The House Jan. 6 committee released a new batch of transcripts on Thursday, including interviews with Donald Trump Jr., former Trump White House aides and others.
This new batch is part of a steady stream of transcript drops that the select committee released last week, completing its 845-page report. The latest release comes as the panel wraps up its work, with the House majority expected to switch from Democrats to Republicans next week at the start of the new Congress.
Released transcripts so far have provided insightful insight into the final weeks of former President Donald Trump’s presidency, with testimony from inside Trump’s White House, federal and state officials who resisted to the pressures to annul the results of the 2020 elections, and many others.
Here are some of the highlights from Thursday’s revelations:
Donald Trump Jr. told the committee that the reason he texted former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows a detailed plan on how to ensure his father gets a second term two days after the 2020 presidential election was because he thought the ideas were “the most sophisticated” and “seemed plausible”.
Trump Jr.’s testimony, revealed by the select committee on Thursday, provides new context to a text message CNN first reported in April, in which he outlines various ideas for keeping Trump in power by reversing the college process. electoral.
The Nov. 5 text message outlines a strategy that is nearly identical to what the former president’s allies have attempted to implement in the months that followed. Trump Jr. specifically refers to filing lawsuits and promoting recounts to prevent some swing states from certifying their results, as well as a handful of Republican state houses offering lists of bogus “Trump voters” .
If all that fails, according to Trump Jr.’s text, GOP lawmakers in Congress could simply vote to reinstall Trump as president on Jan. 6.
“We have operational control of full leverage,” the post read. “Moral High Ground POTUS must start 2nd term now.”
Although Trump Jr. said he was not the original author of the text, a point his lawyer made to CNN in April, and that he could not remember the original author of the message, he explained to investigators why of all the messages sent to him at the time, he felt this one should be forwarded to Meadows.
“Maybe reading it was the most sophisticated, you know, and detailed, and again, about things that I don’t necessarily know, you know, too much, but it seemed plausible and I wanted make sure we were looking at the issues raised in the text,” Trump Jr.
Meadows didn’t initially respond to the original Nov. 5 text, but when Trump Jr. followed up the next day to make sure he’d seen it, Trump’s then-chief of staff texted, “a much of it had merit. I’m working on this for PA, so Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina already.
Chris Miller, who served as acting defense secretary at the end of the Trump administration, told the committee he thinks the mayor of Washington, D.C., should have more control over the National Guard. of DC following the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.
Miller was asked in his January deposition about a proposal to Congress to give the mayor of Washington, DC, the same power to deploy the National Guard as a governor. Since the District of Columbia is not a state, the authority to deploy is delegated to the Secretary of the Army by the Secretary of Defense and the President.
Miller said of the DC mayor having more authority over the Guard, “Being a private citizen, I’ll tell you exactly what I think, and take it or leave it. Shit, yeah.
“The mayor should absolutely have more control over the DC National Guard,” he continued, according to a transcript released by the panel Thursday. “I don’t know the story. And I’m sure there’s all kinds of reasons that are constitutional, way beyond what I understand, so I’m just jumping, but there has to be a way to fit it in, she or the mayor, in this process of working significantly and more proactively.
Miller testified before the committee about the delay in getting National Guard soldiers to the Capitol on Jan. 6, saying he didn’t know why Major General William Walker, the commander of the DC National Guard, thought that he did not have clearance to deploy. According to the January 6 committee report, Walker “understood that he had to wait for Secretary (Ryan) McCarthy’s approval to deploy his forces. But since he waited for this video call for hours, he seriously considered sending them anyway.
After the 2020 election, Sen. Lindsey Graham pledged to become a ‘champion’ of then-President Trump’s voter fraud allegations – if only Trump advisers would give him information about deceased voters, according to a report. report to the committee on January 6.
“Senator Graham was saying, ‘Get me your information,'” Trump lawyer Christina Bobb told the House Select Committee of what Graham said in a meeting days before the Trump uprising. January 6, 2021.
“Just give me five dead voters,” Bobb Graham told then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and others in Meadows’ office at the White House.
“Give me, you know, an example of illegal voting. Just give me a very small snapshot that I can take and defend,” Bobb added, relaying what Graham said at the time.
The exchange with Graham highlights how the South Carolina Republican became involved in Trump’s pressure campaign to reverse his election loss in Georgia, and how the White House at the time was connecting with influential politicians to push forward Trump’s message on the false claims of voter fraud.
“Graham was like, ‘Oh, I’d love to support the cause. I think it would be great to, you know, really show all the fraud. Send me a memo and show me, you know, what information you have. I will defend it,” Bobb also recalled of the conversation with Graham.
According to a transcript of the Bobb’s House testimony released Thursday, Graham received a memo from the legal team working with Trump, titled “President Graham Died Voting Memo for Your Consideration.”
But Bobb added: “He didn’t do anything with it.”
Graham’s office pointed out Thursday that the book “Peril” by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa previously described a similar exchange between Graham and Trump advisers. After receiving their memo, the senator was unconvinced of the alleged fraud, according to the book. His office provided no further response.