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What are the final revelations from the January 6 investigation?

Destroyed documents. Suggestions for forgiving violent troublemakers. Quiet talks among cabinet officials about whether then-US President Donald Trump should be removed from office.

Transcripts of interviews released in recent days (more than 100 so far) provide more insight into the January 6, 2021 insurrection and the weeks leading up to it, as Trump tried to reverse his presidential election defeat.

A nine-member committee of the US House of Representatives conducted more than 1,000 interviews, and lawmakers are gradually releasing hundreds of transcripts after issuing a final report last week. The panel will dissolve on Tuesday when the new Republican-led House is sworn in.

While some of the witnesses were more forthcoming than others, the interviews collectively tell the full story of Trump’s unprecedented intrigues, the bloody attack on the Capitol, and the fears that lawmakers and the former president’s own aides had as he tried to change democracy. and the popular will. .

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Some highlights from the interview transcripts released so far:

White House aide tells it all

White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, previously little-known, drew national attention when she testified in a surprise hearing this summer. She elaborated on Trump’s words and actions surrounding the January 6 attack: his anger after security agents thwarted his efforts to go to the Capitol that day and how she knew some of the supporters of him they were armed.

So far, the committee has released four of his closed-door interviews, revealing new details about what he said he observed in his time as an aide to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. Among other revelations, Hutchinson told the committee that he had seen Meadows burn documents in his office fireplace “about a dozen times” after the 2020 election.

She said she did not know what the documents were or if they were items that legally should have been kept. A spokesman for Meadows declined to comment.

Hutchinson also spoke at length about her moral struggle while deciding how much to reveal. He even investigated Watergate figures who had similarly testified about working in former President Richard Nixon’s White House.

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“My character and my integrity mean more to me than anything else,” said Hutchinson, who returned to the committee with new counsel in June after three previous interviews.

Sorry everyone?

After the insurrection, Trump floated the idea of ​​a blanket pardon for all participants. But White House counsel at the time, Pat Cipollone, discouraged the idea, according to testimony from Johnny McEntee, an aide who had served as director of the presidential personnel office.

McEntee was interviewed by the panel in March.

Trump then asked about limiting pardons to only those who entered the Capitol but did not participate in the violence. But that idea was also met with some pushback, McEntee recalled. He said Trump seemed swayed by the advice and said he wasn’t aware of the idea coming up again.

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Separately, McEntee said Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican, told him he was seeking a pre-emptive pardon from Trump as he faced a federal child sex trafficking investigation. Gaetz received no such pardon and has not faced any charges in connection with the investigation.

Hutchinson testified that Meadows’ office was so inundated with clemency requests late in Trump’s term that some turned to Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to help facilitate them.

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The 25th Amendment

The panel interviewed several of Trump’s cabinet secretaries about discussions of invoking Section 4 of the 25th Amendment: Trump’s forcible removal from power by his own cabinet. While some acknowledged that it had been discussed, it seems they did not believe the scenario was likely.

Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says he spoke briefly with then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the idea after the insurrection.

“It came up very briefly in our conversation,” Mnuchin testified in July. “We both believed that the best outcome was a normal transition of power, that it was working, and neither of us looked at the 25th Amendment in any serious format.”

Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the committee that he witnessed a brief conversation between the two cabinet secretaries at the White House and heard the phrase “25th Amendment.” His transcript has yet to be released, but investigators subpoenaed Milley to Pompeo and Mnuchin when they were being questioned.

Pompeo told the committee that he did not remember the conversation. “I would have seen someone talking about the potential of invoking the 25th Amendment as absolutely absurd,” he said.

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Former Vice President Mike Pence later scrapped the idea in a letter to then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, saying the mechanism should be reserved for when a president is medically or mentally incapacitated.

Pence’s former chief of staff, Marc Short, told the panel he thought the talk was “a political game.” The process would have taken weeks to unfold, he said, and Democrat Joe Biden was scheduled to take office on January 20.

The Trump family testifies

The committee interviewed two of the former president’s children, Donald Trump Jr and Ivanka Trump, about their conversations with their father during the January 6 attack and in the days before and after.

Trump Jr. did not respond to many of the committee’s questions and frequently said he had no recollection of events or conversations. He explained why he texted Meadows on the afternoon of January 6, as the attack was taking place, to tell him that his father needed to “condemn this s**t” immediately and that Trump’s tweets had not been strong enough.

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“My dad doesn’t text,” Trump Jr. said.

Ivanka Trump, who was at the White House with her father on January 6, was also vague in many of her answers. She talked to the committee about working with her father to write her tweets that day, encouraging him to make a strong statement when rioters stormed the Capitol.

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And he testified that he heard Trump’s side of a “heated” phone call with Pence that morning when his father tried to encourage Pence to object to congressional certification that day. Pence refused to do so.

He also testified that he received a call and text from Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who was at the Capitol when it was under siege. Collins told him that “the president needs to put out a very strong tweet telling people to go home and stop the violence now.”

‘Give me five dead voters’

Trump’s lawyer, Christina Bobb, testified that Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, one of Trump’s main allies, asked some of the former president’s advisers for evidence of fraud so he could “defend” him after the election.

Trump falsely claimed that there was widespread fraud, despite court rulings and election officials in all 50 states saying otherwise.

Graham told the lawyers that he would love to support the cause.

“Don’t tell me everything because it’s too overwhelming,” Bobb quotes Graham. “Just give me five dead voters; give me, you know, an example of illegal voting. Just give me a very small snapshot that I can take and defend.”

He did nothing with the information he was given, Bobb said. Graham voted on January 6 to certify Biden’s victory in the presidential election.

National Guard frustration

The crowd that stormed the Capitol would have faced a much tougher police response if it had been made up mostly of African Americans, retired Army Maj. Gen. William Walker, who led the DC National Guard at the time, testified. Walker is now the House sergeant-at-arms.

“I am African American. Kid from the ’60s,” Walker testified. “I think it would have been a very different response if they were African Americans trying to breach the Capitol. As a career police officer, part-time soldier… the response from law enforcement would have been different.”

It took several hours for the National Guard to reach the Capitol, leaving police officers overwhelmed while Pentagon officials said they were processing the necessary approvals. More than 100 officers were injured, many seriously, when Trump supporters beat and ran them over their way inside.

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Walker expressed deep frustration over the delays and says he even considered breaking the chain of command and authorizing troops to enter. Lawyers strongly advised him not to, he said.

He said he didn’t think the Pentagon heist was because the insurgents were mostly white.

“I don’t think race was part of the military’s decision paralysis,” he said in his April interview, adding: “I think they just didn’t want to do it.”

Hardline gang leaders

Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in response to questions from some investigators, and his attorney has at times said his client was not from the hardline group, whose associates now face charges. sedition rare.

But Tarrio himself told investigators that he took the title of president.

Tarrio, who had been released from prison on the eve of the insurrection, was not present during the attack. But prosecutors say he maintained command over the Proud Boys who attacked Congress and cheered from afar. The Proud Boys were some of the first rioters to break through the Capitol perimeter.

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He told the panel that the first degree of membership in the Proud Boys is “that you are a Western chauvinist” and that you “refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.”

Tarrio met Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the hardline group Oath Keepers, in a garage on the night of January 5, before the attack. “I still don’t like Stewart Rhodes,” Tarrio said.

Rhodes, who was also interviewed by the panel, was convicted in November of seditious conspiracy for what prosecutors said was a plot for an armed rebellion to stop the transfer of presidential power. They said Rhodes rallied his supporters to fight to defend Trump and discussed the prospect of a “bloody” civil war.

In his February testimony before the panel, Rhodes declined to answer questions about his involvement on January 6 and the weapons buildup. He said that he feels like a political prisoner.

“Frankly, I feel like a Jew in Germany,” Rhodes told the committee.

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