Jan. 6 committee holds second hearing

By Elise Hammond, Aditi Sangal, Mike Hayes, Maureen Chowdhury, Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 6:59 p.m. ET, June 13, 2022
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1:30 p.m. ET, June 13, 2022

What we know about what happened in the White House the night of the 2020 election

From CNN's Sam Woodward

Monday's second hearing from the House Jan. 6 committee brought new information to light on what happened the night of the 2020 election inside former President Donald Trump's White House.

Here's what we know:

  • White House officials and advisers, including the Trump's family, were in attendance at an event on the residence side of the White House the night of the election. Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, both former White House senior advisers, detailed their presence to the committee. Kushner, who spoke via deposition tape, said that President Trump was in the upper level of the residence where he met with advisers while votes were coming in.
  • While "apparently inebriated," according to Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, Rudy Giuliani pushed election fraud conspiracies to Trump that he would eventually use as a backing for the lie that he won. Trump's then-spokesperson Jason Miller told the committee in his deposition that "the mayor was definitely intoxicated" at the White House on election night.
  • In a deposition tape, former Attorney General Bill Barr said Trump claimed election fraud "right out of the box on election night ... before there was actually any potential of looking at evidence."
  • Bill Stepien, Trump's former campaign manager, recalled during a video clip played by the committee that Trump disagreed that it was too early to call the election and that he said, "they were going to go in a different direction." Kushner said he told the former President that if he were in his position, calling the election early " [was] not the approach I would take if I was you"
  • Matt Morgan, the Trump campaign's general counsel, said in a videotaped deposition that after speaking with counsel after hearing about Rudy Giuliani's conspiracies about election fraud, it was determined that "the law firms were not comfortable making the arguments that Rudy Giuliani was making publicly."
  • In the early morning hours of Nov. 5, Trump addressed the nation via video and falsely claimed victory.
5:29 p.m. ET, June 13, 2022

Cheney says Wednesday's Jan. 6 committee hearing will focus on Trump's "broader planning for Jan. 6"

From CNN staff

A video plays at the hearing on Monday in Washington, DC.
A video plays at the hearing on Monday in Washington, DC. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice chair of the House select committee, said Monday's hearing was "very narrowly focused," but the panel plans to lay out evidence that paints a broader picture of former President Donald Trump's role in the Jan. 6 riot at its next hearing, which is set to take place Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET.

The presentation will focus on Trump's "broader planning for Jan. 6, including his plan to corrupt the Department of Justice," Cheney said in her closing remarks.

The committee's central mission has been to uncover the full scope of Trump's unprecedented attempt to stop the transfer of power to President Biden. This includes Trump's attempts to overturn his 2020 defeat by pressuring state and federal officials, and what committee members say was his "dereliction of duty" on Jan. 6, 2021, while his supporters ransacked the US Capitol.

Cheney outlined more of the committee's plans during the panel's first prime-time hearing last Thursday. Here's what to expect moving forward:

  • The third hearing on Wednesday will show how “Trump corruptly planned to replace the Attorney General of the United States so the US Justice Department would spread his false stolen election claims," Cheney said.
  • Cheney said the fourth hearing will illustrate “Trump’s efforts to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to count electoral votes on Jan. 6th.”
  • The fifth hearing will provide “evidence that President Trump corruptly pressured state legislators and election officials to change election results,” including “details” about Trump’s call to Georgia officials urging them to “find” votes.
  • Finally, the last two 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.”

Potential upcoming witnesses: CNN has learned that two people directly tied to former Vice President Mike Pence are among those who have received invitations to appear before the committee. Former Pence chief counsel Greg Jacob and former federal Judge J. Michael Luttig have received outreach from the committee about their possible testimony.

In addition, CNN has also learned former Pence chief of staff Marc Short is expected to be called to testify. All three men have already been interviewed privately by committee investigators. In some cases, their testimony has already been used by the committee as part of court filings and subpoena requests of other potential witnesses in their investigation.

How to watch: The committee's next hearing on Wednesday 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.

12:52 p.m. ET, June 13, 2022

The hearing has ended

The Jan. 6 committee's second hearing has ended.

3:29 p.m. ET, June 13, 2022

Former Attorney General Barr: Trump's election fraud claims in Philadelphia "absolute rubbish"

From CNN's Clare Foran

(Pool)
(Pool)

In a video clip played at the hearing, former Attorney General Bill Barr shot down efforts by former President Donald Trump to suggest there was significant fraud that could have impacted election results in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania.

Barr instead argued that the reality was simply that Trump did not perform particularly well electorally in the state.

"The President has repeatedly suggested there was some kind of outpouring of unexpected votes in inner-city areas like Philadelphia," Barr said in the video clip. The former attorney general referenced a January interview with NPR where Trump suggested that more people voted in Philadelphia than there were voters. "That was absolute rubbish," Barr said of the claim.

Barr said there was nothing abnormal about how many people came out to vote in Philadelphia — and that the "obvious explanation" was that "Trump ran weaker than the Republican ticket generally" in the state.

Here's what Barr said:

"There was nothing strange about the Philadelphia turnout. It wasn't like there was all these unexpected votes that came out in Philadelphia. I think once you actually look at the votes, there's an obvious explanation. For example, in Pennsylvania, Trump ran weaker than the Republican ticket generally. He ran weaker than two of the state candidates. He ran weaker than the congressional delegation running for federal Congress, and — I think, I haven't looked at this recently — but he generally was a weak element on the Republican ticket. So that does not suggest that the election was stolen by fraud."

While Trump won the state of Pennsylvania in 2016 — which is usually highly contested in presidential elections — President Joe Biden won the state in 2020.

3:20 p.m. ET, June 13, 2022

Attorney Ginsberg: "There was no credible evidence of fraud produced by the Trump campaign or his supporters"

Conservative Republican election attorney Ben Ginsberg
Conservative Republican election attorney Ben Ginsberg CNN

Conservative Republican election attorney Ben Ginsberg said there was "never" an instance in which a court found that Trump's campaign's fraud claims were credible.

"There was never that instance. In all the the cases that were brought in — and I looked at more than 60 that include more than 180 counts. And no, the simple fact is that the Trump campaign did not make its case," he told the committee.

Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California said the select committee has identified 62 post-election lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign and his allies between Nov. 4, 2020, and Jan. 6, 2021. Lofgren said those cases resulted in 61 losses and "only a single victory which actually didn't affect the outcome for either candidate."

Asked what he thinks of the claims that Trump was not given an opportunity to provide evidence they had voter fraud and whether they had their day in court, Ginsberg said, "They did have their day in court. About half of those cases that you mentioned were dismissed at the procedural stage for a lack of standing, the proper people didn't bring the case, or there wasn't sufficient evidence and it got dismissed on a motion to dismiss."

"But in the other, there were discussions of the merits that were contained in the complaints. And in no instance did a court find that the charges of fraud were real. And it's also worth noting that even if the Trump campaign complained that it did not have its day in court, there had been post-election reviews in each of the six battleground states that could have made a difference," he told the committee. He went on to list list examples, including the hand recount in Georgia.

"In each one of those instances, there was no credible evidence of fraud produced by the Trump campaign or his supporters," he added.

More on the witness: Ginsberg is considered a leading Republican expert on election fraud and played a critical role in the Florida recount case when then-candidate George W. Bush defeated then-Vice President Al Gore.

Even before the election, Ginsberg was vocal about the weakness of the former President’s claims. In a September 2020 essay, Ginsberg criticized the assertions as lacking evidence and “unsustainable.”

The hearing on Monday morning was set to focus on how Trump questioned the election process widely, knowing their assertions would not change the outcome, committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney, a Republican of Wyoming, said last week. 

She said the committee will strive to show how “Trump engaged in a massive effort to spread false and fraudulent information” even though “Trump and his advisors knew that he had, in fact, lost the election.” 

CNN's Jamie Gangel contributed reporting to this post.

12:45 p.m. ET, June 13, 2022

Alleged "suitcase of ballots" was an official lockbox, former US attorney for North District of Georgia says

(Pool)
(Pool)

BJay Pak, the former US attorney for the North District of Georgia, said his office found that the alleged "suitcase full of ballots" was an official lockbox.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has petitioned the US Supreme Court to take up a lawsuit against Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia, claiming that there are voting irregularities in each state that still require investigation.

The filing says there is video of "suitcases full of ballots being pulled out from underneath tables after poll watchers were told to leave."

Georgia Secretary of State's office investigated these but didn't find any evidence of fraud.

Pak said his office conducted its own investigation and found that the "suitcase full of ballots" was an official lockbox where ballots were stored to be kept stafe. The boxes were kept under the tables, he said.

Pak said there was a "misunderstanding" and the partisan poll watchers, assigned by each respective, were told they were done counting ballots for the night and were told they could go home.

"Once they realized the mistake, someone from the secretary of state's office had indicated 'no, no, no, we're not done for the night. You need to go ahead continue counting,'" Pak said.

Pak said they brought back the official ballot box and the poll workers started counting the ballots from the lockbox that was initially packed up.

"Unfortunately, during the Senate hearing, Mr. Giuliani only played a clip that showed them pulling out the official ballot box from under the table," Pak said.

"In actuality, in review of the entire video, it showed that it was an official ballot box that was kept underneath the tables," Pak added. "Then we saw them pack up, because the announcement they thought they were done for the night — once the announcement was made that they should continue counting, they brought the ballot box back out."

12:55 p.m. ET, June 13, 2022

Former Philadelphia city commissioner says Trump's tweet escalated level of threats against him and his family

(Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
(Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt, a Republican, said the threats against him became more specific and more graphic after former President Donald Trump tweeted against him.

"On some level it feels almost silly to talk about a tweet, but we can really see the impact that they have. Because prior to that [tweet], the threats were pretty general in nature," he told the Jan. 6 committee. "After the President tweeted at me by name, calling me out the way that he did, the threats became much more specific, much more graphic. And included not just me by name but included members of my family by name, their ages, our address, pictures of our home."

Trump, who continues to make unfounded claims about voter fraud and claims that the election has been stolen from him, had attacked Schmidt on Twitter on Nov. 11, 2020, calling him a "RINO," or a "Republican in name only."

"He refuses to look at a mountain of corruption & dishonesty. We win!" Trump had tweeted.

12:42 p.m. ET, June 13, 2022

Former Philadelphia commissioner says they took claims of election fraud seriously "no matter how absurd"

Al Schmidt, who served as the only Republican member of Philadelphia's three-member city commission overseeing the 2020 presidential election, said the commission investigated claims made by Trump and his team of election fraud and found none.

These claims, made by Trump's allies, included an allegation by Rudy Giuliani that 8,000 dead people voted in the state of Pennsylvania in 2020. Schmidt said this was not true.

"Not only was there not evidence of 8,000 dead voters voting in Pennsylvania, there wasn't evidence of eight," Schmidt said.

Schmidt said that the team "took seriously every case that was referred to us, no matter how fantastical, no matter how absurd," including the claim of thousands of dead voters.

12:32 p.m. ET, June 13, 2022

A former Republican Philadelphia city commissioner is testifying

From CNN staff

Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt poses for a photo outside the Pennsylvania Convention Centre on November 6, 2020.
Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt poses for a photo outside the Pennsylvania Convention Centre on November 6, 2020. (Lynsey Addario/Getty Images)

Former Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt is testifying now before the Jan. 6 committee hearing.

"Not only was there not evidence of 8,000 dead voters voting in Pennsylvania. There wasn't evidence of eight. We took seriously every case that was referred to us no matter how fantastical no matter how absurd and took every one of those seriously, including these," he said as he answered a question about a claim from the Trump campaign that "8,000 dead people voted in Pennsylvania."

The Republican official was a notable voice in the aftermath of the 2020 US presidential election, when he debunked then-President Donald Trump's baseless claims about election fraud in the city.

Schmidt's home state of Pennsylvania was key in the Trump campaign's efforts to potentially overturn the 2020 election results.

Schmidt was in a position to investigate fraud claims after the 2020 election, and did not uncover evidence of substantial fraud.