders of courage passed amendments to our Constitution and enacted the laws that banned slavery, guaranteed equal rights under the law, expanded the vote, promoted equality,
and moved our country, and her people, forward. The Capitol Building itself
is a symbol of our journey toward a more perfect union. It is a temple to our
Those great moments in our history have come when men and women
put loyalty to our country and Constitution ahead of politics and party.
They did the right thing. The work of the Select Committee certainly originates from the same tradition. Our bipartisan membership has moved politics to the side and focused on the facts, circumstances, and causes of
January 6th.
When I think back to January 6th, after nearly a year and a half of
investigation, I am frightened about the peril our democracy faced. Specifically, I think about what that mob was there to do: to block the peaceful
transfer of power from one president to another based on a lie that the
election was rigged and tainted with widespread fraud.
I also think about why the rioters were there, besieging the legislative
branch of our government. The rioters were inside the halls of Congress
because the head of the executive branch of our government, the thenPresident of the United States, told them to attack. Donald Trump summoned that mob to Washington, DC. Afterward, he sent them to the Capitol
to try to prevent my colleagues and me from doing our Constitutional duty
to certify the election. They put our very democracy to the test.
Trump’s mob came dangerously close to succeeding. Courageous law
enforcement officers put their lives on the line for hours while Trump sat in
the White House, refusing to tell the rioters to go home, while watching the
assault on our republic unfold live on television.
When it was clear the insurrection would fail, Trump finally called off
the mob, telling them, “We love you.” Afterward, Congress was able to
return to this Capitol Building and finish the job of counting the Electoral
College votes and certifying the election.
This is the key conclusion of the Select Committee, all nine of us,
Republicans and Democrats alike.



But who knows what would have happened if Trump’s mob had succeeded in stopping us from doing our job? Who knows what sort of constitutional grey zone our country would have slid into? Who would have been
left to correct that wrong?
As required by House Resolution 503, which established the Select
Committee, we’ve explored in great detail the facts, circumstances, and
causes of the attack. This report will provide new details that supplement
those findings the committee already presented during our hearings.
But there are some questions for which there are still no clear answers,
even if all the facts, circumstances, and causes are brought to bear. The
“What If?” questions. For the good of American democracy, those questions
must never again be put to the test. So, while it’s important that this report
lays out what happened, it’s just as important to focus on how to make sure
that January 6th was a one-time event—to identify the ongoing threats
that could lead us down that dangerous path again—with hopes and
humble prayers that the committee’s work is carried on through corrective
This report will provide greater detail about the multistep effort devised
and driven by Donald Trump to overturn the 2020 election and block the
transfer of power. Building on the information presented in our hearings
earlier this year, we will present new findings about Trump’s pressure
campaign on officials from the local level all the way up to his Vice President, orchestrated and designed solely to throw out the will of the voters
and keep him in office past the end of his elected term.
As we’ve shown previously, this plan faltered at several points because
of the courage of officials (nearly all of them Republicans) who refused to
go along with it. Donald Trump appeared to believe that anyone who shared
his partisan affiliation would also share the same callous disregard for his
or her oath to uphold the rule of law. Fortunately, he was wrong.
The failure of Trump’s plan was not assured. To the contrary, Trump’s
plan was successful at several turns. When his scheme to stay in power
through political pressure hit roadblocks, he relentlessly pushed ahead with
a parallel plan: summoning a mob to gather in Washington, DC on January
6th, promising things “will be wild!”
That mob showed up. They were armed. They were angry. They believed
the “Big Lie” that the election had been stolen. And when Donald Trump
pointed them toward the Capitol and told them to “fight like hell,” that’s
exactly what they did.
Donald Trump lit that fire. But in the weeks beforehand, the kindling he
ultimately ignited was amassed in plain sight.



That’s why as part of the Select Committee’s investigation, we took a
hard look at whether enough was done to mitigate that risk. Our investigative teams focused on the way intelligence was gathered, shared, and
assessed. We probed preparations by law enforcement agencies and security
responses on the day of the attack. We followed the money, to determine
who paid for a number of events in the run-up to the attack and to gain a
clearer understanding of the way the former President’s campaign apparatus cashed in on the big lie. And we pulled back the curtain at certain major
social media companies to determine if their policies and protocols were up
to the challenge when the President spread a message of violence and his
supporters began to plan and coordinate their descent on Washington.
The Select Committee’s conclusion on these matters—particularly
dealing with intelligence and law enforcement—is consistent with our
broader findings about the causes of January 6th. Were agencies perfect in
their preparations for January 6th and their responses as the violence
unfolded? Of course not. Relevant oversight committees and watchdogs
should continue to find efficiencies and improvements, some of which are
laid out in Committee’s recommendations.
But the shortfall of communications, intelligence and law enforcement
around January 6th was much less about what they did or did not know. It
was more about what they could not know. The President of the United
States inciting a mob to march on the Capitol and impede the work of Congress is not a scenario our intelligence and law enforcement communities
envisioned for this country. Prior to January 6th, it was unimaginable.
Whatever weaknesses existed in the policies, procedures, or institutions,
they were not to blame for what happened on that day.
And so, when I think about the ongoing threats—when I think about
how to avoid having to confront those “What-Ifs?” in the future—my concerns are less with the mechanics of intelligence gathering and security
posture, as important as those questions are. My concerns remain first and
foremost with those who continue to seek power at the expense of American democracy.
What if those election officials had given in to Donald Trump’s pressure? What if the Justice Department had gone along with Trump’s scheme
to declare the 2020 election fraudulent? What if the Vice President had tried
to throw out electoral votes? What if the rioters bent on stopping the
peaceful transfer of power hadn’t been repelled?
To cast a vote in the United States of America is an act of both hope and
faith. When you drop that ballot in the ballot box, you do so with the confidence that every person named on that ballot will hold up their end of the
bargain. The person who wins must swear an oath and live up to it. The



people who come up short must accept the ultimate results and abide by the
will of the voters and the rule of law. This faith in our institutions and laws
is what upholds our democracy.
If that faith is broken—if those who seek power accept only the results
of elections that they win—then American democracy, only a few centuries
old, comes tumbling down.
That’s the danger.
What’s the solution?
The Committee believes a good starting point is the set of recommendations we set forth in our report, pursuant to House Resolution 503.
Driven by our investigative findings, these recommendations will help
strengthen the guardrails of our democracy.
Beyond what we recommend, in my view and as I said during our hearings, the best way to prevent another January 6th is to ensure accountability for January 6th. Accountability at all levels.
I have confidence in our Department of Justice and institutions at the
state and local level to ensure accountability under the law. As this report is
released, we see those processes moving forward.
But preventing another January 6th will require a broader sort of
accountability. Ultimately, the American people chart the course for our
country’s future. The American people decide whom to give the reins of
power. If this Select Committee has accomplished one thing, I hope it has
shed light on how dangerous it would be to empower anyone whose desire
for authority comes before their commitment to American democracy and
the Constitution.
I believe most Americans will turn their backs on those enemies of
But some will rally to the side of the election deniers, and when I think
about who some of those people are, it troubles me deep inside. White
supremacists. Violent extremists. Groups that subscribe to racism, antiSemitism, and violent conspiracy theories; those who would march through
the halls of the Capitol waving the Confederate battle flag.
These are people who want to take America backward, not toward some
imagined prior greatness, but toward repression. These are people who
want to roll back what we’ve accomplished. I believe that those who aligned
with the scheme to overturn the election heeded Donald Trump’s call to
march on the Capitol because they thought taking up Donald Trump’s cause
was a way to advance their vile ambitions.
That is why I did not remove my lapel pin on January 6th.
Our country has come too far to allow a defeated President to turn himself into a successful tyrant by upending our democratic institutions,



fomenting violence, and, as I saw it, opening the door to those in our country whose hatred and bigotry threaten equality and justice for all Americans.
We can never surrender to democracy’s enemies. We can never allow
America to be defined by forces of division and hatred. We can never go
backward in the progress we have made through the sacrifice and dedication of true patriots. We can never and will never relent in our pursuit of a
more perfect union, with liberty and justice for all Americans.
I pray that God continues to bless the United States of America.




In April 1861, when Abraham Lincoln issued the first call for volunteers for
the Union Army, my great-great grandfather, Samuel Fletcher Cheney,
joined the 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He fought through all four years of
the Civil War, from Chickamauga to Stones River to Atlanta. He marched
with his unit in the Grand Review of Troops up Pennsylvania Avenue in May
1865, past a reviewing stand where President Johnson and General Grant
were seated.
Silas Canfield, the regimental historian of the 21st OVI, described the
men in the unit this way:
Industry had taught them perseverance, and they had learned to turn
aside for no obstacle. Their intelligence gave them a just appreciation of
the value and advantage of free government, and the necessity of
defending and maintaining it, and they enlisted prepared to accept all
the necessary labors, fatigues, exposures, dangers, and even death for
the unity of our Nation, and the perpetuity of our institutions.1
I have found myself thinking often, especially since January 6th, of my
great-great grandfather, and all those in every generation who have sacrificed so much for “the unity of our Nation and the perpetuity of our institutions.”
At the heart of our Republic is the guarantee of the peaceful transfer of
power. Members of Congress are reminded of this every day as we pass
through the Capitol Rotunda. There, eight magnificent paintings detail the
earliest days of our Republic. Four were painted by John Trumbull, including one depicting the moment in 1793 when George Washington resigned
his commission, handing control of the Continental Army back to Congress.
Trumbull called this, “one of the highest moral lessons ever given the
world.” With this noble act, George Washington established the indispensable example of the peaceful transfer of power in our nation.
Standing on the West Front of the Capitol in 1981, President Ronald
Reagan described it this way:
To a few of us here today, this is a solemn and most momentous occasion, and yet in the history of our nation it is a commonplace occurrence.
The orderly transfer of authority as called for in the Constitution routinely takes place, as it has for almost two centuries, and few of us stop
to think how unique we really are. In the eyes of many in the world, this
every-4-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a



Every President in our history has defended this orderly transfer of
authority, except one. January 6, 2021 was the first time one American
President refused his Constitutional duty to transfer power peacefully to the
In our work over the last 18 months, the Select Committee has recognized our obligation to do everything we can to ensure this never happens
again. At the outset of our investigation, we recognized that tens of millions
of Americans had been persuaded by President Trump that the 2020 Presidential election was stolen by overwhelming fraud. We also knew this was
flatly false, and that dozens of state and federal judges had addressed and
resolved all manner of allegations about the election. Our legal system
functioned as it should, but our President would not accept the outcome.
What most of the public did not know before our investigation is this:
Donald Trump’s own campaign officials told him early on that his claims of
fraud were false. Donald Trump’s senior Justice Department officials—each
appointed by Donald Trump himself—investigated the allegations and told
him repeatedly that his fraud claims were false. Donald Trump’s White
House lawyers also told him his fraud claims were false. From the beginning, Donald Trump’s fraud allegations were concocted nonsense, designed
to prey upon the patriotism of millions of men and women who love our
Most Americans also did not know exactly how Donald Trump, along
with a handful of others, planned to defeat the transfer of Presidential
power on January 6th. This was not a simple plan, but it was a corrupt one.
This report lays that plan out in detail—a plan that ultimately had seven
parts, anticipating that Vice President Pence, serving in his role as President of the Senate, would refuse to count official Biden electoral slates from
multiple states. We understood from the beginning that explaining all the
planning and machinations would be complex and would require many
hours of public presentations and testimony. We also understood that our
presentations needed to be organized into a series of hearings that presented the key evidence for the American public to watch live or streamed
over a reasonable time period, rather than rely on second-hand accounts as
reported by media organizations with their own editorial biases. We organized our hearings in segments to meet that goal. Tens of millions of
Americans watched.
Among the most shameful findings from our hearings was this: President Trump sat in the dining room off the Oval Office watching the violent
riot at the Capitol on television. For hours, he would not issue a public
statement instructing his supporters to disperse and leave the Capitol,
despite urgent pleas from his White House staff and dozens of others to do
so. Members of his family, his White House lawyers, virtually all those
around him knew that this simple act was critical. For hours, he would not



do it. During this time, law enforcement agents were attacked and seriously
injured, the Capitol was invaded, the electoral count was halted and the
lives of those in the Capitol were put at risk. In addition to being unlawful,
as described in this report, this was an utter moral failure—and a clear dereliction of duty. Evidence of this can be seen in the testimony of his White
House Counsel and several other White House witnesses. No man who
would behave that way at that moment in time can ever serve in any position of authority in our nation again. He is unfit for any office.





In presenting all of the information in our hearings, we decided that the
vast majority of our witnesses needed to be Republicans. They were. We
presented evidence from two former Trump Administration Attorneys General, a former White House Counsel, many former Trump-appointed White
House, Justice Department, and Trump Campaign staff, a respected former
conservative judge, the former Secretary of Labor, and many others.
Like our hearings, this report is designed to deliver our findings in
detail in a format that is accessible for all Americans. We do so in an executive summary, while also providing immense detail for historians and others. We are also releasing transcripts and evidence for the public to review,
consistent with a small number of security and privacy concerns. A section
of this report also explains the legal conclusions we draw from the evidence, and our concerns about efforts to obstruct our investigation.
The Committee recognizes that this investigation is just a beginning; it
is only an initial step in addressing President Trump’s effort to remain in
office illegally. Prosecutors are considering the implications of the conduct
we describe in this report. As are voters. John Adams wrote in 1761, “The
very ground of our liberties is the freedom of elections.” Faith in our elections and the rule of law are paramount to our Republic. Election-deniers—
those who refuse to accept lawful election results—purposely attack the
rule of law and the foundation of our country.
As you read this report, please consider this: Vice President Pence,
along with many of the appointed officials who surrounded Donald Trump,
worked to defeat many of the worst parts of Trump’s plan to overturn the
election. This was not a certainty. It is comforting to assume that the institutions of our Republic will always withstand those who try to defeat our
Constitution from within. But our institutions are only strong when those
who hold office are faithful to our Constitution. We do not know what
would have happened if the leadership of the Department of Justice
declared, as Donald Trump requested, that the election was “corrupt,” if
Jeff Clark’s letters to State Legislatures had been sent, if Pat Cipollone, Jeff
Rosen, Richard Donoghue, Steve Engel and others were not serving as
guardrails on Donald Trump’s abuses.



Part of the tragedy of January 6th is the conduct of those who knew that
what happened was profoundly wrong, but nevertheless tried to downplay
it, minimize it or defend those responsible. That effort continues every day.
Today, I am perhaps most disappointed in many of my fellow conservatives
who know better, those who stood against the threats of communism and
Islamic terrorism but concluded that it was easier to appease Donald
Trump, or keep their heads down. I had hoped for more from them.
The late Charles Krauthammer wrote, “The lesson of our history is that
the task of merely maintaining strong and sturdy the structures of a constitutional order is unending, the continuing and ceaseless work of every generation.” This task is unending because democracy can be fragile and our
institutions do not defend themselves.
The history of our time will show that the bravery of a handful of
Americans, doing their duty, saved us from an even more grave Constitutional crisis. Elected officials, election workers, and public servants stood
against Donald Trump’s corrupt pressure. Many of our witnesses showed
selfless patriotism and their words and courage will be remembered.
The brave men and women of the Capitol Police, Metropolitan Police
and all the other law enforcement officers who fought to defend us that day
undoubtedly saved lives and our democracy.
Finally, I wish to thank all who honorably contributed to the work of
the Committee and to this Report. We accomplished much over a relatively
short period of time, and many of you sacrificed for the good of your
nation. You have helped make history and, I hope, helped right the ship.

Vice Chair


Silas S. Canfield, History of the 21st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the War of the
Rebellion (Vrooman, Anderson & Bateman, printers, 1893), p. 10.



Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Foreword: Speaker of the House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Foreword: Chairman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Foreword: Vice Chair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Executive Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Executive Summary: Overview of the Evidence
Developed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Referrals to the U.S. Department of Justice Special Counsel
and House Ethics Committee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Efforts to Avoid Testifying, Evidence of Obstruction, and
Assessments of Witness Credibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Summary: Creation of the Select Committee; Purposes . . . . . .


Select Committee Witnesses Were Almost Entirely
Republican . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


THE BIG LIE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


1.1 The Big Lie Reflected Deliberate Exploitation of the
“Red Mirage” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


1.2 Trump’s Pre-Election Plans to Declare Victory . . . . . . . . . . .


1.3 Trump’s Pre-Election Efforts to Delegitimize the
Election Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


1.4 President Trump’s Launch of the Big Lie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


1.5 Post-Election: President Trump Replaces His Campaign
Team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


1.6 President Trump’s Campaign Team Told Him He Lost
the Election and There Was No Significant Fraud . . . . . . .


1.7 President Trump Had His Day in Court . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


1.8 President Trump Repeatedly Promoted Conspiracy
Theories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


1.9 President Trump’s January 6th Speech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Chapter 1

Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

“I JUST WANT TO FIND 11,780 VOTES” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


2.1 The Electoral College, and President Trump’s Attempt
to Subvert It . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


2.2 The Plan Emerges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


2.3 Outreach and Implementation of the Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


2.4 An Outright Request for Victory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


2.5 Some Officials Eagerly Assisted President Trump With
His Plans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


2.6 The Final Outreach to State Legislators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


2.7 The Harm Caused by Demonizing Public Servants . . . . . . .


STRATEGY” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


3.1 Laying the Groundwork for the Fake Elector Plan: The
Chesebro Memos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


3.2 President Trump and the Campaign Adopt the Fake
Elector Scheme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


3.3 The Campaign Legal Team Bows Out, and Giuliani Steps
In . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


3.4 Some of the Proposed Fake Electors Express Concerns
About the Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


3.5 On December 14th, The Fake Electors Meet and Vote . . .


3.6 The Fallout from the Fake Elector Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .




4.1 The DOJ Found No Significant Evidence of Fraud . . . . . . . .


4.2 November 23, 2020: Barr Challenges President Trump’s
Election Lies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


4.3 December 1, 2020: President Trump is Irate After Barr
Says There is No Significant Fraud . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


4.4 December 14, 2020: Barr Submits His Resignation . . . . . .




Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Chapter 5

Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and Acting
Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue Hold the
Line . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



President Trump is Introduced to Jeffrey Clark . . . . . . . .



December 27th Phone Call . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Congressman Scott Perry Calls Donoghue . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



December 28, 2020: The Clark Letter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


4.10 December 29th Meeting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


4.11 Rosen’s December 30th Call with President Trump . . . . .


4.12 December 31st Meeting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


4.13 January 2, 2021: Rosen and Donoghue Confront Clark
Again . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


4.14 January 3, 2021: Clark Informs DOJ Leadership that He
Will Accept President Trump’s Offer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


4.15 President Trump’s Unprecedented Attempt to Subvert
the DOJ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


“A COUP IN SEARCH OF A LEGAL THEORY” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


5.1 President Trump and His Allies Embark on a Desperate
Gambit to Block Certification of the 2020 Presidential
Election. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


5.2 President Trump and his Allies Exert Intense Public and
Private Pressure on the Vice President in Advance of
the Joint Session of Congress on January 6th . . . . . . . . . . .


5.3 President Trump and his Allies Continue to Pressure
the Vice President on January 6th, Threatening His Life
and Our Democracy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


5.4 President Trump Endangers Pence’s Life, Causing the
Vice President, His Family, and Staff to Narrowly
Miss the Rioters as They Flee the Mob Attacking the
Capitol. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


5.5 Aftermath of the Attack. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Chapter 6

“BE THERE, WILL BE WILD!” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

How Far-Right Extremists and Conspiracy Theorists
Planned for January 6th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



The Proud Boys: “[Y]ou Want to Storm the Capitol” . . . .



The Oath Keepers: “He Called Us All to the Capitol
and Wants Us to Make it Wild!!!” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


“Trump Said It’s Gonna be Wild!!!!!!! It’s Gonna be
Wild!!!!!!!” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



“Ready to Step in And Do What Is Needed” . . . . . . . . . . . .



“Friends of Stone” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



White Nationalists: “The Capitol Siege was Fucking
Awesome…” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



The Three (III%) Percenters: “#OccupyCongress” . . . . . . .



QAnon: “Operation Occupy the Capitol” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


6.10 TheDonald.win: “Occupy the Capitol” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


6.11 How the White House and Rally Organizers Prepared
for January 6th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


6.12 “He’s Calling on You, He Needs Your Help” . . . . . . . . . . . . .


6.13 “Trump is Supposed to Order Us to the Capitol” . . . . . . .


6.14 “Well, I Should Walk With the People.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


6.15 “POTUS…Likes the Crazies.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


6.16 January 5, 2021: “Fort Trump” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


6.17 “Together, We Will STOP THE STEAL.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


187 MINUTES OF DERELICTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


7.1 “Reinsert the Mike Pence Lines” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



“I’ll Be There With You” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



The President’s Anger When He Could Not March to
the Capitol . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Chapter 7




Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Chapter 8

“We’re Going to Try to Get the President to Put Out a
Statement” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



“He Doesn’t Want to Do Anything” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



“He Thinks Mike Deserves It” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



“I Guess They’re Just More Upset About the Election
Theft Than You Are” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



“Stay Peaceful!” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



“The President Needs to Stop This ASAP” . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


7.10 “We Love You. You’re Very Special” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


7.11 “Remember This Day Forever!” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


7.12 President Trump Still Sought to Delay the Joint
Session . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


7.13 He “Just Didn’t Want to Talk About It Anymore” . . . . . . . .


7.14 President Trump’s “Rhetoric Killed Someone” . . . . . . . . . .


ANALYSIS OF THE ATTACK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


8.1 The Mob Assembles in Washington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


8.2 March of the Proud Boys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


8.3 The Initial Attack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


8.4 President Trump’s Mob Descends on the U.S. Capitol . . .


8.5 The Mob Surges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


8.6 The United States Capitol is Breached . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


8.7 President Trump Pours Fuel on the Fire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


8.8 The Evacuation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


8.9 Clearing the U.S. Capitol Building and Restricted
Grounds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Appendix 1

JANUARY 6TH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


JANUARY 6TH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


APPENDIX 3: THE BIG RIP-OFF: FOLLOW THE MONEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


APPENDIX 4: MALIGN FOREIGN INFLUENCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .




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

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



Protestors gather at the Capitol.

(Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

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
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

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.
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.
8. Donald Trump purposely verified false information filed in Federal
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 counter-demonstration, 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.
16. Hundreds of Capitol and DC Metropolitan police officers performed
their duties bravely on January 6th, and America owes those individuals 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.
This Report also examines the legal implications of Donald Trump and
his co-conspirators’ 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.
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,
whom many others followed. None of the events of January 6th would have
happened without him.
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
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



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” 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, William 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



President Trump declares victory in a speech at an election night party.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

evidence of President 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
President Trump and understood that President 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 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 President Trump was telling the
truth on election night—that President 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.
Committee Staff: And that was based, Mr. Miller, on Matt and the
data team’s assessment of this sort of county-by-county, State-byState 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 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
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
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”:
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


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.141 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



Taped footage of William Barr speaking to the January 6th Select Committee is shown at
one of its hearings.

(Photo by Mandel Ngan-Pool/Getty Images)

“trying to steal the election,” and that Vice President Biden would be an
“illegitimate president” if he took office.
Ultimately, Attorney General 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
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



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
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 two 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 Wisconsin.150
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, 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 authority.155
This is how the Vice President later described his views in a public
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 un-American 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 election.156

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, 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 . . . [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 Eastman on the
evening of January 5, 2021, 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 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 Eastman—at all.
None.” 162 Judge Luttig completely rejected 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 history.” 163
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 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?” 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



Greg Jacob and Judge Michael Luttig testify at January 6th Select Committee hearing.

(Photo by House Creative Services)

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 Eastman in the hallway
outside the Oval Office and expressed his disapproval of and anger with
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 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 Eastman was
aware of his views.169
Likewise, Eric Herschmann, another White House lawyer, expressed the
same understanding that Eastman’s plan “obviously made no sense” and
“had no practical ability to work.” 170 Herschmann also recounted telling
Eastman directly that his plan was “completely crazy”:
And I said to [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 Eastman had
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, 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 the 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.176
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



President Trump speaks with Vice President Pence over the phone in the Oval Office on the
morning of January 6th.

(Photo provided to the Select Committee by the National Archives and Records Administration)

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 election.184
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 off-script 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
“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 Constitution.” 189
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
“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.” [Cheers]194
“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 gate.202
Then we heard the news on [P]ence . . . And lost it . . . So we
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 that force.205
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, 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 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 Eastman’s emails from his employer, Chapman University.212
Eastman sued to prevent Chapman from producing the emails, arguing that
the emails were attorney-client privileged. Federal District Court Judge
David Carter reviewed 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 Eastman’s clients or by Eastman
himself. In addition to reviewing the emails themselves, Judge Carter
reviewed substantial additional evidence presented by the Select Committee
and by 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
Judge Luttig reached similar conclusions during his live hearing testimony: “I have written, as you said, Chairman Thompson, that, today,
almost two 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 second-guess 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
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.218
McDaniel agreed to provide that assistance.219
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



Graphic depicting the difference between the real and the fake elector certificates.

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 midDecember, 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 “Whac-A-Mole” in the White House during this
period.226 Cipollone agreed with this characterization.227
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
Committee Staff: [T]o 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.230
Despite the fact that all major election lawsuits thus far had failed,
President Trump and his co-conspirators 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.235
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 2020] 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 here:
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. President Trump also made a thinly veiled threat to Raffensperger and his attorney about his failure to respond to President 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 happen.” 239
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 President Trump’s
repeated attacks on Raffensperger, election workers, and other public servants about President 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 President Trump and his team, a
warning that the Select Committee has determined President Trump apparently saw and disregarded:242
[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 cellphone.
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, President 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, at 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



Gabriel Sterling at a press conference on November 6, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia.

(Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

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 President 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 President Trump, Giuliani, and members of Giuliani’s
legal team, in person or on the phone. During these calls, President 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 President 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
President 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, President 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 President Trump and Giuliani, who joined by phone, went through a
“litany” of false allegations about supposed fraud in Michigan’s election.255
Chatfield recalled President 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 President Trump.256 Shirkey told President 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 President 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 co-conspirators 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, U.S. District Court Judge David Carter issued a further
ruling relating to one of President Trump’s lawsuits in Georgia. Judge
Carter applied the crime-fraud 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



Steven Engel, Jeffrey Rosen and Richard Donoghue at a Select Committee hearing on June
23, 2022.

(Photo by House Creative Services)

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 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 the stolen election
claims were false; both Rosen and Donoghue told President Trump this
comprehensively and repeatedly.
One of those conversations occurred on December 27th, when President
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, President 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 another.271
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
President Trump’s fraud allegations, Donoghue recorded in handwritten
notes a request President 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 President 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 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
President 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
President 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 President 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 President 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
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. Constitution.” 293
Clark’s draft letter also referenced the fake electors that President
Trump and his campaign organized—arguing falsely that there were currently two competing slates of legitimate Presidential electors in Georgia:294
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.295
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
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. President 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 President 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
President 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 resign:
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 done.”314
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
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, President 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 on members of far-right extremist groups,
like the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, and others, and on
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.322
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 then added “IF TRUMP TELLS US TO STORM THE FUKIN CAPITAL IMA DO THAT THEN!” 326 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 handselected 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 objectives.334

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
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 co-conspirators, 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 follows:
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.348
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 Instagram:
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 votes.350
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.364
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
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
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 people 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



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 Wild.” 396
The Secret Service learned from the FBI on January 5th about rightwing groups establishing armed quick reaction forces in Virginia, where
they could amass firearms illegal in DC397 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
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.



Noose set up outside of the Capitol on January 6th.

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
And I remember saying to him, “What do you mean?”



Mark Meadows walks along the South Lawn on October 30, 2020.

(Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

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
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 testimony:
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 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 President 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 President 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



President Trump looks backstage at the crowd gathered at the Ellipse.

(Photo provided to the Select Committee by the National Archives and Records Administration)

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, President 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 inside.
Cassidy Hutchinson: That’s what was relayed several times and in
different iterations
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 anyway:



. . . 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
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 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.” 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
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 message:
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. Giuliani,
for instance, also said, “Let’s have trial by combat.” 438 Likewise, 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 President 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
and military 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 comment:
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.451
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 intentions:
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 2,000 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 allegations.
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 reopened.458
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
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.468 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
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 got 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 Capitol?”
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 did 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
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 House?
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 Matthews explained, he could have done so in under a
. . . 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
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
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 down” 487
3:09 p.m. from former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus:
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
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
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 morethan-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
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R–WA), to whom McCarthy spoke soon
after, relayed more of the conversation between McCarthy and President
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.503
As already noted, Cipollone and others in the White House repeatedly
urged President Trump to tell his supporters to leave the Capitol. Cipollone



described his conversations with 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
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 on the White House staff the Select Committee interviewed condemned the 2:24 p.m. tweet in the strongest terms.


Police officers attempt to clear rioters inside the Capitol building.


(Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images)

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 Pence and indicated something to the effect that the Vice President “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.
Committee Staff: Yeah. And—
Cipollone: I don’t know if I observed that myself on TV. I don’t
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’
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
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
Committee Staff: 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?
Sarah Matthews: 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 enough. 527
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 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 had
been 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
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

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:537

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 President
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
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 public:



A Trump sign with Vice President Mike Pence’s name removed.

(Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)

Guiliani: Sen. Tuberville? Or I should say Coach Tuberville. This is
Rudy Guiliani, 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 narratives.555
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 [sic]. 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 boss”561
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, Hannity 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 25th amendment are real, and many people
will quit.
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 anything 566
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.



Kevin McCarthy speaks at a press conference at the Capitol building on August 27, 2021.

(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

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
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, Leader 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, Leader 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 slates.578 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 supporters 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 presents.
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
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 it.607
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
Eastman.” 617 But President Trump entered into agreements—whether formal or informal618—with several other individuals who assisted with the
multi-part 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
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 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 6th. Judge Carter also addressed evidence that President Trump
knowingly made false representations to a court. Judge Carter concluded
that 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
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 documents 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 President.
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 willfully—
(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; or



(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 questions:
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 urgent.627
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 section 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 2:24
p.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
6th that if the Vice President “comes through for us” that he could deliver
victory to Trump: “[I]f 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 2:25 p.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 Leader
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 Leader 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 6th. 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 6th 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
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.
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 this:
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.



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 post-election 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 Pres