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Jan. 6 committee highlights: Panel votes on criminal referrals for Trump and others

The House Jan. 6 committee held a final public meeting, presenting some findings before voting to refer former President Donald Trump and others for possible criminal charges.

What to know about the final public meeting of the Jan. 6 committee:

  • The committee voted to make criminal referrals to the Justice Department for former President Donald Trump, lawyer John Eastman and unspecified "others." Trump was referred under four criminal statutes: obstructing an official proceeding, making false statements, defrauding the U.S. and inciting an insurrection.
  • The panel also referred four Republican members of Congress to the House Ethics Committee for ignoring its subpoenas; it did not name the members.
  • The committee released a 154-page summary of its findings Monday. The full final report is expected to be made public this week.
  • The committee, which was formed in July 2021, spent nearly 18 months investigating the U.S. Capitol attack, which temporarily stopped Congress from certifying the 2020 presidential election results, and the events surrounding it.
49d ago / 12:04 AM UTC

Summary highlight: The committee warns of need for accountability

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In sweeping language, the committee’s executive summary warned that a failure to hold Trump and other election deniers accountable for their actions and statements since the 2020 election — including the former president’s recent call to terminate the Constitution — would threaten the “security and viability” of the republic itself.

“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,” the summary says.

“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," the committee continued. "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."

49d ago / 11:53 PM UTC

Summary highlight: Trump's awareness of security threats

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Trump “knew enough to cancel” plans for a march to the Capitol — though he never did, the committee said in the executive summary of its final report. 

“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,” the committee wrote.

“According to testimony obtained by the Select Committee, Trump knew that elements of the crowd were armed, and had prohibited items, and that many thousands would not pass through the magnetometers for that reason. Testimony indicates that the President had received an earlier security briefing, and testimony indicates that the Secret Service mentioned the prohibited items again as they drove President Trump to the Ellipse,” the summary stated.

49d ago / 11:46 PM UTC

Eastman pushes back on committee's view of his pardon request

In a virtual news conference late Monday afternoon, conservative attorney John Eastman pushed back against the committee's characterization of his request for a presidential pardon.

The committee wrote in its executive summary that Eastman's request to be added to the “pardon list” after Jan. 6, 2021, revealed his “clear consciousness of guilt."

Eastman argued he'd asked to be put on the list in response to "weeks" of false attacks against him.

"I said, look, given that false story maybe I should be on the pardon list, just to avoid having to defend against that — what was clearly constitutionally protected speech," Eastman said, adding that it "never went anywhere."

The committee said Monday it would send a criminal referral for Eastman to the Justice Department, arguing that he was the architect of an unlawful scheme to pressure Pence to reject states’ electoral votes on Jan. 6 and have fake electors submitted to Congress instead.

Eastman also seemed to offer a preview of his defense to a potential criminal indictment, saying that whether or not he acted “corruptly” would be “front and center to the case.”

“To prove that there would have to be first evidence that there was no illegality or fraud in the election and that I knew that at the time,” Eastman said. “And neither of those things is true."


49d ago / 11:24 PM UTC

Summary highlight: Why Trump's campaign manager locked his office door

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As Rudy Giuliani pushed forward with litigation to sow doubt on the election process, Trump campaign staffers began viewing Giuliani as “unhinged,” the executive summary of the committee’s report says.

Multiple law firms that had worked for the campaign quit after having refused to participate in his legal strategy, it continues.

Campaign manager Bill Stepien, who recalled growing “wary of the new team,” told the committee he had his assistant lock his door.

“And, sure enough, Mayor Giuliani tried to get in my office and ordered her to unlock the door, and she didn’t do that," he said. "She’s smart about that.”

49d ago / 11:08 PM UTC

Trump repeats disputed claim he ordered troops to be ready ahead of Jan. 6

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While the committee was meeting, former President Donald Trump repeated his claim in a radio interview that ahead of Jan. 6 he ordered thousands of troops to be ready to respond in case of protests — an assertion the panel had refuted in the executive summary of its report.

Asked in an interview with conservative talk radio host Dan Bongino about the committee's actions Monday, Trump called the panel "a kangaroo court" and said its members had failed to mention his video statement hours after the riot began urging his supporters to go home. He added that the committee also didn't mention his claim that he ordered 10,000 troops to be prepared for protests days before the riot unfolded.

The committee, however, addressed that claim in its summary.

“Some have suggested that President Trump gave an order to have 10,000 troops ready for January 6th. The select committee found no evidence of this." it said. "In fact, President Trump’s acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller directly refuted this when he testified under oath."

The summary then quoted Miller as telling committee staff members "there was no order from the president."

Asked for comment about the committee's criminal referrals, Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung repeated a statement the campaign has used previously, calling the panel a "Kangaroo court" that "held show trials by Never Trump partisans who are a stain on this country’s history."

49d ago / 10:46 PM UTC

Rep. Biggs calls Ethics Committee referral a ‘political stunt’

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., responded to the committee's decision to refer him and three other Republicans to the Ethics Committee for defying its subpoenas, calling the referral “their final political stunt.”

Biggs accused the committee of defaming “my name and my character.”

“They only wanted the testimony to have the ability to edit and misconstrue our statements to further their own false narratives, as they did with so many other witnesses,” Biggs said.

 

49d ago / 10:42 PM UTC

Summary highlight: Trump allies took the Fifth on fraud claims

Trump lawyers and supporters — including Jenna Ellis, John Eastman, Phil Waldron and Michael Flynn — were asked by the committee to provide proof supporting their claims that the election was stolen. In response, they invoked their Fifth Amendment right, the summary said. Those making the claims did not provide any evidence in subpoenaed documents, either, according to the committee.

“Not a single witness — nor any combination of witnesses — provided the select committee with evidence demonstrating that fraud occurred on a scale even remotely close to changing the outcome in any state.”

“In short, it was a big scam,” a footnote read.

49d ago / 10:38 PM UTC

Capitol Police chief says threats against lawmakers have increased

Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger testified before the Senate Rules Committee on Monday about changes at the agency since Jan. 6, 2021, and a massive increase in threats against lawmakers over the last few years.

Manger revealed that Capitol Police saw over 9,000 threats against members of Congress last year, and he specifically called out the attacks on Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., and Paul Pelosi.

“I can tell you that back in 2017, we had 1,000, maybe, somewhere around 1,000, and last year 9,000, and it has gone up steadily and profoundly over the last five or six years,” he told senators.

Manger also discussed the agency's “to-do list” since Jan. 6, from managing security risks to recruitment.

“Among the most significant challenges that we’re facing is the ever-changing threat landscape,” Manger said. “Hate, intolerance and violence are part of a disturbing trend.”

49d ago / 10:20 PM UTC

McConnell: ‘The entire nation knows who is responsible for that day’

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., released a brief statement about the committee's final hearing Monday evening.

“The entire nation knows who is responsible for that day. Beyond that, I don’t have any immediate observations," McConnell said in a statement shared by his office.

49d ago / 9:45 PM UTC

John Eastman responds to DOJ referral

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Conservative attorney John Eastman said Monday that the "American people have been ill-served by the January 6th committee and its members" after it unveiled plans to refer him to the Justice Department.

In a statement, he said the committee's move — a nonbinding recommendation that he be investigated and prosecuted — carries no more weight than if a regular person had done it.

"In fact, a 'referral' from the January 6th committee should carry a great deal less weight due to the absurdly partisan nature of the process that produced it," he said.

The committee says Eastman was the architect of an unlawful scheme to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence to reject states’ electoral votes on Jan. 6 and have fake electors submitted to the Congress instead. 

Eastman said the committee "had the resources and mandate to make important contributions in the area of Capitol Security, Electoral Count Act Reform and other areas of potential legislation."

But, he said: "Sadly, this opportunity has been squandered in favor of concocting a pretend 'criminal case' from pretend prosecutors designed to create political advantage for the Democratic Party and stigmatize disfavored political groups."

The House did pass an overhaul of the Electoral Count Act in September; the Senate hasn't passed it. Legislation that would reform the law is expected to be included in a coming massive government spending package Congress is expected to consider this week.

49d ago / 9:16 PM UTC

Summary highlight: Committee says Cipollone could reveal more to DOJ

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The committee believes the Department of Justice can compel former White House counsel Pat Cipollone to testify about his conversations with Trump, the report summary says.

Cipollone spoke to the committee, and his testimony is quoted extensively in the panel's summary. But he had avoided discussing direct talks with Trump with the committee, because of executive privilege concerns.

“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 summary says. "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," the summary’s authors wrote. "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."

49d ago / 9:00 PM UTC

Summary highlight: Pence's security detail feared for their lives

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A White House security official who monitored Secret Service transmissions from the White House recalls members of then-Vice President Mike Pence’s detail “starting to fear for their own lives” as the Capitol attack unfolded, the report summary said.

“There was a lot of yelling, a lot of — I don’t know — a lot [of] very personal calls over the radio,” said the official, whose identity the committee said it withheld because of national security concerns and to guard against retaliation. “So it was disturbing. I don’t like talking about it, but there were calls to say goodbye 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.”

The official said members of Pence's detail thought they were “running out of options” and were “getting nervous,” and it sounded like they “came very close to either Service having to use lethal options or worse,” according to the summary.

49d ago / 8:48 PM UTC

Raskin says criminal referrals will be sent to DOJ 'this week'

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Members of the Jan. 6 committee, Reps. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., and Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told reporters that the criminal referrals would be sent to the Department of Justice this week but declined to elaborate on additional specifics.

“We just have a few more days in businesses so certainly it will happen this week,” Raskin said Monday in response to a question about quickly the committee would send material to DOJ.

When asked whether the committee would be “filling in the blank” of who was among the “others,” after Trump and Eastman, to be included in the referrals, Raskin said only that “the others are all contained in our report, and that’s a judgment that’s going to have to be made by the Department of Justice about whether they have sufficient evidence and probable cause in their case in order to bring charges.”

Schiff, for his part, said that Trump should be treated like “any other American” by the Justice Department as it weighs whether to charge him.

“We believe as we indicated in our criminal referral that Donald J. Trump that there was evidence that he violated multiple criminal laws,” Schiff said. “If the Justice Department concurs with that assessment and with the evidence, then he should be prosecuted like any other American.”

49d ago / 8:33 PM UTC

Jordan, Perry criticize referrals to House Ethics Committee

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Two of the four members of Congress referred to the House Ethics Committee by the Jan. 6 committee slammed the panel Monday.

In a statement to NBC News, Russell Dye, a spokesperson for Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said, "This is just another partisan and political stunt made by a select committee that knowingly altered evidence, blocked minority representation on a committee for the first time in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives, and failed to respond to Mr. Jordan’s numerous letters and concerns surrounding the politicization and legitimacy of the committee’s work."

Jay Ostrich, a spokesperson for Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., said, "More games from a petulant and soon-to-be defunct kangaroo court desperate for revenge and struggling to get out from under the weight of its own irrelevancy."

The offices of the two other members, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., did not immediately return NBC News' request for comment.

49d ago / 8:25 PM UTC
49d ago / 8:14 PM UTC

Summary highlight: Efforts to impede the panel's investigation

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In its report summary, the committee detailed what it said were efforts to obstruct its investigation.

For example, the committee said it had received testimony from a witness about her decision to terminate a lawyer who was being paid by a group allied with Trump.

The witness, whom the summary didn’t identify, expressed concern that the lawyer advised her that she could "tell the committee that she did not recall facts when she actually did recall them," the summary said.

The client was also offered "potential employment that would make her 'financially very comfortable' as the date of her testimony approached by entities apparently linked to Donald Trump and his associates," the summary continued.

The witness also testified that multiple people linked to Trump contacted her in advance of her testimony.

"What they said to me is, as long as I continue to be a team player, they know that I am on the right team. I am doing the right thing. I am protecting who I need to protect," the witness said. "You know, I will continue to stay in good graces in Trump world. And they have reminded me a couple of times that Trump does read transcripts and just keep that in mind as I proceed through my interviews with the committee."

The committee said it's also aware of multiple efforts by Trump to contact witnesses that went before the panel's investigators. "The Department of Justice is aware of at least one of those circumstances," the summary said. It also said much of this evidence is already known by the Department of Justice and other prosecutorial authorities.

49d ago / 8:10 PM UTC

Trump has done little to respond to committee allegations

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Trump has done little over the course of the committee's investigation to deny or respond to the allegations and evidence the panel has presented against him.

  • On Trump pressuring Pence to overturn the election: Trump has maintained that it was the vice president's right to reject electors on Jan. 6 and delay the certification proceedings — an assertion that Pence himself and numerous legal experts have roundly rejected.
  • On pressuring local and state elections officials and members of Congress: Trump hasn't denied these efforts. Instead, he has publicly touted his efforts to oust certain officials by backing GOP challengers, including Republicans such as Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
  • On Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony: Trump has denied Hutchinson's testimony that he attempted to grab the steering wheel of his vehicle on Jan. 6 in an attempt to go to the Capitol. Trump, however, has not denied that he was aware of weapons along the National Mall on Jan. 6.
  • On not calling for help for Capitol Police: Trump has not denied that he failed to call the Pentagon or the governors of Maryland and Virginia to deploy the National Guard.
  • On far-right groups drawing inspiration from Trump: Trump has not denied that he helped inspire far-right groups, including the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, to violently attempt to obstruct the official certification proceedings on Jan. 6. 
49d ago / 8:08 PM UTC

Summary confirms 4 Republicans, including McCarthy, referred to Ethics Committee

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The committee announced during Monday's final meeting that it was referring four Republican members of Congress to the House Ethics Committee for defying subpoenas from the committee earlier this year.

But Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., did not name those members during the meeting. Instead, those names were made public in a summary of the committee's final report.

They are: House Minority Leader and potential incoming Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif; Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who is expected to be the next chairman of the House Judiciary Committee; Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz.; and Scott Perry, R-Pa.

“Despite the Select Committee’s repeated attempts to obtain information from these Members and the issuance of subpoenas, each has refused to cooperate and failed to comply with a lawfully issued subpoena," according to the report summary. "Accordingly, the Select Committee is referring their failure to comply with the subpoenas issued to them to the Ethics Committee for further action. To be clear, this referral is only for failure to comply with lawfully issued subpoenas. “

49d ago / 8:04 PM UTC

Summary highlight: Panel suggests DOJ, Fulton County pick up the baton

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The Jan. 6 committee said in the summary of its report that the Department of Justice and the district attorney in Fulton County, Georgia, might be able to access information unavailable to the congressional panel.

The DOJ and the district attorney in Georgia could "utilize investigative tools, including search warrants and grand juries, superior to the means the committee has for obtaining relevant information and testimony," the summary says.

Prosecutors might now have access to testimony from Mark Meadows, Trump's former White House chief of staff, "and others who either asserted privileges or invoked their Fifth Amendment rights."

"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," the summary said.

49d ago / 7:56 PM UTC

Pelosi praises Jan. 6 committee: 'Justice must be done'

Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., thanked the members of the Jan. 6 committee for being “relentless” in “their pursuit of truth” and demanded that “justice must be done” following the panel’s last public meeting.

“With painstaking detail, this executive summary documents the sinister plot to subvert the Congress, shred the Constitution and halt the peaceful transfer of power," Pelosi said in a statement. "The committee has reached important conclusions about the evidence it has developed, and I respect those findings.”

“Our Founders made clear that, in the United States of America, no one is above the law.  This bedrock principle remains unequivocally true, and justice must be done,” she added.

49d ago / 7:48 PM UTC

Summary highlight: Ivanka Trump was not ‘forthcoming,' panel says

The committee's executive summary highlights a series of revelations and accusations against key figures who have testified.

Among them, the panel accuses Ivanka Trump of not being as "forthcoming as Cipollone and others about President Trump’s conduct," saying she exhibited “a lack of full recollection of certain issues.”

She wasn’t the only White House official the panel called out. It said portions of former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s testimony “seemed evasive, as if she was testifying from pre-prepared talking points.” It added: “In multiple instances, McEnany’s testimony did not seem nearly as forthright as that of her press office staff, who testified about what McEnany said.”

Read more highlights from the report summary.

49d ago / 7:42 PM UTC

Summary highlight: Trump's plan to go to the Capitol on Jan. 6

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The executive summary says the committee believes Trump wanted to go to the Capitol on Jan. 6 to personally lead the effort to overturn Joe Biden's victory.

"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 summary said.

"The committee regarded those facts as important because they are relevant to President Trump’s intent on January 6th," the summary continued. "There is no question from all the evidence assembled that President Trump did have that intent."

The summary then said a White House security official who was in the White House complex on Jan. 6 became "very concerned about his intentions," referring to Trump. The committee interviewed the official on July 11, 2022, and kept his identity confidential "due to their sensitive national security responsibilities."

"[W]e 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," the official said. "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."

49d ago / 7:40 PM UTC

Committee report offers more detail on Trump's 'furious interaction' in SUV

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The committee's executive summary also provides more detail on the bombshell testimony this summer from Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

Hutchinson had testified that Trump tried to grab the steering wheel of his presidential vehicle and lunged toward his security detail when he was informed he would not be taken to the Capitol after his Jan. 6 rally.

“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 summary says. "The committee has now obtained evidence from several sources about a ‘furious interaction’ in the SUV."

"The vast majority of witnesses who have testified before the select committee about this topic, including multiple members of the Secret Service, a member of the Metropolitan Police, and national security officials in the White House, described President Trump’s behavior as 'irate,' 'furious,' 'insistent,' 'profane' and 'heated,'" the summary stated.

49d ago / 7:40 PM UTC
49d ago / 7:39 PM UTC

Committee report: Giuliani admitted that voting machines didn't steal the election

Former Trump lawyer and longtime ally Rudy Giuliani, who helped fuel Trump's lies about the 2020 election, said he did not believe the outlandish claims he pushed about voting machines fixing the election, according to the committee's summary of its report.

"Giuliani repeatedly had claimed in public that Dominion voting machines stole the election," the summary said, but added, "He admitted during his Select Committee deposition that, 'I do not think the machines stole the election.'" 

Soon after Jan. 6, Dominion Voting Systems, the election equipment manufacturer that became the target of wild conspiracy theories pushed by Trump and his allies, sued Giuliani for defamation.

49d ago / 7:37 PM UTC

Read the full text of the Jan. 6 committee’s report summary

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol released a 154-page summary of its findings Monday, the culmination of nearly 18 months of work.

The committee says it expects to release the full report later this week, as well as a number of transcripts from witness depositions.

Read what the committee is calling its introductory material here.

49d ago / 7:26 PM UTC

Trump shares one post on Truth Social during the final committee meeting

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During the Jan. 6 committee's final meeting, Trump made one post to his Truth Social account, saying he would have won the 2020 election if Twitter had not blocked a New York Post story about Hunter Biden.

"This would have easily changed the Presidential Election outcome without even discussing all of the other illegal things they did," Trump wrote on his account.

Trump linked to a Fox News article related to Twitter’s decision to block the New York Post story on Hunter Biden ahead of the 2020 election. Trump was suggesting that Twitter’s suppression of the story would have given him a second term in the White House.  

49d ago / 7:24 PM UTC

Inside the final Jan. 6 committee meeting

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The Jan. 6 committee met for what’s likely its final public meeting, with many of the usual faces present. As ever, officers who defended the Capitol were front row — including U.S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, Washington, D.C., Police Officer Daniel Hodges and former Washington Police Officer Michael Fanone.

Reps. Madeline Dean and Mary Gay Scanlon, both Pennsylvania Democrats, former Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., and some members of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s staff were also present in the room.

The hearing room had a quiet energy as the lawmakers began, which endured for the entirety of the meeting. 

During a lengthy Jan. 6 highlight reel, members looked very serious and solemn. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., sitting next to Cheney, had his hands clasped in front of his face for a full minute.

When Raskin began reading out the referral recommendations, the mood in the room became more tense and alert. Some people took pictures of the screen that laid out specific statutes against Trump, Eastman “and others,” aware that his information was new and what many were waiting on.

As they took the recorded vote of each member saying “aye” to adopt the panel's final report, the room shifted and some attendees took pictures or video on their phones.

Some applause broke out right after the hearing wrapped and as members exited. Reps. Stephanie Murphy and Pete Aguilar went to shake hands with the officers in the front row. 

49d ago / 7:18 PM UTC

Jan. 6 committee adjourns meeting

The House Jan. 6 committee concluded its meeting, marking an end to nearly a year and a half of work investigating the events surrounding the riot at the Capitol.

49d ago / 7:16 PM UTC

Committee votes unanimously to adopt final report

The committee has voted unanimously to adopt its final report, which Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., said includes the panel's legislative recommendations and criminal referrals of Trump and others.

49d ago / 7:13 PM UTC

Committee refers 4 Republican congressmen to Ethics Committee

Raskin also announced that his committee would refer four members of Congress to the House Ethics Committee for having refused to comply with subpoenas issued by the Jan. 6 panel.

“None of the subpoenaed members complied, and we are now referring four members of Congress for appropriate sanction by the House Ethics Committee for failure to comply with lawful subpoenas,” Raskin said.

Raskin did not immediately say which four members of Congress the panel would refer to the Ethics Committee.

There were five members who did not comply with their subpoena requests from the committee: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.; Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa.; Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio; Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz.; and Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala.

49d ago / 7:12 PM UTC

Committee will refer Trump for incitement of insurrection

Raskin said the committee will also refer Trump under a U.S. criminal code for inciting, assisting, or engaging in insurrection against the United States and giving "aid or comfort" to an insurrection.

"An insurrection is a rebellion against the authority of the United States. It is a grave federal offense anchored in the Constitution. ... Anyone who incites others to engage in rebelling, assists them in doing so or gives aid and comfort to those engaged in insurrection is guilty of a federal crime," Raskin said.

“The Committee believes that more than sufficient evidence exists for a criminal referral of former President Trump for assisting or aiding and comforting those at the Capitol who engaged in a violent attack on the United States,” Raskin continued. “The Committee has developed significant evidence that President Trump intended to disrupt the peaceful transition of power.”

49d ago / 7:10 PM UTC

Committee referring Trump for ‘knowingly and willfully’ making false statements

Raskin said the committee is making a referral for Trump and others who made “materially false statements” to the federal government “knowingly and willfully.”

“The evidence clearly suggests that President Trump conspired with others to submit slates of fake electors to Congress and the National Archives,” Raskin said. “We believe that this evidence we set forth in our report is more than sufficient for a criminal referral of former President Donald J. Trump and others in connection with this offense.”

49d ago / 7:08 PM UTC

Committee will issue criminal referrals for Trump, Eastman, others for defrauding U.S.

Raskin has announced that “there is more than sufficient evidence” to issue criminal referrals asking the Justice Department to pursue criminal charges against Trump, Eastman “and others” for conspiring to defraud the U.S.

“In other words, to make an agreement to impair, obstruct, or defeat the lawful functions of the United States government by deceitful or dishonest means,” Raskin said.

49d ago / 7:08 PM UTC

Committee will refer Trump and Eastman for obstructing an official proceeding

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said the committee will refer Trump, lawyer John Eastman and others for obstructing an official proceeding.

Raskin said the first criminal statute the panel will invoke for referral "makes it unlawful for anyone to corruptly 'obstruct, influence, or impede any official proceeding' of the United States government."

"We believe that the evidence described by my colleagues today and assembled throughout our hearings warrants a criminal referral of former President Donald J. Trump, John Eastman, and others for violations of this statute," Raskin said. "The whole purpose and obvious effect of Trump’s scheme were to 'obstruct, influence, and impede' this official proceeding, the central moment for the lawful transfer of power in the United States."

As is the case with all of the criminal referrals being issued by the committee, these carry no official legal weight, and it remains up to the Department of Justice to decide whether or not to charge the former president and anyone else who might be referred by the committee.

49d ago / 7:04 PM UTC

Kellyanne Conway says Trump defended rioters in Jan. 7 conversation

Committee members played new testimony from former Trump aide Kellyanne Conway, in which she described Trump defending the rioters in a private conversation on Jan. 7.

Conway told interviewers that during that short conversation with Trump, she'd called Jan. 6 a "terrible day" and called it "crazy."

Asked by interviewers about what Trump said during the conversation, Conway said that Trump defended the rioters saying, “No, these people are upset. They’re very upset."

49d ago / 7:00 PM UTC

Hope Hicks texted that she wanted White House to publicly call for Jan. 6 to be 'peaceful'

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The committee recounted text messages it received from Hope Hicks, who was serving as a senior White House adviser on the day of the riot.

Hicks was texting with another staffer during the violence to say she had “suggested ... several times” on Jan. 4 and Jan. 5, 2021, that Trump state publicly that Jan. 6 should remain peaceful, and that "he" refused her advice, Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., said.

"Hey. I know you’re seeing this. But he ... really should tweet something about Being NON-violent," campaign spokesman Hogan Gidley texted Hicks, according to the panel.

Hicks responded: "I’m not there. I suggested it several times Monday and Tuesday and he refused."

The committee asked Hicks whether "he" referred to Trump, but Hicks said she was talking about White House attorney Eric Herschmann. Murphy suggested the public review the transcript of the panel's interview with Herschmann when it is released.

Hicks recalled in testimony before the committee that Herschmann had earlier advised Trump to make a pre-emptive public statement in advance of Jan. 6 urging no violence that day.

Trump never made any such statement.

49d ago / 6:56 PM UTC

Trump summoned mob to come to nation's capital on Jan. 6, Murphy says

Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., said Trump summoned a mob to Washington on Jan. 6, hoping that they would pressure Congress "to do what he could not do on his own."

On Dec. 19, 2020, Trump posted a tweet urging his supporters to travel to Washington for a protest on Jan. 6, Murphy said. "Be there, will be wild!" he tweeted.

"Between December 19th and January 6th, the president repeatedly encouraged his supporters to come to Washington," she said.

Trump's tweet on Dec. 19 "galvanized domestic violent extremists, including members of the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys, and organized militia groups," Murphy said.

The committee found that these people planned to come to D.C. in large numbers "with the specific intent to use violence to disrupt the certification of the election during the joint session," she said.

49d ago / 6:52 PM UTC

Trump wanted Pence to overturn election even as lawyers admitted it wasn't legal, Aguilar says

Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., stressed that Trump still attempted to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence to go along with lawyer John Eastman’s theory on overturning the election results, despite Pence and Eastman himself warning that it would be unlawful to do so.

“John Eastman admitted in advance of the 2020 election that Mike Pence could not lawfully refuse to count official electoral votes,” Aguilar said. 

“But he nevertheless devised a meritless proposal that deployed a combination of bogus election fraud claims and the fake electoral ballots to say that Mike Pence, presiding over the joint session, could reject legitimate electoral votes for President-elect Biden,” he continued.

Image: House Select Committee to Investigate The January 6th Attack On The U.S. Capitol Holds Final Meeting
Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., speaks Monday.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
49d ago / 6:50 PM UTC

Kinzinger lays out Trump’s plan to use to DOJ to undo election results

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., summarized how Trump had sought to use the Department of Justice to invalidate the 2020 election — but that none of Trump’s attorneys general would go along with it.

Kinzinger said that when Bill Barr resigned as attorney general, after having investigated and disproven many of Trump’s false claims of voter fraud, Trump then requested that the acting leaders of the department, Jeffrey Rosen and Richard Donoghue, “just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen.”

“Between Dec. 23rd and Jan. 3rd, President Trump called or met with them nearly every day, and was told repeatedly that department investigations showed no factual support for Trump’s fraud allegations. Mr. Rosen and Mr. Donoghue told him that his fraud claims were simply untrue,” Kinzinger said. 

Trump then attempted to install Jeffrey Clark to lead the agency. But a wave of officials threatened to resign if Trump did so, and Trump did not move forward with installing Clark, Kinzinger said.

Rep Adam Kinzinger
Rep Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., speaks Monday.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
49d ago / 6:44 PM UTC

Schiff: There's evidence that false elector slates were sent to multiple federal officials

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Trump oversaw an effort to obtain and transmit false Electoral College ballots to Congress and the National Archives.

The false ballots were created by fake GOP electors on Dec. 14, Schiff said, at the same time that the actual, certified electors were meeting in those particular states to cast their votes for Biden.

At that point, election-related litigation was over or nearly complete in these states, and Trump campaign lawyers realized fake electors were "unjustifiable on any grounds, and may be unlawful," Schiff said.

"In spite of these concerns, and the concerns of individuals in the White House Counsel’s Office, President Trump and others proceeded with this plan," Schiff said.

Schiff said the committee has developed evidence that shows "these intentionally false documents were transmitted to multiple officers of the federal government, and were intended to interfere with the proper conduct of the joint session" on Jan. 6.

Rep. Adam Schiff
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks Monday.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
49d ago / 6:39 PM UTC

Hope Hicks says she tried to tell Trump there was no voter fraud

Committee members are drawing attention to how even many of Trump’s closest confidantes had told the former president they felt there had been no evidence of widespread voter fraud that would have had the potential to affect the outcome of the 2020 election — but that he remained unswayed.

One such person was Hope Hicks, who served as a top adviser to Trump for years.

“I wasn’t seeing evidence of fraud on a scale that would have impacted the outcome of the election. And I was becoming increasingly concerned that we were damaging his legacy,” Hicks said, according to a recording of her testimony that was played Monday.

When asked by interviewers in the recording how Trump responded, Hicks replied, "He said something along the lines of, you know, ‘Nobody will care about my legacy if I lose, so that won’t matter. The only thing that matters is winning.’”

49d ago / 6:36 PM UTC

Trump 'unlawfully' tried to overturn 2020 election, Lofgren says

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., said then- President Donald Trump "unlawfully" tried to overturn the 2020 election results, saying it was a "premeditated" effort.

"The committee has evidence that ex-President Trump planned to declare victory and, unlawfully, to call for the vote counting to stop, and that he told numerous allies about his intent in the weeks before the election," she said.

Lofgren said the committee found that Trump "raised hundreds of millions of dollars with false representations made to his online donors. The proceeds from this fundraising, we have learned, have been used in ways that we believe are concerning."

The committee, for example, learned that some of the funds were used to hire lawyers, Lofgren said, adding the panel has evidence of efforts to provide or offer employment to witnesses.

One witness's lawyer told the witness that she could "tell the committee that she didn’t recall facts when she actually did recall them," Lofgren said.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., speaks Monday.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

"That lawyer also did not disclose who was paying for the lawyer’s representation, despite questions from the client seeking that information," Lofgren said.

The lawyer told his client, "'We’re not telling people where funding is coming from right now,'" Lofgren added.

The committee learned that a client was offered potential employment "that would make her 'financially very comfortable' as the date of her testimony approached by entities that were apparently linked to Donald Trump and his associates," Lofgren said. "These offers were withdrawn or didn’t materialize as reports of the content of her testimony circulated."

49d ago / 6:36 PM UTC

Panel chair Thompson says 'no plans' to speak to special counsel

Jan. 6 committee Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson told reporters shortly before beginning the meeting Monday that he had "no plans" to speak with special counsel Jack Smith regarding the information that the panel has collected.

In November, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Smith, who most recently served as chief prosecutor for the special court in The Hague, as special counsel overseeing the Justice Department's investigations into former President Donald Trump, citing in part Trump's announcement that he is running for president.

Smith is investigating Trump's handling of classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago, as well as “key aspects” of the investigation into Trump's role in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

Thompson said the committee will send its referrals to the Justice Department “shortly after we take care of business today.”


49d ago / 6:30 PM UTC

Trump's refusal to stop riot was 'an utter moral failure,' Cheney says

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the vice chair of the committee, excoriated former President Donald Trump for refusing to do his duty in ensuring a peaceful transfer of power and for failing to issue a condemnation as the Capitol attack unfolded.

“Among the most shameful of this committee’s findings was that President Trump sat in the dining room off the Oval Office watching the violent riot at the Capitol on television,” Cheney said.

Cheney noted that law enforcement agents were under attack and the electoral count was halted as a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.

“It was an utter moral failure and a clear dereliction of duty,” Cheney said.

49d ago / 6:21 PM UTC

Four police officers who defended the Capitol are in the room

Four police officers who defended the Capitol and lawmakers during the riot, and who were critical witnesses to the events of Jan. 6, are in the committee's meeting room watching the final event in person.

Image:
From left, former U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell; D.C. Police Officer Daniel Hodges; former D.C. Police Officer Michael Fanone; and U.S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn on Capitol Hill on Monday.Jacquelyn Martin / AP

The four officers are D.C. Officer Daniel Hodges, who was crushed by the mob at the Capitol on Jan. 6; former U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, who recently resigned from the force; D.C. Police Officer Michael Fanone; and U.S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn.

49d ago / 6:12 PM UTC

Report and transcripts to be released in the coming days, Thompson says

In opening remarks, committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., previewed the timeline for the public release of transcripts of the panel’s hearings as well as its final report.

Thompson said he expects the committee’s final report to be filed with the clerk of the House and made public later this week. The committee is set to outline a number of recommendations in its final report, he said.

The committee also intends to release the bulk of its nonsensitive records to the public before the end of the year.

“These transcripts and documents will allow the American people to see for themselves the body of evidence we’ve gathered and continue to explore the information that has led us to our conclusions,” Thompson said.

He expressed confidence that the work of the committee will "help provide a roadmap to justice, and that the agencies and institutions responsible for ensuring justice under the law will use the information we’ve provided to aid their work."

49d ago / 6:07 PM UTC

The committee's final public meeting is getting underway

The Jan. 6 committee has gaveled in for its final public meeting.

49d ago / 5:40 PM UTC

Analysis: Why the 1/6 panel had to issue criminal referrals

The Jan. 6 committee really had no other option than to issue criminal referrals for former President Donald Trump to the Justice Department, as it plans to do when members meet Monday afternoon.

Otherwise, lawmakers would have undercut their own votes to impeach Trump for incitement of insurrection in January 2021, one week before he left office.

In the article adopted then on a 232-197 vote, the House found that "Donald John Trump engaged in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by inciting violence against the Government of the United States." Additionally, the article made the specific allegation that Trump obstructed government proceedings, namely the certification of President Joe Biden's victory.

The implicit mission of the Jan. 6 committee was to find and publicize evidence that supported claims that Trump acted illegally in his effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election and remain in power.

The lawmakers will argue this week that they found that evidence and it requires the Justice Department to act.

49d ago / 5:38 PM UTC

White House will be carefully watching Jan. 6 committee's meeting

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The White House will be carefully and quietly watching the Jan. 6 Committee’s final public meeting today, multiple officials told NBC News.

Key aides, however, aren’t expected to provide any formal reaction or weigh in on any of the possible criminal referrals and will likely defer to the Justice Department, these sources say.

Although President Joe Biden has publicly condemned the Capitol attack as a threat to democracy, the administration has intentionally made efforts to avoid any risk of appearing to interfere with any criminal investigation, especially probes in connection to former President Donald Trump. The same case applies this week as the congressional panel wraps up its work, officials said.

Biden is scheduled to meet with the president of Ecuador this afternoon while the committee’s public hearing gets underway.

49d ago / 5:31 PM UTC

What's next for DOJ after Jan. 6 committee's possible criminal referrals?

49d ago / 5:24 PM UTC

House Republicans planning their own report to counter committee

Republicans plan to release a counter report designed to serve as a rebuttal to the Jan 6 committee’s final report.

The group of Republicans who were denied access to the Jan. 6th Select Committee after a squabble between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, are writing their own report that is expected to be more than 100 pages.

A spokesperson for Rep. Jim Banks, one of the five GOP members who were picked by McCarthy to serve on the committee, told NBC News their report is expected later this week, around the same time the committee’s full report drops.

Republicans have been critical of the committee for not focusing enough on the security and intelligence failures around the Capitol leading up to and on Jan. 6. They’ve also suggested the committee lacks a clear legislative purpose.

“That just shows me ... that the select committee was less about achieving the goals of the bipartisan commission that I wrote and supported than they were about just getting scoring political points,” said Rep. Rodney Davis, another of the GOP members tapped to serve on the Jan. 6th committee. 

Axios was first to report of the GOP plans to counter the Select Committee’s report. 

49d ago / 4:55 PM UTC

DOJ watchdog examining potential 'weaknesses' in Jan. 6 preparations

The Justice Department's inspector general said ahead of the Jan. 6 committee's meeting that the office is examining potential "weaknesses in DOJ protocols, policies, or procedures that adversely affected DOJ’s ability to effectively prepare for and respond to the events at the U.S. Capitol."

In an annual report on the Justice Department's top management challenges, the inspector general said that its ongoing review of DOJ's preparations for Jan. 6 would also "address important issues" emphasized in the Biden administration's National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism.

“As has long been the case in this arena, the significant hurdle to this strategy is preserving individuals’ First Amendment right to free speech or activity while protecting against the threat to national security,” the report states.

The inspector general said domestic terrorism is one of the biggest issues facing the Justice Department, as is strengthening public trust in DOJ. The inspector general said the department faces a "significant challenge" in making sure enforcement of the law is even-handed.

"Objectivity is equally important in the Department’s exercise of its law enforcement authorities. The law enforcement responses to protests in the spring and summer of 2020 at Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C.; Portland, Oregon; and elsewhere, following the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and others, have been contrasted with the treatment of rioters at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021," the report says. 

"The Department faces a significant challenge in ensuring that its law enforcement authority is wielded responsibly and without improper consideration or bias," the inspector general said. "Public accountability and transparency about its actions is necessary to address perceived disparities in law enforcement responses to these events."

49d ago / 4:44 PM UTC

Jan. 6 committee plans criminal referral for lawyer John Eastman

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The Jan. 6 committee intends to send criminal referrals to the Justice Department against Trump lawyer John Eastman, a key figure in former President Donald Trump’s challenges to the 2020 election results, two sources familiar with the panel’s deliberations tell NBC News.

Members of the committee said during a dress rehearsal overheard by NBC News on Sunday that the panel believed it had sufficient evidence to refer Eastman.

“Of course, President Trump did not act alone,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., was overheard telling his colleagues Sunday. “There is significant evidence to the fact that Eastman was part of this conspiracy” and, additionally, “it is now clear that this conspiracy involved many more people other than Dr. Eastman.”

Raskin also said Eastman was “centrally involved” in a conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election results.

The committee will likely reveal Eastman’s referrals during Monday’s meeting, in addition to expected criminal referrals for Trump.

A source familiar with the committee’s plans told NBC News about the committee’s Sunday meeting and its location on the Capitol complex.

49d ago / 4:08 PM UTC

The Jan. 6 committee: By the numbers

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The Jan. 6th committee spent nearly 18 months investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol and the events surrounding it. During that time, the panel:

  • Conducted over 1,200 witness interviews and depositions 
  • Received more than 10,000 tips to the tip line 
  • Examined hundreds of thousands of documents
  • Reviewed more than one million pages of records
  • Issued more than 100 subpoenas
49d ago / 3:39 PM UTC

Ahead of Jan. 6 meeting, jury selection for Proud Boys seditious conspiracy trial begins

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Jury selection begins Monday in the trial of Enrique Tarrio, the former leader of the Proud Boys, and four other members of the group. Each of them are charged with seditious conspiracy and other felonies for their actions leading up to and on Jan. 6, 2021.

Tarrio is charged along with three other defendants, who are accused of being leaders of their local Proud Boy chapters: Ethan Nordean of Washington, Joseph Biggs of Florida and Zachary Rehl of Pennsylvania. The fifth defendant, Dominic Pezzola, is accused of using a stolen police shield to break a window in the Capitol that allowed rioters to climb inside the building.

Although Tarrio was not physically in D.C. on Jan. 6, prosecutors allege he helped plan the group’s strategy and actions during the Capitol attack.

Jury selection is expected to take place throughout this week before opening statements on Jan. 3.

49d ago / 3:18 PM UTC

Schiff says Trump broke the law

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Sunday that the House Jan. 6 committee has evidence that former President Donald Trump broke the law, but he declined to get specific about the criminal referrals it will make.

In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Schiff, a member of the committee, cited multiple efforts by Trump to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, including pressuring state officials to go along with his false claims of widespread election fraud. “If that’s not criminal, then I don’t know what it is,” he said.

Schiff, however, declined to comment on specific referrals, saying the panel is set to vote on them and will reveal its decision Monday, as well as release its final report later this month.

“But I can tell you that our process has been to look meticulously at the evidence and compare it to various statutes. Is there sufficient evidence as to each element of a particular crime?” he said. “We are not referring, or at least won’t be voting to refer, everyone we think there may be evidence, because we want to focus on those for which we believe there’s the strongest evidence.”

Read more here.

49d ago / 3:13 PM UTC

Everything you need to know ahead of the Jan. 6 committee's final hearing

49d ago / 3:08 PM UTC

Jan. 6 committee finalizes criminal referral plan for Trump

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The House Jan. 6 committee met Sunday to finalize its plans to issue at least three criminal referrals for former President Donald Trump, NBC News learned exclusively.

The committee is expected to vote on referrals asking the Justice Department to pursue at least three criminal charges against Trump related to the Capitol riot: obstructing an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the government and inciting or assisting an insurrection.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said in part during the meeting overheard by NBC News that he believed referrals were “warranted.” A source familiar with the committee’s plans told NBC News about the meeting and its location on the Capitol complex.

The criminal referrals carry no official legal weight, and it remains up to the Justice Department to decide whether or not to charge Trump and anyone else the committee might refer.

The committee also plans to refer several Republican members of Congress to the House Ethics Committee for their defiance of congressional subpoenas, NBC News has learned.

Read more here.