The Men Disputing Cassidy Hutchinson’s Retelling of Trump’s SUV Lunge Got Warnings about Plans to Flood the Capitol

Since Cassidy Hutchinson’s startling testimony on Tuesday, credulous journalists have reported anonymous sources pushing back against one of her most dramatic stories: that when told he was not going to the Capitol on January 6, Donald Trump lunged towards the steering wheel of the SUV taking him back to the White House and then went after the clavicle of the head of his detail, Bobby Engel.

On top of being anonymous, the pushback never disputed Hutchinson’s claim: that she was told this story by Tony Ornato, the Secret Service Officer that Trump elevated into an important political position at the White House, Deputy Chief of Staff, in front of Engel, who did not dispute the story. Plus, Alyssa Farrah has described that Ornato, in the past, has disputed things she said under oath (about Trump’s stunt in Lafayette Square), without himself going under oath.

Nevertheless, that anonymous pushback has distracted from a far more alarming detail in Tuesday’s testimony that Ornato and Engel have not disputed, neither on or off the record: that they got warnings about plans to occupy buildings in DC and, implicitly, warnings about Proud Boy involvement.

That revelation came just before Hutchinson affirmed a detail I’ve been almost alone in reporting for over a year: Not just Roger Stone, but also Rudy Giuliani, had links to the Proud Boys.

Cheney: US Secret Service was looking at similar information and watching the planned demonstrations. In fact, their Intelligence Division sent several emails to White House personnel, like Deputy Chief of Staff Tony Ornato and the head of the President’s protective detail Robert Engel, including certain materials listing events like those on the screen.

Cheney: The White House continued to receive updates about planned demonstrations, including information regarding the Proud Boys organizing and planning to attend events on January 6. Although Ms. Hutchinson has no detailed knowledge of any planning involving the Proud Boys for January 6, she did note this:


Hutchinson: I recall hearing the word[s], “Oath Keeper,” hearing the word[s], “Proud Boys,” closer to the planning of the January 6 rally when Mr. Giuliani would be around.

The reference to Ornato and Engel is among the first in Tuesday’s hearing: while Cheney had previewed Hutchinson’s interactions with Ornato and the Secret Service in her introduction, this reference was the first substantive description of Ornato’s activities. That description, as well as Hutchinson’s explanation of how she told Trump’s National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien that Ornato had had a conversation with Mark Meadows about the warnings of violence, came even before Cheney cued Hutchinson to explain what an important role the Deputy Chief of Staff played.

Some time later, the hearing revealed texts between Hutchinson and Ornato reflecting the latter’s awareness that Trump’s supporters were trying to avoid the metal detectors.

Importantly, Cheney mentioned something about this text exchange that doesn’t appear in the texts shown on the screen: a discussion between the two of them — Hutchinson and Ornato — about an “OTR,” an “off the record” movement to get Trump to the Capitol. The Committee appears to be withholding precisely what those texts say — involving Trump personally, and so colorably covered under Executive Privilege.

That may not be the only thing the Committee withheld from its presentation: note in my transcription above that Cheney doesn’t say Ornato and Engel received the warnings that were flashed on the screen. She says they received, “certain materials listing events like those on the screen.” [my emphasis] Particularly given the reports that the Committee met in a secure facility in advance of this hearing, that phrasing could allow for other records, records too sensitive to show publicly, tying the Proud Boys to plans to occupy buildings on January 6.

The story of Trump lunging in the SUV is a distraction, and Ornato, a loyal Trumpster, is likely using his pushback to distract from far more damning details of Hutchinson’s testimony:

  • Both Engel and Ornato had warnings of plans to occupy buildings
  • Hutchinson linked Rudy Giuliani in advance of the attack to both militias that attacked the Capitol
  • Ornato discussed these warnings in advance with Mark Meadows, who pushed Hutchinson away twice during the early moments of the attack
  • In spite of foreknowledge of a plan to occupy buildings and the involvement of militias, Ornato nevertheless continued to plan to take Trump to the Capitol

Secret Service loyalists, for all their anonymous pushback, are denying none of these far more damning details, details that put them — and Meadows and Trump — in far more complicit position with respect to the attack.

432 replies
  1. Zinsky says:

    Once again, incredible insights and reporting. Tying Rudy and Stone to the Proud Boys is key, in my elementary thinking, to tie the “muscle” to the “brains” (although I balk at using Rudy Giuliani and the word “brains” in the same sentence). What went on in the Mayflower Hotel “war room” on the evening of January 5th, 2021 (and before) is going to be critical to wrapping this conspiracy up into a nice little package, in my opinion. Thanks again for the great scoops and analysis.

    • emptywheel says:

      And Roger Stone left the Willard at around the same time Joe Biggs and Ethan Nordean were planning their events the next day.

      • harpie says:

        That was at 8:50 PM. After his rabble rousing at Freedom Plaza, he walked back to the WILLARD. Then he left again, with Sal Greco.

      • harpie says:

        Have we ever learned where BIGG’s “here” is?

        5:52 PM BIGGS, on BOG: “We are trying to avoid getting into any shit tonight. Tomorrow’s the day” [] “I’m here with rufio [NORDEAN] and a good group[.]”

        9:20 PM BIGGS on NMOSD-LG: “We have a plan. I’m with rufio [NORDEAN].” DONOHOE responds: “What’s the plan so I can pass it to the MOSD guys.” BIGGS responds: “I gave Enrique a plan. The one I told the guys and he said he had one.”

        • emptywheel says:

          No. That’s the meeting I’m speaking about. Roger left the hotel at around 9 after having ditched his documentary crew.

        • emptywheel says:

          Also, to clarify, the set of texts that have been released were taken from Nordean’s phone, which was seized in WA, and so the texts reflect PT.

    • Sprink281 says:

      They played Trump at the Ellipse stating during his speech “You may be going to other buildings, but this group here is going to the Capitol” He knew of the Proud Boys Plan, and was trying to instruct the change of plan. I think we’ll find it was all coordinated from the “War Room”

      • Garrett Everhardt says:

        I just read through Trump’s entire 1/6 speech (which was a brutal endeavor to accomplish) and did not see this quote anywhere.

        • LizzyMom says:

          Just out of curiosity, was that the pre-written speech or was that the transcript including any ad libs? I suspect there are discrepancies between the two.

          (I hope you had a stiff drink after reading through it, regardless of version. I wouldn’t have had the stomach for it!)

  2. Ruthie says:

    I read somewhere that both Ornato and Engel had testified before the J6C already, although when I did a search I couldn’t find confirmation. Regardless, speculation that the committee wouldn’t have featured her testimony publicly if they hadn’t had corroborating witness/es or evidence seems convincing.

    I’m curious about the distinctions between an OTR and a scheduled stop. The SS knew about the detour to the Capitol in advance; how much time and planning is needed before an OTR becomes a scheduled stop? Is it possible it was purposely left an OTR so as to keep it on the down low? As mentioned above, both men knew there was a potential for violence, and yet an OTR was planned. The intervention of the SS is apparently the only thing that stopped it from actually happening, which is curious given their avid support for Trump.

    • emptywheel says:

      I suspect one key distinction is whether USCP gets told, or people like McConnell and McCarthy. Remember McCarthy called, shocked, when Trump said he was coming to the Capitol.

      • Ruthie says:

        That neither USCP nor McConnell/McCarthy were told despite it having been planned in advance furthers the idea that knowledge of the OTR was withheld on purpose. If true, it would seem to indicate that McConnell and McCarthy weren’t (as deeply?) involved in the conspiracy to obstruct the vote count.

        • Joberly says:

          1:10 p.m. phone call, McCarthy to Hutchinson: “You told me this whole week you aren’t coming up here. Why would you lie to me?” That indicates that McCarthy knew about Rudy’s Jan 2nd plan for Trump to march on the Capitol. But somehow, McC thought the march plan had been nixed and was shocked to watch Trump proclaim it on TV at his Ellipse speech.

          • Midtowngirl says:

            There is so much that could be gleaned from that one small exchange! It tells me:
            1. Ms. Hutchinson was no “coffee girl” for sure, but a trusted conduit for messages and information between those at the very top;
            2. McCarthy’s use of “you”, addressing her as a representative of, and full stand-in proxy for Trump, further cements the core insider status;
            3. Which means that Hutchinson and McCarthy’s multiple conversations “this whole week” about Trump going to the Capitol were actually part of a much larger group dialogue;
            4. And if McCarthy needed constant reassurance that Trump wasn’t going to the Capitol, he surely knew why Trump might.

          • nord dakota says:

            It blows me away how all this big strong men were apparently relying on Cassidy to grab the wheel.

            • Rex Visigothis says:

              Of course they did you’ve seen her on TV… Speaking as a (dues paying!) Democratic Socialist of America she could be my worst nightmare, an AOC who found it in her heart to intern for Cruz and Sessions.

        • Molly Pitcher says:

          I have to think that they ‘knew’ somethings, but the full scope was with held. There are few creatures in Congress with more finely tuned self preservation skills than McConnell, and to a much less effectively executed extent, McCarthy. Had they known TFG wanted to join the party they might have thrown a fit.

          As far as the SS goes, however much some of them were/are in TFG’s back pocket, they still don’t want to be criminally responsible for getting the POTUS killed or maimed at the insurrection; the whole code of the brotherhood thing.

          • Michael Schmitt says:

            I also think that the SS agents were not themselves interested in getting killed or maimed.

        • Garrett Everhardt says:

          I know of no one that has said McConnell and McCarthy were part of the conspiracy. Probably because they weren’t.

          • fm says:

            It seems whether McCarthy was part of the planning or not he sure knew and was included in actions that were being planned days before Jan6.

    • pdaly says:

      I was wondering the same.
      Trump ended his speech at the Ellipse at around 1:10pm

      However, according to The Washington Post timeline at 1 PM “An initial wave of protesters storms the outer barricade west of the Capitol building as senators and Vice President Pence walk to the House chamber.”

      Maybe inside the SUV Ornato and Engel realized the fighting had closed their window for the (planned) OTR visit to the Capitol?

      • harpie says:

        Yeah. TRUMP started his rabble rousing almost 1 hour late.

        I found it interesting that one of the first things MEADOWS said to HUTCHINSON when he finally let her give him all the warnings [after he got off the phone /out of the control car] was to ask how much longer TRUMP’s rabble rousing would still continue.

        That rabble rousing also ended up being much longer than planned…I think they had allotted 30 minutes and it ended up being 75 [??] [will check].

        • Krisy Gosney says:

          Really interesting. Thank you Harpie, and Emptywheel! I wonder if there is security footage from these other buildings showing people inside waiting to open doors. (I felt from watching live the oh shit moments in H’s testimony were ‘don’t want to go through mags,’ ‘they’re not here to hurt me,’ Meadow’s phone work and how close Ornato and Engel were to getting Trump to the Capitol despite all they knew. The steering grab is a distraction though I believe the Committee would only include it if they already had backup proof.).

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Close to 75. According to previous EW post, he started speaking at 11:57 a.m. ET and finished at 1:10 p.m.

          With Trump, however, I would guess it’s hard to time, exactly. I mean, how do you count things like him approaching the stage and making gestures? Or “dancing” to that version of YMCA he hears in his head? (Not that he did that on 6 Jan 21, but generally.)

      • Stephen Calhoun says:

        Thanks to EW et al for the fine grained view.

        From my armchair my reflections go in the direction of the distinction between control, appearance of control, and all the ways control can be degraded by ‘rolling the dice.’

        As horrible as the violence was on January 6, it could have been much worse; given that some of the mob had firearms. Had Trump somehow made his way to the Capitol might this have triggered the quick response team? Contemplating all the ways such an amplification might have caused the situation to disintegrate beyond where it was at, at that point in the timeline, highlights the situation’s inherent fragility.

        • Ravenclaw says:

          My impression is that the rapid response team was set up to be triggered by counterprotesters (“antifa”), preferably violent ones. Then they could show up, shoot some leftists to look like heroes, march into the Capitol pretending to be protectors of democracy (“just here to help, ma’am” to the beleaguered police) and take charge – yes, protecting certain people – but also helping to apprehend others. When no unofficial opposition appeared, they couldn’t just charge in and start killing the folks on their own side.

          • Dutch Louis says:

            “triggered by counterprotesters”, yes… or maybe: ‘triggered by the explosion of two bombs in the near vicinity’. A kind of a Reichstag-scenario.

          • KM Williams says:

            Living near Portland OR, I’d say the Portland Antifa-Proud Boys etc “fake riots” were a dry run for Jan 6. I’m wondering if there were ICE people, and other “secret” personnel (unmarked vans) in D.C. on that date, prepared to kidnap individuals here and there, as happened in Portland OR.

            • Chris Perkins says:

              Portland does have a loose antifa organization (probably just an email list or fb group), and some of its participants seem to be people just looking for a fight. It’s exactly because of their presence that all those right wing rallies ended up being here. Those right wing rally folk would descend on Portland from all over. Both parties were just looking for a fight. A weird symbiotic donnybrook.

              I suspect that Trump and Stone when planning these things out in D.C. simply didn’t appreciate that “antifa” is not a nationwide phenomenon. Fox News seems to like to characterize it as such, and often intentionally confuses it with the BLM movement, but they are not the same.

              I suspect Trump and friends drank their own koolaid and were sure that if they drew a big crowd of violent MAGA supporters that antifa would likewise be drawn and then they’d have their battle royale and pretense for having DHS close the capitol and stopping the electoral count. If the electoral count had been held here in Portland, then, yes, they likely would have gotten the fight they wanted. But probably nowhere else in the US.

              • Midtowngirl says:

                I think Trump’s narrative about “Antifa” is just a convenient scapegoat/ boogeyman/ source of manufactured fear – a tool to manipulate his followers, and convert those still on the fence.

                If Trump thought really Antifa were the massive, pervasive and deadly organization he makes it out to be, he wouldn’t have demanded that the SS remove the mags at the Ellipse.

              • Garrett Everhardt says:

                That was no accident; word went out to stay the hell away from DC on 1/6. We knew they were hoping for a riot.

                  • Garrett Everhardt says:

                    Any and all liberal activists that had been monitoring We knew they wanted a rumble, and at that point it had become obvious that MAGAs were using ANTIFA as a boogieman and a patsy.
                    We weren’t gonna give them what they wanted.

          • Thomas says:

            I have commented on this in other places. The communications between the insurrectionists at all levels in the weeks before Jan 6 show that they all believed that Antifa would show up in large numbers and physically battle the insurrectionists.

            When that didn’t happen, it threw everything off for them.

            Additionally, there was always a plan for post-insurrection disinformation and this was compartmentalized. The disinfo agents (Gaetz, Proud Boys, Ingraham et al) stayed on plan even though the insurrection failed. They immediately began blaming antifa for the insurrection.

            My theory about this is that the plan was to kill Pence and 12 Democrats under the cover of rioting with antifa, and then the assassins would clear out while Trump called in the National Guard to arrest antifa for the murders.
            Then Congress would reconvene and with enough Democrats killed to shift power to the Republicans in the House, they would vote to throw out the electoral votes and send the election to the House, where Trump would win.
            So you see how the post-insurrection disinfo would turn into a rampant jailing campaign against leftists, journalists, Democrats etc

            If that all sounds crazy to you, then consider this: I figured out what Eastman’s plan was before anyone knew who Eastman was.

            We will learn that my assassination story was part of the plan.

            • Rex Visigothis says:

              Con respetto, whad’ya mean “crazy”??!

              What’s crazy is it would have only needed the *neutralization of 12 dems to do the job

              *(let’s be sentimental and hope for sequestration rather than assassination… Think FARC and Ingrid whatshername. )

        • Pigeon in a Library says:

          “The President’s going to be there. He’s going to look powerful. He’s going to be with the members. He’s going to be with the Senators.”

          This makes me think the plan was for him to enter the Capitol. To be on the floor after his people had seized it and convinced Mike Pence to “do the right thing”. I bet there’s a draft speech on Stephen Miller’s phone.

          At first I couldn’t bring myself to imagine this. The thought of him outside the Capitol would be disruptive enough to turn half the people there into suicidal Ashli Bs. But now it seems most believable that his plan was to step over the blood and walk down the shit stained walls to deliver some sort of sick State of the Union. Like a twisted version of his walk down Lafayette Square, but with the public removing the federal employees.

          His behavior in the Beast and for the rest of the day makes more sense to me in this context. This is the guy who wanted to dramatically reveal a Superman shirt after his Covid. I doubt it can ever be proven that he planned on addressing a captive Congress, but from my own armchair it seems like a clearer goal for him that any I could picture before.

          • StringOnAStick says:

            Remember that first and foremost, Trump is a malignant narcissist. Striding in to take control past a pile of D Representative’s bodies with blood running is the revenge fantasy he concocted to salve the mortal wound his ego suffered when he lost. You can be sure he was carefully nurturing and expanding this fantasy every moment after the election was called in Nov.

            Those of us who aren’t narcissists never see the bigger picture of just how not normal they are in comparison to our lived experience. I’ve seen people saying his motivation to stay in office was to keep his grifts going, that he feared the loans coming due or was addicted to the power. All a malignant narcissist wants is to maintain their carefully constructed inner reality of how amazing, wonderful, and most of better than anyone that they are; losing the election put a huge dent in Trump’s reality, and what he wanted most was To.Make.Them.Pay. This is what a malignant narcissist does to repair and reconstruct the damage to their ego from the actions of the other(s).

            • MB says:

              The book “The Cult of Trump” by Steven Hassan fleshes out the details of said narcissism from a cult survivor POV. Highly recommended read (by me).

              Also I’ve heard many highly-insightful throwaway lines on Mary Trump’s weekly podcasts about her uncle’s “character”. I say that they’re “throwaway” lines because the topics of the podcast are elsewhere – these are usually responses to questions from people who ask personal questions because of her close blood relations. She’s clearly sick of talking about him as a naricissism poster boy.

              And…I seem to remember back in 2015 during the campaign when Tim O’Brien repeatedly warned the public on multiple news show interviews about what they were about to experience should DJT become prezident, but nobody was prepared to hear it back then, and many still are not now.

              I think because of our collective experience of the damage a clown presidency can wreak on society, the subject of narcissism in general has generated an entire cottage industry of “narcissism experts” (check out YouTube to see practically a glut) and soon the jargon of narcissism that I’m encountering: “narcissistic supply”, “hoovering”, “bread-crumbing” etc. will perhaps make it into our common vocabulary…

              • earthworm says:

                “Remember that first and foremost, Trump is a malignant narcissist:”
                that is no doubt true, but the sense i get is that far more is driving this behavior than malignant narcissism, and that would be the ‘international gangster’ aspect. whatever pact trump made with putin was (and maybe still is) driving the risk taking.

          • Ginevra diBenci says:

            That “he’s going to look powerful” line stood out. It instantly triggered a flashback image in my mind to that John MacNaughton painting with Trump in place of George Washington crossing the Delaware.

            That was his dream: to look like the hero in the big fake flashy painting.

            • Rayne says:

              That MacNaughton crap imagery mashed with WWE. If it wouldn’t make me ill doing so, I’d try DALL-E to produce this for the hell of it.

              • Alan Charbonneau says:

                It’s Thomas Kinkade meets Roger Stone. The painting is so hilarious I wouldn’t have been surprised if it was done as parody. I mean Trump crossing the Washington Swamp?

            • KM Williams says:

              To Trump, appearance is reality. If he “looks strong” or handsome, or rich, then he IS rich, etc. Hence his wearing knockoff suits, with cufflinks made of pewter & cubic zirconia, while convincing people the suit is $8,000 and the cufflinks platinum & diamond, is good enough for him.

            • Pigeon in a Library says:

              He might have started out thinking about that Delaware crossing painting, but seems like by the end it was that flag with him as Rambo.

              I’d never actually seen John MacNaughton’s paintings… thanks for that. Trump teaching a man to fish is pretty fucking funny.

              • P J Evans says:

                Especially with him wearing a suit. (Has he ever actually fished? Most of the people I’ve seen fishing were wearing jeans and tees/sweatshirts.)

                • Ginevra diBenci says:

                  Why would Trump ever go fishing? There’s almost no way to *win* fishing, and when you do you’re beating a fish.

                  MacNaughton’s paintings look to me like satire or parody. I envy his ability to sense an audience who would take them “straight,” and pay for copies. Those who’ve supplied this Emperor with aggrandizing New Clothes have built a lucrative cottage industry in parallel with the OAN, Newsmax, and Fox opinion “journalists” who insist on repeating the fundamental lie: that he’s not nakedly Donald J. Trump, loser.

            • Geoguy says:

              I prefer the THE SWAMP THING version at
     I’m not a reader of the The Urantia Book, just found the image looking up John MacNaughton.

          • Vicks says:

            “This is consistent with if you’re having a coup, and you’ve summoned everybody, and you expect to be anointed as the head of illegitimate government. You have to be there,” Ben-Ghiat said, referring to Trump.
            “There’s a phase in coups — they’re violent, they’re quick, and then you have your pronouncement of the new order,” she added. “And so that’s why he was trying to get there.”

      • wetzel says:

        Maybe they did not foresee that the magnetometers would split the crowd in two, and they lost the ability to coordinate Trump’s arrival with the break-in. The violence had already begun. They could not claim the area was safe for a Presidential movement. Trump flipped out in the SUV. That was the moment they lost efficacy on the insurrection, though maybe that happened when ‘antifa’ failed to show up. It’s mind-boggling to try to imagine what in the world their plan actually entailed. I suppose Trump’s arrival at the capital was to have coincided with the mob tipping over into chaos.

        • skua says:

          AIUI the group/s who started the breaking through the barricades had done their organisation previous to Trump being at the Elipse.

      • harpie says:

        12:51 PM BIGGS [megaphone] Everybody right now! 1] Where’s Antifa? Call/response 2] Fuck Antifa! Call/response 3] We want Trump! 4] We love Trump! 5] Who’s house?/Our House! Call/response 6] 1776!

        12:54 PM [SAMSEL] crosses the barrier that restricted access to the Capitol grounds. This is the first barrier protecting the Capitol grounds to be breached on January 6, 2021, and the point of entry for NORDEAN, BIGGS, REHL, DONOHOE, and PEZZOLA. NORDEAN, BIGGS, REHL, DONOHOE, and PEZZOLA and assembled members of the crowd move toward the Capitol.

      • Region Manager Antifa says:

        It is of great interest that an early lie from the trump crowd was that “the mob started to breach the Capitol before trump had finished his speech, so therefore the mob was not attacking the Capitol at trump’s behest”.

        In reality, it simply shows that the mob was sticking to the schedule of a pre-agreed plan to attack the Capitol, while trump ran into overtime.

        • Rayne says:

          How odd at 2:23 pm ET the Capitol Police are fending off Trump’s angry horde of insurrectionists well after his speech.

          What a pity video and photos taken from the Capitol Building’s own systems don’t corroborated the early lie including the presence of antifa counterprotesters.

    • Ravenclaw says:

      “Their avid support.” Gonna say this: I don’t for a minute believe that the entire secret service was in on any of these plots. A few loyalists like Otranto, sure. The others (even if many of them might have supported a coup after the fact) would just be going about their regular duties, of which preserving the president’s life President is #1. So all the guys in the car knew was that the Capitol was in the throes of a bloody riot – which meant Do Not Go There. Naturally, if someone has evidence that the secret service was compromised by collusion with Oath Keepers or any other insurrectionists I’ll change my tune.

      • viget says:

        The VP protective detail was almost certainly in on this plan. They were going to kidnap Pence.

        • Ravenclaw says:

          I would need to see evidence of that. At a minimum, evidence that they had attended certain meetings with certain people or joined some organized group. Not saying it isn’t feasible, just that I have not seen any evidence. On this site, people tend to be cautious about wild speculation. Though I have myself wondered here whether it was the case…

          • Lawrunner says:

            I agree Ravenclaw. There has been information teased out that suggests Pence had a concern that he would be removed from the Capital and not allowed to return (statements by Pence and other staff regarding this concern), as well as information alluding to the fact that more than one individual believed that Pence would not be leading the session (e.g. Grassley’s statements). None of what has been released is evidence showing there was a conspiracy (or it was part of a broader conspiracy) to remove Pence from his role that day. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t such a conspiracy, and we may ultimately find out it did occur, but we have nothing even suggesting it happened much less providing evidence that proves it did.

            • John Paul Jones says:

              I seem to recall that in the discussion about whether Pence was going to get in the car or not, his chief of security (Secret Service guy) said he didn’t have to worry and Pence replied Are you going to be driving? Answer, no sir. Then I’m not getting in. Something along those lines, which suggested to me that Pence knew darned well that not every single SS agent could be trusted to do what he wanted them to do. The stuff about the optics of him driving away from the Capitol, though true, struck me as a way to sell it, that is, as a sort of cover for the real fear.

              • skua says:

                Yes to the optics being a cover.
                Optic wouldn’t suddenly be OK if Pence’s chief of security had been going to be the driver.

    • RMD says:

      how much time and planning is needed before an OTR becomes a scheduled stop?

      According to Hutchinson’s testimony on Tuesday, an OTR takes about an hour to instantiate and become operational.

  3. Njrun says:

    This is probably silly, but maybe having Hutchinson testify about that conversation was a way to dare Ornato to publicly testify himself? He’s probably hiding behind Secret Service privilege but if he comes forward to deny the lunge he could be asked about more serious matters.

    • emptywheel says:

      I’m sure it is. This was an effort to force Cipollone, Ornato, and Engel to testify, and raise the costs for Meadows of not doing so. And to the extent that DOJ didn’t have any of this yet, now they have it.

      Which makes Lisa Monaco’s comment yesterday — we’re doing our job and they’re doing their job — quite interesting.

      • Badger Robert says:

        Brilliant analysis as always. Thanks. The above was my guess, that they are daring Ornato, Engel and Cipollone to testify under oath. They already have some formal and informal information.

      • Willis Warren says:

        could you go into detail about that comment, please? No one is really covering this

      • bawiggans says:

        I would think that this only creates pressure on others to testify if the truth as they know it is something significantly different or they are willing to perjure themselves and gamble that the others will do so as well. Probably better to just stonewall (you know: the hole; stop digging…)

        • hollywood says:

          Yes, stonewall and have “anonymous sources” say they deny what Hutchinson said.

  4. Desider says:

    Plus you noted elsewhere the alarming new detail that Trump explicitly wanted to keep Proud Boys & Oath Keepers armed in going to the Capitol, wanting to turn off the metal detectors in “his” guys who weren’t there to do *him* harm.

      • bmaz says:

        What is “Antifa”? As it is made up right wing bullshit, how could they have “been there”?

        • J R in WV says:

          I don’t know how fictitious antifa is, I don’t think they’re organized so much as they’re an amorphous group of people with similar feelings about fascism and democracy/freedom.

          I remember on Trump’s Inauguration day the well known fascist Richard Spencer was speaking with a bullhorn in downtown DC when a masked and gloved anonymous guy decked him with one punch. Antifa? we can’t know that, can we?

          On the other hand, it was great to see a guy espousing nazi violence get smacked down like that.

          • Rayne says:

            Antifa is antifascism. It’s an ideology, not an organization. Antifascism was the motivation behind these guys who actually were organized:

            Why are we *still* having to explain this more than five years after Trump took office in 2017?

          • bmaz says:

            If you don’t know, you are not paying attention. You are just going to cherry pick that shit moment out and assign it to “Antifa”? Seriously? What a load of bunk. Just buying into the bull and propagating it. Well done, thanks for supporting the garbage.

  5. scoff says:

    More and more evidence the Committee is producing points to close coordination between the WH and extremist groups who attacked the Capitol.

  6. Conway says:

    How does one respond to those saying, “If the J6 committee has corroborating evidence/testimony backing Cassidy Hutchison’s allegations they would have presented it”. Is it solely due to executive privilege?

    • Peterr says:

      One reply would be to point them to Bennie Thompson’s closing remarks, when he invited anyone with new information, or anyone who had previously testified and has other information, better memory, more courage, or information to help the committee correct mistakes to come forward.

      Bennie’s invitation had an unspoken but very loud conclusion: “. . . and if you don’t, then STFU.”

    • emptywheel says:

      They’re likely withholding some things (such as any notes Hutchinson has, and the content of other texts) so as not to tell new or returning witnesses what they already know.

      • 808HL says:

        It appears that Hutchinson either has a vast ability to remember details or is a copious note taker, probably both.

        Her notes would be very damning if there is future on the record testimony that contradicts her.

      • bmaz says:

        So you think the preening poohbahs on the Committee ought not feel bothered to share their work with the ONLY entity that can actually effect accountability?

        • BrokenPromises says:

          Thank you. I now understand your concerns and respect them as completely appropriate.

        • GAP1456 says:

          Aside from the likely preening, can there be any strategic reason for J6 to not turn over their findings to DOJ at this time?

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      The committee doesn’t want people to be talking about the veracity of the limo story or taking the defensive position of proving Hutchinson is not a liar. They are running offense now, not defense. They are smart not to participate in the gutter portion of the news cycle. They’ll be back again with something new. They are on offense now. Of course, I have no idea as to their motivation, but I’m glad they’re not responding.

  7. harpie says:

    Hutchinson also mentioned that ORNATO would have been in charge of PENCE’s movements.

    CH: They’re in charge of all security protocol for the campus and all Presidential protectees, primarily the President and the first family. But anything that requires security for any individual that has presidential protection, so the Chief of Staff or the National Security Advisor, as well as the Vice President’s team, too, Tony would oversee all of that.

    MEADOWS was in the control car, on the phone for [I think] at least 20-25 minutes, during TRUMP’s rabble rousing, so between 11:57 AM and 1:10 PM.

    Two things that happened during that time [I always put these two together]:

    12:35 PM HAWLEY fist-pump photo was taken [East side]
    12:36 PM PENCE [with wife and daughter] arrives at the Capitol [East side]

    • Badger Robert says:

      This needs development and the public should be informed. Ornato was promoted because he was central to the plans to remove Pence based on SS protocols.

      • Chris Perkins says:

        which Pence seems to have known. I’ve always wondered about his remark that was loosely “you SS guys are great and all, but once I’m in that car I don’t know where you’ll take me” underneath the capitol.

        Do we know how Pence might have known?

        • P J Evans says:

          Apparently it wasn’t his regular driver, and he didn’t know some of the others, either.

        • Lawrunner says:

          Before taking Pence’s statement and running with it to lead to the conclusion of a conspiracy including his SS detail to kidnap Pence to prevent him from his role in the session… Keep in mind there are other plausible explanations that make sense in the context of the situation:

          1) The Capital has been overrun and security has lost control of the complex. Pence’s SS detail has every legitimate reason to want to remove Pence from the complex to secure his safety. That is likely the SOP for this kind of scenario (although I don’t know this factually). Pence would be aware of his detail wanting to secure his safety, hence the comment.

          2) Pence has just spent days being threatened by Trump, leading up to this moment. Regardless of if there was an actual conspiracy involving his detail to remove him from the complex against his will to support Trump’s corrupt plans, Pence would have a rational concern that such a conspiracy exists.

          There are other possible explanations, as well. The point is that Pence’s statement doesn’t necessarily show any awareness on Pence’s part of a conspiracy involving his SS detail to prevent him from fulfilling his role.

    • harpie says:

      Also, TRUMP put out that FALSE statement on 1/5/21 evening saying that PENCE agrees with him about not certifying the vote the next day. That’s when PENCE CoS Marc Short called Pence’s Secret Service leader in to warn him TRUMP would attack PENCE:

      [Begin videotape] MARC SHORT: Concern was for the vice president’s security, and so I wanted to make sure the head of the vice president’s Secret Service was aware that — that likely, as these disagreements became more public, that the president would lash out in some way. [End videotape]

      • Krisy Gosney says:

        So when SS whisked Pence off to ‘some secured location’ Trump could say Pence left because he agreed with Trump therefore Pence felt he had no real job left to do at the Capitol so he skedaddled. (I’m going to sound stupid here but- omg, you all are amazing putting this together and commenting with such informed details!! I appreciate it does not encompass how grateful I am to you all.)

        • Tom says:

          I also wonder if, at the back of his mind, Trump didn’t have the idea of setting up Pence by sending out the memo on the night of the 5th to prime his MAGA supporters with the false claim that he and Pence were in agreement over the idea that the VP could decide the election, knowing full well how enraged the mob would become with Pence when he didn’t follow through. Trump could then claim that any resulting violence was all Pence’s fault. I seem to recall Peter Navarro saying something similar to this; i.e., all Pence had to do was agree to throw the electors slate back to the states and nobody would have got hurt.

          • LeeNLP says:

            “Will no one rid me of this turbulent VP?” or words to that effect, spoken to an armed mob.

        • skua says:

          I had thought Pence’s statement about not leaving the Capitol being due to “optics” was just a cover.
          But a newsflash, amplified by Trump personally and the mainstream media inevitably, of
          *Vice President Pence has left the Capitol*
          would have IMO been quickly turned by Trump into
          * I declare a national emergency “to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat” created by the collapse of Congressional process.” *

          I wonder who (if anyone) would have been involved in planning for Presidential Emergency Powers to be activated on Jan 6? If found , such planing would be damming.

      • Leoghann says:

        That was also the approximate time that Charles Grassley made a statement to other Congresscritters that Pence wouldn’t be able to attend the vote certification the next day, and that he would be filling in.

        • BruceF says:

          I want a better understanding of three very closely timed events/circumstances–how were these events linked:

          1. Trump meets with Pence and hears Pence doesn’t buy Eastman plan,
          2. Drooling dotard Chuck Grassley comes out and states he expects to fill in for Pence during Electoral Vote Count, and
          3. Lenders staff informs Secret Service of their concerns for go’s safety on January 6th.

          How did Grassley assume he would preside, and was communication established between WH and Grassley to cut out Pence? No answer yet on this subplot!

        • pdaly says:

          Trump’s false tweet that Pence WAS going to do Trump’s bidding (i.e., to not certify the Electoral College vote on 1/6) was in the evening, as harpie mentions above.

          See Roll Call tweet 1/5/22 for rough timing of Grassley’s plan to engage in the overturn the Presidential election:

          Grassley’s 1/5/21 announcement came in the MORNING (10:06 AM 1/5/21) that Grassley as ‘President pro tempore’ of the Senate would be substituting 1/6/21 for Pence in the certification of the Electoral College votes. Grassley’s announcement was quickly retracted (10:34 AM 1/5/21), but not before Grassley had said ‘he will listen to debate and “that it would be really wrong for me to say I have my mind made up”. ‘

          So Iowa Senator Grassley telegraphed that he was at least game to overturn the election. He publicly announces that to certify the votes of the Electoral College is a judgment call instead of merely a ceremonial role proscribed by the U.S. Constitution as Pence came to understand– a role without wiggle room for rejecting the States’ certified election results.

          I wonder where Grassley hung out (as opposed to hid out?) while the Capitol was overrun? I have not heard any news that he felt his life was in danger –contra the experience of Pence, Pelosi and most of Congress.

      • greenbird says:

        enjoy watching your ‘Self-post-grad’ mtw studies improve with each comment. you make it look easy. it’s not.

  8. DrDoom says:

    Though it’s probably a topic for another day, I find the cult of personality within the Secret Service frightening in its own right but also as a possible reflection of similar feelings among other armed federal government workers. The military was not backing Trump, but there were military/ex-military personnel in his camp, such as Flynn. I suspect such elements in the FBI helped short circuit meaningful investigation of Kavanaugh. Enough MAGAts in law enforcement and the military could greatly enhance the possibility of a successful coup. We have not yet taken sufficient steps to prevent a repeat of 2020’s MAGA shenanigans in 2024.

    • Epicurus says:

      It’s a made to order topic and posting for Ed Walker. Institutions can fail, i.e. they no longer primarily serve their intended purpose, for a number of reasons but one of the major internal ones is the people that control and guide the institution no longer do so to achieve the purposes of the institution but rather to use the institution to achieve their own goals and agenda. J Edgar Hoover is a classic example.

      Related but going further afield the Supreme Court as an institution is falling or has fallen into the same institutional failure of placing personal agenda above their oath of office. Justice Barrett is the clearest example of that with her stated belief that the fundamental purpose in life is to serve God and her vision of the law and the court as the vehicles to achieve that purpose. The fatal flaw is the Constitution provides no systemic recourse by the people for justices using the law for their own purposes. You and I can do nothing about Justice Barrett’s desire to be the first woman pope. SC Justices are approved/appointed for life by other representatives and are responsible to no one but themselves individually. In essence it is the autocratic branch of our three branches. The Constitution at least provides systemic recourse by the people to the legislative and executive branch with elections.

      The balance of powers game or model fails when branches use their powers for individual and party agendas that supersede legislation and executive action that should be directed toward toward the people as a whole. Failure accelerates when branches collaborate in putting personal and party agendas first. So Trump in collaboration with McConnell’s mini-coup was able to put three agenda-first judges on the Court and they are going to be there for a good long while reinforcing their agendas and McConnell’s agenda.

      The 18th amendment was eventually repealed by another amendment because it was deemed illegitimate by a tipping point of Americans. Creating a systemic recourse to the Supreme Court’s current autocracy would require a similar tipping point. That tipping point would be super hard to get to because both parties realize the value of the Supreme Court’s autocracy in memorializing each’s agenda beyond their own legislative tenure or, as in the current situation, getting court members to ignore stare decisis and vote out previous non-party agenda fulfilling decisions.

      Here’s hoping Mr. Walker will think on the issue.

      • Doctor My Eyes says:

        [Monitors: If this is too long, don’t post.]
        I think of Washington’s Farewell Address often. He described the factors currently threatening the dissolution of our government with incredible precision and clarity.

        All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction; to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community, and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans, digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.

        However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things to become potent engines by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people, and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.

        I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

        This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but in those of the popular form it is seen in its greatest rankness and is truly their worst enemy.

        The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual, and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation on the ruins of public liberty.

        Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

        It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another; foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passion. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

    • Paulumba says:

      What your are describing seems reminiscent or similar to the function the praetorian guard played in the ascension of new Roman emperors. Augustus started the tradition of granting them a donative and using them as his personal bodyguard and for intelligence gathering. Constantine put an end to the practice, per wikipedia.

      It was the praetorian guard who elevated Claudius to the position of emperor. According to some accounts, following Nero’s death, the new emperor, Galba refused to pay the praetorian guard their expected donative; this allowed Otho to bribe the guards to remove Galba. Tacitus has a favorite snarky complement of Otho: ‘Otho’s mind was not soft like his body.’ (Histories 1, chapter 22.1)

      • Epicurus says:

        I think the larger issue is something Ed Walker would cover particularly well.

        Praetorian is a book by Guy de la Bedoyere that chronicles the rise and fall of the Praetorian Guard. I would recommend it to anyone.

        • Ravenclaw says:

          Though the Secret Service is nowhere near the powerful military force that was the Praetorian Guard. Even under Augustus (the first Emperor) there may have been as many as 6,000 soldiers in the Guard (equivalent to a full legion) in a time when major battles were fought by forces of 3-5 legions (the army had maybe 250,000 soldiers in all at that time), and it had grown much larger by the time it began exerting the political power to create or undo Emperors. The Secret Service does have something like 4,500 agents and officers, which is substantial, but pales next to the 1,300,000+ active duty soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines in the US military. They would have one hell of a time flexing their muscles for more than a few days as long as the military remained loyal.

          • grennan says:

            In the aftermath of the performative walk to BLM Plaza in 2020, someone high up in the Washington National Guard described it as the Praetorian Guard.

            That was in a NYT story about how the DC Guard is organized and functions differently from the states’. Several commenters tried to convey how inappropriate the Praetorian comparion was.

      • DrDoom says:

        I’m glad you brought up the Romans, as the founders admired the Roman Republic greatly, IMO beyond what it merited. Beyond what you have noted, the Praetorian Guard evolved from the enforcement onus Roman officials were expected to fulfill. The personal responsibility for enforcement, coupled with an established culture of patron/client relationships meant that Consuls, Praetors, and lesser officials were surrounded by retinues of loyal retainers who might be called on to apply some muscle. It’s easy to trace these relationships to the emergence of feudal obligations and to the traditional structure of organized crime crews. TFG, with the Proud Boys, 3%ers, Oath Keepers, etc. truly aspired to be the first Mob ruler of the US.

    • Tom Marney says:

      Before the hearings started, when there was skepticism that they’d have the desired effect on the general public, it occurred to me that the most important intended audience was the police officers, military people, and other government agents who’d be called upon uphold their oaths to protect the Constitution in the event of a fascist insurrection. It’d be unrealistic to expect any amount of evidence to do much to undermine their visceral adoration of Trump or to fully overcome their authoritarian proclivities, but at least they know that failing to do their duty would be to embrace illegality as well as dishonor.

  9. Peterr says:

    That may not be the only thing the Committee withheld from its presentation: note in my transcription above that Cheney doesn’t say Ornato and Engel received the warnings that were flashed on the screen. She says they received, “certain materials listing events like those on the screen.” [my emphasis] Particularly given the reports that the Committee met in a secure facility in advance of this hearing, that phrasing could allow for other records, records too sensitive to show publicly, tying the Proud Boys to plans to occupy buildings on January 6.

    I think part of the “certain materials” and other information the committee is holding back are security-related, such as how the USSS goes about handling OTR movement. They don’t want to reveal the things that get taken into account when spur-of-the-moment travel is contemplated, or what the security arrangements for such travel include.

    They are making clear to the members of the Secret Service that they respect the difficulty of their jobs, and don’t want to make it more difficult, even as they are holding the Secret Service members’ feet to the fire in terms of coming forward to tell what they know.

    • Bittersweet says:

      Are the Jan 6 Committee Members under protection of the Secret Service? Are they poking the same folks that are protecting themselves? Is there a new head of the SS? Is Ornato still a member? Is Engel? Are they still guarding Trump? These issues would impact their likelihood of testifying, I think.

      • Peterr says:

        On January 6th, Ornato was not a regular member of the Secret Service, but was put on the permanent WH staff by Trump as Meadow’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. (Moving him from the Secret Service to a permanent WH job was a very controversial appointment and called out as such at the time.) In that position, he worked with the Secret Service, but was not part of it. He is now back in the Secret Service as Assistant Director of their Office of Training.

        The head of the Secret Service is James Murray, and he has been in that post since 2019.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Probably past time to restaff both positions. Putting Ornato in charge of training seems to be particularly poor judgment.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Peterr, as I understood it at the time, Ornato remained a member of USSS even as he assumed the WH position. That shocked me then, which is why I remember it. Did he move *after* J6?

          • Peterr says:

            As the WaPo described it, the Secret Service “took the unprecedented step of allowing the former detail leader to temporarily leave his job to become a White House political adviser.”

            Institutionally, Ornato was in the WH chain of command, not the Secret Service chain of command, while serving as Trumps Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. Once Biden arrived on January 20th, his temporary leave from the USSS ended and he was assigned away from the White House.

        • Scott Johnson says:

          Obvious guess is that this position is not a political appointee, and thus not someone that President Biden could simply fire. Though it might well be the case that some of what is coming out might be grounds for removal.

          • Epicurus says:

            Biden doesn’t have to fire him. Just have him reassigned to Fairbanks, Alaska to plan security for future presidential visits.

              • Eureka says:

                “freeway therapy” —

                That is a terrific phrase and visual (for which I rely on memories of “CHIPs” and their regular incidents “out in Bakersfield” — wrong copshop, no matter).

                • Alan Charbonneau says:

                  Or like one-Adam-Twelve
                  Adam was a 2-cop car
                  One means the Central Division (downtown LA)
                  Twelve means the area within the division..

                  Most of the series was shot in Rampart division, but they were all over the place.

                  FYI—Kent McCord is now 79 years old. That makes me feel ancient. So does knowing Christine McVie will be 79 on July 12th and that three of the Fearsome Foursome have died—only Rosey Grier is left!

  10. Ddub says:

    Reporting and analysis you can’t get anywhere else.
    I am increasingly impressed by Cassidy Hutchinson and her bold move to publicly testify. Now she has created the scaffolding that everyone has to pivot off of, or contradict at their own risk. She also appears to have won the prisoner’s dilemma.
    The legal matters are one thing and the public perception and the way this gets historicized is another. Cassidy playing the true blue hero role is going to increase the cost of being silent.

  11. Greg Hunter says:

    If anyone is interested in an on the record interview where Liz Cheney will be asked some unknown questions, she is scheduled to appear at the Wyoming Republican Primary debate tonight at 9 pm EST. There are five candidates on the dais with the main two being Liz and Trump/Peter Thiel backed Harriet Hageman. The three other candidates have no shot, but they each pull votes from somewhere that Hageman and Cheney need.

    Link for Wyoming PBS feed is here:

    There was a lot going on in that testimony with Hutchinson, but to put a Wyoming perspective on it, the police messaging concerning guns, who had them and where they were located was intriguing to me. The Wyoming GOP, that censured Cheney, is run by a known Oath Keeper named Frank Eathorne, who was at the Capitol insurrection on January 6th without his traditional head covering but wearing a baseball cap and operating a walkie-talkie. I really wonder if Cheney and the committee have the detail to know where Frank was in relation to those police calls? She has some real motivation to take Frank out.

    If interested here is a little profile of the head of the Wyoming GOP. A real prize…

      • Peterr says:

        I don’t doubt that she is behind, but polling in WY has always been a very difficult thing.

        Also, the actions of Team Trump detailed in Hutchinson’s testimony (including all the associated text messages, emails, and other evidence shown) is the kind of thing that will piss off a lot of WY’s old guard, rank-and-file GOP. Yes, they love their guns, but the notion of Trump demanding that the Secret Service take out the magnetometers because all those folks with guns aren’t a danger *to him* will shake some of these folks badly. Some will be pissed at Trump being so unhinged that he’s throwing his food at the walls in the WH.

        Those that previously believed that J6 was a march that got out of hand will have been moved by the last two hearings. When Liz Cheney made the point that all these witnesses we have been hearing from have been Trump appointed/hired Republicans, she was speaking directly to these Wyoming Republicans.

        Cheney is behind, but she’s not dead yet and not at all tucking her tail between her legs and looking for cover. Her speech last night to a friendly old-school GOP crowd is probably getting a lot of attention this morning in Wyoming, and will make this event even more interesting.

        • bmaz says:

          30 points. She is deader than the proverbial doornail.

          And EPA case is brutally lost. The ability to effect climate change positively via the administrative state is effectively dead, as is likely a whole host of other things. Devastating. And Roberts wrote it; the administrative state, like voting rights, has always been in his cross hairs.

          • jdmckay says:

            And EPA case is brutally lost.

            Apt choice of words AFAIC. And lost in the noise of J6 hearings, a raft of other SCOTUS politically motivated “originalist” decisions, the import of this one has and probably will fall by the wayside.

            SCOTUS, as with other courts I’ve witnessed 1st hand in our water work in Albuquerque, utterly (either by ignorance or willful dismissiveness) ignores the facts at the basis of this case. That a handful off state Attn. Generals choose to defend a dying industry (coal energy) to perpetuate local $$ contributors at the cost of preparing for a most uncertain future (climate) is in and of itself the same kind of selfish destructiveness we see with TFG and all the coup plotters to demand we live in the past.

            I have a little bit of a sick feeling over this on this morning.

            • bmaz says:

              Yes, and that is the proper response. It is going to be about FAR more than air and water though. It is coming. When Norquist and some like minded rubes said they wanted to drown government in the bathtub, this is exactly what they were envisioning. It is here.

                • bmaz says:

                  I am not sure, nobody knows yet. But it is, shall we say, very much less than ideal as to prognosis. This is the right wing’s wet dream, they don’t want government to work.

                  • Fraud Guy says:

                    Those who claim that government doesn’t work shouldn’t be put in charge of it, because they will do whatever it takes to prove themselves right.

                  • Ginevra diBenci says:

                    Money = Force. This is the SCOTUS paid for by what Paul Fussell once termed the “invisible and out of sight” rich. They are not celebrities. They wanted a world tailored to their interests, and now they have it.

                    When I was a physics major, Force equaled mass times acceleration. We have mass. It is time to start the hard work of accelerating.

                    • Epicurus says:

                      If you were a physics major I have more respect for you than you will ever know. I recently finished a book of short stories by Sarah Pinsker titled “Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea”. She is a Philip K Dick Award winner. Given your contributions to this blog I believe you would truly enjoy the last story in the book – And Then There Were (N-One).

                    • P J Evans says:

                      I took engineering and later CS classes. Both required general chem and general physics. You don’t forget some of that stuff, at all.

                • jdmckay says:

                  Probably just like Trump did (if that can even be called governing). Jair Bolsonaro, and the environment he controls is a little more “perfected” form of this denialism “governing” method.

                  Marcy said a week or 2 ago, that these guys are (from memory, correct me if not verbatim): they are setting a whole new standard of evil. I know a lot of people, especially those who’ve fought this on the front lines and really know facts on so many of these issues, agree with that.

            • BrokenPromises says:

              It occurred to me after seeing the ruling this morning that the current SC is exactly what the GOP wanted and that they backed *rump all this time as their useful fool in order to achieve this power over our government.

              • Rugger9 says:

                This is Grover Norquist’s dream in force now. He got the guy only smart enough to hold the pen and now the ticket to make government small enough to drown it in the bathtub. Bmaz and many others realize that anything that is tied to the interstate commerce clause as a foundation for regulation or that delegation by Congress counts (which is why the rulemaking process exists) will now be on the chopping block. There are delaying actions (i.e. zoning and other impediments) that the states, counties and cities can do but the effects will be limited.

                The quickest solution is to expand the court, and also Congress should also by law restrict what cases that SCOTUS can hear, which is allowed within the US Constitution even if currently moribund. Article III Section 2, second paragraph, second sentence: “In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.” So, if Congress passes a law to have a federal right to an abortion on demand, which also includes a provision that SCOTUS cannot review it a true originalist would have to allow it. IIRC such a precedent exists for admiralty courts but I may be wrong. However, I also cannot see the current Gang of Six allowing such a plain language outcome.

                OT: I had been wondering about Flynn the younger and whether he’s been implicated in J6. If LTG Flynn was involved (and he seems to have been) I have no doubt that his LTC son was as well. IIRC, the reason LTG Flynn copped to the plea in Mueller’s investigation was in order to protect his spawn, so perhaps similar leverage can be employed now to get LTG Flynn to talk. Flynn the younger is not 60, so even if retired he can be reactivated for a general court martial and a Dismissal.

          • Max404 says:

            You should know that on this evening’s national news in Germany, a good 20% of the broadcast was devoted to the EPA decision. Noting that the US is the top source (or second top) of global warming in the world, and noting that this decision makes it very difficult for Biden to twist any arms to get other nations on board the reduced emissions program. The fear is that the weakening of Biden will embolden Putin. Who is very nearby. There is a great deal of worry in the air about the reliability of the US. While Trump was maybe a fluke, the SC is structural, in the view expressed often here.

            • wetzel says:

              There are Democratic states like California and New York who oversee their own transportation and energy infrastructure to some extent. Democratic governors should make themselves a factor. If Germany wants to help, they can stop sending Mercedes plants to Alabama. They should be investing in Democratic states with unions and sound environmental policies.

              But there is no efficacy in any of this. I am dreaming. It’s like the world is a bus careening down a mountain road and the Supreme Court just sawed off the steering wheel. Maybe Reagan’s magic hand will steer it straight.

            • Greg Hunter says:

              Its pretty clear America has been willfully ignorant about Energy and there is no reason to follow our lead. To me the most important interstate commerce to regulate and manage is energy.

              The public owning roadways and not energy is ludicrous. We know we will need fossil fuels to build an equitable electrical infrastructure but we are unwilling to admit it.

              America wastes its time and resources when we should institute policies that accept that the end of cheap fossil fuels began a long time ago. We are far behind now.

          • hollywood says:

            I’m hoping that polling in a vast low population state like Wyoming is at best difficult.

    • Peterr says:

      Thanks for that wyofile link. I was particularly struck by this:

      Following the state GOP convention earlier this month, longtime GOP leader and former House Speaker Tom Lubnau of Gillette, quit the state party because of what he described in his resignation letter as “the lack of integrity, toxicity and the move toward secrecy.”

      Weary and scarred from his many battles with Eathorne, Lubnau said that after his resignation “I feel like I’ve jumped off a sinking ship onto a tropical island with beaches and Mai Tais.”

      Cheney has to be very careful about being seen as “taking Frank out” as it will be perceived to be that she is doing it for personal political reasons. I’d be more curious to know whether the DOJ has the detail to know what he did/did not do on J6.

  12. Jan says:

    One thing that always sticks out in my mind – Pence refused to get into the car (after being ushered to a safe location). Some say it’s because the optics of him being whisked away would not be good. But is that really it?

    • Willis Warren says:

      Had Trump made it to the Capitol, Pence may have been brought there by the Secret Service to declare Trump the winner. He probably knew or suspected the plan, but the asshole will never cooperate.

      • Questions says:

        All evidence shows Trump tried to have Pence killed.

        What kind of a person tries to defend their attempted murderer by keeping quiet?

        [Look, “Phil,” you’re sockpuppeting. We’re not having it. /~Rayne]

    • Riktol says:

      Once Pence had left, he could only return if his detail said it was safe (as demonstrated by in the hearing by Trumps detail refusing to take him to the capitol). So his concern could partly spring from whether his detail would prevent him from returning in a reasonable timeframe, either because they were risk averse or because they were acting in furtherance of Trumps plan to delay the certification.
      (Of course the best way to learn his motivations would be for him to testify)

      • Raven Eye says:

        Sometimes it is difficult to read Pence, but it sounds like he’d been immersed in all the aspects of what he was supposed to do on January 6th: What, where, and when. I doubt that he thought that getting two out of three would be anything other than very, very difficult.

        Down there at the loading dock with his detail, the situation was pretty tense. But I think that Pence was correct in weighing the risks and deciding that staying at the Capitol until the last possible moment would make the “what, where, and when” more likely — if the Capitol could be brought under control on that day.

    • Ravenclaw says:

      I may be proved wrong here, but I *think* Pence was actually trying to do what the Vice President should do under the circumstances: be present to carry out his duties if/when the situation was normalized and, if necessary, to assume the role of leader (or figurehead anyway) if things got even worse. It’s also possible that he didn’t *quite* trust his security detail (lest they be part of a more overt coup plot that required him to be coerced or slain), but that’s very speculative.

    • Eichhörnchen says:

      Is this the point at which Ornato showed up to relocate Pence, but had to drive off without him because Pence didn’t trust him?

    • Leoghann says:

      Pence declared a recess from the counting of the votes. If he had been kept, by his absence, from gavelling the joint session back into session, that would have been left up to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Charles Grassley. There’s reason to believe that things would have turned out very differently regarding recognition of alternate electors.

      • Legonaut says:

        So what did Grassley know, and when did he know it?

        Somehow, he was clued in on 1/5 that Pence would be absent the next day. If all was innocent & aboveboard, there would’ve been no reason Pence couldn’t execute one of his few real roles in government. Sounds like cahooting to me.

    • DrDoom says:

      Good question. I wonder whether Pence’s refusal to leave the Capitol factored into Ornato’s decision not to let Trump go there. Plays in with the scenario of Grassley presiding, the fake elector plan succeeding, and Trump making a triumphant entry at the head of his mob. Ornato and muscle guys decide to abort the plan because Pence won’t leave, and Trump wishes to forge ahead regardless. This scenario also accounts for why the Capitol assault began while Trump was speaking. The plan relied on either getting Pence to follow instructions or leave the site. Attack creates the danger justifying Pence’s evacuation. It also accounts for Trump talking beyond the scheduled time–additional opportunity for Pence to leave or be captured. Admittedly speculative but consistent with what we know.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        DrDoom, you wrote “I wonder whether Pence’s refusal to leave the Capitol factored into Ornato’s decision not to let Trump go there.”

        Your comment has me wondering if these events are indeed connected, but in a different way–that is, whether Pence’s refusal to “get in the car” might have been predicated on him having learned of Trump’s attempt to get to the Capitol.

        Trump finished speaking at 1:10. Wouldn’t he have been bullying agents in the SUV before Pence got taken into hiding?

  13. misteranderson says:

    I’m a longtime lurker & I really enjoy this website. I wish everyone would read this stuff. Just a question, with the motivation of trying to see how things fit together, what do people think of Seth Abramson here? Is his analysis any good? Please don’t shoot me, just looking for feedback.

  14. Jenny says:

    Pandora’s box has been opened. Alyssa Farah spoke to Cassidy Hutchinson (they are friends) stating she had much more to say to the committee. Interview on CNN.
    John Berman on Twitter: 7:54 AM . 30 June 2022
    JUST NOW: “Cassidy said there’s more I want to share with the committee a couple months ago, I put her in touch with Cong. Cheney, she got a new lawyer and that’s how this testimony came about.”

    Hutchinson, former Meadows aide, replaces lawyer on cusp of Jan. 6 hearings

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Her previous lawyer, Stefan Passantino, has a primary allegiance only to Trump. He was a member of “Lawyers for Trump,” a loose assemblage of legal minds who set out to contest the 2020 election months before that November. That was the game plan, and I’m sure his advice to Hutchinson had less to do with her (or the country’s) interests and much more to do with Team Trump’s.

      And like almost all MAGA higher ups, Passantino wasted no time in using his Trump affiliation to burnish his own skid-marked resume. In other words, service to DJT is self-service if you do it right.

      • Jenny says:

        Switching lawyers was smart. She has a conscious considering she had much more to say and went back to the committee.
        Rename Loyal Lawyers for Trump because loyalty is more important than the rule of law. Manipulated followers of a mob boss who is an exploiter of humanity to the nth degree.
        He is a Chi Sucker.

        • Eureka says:

          He is a Chi Sucker.

          You got that right, Jenny.

          Throw in Melanie’s “decorating” [Bad feng shui], cruel fashion, and garden desecration and we have a vortex.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I believe he also formerly worked for the Trump Org, so massive conflict combined with an overly elastic sense of ethics. If I remember correctly, a twtr wag described him as a well-paid Forrest Gump.

  15. P J Evans says:

    I think that the “lunge” is important, but only because it goes to the former guy’s state of mind at the time, and the same with the plate-throwing incident. Otherwise, no, they aren’t important in this investigation.

  16. Mike Stone says:

    Never forget that Trump thinks of himself as the ultimate “showman.” Everything he says and does relates to his ability to put on a show. We saw that over and over again, including his march to the church against the BLM protestors, his climbing the stairs after being released from the Hospital after catching Covid, etc.

    Therefore, it is entirely believable that Trump would want to lead the mob as they storm the Capital building. He would picture himself waving an American flag in front of the mob and pointing to Pence with his own finger for the mob to grab the VP and hang him.

    It would all be caught on camera for him to review over and over again.

    • Tom says:

      I agree that Trump is a showman (i.e., conman) and it certainly seems he was intent on getting to the Capitol, but I find it difficult to imagine him wanting to be close to any real violence and possible shooting–friendly fire and all that. Also, I don’t see any need to liquidate Pence; it would be enough for the Secret Service to whisk him away to an undisclosed location for a few hours until Trump had completed his coup.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      More importantly, Trump would have – and probably still does – believe that only with him at the front of his armed mob would his coup plot have succeeded. He’s probably wallowing in his own private Dolchstosslegende for having been prevented from going to the Capitol.

      • Garrett Everhardt says:

        How poetically perfect if Trump’s tardiness and improvised diarrhea of the mouth prevented him from carrying out a key part of the plot that day.
        The Proud Boys made their plan to strike at precisely 1pm, and Trump wasn’t there. Maybe someone in the WH slowed him down that day to try to muck up the plan.

    • xy xy says:

      Speaking of camera and as Tom above indicates, that Trump is a showman, I wonder if the limo contained interior cameras and/or he had his video documentarians in the limo photoing him after his “great” speech and his wishful ride to the Capital to disprove her testimony.

  17. Grant G says:

    Trump is his speech at the ellipse …..Trump opined “Let my people in” …This kinda backs up claims about Trump wanting “Mags” removed..

    Clearly Trump wasn’t concerned with his own safety(although, had SS and security removed “Mags” and Trump was shot they(security detail would be in a world of legal hurt)

    What would have been accomplished by allowing potentially armed persons into the ellipse? Two things..

    A bigger more fulsome crowd, and everyone knows Trump is obsessed with crowd sizes….secondly…Just imagine if security and SS physically removed “mags” and waved the crowd outside the Mags into the ellipse…

    Those armed individuals would certainly receive a message loud and clear..(We know you are armed, we are giving you armed persons explicit permission to enter…President Trump is inviting known armed individuals and giving tacit permission to flood the ellipse and then head to the Capitol “armed” and “Fight like hell or you won’t have a country”

    Trump implored security in his ellipse speech to “let his people in”….This alone backs up Cassidy’s statement about the mags….

    But more importantly….What message would be sent to proud boys and armed persons if they were let in?

    Tacit approval from Trump and US Government security detail that it’s ok, …head to the capitol armed and at the ready..

  18. harpie says:

    1/6/21 10:00 AM to 10:15 AM Hutchinson was in a meeting where ORNATO told her and MEADOWS about the weapons they had been finding. She says MEADOWS was glued to his phone during this conversation. Here’s a clip from Aaron Rupar:
    1:33 PM · Jun 28, 2022

    Hutchinson testified that Meadows was surprisingly unbothered by reports Trump supporters had weapons on January 6 and didn’t even look up from his phone when he was told [VIDEO]

    [Video of previous deposition] CH: […] And I remember distinctly Mark not looking up from his phone, right? I remember Tony finishing his explanation and it taking a few seconds for Mark to say something, to the point where I almost said, Mark, did you hear him? And then Mark chimed in. It was like, Alright, anything else? Still looking down at his phone. And Tony looked at me and I looked at Tony and he — Tony said no, Sir. Do you have any questions? He’s like, what are you hearing? And I looked at Tony and I was like, Sir he just told you about what was happening down at the rallies. And he was like yeah, yeah. I know. And then he looked up and said have you talked to the President? And Tony said yes, Sir. He’s aware. And he said Alright. Good.

    • harpie says:

      Around 10:00 AM

      10:00 AM PROUD BOYS gather at Washington Monument [Approximately 100 including NORDEAN, BIGGS, REHL, DONOHOE, and PEZZOLA]

      10:00 AM [approx] TRUMP and PENCE speak by phone
      TRUMP: “You don’t have the courage to make a hard decision.” [] “You can either go down in history as a patriot, or you can go down in history as a pussy.”

      10:00 AM [approx] STONE appears to change his plans to attend the RALLY, after meeting KERIK in the WILLARD lobby. [GRECO is also there.]
      STONE: “The point is, I don’t want to be turned away. That’s what they want. You don’t want to reach for something and not get it.”

      Shortly after 10:00 AM NORDEAN and BIGGS lead PB’s march to Capitol

      10:00 AM [shortly after] Roger STONE [with Oath Keeper security guards] filmed outside the Willard Hotel. Rudy GIULIANI and John EASTMAN also seen, leaving the hotel, and entering a black SUV.

      10:06 AM OK JAMES calls Mike SIMMONS [“to advise that STONE had moved”]

      10:06 AM Having called the GA race for Warnock over Loeffler around 2 AM,
      WSJ quotes Gabriel Sterling: “Democratic Leads Expected to Grow”

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      This conversation [Meadows, Hutchinson, Ornato] tells me that Ornato, while a bootlicking toady, was not fully in on all of the anticipated chaos at the Capitol. His instinct was still that of a SS person.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        That’s not necessarily true. It may be that his obligations as an SS agent – he continued to be a SS employee while serving in the WH – “trumped” competing desires and the demands made of him as Depty CoS.

  19. Glen Tomkins says:

    Perhaps the committee’s pre-meeting in the SCIF before the public hearings was indeed about the ProudBoys connection, the knowledge that the Secret service and others in the WH had about the ProudBoys plans for 1/6. But it strikes me as also possible that the SCIF meeting was needed because of the little snippet of Flynn non-testimony that the public hearing included.

    Cheney asks Flynn if he believes that the election was stolen, and if he believes that violence on 1/6 was justified. He at first takes the bait, and asks for clarification: does she mean legally or morally justified? The tele-connection goes out, which I imagine was done from Flynn’s side to allow him to confer with his lawyer, and when he comes back on-screen it is to “fifth” everything.

    We heard months ago about a 12/12/20 meeting with Trump and many others in which Flynn urged sending trusted military units in to states to seize voting machines and ballots, on the theory that the folks in those staters who stole the election couldn’t be trusted to conduct an honest recount. Trump was reportedly eager to greenlight this plan, but Cipollone and other members of Team Normal were called in and persuaded Trump to not even try this approach.

    I haven’t heard about Flynn continuing to advocate that plan after that 12/12/20 meeting, but even if that was the only episode of this advocacy, presumably the committee has heard testimony from at least one of the participants about Flynn’s advocacy of the ideas that Trump Really Won, and that justifies, morally, legally or however, the use of violence, preferably violence applied by the US military.

    Had Flynn answered Cheney’s question in the negative, that, no, of course he didn’t believe that Trump Really Won, or that even if he did that that still didn’t justify violence to Stop The Steal, that would have been provable as whatever variation on perjury it might be to lie to the committee. Aside from that, Cheney might have confronted him with this contradictory testimony of others and hoped he would engage in an account of what happened that would further reveal what had happened, further incriminating himself and others for the acts themselves, not just lying about them to Cheney.

    Of course, admitting that, yes, he believed that Trump Really Won, and violence, by the state or by folks like Oathkeepers deputized by the president, was justified, if not required by the refusal of DoJ and DoD to obey the president and do their duties, would have opened up an even more interesting and incriminating discussion. Flynn would have next been asked about his connections and planning for this violence with both the military potential violence resources, as well as the private purveyors like the Oathkeepers.

    Even starting down the path of giving Cheney any sort of answer to her abstract and general question might have impaired Flynn’s ability to plead the fifth later on in the discussion when it got down to specifics of his planning, after he had waived it in the preliminary discussion the legality and morality in the abstract of that effort that Cheney tried to engage him in. Psychologically, this seemed to work on Flynn, who seemed willing to engage on the abstract justice of his cause. His lawyer, though, was not about to let that discussion even begin, so got Flynn to the fifth by slamming on the videoconference HALT button to read his client the Riot Act in private.

    If Flynn’s proposal at the 12/12/20 meeting was anything beyond pure spit balling that neither he nor anyone else had set in any sort of motion by even sounding out military commanders on the issue, then the committee may already have testimony about who Flynn had talked to, who he counted on in the military to agree to help Stop The Steal. One suspects that he made specific claims at that meeting about who was already on board, that it wasn’t all just a purely theoretical discussion, but an actual plan that had at least some preliminary details already filled in. If that seems far-fetched, remember that this same plan of sending the US military, specifically federalized NG from reliable red states like Utah, into blue states and cities, had been popular on that side in the summer of 2020 as a response to the supposed insurrection of BLM and antifa. Earlier it was the failure of blue states and cities to maintain law and order in their streets, now it was their failure to return honest EV tallies. We know that in the summer of 2020 the planning had got as far as compiling lists of what NG units to federalize for this purpose, so this precursor to Stop The Steal militarily that Flynn pushed at the 12/12/20 meeting had some of the eraly specifics all ready to go as part of the new plan.

    If the committee already had testimony and other evidence that Flynn had done any spadework at all getting the military arm of Stop the Steal operationalized, sounding out generals and colonels, you would think that any details they had learned would require SCIF security, at least for now, at least until they reach the point of going public. Maybe Secret Service practices are sensitive enough to need SCIF protection for some of the evidence, but the military involvement clearly does, and there was that snippet with Flynn in the public hearing that would fit the bill of military involvement. They may never decide to go public with the military side of this, but if that’s the case, what was the point of the Flynn snippet?

    • montysep says:

      The hearing indicated Meadows was ordered by Trump to speak to Flynn & Stone on the night of Jan 5. Meadows was talked out of going to the Williard Hotel meeting (Flynn & Stone were expected to be at) in person but said he would call in.

      The point of the snippet was to show Trump & Meadows were coordinating with characters who don’t consider the peaceful transition of power sacrosanct. That those people now understand their actions in furtherance of Trump insurrection were likely criminal and required pleading the 5th.

      • timbo says:

        In my mind, the currently available public testimony indicates that Meadows >wanted< to be at the Willard for that meeting. Beyond that is pure speculation IMO.

      • montysep says:

        CHENEY: The night before January 6th, President Trump instructed his Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to contact both Roger Stone and Michael Flynn regarding what would play out the next day. Ms. Hutchinson, Is it your understanding that President Trump asked Mark Meadows to speak with Roger Stone and General Flynn on January 5th?
        CASSIDY HUTCHINSON: That’s correct. That is my understanding.
        LIZ CHENEY: And Ms. Hutchinson, is it your understanding that Mr. Meadows called Mr. Stone on the 5th?
        CASSIDY HUTCHINSON: I’m under the impression that Mr. Meadows did complete both a call to Mr. Stone and General Flynn the evening of the 5th.
        LIZ CHENEY: And do you know what they talked about that evening, Ms. Hutchinson?
        CASSIDY HUTCHINSON: I’m not sure.
        LIZ CHENEY: Is it your understanding that Mr. Giuliani, Mr. Eastman, and others had set up what has been called, quote, a war room at the Willard Hotel on the night of the 5th?
        CASSIDY HUTCHINSON: I was aware of that the night of the 5th.
        LIZ CHENEY: And do you know if Mr. Meadows ever intended to go to the Willard Hotel on the night of the 5th?
        CASSIDY HUTCHINSON: Mr. Meadows had a conversation with me where he wanted me to work with Secret Service on a movement from the White House to the Willard Hotel so he could attend the meeting or meetings with Mr. Giuliani and his associates in the war room.

        • timbo says:

          “that is my understanding” is not as strong as “I heard the President say that he wanted Meadows to be at the Willard Hotel that evening.”

    • Sue 'em Queequeg says:

      I’ve been wondering whether Flynn’s fifth on orderly transition wasn’t, in his mind anyway, just part of a general eff-you attitude — ask me whatever you want, I’m not cooperating one bit with you commie pedophile cheaters. I think he would taken the fifth if they’d asked what day of the week it was. He seems angry/unhinged/imprudent enough to perhaps not adequately consider the implications of fifth-ing any particular question.

      • Rayne says:

        After Flynn’s previous guilty plea for 18 USC 1001 False Statements, you’d think the man would have wised up since he’s not likely to receive a pardon or commutation if any of his testimony to the committee not under the 5th were false.

        I lean toward unhinged.

      • Rugger9 says:

        As I noted above (currently in moderator jail) it could be his son that has to be implicated here to get LTG Flynn to talk. IIRC this false statements guilty plea was made so Flynn the younger would be left alone.

  20. earlofhuntingdon says:

    What paranoid appoints a Secret Service officer as deputy chief of staff? Appointees typically have experienced in political analysis, negotiations, coalition building, and public speaking before highly critical audiences. SS officers typically have experience in investigations, protective details, and dealing with sometimes obsessive overblown egos.

    Ornato’s appointment looks a lot like how Trump staffed his inner circle at the Trump Org: appointing former guards and security officers to executive positions. In the WH, the appointment suggests how inordinately important Trump considered his politicization of and control over his protective detail. However talented Ornato might be in fact, it also suggests Trump wanted a mole with a gun to work in his private office.

      • Savage Librarian says:

        Schiller: Tell your people to contact my people about getting together to do lunge.

        Ornato: Been there done that.

    • Peterr says:

      His position was Dept Chief of Staff for Operations, and here’s how the Federal Law Enforcement Training Accreditation describes that as part of Ornato’s bio there:

      In that position, he was responsible for managing the overall administrative, technology, security, and military support structure for the President of the United States, as well as the day-to-day management of the White House Complex, the Executive Office of the President, Presidential facilities, and the President’s schedule and travel operations. In total, the organization includes approximately 5,000 employees, with an unclassified budget of approximately $800M.

      This is not a general Deputy Chief of Staff, but a more narrowly tailored position. Thus, the need for political analysis, negotiations, etc. are not nearly as much a part of the job as they are for the actual Chief of Staff.

      That said, you are spot on with your analysis of what this says about Trump. He wants My Guy to be in charge of his/WH security, so that he could get what he wants, when he wants it.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Thanks. That seems an odd job assignment for a deputy chief of staff. It seems more naturally to fit into a national security or other role. The budget and payroll also seem to be way over the head of most SS agents – and a lot of new CEOs.

  21. Nick Caraway says:

    Re the “effing magnetometers.” Should there be more media emphasis on Trump’s words “Let my people in?” Trump viewed the rioters as “his” people. Is that not telling, at least morally? Especially now that we know that he knew that said people were armed and dangerous.

    • TSawyer says:

      “The story of Trump lunging in the SUV is a distraction.”
      May be but it raises a collateral question for me:
      To whatextent is the president subject to the SS taking him somewhere he doesn’t want to be?
      President elects often get out of the beast in an inaugural motorcade, to press the flesh etc.
      Under what,authorities would the SS override his direct order?

      [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. This is your third user name; you’ve commented previously as “Terry Sawyer” and “Terrence Sawyer.” Pick a name and stick with it. Thanks. /~Rayne]

      • Rayne says:

        Federal civil service employees including the Secret Service swear an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” They do NOT swear to obey blindly all orders POTUS gives, especially when the orders may be counter to their obligation to defend POTUS; their oath addresses that in the clause, “faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.

        The authority is 5 U.S. Code § 3331 – Oath of office.

        And don’t think for a moment the concern trolling isn’t obvious.

        • Molly Pitcher says:

          I have listened VERY carefully to what Hutchinson said. She said that he lunged “AT” the steering wheel. It was the SS guy who said “let go of the steering wheel”, and we can assume he said that whether contact with the steering wheel was made or not.

          Ornato and Engel have been making a big deal about claiming that “she is lying about the President grabbing the steering wheel”, and they are right. She never said that. This is a nice deflection of minutia to distract from the actual important stuff.

          • Belyn says:

            Plus she is just saying what she was told by others. She never said she heard it herself.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Nor are federal employees obligated to obey an illegal order. In fact, they are prohibited from obeying it.

        To Rayne’s point, Trump might order the SS to take him bungee jumping with a worn bungee at an unlicensed jump center: they would properly refuse the order, no matter how violently irate Trump became at their refusal.

    • Sue 'em Queequeg says:

      Logically, at least, one could interpret the request to be driven to the Capitol as indicating that The Soon To Be Former Guy believed there were no Antifa or other armed hostile-to-him individuals among the crowd at the Capitol, that it was 100% “his” people. Yet neither he nor anyone else would at that point have been remotely able to determine whether that was true. One perhaps guesses, then, he was simply so besotted with the idea of leading his people that no other thoughts were able to intrude? Leaving it to the adults at USSS to have to, um, wrestle with him about it? (Side note: I’ve read he was not actually in The Beast on this occasion but a USSS-hacked Chevy Suburban.)

      • timbo says:

        Yes, this is the thing—Trump >knew< there were no anti-fascists who might physically threaten him when he gave that speech. The USSS and WH security staff disagreed with Twitler's assessment of the situation…because Twitler was/is crazy.

  22. biff murphy says:

    Regarding the SS men who now seem to be in the employ of tfg
    “It Is Difficult to Get a Man to Understand Something When His Salary Depends Upon His Not Understanding It”
    Upton Sinclair

    I would go a step more and say “Or tell the truth when your being paid to lie”

  23. punaise says:

    This is beyond by non-lawyer pay grade to sort out. From a commenter at Charles P Pierce:

    ” … There is no good answer to why Cipollone won’t do this, and he knows it. …”

    Possibly the “good answer” is that Cipollone was a defense counsel/advocate for Tr*mp’s 2nd impeachment trial, and testimony related to the J6 committee now identifies him as a witness and cooperator in those acts for which Tr*mp was impeached (#2). As a witness he should not have served as an advocate. He can be disbarred, even if he was scrupulous in keeping his skirts clean during the actual events.

    He has probably run out of wiggle room, especially if the committee grants immunity.

  24. greenbird says:

    on marcy’s twitter feed i keep getting logged out.
    i blame PATSY.
    but it’s annoying as hell.

  25. Observiter says:

    If Hutchinson was receiving threats about testifying before the Committee, what’s the likelihood Secret Service staff received similar types of “encouragement” regarding providing information about Trump.

  26. Obansgirl says:

    I have a kind of housekeeping question. I usually have to work all day and cant catch up until evening. I cant figure out why the comments dont follow in order of time posted?
    Sorry for administrative diversion!

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      They are organized in order of time posted. Nested comments are also posted in order of time posted, but within the nest, which can make them later in time than the next non-nested comment.

      • Peterr says:

        Initial comments are in chronological order, and replies to each of these (if any) are nested, to let people follow the flow of a particular sub-discussion, as people reply to each other. A replies to B, C replies to A, B replies C, etc. and they all appear together.

        On the other hand, this comes at the cost of making it more difficult to immediately recognize any new comments that could appear anywhere in the discussion.

    • MB says:

      My EW “catch-up” strategy:

      I use my browser search function to find posts by the hour they were posted no matter where nested. So, for example, I search for
      “at 5” or “at 6”. If the reply is nested and I don’t understand the context, I just follow the vertical line up to the original post until the context is clear.

      A bit odd, but it works for me…an interesting side effect of this is if somebody posts 4 or 5 times under different nested threads in the post, you get to see that person’s posts consecutively by time posted.

  27. Alan Charbonneau says:

    “… never disputed Hutchinson’s claim: that she was told this story by Tony Ornato, the Secret Service Officer that Trump elevated into an important political position at the White House, Deputy Chief of Staff, in front of Engel, who did not dispute the story.”

    I wondered about the legal significance of Ornato telling the story in front of Engel. Andrew McCarthy in National Review says “If Engel was present, engaged, and listening to what Ornato said, and the circumstances were such that, if Ornato got details wrong, Engel would naturally be expected to correct him, then Ornato’s words were by implication Engel’s words, as if he had spoken them himself”. He goes on to say that such testimony would be allowable under an exception to hearsay rules.

    He also wrote an article called “Cassidy Hutchinson’s Testimony against Trump Is Devastating”
    https://www.nationalreview (dot)com/2022/06/cassidy-hutchinsons-testimony-against-trump-is-devastating/

    If Trump has lost McCarthy, he’s in serious trouble — McCarthy carried a lot of water for Trump.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      Thank you for posting this. I seldom have the stomach to actively search for comment from the dark side, but it was very good to read this.

      • Alan Charbonneau says:

        You and me both.
        I only went looking for his commentary after I saw a YouTube video saying even some trump defenders are abandoning him.

    • Rayne says:

      This will come down to what Ornato and Engel said when they each met with the J6 committee, before Hutchinson’s final testimony during Tuesday’s hearing. The committee likely knows already whether Ornato has been forthcoming or prevaricating based on what they’ve already collected along with communications evidence.

      ADDER: Well, well. I missed a Politico story about Ornato having already spoken with the J6 committee not once but twice.

      Link to story in Kyle Cheney’s Twitter thread above. This bit:

      — Ornato told the select panel that Trump may not have been aware then-Vice President Mike Pence was still inside the Capitol when he attacked Pence on Twitter at 2:24 p.m. on Jan. 6. That tweet came minutes after rioters had broken into the Capitol and, by many accounts from the scene, intensified the fury of the mob. Ornato told the committee he’d initially informed then-chief of staff Mark Meadows — incorrectly — that Pence had been evacuated from the Capitol to his residence at the time of that tweet. It’s unclear why Ornato initially believed Pence had been taken from the Capitol grounds or how long it took for the report to be corrected.

      How did Ornato “lose” the Veep? This is sketchy as hell.

        • DrDoom says:

          I think that’s a stretch. That would mean foreseeing a possible disruption of the EV tally nearly a year before the election, before COVID and mail voting became issues, and before the Eastman plan. Such would have required thorough preparation well in excess of what these dangerous clowns could muster. The conspiracy might very well have started that early, but I can’t imagine targeting Pence as an operational objective so early.

          • timbo says:

            What else was afoot round that same time that Ornato transitioned to his WH role from USSS? It’s an important question that shouldn’t be ignored IMO.

            • timbo says:

              On thinking on this a bit more, it occurred to me that if Ornato is WH staff and not USSS then claims of executive privilege to conversations overheard with Trump being present have more weight. See also the first impeachment trial.

          • Eureka says:

            DrDoom: note the date:


            This was from the POV of democracy supporters and (obviously) stated in public. They’d already anticipated the electoral votes tally “disruption” (ahead of COVID and increased mail voting as you’d noted) though here via state legislatures/ors or SCOTUS trix, not involving Pence.

            timbo: Trump’s first impeachment started Dec. 18, 2019 (House adopted the articles) but was obviously in the works running up to that point. A clear time to tighten the loyalist ship towards his interests.

          • Rayne says:

            Why did Russia’s pawn Manafort ensure Pence was selected over Christie back in 2016? Don’t think for a moment this couldn’t have been planned much further out, avoiding the selection of a former prosecutor for VP. Shall we go back and look at the timing of Roger Stone’s first efforts under “Stop the Steal” Big Lie?

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Heavens! You mean Mikey was picked because he was spineless and too conservative for Indiana? Fascists will have their lickspittles.

              • Rayne says:

                Or he may have been picked because he was not only willing to be submissive to Trump, Pence would make a really good Christian martyr whose death would rattle the red state Christianists. Been debating about a post about that.

                • Molly Pitcher says:

                  Pence, the ultimate white Christian/Evangelical martyr. It would be impossible to get any whiter than Pence. He reminds me of those creatures who live deep under water in the dark and lacking any pigment, are transparent.

                  • Rayne says:

                    Slap a pair of wire-rimmed glasses and some chinos on this creature and it’s Mitch’s twin.

                    [Blob fish via]

                    There’s a certain requisite pastiness required of GOP who attain rank in the party. Blecch.

                • Alan Charbonneau says:

                  I wish I could say that was conspiracy theory thinking. But after years of Trump, very few things are unthinkable any more.

                • pdaly says:

                  In keeping with religious themes, I continue to wonder why Pence didn’t turn 1/6 around for himself by referring to the Temptations of Christ.

                  After Trump nearly had Pence killed, Pence as ‘God’s chosen one’, could have painted Trump as the Devil and recounted how on 1/5/21, just like Jesus rejected Satan’s offer from a high summit to have Jesus claim dominion over all earthly kingdoms, Pence rejected Trump’s offer for unearned power:

                  Trump (in the WH, listening to the assembled MAGA crowd in DC on 1/5/21 evening):
                  “If these people say you had the power, wouldn’t you want to?”
                  Pence: declines
                  Trump: “But wouldn’t it be almost cool to have that power?”

                  • Rayne says:

                    I had been thinking of Pence’s challenge not as the 40 days in the dessert with temptation after temptation, but the Garden of Gethsemane. He spent a lot of time asking “let this cup pass me by” through each mentor he chose. He didn’t turn on Trump because he felt Trump was part of God’s will.

                    If he’d been attacked by the crowd Pence would have seen it as a crucifixion.

                    I’m waiting for how he parlays this transcendence through the temptation and the threatened crucifixion into his campaign. He’s such a weak person he can’t avoid using this to serve his own ambitions.

                  • timbo says:

                    Because then who would Satan be in this analogy?

                    Pence is a creature of the Xtian GOP, picked by GOP party leaders to give Trump points at the 2016 polls. Without someone like Pence, Trump would have had a hard time getting even close to enough electoral college blocks to win the Presidency in 2016.

          • Ginevra diBenci says:

            Dr Doom, Roger Stone started Stop The Steal in 2016, with every intention of contesting the result of that election–until Trump won, and the plan went dormant to our eyes. But I don’t believe they ever relented in this plot to seize the next election by any means available.

            If you’re looking for the tendrils of plots, check out Cassidy Hutchinson’s former lawyer Stefan Passantino, whose career as election ratfucker went back way before the 2020 votes were cast. I’m not saying the specific Pence part of the plot was in place in 2019, just that the MAGA crew would have put it there as soon as one of them thought of it.

            • DrDoom says:

              Agree on the GOP long game, including the ratfucking. Seeds go back to the GOP primary for 1980, perhaps even earlier. Iran-Contra and successful escape from any consequences thereof set the present trajectory.

          • Savage Librarian says:

            Don’t forget about Manafort and Montenegro in 2016:

            “Russian Ex-Spy Pressured Manafort Over Debts to an Oligarch” – Simon Shuster, 12/29/18
            “In more than a dozen interviews that TIME conducted this year, officials and political leaders in Montenegro confirmed that Deripaska and one other Russian oligarch bankrolled the pro-Russian opposition in 2016. Two of them said they heard Manafort’s name come up in strategy meetings for that opposition movement.”
            “For Medojevic and the rest of the opposition, the elections in Montenegro did not go smoothly. The day before the vote, a group of men was arrested and charged with plotting to overthrow the government of Montenegro, assassinate its leader and seize power by force – all with abundant help from Moscow. The Montenegrin authorities later charged two agents of Russia’s military intelligence service with masterminding the alleged coup…”


          • Eureka says:

            [Bumping this back out for space, was reply to DrDoom @ 9:53 AM. Add this to all the other comments –> ^^ –>>]

            Couple things as to timing and Pence and Capitol-storming:

            1- While we know most of the _specific_ details for 1/6 coalesced in late December,

            2- By at least early September 2020, published war games focused on 1/6 and Pence’s role (David Frum, The Atlantic ~ early Sept.: war gamers then believed Pence would hold the line; Bart Gellman, The Atlantic, later that month ~ 9/23/20). So all that post-dates what the beneficent folks had been privately working on for a bit; whoTF knows what Cleta Mitchell and her Election Integrity Network (and CPI, etc.) were doing — besides signing up John Eastman for the cause (I believe he claims that was 9/3/20). [Folks, I’m tired, correct any dates as needed / call them “ca.”).

            2.5- Somewhere around here I collated links to several wargame pubs (which link to others). Point is, they were all continuous from that April 2019 Washington Monthly piece, itself inspired by Michael Cohen’s Feb. 2019 testimony, and building on layered strategies (as the GOPers did both pre- and post-election with their own practice and live war: the “fraud”, the courts, the leg.s, to SCOTUS…to 1/6 as the last gasp). And that doesn’t include what was private or secreted.

            2.75- So 1/6 was on the calendar, a date, long before the election as a step on the ladder. With folks like Barr at Trump’s side and all the ratfucking he did, I would bet that they thought they might succeed with some of these other, pre-1/6 steps and perhaps remained more proximately focused on them. **However**, that does not mean IMO that they were not also looking at Pence and that 1/6 date (like the Dec 8 safe harbor date before that) for kooky stuff to try.

            [Pausing as I imagine how they would have had to have explained the electoral process to Trump, by these processual stepping-stone dates: Yeah, and then what? OK, and after that? And if we lose that? …]

            3- As to storming Capitols +/- testing DC LEs with their rallies, they had plenty of post-election practice in places like GA state Capitol in November (the very specific crew who led 1/6); DC Marches; various state Caps also pre-election (MI, e.g.). But even longer before that we have Alex Jones’ history of stunts at the US Capitol (using terms like “takeover” IIRC, though I don’t have dates in mind for that) — pretty sure stunts like that were what got Owen Shroyer that probationary Capitol grounds restriction which facilitated his relatively quick arrest for 1/6.

            4- Stop the Steal prior to 2016 as below

            5- All based on Manafort’s work in Ukraine (see EW’s piece on Manafort’s Modus Operandi for one). Ukraine situation differs in the details by virtue of of myriad cultural and political differences, but moreso because of the Euromaidan –> Revolution of Dignity; they had the sense to run Yanukovych’s ass out of the country. Of course all the RU-GOP active measures have convinced our Capitol (armchair) protestors, rioters, and insurrectionists that _they_ were the ones doing that type of good work.

            Fin: IOW, whatever it takes. Pence and 1/6 were on the Constitutional calendar so I would not rule out vague planning deeper in time. Or brainstorms more specific (back to the Cletas and friends).

            • Eureka says:

              ^ re (3), the 11/21/2020 dry run at the GA state capitol:

              in light of new info about Trump and his weapon-wielders, am recalling a *fabulous* video that I linked and described here of the organizers and rallygoers making a big call-and-response show of the ralliers discarding their weapons (you can hear sounds like metal hitting stone, knives or knuckles hitting sidewalk maybe as I recall) at the GA cap. entrance. YT probably snuffed it long ago.

              ~ Get rid of any weapons, you can’t bring them in

              >> clink

              ~ Good boy

              >> clink cl- clink clink

        • harpie says:

          Hi Rayne,
          This is what the very top of page one looks like right now:

          PHASE I
          8/16/16 ROGER STONE: Can the 2016 election be rigged? You bet 08/16/16 09:27 AM [SEE EUREKA: in this comment thread:

          …so 12/7/19 is definitely fair game.

          • harpie says:

            This is how the end of that doc would look with the addition:

            11/XX/19 at the Republican National Lawyers Association conference, Justin Clark, a strategist and attorney for the Trump campaign, gave remarks on the importance of winning states like Wisconsin […]

            12/7/19 Anthony ORNATO is moved from TRUMP’s Secret Service detail to the White House as Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations

            12/9/19 the [alleged Hunter Biden] laptop gets shared with the FBI on December 9, 2019.

            • harpie says:

              There’s also this, but I don’t know exactly WHERE it should be placed, yet:

              11/XX/19 ELLIS refuses to appear for his scheduled deposition with the House Intelligence Committee in IMPEACHMENT probe.

              This ^^ is listed just after

              10/XX/19 Lt. Col. Alexander VINDMAN testifies at TRUMP IMPEACHMENT hearing “that Ellis and Eisenberg were the ones who decided to move the record of Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy into the NSC’s top-secret codeword system—a server normally used to store highly classified material that only a small group of officials can access.”

              • Molly Pitcher says:

                So was the record of Trump’s phone call in one of the boxes that showed up at Mar a Logo ? I would like to know where it is now.

          • Rayne says:

            Thanks, harpie. I hope we learn more about Why Ornato soon. It’s one thing to be a Kool-Aid drinker, but another to willing seek a role in the Trump administration. There had to be more to this.

          • Ginevra diBenci says:

            Sorry, harpie–as usual, you got here first and my comment above should have followed yours here.

            Absolutely! They were scheming six ways from Sunday. The only limiting factor was what ideas they could come up with and how fast.

            • harpie says:

              It’s always great to have you filling in so many important points , and adding your larger perspectives, Ginevra! :-)

          • Eureka says:

            Do you have this from 11/2/2016 (another one I’ve perseverated about over the years)? It’ll catch your breath in hindsight of 1/6 and players, that’s for sure; OKs et. al. have been chomping for years (PBs then nascent, not IDed here with other ilk):

            White nationalists plot Election Day show of force
            By Ben Schreckinger 11/02/2016 05:01 AM EDT Updated: 11/04/2016 03:47 PM EDT

            Stone and friends — here, the plan was to inhibit voting in the first place. He got in trouble for this from various states so they dialed it back to rhetoric or events not at polling places (back in the good old VRA consent decree days for fed. muscle, too) (sigh).

          • Eureka says:

            (cont.) Also:

            • July 18–21, 2016: Stone also gathered all of these WN types in Cleveland for the RNC (link to follow).

            • ~ March/April 2016: Stone also got in trouble for his STS shenanigans during the GOP primaries (don’t recall if for violating consent decree — seems likely — or oth/FEC). This would be somewhere in EW’s posts. [different, related link to follow]

            [I’ll STFU about Stone-Cohen’s “Should Trump Run” PAC and McGahn getting him out of FEC trouble from 2011] [also EW]

            *UGH Sorry*: might be good to eventually “someday” when you could ever make the time start the STS vote-stealing victim sketch stuff at the 2016 GOP primaries for those reasons.

            • Eureka says:


              McKew reviews a bit about how Stone collected all the disparate WN / gamergate / troublemaker types at the 2016 Cleveland convention. [I had a specific crit of some limitation or such back when it was published but don’t have time to re-read rn]:

              Brett Kavanaugh and the Information Terrorists Trying to Reshape America
              The network architecture built in Gamergate helped propel Trump to the presidency and fuel conspiracies like Pizzagate and QAnon. Now it’s backing Brett Kavanaugh.
              Molly McKew Oct 3, 2018 7:00 AM


              White Nationalists at the RNC Don’t Think Trump Goes Far Enough
              Brendan O’Connor 07/18/16 01:15PM Filed to: RNC 2016

              • Ginevra diBenci says:

                Probably worth a reminder here for those who’ve blessedly forgotten, Gamergate was fueled first and foremost by misogyny. It served as a way of putting women in a male-dominated field back in their place, a harbinger of more widespread efforts since, using threats and doxing and cruelty. You know, the MAGA modus operandi.

                When white nationalists began channeling themselves into this movement, it did not repel them (“fine people on both sides”). Because synergy.

                The intimidation of voters at the polls in 2016 should have put us on notice. Or should have made others listen to those of us who’ve been on notice for years. Eureka, this is an amazing job you’re doing here.

            • Eureka says:


              Sample re [then-clunkier] “Stop the Big Steal” propaganda ~ primaries:

              Roger Stone to Trump Voters: Come to Cleveland to Stop ‘The Big Steal’
              Former Donald Trump campaign manager Roger Stone is urging supporters to rally at the Republican National Committee convention in July to stop “the big steal” of Trump’s presidential nomination.

              Former Donald Trump campaign manager Roger Stone is urging supporters to rally at the Republican National Committee convention in July to stop “the big steal” of Trump’s presidential nomination.

              ETA: urls pasted a little odd- that Newsmax is from 4/1/2016 and RCP 4/3/2016

            • Eureka says:

              For whatever reason seeing all of these names and networks is especially heartbreaking tonight for what they would go on to do, for what we would become.

              Oh if we could borrow time.

              • harpie says:

                Oh…Thank you for all this.

                It is a god damned SNAKE PIT!

                Snakes…WHY did it HAVE to be SNAKES?!?
                – Indiana Jones

                    • Ginevra diBenci says:

                      I love snakes. They are beautiful creatures who just want to live their lives in a world we are ruining.

                      The problem with metaphors for these people is that nothing in nature truly mirrors or represents their depravity. Maggots lack intentionality, pigs are too smart, and turkey buzzards don’t kill–they let our cars do that for them.

                      Absolutely nothing compares to these humans. “Roger-Stone” should become the byword for corruption.

                    • Savage Librarian says:

                      Ginevra, I’d say some kind of brood parasite might fit the bill:

                      “Brood parasite – Wikipedia”

                      “It is less obvious why most hosts do care for parasite nestlings, given that for example cuckoo chicks differ markedly from host chicks in size and appearance. One explanation, the mafia hypothesis, proposes that parasitic adults retaliate by destroying host nests where rejection has occurred; there is experimental evidence to support this.”


          • harpie says:

            12/7/19 is the date Anthony ORNATO was moved from the Secret Service to his new position at the White House as Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations.

          • harpie says:


            President and General Counsel: J. Christian Adams

            […] served from 2005 to 2010 in the Voting Section at the United States Department of Justice. He is the author of the [10/3/11] New York Times bestseller Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department […]

            He successfully litigated the landmark case of United States v. Ike Brown in the Southern District of Mississippi, the first case brought under the Voting Rights Act on behalf of a discriminated-against white minority in Noxubee County. [Decided 6/29/07] […]

          • harpie says:

            And then there’s Litigation Counsel Maureen RIORDAN

            […] joined the Public Interest Legal Foundation in 2021. Maureen spent 20 years as a Justice Department senior attorney in the Voting Section […]

            At the beginning of the Trump administration, she served on a detail to front office serving as Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, where she helped supervise the Voting Section as well as served as liaison to the Section Chiefs to help the transition team and acting AAG get established. She returned to the career ranks in the Civil Rights Division after her detail ended in 2017.

            In 2020, she was promoted out of the Voting Section and named as a political appointee, serving as the Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General. […]

            RIORDAN [FOR the DOJ] is named on Statement of Interest in this PILF case:
            PUBLIC INTEREST LEGAL FOUNDATION, Plaintiff, v. KATHY BOOCKVAR, Defendant. [] Filed on 1/7/21

            • harpie says:

              From DREIBAND’s Wiki page:

              On June 10, 2020, [6/10/20] Dreiband sent a letter to Montgomery County Maryland executives expressing First Amendment concerns regarding county orders. […]

              The DOJ’s original letter containing the [FALSE] claim that hundreds of people packed into the library [when they were actually in the parking lot] could still be found on the department’s website.

            • Ginevra diBenci says:

              Thanks to Midtowngirl and harpie!

              Here’s where I insert my recommendation of Anne Nelson’s Shadow Network for anyone interested in the origins of these groups and how they wield power.

  28. Eureka says:

    Nice splice of Hutchinson’s testimony on Trump’s grievances about the segregated weapon-laden crowds and Trump’s Ellipse speech re same (sans any mention of weapons, of course):

    Interesting he IDs his official protectors (the ones keeping his armed followers out of the shot) as military, USSS, and cops — guess I memory-holed this but what military would have been detailed there? Routine presence for public POTUS events?

    From the NPR transcript, Trump:

    And I’d love to have if those tens of thousands of people would be allowed. The military, the secret service. And we want to thank you and the police law enforcement. Great. You’re doing a great job. But I’d love it if they could be allowed to come up here with us. Is that possible? Can you just let him come up, please?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Should have been limited to Marine honor guards, etc. But in Trump’s imagination, everyone and everything are at his beck and call. It’s an attitude he has made part of his persona.

      • Eureka says:

        Thanks, earl. Delusional glosses are most always the correct answer with him as you note, but as he slips the occasional anti-mickey of a detail, one never knows.

      • Eureka says:

        You are entirely welcome and I’m glad you found it useful.

        Aside while I recall: with these reports of SS and DC cops gossiping about Trump’s moto-tantrum in this great interim, that anecdote we filed away the other day re the Boebert and Chansley 1/5 chatty-tour-guide story seems a smidge more interesting in parallel. [imagining all the other hot local gossip]

        I started to go back through that TL and had to quit close-reading for want of chucking mouse->screen (it was their BS ad-within-an-ad re Warnock that put me over the edge). [ALL WE HAVE and HAVE HAD TO PAY FOR THIS PSYCHO. Psycho-_CACA_ in your parlance.]

        • Eureka says:

          You know what I figured out why this is bothering me so much today. I’d recalled the survivor testimony of a former Frenchwoman in her late 90s (she and her mother sent to camps in France because they were the Resistance). In telling her story she also implores with every bit of moral authority her idiot GOP congressman to care about the separated children at the border. [This was given a few years ago.]

          She was 19 when traumatically separated from and played against her mother; though tactically starved, the Nazis did provide them with toothbrushes and soap [many not so fortunate, to be sure, and may their memories be a blessing, stories be heard]. This elder was not abiding Nazis being less-cruel to her in those ways than her country was to those migrant children, babies.

          Fast-forward to today: do we even know if these children have toothbrushes, soap, their parents? What other quieted horrors might be escaping our attention?

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Thank you, Eureka! This had slipped my mind as just more Trump argle-bargle. Now it sounds like argle-bargle that *refers to* something.

      • Eureka says:

        It’s really satisfying. For as incomprehensible as he can be, you get a rooting detail or two and ‘presto’ it’s all clear as day. You’re welcome, glad you found it useful, too.

  29. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Pick your own variation:

    Heaven is…where the police are British, the cooks are French, the mechanics German, lovers Italian and it’s all organized by the Swiss.

    Hell is…where the police are German, the cooks are British, the mechanics Italian, lovers Swiss and it’s all organized by the French (or Democrats).


      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        They are stale; I hoped commenters might edit them. These days, British cops are in no one’s heaven: they are not Arthur Treacher’s bobby, they are more like the Black and Tans.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            What’s all this, then? That’s not real fish ‘n chips, nor was Treacher a real bobby, but he was perfect in Mary Poppins. :-)

              • earlofhuntingdon says:

                If I remember correctly, the breading made AT’s unspecified white fish edible, at least compared to what was on offer at the college cafeteria.

              • darms says:

                PNW, lotsa fresh local (halibut!) fish ‘n chips at local eateries around here. $$+ however…

              • P J Evans says:

                I had some in Rye. But you had to walk up a cobblestone street on a hill. (The fish was absolutely fresh.)

                There’s a fish-n-chips place in El Sobrante, CA: Hundal Sahib Fish & Chips (& Loards ice creams). Fried while you wait…

              • blueedredcounty says:

                I don’t get fish & chips often, but when I do, it’s either at a WI fish fry when I’m visiting family in the Midwest, or Point Loma Seafoods down on Shelter Island on San Diego’s harbor. I expect you’ve already been there, bmaz, since you have referenced frequent trips to SD.

      • Dutch Louis says:

        Dont’t want to be annoying, but if somebody might want to visit, it’s Groningen, a nice university city.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Delightfully unspoilt, with a fraction of the tourists that afflict Amsterdam.

        • timbo says:

          It’s a nice town for sure. Haven’t visited there though in like 20+ years tho…have you been there recently?

    • Alan Charbonneau says:

      Reminds me of the old joke: Canadians could have enjoyed American know how, French culture, and British politics. Instead, they got British know how, American culture, and French politics.

        • P J Evans says:

          The King of Darkness! (Old friend has a TR4 he’s restoring. Frame and engine are done to factory spec.)

          • bmaz says:

            No joke here, in college I dated a very nice girl who had a TR-7. When you used the turn signal, stuff happened with the radio. It was really that stupid.

            • blueedredcounty says:

              From engineering college friends who used to work for Allison Gas Turbines (GM division partnered with Rolls Royce):
              Q: Why do Brits drink warm beer?
              A: Lucas makes refrigerators, too.

            • vvv says:

              Had an eccentric friend when I was in LS (he was a JDL member) who drove a TR7. Well, he drove it if I was around to help push-start it.

              If I wasn’t, his girlfriend did.

              • bmaz says:

                That was basically Kim’s TR-7. I tried to help fix it, and had some real car skills already, and could not do. It was that bad.

                • vvv says:

                  Ah, but being a convertible, some nights with a beer in hand – it was worth the grief.

                  But thus sucked even more horribly in the winter.

                  Fortunately I hadda one-good-door, coat-hanger-the-muffler-every-hunnert-miles Maverick that never stopped …

                  (Ironic it was un-insured and now I do so much BI lit, including UM’s.)

              • earlofhuntingdon says:

                Brings back nightmares. My MGB, Maggie, and I had a deal: she got me to work during the week, and I worked on her all weekend. Great fun taking out three parts just to get at the broken one. One reason I prefer restomods to the factory compromises.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            I prefer restomods. Why restore bad electrics, dim lights, and weak brakes/suspensions?

                  • What Constitution? says:

                    I think I know the place in Santa Monica you’re probably referring to. British guy, looked like Richard Attenborough in a white lab coat. Cult hero in the Jaguar service community. I was referred there many years ago when I bought a used Jag XJS V-12 (available at a real steal of a price, now I know why). I called, he agreed to interview me as a potential client. I went there, introduced myself, and he said “so you’re the man who bought a used XJ-6?” and I said, no, it’s a 12 cylinder. He looked at me quizzically and said “You bought a used S? A braver man than I”. And he declined.

                    And they wonder why Lucas was known as the Prince of Darkness. Beautiful car, though — but it did eventually become clear that it cost $600 to open the hood.

                    • bmaz says:

                      No, but think I encountered once the guy you are talking about. But memory is hazy on that.

          • bmaz says:

            The stories are legend. Including your refrigerator one above. Had a friend given an early XJS for PR purposes, the one semi-electrical thing that worked was the air conditioning, which of course was made by GM/Fridgidare. He literally ripped out as much of the Lucas stuff as possible and replaced it with Delco stuff. After that it worked pretty well. I got to drive it for most of one summer when the clutch in my Camaro was bad. I was like, hey I need to bring my car into our shop and replace the clutch. He was like “Oh hell no, just drive the Jag”. And I was good with that.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            My condolences, but you did have easier access to the engine bay. My first car was an MGB/GT.

            • Ginevra diBenci says:

              1958 Karmann Ghia. You could see the road through the holes in the floorboards.

          • grennan says:

            TRIGGERED! It’s been a long time since I thought of the awful 15 or 16 year old Spitfire I acquired in 1981.

            Intrinsic flaws included positive ground electrics and non synchromeshed transmission (everyone should know how to double-clutch). The roof was more like a beach umbrella than any car top made since before WWII — it was supposed to come off entirely if you didn’t want it up. Putting it back on involved something like tent poles that had to be extended, then fit into sockets.

            Among those who doubted that it could be positive ground was the manager of a car stereo place… until he put a live test radio down on its frame.

            Terrible turning radius and worst, only people a lot taller than 5 ft. could drive it. For me it was like sitting in a bath tub, and even with a variety of cushions, mats, etc. After passing it on, I realized I’d been holding myself up by the steering wheel and looking between it and the side of the windshield while driving.

            Bf killed it by neglecting its scheduled header work while I was on a business trip. The last few weeks it was consuming a quart of Castrol 20-50? 10-80? every other day. Gross green stuff that was almost as thick as grease.

            (Got it as part of a swap.I ‘d already owned several sports cars, including an MGB that was only five years newer but worlds better in terms of roof, transmission, seat, feet warming…)

    • harpie says:

      National Security Council Chat Log

      – 12:29 PM MOGUL’s going to the Capitol…they are clearing a route now.
      – 12:30 PM they are finding the best route now.
      – 12:32 PM MilAide has confirmed that he wants to walk
      – 12:32 PM They are begging him to reconsider
      – 12:46 PM current route will be 15th to F, F to 6th, 6th to Penn, Penn to the Capitol
      – 12:47 PM So this is happening
      – 12:57 PM Capitol Police are reporting multiple breaches in their anti-scaling fence
      – 1:00 PM Capitol is now calling for all available to respond.
      – 1:00 PM they have taken over the stage there.
      – 1:06 PM about to use non-lethal force at the Capitol
      – 1:14 PM MOGUL heading to motorcade
      – 1:17 PM looks like he is coming home for now.
      – 1:20 PM Mogul in Oval

      • grennan says:

        Fantastic work, and we should remember re “clearing a route” there was no parade permit issued and the WH was aware if this.

        Saw the headline that a congressperson was on MSNBC this weekend referred to Trump changing the permit which is absurd but haven’t been able to see it.

        May seem trivial but it makes any consideration of a route look even weirder.

    • harpie says:

      Some other entries on the TL during this CHAT:

      12:29 PM CP officer reports hearing a Taser weapon fired near the Senate
      12:33 PM Park Police report that they detained a person with a rifle on 17th Street, near the World War II Memorial
      12:35 PM HAWLEY fist-pump photo
      12:36 PM PENCE arrives at the Capitol with his wife and daughter
      12:40 PM PIPE-BOMB reported outside RNC
      From The JOE BIGGS Movie:

      12:47 PM BIGGS and OTHERS say WHOA! [He’s stretching his arms out.] They’re walking together in a row [l-r] NORDEAN, DONOHOE, BIGGS, REHL They look to the left and back.

      12:48 PM One of the men talks on the phone. Someone says: Ukrainian Proud Boys. [??] Someone with a blue rolled up flag/pole comes to talk to NORDEAN

      Someone says something like Hoo-Roo! And others respond by saying that.

      Someone yells: All right, let’s go folks. They begin walking down the middle of the road.

      [split screen] The whole group is walking, chanting something. BIGGS in front walking backwards, gesturing with arms extended. “Where’s Antifa?” chant.

      12:55 PM First Barricade Breach on Pennsylvania Walkway
      12:56 PM Second Barricade Breach
      12:58 PM MINUTA call to RHODES, 1:11

      QUESTION: WHEN, during TRUMP’s speech, [11:57AM to 1:10 PM] was Mark MEADOWS sitting in the control car [secretively] talking on the PHONE for more than 20-25 minutes?

      • harpie says:

        [Need to insert this bit before first barricade breach]

        12:51 PM BIGGS [megaphone] [At the Peace Monument]
        Everybody right now!
        1] Where’s Antifa? Call/response 2] Fuck Antifa! Call/response 3] We want Trump! 4] We love Trump! 5] Who’s house?/Our House! Call/response 6] 1776!

        [approx] 12:53 PM SAMSEL speaks with BIGGS

        12:54 PM [SAMSEL] crosses the barrier that restricted access to the Capitol grounds. This is the first barrier protecting the Capitol grounds to be breached on January 6, 2021, and the point of entry for NORDEAN, BIGGS, REHL, DONOHOE, and PEZZOLA. NORDEAN, BIGGS, REHL, DONOHOE, and PEZZOLA and assembled members of the crowd move toward the Capitol.

    • harpie says:

      1:00 PM [approx]

      TRUMP: The Republicans have to get tougher. You’re not going to have a Republican Party if you don’t get tougher. They want to play so straight. They want to play so, sir, yes, the United States. The Constitution doesn’t allow me to send them back to the States. Well, I say, yes it does, because the Constitution says you have to protect our country and you have to protect our Constitution, and you can’t vote on fraud. And fraud breaks up everything, doesn’t it? When you catch somebody in a fraud, you’re allowed to go by very different rules.
      So I hope Mike has the courage to do what he has to do. And I hope he doesn’t listen to the RINOs and the stupid people that he’s listening to.

      approx. 1:00 PM While standing at the front of the crowd in the West Plaza, opposite law enforcement in riot gear, NORDEAN and BIGGS exchange a hug and handshake, and BIGGS takes another video, in which he announces: “we’ve just taken the Capitol.”
      Shortly after 1:00 PM [BERTINO and WOLKIND], on NMOSD-LG: “Push inside! Find some eggs and rotten tomatoes!” [] “They deploy the mace yet.” DONOHOE responds: “We are trying.”
      1:01 PM Parler [VIDEO]:
      [Capitol West Front, Joe BIGGS on his phone at [0:03-0:04], and there’s PEZZOLA too, at [0:04 and again at 0:18, at 0:18-0:19 PEZZOLA, and Joe BIGGS’ hat/glasses at bottom of screen, still looks like he’s looking down at his phone, and Proud Boy/Three Percenter hand signal GUY behind him]
      1:02 PM RHODES to MINUTA Call 1:48
      1:02 PM PENCE tweets letter to CONGRESS
      1:02PM Marcy: Great swaths of the texts from January 6 — almost 10 full pages — are redacted. What’s left are seemingly one after another Proud Boy (not all present) claiming to be storming the Capitol right at 1:02 PM.
      1:03 PM Capitol Police find an unoccupied red pickup truck with Alabama tags containing a trove of weapons, including an M4 carbine assault rifle, loaded magazines of ammunition, and components to make 11 molotov cocktails. [Lonnie COFFMAN]
      1:06 PM PENCE gavels in JOINT SESSION
      1:09 PM Sund notifies the two Sergeants at Arms that he “urgently needed support and asked them to declare a State of Emergency and authorize the National Guard.”
      1:10 PM Ali ALEXANDER tweets: Get down to the US CAPITOL! // Orders from POTUS. @StopTheStealUS stage on the senate side of the building, scotus side
      1:11 PM MPD arrives at the west front of the Capitol after being requested by USCP [NYT calls it a BRAWL]
      1:14 PM Parler [VIDEO]: [TRUMP and family/guests leaving tent getting into cars. Music: Tiny Dancer. At [1:53] Man says “There he is!” [someone waving from back seat of car]

      • mamake says:

        To the creatives here…
        Did someone already redo “Tiny Dancer”….as “Tiny hands, sir….” on this site?
        Maybe it was a dream (or a nightmare).

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        harpie, this is stunning, just incredible work. Are you archiving it in some form that we mere mortals can access? Or should I start copying it into files of my own? (With credit of course–I would never Start The Steal by claiming your work! I’d just want to refer to it verbatim.)

        Your timeline goes a long distance toward answering DrDoom’s question about whether Ornato refused to take Trump to Capitol because Pence had himself refused to depart in USSS car. It looks like if there was any causality at all, it could only have been the other way around: Pence refusing to leave because he somehow found out about Trump’s attempt.

        I don’t know, however, how Pence would have learned what happened in POTUS SUV.

        • greenbird says:

          she molts into incessantly finer forms of thought, and we can benefit. and do. i shall think of her as Cicada, for many reasons, loud, first of all.
          thanks harpie.

        • timbo says:

          The USSS could have informed Pence’s detail about what had happened in the motorcade. That’s possible. Certainly McCarthy was aware of the struggle going on about Trump and marching on the Capital via Hutchinson and Twitler’s speech at the Ellipse. What’s missing from a lot of this is a full log of Pence and his retinue’s comms on Jan 6; do we/anyone have a good log of all that? So far, all I’ve seen is some public testimony and no logs for USSS about their own comms during the crisis.

  30. Spencer Dawkins says:

    It must be a drag, to try to convince anyone who has watched Trump at any point, that Trump wouldn’t become physical(*) with anyone who was standing in the way of Trump getting to the Capitol.

    “Since Cassidy Hutchinson’s startling testimony on Tuesday, credulous journalists have reported anonymous sources pushing back against one of her most dramatic stories: that when told he was not going to the Capitol on January 6, Donald Trump lunged towards the steering wheel of the SUV taking him back to the White House and then went after the clavicle of the head of his detail, Bobby Engel.”

    I was listening to Hutchinson testify, and that was the most believable of all the believable things she said (under oath).

    If it turns out that someone exaggerated Trump’s actions while describing them to Hutchinson, I’ll be happy to admit confirmation bias on my own part.

    (*) Or at least “as physical as Trump can get”.

  31. Nick Caraway says:

    @Molly Pitcher,
    Rolling Stone magazine has the same story; they also add a screenshot of the following tweet which I didn’t see at CNN or the Daily Beast:
    “Back in April, a law enforcement source told me that they heard DC Metropolitan Police officers affiliated with the presidential motorcade share a story of Trump demanding to be drive to the Capitol and getting into an altercation with Secret Service on January 6.”

    — Hunter Walker (@hunterw) July 1, 2022

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      Thanks for sharing this. It is always great to be able to triangulate with multiple reports !

  32. greenbird says:

    ok. 4o6 comments = 82 unedited text pages.
    lotsa italiano vehicles, catsup, other filler …
    comments have no max # but … you know.

      • greenbird says:

        kept going bc so INFORMATIVE i couldn’t stop !
        plus i modified font size in places to get to 49 pages.
        ok. now i can polish it, if i want, but have the info.
        thanks, all.

        • greenbird says:

          my email migrated, maybe you need update to ID?)

          emailed marcy PDF link of edited doc, if anyone wants look-see.

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