January 6 committee report: Breakdown of findings on Trump, attack – USA TODAY

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The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol released its highly anticipated final report Thursday, presenting a full account of its findings on former President Donald Trump’s efforts to maintain power.
Here are some key findings from the report: 
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The latest from the report: 
As Donald Trump threatened to install loyalist Jeffrey Clark to lead the Justice Department, acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and top deputy Richard Donoghue threatened action that ultimately forced the then-president to blink.
A joint resignation letter, drafted Jan. 3, 2021, made clear that Rosen and Donoghue would not be parts of a campaign to use the Justice Department to subvert the election, as Trump had repeatedly demanded. 
“This evening, after Acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen over the course of the last week repeatedly refused the President’s direct instructions to utilize the Department of Justice’s law enforcement powers for improper ends, the President removed Jeff from the Department… Rich Donoghue and I resign from the Department, effectively immediately,” the draft stated.
The letter was not the only card Rosen and Donoghue were prepared to play. Before a planned meeting with Trump that evening at the White House, Justice Department officials arranged a conference call with top leaders who also agreed to resign if Clark was appointed.
The letter was never sent, as the threat of mass resignations prompted Trump to stand down.
– Kevin Johnson
Even as then-President Donald Trump and his legal team continued to claim that more than 10,000 dead people had voted in the 2020 election in Georgia, top White House aides jokingly acknowledged the exaggeration.
Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows and senior adviser Eric Herschmann, in an early December exchange of messages, privately debunked the assertions as Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani pressed the case in Georgia.
Meadows said that his son had found a scant “12 obituaries and 6 other possibles depending on the Voter roll acuracy [sic].”
Said Herschmann: “That sounds more like it. Maybe he can help Rudy find the other 10k ??”
– Kevin Johnson
The Jan. 6 committee disclosed that the Republican House leader tried repeatedly to reach former President Donald Trump, “and did at least once” while also asking multiple members of Trump’s family for help, including senior White House aides Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.
“Kushner characterized Leader McCarthy’s demeanor on the call as “scared,” according to Kushner’s testimony. “I could hear in his voice that he really was nervous, and so, obviously, I took that seriously” and wanted to help. “I turned the shower off, threw on a suit, and, you know, and rushed into the White House as quickly as I could.”
Asked what McCarthy had asked Kushner for help with, he said, “I don’t recall a specific ask, just anything you could do. Again, I got the sense that, you know, (lawmakers in the Capitol) were—they were—you know, they were scared.”
– Josh Meyer
Ethan Katz, a Republican National Committee staffer in 2020, was asked to write a fundraising email saying former President Donald Trump had won Pennsylvania before the state had been called for either candidate.
Katz refused, and three weeks after the election he lost his job. His supervisor Hannah Allred, during an interview with the Jan. 6 committee, said she didn’t know why he was fired and the decision was not hers to make, according to the report.
In the days after the 2020 election, Katz had also challenged Trump campaign staffers about how copywriters were supposed to explain to voters the campaign wanted to keep counting votes in Arizona but stop counting votes in other battleground states such as Pennsylvania, Georgia and Michigan, according to the committee report.
– Candy Woodall
The committee’s final report disclosed that “the entire White House senior staff was in favor of a Presidential statement” urging all rioters to leave the Capitol. It cited, among other things, previously undisclosed testimony by then-White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.
“And when you talk about others on the staff thinking more should be done, or thinking that the President needed to tell people to go home, who would you put in that category?” committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney asked Cipollone during his testimony before the committee. Cipollone ticked off a long list of top staffers, including Pat Philbin, Eric Herschmann, chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump’s daughter Ivanka. In fact, Cipollone responded, “I can’t think of anybody on that day who didn’t want people to get out of the Capitol once the—particularly once the violence started.”
As the committee disclosed during its televised hearings, an eyewitness said Meadows told Cipollone as the rioters broke into the Capitol that Trump “doesn’t want to do anything.” Cipollone confirmed to Cheney the gist of that exchange. “I had a conversation I’m sure with Mark Meadows, I’m sure with other people, of what I thought should be done,” Cipollone testified. “Did Mark say that to me? I don’t have a recollection of him saying that to me, but he may have said something along the lines.”
– Josh Meyer
Two days before the Jan. 6 assault, then-President Donald Trump persisted in his desire to accompany demonstrators on a march to the Capitol, suggesting that 10,000 National Guard troops could provide protection for him and an entourage.
According to the committee, White House Senior Advisor Max Miller “shot it down immediately” out of concern for Trump’s safety, indicating that there was no additional conversation about the National Guard protection plan.
“Just glad we killed the national guard and a procession,” Miller later texted to Trump aide Katrina Pierson.
The episode stands out, as there is no evidence that Trump ever called on the National Guard to put down the eventual riot at the Capitol, contributing to the long-delayed military response to the violent assault.
– Kevin Johnson
The Republican National Committee received millions in donations during the days that followed the 2020 election, having its most successful period of the campaign cycle while giving credence to former President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that he won, according to the Jan. 6 committee’s final report.
Trump and the RNC raised a combined $250 million after the 2020 election – mostly from small donors who believed they were giving money to help “stop the steal.”
– Candy Woodall
But interviews and internal documents show the RNC knew Trump had lost, and its legal team maneuvered behind the scenes to carefully choose its language, the report said. For example, the RNC’s legal team advised copywriters to change language from “steal the election” to “try to steal the election,” according to the report. Copywriters were also advised not to use the term “rigged” or say that Joe Biden lost or Trump won. Instead, they were encouraged to use phrases like “finish the fight” and Trump “got 71 million legal votes.”
“Evidence obtained by the Select Committee shows that the RNC knew that President Trump’s claims about winning the election were baseless and that additional donations would not help him secure an additional term in office,” the report said. “They walked as close to the line as they dared—making several changes to fundraising copy that seemingly protected the RNC from legal exposure while still spreading and relying on President Trump’s known lies and misrepresentations.”
– Candy Woodall
Roger Stone, a longtime political adviser to former President Donald Trump, had close ties to right-wing activists pushing incendiary rhetoric leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack and the extremist groups who led the charge that day.
At a November 2020 protest in Atlanta – led by InfoWars’ Alex Jones, white supremacist Nick Fuentes and right-wing activist Ali Alexander, and secured by members of the extremist groups Proud Boys and Oath Keepers – Stone gave a speech via phone advancing election fraud claims and urging “victory or death,” the report says.
The Trump adviser was also in a Signal group chat titled “Friends of Stone” that included Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes, Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio and other members of extremist groups. Days after the election, Stone messaged in the chat: “We provide information several times a day. So please monitor the F.O.S. feed so you can act in a timely fashion.”
Stone was interviewed by the committee, though he invoked the Fifth Amendment in response to more than 70 questions about the Capitol attack and his communications with Trump, the panel said.
– Ella Lee
The plan to overturn election results in the states by disregarding actual vote counts and appointing fake Trump electors was set in motion shortly after the 2020 presidential election, and by the time Biden’s victory was certified had included hundreds of instances of outreach by Trump loyalists, the report concludes.
The plan – which even top Trump aide Dan Scavino called “crazy,” according to the report, involved pressuring state legislators to effectively change the outcome of the election.
The Jan. 6 committee did the math on what that entailed for Trump and his inner circle:
– Donovan Slack  
The final report says “it is difficult to fully reconcile” divergent accounts about Trump’s purported efforts to go to the Capitol after his Jan. 6, 2021, speech – including whether he tried to get physical with a member of his security detail.
But that’s not important, it’s Trump’s intent that counts, the report said.
“The principal factual point here is clear and undisputed: President Trump specifically and repeatedly requested to be taken to the Capitol. He was insistent and angry, and continued to push to travel to the Capitol even after returning to the White House,” the report said. Noting that the presidential motorcade did not disband, as usual, upon reaching the White House, the report said a Secret Service document shows that Trump planned “on holding at the White House for the next approximate two hours, then moving to the Capitol.”
– Kevin McCoy
Capitol rioters embroiled in some of the Justice Department’s most high-profile prosecutions related to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack made cameos in the House committee’s final report.
The report’s section on the conspiracy movement QAnon is opened with a description of Doug Jensen, an Iowa construction worker who chased U.S. Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman through the Capitol while wearing a “Q” shirt. Jensen was found guilty of seven criminal charges tied to the Capitol attack and sentenced to five years in prison.
Jacob Chansley, better known as the “QAnon Shaman,” was pointed out by the committee as evidence of rioters’ susceptibility to former President Donald Trump’s directives. After the former president released a message urging the rioters to “go home,” Chansley told a crowd: “I’m here delivering the President’s message. Donald Trump has asked everybody to go home.” Another responded to Chansley: “That’s our order,” the report says. Chansley pleaded guilty in his Capitol riot case and was sentenced to 41 months in prison.
Details from the trial of five Oath Keepers – plus allegations against members of the Proud Boys, who await trial – bolstered the committee’s argument that the Capitol assault was planned by some in advance.
– Ella Lee
The committee revealed that it believed its investigation was impeded in serious ways by the fact that more than 30 witnesses invoked their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, while others invoked executive privilege “or categorically refused to appear,” including Trump confidante and former advisor Steve Bannon, who was later convicted of contempt of Congress.
Many Trump lawyers and supporters, including Jenna Ellis, John Eastman, Phil Waldron, and former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, all took the fifth when asked by the committee “what supposed proof they uncovered that the election was stolen.” Others who were central to understanding whether Trump conspired with others to engage in seditious conspiracy also took the fifth, the committee said, including Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows. Meadows, who refused to testify and was held in contempt of Congress, “could have specific evidence relevant to such charges, as may (other) witnesses who invoked their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination before this Committee.”
The committee said it was “particularly troubling” that certain witnesses took the fifth, including Flynn, for refusing to comment on such basic questions as whether he believed the violence on Jan. 6 was justified and whether he believed “in the peaceful transition of power” in the U.S. The House panel also suggested “that the Department of Justice further examine possible efforts to obstruct our investigation,” including why so many witnesses took the Fifth and what they might have been trying to hide.
– Josh Meyer
While planning the Jan. 6, 2021, rally near the White House, an aide to then-President Donald Trump expressed deep concern about including election fraud promoters Roger Stone and Alex Jones.
In testimony before the House committee, Trump aide Katrina Pierson referred to Jones’ involvement in a volatile November 2020 demonstration as the “kind of thing” that gave her pause. But Pierson also acknowledged in a text message to an associate of the pressure Trump was exerting to pump up the crowd, saying “POTUS . . . likes the crazies.”
“Pierson said that she believed this was the case because President Trump ‘loved people who viciously defended him in public.’ But their ‘vicious’ defenses of the President clearly troubled Pierson.”
The lineup of controversial speakers was described as the “original psycho list,” and Pierson was so troubled that she reached out to Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows for help. “Things have gotten crazy and I desperately need some direction,” Pierson wrote.
– Kevin Johnson
Members of right-wing extremist groups and adherents to the conspiracy movement QAnon led the assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, the House committee investigating the attack said in its final report.
The report found that members of the Proud Boys, who allegedly planned to storm the Capitol ahead of the riot, “led the attack at key breach points.” Members of the Oath Keepers formed military-style “stacks” to gain entry to the building. And extremists like the militia group Three Percenters, white nationalist Groypers and QAnon believers egged the mob on at the “frontlines,” the panel found.
“The January 6th attack has often been described as a riot — and that is partly true. Some of those who trespassed on the Capitol’s grounds or entered the building did not plan to do so beforehand,” the committee wrote. “But it is also true that extremists, conspiracy theorists and others were prepared to fight. That is an insurrection.”
– Ella Lee
GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, vice chair of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack, laid out in the beginning of the report what the committee found “among the most shameful findings” from the hearings: “President Trump sat in the dining room off the Oval Office watching the violent riot at the Capitol on television.”
The committee, like a previous USA TODAY report, said for hours Trump did not issue a public statement urging his supporters to leave the Capitol “despite urgent pleas from his White House staff and dozens of others to do so.”
During those 187 minutes when Trump was publicly silent, “law enforcement agents were attacked and seriously injured, the Capitol was invaded, the electoral count was halted and the lives of those in the Capitol were put at risk,” Cheney said.
– Candy Woodall
What Trump did during the attack:A breakdown of the 187 minutes Trump was out of view on Jan. 6 as aides urged him to act
Top Trump advisor Hope Hicks told the Jan. 6 committee that Trump laughed at his campaign lawyer Sidney Powell’s claims of how three foreign countries had helped Joe Biden win by manipulating Dominion voting systems – before going public with how Dominion lost him the election through widespread fraud.
Trump’s comments on Nov. 20, 2020 came a day after Powell and two other Trump campaign lawyers, Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, held a press conference at Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, where Powell claimed there was a “massive influence of communist money through Venezuela, Cuba, and likely China in the interference with our elections here in the United States.” She singled out Dominion’s election software and did the same in the follow-up call to Trump.
“While (Powell) was speaking, the President muted his speakerphone and laughed at Powell, telling the others in the room, ‘This does sound crazy, doesn’t it?’” But while the Trump campaign soon distanced itself from Powell, Trump began pushing the same narrative through tweets and other comments, the committee said. 
 – Josh Meyer
Hope Hicks’ Jan. 6 testimony:Will Trump loyalist Hope Hicks’ Jan. 6 testimony incriminate the former president?
Leaders of the right-wing extremist groups Oath Keepers and Proud Boys discussed standing as a united front on Jan. 6, 2021, during a parking garage meeting that took place the day prior, according to the final report by the House committee investigating the Capitol attack. 
During the meeting, Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio acknowledged that he and Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes “don’t get along,” but needed to “unite regardless of our differences” in a “situation like this.” Tarrio had just been released from custody and ordered to leave Washington, D.C. after burning a church’s Black Lives Matter banner.
Parts of the meeting were captured on video by documentary filmmaker Nick Quested, though the committee conceded that much of the discussion between the two extremist group leaders is unknown because Quested was asked to stop filming. But the committee determined that the Oath Keepers’ quick reaction forces, stockpiled with firearms in Virginia, were discussed at the meeting, according to the report.
– Ella Lee
Also present at the meeting were Latinos for Trump leader Bianca Gracia and Oath Keepers lawyer Kelley SoRelle.
SoRelle told the panel that right-wing political activists – including Gracia, Rhodes, Vets for Trump leader Joshua Macias and Virginia State Sen. Amanda Chase – discussed “storming the Capitol” at a get-together ahead of the parking garage meeting, though she claimed talk like that was “normal” and not indicative of violence.
– Ella Lee
The House committee described the National Guard’s delayed response to the Capitol violence as “unnecessary and unacceptable,” but the panel concluded that there was “no evidence” officials intended to deny assistance.
Investigators said the poor response was the “byproduct of military processes and institutional caution.”
“We have no evidence that the delay was intentional,” the committee concluded. “Likewise, it appears that none of the individuals involved understood what President Trump planned for January 6th, and how he would behave during the violence.”
The panel noted then-President Donald Trump’s unexpected “active encouragement” of the rioters, as prompting the “full-blown” assault that ultimately outpaced the response.
– Kevin Johnson
Much has been reported about the phone call on Jan. 2, 2021, when Trump asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” votes to overturn Joe Biden’s election in the state.
But the final Jan. 6 committee report reveals  just how vociferously the former president was chasing any basis to stay in power. Before the call, the report notes, Trump “had tried to speak by phone with Raffensperger at least 18 times.”
“Raffensperger, for his part, had avoided talking to the President because of ongoing litigation with the President’s Campaign,” the report says.
When they did speak, with lawyers on the line, Trump made the infamous ask of Georgia’s top election official to “find 11,780 votes” to tip the state his way. Not to do so, Trump threatened, would be a criminal offense.
– Donovan Slack 
The final report from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack further revealed details surrounding the Trump campaign’s effort to send an alternate slate of electors to Congress in the former president’s effort to stay in power.
Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniel testified that former President Donald Trump and his attorney John Eastman in a phone call asked for the RNC’s help in gathering a slate of fake electors ahead of Dec. 14, 2020 in case the Trump campaign won any of its legal challenges.
The Jan. 6 report shows McDaniel called back Trump soon after that call ended, “letting him know that she agreed to his request and that some RNC staffers were already assisting.”
– Candy Woodall
Businessman Patrick Byrne, former Overstock CEO, paid for Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio’s travel by private jet to a November 2020 protest in Washington where he met with other extremists, according to the Jan. 6 committee’s final report.
Tarrio met with Ali Alexander, the “Stop the Steal” organizer, and described the Nov. 14 Million MAGA March protest as a “historic” meeting of Trump supporters, the report says. 
Byrne confirmed that he paid for the flight on Friday, suggesting in a tweet he was told that “a bunch of patriotic Latinos” wanted to attend the rally before agreeing to front the cost for their travel.
A month after the protest, on Dec. 18, Byrne argued to Trump in a White House meeting that he had the authority to seize voting machines under a 2018 executive order, the report says. The suggestion was “forcefully condemned” by other administration officials at the meeting, according to the report.
– Ella Lee
Although the House committee heaped primary blame on former President Donald Trump for the deadly Capitol assault, the report also offered a damning account of law enforcement’s response to troubling intelligence gathered in the weeks before the attack.
“Federal and local law enforcement authorities were in possession of multiple streams of intelligence predicting violence directed at the Capitol prior to January 6th,” the committee concluded. “Although some of that intelligence was fragmentary, it should have been sufficient to warrant far more vigorous preparations for the security of the joint session.”
The panel said the failure to share and act on the warnings “jeopardized the lives of the police officers defending the Capitol and everyone in it.”
“While the danger to the Capitol posed by an armed and angry crowd was foreseeable, the fact that the President of the United States would be the catalyst of their fury and facilitate the attack was unprecedented in American history.”
– Kevin Johnson
Those who swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, and then engaged in insurrection during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot should be barred from government office of any kind, the committee’s final report recommends.  The report based the proposal on the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which includes a disqualification clause originally intended to keep Confederates from taking part in the government after the Civil War.
The report said disqualification also should apply to former President Donald Trump.
“The Select Committee has referred Donald Trump and others for possible prosecution … including for assisting and providing aid and comfort to an insurrection,” the  report said. “The Committee also notes that Donald J. Trump was impeached by a majority of the House of Representatives for Incitement of an Insurrection, and there were 57 votes in the Senate for his conviction.”
– Kevin McCoy
As rioters stormed the Capitol and the chilling images played out on television across the nation, Trump wanted to talk about upending the counting of electoral votes that would validate Biden’s victory.
“I said, ‘Mr. President, they’ve taken the Vice President out. They want me to get off the phone, I gotta go,’” Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., recalled telling him.
Trump then rang Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. The Republican leader said he urged the president to go on TV and Twitter and “call these people off.”
But the president was non-plussed, falsely asserting they weren’t his people and then telling McCarthy, “Kevin, maybe these people are just more angry about this than you are.”
As the violence at the Capitol escalated, Trump’s speechwriter, Gabriel Robert texted someone, “Potus im sure is loving this.”
– Donovan Slack
Former President Donald Trump on Thursday condemned the final report of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack, decrying it as a “witch hunt” again.
Rather than respond to the report’s specific findings, Trump criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s over security issues. The post: “The highly partisan Unselect Committee Report purposely fails to mention the failure of Pelosi to heed my recommendation for troops to be used in D.C., show the ‘Peacefully and Patrioticly’ words I used, or study the reason for the protest, Election Fraud. WITCH HUNT!”
There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election.
– Ella Lee
The committee’s final report made 17 findings about the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021, including that Trump plotted to overturn the 2020 results despite knowing he’d lost, sent an angry and armed mob to the Capitol and failed to respond to the violence as it unfolded on television.
Jan. 6 hearing recap:House committee recommends DOJ prosecute Trump over Capitol attack
Next steps:Jan. 6 committee to recommend DOJ pursue criminal charges, but hasn’t yet decided on names


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