Trump was briefed on violence on Jan. 6, tried to incite it

A House committee may hold its last public hearing into the inquiry in January. The June 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol is expected to highlight newly acquired Secret Service records show How President Donald Trump was repeatedly warned that day of violence was brewing, but he still tried to provoke conflict, according to three people familiar with the records.

At Thursday’s hearing, the committee plans to share new video footage and internal Secret Service emails that appear to confirm some of the day’s most egregious internal accounts, the people said. The people familiar with the matter requested anonymity to discuss the sensitive internal records.Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson to testify in June Trump was briefed on Jan. 1. 6 Some of his supporters armed themselves, demanding they be allowed to attend his rallies and insisting he wants to lead them towards the Capitol.

Surveillance footage the committee plans to share was taken near the Oval the morning before Trump’s speech, showing his supporters gathering outside the fenced area for his “Stop the Stealing” rally. Secret Service officers screened those who tried to get close to the stage. Law enforcement officers who were monitoring video that morning found Trump supporters wearing plastic shields, bulletproof vests and other paramilitary gear, and some in the Secret Service concluded they stayed outside the rally area to avoid it, according to people familiar with the matter. Weapons were confiscated. Record.

Other internal emails that may be revealed at the hearing provide further confirmation about the risks of staff warning Trump and the violent reality of the day as he continues to pressure nervous Secret Service agents to take him to the Capitol, Marched there with his supporters, three said. Trump, who returned to the White House after being warned of violence at the Capitol, took to Twitter to criticize Vice President Mike Pence for not getting certification to block the election, angering supporters who had already stepped on security barricades and battled police. Enter the Congress Hall.

On July 21, a House committee investigated January. The January 6, 2021, Capitol attack outlines a detailed account of President Trump’s defiant inaction during the unrest. (Video: Adriana Usero/The Washington Post, Photo: Tom Brenner/The Washington Post)

The newly obtained Secret Service records are just part of a larger hearing that the committee hopes to summarize and remind the American public that Trump is said to have played a central role in inciting a violent rebellion at the Capitol. It was the most brutal attack on democracy in American history, according to multiple people with knowledge of the evidence and the commission’s plans.While previous committee hearings took center stage for weeks this summer, the committee is trying to get back on its feet interested in its investigation and provide what it has said privately about the past and The ongoing threat to democracy continues as voters prepare to cast ballots in next month’s midterm elections.

How to watch Thursday’s hearing and what to look for

The hearing is designed to highlight new evidence gathered by investigators that corroborates the committee’s key findings about Trump and Jan. 1. 6th uprising, according to people familiar with the matter: He tried to piss off his supporters to help prevent proof of Joe Biden’s election victory; used his bully pulpit to encourage a heated showdown at the Capitol; then refused to budge, helped Rescue thousands of MPs, staff and police who fled or fought for their lives on Capitol Hill that afternoon.

It’s unclear, however, whether the new material will reveal a particularly compelling portion of Hutchinson’s testimony, in which she recounted how a senior Secret Service official told her that Trump had erupted in anger in his motorcade and told the chief Security agents swooped in. Tell him not to go to the Capitol.

Emails reveal questions about Trump plan

An email received by the committee highlighted the Jan. 1 alert level at Secret Service headquarters. 6 on the possibility that Trump could get his wish to head to the Capitol — and join the ongoing scuffle.

At 1 p.m. ET that day, hand-to-hand combat between protesters and police broke out on steps and platforms outside the Capitol, according to police testimony. The Secret Service just offered to send in reinforcements to help the overwhelmed U.S. Capitol Police force, according to texts and testimony from then-Capitol Police Chief Steven Sand.

New letters obtained by the committee show Secret Service agents in charge of transportation and field operations scrambling to try to secure a safe route for the president and his president as Trump was still talking to his supporters and announcing he was heading to the Capitol. Fleet route. entourage, said two people who were briefed on the records. Secret Service workers seek help from Washington police to seal off the intersection. But Washington, D.C. police turned down the Secret Service’s request because of the tens of thousands of protesters in downtown Washington and the fact that D.C. police were dispatched to help Capitol Police help protesters break through barricades, The Washington Post previously reported.

At around 1:10 p.m., Trump left the Ellipse motorcade after his speech and demanded to go to the Capitol. The Washington Post previously reported that Bobby Engel, the head of Trump’s details, rode with Trump in his SUV, and he told an angry Trump that they would return to the White House and take him to the The Capitol is not safe.

A guide to the biggest moments of January.6 hearings held so far

“We have no assets,” according to a Secret Service official with knowledge of Engel’s account, who told Trump that he could not ensure the safe passage of his motorcade. At about 1:20 p.m., Trump returned to the White House.

According to a document newly obtained by the committee, Sometime between 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m., a senior Secret Service director in charge of protective operations emailed Engel an urgent update and sought to understand whether Trump’s planned trip to the Capitol was Cancelled successfully. It came after an hour of turmoil over Secret Service details that effectively ignored the president’s orders.

Even if Trump returns to the White House, Secret Service headquarters wants to make sure the president stays where he is. Superintendent Ronald L. Rowe warned Engel that the situation at the Capitol was deteriorating rapidly and asked Engel to confirm he was not considering bringing Trump with him, according to senior law enforcement officials familiar with the records handed over to the committee. get there. Roe urged Engel to call him.

Rowe declined to comment, but Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Rowe’s emails reflected the position of the larger agency: The idea of ​​Trump going to the Capitol is not going to work.

In other internal emails, agents retweeted Trump reports Furious at being told he can’t go to the Capitol.

Some of the information called into question previous testimony by Engel and Antonio Onato, then a Secret Service leader in an unprecedented political role as a White House deputy chief of staff, the people said. The pair told the committee in closed-door testimony that they had no recollection of certain incidents relayed by other witnesses, including Trump’s request for the Secret Service to bring armed personnel to his rallies.

After Hutchinson testified that Onato told her that Trump had swooped on Engel in the SUV they were in, anonymous Secret Service sources said Engel and Onato had raised concerns about any altercation that occurred. Dissent, and be prepared to say so under oath. The committee has yet to re-interview the two men as lawmakers sift through additional Secret Service records. Onato and Engel declined to comment through a Secret Service spokesman.

How does the committee get documents

Numerous records were handed over to Jan. According to people familiar with the documents, the 6 committee was the result of a series of ironic events. The same Secret Service began permanently deleting text messages from agents in January. On and around June 6 last year, at the request of Congress, the Committee has now been provided with a large number of internal communications from the same period. The agency has voluntarily surrendered all records it maintains of logistical planning, security issues and private discussions related to scheduled protests and presidential actions.

This extensive record-sharing — more than a million pages, many not specifically requested by the committee — comes after the Secret Service came under fire for its agency-wide destruction of all texts exchanged from agents’ phone calls. that critical period. Federal regulations require keeping government records, and the Secret Service’s deletion of those records prompted a federal investigation to fail to do so. Text messages on agents’ phones have been deleted as part of a Secret Service-wide employee phone update starting in January 2021. Secret Service officials said the mass deletion of a large amount of potential evidence was unintentional, and the agency’s phone provider has concluded that the texts cannot now be recovered.

The Secret Service was unable to resume January. 6 Related texts

The committee has considered a Previous At the hearing, it was unclear whether lawmakers would do so on Thursday. In part of his interview, Onato described a briefing to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on the afternoon of Jan. 1, according to two people familiar with his situation. 6 Detailed reports of violence at the Capitol and police being taken to hospital. The committee heard from other witnesses that Meadows then briefed Trump.

The hearing could prove Trump took steps to exacerbate clashes at the Capitol despite being warned of escalating violence. Lawmakers on the committee are particularly skeptical of the agency’s transparency with congressional investigators, who struggled more than a year ago to obtain some of the information they requested.

The committee’s hearing on Thursday, likely the last before its report, will also shed light on Trump’s associates — including chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon and longtime friend and one-time adviser Roger C. Stone – How to plan to declare victory regardless of the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, the Washington Post previously reported. A select committee of the House of Representatives intends to show footage of Stone’s video recorded by Danish filmmakers in the weeks leading up to Jan. 1. 6 Violence.

Another part of this week’s hearing is expected to focus on the ongoing threat of domestic extremism and political violence, sparked by efforts to overturn the 2020 election, according to people familiar with the matter.

The committee continued to interview witnesses ahead of the final hearing and last month interviewed Virginia “Guine” Thomas, a conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. It’s unclear whether the committee will use any of Thomas’ interviews, which were transcribed only and not videotaped or recorded, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said in a recent interview with MSNBC.

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