Each presentation to this point has carefully contextualized the circumstances around the attack while bolstering the committee’s mission of connecting election lies with bad outcomes.
But the sheer volume of new details has made the committee’s work tricky to follow at times, even if you’ve kept up with every presentation.
Here’s everything we’ve learned from the panel’s public hearings so far this month.
In its third June hearing, the committee detailed how former President Donald Trump tried to pressure his vice president to join in his scheme to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
The presentation featured live testimony from two witnesses, former Pence attorney Greg Jacob and retired Republican judge J. Michael Luttig. Throughout the hearing, the panel walked through how conservative Trump attorney John Eastman put forward a legal theory that then-Vice President Mike Pence could unilaterally block certification of the election — one that was roundly rejected by Trump’s White House attorneys and Pence’s team.
Here are three big takeaways from Thursday’s presentation:
Trump was told Eastman’s plan was illegal — but tried it anyway. The former President was told repeatedly that his plan for Pence to overturn the election on January 6 was illegal, but he tried to do it anyway.
According to witness testimony, Pence himself and the lawyer who concocted the scheme advised Trump directly that the plan was unconstitutional and violated federal law. Committee members argued that this shows Trump’s corrupt intentions, and could lay the groundwork for a potential indictment.
The committee said Eastman made the request to Giuliani, Trump’s former attorney, in an email.
“I’ve decided that I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works,” the email from Eastman to Giuliani read.
Pence was very close to the mob. The former vice president was a mere 40 feet from the mob of Trump supporters inside the Capitol on January 6, just after Trump had tweeted about him, the House select committee showed on Thursday.
“It was clear it was escalating, and escalating quickly. When that tweet, the Mike Pence tweet was sent out,” that should have been the last tweet, former deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews testified in a taped deposition.
“It felt like he was pouring gasoline on the fire,” she added.
What we learned in previous hearings
In that tweet, Trump criticized Pence for announcing that he would not overturn the results of the 2020 election while presiding over the joint session of Congress to certify Joe Biden’s win.
Trump didn’t want the riot to stop. The committee also revealed testimony during its first hearing this month from Trump White House officials who said the former President did not want the US Capitol attack to stop, angrily resisted his own advisers who were urging him to call off the rioters and thought his own vice president “deserved” to be hanged.
Pence — not Trump — called for help. In another new video that aired during the first hearing this month, the panel showed video of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley saying Pence was the one who ordered National Guard troops to respond to the violence on January 6, but that he was told by the White House to say it was Trump.
Staffers fled McCarthy’s office. Anther video from the committee showed staffers in House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office frantically rushing out after rioters had breached the Capitol.
- Former Attorney General William Barr said that Trump’s claims of voter fraud were “bullshit.”
- Ivanka Trump said that she respected Barr and “accepted what he was saying” about the election.
- Trump spokesman Jason Miller said the campaign data person told Trump in “pretty blunt terms that he was going to lose.”
“I was called a lot of things on January 6, 2021, and the days thereafter,” said Edwards. “I was called Nancy Pelosi’s dog, called incompetent, called a hero and a villain. I was called a traitor to my country, my home, and my Constitution. In actuality, I was none of those things.”
“I was an American standing face to face with other Americans asking myself how many times — many, many times — how we had gotten here. I had been called names before, but never had my patriotism or duty been called into question,” added Edwards.
The committee even took a dig at Giuliani and his state of mind on election night, playing video from Miller’s deposition where he said that Giuliani “had too much to drink.”
“I mean, the mayor was definitely intoxicated,” Miller said. “But I did not know his level of intoxication when he spoke with the President, for example.”
The panel is scheduled to have two hearings next week — one on June 21 and another on June 23 — both starting at 1 p.m. ET.
Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the vice chair of the committee, has broadly laid out these themes for future hearings:
Pressuring state legislators. This hearing will provide “evidence that President Trump corruptly pressured state legislators and election officials to change election results.”
Inciting insurrection. The final June hearings will show how “Trump summoned a violent mob and directed them, illegally, to march on the US Capitol” and “failed to take immediate action to stop the violence and instruct his supporters to leave the Capitol.”
The source who spoke with CNN would not provide details on the emails’ contents or say if they were direct messages between the two or part of a larger group correspondence. The Washington Post first reported on the emails.
CNN’s Zachary Cohen, Jeremy Herb, Alex Rogers, Zachary B. Wolf and Marshall Cohen contributed to this report.