The House Jan. 6 committee released transcripts of another wave of witness interviews on Sunday.
The new release is part of a steady stream of transcripts from the House Select Committee in recent days, supplementing the release of its 845-page report.
The latest report card drop comes as the panel wraps up work with the House majority, which is set to hand over from Democrats to Republicans at the start of the new Congress on Tuesday.
Transcripts released so far reveal new clues about how House committees investigated the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, as well as new details told to the panel by key witnesses.
Here are some highlights from the latest disclosure:
Former President Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, provided the select committee with 6,600 pages of email records and about 2,000 text messages, according to transcripts of Meadows’ testimony that he did not appear in court in December 2021.
Investigators scanned some of the items they wanted to ask Meadows about his presence, including an email from Meadows in December 2020 that read: “Rudy was put in charge. This is the President’s decision,” according to committee records.
The committee also wants to question Meadows about certain passages in his book, specific text messages exchanges and his contacts with the Justice Department “to encourage investigations into alleged voter fraud.” The committee also plans to ask Meadows about his communications about his Jan. 6 deployment of the National Guard, “including a Jan. 5 email from Mr. Meadows in which he said the National Guard would be present at the Capitol, Quote, ‘Protect 153 pro-Trump people,’ end quote.
The committee also held faceless testimony sessions for former Trump aide Dan Scavino, former Trump administration official Peter Navarro and right-wing media personality Steve Bannon White House work. Brief minutes of these meetings document the failure of witnesses to appear and the committee’s communications with the witnesses or their representatives.
In a transcript of a conversation with Alexandra Preate, who served as Bannon’s spokeswoman, the committee asked about their text exchanges. In it, the two appear to be discussing — days after the Capitol was attacked — the one million people around the Capitol after Joe Biden takes office on Jan. 20, 2021.
The committee interviewer quoted Bannon as saying, “I will surround the Capitol in complete silence.”
Asked whether she and Bannon had discussed bringing people back to Washington, D.C., even after Jan. 6, Praet said, “I don’t remember,” and it was “not my deal.” Platt also said she thought Trump lost the election.
Republican National Committee Chair Rona McDaniel told the committee that the former president called her on Jan. 1, 2021, to ask about her relationship with then-Vice President Mike Pence.
“I do remember him asking me what my relationship was with the vice president, and I said I didn’t know him very well,” McDaniel told the select committee, according to a transcript.
McDaniel said she didn’t recall whether they specifically discussed Pence’s role in certifying the Electoral College vote five days after the call. But later, McDaniel said, after the attack on the U.S. Capitol, Trump privately “communicated to her in a way that, you know, the vice president has the power to — I don’t know the correct legal term, but he has accept the power of the electorate.”
She also said Trump called her on Jan. 7, but they did not discuss the attack.
The panel revealed during hearings this summer that Trump called McDaniel directly in December, telling her about a group of states’ plans to submit replacement voter lists and connecting her with his election attorney, John Eastman. , but her full record reveals more details about what was in common between the Republican National Committee, the Trump White House and the Trump campaign at the time.
Before Jan. 6, McDaniel testified that she was not aware of alternate elections being considered by anyone other than provisional voters amid legal challenges to alter the state election results. She added that she was not aware of the discussions and that she was undergoing ankle surgery around the time of the Capitol attack.
McDaniel told committee investigators that after that December call, she called Justin Clark, an adviser to the Trump campaign, who gave her the impression that the campaign was aware of the so-called alternate elector program, And the plan is being developed. She also testified that she sent a note to former Trump White House aide Molly Michael on Dec. 14 when she was told of a meeting with fake electors.
As for the RNC’s fundraising emails about the 2020 election, McDaniel said the RNC worked closely with Clark, but once Giuliani took over Trump’s legal duties, he “was doing his own thing.” , didn’t really reach out to the RNC.”
A Trump campaign lawyer described to the committee Giuliani’s demand that he be paid $20,000 a day for his post-election legal work — a demand that Giuliani rejected.
Matthew Morgan, general counsel for former President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, described to the committee how the campaign handled requests from Giuliani and his team — who took over the campaign’s litigation strategy in mid-November 2020 — — Hire outside lawyers and firms.
“Rudy Giuliani himself, who requested the engagement letter and, through a surrogate, what was considered a huge amount of compensation,” Morgan said in transcripts of the April interview that were released on Sunday.
“When I presented this to (Trump deputy campaign manager) Justin Clark, who thought the campaign was not willing to pay that number, I was relying on Justin to tell me if we could write an engagement letter like this, and then it went away. It didn’t happen either.”
Morgan told the House committee that the request was made through Giuliani aide Maria Ryan and was for $20,000 a day. He declined to answer further questions from the committee about the campaign’s resistance to the request.
CNN previously reported, citing sources, that Giuliani demanded $20,000 a day in November 2020. At the time, Giuliani denied to The New York Times that he was looking for that number.
Trump White House aides have given conflicting accounts of the former president’s reaction to learning he will not be brought to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
While Cassidy Hutchinson described Trump’s reaction in her testimony as an outburst of anger, Robert “Bobby” Engel — the lead agent for Trump’s motorcade on the day of the riots — apparently told others in the White House that Trump Trump just “shrugged” when he was told he would not be taken to the Capitol.
When Engel returned to the White House after Trump’s Jan. 6 speech, he stopped by the office shared by former White House deputy chief of staff Tony Onato and special assistant to the president for operations William “Beau” Harrison.
“What came to our attention was the president asked me where I was going. You know, I’m going — am I going back to the White House? Bob said, yes, you know, we’re going back to the White House,” Harrison said, according to the transcript. told committee investigators in an interview in August 2022.
“I have a particular memory of Bobby at the time, because we were in the room and nobody else was in the room, so Bobby told Tony and myself that the president was pretty much dismissive,” Harrison told the committee. “He just moved on. ”
Harrison told congressional investigators that he had never heard of a violent altercation in the car until he watched Hutchinson’s testimony on television. “I would also add that if something like this ever happened, I would 100% know and would have heard about it.”
While Hutchinson was testifying, Harrison got a call from Onato. Ornato basically said, “Can you believe it?” “Where did this story even come from,” according to Harrison’s committee transcript.
Notably, Harrison told investigators that he did not pay for his legal representation and was not sure who was footing the bill.
Harrison’s attorney interviewed by the committee was Stefan Passantino, who represented Hutchinson and allegedly encouraged Hutchinson to give misleading testimony. Passantino insisted that he “honorably” and “morally” represented Hutchinson.
Kenneth Cesebro — who was described by a House Jan. 6 committee as Trump’s lawyer as the architect of a post-2020 election sham scheme — declined to answer questions from the panel during his October testimony, a transcript shows. most of the problems.
When asked questions on a variety of topics, Chesebro cited his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and attorney-client privilege, including his interactions with Trump, whom he has pushed for. The role of Trump electors in a conspiracy to run against Biden electors in states with a Biden victory and calls for Pence to disrupt Congressional certification of Biden’s victory.
“I believe my Fifth Amendment privilege covers the whole subject of having anything to do with alternate voters,” Cesebro said at one point in his testimony. At the outset, his attorneys pointed to criminal investigations by Fulton County, Georgia, and the Justice Department, both of which are closely watching election-shaming schemes.
Cesebro did answer some of the committee’s more abstract questions about how he learned about legal issues affecting the theory he’s promoting after the 2020 election. However, citing the Fifth Amendment, he declined to say whether he traveled to the White House on Dec. 16, 2020, as suggested in an email obtained by the committee, or whether he was in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021.
He also declined to confirm that he was Kenneth Cesebro, who was listed in some of the emails obtained by the committee and that investigators sought to question him.
“I think I will go to the fifth session in terms of validating the documents related to the subject that I participated in the fifth session,” he said.