Jan. 6 committee holds seventh hearing

By Adrienne Vogt, Aditi Sangal, Mike Hayes, Maureen Chowdhury and Elise Hammond, CNN

Updated 6:59 p.m. ET, July 12, 2022
57 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
5:00 p.m. ET, July 12, 2022

Clips from Pat Cipollone's closed-door interview were shown at today's hearing. Here are the key moments.

From CNN's Sam Woodward

A video of Pat Cipollone's testimony is shown on a screen during a public hearing in Washington, DC, on Tuesday.
A video of Pat Cipollone's testimony is shown on a screen during a public hearing in Washington, DC, on Tuesday. (Doug Mills/Pool/Reuters)

Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone testified for eight hours in front of the House Jan. 6 Committee on Friday in a closed-door interview. Here are some key moments of his testimony played at the committee's seventh hearing on Tuesday.

He did not think there was sufficient evidence of election fraud: In his testimony, Cipollone said he agreed with former Attorney General Bill Barr, who concluded there was insufficient evidence of election fraud. He recounted former chief of staff Mark Meadows saying in November 2020 that then-President Trump should have conceded, to which he said he agreed. Jason Miller, a former senior adviser to Trump, told the committee that Cipollone called John Eastman's theory to overturn the election "nutty." Cipollone did not refute this statement.

He was verbally attacked during the Dec. 18, 2020 meeting at the White House. Cipollone told the committee he walked into the Dec.18 meeting attended by Trump, former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne, none of which, he said, he was "happy to see."

The meeting, which lasted six hours, was described as “unhinged” by former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson after hearing screaming coming from the West Wing. Ideas circulated about overturning the election including Flynn's suggestion to invoke martial law and inspection of voting machines.

“I don’t think any of these people were providing the President with good advice,” Cipollone told the committee.

After asking where the evidence was for claims of voter fraud, Cipollone said that he and Meadows were verbally attacked for questioning where the evidence for Trump’s falsely claimed victory came from. Cipollone told the committee the group responded with “general disregard for wanting to back up claims with facts.”

In addition to floating claims of voter fraud and plots to overturn the election, Cipollone described his opposition to Trump’s suggestion of naming Powell as a special counsel to investigate voter fraud in the 2020 election. "I was vehemently opposed — I didn't think she should be appointed to anything," Cipollone told the committee during his closed-door interview, according to a video clip from that meeting played Tuesday.

He thought it was a “terrible idea” for the President to follow a plan to seize election machines: A proposal for the federal government to seize election machines was "a terrible idea," Cipollone told the committee.

“That's not how we do things in the United States. There's no legal authority to do that," Cipollone said.

4:33 p.m. ET, July 12, 2022

Cheney: Committee informed DOJ that Trump attempted to contact a witness not yet seen in hearings

From CNN's Alex Rogers, Katelyn Polantz, Evan Perez and Tierney Sneed

(Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters)
(Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters)

Rep. Liz Cheney, vice chair of the Jan. 6 committee, said former President Donald Trump attempted to contact a witness who has not yet been publicly identified.

“After our last hearing, President Trump tried to call a witness in our investigation, a witness you have not yet seen in these hearings,” Cheney saidat the end of the House select committee hearing on Tuesday. “That person declined to answer or respond to President Trump's call, and instead alerted their lawyer to the call. Their lawyer alerted us. And this committee has supplied that information to the Department of Justice.”

As notable as Cheney's revelation is, she also raises the possibility that the incident could prompt interest from Justice Department prosecutors.

This is the first time the committee has explicitly described providing information to the Justice Department that they discovered during their probe. 

However, it's not the first public suggestion of witness tampering the committee has made. Previously, the committee noted two incidents where their star witness Cassidy Hutchinson received messages about being loyal to Donald Trump. It should be noted that making a call isn’t witness tampering in and of itself.

Those, however, weren't from Trump himself — and Trump's personal involvement raises the stakes if the message was intended to impact a witness' testimony.

Cheney didn't disclose the substance of it.

It's still not clear how the committee communicated the information to the Justice Department, and whether it could be considered a criminal referral.

The Justice Department hasn't responded to CNN's request for comment.

4:27 p.m. ET, July 12, 2022

Rioter shakes hands with officers who defended US Capitol during Jan. 6 riot after hearing

Stephen Ayres, third from right, shakes hands with US Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, left, after the House select committee hearing on July 12.
Stephen Ayres, third from right, shakes hands with US Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, left, after the House select committee hearing on July 12. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Capitol rioter Stephen Ayres shook hands with officers who defended the US Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection after Tuesday's hearing.

Ayres could be seen shaking hands with former DC Metropolitan Police Officers Michael Fanone, Daniel Hodges and US Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino A. Gonell.

4:11 p.m. ET, July 12, 2022

The hearing has ended

From CNN staff


The House Jan. 6 select committee's seventh hearing just wrapped up.  

Committee vice-chair Liz Cheney said the next public hearing will zero in on what former President Donald Trump and his team were doing on Jan. 6, 2021, and specifically while the insurrection was going on.

"For multiple hours, Donald Trump refused to intervene to stop it. He would not instruct the mob to leave or condemn the violence. He would not order them to evacuate the Capitol and disperse," Cheney said.

She said the committee will also show that members of Congress and his own staff pleaded with the former President to help. Cheney said the hearing will walk through the events of Jan. 6 "minute by minute."

The committee's next hearing will be next week. It will be aired live on CNN and a livestream will be featured on CNN.com without requiring a login. CNN's special coverage of the hearing will stream live on the CNN app, and live coverage with updates will be on CNN.com and cnnespanol.cnn.com

3:56 p.m. ET, July 12, 2022

Rep. Raskin says American carnage is Trump's "true legacy" after Jan. 6 insurrection

From CNN's Clare Foran


Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, a member of the Jan. 6 committee, said in closing remarks at today's hearing that "American carnage" is former President Trump's "true legacy" in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection.

"American carnage, that's Donald Trump's true legacy. His desire to overthrow the people's election and seize the presidency interrupted the counting of Electoral College votes for the first time in American history, nearly toppled the Constitutional order, and brutalized hundreds and hundreds of people," Raskin said.

"The Watergate break in was like a Cub Scout meeting compared to this assault on our people and our institutions," Raskin said.

Raskin was making reference to a now-famous line from a speech Trump gave in which he invoked the concept of "American carnage."

3:55 p.m. ET, July 12, 2022

Rep. Raskin: US Capitol police officer forced to quit due to Jan. 6 injuries

US Capitol Police sergeant Aquilino Gonell has been forced to quit policing due to injuries sustained during the Jan. 6 attack, Rep. Jamie Raskin said during today's hearing.

Gonell was in the audience for today's hearing and grew emotional as Raskin described how the police officer's injuries that day ended his career.

"Last month, on June 28, a team of doctors told him that permanent injuries he has suffered to his left shoulder and right foot now make it impossible for him to continue as a police officer. He must leave policing for good and figure out the rest of his life," Raskin said.

According to Raskin, Gonell, who is an Iraq War veteran and testified to the committee after the Jan. 6 attack, told them that "nothing he ever saw in combat in Iraq prepared him for the insurrection, where he was savagely beaten, punched, pushed, kicked, stomped, and sprayed with chemical irritants along with other officers. By members of a mob carrying hammers, knives, batons, and police shields taken by force. And wielding the American flag against police officers as a dangerous weapon."


4:08 p.m. ET, July 12, 2022

Former Oath Keeper concerned Trump could try to "whip up a civil war" if he is elected again

(Jacquelyn Martin/AP)
(Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

A former spokesperson for the Oath Keepers, an extremist group, says it is "exceedingly lucky that more bloodshed did not happen."

Jason Van Tatenhove said the potential for more violence "has been there from the start," adding that he is worried about the next election. He said as tragic as it is that some people were killed during the insurrection, including law enforcement officers, "the potential was so much more."

"All we have to look at is the iconic images of that day with the gallows set up for Mike Pence. For the Vice President of the United States," Van Tatenhove said.

Looking ahead, he said he doesn't know what the next election might bring, but he is worried that if former President Donald Trump runs again in 2024, he will try to "whip up a civil war amongst his followers using lies and deceit."

“What else is he going to do if he gets elected again? All bets are off at that point," he added, saying that he is worried about the world his daughters and granddaughter will inherit if people are not held accountable.

Former Oath Keepers spokesperson Jason Van Tatenhove says he fears for the next election cycle. Hear him explain why:

4:02 p.m. ET, July 12, 2022

Former Oath Keeper testifies on the group's violent aims and militia training

From CNN's Holmes Lybrand

Jason Van Tatenhove, a former spokesperson and self-described "propagandist" for the Oath Keepers, told the committee Tuesday how the group was a dangerous militia driven by violence.

“I spent a few years with the Oath Keepers and I can tell you that they may not like to call themselves a militia but they are,” Van Tatenhove told the committee.

Leaders of the Oath Keepers have been charged with seditious conspiracy for their alleged actions on Jan. 6. According to prosecutors, the group established a “quick reaction force” in Virginia for Jan. 6, stocked with firearms and ammunition, in case members in DC needed back up that day. Two Oath Keeper groups tactically breached the Capitol that day, prosecutors say, with some members looking for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi inside.

“I think we saw a glimpse of what the vision of the Oath Keepers is on Jan. 6,” Van Tatenhove said. “It doesn’t necessary include the rule of law…it includes violence. It includes trying to get their way through lies, through deceit, through intimidation and through the perpetration of violence.”

During his testimony, Van Tatenhove told the committee that the group, driven by their leader Stewart Rhodes, would run military training exercises and that “there were courses in that community that went over explosive training.” 

“I think we’ve gotten exceedingly luck that more bloodshed did not happen” on Jan. 6, Van Tatenhove said. “The potential was so much more.”

Asked why he broke off with the group, Van Tatenhove said that at one point Oath Keepers started talking about how the Holocaust wasn’t real. “That was it for me, I just could not abide,” he said.

3:56 p.m. ET, July 12, 2022

Trump pumped up references to Pence in Jan. 6 Ellipse speech after heated call, Murphy says

(Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
(Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy said that former President Donald Trump made "last-minute edits" to his Jan. 6, 2021 speech from the Ellipse while listening to a rally attended by far-right extremists held near the White House on the evening of Jan. 5, 2021.

"Based on documents we have received from the National Archives, including multiple draft of the Presidents' speech, as well as from witness testimony, we understand how that speech devolved into a call to action and call to fight," Murphy said.

Murphy said that Trump edited his speech to include language that he later tweeted on Jan. 6, 2021, including, "we don't want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened radical left Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore. We also added, together we will stop the steal."

Murphy said that Trump continued edits to his speech early into the morning of Jan. 6, 2021 and held a 25-minutes phone call with this chief speech writer and senior adviser Stephen Miller.

"Following his call with Mr. Miller, President Trump inserted, for the first time, a line in his speech that said, 'And we will see whether Mike Pence enters history as a truly great and courageous leader. All he has to do is refer the illegally submitted electoral votes back to the states that were given false and fraudulent information where they want to recertify.' No prior versions of the speech had referenced Vice President Pence or his role during the joint session on Jan. 6," Murphy noted.

She said, "These last-minute edits by President Trump to his speech were part of the President's pressure campaign against his own vice president."

Murphy said that Miller removed the lines about Pence after having a conversation with White House lawyer Eric Herschmann who objected to the President's edits, according to testimony from Miller.

Miller recalled Hershmann saying “something to the effect of thinking that it would be counterproductive, I think he thought, to – to discuss the matter publicly.”

Murphy said that the speech writers were advised to add the Pence lines back into the speech after a "heated" phone call Trump had with Pence at 11:20 a.m. on Jan. 6, 2021, Murphy said.

Trump speechwriter Vincent Haley also recalled in committee deposition that a "tough sentence about the Vice President" was added. When Trump gave the speech, it included several more references to Pence, according to the committee’s presentation.

“I hope he doesn’t listen to the RINOS and the stupid people that he’s listening to,” Trump said in one of the ad-libbed lines played by the committee.

In another improvised line, Trump called on his supporters to give “weak” Republicans “the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”

The committee also played dueling testimonies showcasing differing accounts of Ivanka Trump's decision to attend the rally at the ellipse.

In her deposition, as played during the hearing, Ivanka Trump denied that she attended the rally in the hopes of cooling down her father because he was still overheated from his call with Pence.

However, Julie Radford, an aide to Ivanka Trump, told the committee that Ivanka "felt like she might be able to help calm the situation down, at least before he went onto stage."

"She shared that he had called the Vice President a not — an expletive word," Radford told the committee. "I think that bothered her. And I think she could tell based on the conversations and what was going on in the office that he was angry and upset and people were providing misinformation."


CNN's Tierney Sne contributed to this report.