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The House committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol has conducted more than 1,000 interviews over the course of the past year, seeking critical information and documents from people witness to, or involved in, the violence that day.
Those interviews — including from some of Trump’s closest aides and allies — have taken center stage during the committee hearings so far. But the committee has also called a number of new witnesses to offer key details about the timeline of events that day, as well as Trump’s actions in the weeks before it.
READ MORE: The Jan. 6 hearings are starting. Here’s how to watch them
In the days ahead, advisers to then-Vice President Mike Pence and other former administrative staff may also appear to offer their accounts. Some have already participated in closed-door conversations with the committee; others have been subpoenaed for interviews or records.
Here’s a guide to some of the key people who may testify or be discussed heavily throughout the course of the hearings.
Witnesses and Key Players:
Jason Van Tatenhove
Rep. Russell “Rusty” Bowers
Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss
J. Michael Luttig
Role: Matthew Pottinger was the deputy national security adviser in the Trump White House.
Why does the committee want to hear from him? Pottinger was part of a wave of resignations from the Trump White House in the immediate aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack. Pottinger was hired early into the administration and had stayed on through all four years.
Pottinger was also in the White House during much of the afternoon of Jan. 6, and, according to his testimony, tried to convince chief of staff Mark Meadows that Trump needed to diffuse the crowd.
The New York Times also reported ahead of the July 21 hearing that Pottinger told the committee about requests by Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser to deploy the National Guard.
Cooperated with the committee? Yes. Pottinger has voluntarily appeared before the committee and some of his testimony has already appeared as video during previous hearings.
The latest: Pottinger testified alongside former deputy press secretary for Trump, Sarah Matthews during the July 21 public hearing.
In his testimony, he said that he decided to resign from the administration, where he’d worked since the beginning of Trump’s term, when he saw the president’s 2:24 p.m. tweet deriding Vice President Mike Pence.
An aide handed him a sheet of paper with Trump’s tweet on it, Pottinger testified. It “disturbed” him that Trump was attacking Pence for carrying out his constitutional duty in overseeing the certification of Biden’s presidential victory, he said.
“I simply didn’t want to be associated with the events that were unfolding at the Capitol,” he said, adding that the tweet added “fuel to the fire.”
Pottinger testified that his boss, former national security adviser Robert O’Brien, asked him to stay in his role until O’Brien returned from a trip, which Pottinger did. He left the next morning.
When asked how the insurrection impacted national security, Pottinger said that presidential transitions are always times of increased vulnerability.
But he also said it allowed countries like Russia, China and Iran to paint a picture of a faltering American democracy. And he said allies could similarly worry about the strength of America’s institutions.
“I think it’s incumbent upon us to put their minds at ease, to put our own hearts at ease, by investigating what happened on the sixth and making sure that it never happens again,” he said.
Role: Matthews is a former deputy press secretary for Trump.
Why does the committee want to hear from her? Matthews was one of a handful of staff in the Trump White House who resigned in the immediate aftermath of the attack on Jan. 6, 2021.
The eighth public hearing of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack focused on Trump’s actions during the insurrection, including the 187 minutes, or just over three hours where the attacks were underway, but he did not dissuade rioters despite calls from allies, members of Congress and aides to do so.
At its third public hearing on June 16, the committee showed footage of Matthews testifying that tweet “felt like he was pouring gasoline on the fire.”
Since resigning, Matthews has been critical of Trump. On the one year anniversary of the attacks, Matthews tweeted that the Capitol riot was a “coup attempt” and said Trump “failed to meet the moment.”
But while she was in the administration, Matthews had previously defended the president’s actions. In June 2020, one week after Trump said the 2020 election would be “the most corrupt election in the history of our country,” while pointing to debunked election fraud claims, Matthews defended him, saying that “President Trump is highlighting that Democrats’ plan for mass mail-in system would lead to fraud.”
Cooperated with the committee? Yes. Matthews testified before the committee on July 21 and has talked to the committee in private hearings as well.
During the July 21 hearing, Matthews testified that she, along with other staff in the West Wing on Jan. 6, asked people close to Trump to encourage him to condemn the violence that was underway at the Capitol.
Matthews said she spoke to former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who later told her that Trump initially rejected using the word “peace” in any of his tweets until his daughter, Ivanka Trump, suggested the phrase “stay peaceful,” which he finally agreed to.
When another colleague suggested Trump should not condemn the violence because it would hand a “win” to the media, Matthews gestured to a TV airing the insurrection and asked, “Does it look like we’re effing winning? Because I don’t think it does.”
And when Matthews saw Trump’s tweet at 4:17 p.m., she said it struck her that he continued to push the lie that he won the 2020 election. Though she had a “small sense of relief” when Trump told the rioters to go home, she was disappointed that he didn’t distinguish between the peaceful protesters who attended his rally and the violent insurrectionists that attacked the Capitol.
As part of the White House press team, “I knew that I would be asked to defend that. And to me, his refusal to act and call off the mob that day and his refusal to condemn the violence was indefensible. And so I knew that I would be resigning that evening,” Matthews testified.
A later tweet by Trump at 6:01 p.m. “further cemented” that decision, she said. Matthews said she believed Trump needed to commit to an orderly transition of power, something he didn’t do until a tweet the following day. Instead, he tweeted:
“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”
“I thought that Jan. 6, 2021 was one of the darkest days in our nation’s history and President Trump was treating it as a celebratory occasion with that tweet,” Matthews said.
Role: Stephen Ayres was a Trump supporter who attended the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally and ensuing riot at the Capitol. He has pleaded guilty to entering the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Why does the committee want to hear from him? Ayres had been an avid Trump supporter who repeated the former president’s social media calls to action ahead of Jan. 6. Ayers shared one of Trump’s tweets telling supporters to come to Washington on Jan. 6.
“Where will you be on January 6th?” Ayers wrote on Facebook according to a government affidavit and arrest warrant. He added “are you willing to start fighting for the American Dream[?]”
The committee’s July 12 hearing focused on the role of extremism among far-right groups that went to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The committee also presented evidence about the ways that a Dec. 19, 2020 tweet from president Trump to participate in the Jan. 6 protest “was a siren call to these folks,” according to committee member, Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla.
Cooperated with the committee? Yes. Ayres voluntarily testified to the committee, the committee’s chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said during the seventh public hearing on July 12.
The latest: During his testimony, Ayres recounted how he was swept up in Trump’s false claims of voter fraud, and believed the election was stolen, in part because he followed the former president on several social media accounts.
Ayres described himself as an American “family man” who worked at a cabinet company in northeast Ohio and enjoyed playing basketball and camping with his family. Ayres represented the many unaffiliated Trump supporters who went to protest on Jan. 6, committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said on July 12.
Ayres attended the “Stop the Steal” rally Jan. 6, but had no intention of going to or entering the Capitol until Trump instructed his followers to march to the building.
“Basically, the president got everyone riled up, told everyone to head on down, so we were following what he said,” Ayres said. As the attack on the Capitol began and members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence were forced into secure locations amid the insurrection, Trump initially refused to condemn the rioters. Ayres said that when Trump finally asked the rioters to leave, they did so. He believes that if Trump had asked the rioters to leave the Capitol earlier in the attack, people would have likely left.
Since then, Ayres testified, he’s stopped believing the election was stolen. He lost his job, had to sell his home and pleaded guilty to disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds. He testified that following Trump’s call on Jan. 6 changed his life “not for the good, not for the better.”
“I was hanging on every word [Trump] was saying. Everything he was putting out I was following it. I mean, if I was doing it, hundreds of thousands or millions of other people were doing it. Or maybe even still doing it,” Ayres said.
Role: Van Tatenhove is the former spokesperson for the Oath Keepers, a far-right paramilitary organization.
Why does the committee want to hear from him? The committee’s seventh public hearing on July 12 focused on the days leading up to Jan. 6, including a December tweet Trump sent calling for his supporters to come to a rally on that day, and how his supporters were galvanized by this call.
Van Tatenhove handled the media operations for the Oath Keepers’ for about two years, starting in 2014. He told Denver’s Fox 31 he was not connected to the group at the time of the attack on the Capitol. He said he’s since “purged” his connections to extremism.
The Oath Keepers is “one of the largest far-right antigovernment groups” in the U.S., according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Recruitment efforts target ex-military and law enforcement officers, and members have participated in armed standoffs and violent protests, the SPLC said.
In January, the leader of the Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes, and 10 members were charged with seditious conspiracy for attempting to overthrow the government on Jan. 6. Rhodes has pleaded not guilty. According to the Jan. 6 committee, Rhodes on Election Day told members to “stock up on ammo” and prepare for a “full-on war in the streets,” if Trump didn’t win the 2020 presidential election.
In his testimony, Van Tatenhove said that Rhodes is critical to the organization and that the Oath Keepers are “largely Stewart Rhodes.”
Cooperated with the committee? Yes.
The latest: Van Tatenhove testified on July 12 that despite wanting to portray themselves otherwise, the Oath Keepers are a violent militia who used military tactics as they attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“The best illustration for what the Oath Keepers are happened Jan. 6 when we saw that stacked military formation going up the stairs of the Capitol,” Van Tatenhove said.
He left the group after he overheard some members denying the Holocaust, he testified on July 12, though he said he probably should have left sooner.
Much of Van Tatenhove’s testimony focused on Rhodes who, according to Van Tatenhove, sees himself as a paramilitary leader.
He said that in the lead up to Jan. 6, Rhodes wanted Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act, an 1807 law that empowers the president to call up militias to tamp down rebellions, because Rhodes believed this would grant him and the Oath Keepers “legitimacy” as a paramilitary organization.
“[Rhodes] is a militia leader. He had these grand visions of being a paramilitary leader,” Van Tatenhove said. “And the Insurrection Act would have given him a path forward with that. The fact the president was communicating, whether directly or indirectly messaging, that gave him the nod. All I can do is thank the gods that things did not go any worse that day.”
Tatenhove said he believes Jan. 6 could have been more violent and that the country must reckon with the fact that such a threat still exists.
“I think we need to quit mincing words and just talk about truths, and what it was going to be was an armed revolution. I mean, people died that day. Law enforcement officers died that day. There was a gallows set up in front of the Capitol. This could have been the spark that started a new civil war and no one would have won there,” Van Tatenhove said.
He is also worried what Trump might do if he runs for reelection again and if the people who orchestrated the Jan. 6 attack are not held responsible.
“I have three daughters. I have a granddaughter. I fear for the world that they will inherit if we do not start holding these people to account,” Van Tatenhove said.
Rhodes has also offered to testify to the Jan. 6 committee if he can do so live and in-person, instead of from jail, where he is awaiting trial. The committee has not responded to his request.
Role: Cipollone was White House counsel during the last two years of the Trump presidency, including in the aftermath of the 2020 election and run-up to the Jan. 6 riot.
Why does the committee want to hear from him? As White House counsel, Cipollone was the Trump administration’s top lawyer. He was present for key meetings in which Trump and some of his allies discussed strategies to overturn the outcome of the 2020 election, according to his testimony at the seventh public House hearing on July 12.
Cooperated with the committee? Yes. Cipollone was subpoenaed June 29 by the Jan. 6 Committee and testified on July 8 for a private, on-camera interview.
The latest: At the Jan. 6 committee’s July 12 hearing, the committee showed clips of Cipollone’s recorded testimony in which he described internal disagreements over how to handle baseless claims of voter fraud and the role of extremist groups in helping perpetuate those claims.
Cipollone condemned the actions of Trump’s former lawyers Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, who both promoted baseless claims of widespread election fraud. In particular, Cipollone said he fruitlessly asked Powell for evidence that as she claims, voting machines had been hacked or votes had been changed.
“At some point, you have to put up or shut up,” Cipollone said during the July 12 hearing.
Powell and Giuliani also pushed for the federal government to seize voting machines, which Cipollone said was a “terrible idea” without basis in law.
“That’s not how we do things in the United States. There’s no legal authority to do that and there is a way to contest elections, that happens all the time, but the idea that the federal government could come in and seize election machines?” Cipollone said.
“It’s a terrible idea.”
Cipollone said he also opposed a plan to appoint Powell as a special counsel to investigate the false voting machine claims and was present during a heated meeting that lasted multiple hours in the White House with Trump involving Powell, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and others.
After the meeting, the committee said, Trump tweeted “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”
Between that meeting and Jan. 6, Cipollone continued to dispute the voter fraud narrative, and supported the fact that Vice President Mike Pence had no legal authority to stop the count of electoral votes on Jan. 6, he said.
In an informal interview on April 13, Cipollone gave a statement to the Jan. 6 Committee indicating he had initially stopped Department of Justice lawyer Jeffrey Clark, who had been proposing ways to further Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud, from meeting with the president.
Clark went on to communicate with the president about his ideas, and in one meeting, Trump discussed the possibility of Clark replacing acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, who refused to overturn the 2020 election results, according to testimony from the hearings.
Former Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue and top Department of Justice official Steven Engel told the committee on June 23 that Cipollone also refused to acquiesce to Trump’s demands and shared the belief that Clark was not capable to lead the Department of Justice. He was supportive as top officials threatened to resign if Clark was named head of the department, they said
According to Hutchinson’s testimony June 28, Cipollone told her on Jan. 3 that he was worried about the legal consequences if Trump went to the Capitol on Jan. 6. Cippollone warned her again on the morning of Jan. 6 as she was preparing to go to Trump’s rally on the Ellipse, she told the committee.
After the rally, as rioters broke into the Capitol and disrupted the counting of electoral votes, Hutchinson said she witnessed an exchange between Cipollone and her immediate supervisor, Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, in which Cipollone pushed Meadows to get Trump to do something to stop the violence.
She recalled Cipollone saying something to the effect of “Mark, something needs to be done, or people are going to die and the blood’s going to be on your effing hands,’” Hutchinson said in her testimony.
Role: Hutchinson was an aide to former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows.
Why does the committee want to hear from her? As an aide to the then-chief of staff, Hutchinson was privy to many conversations between the president and Meadows that happened before the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and in the days that followed. She has already been interviewed by the committee and testimony from her taped interviews before the committee have been played out in previous hearings.
Hutchinson has reportedly sat for more than 20 hours of interviews with the committee. Some of her video testimony has been played out at previous hearings, including on June 23, when the committee shared a clip of her saying that she was involved in conversations about possible Jan.6 pardons with several lawmakers and staff, including Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., Mo Brooks, R-Ala., Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., Louie Gohmert, R-Texas and Scott Perry R-Pa. A few of the lawmakers named said in statements following the hearings that they did not make such requests. In earlier video testimony, Hutchinson said Meadows and former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani were involved in early efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential elections by plotting to put forward fake electors. The June 28 hearing would be the first time Hutchinson testifies before the committee in person.
Cooperated with the committee? Yes, Hutchinson testified June 28. Committee vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said the committee received evidence that people had contacted Hutchinson ahead of the hearings attempting to interfere with her testimony, adding that it would consider how to handle that offense in the coming weeks.
The latest: Hutchinson offered new details during her June 28 testimony about what former President Donald Trump and Meadows knew in the days before the attack and how they responded while it was underway, including a first-hand account of the president’s frustration and an attack on security detail who told him they could not secure a trip to the Capitol amid the unfolding violence by rioters.
Hutchinson detailed a slow response from Meadows as details emerged about weapons and threats to the vice president, who was at the Capitol overseeing the counting of electoral votes, and Trump’s resistance in the aftermath to publicly acknowledge the violence of rioters, or that the election was over and that he had not won.
She told the committee that agency heads, White House staff, advisers and lawyers had expressed concern about Jan. 6 and the president’s participation in it. Much of that guidance reached the president itself, but the first line of defense was often Meadows, who was with the president throughout the election aftermath and the events of that day. In her role as senior adviser, Hutchinson accompanied Meadows almost everywhere, including alongside the president and in frequent trips to Capitol Hill and meetings with lawmakers, she said.
Some highlights of her testimony:
More on Hutchinson’s testimony.
Role: Clark was a high-ranking DOJ official in the Trump administration.
Why does the committee want to hear from him? Clark was one of the few lawyers within the Department of Justice who was willing to act on Donald Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud and requests for help in overturning the results of the 2020 presidential election, witnesses said during the committee’s June 23 hearing.
Federal agents searched Clark’s Virginia home on June 22, a day before the fifth Jan. 6 committee hearing.
In a 2021 New York Times story on the alleged plan to fire Rosen, Clark denied being part of an effort to oust Rosen.
“There was a candid discussion of options and pros and cons with the president. It is unfortunate that those who were part of a privileged legal conversation would comment in public about such internal deliberations, while also distorting any discussions,” Clark told the New York Times.
Cooperated with the committee? Clark was subpoenaed by the committee and agreed to be interviewed. However, that interview was cut short by Clark. In its June 23 hearing, the committee showed video of Clark invoking his 5th Amendment protections against self-incrimination at least twice.
The latest: Clark did not appear publicly at the fifth committee hearing, but most of the witness testimony focused on his actions in Trump’s final weeks in office.
Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., questioned former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, former Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue and former Assistant Attorney General Jeff Engel about Clark’s actions, especially his offers to help the president in efforts to overturn the election.
Rosen told the committee that Clark was violating department policy from the start by communicating with anyone at the White House, since typically only the attorney general or deputy attorney general does so. Rosen reprimanded Clark, one of his employees, for talking to Trump in a private meeting about the issue. Rosen said Clark was “contrite” and assured him he did not intend to meet with the president again.
But Clark discussed the election with Trump many more times, including drafting a letter to send to state legislatures saying the department had concerns about the election and instructing them to find an alternate slate of electors.
Within a week, Trump had told Clark he intended to have him replace Rosen as acting attorney general. At the committee hearing, Kinzinger showed the White House call logs on Jan. 3, noting that Clark was already being noted as “Acting Attorney General.”
Ultimately, in a two and a half hour meeting that evening, according to Rosen, Donoghue and Engel, Trump decided not to replace Rosen with Clark.
At the end of the meeting, the president asked what was next for Clark, implying that Donoghue would fire him. When the deputy attorney general explained that only Trump had the power to fire Clark, Trump replied, “Well I’m not going to fire him,” Donoghue said.
“All right, well, then we should all get back to work,” Donoghue recalled responding.
Role: Rosen was acting attorney general under Trump during the final days of his presidency, replacing Attorney General William Barr when Barr resigned in December 2020.
Why does the committee want to hear from him? After Trump lost the election, he pressured Department of Justice officials, including Rosen, to help him overturn the results. That included telling them, “just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican Congressmen,” according to a Senate Judiciary report.
Another Department of Justice lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, concocted a plan for the department to send letters to states Trump lost, instructing them to appoint an alternate slate of electors who would vote for Trump. Clark outlined the plan to Trump, who threatened to replace Rosen with Clark unless Rosen signed his name to the letters and sent them, according to the report.
Rosen refused to cooperate with the plan, according to the report.
Ultimately, Trump did not fire Rosen and the letters were never sent.
Cooperated with the committee? Yes. Rosen testified in the June 23 public hearing and in closed-door meetings with the committee. He has also cooperated with the Senate Judiciary investigation.
The latest: At the June 23 hearing, Rosen explained in great detail how the president repeatedly contacted him and other department officials with false claims of voter fraud, and how he regularly debunked those claims and explained their inauthenticity.
Between Rosen’s appointment as acting attorney general on Dec. 23, 2020, and Jan. 5 2021, Trump contacted him “virtually every day” expressing his “dissatisfaction” that the Justice Department hadn’t done enough to investigate voter fraud, Rosen testified.
Trump asked him to appoint a special counsel to investigate election fraud, meet with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, file a lawsuit in the Supreme Court, make public statements or hold a press conference about election fraud, and send a letter to state legislatures, Rosen said.
“I will say that the Justice Department declined all of those requests … because we did not think that they were appropriate based on the facts and the law as we understood them,” Rosen testified.
Rosen said that during every conversation, he explained that what Trump wanted was not part of the department’s purview. For a similar reason, Rosen said he refused to meet with Trump campaign officials, saying that would not be appropriate.
Meanwhile, Clark had been meeting with the president and validating his false claims of fraud despite Rosen’s direct orders against this, Rosen testified. When Rosen and his deputy, Richard Donoghue, refused to sign a letter Clark wanted to send to states, instructing them to find an alternate slate of electors, Clark told Rosen that Trump wanted to make Clark acting attorney general, replacing Rosen.
At the June 23 hearing, Rosen, who testified alongside Donoghue and Steven Engel, a former assistant attorney general, explained to the committee why he didn’t want Clark in his role.
“It wasn’t about me. There’s only 17 days left in the administration. At that point, I would have been perfectly content to have either of the gentlemen on my left or right replace me if anybody wanted to do that,” Rosen said, gesturing to Engel and Donoghue. “But I did not want for the Department of Justice to be put in a posture where it would be doing things that were not consistent with the truth, were not consistent with its own appropriate role or were not consistent with the Constitution.”
Ultimately, Trump decided not to replace Rosen with Clark.
On the day of the Jan. 6 attack, Rosen said he spoke with various members of Congress, Vice President Mike Pence and members of his own department, but not Trump.
Role: Donoghue was the acting deputy attorney general in the last year of Trump’s presidency.
Why does the committee want to hear from him? Donoghue was among the Department of Justice officials who resisted pressure to validate Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud.
During the first day of testimony for the Jan. 6 Committee on June 10, Rep Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said Donoghue was among the Department of Justice lawyers who had investigated but did not find evidence of Trump’s unfounded allegations of voter fraud. He was also among those who refused to use their positions to further the former president’s claims.
Trump considered replacing acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen with another Department of Justice lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, who had been telling the president he could help him overturn the election results, according to the committee. Donoghue was among the Justice lawyers who threatened to resign if this happened.
In previously recorded testimony, Donoghue said Trump would ask about an election fraud claim, and after he debunked it, the president would then quickly move on to another claim.
Donoghue said Trump’s claims included Native Americans “being paid to vote,” voting errors in Michigan, truckloads of ballots being shipped from New York to Pennsylvania and “suitcases” of votes being dumped in Georgia. Donoghue said he gave explanations to Trump that debunked all those allegations.
Cooperated with the committee? Yes. Donoghue testified in the committee’s June 23 hearing, alongside former acting attorney Jeffrey Rosen and Steven Engel, a former assistant attorney general.
The latest: At the committee’s Jun. 23 hearing, Donoghue offered more detail on how the former president tried to pressure Justice Department officials to help him overturn the results of the election.
Donoghue said Trump contacted him repeatedly in December 2020. The requests “became more urgent,” as Trump became “more adamant” that officials should investigate his false claims of voter fraud.
Donoghue testified that he explained to Trump why each of his claims had been debunked, and that the Justice Department wouldn’t file a lawsuit on behalf of the American people, because the department’s only client is the U.S. government.
“We simply did not have standing,” Donoghue said. “We tried to explain that to the president on numerous occasions.”
Donoghue also took contemporaneous notes during his phone calls with Rosen and Trump, and the committee regularly referred back to them.
According to one of his notes, Rosen told Trump that the Justice Department “can’t and won’t snap its fingers and change the outcome of the election.”
In response, Trump said, “That’s not what I’m asking you to do. What I’m asking you to do is just say it was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen,” Donoghue testified.
When Donoghue received an email from Clark outlining his proposed letter asking states to send new slates of electors to support Trump, he said he felt he needed to respond immediately to discredit the idea because it was “so extreme.”
Eventually, Donoghue, Rosen, Clark and others met with the president Jan. 3 to discuss Trump’s idea to replace Rosen with Clark as acting attorney general.
Donghue was vehemently against the idea, he testified.
“Mr. President, you should have the leadership that you want but understand the United States Justice Department functions on facts, evidence and law,” Donoghue said he told Trump. “And those are not going to change. So you can have whatever leadership you want, but the department’s position is not going to change.”
Trump ultimately decided not to fire Rosen.
Role: Engel served as assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel during the Trump administration.
Why does the committee want to hear from him? Engel and other senior Justice Department officials threatened to resign if Trump fired acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and named DOJ lawyer Jeffrey Clark to the top job days before the Electoral College votes would be counted at the U.S. Capitol, he testified to the committee. . If installed, Clark, who was in charge of the Justice Department’s civil division at the time, planned to use his new position to help change the results of the 2020 election.
Engel was also part of a White House meeting on Jan. 3, 2021 in which he and other senior Justice Department officials told Trump they would all resign if Clark replaced Rosen. Trump decided not to fire Rosen.
The latest: In Jun. 23 testimony, Engel testified alongside Rosen and Donoghue about Trump’s efforts to pressure the Justice Department to help overturn the election.
He explained how Clark’s communication with Trump violated long-held department policy of only the attorney general or deputy attorney general speaking with the White House.
“It’s critical that the Department of Justice conducts its criminal investigations free from either the reality, or any appearance, of political interference,” Engel testified. “People can get in trouble if people at the White House are speaking with people at the department, and that’s why the purpose of these policies is to keep these communications as infrequent and at the highest levels as possible.”
Engel was also present for a Jan. 3 meeting with Trump, Rosen and former acting deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue, where the president debated replacing Rosen as acting attorney general with Clark.
The conversation lasted for more than two hours, according to their testimony, and Engel was among those trying to convince Trump not to replace Rosen.
“My recollection is that when the president turned to me and said, ‘Steve, you wouldn’t leave, would you?’ I said, ‘Mr. President, I have been with you through four attorneys general, including two acting attorneys general. But I couldn’t be part of this,’” Engel testified.
He also told Trump that Clark’s letter would not be the bombshell he’d hoped, but would instead result in a public narrative of the president having fired two attorneys general to find the one who would do his bidding.
“It’s going to be the disaster of Jeff Clark,” Engel said, recalling that White House lawyer Pat Cipollone agreed, calling it a “murder-suicide pact.”
Role: Bowers is a Republican member of the Arizona House of Representatives, where he also serves as speaker.
Why does the committee want to hear from him? Bowers was one of several state-level Republican lawmakers who supported Trump’s re-election campaign in 2020. After Trump’s loss, Bowers defended the election results in his state, where President Joe Biden came out on top.
In May, Bowers was one of five people to receive this year’s John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, given to public officials who protect U.S. democracy.
“As a conservative Republican, I don’t like the results of the presidential election,” Bowers said, according to the awards page. “I voted for President Trump and worked hard to reelect him. But I cannot and will not entertain a suggestion that we violate current law to change the outcome of a certified election.”
The latest: Bowers was the first witness to testify before the Jan. 6 Committee during its June 21 hearing. He described getting phone calls from Trump and Giuliani, who made allegations of voter fraud and asked him to convene a special hearing of the legislature to consider the allegations. Bowers told the committee he refused because he did not believe evidence of election fraud was sufficient. They also suggested that Arizona law would allow Bowers to remove Biden’s electors and recognize electors for Trump.
“And I said, ‘That’s totally new to me. I’ve never heard of any such thing,’” Bowers told the committee.
Bowers told Trump and Giuliani that this was not possible and that taking action based on hearsay evidence would be a violation of his oath of office.
“I said, ‘Look, you are asking me to do something that is counter to my oath, when I swore to the Constitution to uphold it. And I also swore to the Constitution and the laws of the state of Arizona, and this is totally foreign as an idea or a theory to me. You are asking me to do something against my oath and I will not break my oath,’” Bowers testified.
Bowers also testified that Giuliani expected him to be more receptive to his claims of voter fraud because they were both Republicans.
“He would say, “Aren’t we all Republicans? I would think we would get a better reception — that you would listen to my suggestions,’” Bowers said.
Despite Bowers’ refusal to participate in what the former president suggested, lawmakers in the state pursued other efforts. Arizona’s Senate went on to authorize a recount of presidential and U.S. Senate results from Maricopa County, a process that has been a consistent source of misinformation about the election, including from the conservative firm hired to analyze results. Independent fact checkers and election analysts have dubbed the firm’s methods deeply flawed. The report confirmed Biden’s win and found no evidence of voter fraud.
Along with blocking the request from Trump and Giuliani, Bowers also intervened in January 2022 to stop a House bill that would have given the state legislature power to choose its slate of presidential electors, overriding the winner chosen by voters.
Role: Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss was an elections worker in Georgia during the 2020 presidential election.
Why does the committee want to hear from her? In targeting Georgia with baseless claims of voter fraud, former President Donald Trump and his allies accused Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman, of being behind fake ballots in Fulton County, Georgia, where they served as election workers.
After the election, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and other allies of the former president repeatedly promoted the false conspiracy theory that election workers in the county tampered with the vote count to tilt the race toward Joe Biden. They pointed to a video posted by a conservative PAC that purported to show election workers packing ballots into “suitcases.” As reported by USA Today and other fact checkers, election workers were packing absentee ballots into storage containers, a routine practice, because they thought the day’s counting was done. The video was played by conservative media outlets and also included in a lawsuit from Trump alleging voter fraud in Georgia. Giuliani also alleged that Freeman handed Moss a USB drive during her election work. Moss testified on June 21 that it was actually a ginger candy.
Moss was one of five recipients for this year’s John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, given to public officials who protect U.S. democracy. Moss was honored for “doing the hard and unseen work to run our democracy.”
Cooperated with the committee? Yes. Moss testified June 21.
The latest: Moss said during her testimony June 21 that she became an election worker because her family had throughout her life stressed the importance of voting, a right that her grandmother often pointed out was not available to generations before her. She loved helping connect people to the process, she said.
She discovered her name had been used by Trump and his allies when election officials called her into their office, saying they’d received threats and asking if she had been targeted. In her Facebook Messenger app, she found dozens of threats and death threats, many of them racist in nature.
Both Moss and her mother, along with her grandmother, were targeted by death threats, she testified before the committee. At the suggestion of the FBI, Freeman said she left her home for about two months for her safety, through the events of Jan. 6 and the inauguration.
In video testimony played by the committee, Freeman said she doesn’t introduce herself by name anymore and gets worried when she gives her name for food orders or at the grocery store.
“I’ve lost my name and I’ve lost my reputation. I’ve lost my sense of security all because a group of people people starting with Number 45 and his ally Rudy Giuliani decided to scapegoat me and my daughter, Shaye, to push their own lies about how the presidential election was stolen,” Freeman said. “There is nowhere I feel safe, nowhere. Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States target you? The president of the United States is supposed to represent every American, not to target one. He targeted me, lady ruby, a small business owner, mother, proud American citizen. Stood up to help Fulton county run an election in the middle of the pandemic.”
Moss said she “felt horrible for picking this job and being the one that always wants to help, always there, never missing one election. I felt like it was my fault putting my family in the situation.”
The experience “turned my life upside down. I no longer give out my business card. I don’t transfer calls. I don’t want anyone knowing my name,” she added. “ I second-guess everything that I do. It has affected my life in a major way.”
Moss and her mother have since filed defamation lawsuits against Giuliani and other media outlets who spread misinformation with the video. One of them, against One America News network, was settled in April, AJC reported.
When asked by Schiff how many workers remained in their jobs after the 2020 election, Moss responded that no permanent election worker or supervisor was still at their jobs — including her.
Role: Raffensperger is Georgia’s secretary of state.
Why does the committee want to hear from him? As the top official responsible for elections in Georgia, Raffensperger was responsible for managing the 2020 election in the state, which Biden won by a thin margin. In the months following the election, Raffensperger would come under pressure from Trump to change the outcome of the election, including being told to “find” enough votes to overturn Biden’s victory.
Cooperated with the committee? Yes. Raffensperger testified June 21.
The latest: Raffensperger opened his testimony before the Jan. 6 Committee on June 21 by saying he believed the Georgia election went “remarkably smooth,” while the aftermath was anything but.
With Trump losing by a narrow margin, he asked for a recount in Georgia, which he also lost. He then began making baseless allegations of voter fraud.
Raffensperger said his office did “nearly 300” investigations into voter fraud but did not find evidence of substantial ballot tampering.
“They said there was over 66,000 underage voters. We found there is zero…They said there were 2,000 non registered voters. There were zero. They said there were over 2,056 felons, we identified 74 or less,” Raffensperger said of his efforts to look into baseless allegations made by Trump and his allies.
“Every single allegation we checked. We ran down the rabbit trail to make sure our numbers were accurate.”
Raffensperger also testified about how as part of the pressure campaign following the election, Trump called him to “find” 11,780 votes to swing the election in his favor.
“What I knew is we did not have any votes to find. We investigated. There were no votes to find. That was an accurate count that had been certified,” Raffensperger said.
His wife’s cell phone was also doxed and both of them got threats and pressure from strangers. His son’s widow’s home was broken into. When asked why he didn’t quit, Raffensperger said he “had to be faithful to the constitution.”
Trump continued the pressure.
Role: Sterling is the chief operating officer for the Georgia Secretary of State.
Why does the committee want to hear from him? Sterling is a top voting official in Georgia, and helped manage the 2020 presidential election and recount in Georgia, which Trump narrowly lost. As a result, Trump and his allies honed in on the state as an example of their false and unfounded claims of voter fraud.
Georgia both audited the vote tally and performed a recount of the votes because Biden’s lead was so razor thin. Sterling consistently said his office was taking claims of election law violations seriously, but ultimately the state found no widespread fraud.
Cooperated with the committee? Yes. Sterling testified June 21.
The latest: Sterling was the Georgia election official who, in response to Trump’s claims of voter fraud, held a news conference publicly denying the claims, describing the fear and harassment they had caused among blameless election workers and warned that “someone’s going to get killed” if the heated rhetoric over baseless election fraud claims continued.
Sterling described to the committee what he called the “straw that broke the camel’s back,” which was a tweet accusing a young contractor with the Dominion voting systems of treason, accompanied by an image of a swinging noose. Sterling was tasked with helping oversee the voting systems that were produced by Dominion Voting Systems, which became the focus of many unfounded conspiracy theories about voter fraud by Trump and his allies.
“For lack of a better word I lost it. I just got irate,” Sterling said, adding that he then used a pre-scheduled press conference on that day to urge Trump to put an end to the fraudulent claims.
“I lost my temper, but it seemed necessary at the time because it was just getting worse,” Sterling said.
However, the allegations of election fraud continued. With a new claim that a video depicted Fulton County election workers using “suitcases” to add ballots for Biden to the vote count. Sterling said in an effort to look into the allegations, his office viewed 48 hours of video of the Fulton County count. No evidence of voter fraud was found.
“What it actually showed was Fulton County election workers engaging in normal ballot processes,” Sterling said.
Sterling said despite his efforts to debunk claims of election fraud, Trump and his allies continued to make their claims, claims that were believed and repeated by his supporters.
“It was frustrating. Oftentimes I felt our information was getting out, but there was a reticence of people who needed to believe it, to believe it because the president of the United States, who many looked up to and respected, was telling them it wasn’t true despite the facts. I have characterized at some point it was like a shovel trying to empty the ocean with a shovel,” Sterling testified.
Last week, Sterling testified before a grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia about Trump’s phone call to the secretary of state.
Role: Thomas is a conservative activist, attorney and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Why does the committee want to hear from her? The House panel obtained emails between Ginni Thomas and John Eastman, who was an adviser to former President Donald Trump and a former Supreme Court clerk for Clarence Thomas, the Washington Post reported, citing people “involved in the committee’s investigation.” Eastman was part of the effort to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to block electors and overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
The Post previously reported that Thomas emailed Arizona state lawmakers, asking them to “stand strong in the face of political and media pressure” and “take action to ensure that a clean slate of Electors is chosen.” Thomas also messaged with Mark Meadows, who was the White House chief of staff at the time, about efforts to overturn the election results, according to reporting by the Post and CBS News.
Cooperated with the committee? House Jan. 6 Committee Chair Bennie Thompson said after the June 16 hearing that they have sent an invitation to Ginni Thomas to speak with the committee.
Prior to the invitation, Thomas told The Daily Caller, a conservative news outlet, that she “can’t wait to clear up misconceptions. I look forward to talking to them.”
The latest: Thompson told reporters after Thursday’s hearing that “we have sent Ms. Thomas a letter” inviting her to speak with them.
Role: Jacob was the chief counsel to former Vice President Mike Pence.
Why does the committee want to hear from him? As a top advisor to Pence, Jacob was part of the effort to rebut legal arguments given to, and later cited by, Trump, that the vice president could change the way Electoral College votes were counted, thereby changing the outcome of the 2020 election.
Jacob disputed a memo from John Eastman, a lawyer affiliated with the conservative Claremont Institute, who argued Pence could refuse to accept the electoral votes from certain states and described the vice president as the “ultimate arbiter” of how the electoral votes would be counted.
Cooperated with the committee? Yes. He has given statements to the Jan. 6 committee and testified publicly on June 16, along with conservative former Judge J. Michael Luttig.
The latest: The bulk of the June 16 hearing focused on Jacob’s testimony, which outlined the steps Eastman and Trump took in the days leading up to the insurrection to keep the president in power.
Jacob testified that Pence first asked him about the legality of rejecting electors in early December of 2020. According to Jacob, Pence could not believe it would be legal, so Jacob drafted a memo explaining it was not.
“The vice president’s first instinct when he heard this theory was that there was no way our framers who abhorred concentrated power, who had broken away from the tyranny of George III, would have ever put one person, particularly not a person who had a direct interest in the outcome because they were on the ticket for the election, in a role to have decisive impact on the outcome of the election,” Jacob said.
“Our review of text, history, and frankly just common sense all confirmed the vice president’s first instinct on that point. There is no justifiable basis to conclude the vice president has that kind of authority,” Jacob testified.
On Jan 4. and Jan. 5, Jacob had several conversations with Eastman, as well as Trump and Pence chief of staff Marc Short, in which Eastman pushed the theory that Pence could either reject electors outright or delay certification for 10 days, giving state legislatures time to send Trump-friendly electors for a later vote count. Jacob was not swayed and worked to convince Eastman that his suggestions weren’t constitutional.
“The vice president never budged from the position that I have described as his first instinct,” Jacob testified.
The morning of Jan. 6, as Jacob and others polished Pence’s statement that he could not overturn the results of the election, Jacob said Pence received a phone call from the president. Though Pence stepped out to take it, the committee played testimony from others who heard Trump’s side of the call, including the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump. They described it as heated, and said Trump used vulgar language to describe Pence.
Jacob also detailed Pence’s actions on Jan. 6, noting that the vice president was taken to a secure location as rioters stormed the building but never left the Capitol.
“The vice president did not want to take any chance that the world would see the vice president of the United States fleeing the U.S. Capitol. He was determined that we would complete the work that we had set out to do that day, that it was his constitutional duty to see it through,” Jacob said.
Jacob also said that Pence and his wife were frustrated that Trump never checked on their safety during the riot. And he testified that while they waited in the secure location, he read his Bible, relying on his faith to sustain him.
“Daniel 6 was where I went. And in Daniel 6, Daniel has become the second in command of Babylon, a pagan nation, that he completely, faithfully serves. He refuses an order from the King that he cannot follow, and he does his duty consistent with his oath to God,” Jacob tesfied.
“And I felt that that’s what had played out that day.”
Role: Luttig is a former federal judge and conservative legal expert who advised former Vice President Mike Pence.
Why does the committee want to hear from him? Luttig played a key role in supporting Pence as the former vice president refused requests from Trump, under the advice of conservative Claremont Institute lawyer John Eastman, to reject the results of the 2020 elections, CNN has reported.
According to a memo obtained by journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, Eastman reportedly told Trump that Pence could simply refuse to certify the electors sent by the states, thus throwing the selection of electoral votes to House of Representative state delegations that were dominated by Republicans who supported Trump.
“The fact is that the Constitution assigns this power to the Vice President as the ultimate arbiter. We should take all of our actions with that in mind,” Eastman wrote in the memo.
According to CNN, Pence’s personal lawyer, Richard Cullen, contacted Luttig asking him to provide a legal argument to rebut Eastman, who had once been Luttig’s clerk.
Luttig published a Tweet thread the day before the insurrection on whether Pence as vice president had the ability to change the way Electoral College votes were counted. Luttig concluded that Pence did not.
“The only responsibility and power of the Vice President under the Constitution is to faithfully count the electoral college votes as they have been cast,” Luttig wrote.
Cooperated with the committee? Yes. Luttig was one of two witnesses in the committee’s June 16 hearing.
The latest: In his testimony at the June 16 hearing, Luttig explained that in his opinion, the theory that the vice president had any power in overturning the result of the election during Congress’ official count of electoral votes was not only wrong, but also dangerous.
“The declaration of Donald Trump as the next president would have plunged America into what I believe would have been tantamount to a revolution within a constitutional crisis in America,” Luttig told the committee.
He described in thorough detail the constitutional basis for the vice president counting the electoral votes on Jan. 6, and said that in his view, the text is “pristine clear.”
“There was no basis in the constitution or laws of the United States at all for the theory espoused by Mr. Eastman. At all. None,” Luttig said.
He also said that on Jan. 6, the vice president had “little substantive constitutional authority, if any at all” over Congress’ proceedings.
According to testimony by Luttig and others, Eastman argued that earlier vice presidents had taken action similar to what Eastman was proposing.
But Luttig rebuffed the idea that there has been any historical precedent for the vice president rejecting electoral votes, calling that theory the “root of what I have called the blueprint to overturn the 2020 election.”
“I would have laid my body across the road before I would have let the vice president overturn the 2020 election on the basis of that historical precedent,” he said.
In his final statement, Luttig said he believes Trump and his supporters are a “clear and present danger to American democracy.”
He said he’s worried that Trump or his “anointed successor” would try to overturn the results of the 2024 election should they not win.
“I do not speak these words lightly. I would have never spoken these words ever in my life, except that’s what the former president and his allies are telling us,” he said.
Role: Eastman was a legal advisor for Trump and a founding director of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, a law firm that is part of the conservative think tank The Claremont Institute. He also previously clerked for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Why does the committee want to hear from him? Eastman was critical to perpetuating the myth that there were legal pathways to overturn the 2020 election. In December, he filed a brief on Trump’s behalf in a Texas lawsuit challenging Biden’s win before the Supreme Court. The court threw the case out, but Eastman kept up his efforts, including circulating a series of memos espousing the theory that the vice president is “the ultimate arbiter” of the election and had the power to delay Congress’ count of Electoral College votes.
In the days leading up to Jan. 6, he tried to convince Pence and his lawyer Greg Jacob of his legal theory, and spoke alongside Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani at Trump’s Jan. 6 rally before rioters headed toward the Capitol.
Cooperated with the committee? The committee subpoenaed Eastman, and he testified in closed-door interviews. However, he invoked 5th Amendment protections against self-incrimination for 100 questions, committee Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., said at the June 16 hearing.
He also initially refused to turn over a trove of documents the committee requested. He released them after a judge ordered him to do so.
The latest: During the June 16 hearing, Jacob and retired conservative Judge J. Michael Luttig repeatedly dismantled Eastman’s theory that the vice president has the Constitutional authority to reject states’ slates of electors or delay the certification of votes at all.
Jacob explained that in the days leading up to Jan. 6, Eastman presented two paths for how Pence could keep Trump in power. He could outright reject the electors and their votes or he could delay the certification for 10 days, which would give state legislatures time to send Trump-friendly electors for a later vote count.
Both Jacob and Luttig testified before the committee that both avenues were illegal, and Jacob said Pence never considered either option. Aguilar also showed an October memo in which Eastman himself noted that those pathways were not legal.
Jacob testified that Eastman switched back and forth over which route he recommended, noting that the second might be more “politically palatable,” and insisted the 10 days would be time to get public acceptance for the move.
Despite Pence never entertaining Eastman’s suggestions, Eastman pushed the issue numerous times up through Jan. 6. After the insurrection, which delayed the count beyond what is technically called for in the Electoral Count Act, Eastman tried at least once more to convince the vice president to delay the certification.
“Now that we have established that the Electoral Count Act is not so sacrosanct as you have made it out to be, I implore you to consider one more relatively minor violation and adjourn for 10 days to allow the legislatures to finish their investigations,” he emailed Pence.
Days later, Eastman emailed Trump lawyer Rudy Guiliani asking to be placed on a potential presidential pardon list, the committee revealed, though he ultimately was not.
On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that Eastman had exchanged emails about tactics to overturn the election with conservative activist Ginni Thomas, who is also the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Role: Pak is the former U.S. Attorney General for the Northern District of Georgia
Why does the committee want to hear from him? Georgia, where Pak was U.S. Attorney General, was one of the states in which the Trump campaign falsely claimed it saw substantial voter fraud.
The committee first spoke to Pak in August. CNN reported that as part of his testimony, Pak said he stepped down as U.S. Attorney in Atlanta after Trump called Georgia’s secretary of state and tried to pressure him into saying there had been election fraud.
During that call, Trump referred to a “never-Trump” official, though he didn’t specifically say Pak’s name.
After Pak resigned, Trump appointed a new U.S. Attorney, and Pak said he had confidence in his successor.
According to a Senate Judiciary Committee interim staff report, “Pak’s office had investigated and debunked various allegations of election fraud in Georgia” by the time Trump called. The report alleges that Pak had planned to stay in his role until inauguration day and he was “personally very concerned” about Trump’s efforts to overturn the election.
The latest: In Pak’s testimony June 13, he detailed his experience with the Trump campaign’s claims of voter fraud.
He recalled a particular allegation that an election worker took a suitcase full of votes to the ballot box after hours.
But Pak explained that those weren’t extra votes, or falsely cast votes — they had previously been accidentally missed. It wasn’t a suitcase, Pak said, but a lockbox full of legitimate votes that needed to be counted.
The FBI investigated the claim, Pak said, but “determined nothing irregular happened in the counting,” and said the claims were false.
Lofgren asked Pak to confirm that there was “no widespread fraud sufficient to undermine confidence in the outcome of the election.”
“That is correct,” Pak said.
Role: Schmidt is a former commissioner for the city of Philadelphia.
Why does the committee want to hear from him?
Schmidt was the only Republican member of Philadelphia’s city commission, which oversees the city’s elections. The city was one of the targets of Trump’s claims of voter fraud.
The latest: Among the false claims of election fraud was the suggestion that 8,000 dead voters cast ballots in Philadelphia. In the committee’s June 13 hearing, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., asked Schmidt about that claim.
“Not only was there not evidence of 8,000 dead voters voting in Pennsylvania, there wasn’t evidence of eight,” Schmidt said. “We took seriously every case that was referred to us. Nno matter how fantastical or how absurd, we took every one of them seriously, even these.”
Schmidt also provided redacted threats he received after Trump tweeted about him, saying Schmidt refused to investigate “a mountain of corruption.”
The threats had been general in nature before Trump’s tweet, Schmidt said.After the tweet, they were highly specific and incredibly threatening, he added.
“The threats became much more specific, much more graphic, and included not just me by name, but included members of my family, by name, ages, our address, pictures of our home – every bit of detail you can imagine,” Schmidt said.
Role: Stirewalt is a former Fox News political editor.
Why does the committee want to hear from him? Stirewalt was fired in the aftermath of conservative backlash to Fox News correctly calling Arizona for Biden in the 2020 election. Stirewalt is now the political editor for NewsNation. Stirewalt is now the political editor for NewsNation.
The latest: Stirewalt recalled for the committee June 13 the decision to call Arizona for Trump earlier than other networks.
“We already knew that Trump’s chances were very small and getting smaller, based on what we had seen,” Stirewalt said. “So we were able to make the call early. We were able to beat the competition.”
The committee asked Stirewalt to explain the “red mirage” that was both expected and then present on election night.
He explained that early results are typically expected to be positive for Republicans, but when mail-in votes are counted, the lead can shrink or disappear.
“The Trump campaign and the president had made it clear they were going to try and exploit this anomaly,” Stirewalt testified.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California asked Stirewalt if it should have been expected that Trump’s lead on election night would shrink.
“It happens every time,” Stirewalt said.
Fox News did not carry the first Jan. 6 primetime hearings live, unlike every other major broadcast and cable network, and Stirewalt has not attempted to hide his distaste for his former employer.
“They’re not trying to do journalism,” he said on NewsNation, before reframing that. “Well — whatever they’re trying to do, they’re certainly not achieving that. What they’re trying to do is entertain and keep their audience and move the product.”
At the June 13 hearing, he stood by his team at Fox News and their reporting on election night.
“Our decision desk was the best in the business, and I was very proud to be a part of it,” he said.
Role: Stepien is Trump’s former campaign manager.
Why does the committee want to hear from him?
As a Trump campaign manager, Stepien was intimately involved with communicating how the former president was faring in states across the country, in the months leading up to Election Day and on election night.
In its subpoena to Stepien, the committee indicated it was particularly interested in his involvement in Trump’s “Stop the Steal” campaign that promoted the false claim there were voting machine inaccuracies during the 2020 election, messaging that was repeated by rioters who attacked the Capitol. The campaign built fundraising around those false claims despite internal memos that acknowledged that they were false. The committee also accused the campaign of asking states to delay or deny the election results.
Cooperated with the committee? Yes. He testified in closed-door hearings when subpoenaed.
The latest: An hour before the hearing began, the committee said Stepien would no longer testify in person, citing a family emergency. When the hearing began, Cheney said Stepien’s wife went into labor.
The committee played some excerpts of Stepien’s recorded video testimony, in which Stepien said he repeatedly told Trump the truth about losing the election and the lack of evidence of voter fraud.
Stepien said on election night, he thought the Trump campaign should acknowledge votes were still being counted and say it was too early to make a call. Instead, the president made a speech alleging massive voter fraud, without evidence, and claiming he won the election.
“It was far too early to be making any calls like that,” Stepien recalled thinking.
He also testified that in the days after the election, he told Trump that his chances were “very, very, very bleak,” and said he was frustrated that some of Trump’s advisers were feeding him false information about fraud.
“I didn’t think what was happening was necessarily honest or professional at that point. That led to me stepping away,” Stepien said.
In contrast to those falsely claiming fraud, “I didn’t mind being categorized as being part of team normal,” Stepien said.
Role: Ginsberg is a conservative elections lawyer best known for his involvement in the 2000 recount of the presidential race between Al Gore and George W. Bush.
Why does the committee want to hear from him? Ginsberg counseled the Bush-Cheney presidential campaigns in 2000 and 2004, and co-chaired the bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration.
Throughout the 2020 race, and after the election, he persistently fought Trump’s false claims of election fraud.
In the days following the 2020 election, Ginsberg told the PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff that Trump “is alleging fraudulent elections and rigged results that there is no evidence for.”
“Those were allegations that were made before this election, based on past elections, with absolutely no proof of that,” Ginsberg added.
The latest: At the committee hearing, Lofgren questioned Ginsberg about the 62 lawsuits the Trump campaign filed, claiming election fraud, asking if the campaign effectively made its case.
“I’ve looked at the more than 60 [cases] that include more than 180 counts and no. The simple fact is that the Trump campaign did not make its case,” Ginsberg said.
He also noted there were post-election reviews, and “in each one of those instances there was no credible evidence of fraud produced by the Trump campaign or his supporters.”
Role: Barr was the Trump administration’s attorney general at the time of the 2020 election.
Why does the committee want to hear from him? Barr was in Trump’s inner circle in both the run-up to the election and the immediate aftermath, and played a key role in public communications about the legitimacy of the election.
During the 2020 campaign, Barr regularly referred to unfounded worries about election interference or fraud. In July 2020, he claimed there was “a high risk” of “massive” fraud from mail-in voting, though he also said he had “no reason to think” the election would be rigged. And he speculated without evidence that a “foreign country could print up tens of thousands of counterfeit ballots.”
But after Trump lost the election, Barr said publicly his office had seen no evidence of voter fraud, and he stepped down as attorney general before the Jan. 6 insurrection.
WATCH: Barr, Ivanka Trump say they knew there was no voter fraud in 2020 election
Cooperated with the committee: Yes.
The latest: During the first night of hearings on June 9, the committee showed footage of Barr’s closed-door testimony, in which he said he told Trump there was no merit to claims of fraud. Barr also said the false claims of election fraud are what prompted him to resign.
Later in the hearing, the committee showed part of a closed-door interview with former first daughter Ivanka Trump, who confirmed that Barr had told her there was no evidence of election fraud, and that she had believed him.
Barr, his refusal to publicly claim election fraud and his exit from office, is expected to be the theme of the committee’s third hearing June 15. Cheney said in her opening statement that the June 13 hearing will lay out that Trump “corruptly planned to replace the Attorney General of the United States so the U.S. Justice Department would spread his false stolen election claims.”
Role: Capitol police officer present at Jan. 6 riot
Why does the committee want to hear from her? According to a statement issued by the Jan. 6 Committee, Edwards was the first law enforcement officer injured by rioters who attacked the Capitol, leaving her with a brain injury. Though injured, she continued to patrol the Capitol and prevented more rioters from entering the building.
Edwards testified before the committee during its first hearing on June 9. She detailed her injuries for the committee, and the work she did despite those injuries to protect parts of the Capitol from rioters.
“What I saw was just a war scene. It was something like I had seen out of the movies. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There were officers on the ground. You know, they were bleeding. They were throwing up,” Edwards said.
Edwards was a four-year veteran of the U.S. Capitol Police when the Jan. 6 attack took place, according to USA Today. However, she told the committee nothing in her training would have prepared her for the events of that day.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think that as a police officer, as a law enforcement officer, I would find myself in the middle of a battle. You know, I’m trained to detain, you know, a couple of subjects and handle a crowd. But I’m not combat trained,” she said.
Edwards also recounted her confrontation on the Capitol steps with members of the Proud Boys who she witnessed confer among themselves before attacking a police barricade made of bike racks. She worked to keep the Proud Boys contained next to the bike racks. Though she knew she did not have the strength to stop them, she hoped to delay them long enough for more police to arrive for back up. As the barricade was forced forward, she fell backward and was knocked unconscious.
Cooperated with the committee? Yes
The latest: Edwards testified before the Jan. 6 Committee on June 9. Members of the committee are able to ask her written follow-up questions within ten days of her appearance.
Role: Documentary filmmaker who captured parts of the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Why does the committee want to hear from him? According to the committee, Quested and his crew were at the Capitol on Jan. 6, during which they “documented the movements around the Capitol that morning, the first moments of violence against U.S. Capitol Police, and the chaos that ensued.”
Quested was one of two people who testified during the first hearing of the Jan. 6 Committee.
Quested and his crew had been documenting the extremist group the Proud Boys, including their then-leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio. That included following members as they traveled to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6. Quested and his crew documented the activity around the Capitol that morning and some of the first moments of violence, including against Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards, who also testified in the June 9 hearing.
That footage was featured as part of the committee’s hearing.
Quested outlined publicly to the committee what he saw that week, starting with a meeting between Tarrio and Elmer “Stewart” Rhodes, the founder and leader of the extremist group the Oath Keepers, the night before the insurrection.
On the morning of Jan. 6, Quested said he and his team had met up with the Proud Boys to continue filming them.
“They started to walk towards the Capitol. There was a large contingent. More than I had expected,” Quested said, noting that the Proud Boys already began to walk towards the Capitol before former President Donald Trump’s speech by the Ellipse behind the White House ended.
“I was confused to a certain extent while we were walking away from the president’s speech. Because that is what I felt we were there to cover,” Quested said.
“I make efforts to create familiarity between myself and my subjects to make them feel comfortable. And the atmosphere was much darker than it had been in these other days,” Quested said.
Tarrio was not in D.C. on the day of the attack, but helped guide activities from afar, the Justice Department said. Tarrio and some of the group’s other leaders were indicted on federal seditious conspiracy charges earlier this week.
Cooperated with the committee? Yes. In addition to providing testimony, he also handed over footage to the committee after being issued with a Congressional subpoena.
The latest: Quested was one of two of the first witnesses to testify at the first public hearing of the committee.
Role: Navarro was an economic adviser to Trump at the time of the attack.
Why does the committee want to hear from him? In December 2020, Navarro produced a report in which he falsely claimed he had enough evidence to prove Trump won the 2020 election. In a letter requesting Navarro’s testimony, the House select committee said he “worked with [Trump adviser] Steve Bannon and others to develop and implement a plan to delay Congress’s certification of, and ultimately change the outcome of, the November 2020 presidential election.”
According to the New York Times, Navarro has said he didn’t advocate for the violence on Jan. 6. Instead, part of the plan would have involved former Vice President Mike Pence rejecting Biden’s electors during that day’s joint session of Congress.
In his book, “In Trump Time,” Navarro says he’d hope to “put certification of the election on ice” to give Congress and state legislatures time to “investigate all of the fraud and election irregularities.” There has been no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.
Cooperated with the committee: No
The latest: Navarro on June 17 pleaded not guilty to two counts of criminal contempt of Congress for refusing to appear at a March 2 deposition for the House committee. He also refused to produce “documents and information” they’ve requested.
In April, the House voted along near-party lines to hold Navarro in contempt of Congress and recommended criminal charges. On June 3, he was indicted by the Department of Justice. At the time, Navarro promised to fight the charges and denied their legitimacy.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Navarro said he was filing a civil suit saying the Jan. 6 committee’s work was unlawful and was intended to have “the Supreme Court address a number of issues that have come with the weaponization of Congress’ investigatory powers” since the Trump administration was in office.
Bannon was also indicted on contempt charges in November.
Role: Bannon was an adviser to Trump. While he was not employed by the White House in 2021, he remained a close ally.
Why does the committee want to hear from him? The committee says Bannon was communicating with Trump in the days leading up to the attack on the Capitol, encouraging Trump to focus on Jan. 6. It also says Bannon met separately with members of Congress the day before the attack, encouraging them to vote against the certification of election results.
Bannon was among the first officials subpoenaed by the House committee last September. He refused to comply with the request for an interview and documents, claiming his communications with Trump are protected by executive privilege– the right for certain communications between the president and people in the executive branch to remain confidential. In November, the Justice Department indicted Bannon on two federal charges of contempt of Congress. His trial is scheduled for July.
Bannon has claimed he was following the advice of his lawyers in not cooperating with the committee, and did not know he was breaking the law.
Cooperated with the committee: No.
The latest: Bannon’s lawyers have filed their own legal challenge related to Jan. 6, questioning whether the House committee investigating the attack was properly formed under the chamber’s rules.
The week of June 6, Bannon’s lawyers subpoenaed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and all of the committee’s members to question them under oath about the creation of the committee, which was initially supposed to have 13 members, according to its founding resolution. Last summer, Pelosi objected to committee members selected by the GOP, saying they would not be able to properly investigate the attack, angering House conservatives. The committee’s final nine members, all selected by Pelosi, includes seven Democrats and two Republicans.
Role: Meadows was Trump’s chief of staff at the time of the attack.
Why does the committee want to hear from him? As Trump’s chief of staff, Meadows was intimately involved in the former president’s communications and actions in his final months in office, as Trump tried to cast the 2020 elections as fraudulent.
In April, CNN published thousands of text messages between Meadows and various members of congress, lawyers and other Trump allies, before and after the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Some in the run-up to the insurrection focused largely on the false conspiracy theory that the election was invalid, and efforts to stop the certification of results. .
On the day of the insurrection, Meadows responded to an earlier text from Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, in which the congressman pushed for Pence to reject electoral votes Jordan thought were unconstitutional. In reply, Meadows said, “I have pushed for this. Not sure it is going to happen[.]”
Others captured pleas from lawmakers and allies for Meadows to encourage the president to do something to stop the violence.
According to news reports, Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson has testified to Congressional investigators that Meadows had been warned prior to Jan. 6 that the pro-Trump demonstrations may turn violent.
Cooperated with the committee: Sometimes.
Members of the committee have said that Meadows sometimes cooperated with their investigation. He provided some documents like text messages and emails, but in December, stopped cooperating.
The latest: The committee recommended the DOJ criminally charge Meadows, but on the same day the department indicted Navarro, it said it would not pursue changes against the former chief of staff.
Dan Cooney is the PBS NewsHour's Social Media Producer/Coordinator.
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