By Moira Warburton
(Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol wrapped up its work with a recommendation that former President Donald Trump be charged with insurrection and conspiracy to commit fraud against the United States.
The committee conducted over a thousand witness interviews, the most significant elements of which were explored in public hearings. Since the release of its report last week, the committee has released testimony transcripts highlighting other developments in Trump’s White House, before and after the riot. Here are six of those:
Trump wanted to issue blanket pardons for everyone who participated in the riot, according to testimony from John McEntee, former head of personnel at the White House.
“The president floated the idea and Cipollone said no,” McEntee told the committee, referring to Pat Cipollone, former White House counsel. “I remember the president saying, well, what if I pardoned the people that weren’t violent, that just walked in the building? And I think the White House counsel
gave him some pushback.”
FIRING PEOPLE WHO DENY “THE BIG LIE”
Trump considered firing any member of his staff who did not believe the 2020 election was stolen, in a memo that Cipollone and former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson mentioned.
“Anybody that thinks there wasn’t massive fraud in the 2020 election should be fired,” the memo read, according to Cipollone.
“Pat looked at it. He said something to the effect of, God, no,” Hutchinson told the committee, referring to the memo. Cipollone said he did not remember this interaction.
25TH AMENDMENT DISCUSSIONS
Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the Jan. 6 committee that he and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeobriefly discussed using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. The 25th amendment deals with presidential succession and disability.
The topic “came up very briefly in our conversation,” Mnuchin said, telling the committee he did no significant research into the topic.
MEADOWS BURNED DOCUMENTS
Mark Meadows, who served as Trump’s chief of staff from late March 2020 until the end of the administration, was seen burning documents roughly a dozen times in the period between President Joe Biden’s election and his inauguration, Hutchinson testified.
She did not know what the documents were or whether they were originals. Originals of all White House documents must be kept for the archives, but copies can be burned.
Several times Meadows burned documents after meeting with lawmakers including Representative Scott Perry, a Republican involved with efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, Hutchinson said.
HUTCHINSON FACED INTENSE PRESSURE
A Trump-friendly lawyer represented Hutchinson during her initial depositions with the committee, but switched lawyers and was more forthcoming about the intense pressure she faced from what she called “Trump world” to not hurt the former president.
“I was scared,” she said, recounting her emotions after her depositions with the committee in May and June. She suspected her former lawyer of leaking her testimony to the press, and telling other Trump-adjacent figures about what she told the committee.
“I remember turning to the staffer (with the committee), and I had said, ‘I’m about to be fucking nuked,'” she said in September.
TRUMP CIRCLE TOOK SPEAKING FEES FOR JAN. 6 RALLY
Both Donald Trump Jr., the former president’s son, and his fiancee Kimberley Guilfoyle, took $60,000 speaking fees for a rally held ahead of the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, according to testimony from Caroline Wren, a Trump aide.
(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by Alistair Bell and Josie Kao)
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