The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol voted unanimously Thursday to subpoena former President Donald Trump to testify under oath.
In Thursday’s hearing, the committee’s first since July, members laid out what they believed to be Trump’s state of mind during the attack, and showed evidence that his scheme to overturn the 2020 election was premeditated.
Former Trump campaign advisor Brad Parscale said in a taped interview that Trump planned as early as July 2020 to say he won the election, regardless of the outcome. In a pre-prepared statement obtained from the National Archives dated from Oct. 31, 2020, pro-Trump commentator Tom Fitton wrote that Trump should say “we had an election today and I won.”
Those in Trump’s orbit said he knew he lost the election, including then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milly and former Trump White House communications staffer Alyssa Farah.
Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to then-Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows said she heard Trump tell Meadows, “I don’t want people to know we lost, Mark. This is embarrassing. Figure it out. We need to figure it out. I don’t want people to know that we lost.”
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., pointed to Trump’s efforts to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Somalia before then-President-elect Joe Biden took office as evidence Trump knew he was leaving office.
“He had all of this information but still made the conscious choice to claim fraudulently that the election was stolen,” said Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.
Cheney said any future president “inclined to attempt what Donald Trump did in 2020 has now learned to not install people who would stand in the way.”
“Why would Americans assume our institutions are invulnerable to another attack?” she said.
The committee played previously unseen footage of lawmakers including Speaker Nancy Pelosi making calls to the Attorney General, then-Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and others, asking them to send officers and National Guard troops to protect the Capitol while it was under assault.
This previously unseen footage shows Congressional leaders—both Republicans and Democrats—as they were taken to a secure location during the January riot.— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) October 13, 2022
Everyone involved was actively working to address the violence. All of them did what President Trump refused to do. pic.twitter.com/fcF4zBLGWm
Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said Trump was the one person at the center of Jan. 6.
“[Trump] tried to take away the voice of the American people and replace the will of the voters with his will to remain in power,” Thompson said. “He is the one person in the center of the story of what happened on Jan. 6.”
He said subpoenaing Trump was a “serious and extraordinary action” and must take place in “full view of the American people.”
“[Trump] must be accountable,” Thompson said. “He is required to answer for his actions. He is required to answer to those police officers who put their lives and bodies on the line.”