Amid Claims of Witness Tampering, Revisiting Peter Navarro’s Alleged Contempt

Last week, Steve Bannon engaged in a stunt, claiming that a Carl Nichols order requiring DOJ to provide official documents on things like executive privilege and testimonial immunity must cover DOJ’s declination decision with respect to Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino.

The stunt itself isn’t all that interesting.

Bannon claimed that he refused to testify in part on the same basis that Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino did, and so understanding how DOJ had distinguished them (whose prosecution DOJ declined) from him (who got charged) would reflect official policy.

The letters Trump lawyer Justin Clark sent to Meadows and Scavino made one difference clear, however (which the Bannon filing obliquely acknowledges). In instructing Meadows and Scavino to refuse to testify to the January 6 Committee as much as possible, Clark included language invoking testimonial immunity, on top of Executive Privilege.

Furthermore, President Trump believes that Mr. Meadows is immune from compelled congressional testimony on matters related to his official responsibilities. See Testimonial Immunity Before Congress of the Former Counsel to the President, [citing the Don McGahn OLC opinion]

The letter that Clark sent Bannon on the same day, October 6, had no such language on testimony immunity.

Indeed, after Robert Costello kept making claims about Trump instructing Bannon not to testify, Clark emailed him twice more, the first time to resend the same letter, and the second time to explicitly say that they didn’t think Bannon had testimonial immunity.

In light of press reports regarding your client I wanted to reach out. Just to reiterate, our letter referenced below didn’t indicate that we believe there is immunity from testimony for your client. As I indicated to you the other day, we don’t believe there is. Now, you may have made a different determination. That is entirely your call. But as I also indicated the other day other avenues to invoke the privilege — if you believe it to be appropriate — exist and are your responsibility.

Effectively, Trump’s team told Bannon to stall, but gave him no legal tools to do so. Bannon didn’t entirely ignore testimonial immunity. In a footnote, he accused Carl Nichols of misapplying the law with respect to immunity and privilege.

Finally, on this question, the Court’s oral Order of June 15, 2022, appears to indicate a view by the Court that Justin Clark’s view on the question of “immunity” is either relevant or somehow undercuts the invocation of executive privilege. It certainly is not relevant – immunity, unlike, executive privilege is not a legal concept for the President to invoke or confer and his view on “immunity” is of no consequence at all on the question of whether executive privilege was invoked. It was.

But he said the common invocation of Executive Privilege was itself enough to merit a more formal comparison (ignoring, of course, that Meadows provided some materials to the Committee that did not involve the President, whereas Bannon withheld even his public podcasts).

Though some of the news reports he cites name Peter Navarro, Bannon doesn’t invoke his case. In Navarro’s now-withdrawn lawsuit against the Committee, he invoked both testimonial immunity and Executive Privilege. But he cites no letter from Trump; instead, he relies on the same Don McGahn OLC opinion Bannon invoked in his filing. Of course, by the time Navarro was subpoenaed — February 9, as compared to the September 23 subpoenas for Bannon, Meadows, and Scavino (as well as Kash Patel) — SCOTUS had already ruled against Trump’s privilege claim.

So it may be that DOJ’s decision tree regarding charges looks like this:

Bannon’s filing may be a stunt, but he may be right that DOJ didn’t charge Meadows and Scavino because they could claim to have been covered by both Executive Privilege and testimonial immunity (and in Meadows’ case, even attempted to comply with non-privileged materials).

Given the evidence in Tuesday’s hearing that Trump and his associates continued to try to influence Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony at least through March 7, I want to return to something I noted before: because Navarro didn’t lawyer up, whatever communications he exchanged with Trump’s lawyers would not be privileged.

After Bannon got indicted for contempt, DOJ obtained the call records for his lawyer, Robert Costello’s, communications going all the way back to when Costello’s previous representation of Bannon ended. If they did that with Navarro, they could get more than the call records, though.

Whatever else DOJ did with their charging decision, they also allowed themselves the greatest visibility into ongoing obstruction, while sustaining the case in chief.

97 replies
    • Rayne says:

      Might be a shortage of burners in a lot of places after Dobbs; the shortage may have less to do with the insurrectionists’ ongoing communications.

  1. Doctor My Eyes says:

    As an aside, the Secret Service name for Trump, Mogul, is annoying. Laundryman would be more apt.

  2. WilliamOckham says:

    That’s some filing. I’m pretty sure there are more lines of text in the footnotes than in the body of the filing.

  3. wetzel says:

    A feeling of social vertigo is settling in. The scripts we use to make sense of of the world do not apply to any of this.

    • bmaz says:

      Why? Do you think he is just a knee jerk indicter as opposed to actually doing things the right way?

      That is never how an AG or DOJ should work. Never.

  4. Bay State Librul says:


    Some days I think you live in Sleepy Hollow.

    To use a baseball analogy, Jones knows where the strike zone is.

    The DOJ is in scoring position.

    There is no wisdom in insecurity, or as one may say, “they can only hang you once”

    If you think it is knee jerk reaction, it’s been 543 days since opening day January 6, 2021.

    Garland should pull the trigger against the forces of darkness before the 2022 World Series.

    • bmaz says:

      The number of days is completely irrelevant. The criminal justice system is not about your time frames or foaming desire for a politically timed (or baseball timed) prosecution. If and when DOJ has enough admissible evidence to be convinced they can convict beyond a reasonable doubt, and they think they should indict, they will. You and everybody else screaming to indict yesterday ought to be glad they are doing this professionally and appropriately. And you should be furious at the preening asses on the 1/6 Committee for hindering the effort so they can get ratings for their two hour infomercials. And, by the way, very little of their staged shows constitutes admissible evidence.

      • 4Emilias says:

        It’s maddening, this constant drumbeat of “Garland must”, “The evidence is there”.

        Any honest and upright person at DOJ is surely appalled by the behavior of the previous resident of the White House; but emotions aren’t a factor when/if compiling evidence for a case without precedent.

        The job is to present a case that, “beyond a reasonable doubt” proves criminality.

        That takes time.

        Bmaz, you are not “abalone” in your view~

  5. Bay State Librul says:

    Okay but can I call Merrick “The Human Rain Delay” Sorry, Mike Hargraves🤗

  6. Badger Robert says:

    What the Department of Justice does is political. What is doesn’t do is also political. There has to be a much greater disparity in the treatment of the conspirators now cooperating and those conspirators still stonewalling the multiple investigations. There has to be substantially more pressure to create some witnesses that are compelled to do what John Dean and Chuck Colson were forced to do. And the Watergate prosecutors did lose some cases. That is part of the risk. But the risk has to be engaged.
    The attorneys are the soft targets. Jurors are likely to use the attorneys as patsies for the crimes of their clients.

    • bmaz says:

      I dunno about that. Been around a long time, and rarely seen line level career prosecutors be overly political. But for significant and public cases, they do have to run their cases and decisions up through leadership, whether in US Atty Offices and/or DOJ Main. Does that make any final decision inherently political? I am not sure it does, but can see how someone could argue that. But such is simply how federal government functions.

  7. grennan says:

    While bmaz has often and eloquently attempted to explain the misconceptions about how fast this should be happening, here are some non-judiciary reasons Bay State Librul shouldn’t even think about the idea of “Rain Delay” Garland.

    It’s amazing almost nobody even thinks about the organizational (and thus info and data related) challenge involved. How long would it take you, BSL, to organize 100,000 documents? That’s just the estimated number of docs, NOT pages, the J6 committee was wrangling — as of April. Even if you knew what you were going to do and how to do it, and had several hundred helpers?

    Now, let’s think about what the Justice Dept. has accomplished in a year and a half…just in terms of data flow and interfacing with other government systems, some of which we know are outdated and can’t communicate with each other.

    How many pieces of info (data fields) are associated with each POI, suspect, chargee, and several other types of people? How many other systems — people and data — have to be queried, updated, checked?

    Add in multiple levels of human interaction — assignment, review, referral, decisions and more.

    To have processed through almost 1000 charged defendants already, and an unknown number of people still in disposition and another unknown number processed out as no-charge or otherwise put aside, seems like really efficient work.

    Another way to look at it: how many people hours does it take to effect a resolution (charge or not) for each potential J6 defendant? Thankfully, we still don’t have assembly line justice here.

    • P J Evans says:

      We had to sort 18 four-drawer file cabinets full of papers at work. It took 70 people (including the manager and his secretary, plus all of us and our supervisors) a full week, 68 hours, to do it. That was with nothing else going on, and a plan already set up for handling them.
      With 8-hour days, it took several months to sort a million pieces of paper (different set of papers, same kind of stuff), and they actually set up a separate work group to hand it, of smaller size.

      • grennan says:

        Those are great real world examples…almost. 5000 people hours for 72 file drawers, wow.

        I wonder how many file drawers it would take to hold 100,000 documents.

        While the DOJ already had the systems, procedures, and workflows, we don’t know how functional these were after four years of “only the best people” running normal operations — at the least ineptly. We don’t know what kind of percentage increase in work it all represents, either…10 per cent? 20? More?

        (This is the same DOJ with the FBI computer system that was decades obsolete and over several administrations replacing it slipped years behind schedule).

  8. punaise says:

    Sorry for phone-induced editing mistakes.

    From a comment on this TPM thread:

    I noticed a disturbing comment on twitter yesterday. It has a kind of trenchant and sardonic humor to it and although I don’t entirely agree with it and I hesitate to reproduce it, it’s left an impression on me.

    Well … there it is.

      • punaise says:

        Yeah, that one leaves a mark. For anyone who did not click on it here it is:

        “My roommate described Republicans as the mass shooter and Democrats as the Uvalde cops, and I can’t get that image out of my head.”

  9. Bay State Librul says:

    “How long would it take you, BSL, to organize 100,000 documents?” — Many moons, I’m
    organizationally challenged. I bet McKinsey & Company can give you a better idea.

    My bitch is not with the grunts who do the bulk of the work. They work, day after, day, grinding out the workload.

    It’s the time spent assessing the risks and difficulties in securing an indictment that nags me.

    Southpaw has a wonderful essay titled “What’s Really Stopping a Trump Prosecution.”

    We have reached a fork in the road – take it.

    • bmaz says:

      Southpaw has never tried a criminal case in his lifetime. So, when Luppe talks about what happens in criminal courtrooms, understand he has no idea. His thoughts are not worth much. But if you have glommed on to his posit from weeks ago because it aligns with your own determination to engage in a politically time framed political prosecution, of the type Trump would have done, keep baying on.

    • grennan says:

      Missing the point that it’s easier for laypeople to grasp the enormity by looking at what’s involved even without adding in the work by lawyers.

      The Brits have a great expression to describe successfully handling huge, complicated operations: eating the artichoke leaf by leaf. Often used to indicate what’s happening while people complain about slow progress.

  10. bmaz says:

    I find it remarkable that people, including some here, who have spent decades baying about “the rule of law” and “law, not men” so easily come forth to demand the exact opposite out of Garland and DOJ as to one man, Trump, than what they supposedly stood for in the first instance.

    • timbo says:

      The problem, as I see it, is that Trump and his minions can try to do illegal dirty tricks on Biden, get caught at it, and then, basically, get away from any legal serious consequences for it while, meanwhile, we have here the DOJ with some pretty clear cut cases of attempts to violates dozens or hundreds of laws on the books by those same minions/Trump and make little if any progress towards holding the accountable under the law. This is the erosion of respect for the law in real time. It’s palpable. And, until the DOJ or some other law enforcement and prosecutorial bodies actually reign in these crimes directly there will really not be any growing faith in the current Constitutional system basically.

      • bmaz says:

        No one specific criminal case is about that. Never. Your, and others’, concerns about things are very much not the things of a good prosecution. And the sooner people get away from that, the better.

    • civil says:

      I don’t find it remarkable. I think it’s an unsurprising human response.

      First, because people sometimes have difficulty being in a state of not-knowing — in this case, not knowing whether Garland will eventually charge Trump and if so, for what crimes. It can be especially hard to be in a state of not-knowing with respect to issue Z when someone has knowledge of related issues X and Y and also has related strongly-held opinions (beliefs that are shared or not, as contrasted with T/F beliefs). People know quite a bit about Trump from his public statements and his public actions, people have strong opinions about him, and it’s easy to assume that we know other things when those things are instead either T/F conjectures or more opinions. There’s also relevant knowledge (say, the knowledge of a prosecutor or defense lawyer) that many of us lack and so gloss over, because we don’t even know what it is that we don’t understand

      It’s very human to be impatient at times.

      Trump’s treatment certainly comes across as double-standards at times (for example, the decision not to charge Trump with a campaign finance crime when Cohen was convicted of one and there are checks literally signed by Trump reimbursing Cohen, and Trump lied about that on his financial disclosure form), which reasonably ticks people off. We see poor people charged for minor crimes all the time, and it can feel like a wealthy, powerful person getting away with things that a poor person would not get away with. And that feeling, too, makes it harder to be patient with not-knowing.

      • timbo says:

        This. Why is okay if you’re the President of the US to get away with stuff like this? It’s a blatant violation of the law. Period.

  11. Bay State Librul says:

    Seltzer me

    I’m sticking with my lefty, his approach is less reductive, and he doesn’t appear to have a Fuck You attitude

  12. Doctor My Eyes says:

    I don’t know what people think “prosecuting Trump” would look like. It seems to me it should look like exactly what we’re seeing. If reporting everywhere were as fact-based as here, the whole country would be expecting a Trump indictment on the basis of a relentless and well-conceived investigation instead of bitching about weak Dems. We should be debating when it will happen or if politics will prevent it, not whether Garland” wants to do it. There is little room for educated debate on whether “Garland” is “going after Trump”. The DOJ is obviously pursuing J6 prosecutions. If Trump is involved, the investigation will take them to Trump.

    By the way, the willfully ignorant reporting on this issue comes from the same place that has equated believable public testimony under oath with anonymous sources declaring what some people would say if they did something they refuse to do.

    • grennan says:


      As counter-intuitive as it might be to some people, the less we hear probably means the more is going on. The DOJ has been remarkably leak- and bitch- free; which wouldn’t be the case if there was disagreement about the end goal or there was political stalling.

  13. Sue 'em Queequeg says:

    If nothing else, reading EW should help one understand that nobody in the media or the commentariat, up to and including EW staff and resident expert commenters, really knows what DOJ is or isn’t doing and is or isn’t thinking. Or if any EW participants do know anything about it, they are rightfully staying mum.

    The one thing we do know (in my case, from reading it here) is that keeping potential targets guessing is a routine part of DOJ strategy. Personally, I find the lack of information as stress-inducing and unsatisfying as the next liberal (or “pahgressive”, as we say in my corner of the Bay State), but emotional relief, even for millions, seems like a poor exchange for making DOJ’s job any harder than it already is. I guess this is what that tequila the folks here keep mentioning is about.

    • timbo says:

      The problem is when there is no deterrence being generated by DOJ actions (or inactions). The country just saw a DOJ being weakened for 4 years under Twitler’s regime and until there’s some sort of actual large cleaning out of the corruption from our political system, faith in the DOJ (and other national institutions) will continue to tepid at best.

      • Chetnolian says:

        The trouble is that no actions generate deterrence. If deterrence is ever generated, and their are whole criminology books on that, it is by convictions and sentences. And we have to bear in mind that an initiated action which does not result in a conviction, of any of the top guys let alone Trump, would be the worst of all possible outcomes. But, risking the wrath of bmaz, I think that is a lot of what the 1.6 Committee is about. I think they know precisely how carefully DoJ has to tread so they are getting stuff about the attempted Trump coup out into the public and political sphere at a faster rate than DoJ could ever, or would ever, want to, achieve.

        • timbo says:

          It used to be that being indicted or arrested for a crime was enough to get some politicians to steer clear of falling afoul of the law. Now folks like Trump basically break it at will and little it done. This is a cultural shift and points to how hollow the current system of governance in this country has become.

  14. JClarkATL says:

    I’m old enough to remember the government’s anti-trust case against IBM back in the 1970’s. It lasted seven years and generated over 30,000,000 pages of documents, some of which were delivered by IBM in packed railroad cars. Some cases just take more time than others. Lots more.

    • Ravenclaw says:

      You’re right, of course, but I can’t help thinking that in that case, just waiting another decade would have rendered the case moot. IBM the giant computer company that nobody can compete with – and Apple the plucky little maker of school machines…

      • grennan says:

        Oddly, IBM was computing for the people. Every single software update, patch, utility, manual, service manual, hardware diagram and much more for every machine, and I mean every machine, back decades was freely available on its site, no registration or proof of ownership required.

        Got an Apple ][ while Carter was still president and many since but IBM has treated users known and unknown much better.

  15. William Bennett says:

    FWIW (maybe not much) but as I think about the Trump prosecution question and the exceedingly long timeline thereof, not to mention imponderables like what happens to that process if /when he declares candidacy for 2024 while it’s still ongoing, I am interested in this other possibility, which is that I believe Congress can declare him (or anyone) ineligible to run for public office, not contingent on an actual conviction. There’s certainly enough evidence in the public hearings to justify such a move, whether or not it’s enough to take into a court of law. Might even get some R’s to go along with it, given that a lot of leadership ones seem to be trending toward “Let’s just keep the Trumpism and lose Trump.” Clear the field for DeSantos, for one thing.

  16. I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

    With all of the puns on this thread I may change my posting name to Rico Ricardi.

  17. Cosmo Le Cat says:

    Sorry Mr. Ricardo, but bmaz does not allow the word RICO to be uttered on this site.

  18. harpie says:

    Information from HUTCHINSON Hearing

    January 6th Committee Sixth Public Hearing

    XX/XX/19 – 3/30/20 HUTCHINSON works in WH Legislative Affairs Office
    3/31/20 – 1/21/21 HUTCHINSON is principle aide to new TRUMP CoS MEADOWS

    12/1/20 TRUMP throws food and dishes at the television when he hears BARR telling AP that DOJ had not found evidence of widespread election fraud sufficient to change the outcome of the election.

    12/XX/20 DNI [and former member of Congress] RATCLIFFE tells HUTCHINSON that he was hoping TRUMP would concede; he felt TRUMP’s post election fight “could spiral out of control and potentially be dangerous, either for our democracy or the way that things were going for the 6th.”

    1/2/21 [Evening] MEADOWS meets at the WH with GIULIANI and OTHERS. Afterwards, GIULIANI mentions 1/6/21 plans to HUTCHINSON; HUTCHINSON discusses with MEADOWS:

    – GIULIANI to H: [something to the effect of] Cass, are you excited for the 6th? It’s going to be a great day. [] we’re going to the Capitol. It’s going to be great. The President’s going to be there. He’s going to look powerful. He’s — he’s going to be with the members. He’s going to be with the Senators. Talk to the chief about it, talk to the chief about it. He knows about it.

    – H to M: I just had an interesting conversation with Rudy, Mark. It sounds like we’re going to go to the Capitol. [< M: [something to the effect of] there’s a lot going on, Cass, but I don’t know. Things might get real, real bad on January 6th.]

    – HUTCHINSON: I recall hearing the word Oath Keeper and hearing the word Proud Boys closer to the planning of the January 6th rally when Mr. Giuliani would be around.

    1/3/21 Capitol Police issue a special event assessment: unlike previous post-election protests, the targets of the pro-Trump supporters are not necessarily the counter-protesters as they were previously, but rather Congress itself is the target on the 6th.

    1/3/21 CIPOLLONE / HUTCHINSON discuss MEADOWS’ planning to go to Capitol.
    CIPOLLONE urges HUTCHINSON to continue to relay to MEADOWS that [per HUTCHINSON] “This would be a legally a terrible idea for us. We’re — we have serious legal concerns if we go up to the Capitol that day.” [] “it’s my understanding that Mr. Cipollone thought that Mr. Meadows was indeed pushing this, along with the president.”

    1/4/21 DOJ National Security Division to DONOGHUE, Email

    “occupy federal buildings” [] “invading the capitol building”

    DONOGHUE: “And we knew that if you have tens of thousands of very obsessive people showing up in Washington DC that there was potential for violence.”

    1/4/21[?] USSS Intelligence Division Email & Attachment

    – Trump’s MAGA rally stop the steal “Patriots must show up in D.C. on Jan 6th to protest the elction fraud [] We must occupy every federal building, park, monument, & open space.”
    – Fight for Trump // “…We need to flood the Capitol Building and show America, and the senators and representatives inside voting that we won’t stand for election fraud!”

    1/4/21 HUTCHINSON receives call from NSA O’BRIEN who wants to talk to MEADOWS about “words of violence that he was hearing”. She directs him to ORNATO who had already spoken to MEADOWS about that topic. O’BRIEN spoke with ORNATO but it’s UNKOWN whether he spoke to MEADOWS.

    1/5/21 [night] TRUMP instructs MEADOWS to contact STONE and FLYNN re: “what would play out the next day.” MEADOWS contacts both STONE and FLYNN at the WILLARD War Room. MEADOWS had wanted to go there to meet with GIULIANI and his associates, but called in instead.

    1/5/21 [evening/night] After the Stop the Steal Rally at Freedom Plaza, DC Police make several arrests for possession of firearms or ammunition.

    • harpie says:


      8:00 AM Hour January 6 USSS Intelligence Report [8 AM hour]

      “Per CSD, there are approximately 10, 000 plus in line waiting to go through the Main Magnetometers for the POTUS Ellipse Site at UD Post 215 on Constitution Ave. Some members of the crowd are wearing ballistic helmets, body armor, and carrying radio equipment and military grade backpacks…”

      10:00 AM -10:15 AM ORNATO alerts MEADOWS and HUTCHINSON re: reports of weapons found at magnetometers for RALLY. MEADOWS is on his phone, distracted; MEADOWS asks if ORNATO had informed TRUMP, and he says he had.

      XX:XX AM CIPOLLONE and HERSHMANN tell MEADOWS [HUTCHINSON] about their legal concerns with “rhetoric” that’s being discussed for TRUMP’s speech
      TRUMP had requested something along the lines of “fight for Trump. We’re going to march to the Capitol. I’ll be there with you. Fight for me. Fight for what we’re doing. Fight for the movement. Things about the Vice President at the time too.”

      11:00 AM Hour: January 6 USSS Intelligence Report [11 AM hour]

      “Per USSS/JOC, MPDC is responding to the area of 15th & Constitution for a report of a man with a rifle.”

      11:30 AM [approx] CIPOLLONE speaks with HUTCHINSON re TRUMP going to the Capitol: “please make sure we don’t go up to the Capitol, Cassidy. Keep in touch with me. We’re going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen.”
      [potentially 1 ] obstructing justice or 2] defrauding the electoral count.]

      11:55 AM [approx] ; [2 to 3 minutes before TRUMP got on stage] [In tent at Rally]

      H to ORNATO: But the crowd looks good from this vantage point. As long as we get the shot. He was effing furious.

      Ornato to H: He doesn’t get it that the people on the monument side don’t want to come in. They can see from there and don’t have to go through mags.]

      TRUMP [per HUTCHINSON]: [Something to the effect of] take the effing mags away. They’re not here to hurt me. Let them in. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol after the rallies [rally’s] are over. They can march from — they can march from the ellipse. Take the effing mags away. Then they can march to the Capitol.

      [something to the effect of] I don’t effing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take that effing mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here. Let the people in. Take the effing mags away

      12:15 PM [approx] In Rally speech, TRUMP says he’s going to the CAPITOL

      – SS scrambles to make an OTR movement happen: NSA Chat: “12:29 PM MOGUL’s going to the Capitol…they are clearing a route now.”
      – MCCARTHY calls ORNATO
      – MCCARTHY calls HUTCHINSON: the president just said he’s marching to the Capitol. You told me this whole week [since about 12/30/20?] you aren’t coming up here. Why would you lie to me? [] he just said it on stage, Cassidy. Figure it out. Don’t come up here.
      – HUTCHINSON confirms with ORNATO they will NOT go; tells MCCARTHY

      Between approx 11:45 AM to 1:14 PM [At the ELLIPSE] [TRUMP spoke between 11:57 AM and 1:10 PM]

      – HUTCHINSON has two or three conversations with ORNATO and overhears conversations between other security people and the notifications they were getting on their radios. ORNATO urges HUTCHINSON to tell MEADOWS that “they’re getting close to the Capitol.” [] “they’re having trouble stacking bodies.”
      – HUTCHINSON is not able to relay that message for about 20 to 25 minutes while MEADOWS is secretively talking on his cellphone in a control car.
      – When HUTCHINSON is finally able to relay the “backlog of information”, she observes: “He almost had a lack of reaction. I remember him saying Alright, something to the effect of how much longer does the President have left in this speech.”

    • harpie says:

      1:14 PM – 1:20 PM [approx] TRUMP in transit to Oval Office

      1:20 PM [approx] ORNATO tells HUTCHINSON about incident in TRUMP’s car; ENGEL is there.

      [Soon after] 1:20 PM MCENANY re: TRUMP:

      MCENANY: So, to the best of my recollection, I believe when we got back to the White House [TRUMP] said he wanted to physically walk with the marchers. And according to my notes, he then said, he’d be fine just riding in the Beast, but — so that’s my recollection. He wanted to be a part of the March in some fashion.

      2:00 -2:05 PM HUTCHINSON / MEADOWS conversation

      [per HUTCHINSON]:
      H: The rioters are getting really close. Have you talked to the President?
      M: [still looking at his phone]: No, he wants to be alone right now
      H: Mark, do you know where Jim’s at right now?
      M: Jim?
      H: He was on the floor a little while ago giving a floor speech. Did you listen? [JORDAN spoke at about 1:35 PM]
      M: Yeah, it was real good. Did you like it?
      H: Yeah. Do you know where he’s at right now?
      M: No, I haven’t heard from him.
      H: You might want to check in with him, Mark, [pointing at the TV] the rioters are getting close. They might get in.
      M: [looking at H, said something to the effect of] Alright, I’ll give him a call.

      2:15 PM [Approx] CIPOLLONE confronts MEADOWS; they go to TRUMP

      [per HUTCHINSON]:
      C: The rioters have gotten to the Capitol, Mark. We need to go down and see the President now.
      M: [looking up from phone] He doesn’t want to do anything, Pat.
      C: [“something to the effect of”] Mark, something needs to be done or people are going to die and the blood is going to be on your f’ing hands. This is getting out of control. I’m going down there.
      M: [gets up and gives both of his phones to H] Let me know if Jim calls.
      [CIPOLLONE and MEADOWS go to see TRUMP in private dining room]

      2:24 PM TRUMP tweets:

      Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!
      [Twitter: This claim about election fraud is disputed]

      2:15 -2:25 PM JORDAN calls MEADOWS back. HUTCHINSON hands phone to MEADOWS in dining room. MEADOWS, in doorway of dining room, speaks briefly with JORDAN

      HUTCHINSON hears “conversations in the Oval Dining Room “talking about the hang Mike Pence chants.” HUTCHINSON returns to her desk “couple of minutes later”.

      MEADOWS, CIPOLLONE and [probably] HERSCHMANN come out of the dining room.

      [per HUTCHINSON]:
      C: [“something to the effect of”] Mark, we need to do something more. They’re literally calling for the vice president to be f’ing hung.
      M: [“something to the effect of”] You heard him, Pat. He thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn’t think [“the rioters”] they’re doing anything wrong.
      C: This is f’ing crazy, we need to be doing something more.
      CIPOLLONE and MEADOWS go briefly into MEADOWS’ office.

      2:32 PM INGRAHAM to MEADOWS: hey, Mark, the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. In the next message, this is hurting all of us. [] he’s destroying his legacy and playing into every stereotype. We lose all credibility against the BLM/Antifa crowd if things go south.

      2:53 PM JUNIOR DON to MEADOWS he’s got to condemn this shit ASAP. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough.

      3:00 PM [approx] MEADOWS is in meeting with HIRSCHMANN and possibly PHILBIN. They rush out of the office and MEADOWS “dictates a statement for the president to potentially put out”. HUTCHINSON writes:


      Later that afternoon, MEADOWS returns from the dining room, handed the note card back to HUTCHINSON. The word “illegal” was crossed out. The statement was never issued.

      X:XX PM MCCARTHY to Norah O’DONNELL: I completely condemn the violence in the Capitol. What we’re currently watching unfold is un- American. I am — I’m disappointed. I’m sad. This is not what our country should look like. This is not who we are. This is not the First Amendment. This has to stop and this has to stop now

      X:XX PM Mike GALLAGHER to TRUMP: Mr. President, you have got to stop this. You are the only person who can call this off. Call it off. The election is over. Call it off. This is bigger than you. It’s bigger than any member of Congress. It is about the United States of America, which is more important than any politician. Call it off. It’s over.

      3:31 PM HANNITY to MEADOWS: “Can he make a statement. I saw the tweet. Ask people to leave the [Capitol].”

      4:17 PM TRUMP tweets VIDEO.
      HUTCHINSON: “I recall him being reluctant to film the video on the 6th”

      TRUMP: I know your pain. I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election, and everyone knows it, especially the other side, but you have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order. We have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anybody hurt. It’s a very tough period of time. There’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened, where they could take it away from all of us, from me, from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home. We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home and go home at peace.

    • harpie says:

      [1/6/21 cont]

      [later that evening] HANNITY sends to MEADOWS the link to a tweet which “reported that that President Trump’s cabinet secretaries were considering invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office”

      [Yet later that evening] HANNITY speaks with TRUMP.
      [On 1/7/21 at 7:37 PM, HANNITY discusses this conversation with MCENANY]:

      HANNITY to MCENANY 1/7/21 7:37 PM [TZ?]
      1- No more stolen election talk.
      2- Yes, impeachment and 25th amendment are real, and many people will quit.
      3- He was intrigued by the Pardon idea!! (Hunter)
      4- Resistant but listened to Pence thoughts, to make it right.
      5- Seemed to like attending inauguration talk.

      1/7/21 ADVISORS to TRUMP: make VIDEO/speech: “Remarks on National Healing”;
      PHILBIN, CIPOLLONE and HERSCHMANN had agreed to the language, but TRUMP does NOT agree with the substance as drafted and resists giving a speech at all.

      HUTCHINSON: I had original drafts of the speech where, you know, there were — several lines didn’t make it in there about prosecuting the rioters or calling them violent. He didn’t want that in there. He wanted to put in there that he wanted to par — potentially pardon them. And this is just with the increased emphasis of his mindset at the time which was he didn’t think that they did anything wrong. He — the people who did something wrong that day or the person who did something wrong that day was Mike Pence by not standing with him.

      TRUMP recites the final draft with only one significant alteration:
      TRUMP does NOT say “But this election is now over.”

      HUTCHINSON: CIPOLLONE and HIRSCHMANN “instructed” TRUMP not to include the pardon language, they “didn’t think that it was a good idea to include that in the speech” [] “MEADOWS was encouraging” the PARDON language. [] GIULIANI indicated that “he was interested in receiving a Presidential pardon related to January 6th.” [] MEADOWS was also “interested in receiving a Presidential pardon related to January 6th” [] “Mr. Meadows did seek that pardon. Yes, ma’am.”

      1/7/21 [evening] HANNITY informs MCENANY of what he discussed with TRUMP in the late evening of 1/6/21 [See above]

      • WilliamOckham says:

        The 1/6 call from Hannity to Trump occurred at 11:08pm and lasted for 8 minutes (White House call logs for 1/6).

        • harpie says:

          Thanks, WO! It will be very interesting to fill in the outline from the hearing with information like this!

    • harpie says:

      There are two more comments in this series, but in moderation for now.

      [Freed now, thanks. /~Rayne]

    • harpie says:

      One more piece of information [which Marcy links to in this post [> ]:

      3/6/22 HUTCHINSON is contacted by an intermediary for MEADOWS the day before her scheduled deposition with the J6 Committee:

      “[A person] [< now known to be MEADOWS] let me know you have your deposition tomorrow.” [] “He wants me to let you know that he’s thinking about you. He knows you’re loyal, and you’re going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition.”

      HUTCHINSON had previously received multiple phone calls from TRUMP allies:

      “What they said to me is as long as I continue to be a team player, they know I’m on the right team” [] “I’m doing the right thing. I’m protecting who I need to protect, you know, I’ll continue to stay in good graces in Trump World. And they have reminded me a couple of times that Trump does read transcripts.”

      • harpie says:

        From the Politico article:

        Ben Williamson, a spokesperson for Meadows, provided the following statement to POLITICO: “No one from Meadows’ camp, himself or otherwise, has ever attempted to intimidate or shape Ms. Hutchinson’s testimony to the committee. Any phone call or message she is describing is at best deeply misleading.”

        I guess that’s the same Ben WILLIAMSON that was mentioned in the Hearing:

        CHENEY: Ms. Hutchinson, I’d like now for us to listen to a description — your description of what transpired in the West Wing during the attack. For context in this clip, you describe the time frame starting at about [2:00 PM]

        [Begin videotape]
        HUTCHINSON: So I remember Mark being alone in his office for quite some time. And, you know, I know we’ve spoken about Ben Williamson going in at one point, and I don’t personally remember Ben going in. I don’t doubt that he had gone in. But I remember him being alone in his office for most of the afternoon. [Around 2:00 PM to 2:05 PM] you know, we were watching the TV and I could see that the rioters were getting closer and closer to the Capitol. Mark still hadn’t popped out of his office or said anything about it. [see above TL for more] […]

      • harpie says:

        And this is from Hearing 3 – PENCE PRESSURE

        PETE AGUILAR: Although the President’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has refused to testify before this committee, Mr. Meadows’ aide Ben Williamson and White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Matthews testified that Mr. Meadows went to the dining room near the Oval Office to tell the President about the violence at the Capitol before the President’s 2:24 p.m. tweet.

        In future hearings you’ll hear more about exactly what was happening in the White House at that time. But here is what some White House staff told the select committee. […]

Comments are closed.