Jan 6. Hearing Updates: Top Takeaways From Seventh Hearing

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Jan 6
Stephen Ayres, who pleaded guilty in June 2022 to disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, left, and Jason Van Tatenhove, an ally of Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes, right, are sworn in to testify as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022. J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

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Lofgren: Secret Service Has Lawyered Up Over Deleted Texts

A member of the House January 6 committee says the Secret Service has taken the "unusual" step of retaining private counsel over erased text messages sought by the panel.

Representative Zoe Lofgren made the revelation earlier Thursday to Nicolle Wallace, host of MSNBC's Deadline White House.

The Secret Service has come under scrutiny after Inspector General Joseph Cuffari complained to Congress that the agency told him it deleted text messages on January 5 and 6, 2021. The Secret Service has maintained the deleted texts were part of a planned reset of mobile devices.

The committee turned its attention to the Secret Service earlier after hearing from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson. She told the committee how she heard second-hand from a Secret Service official that an enraged Donald Trump sought to take control of limousine escorting him and take it to the Capitol.

Lofgren told Wallace the committee wants to hear from Secret Service agents. She also complained of just recently hearing from the inspector general about the reportedly deleted texts.

"Why didn't he tell us before now?" she said. "Why did we learn only now from the Secret Service and the inspector general about this?"

Top Takeaways From Seventh Hearing

The House Jan. 6 Committee wrapped up its seventh public hearing on Tuesday afternoon. The hearing presented witness testimony from Jason Van Tatenhove, a former spokesperson for the Oath Keepers who has since distanced himself from the far-right group, and Stephen Ayres, a January 6 Capitol rioter.

The hearing also featured video clips of former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone for the first time. Cipollone sat with committee members behind closed doors last week for questioning.

Excerpts from Cipollone's testimony appeared quickly once the hearing was underway, with additional excerpts sprinkled in throughout the proceedings. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming said additional clips from Cipollone's testimony will appear at the select committee's next public hearing.

Reps. Stephanie Murphy of Florida and Jamie Raskin of Maryland, both Democrats, led Tuesday's proceedings. Raskin outlined how Trump allegedly called upon the U.S. Department of Justice to seize voting machines in the wake of the 2020 election, and described a "contentious" mid-December meeting between White House advisers and a handful of others. At that meeting, some of Trump's allies encouraged actions that White House Counsel Eric Herschmann had previously described to the committee as "nuts."

A tweet Trump posted on December 19, 2020 about the "big protest" in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021 was intended to "mobilize a crowd," Raskin said. The committee later said the January 6 march to the Capitol Building was part of a "deliberate strategy" rather than a "spontaneous call to action."

Once sworn in, Van Tatenhove described the Oath Keepers as a "violent militia." Van Tatenhove said that, while the loss of life on January 6 was "tragic," the potential that day for the loss of life was "so much more." He later added that he fears for future election cycles in the U.S. "because who knows what that might bring."

Ayres said the events on January 6 "changed my life," and "definitely not for the better." He later apologized to U.S. Capitol Police officers who were present for the hearing once the day's proceedings were over.

In her closing statement, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming alleged Trump had after the select committee's last hearing in June "tried to call a witness in our investigation." The public has not yet heard from that witness, Cheney added.

Taylor Budowich, a spokesperson for Trump, responded to those allegations in a Tuesday afternoon tweet.

"The media has become pawns of the Unselect Committee," Budowich's tweet said. "Liz Cheney continues to traffic in innuendos and lies that go unchallenged, unconfirmed, but repeated as fact because the narrative is more important than the truth."

After Tuesday's hearing was over, some members of the select committee posted brief summations of the day's proceedings on social media.

"We saw devastating evidence against Trump and powerful testimony from witnesses Van Tatenhove and Ayres about the meaning of the Big Lie and extremist propaganda. Trump's 'American carnage' on full display," Raskin tweeted.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California outlined what the American public "learned today" in another tweet.

"On December 18, plans to seize voting machines were rejected by Trump's own WH counsel," Schiff's tweet began. "He summoned a mob to the Capitol instead. He knew they were angry. And he knew they were dangerous. It's not that he didn't care. It was part of the plan."

Former Twitter Employee Was Worried About Jan. 6

There were "serious concerns" among some employees at Twitter about the potential for violence on January 6, 2021, according to the House Jan. 6 Committee.

The select committee shared excerpts from witness testimony given by one of the social media platform's former employees, whose name was not released and whose voice was distorted in the clips shared publicly. The committee later shared some of that unidentified person's testimony in an audio clip on Twitter.

When asked what their "gut feeling" the night before January 6 was, the former employee said they sent a Slack message that said, 'When people are shooting each other tomorrow, I will try and rest in the knowledge that we tried."

The former employee described being "on pins and needles" as January 6 approached. They said they had "for months" urged action on what they described as "the reality that if nothing, if we made no intervention into what I saw occurring, people were going to die."

One committee investigator clarified that the former employee was referring to content "echoing statements by the former president, but also Proud Boys and other known violent extremist groups," which the unnamed person confirmed.

"We were at the whims and the mercy of a violent crowd that was locked and loaded," the former employee said.

Trump Was 'Asking for Civil War,' Parscale Said

The House Jan. 6 Committee shared a series of text messages exchanged between Brad Parscale and Katrina Pierson on January 6, 2021 during Tuesday's public hearing.

The exchange shared by the select committee started with a message from Parscale, the former campaign manager for former President Donald Trump, that he sent after 7 p.m. on January 6.

"This is about trump pushing for uncertainty in our country," Parscale's tweet said. He sent another message that read, "A sitting president asking for civil war."

Parscale then sent a third text that said, "This week I feel guilty for helping him win" before he received a response from Pierson, a spokesperson for Trump's 2016 campaign who had helped plan the January 6 rally at the Ellipse.

"You did what you felt right at the time and therefore it was right," she texted.

"Yeah. But a woman is dead," Parscale responded. He later pointed to the rhetoric Trump had used earlier in the day, writing, "If I was trump and knew my rhetoric killed someone." When Pierson pushed back on the idea that the rhetoric was to blame, Parscale responded by writing, "Katrina. Yes it was."

Stephen Ayres Apologizes to Capitol Police

Stephen Ayres was seen greeting a handful of U.S. Capitol Police officers after the House Jan. 6 Committee's public hearing on Tuesday.

Ayres, who was among the rioters on January 6, 2021, was one of two witnesses called to testify before the select committee on Tuesday. Ayres described the lasting impacts of his participation on his life, including the sale of his house and the loss of his job.

"It changed my life—not for the good, definitely not for the better," Ayres said.

Once the hearing was over, reporters in the room shared photos of Ayres greeting and shaking hands with the officers who had also attended.

"I'm really sorry," Ayres told Officer Harry Dunn, according to NBC News' Julie Tsirkin.

Ayres was also seen embracing Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, who earlier this week published a guest essay with The New York Times about his experiences watching the hearings unfold. In that essay, Gonell revealed that his doctors recommended last month that he no longer work as an officer due to permanent injuries sustained on January 6, a prognosis Rep. Jamie Raskin referenced during the hearing.

Stephen Ayres with Aquilino Gonell
Stephen Ayres (L) talks to U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell (R) at the conclusion of a House Jan. 6 Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on July 12, 2022, in Washington, D.C. OLIVER CONTRERAS/AFP via Getty Images

Next Hearing to Focus on Trump Activity Amid Riot

Representative Jamie Raskin said the next Jan. 6 hearing will be "a profound moment of reckoning" for the country.

Next week, the Committee will return to the events of January 6, 2021, "minute by minute," Vice Chair Liz Cheney said.

The hearing will cover how Donald Trump and his legal team, led by Rudy Giuliani, were working on Jan. 6 to delay or stop the counting of electoral votes.

She said the hearing will touch on what Trump did, and didn't do, while the rioters entered the Capitol.

"For multiple hours, Donald Trump refused to intervene to stop it," she said. "He would not instruct the mob to leave or condemn the violence. He would not order them to evacuate the Capitol and disperse."

She added that the hearing will show how Trump never picked up the phone to order his administration to help. He did not call the Defense Secretary, the military or the Attorney General. Vice President Mike Pence did those things, she said, not Trump.

She added that the Committee will share more from former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone's private testimony.

Cheney also shared another instance of attempted witness tampering after the last hearing.

"President Trump tried to call a witness in our investigation, a witness you have not yet seen in these hearings," she said.

That person declined to answer his call and instead alerted their lawyer. Cheney said the Committee supplied that information to the Department of Justice.

"Let me say one more time, we will take any effort to influence witness testimony very seriously," she said.

Jan. 6 Had 'So Much More' Potential for Loss of Life

The potential for loss of life on January 6, 2021 was "so much more" than what actually occurred, Jason Van Tatenhove told the House Jan. 6 Committee on Tuesday.

Van Tatenhove, one of two witnesses who appeared for the select committee's seventh public hearing, told committee members that he feared for the next election cycle. Van Tatenhove was introduced to the committee as an artist and journalist with former ties to the Oath Keepers, a far-right extremist group that had a presence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

Van Tatenhove said he believes the U.S. has "gotten exceedingly lucky" that the country has not seen more bloodshed.

"We got very lucky that the loss of life was, as tragic as it is that we saw on January 6, the potential was so much more," Van Tatenhove said. He referenced the "iconic images" of the day, specifically pointing to the gallows that were allegedly intended for former Vice President Mike Pence.

"I do fear for this next election cycle, because who knows what that might bring," Van Tatenhove said. "A President that's willing to try to instill and encourage, whip up a civil war amongst his followers using lies and deceit and snake oil, and regardless of the human impact—what else is he going to do if he gets elected again? All bets are off at that point. And that's a scary notion," he said.

Jason Van Tatenhove committee hearing
Former Oath Keepers spokesperson Jason Van Tatenhove testifies before a full committee hearing on "the January 6th Investigation," on Capitol Hill on July 12, 2022, in Washington, D.C. SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Witness Says Trump Got Crowd 'Riled Up'

Stephen Ayres said he did not plan to enter the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. He told the Committee that he only planned to attend Donald Trump's "Stop the Steal" rally.

Ayres decided to march to the Capitol after hearing Trump speak.

"The President got everyone riled up," he testified Tuesday. "He told them to head down [to the Capitol]. We just basically followed what he said."

Ayres said he was angry even before the speech, as Trump repeated claims he tweeted out before.

"I was already worked up," he said. "So were others."

At that time, Ayres did believe the 2020 Presidential election was stolen. He hoped Vice President Mike Pence would refuse to certify the election.

"I was hearing about a big reveal," he said. "I thought that was it. That hope was there."

Ayres also thought that Trump was going to march to the Capitol with the crowd.

"Everyone thought he was coming down," he said. "He said in his speech that he was coming there with us."

Ayres ended up illegally entering the U.S. Capitol. He only left when Trump put out a tweet calling on his supporter to go home.

If Trump had sent that tweet out earlier, "we wouldn't be in this bad of a situation," Ayres told the Committee.

Stephen Ayres
Stephen Ayres, who has pleaded guilty to entering the Capitol illegally on January 6, testifies before a full committee hearing on "the January 6th Investigation," on Capitol Hill on July 12, 2022, in Washington, DC. SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Witness Calls Oath Keepers a 'Violent Militia'

The Committee is now hearing from two witnesses; a former Oath Keeper spokesman and someone who pled guilty to illegally entering the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Jason Van Tatenhove spoke about the Oath Keepers, calling the group a "violent militia" lead by Stewart Rhodes.

"They might not like to call themselves a militia, but they are," he said. "They are a violent militia."

The storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6 was the "best illustration" of who the group is, Van Tatenhove said. He said they were in a military formation as they ascended the steps of the Capitol.

He also called the Oath Keepers a "dangerous organization." The Oath Keepers do not necessarily believe in the rule of law, Van Tatenhove added. He said their vision for American include violence and intimidation.

They also rely on lies, rhetoric and propaganda. Van Tatenhove said the group swept up those who did not know better.

"I got swept up too," he told the Committee.

Witnesses Enter Capitol
Stephen Ayres (L), who entered the U.S. Capitol illegally on January 6, 2021, and Jason Van Tatenhove (R), who served as national spokesman for the Oath Keepers and as a close aide to Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, are sworn-in during the seventh hearing by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building on July 12, 2022, in Washington, DC. Kevin Dietsch//Getty Images

Stephen Ayres, a former Trump supporter, said he was "nothing by a family man and a working man" before Jan. 6.

He said he followed Trump on all social media platforms and believed the 2020 presidential election was stolen. He went to D.C. to be part of Trump's "Stop the Steal" rally.

"I felt that I needed to be down here," he said.

Ayres said he was "very upset" when Trump said the election was stolen, which drove him to go down to D.C.

He does no longer believes the election is stolen. He deleted his social media accounts after Jan. 6 and did his own research.

Now, he said there is "no way" something as big as systematic election fraud could be kept quiet. Ayres added that the lawsuits that struck down Trump's claims are what mainly convinced him that Trump was lying.

He said it "definitely" makes a difference knowing that Trump did not have evidence of election fraud.

"I might not have come down here" to D.C. on Jan. 6, Ayres said.

March to Capitol Was 'Deliberate Strategy'

Former President Donald Trump's "own documents suggest" he "had decided to call on his supporters to go to the Capitol on January 6, but that he chose not to widely announce it until his speech on the Ellipse that morning," Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida said during Tuesday's House Jan. 6 Committee hearing.

A draft tweet that was stamped to indicate Trump had reviewed it read, "I will be making a big speech at 10 a.m. on January 6 at the Ellipse south of the White House. Please arrive early, massive crowds expected. March to the Capitol after. Stop the steal," Murphy said.

She noted that, while the drafted tweet was never posted, rally organizers "were discussing and preparing for the march to the Capitol in the days leading up to January 6."

Murphy cited additional examples before concluding, "the evidence confirms that this was not a spontaneous call to action, but rather was a deliberate strategy decided upon in advance by the President."

Additionally, Murphy said "another part" of Trump's "strategy" included collaborations with Republican members of Congress. These collaborations included a December 21, 2020 meeting at the White House with several Republican members of Congress, Murphy said.

Proud Boys, Oath Keepers Organized Online

After a short break, Representative Jamie Raskin outlined the how Donald Trump's tweet on December 19, 2020 drove a crowd of angry supporters to Washington D.C. on Jan. 6.

Donnell Harvin, the former Chief of Homeland Security and Intelligence for the D.C. government, said he knew "violent" people were organizing to come to D.C.

"Non-aligned groups were aligning," he told the Committee in a previously recorded testimony. He said "all the red flags went up at that point."

White supremacy groups, militias and online conspiracy groups united online with a common goal, Harvin said, calling it a "blended ideology."

These groups were organizing across multiple platforms about what to wear and where to meet.

He said it was "clearly alarming."

Raskin said Trump's tweets inspired leaders of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers to work with Trump allies, like Michael Flynn and Roger Stone. Trump pardoned both of these men after Jan. 6.

The Committee showed images of Flynn and Stone with now-indicted members of the Oath Keepers. Some of these members plead guilty to conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. government.

Raskin said the Committee obtained encrypted messages of these groups making tactical and strategic plans for D.C., including sharing maps of the locations of police.

There were also encrypted messages between Stone and Oath Keeper leaders. He said more evidence of these communications and organizing will come in later hearings.

Oath Keepers
An image of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn (dark glasses) and members of the Oath Keepers is shown on a screen before a full committee hearing on "the January 6th Investigation," on Capitol Hill on July 12, 2022, in Washington, DC. - The House committee probing the 2021 assault on the US Capitol is examining connections between associates of former US President Donald Trump and far right-wing extremist groups at its seventh hearing on Tuesday. DOUG MILLS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Trump's Dec. 19 Tweet Aimed to 'Mobilize a Crowd'

Former President Donald Trump's tweet on December 19, 2020, alerting his followers to a "big protest" in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021 was intended to "mobilize a crowd," Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland said on Tuesday.

Raskin, who is co-leading Tuesday's House Jan. 6 Committee's public hearing, explored how he said people online responded to Trump's tweet, which the former President posted at 1:42 a.m. on that day in mid-December.

Trump's tweet referred to a report alleging evidence of widespread voter fraud and said it was "statistically impossible" for him to have lost the 2020 Presidential election.

While White House attorneys were at that time encouraging Trump to "swallow hard and accept the reality of his loss," Trump "instead issued a tweet that would galvanize his followers, unleash a political firestorm and change the course of our history as a country," Raskin said.

"Trump's purpose was to mobilize a crowd," Raskin continued. "And how do you mobilize a crowd in 2020? With millions of followers on Twitter, President Trump knew exactly how to do it."

Raskin described Trump's tweet as containing an "explosive invitation." Shortly after the tweet was posted, one group known as Women for America First changed their application to hold a rally in Washington, D.C. in late January, requesting that their rally instead be held on January 6, 2021.

"Meanwhile, other key Trump supporters, including far-right media personalities, began promoting the 'wild' protest on January 6," Raskin said. The select committee then played clips from far-right radio show host Alex Jones and pro-Trump YouTube personalities discussing the January 6 event and encouraging people to attend.

Trump's tweet "reverberated powerfully and pervasively online," Raskin said. Some of the discussions about the anticipated event that took place online before January 6 "turned openly homicidal and white nationalist," the congressman added.

The committee played additional media clips, excerpts from witness testimony, and displayed messages onscreen that Raskin said demonstrated examples of the online response to Trump's tweet on December 19, 2020.

Raskin concluded his remarks by saying that, as Trump's supporters "grew more aggressive online," the former President "continued to rile up his base on Twitter" by alleging there was "overwhelming evidence that the election was the biggest scam in our nation's history."

"As you can see, the president continued to boost the event, tweeting about it more than a dozen times in the lead-up to January the sixth," Raskin said.

White House Attorneys Clashed with Flynn, Powell

Not even a "complete lack of evidence" could stop Donald Trump, Mark Meadows and their allies from trying to overturn a free and fair election, Representative Jamie Raskin said during the hearing.

He described a meeting on December 18, 2020 with Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell and former Overstock.com CEO Patrick Bryne as "contentious" and "hot-blooded."

During this meeting, those guests clashed with White House advisers and questioned their loyalty to Trump.

When White House Counsel Pat Cipollone heard about this meeting, he rushed into the room.

"First of all, the Overstock person, I didn't even know who this guy was," Cipollone told the Committee. He said those people were not providing Donald Trump will good advice.

White House Counsel Eric Herschmann said Flynn and Powell were spewing unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about foreign interference and hacked Nest thermostats. He also pushed back on Powell's claims that all of the judges who ruled against Trump were corrupt.

"I think it got to the point where the screaming was completely, completely out there," Herschmann said. "What they were proposing, I thought, was nuts."

Cipollone said he and Herschmann pushed back.

"We're asking one simple question as a general matter: Where is the evidence?" he said.

Powell could not provide any solid evidence, she only grew defensive that Cipollone questioned her.

Former staff secretary Derek Lyons said it was "not a casual meeting" and included "shouting" and "insults." Raskin said there were even challenges to physically fight.

Sidney Powell said she thought Trump should have fired his White House lawyers and escort out of the building.

Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giualiani told the Committee that he thought the White House attorneys were "not tough enough" and called them "a bunch of p***ies."

Trump Asked Justice Department to Seize Voting Machines

Representative Jamie Raskin outlined Donald Trump's plan to seize voting machines after the 2020 Presidential election.

Trump claimed that the voting machines had been manipulated against him. Former Attorney General Bill Barr said during a testimony to the Committee that he told Trump those claims were "complete nonsense."

Barr said there was zero basis to those claims and that they were used to influence the public into believing there was systematic corruption.

Former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone told the Committee that he agreed with Barr.

Cipollone Testimony
A video of Pat Cipollone, former White House counsel, is shown on a screen during the seventh hearing held by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol on July 12, 2022 in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC. Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Despite the rejection of claims from his counsel and Attorney General, Trump asked Barr to have the Justice Department seize voting machines.

Barr said there was no probably cause and that he would not do that.

After a meeting on December 18 with attorney Sidney Powell and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, there was a draft executive order directing the Defense Secretary to seize voting machines and establishing a special council to seize the machines immediately. Powell would lead that council.

Cipollone said he "vehemently opposed" the appointment of Powell. He told the Committee that there was no evidence to support seizing machines and that the federal government had no legal authority to do so.

"That's not how we do things in the U.S.," Cipollone said. "There's no legal authority to do that."

He added that seizing voting machines was a "terrible idea."

First Excerpts from Pat Cipollone Testimony Appear

The House Jan. 6 Committee shared the first excerpts from former White House lawyer Pat Cipollone's testimony during Tuesday's public hearing.

Cipollone said in one video clip the select committee played that "some of those decisions can be political" but added, "if your question is, did I believe he should concede the election at a point in time? Yes, I did."

Cipollone, who was the top lawyer for former President Donald Trump's administration, testified before the committee behind closed doors last week.

Clips from Cipollone's testimony will appear during Tuesday's hearing and during the select committee's next public hearing, Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida said during her opening statement.

While speaking with the committee last week, Cipollone "told us that he agreed with the testimony that there was no evidence of fraud sufficient to overturn the election," Murphy said.

Cipollone "also specifically testified" that he thought Trump should have conceded the 2020 presidential election, Murphy said.

Trump 'Deceived' Millions, Cheney Says

Committee Chair Bennie Thompson began his opening statement by noting the importance of elections.

"We settle our differences at the ballot box," he said. "Sometimes my choice prevails, sometimes your does."

He said we must accept the election results. The losing side can do many things to peacefully ensure their side wins next time. But they cannot turn to violence, force or intimidation, Thompson said.

When Donald Trump lost, Thompson said any American leader would have said "we did our best and we came up short."

But Trump supporters were already convinced the election was stolen after the vote was certified on December 14, he said, because the former President had been telling them so.

Today, the Committee will explain Donald Trump's last ditch effort to cling to power by summoning a mob to Washington D.C.

Cheney Hearing
US Representative Liz Cheney speaks at the opening of a hearing on "the January 6th Investigation," on Capitol Hill on July 12, 2022, in Washington, DC. SAUL LOEB//AFP via Getty Images

Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney said today's hearing will focus on the time period between the finalization of the election results on December 14 and the events of January 6.

She said some clips from former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone's private testimony will be shared today. Cheney said his deposition met the Committee's expectations.

Trump's stolen election lies stoked the already angry mob to enter the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, Cheney said.

She said the Committee will also hear from a man who joined the mob because of Trump's claims.

"No rational or sane man in his position could disregard that information and reach the opposite conclusion," Cheney said of Trump. "He deceived them."

Trump's team has changed their defense strategy since the hearings began. His team has now shifted the blame to advisers outside of his administration, saying Trump was incapable of knowing right from wrong.

"President Trump is a 76-year-old man. He is not an impressionable child," Cheney said. "Just like everyone else in our country, he is responsible for his own actions and his own choices."

Hearing Now Underway

The House Jan. 6 Committee's seventh public hearing is now underway.

Reps. Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Stephanie Murphy of Florida, both Democrats, are leading Tuesday's hearing.

In a tweet previewing the hearing, the select committee said former President Donald Trump "relentlessly worked to remain in power despite losing the election."

"In today's hearing, the Select Committee will focus on events that took place in the final weeks leading up to January 6th" the tweet said.

WATCH: Hearing to Begin Soon

The seventh hearing from the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot will begin soon.

The Committee has not released the names of the witnesses, but members of right-wing groups like the Oath Keeper and Proud Boys, are expected to testify. Excerpts from former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone's private testimony are also expected to be shared today.

Democratic Representatives Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Stephanie Murphy of Florida will lead the questioning at today's hearing.

The hearing is set to begin at 1 p.m. ET.

It will stream live on major cable and network news channels, C-SPAN and the Committee's website.

Trump Calls Committee Members 'Lunatics'

Former President Donald Trump took to Truth Social on Tuesday morning to speak out against the House Jan. 6 Committee ahead of its afternoon hearing.

In his first of two posts, Trump suggested the Committee launched "solely for the purpose of bringing down my 'numbers'" and said it is "relying" on "largely debunked" stories that he described as "fake and made up." He credited former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who answered questions during one of the Committee's public hearings last month, as sharing some of those "fake" stories and called her a "female scam artist."

In a second Truth Social post, Trump called the committee "the Unselect Committee of Political Hacks and Thugs." He said the Committee was comprised of "essentially the same lunatics that drove the country 'crazy' with their lies and made up stories, like RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA," seeming to point at previous allegations concerning his ties with Russia.

As part of the Jan. 6 Committee, those individuals are "just going with this HOAX," which Trump went on to compare with Hutchinson's earlier testimony that Trump had allegedly tried to attack a member of his security team on January 6 while inside a vehicle known as "the beast." Trump has denied these allegations and did so again in his Truth Social post, writing, "I wasn't even in the beast."

Half of Americans Want Trump Prosecuted, Poll

Half of Americans said they believe former President Donald Trump's alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election were criminal and that he should be prosecuted for those crimes, according to polling results released on Tuesday by Morning Consult and Politico.

When asked specifically if respondents believe the former President's alleged attempt to overturn the election results qualified as a crime that he should be prosecuted for, 50 percent of respondents said yes. Another 6 percent said they believe his efforts qualify as a crime but do not believe he should be prosecuted for that alleged crime and 35 percent of respondents said they do not believe his alleged activity was criminal.

A majority of the respondents—59 percent—told pollsters they believe Trump was "very responsible" or "somewhat responsible" for the events leading up to the riot at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021. The same percentage of respondents also said they believe Trump "definitely" or "probably" misled the country about the outcome of the 2020 election before the riot occurred.

About three in 10 Republican respondents told pollsters they believe Trump is "at least somewhat responsible" for the events preceding January 6, according to Morning Consult's analysis of the polling results. When asked if they believe Trump should run for president in 2024, 66 percent of Republican respondents said yes.

Key Moments from Cassidy Hutchinson's Testimony

Today's hearing from the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot is the first since late June.

The last hearing on June 28 featured testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, the aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

These are the key moments from her testimony:

Hutchinson Was 'Scared' About Jan. 6 Plans

Hutchinson said she was "scared" about the White House's plans for Jan. 6.

After a meeting on Jan. 2 between Mark Meadows and Rudy Giuliani, Giuliani told Hutchinson that the 6th was "going to be a great day," she testified.

"We're going to the Capitol, it's going to be great," Giuliani told her, adding that then-President Donald Trump was going to be there with members of Congress and is going to "look powerful."

Meadows later told her that "things might get real, real bad on January 6."

"That evening was the first moment that I remember feeling scared and nervous for what could happen on January 6," she told the Committee.

Trump Was Aware Attendees Had Weapons

Hutchinson said the White House was aware that members of the right-wing extremists groups the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers would attend Trump's rally on Jan. 6.

"I remember hearing the word Oath Keeper and Proud Boys closer to the planning of the January 6 rally when [Rudy] Giuliani would be around," Hutchinson said.

Metro and Capitol Police reported that people at the rally had a slew of weapons, including firearms. She said Meadows and Trump were not concerned that these people were coming through magnetometers with weapons.

Hutchinson said she overheard the President asking to "let my people in" as they "march to the Capitol after the rally is over." Trump wanted attendees inside the official rally space and encouraged them to walk to the Capitol.

He also wanted secret service to remove the magnetometers.

Hutchinson testified that Trump said, "I don't f'in care that they have weapons. They're not here to hurt me. Take the f'ing mags away... then they can march to the Capitol."

Trump Involved in Physical Altercation in Limo

Former President Donald Trump was involved in a physical altercation in the Presidential limo after he learned he would not be taken to the Capitol Building on January 6, Hutchinson testified.

Trump was "irate" to learn he was being taken to the White House instead of the Capitol, after he gave his speech.

Tony Ornato, the assistant director of the U.S. Secret Service Office of Training, told Hutchinson that Trump "said something to the effect of, 'I'm the effing President. Take me up to the Capitol now,'"

When Trump's security detail refused, Trump allegedly "reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel," Hutchinson said.

Trump then "used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel," the head of Trump security detail.

White House Lawyer Warned Against Trump Capitol Visit

Former White House Counsel warned Trump about the legal consequences of going to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

"Mr. Cipollone said something to the effect of, 'please make sure we don't go up to the Capitol. We're going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that visit happen'," she said.

Hutchinson also said Cipollone was concerned that a visit to the Capitol on that day from Trump "would look like we were obstructing justice or obstructing the Electoral College count" and "inciting or encouraging a riot."

Cipollone urged Meadows to take action to stop people from storming the Capitol.

Hutchinson said Cipollone told Meadows that if he did not do anything, people were going to die and "blood is going to be on your hands."

When Cipollone said rioter were chanting "hang Mike Pence," Meadows said that Trump believed Pence "deserved it" and that the rioters were not doing anything wrong.

"As an American, I was disgusted," Hutchinson said about that moment. "It was unpatriotic. It was un-American. We were watching the Capitol Building get defaced over a lie."

Trump Allies Asked for Pardons

Rudy Giuliani and Mark Meadows both expressed interest in receiving Presidential pardons related to the events that unfolded on January 6, 2021, Cassidy Hutchinson testified Tuesday.

Hutchinson said Trump had wanted to include language within the statement about potentially granting Presidential pardons to the rioters.

"I understand that Mr. Meadows was encouraging that language, as well," she said.

When asked by Committee Co-Chair Liz Cheney, Hutchinson said that both Giuliani and Meadows both sought pardons from Trump.

Trump Cabinet Discussed 25th Amendment

Top officials in the Trump administration had conversations about invoking the 25th Amendment following the events of Jan. 6, Hutchinson testified.

After the Jan. 6 riot on the U.S. Capitol, there were discussions among Trump's Cabinet about "stripping the full power of the Presidency from Donald Trump," Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney said.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reached out to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to make him aware of conversations he was hearing about the 25th Amendment.

Pompeo told Meadows that, "if conversations progress, you should be ready to take action on this," adding that he was "concerned" for him and his position, Hutchinson said.

Some Witnesses Report Intimidation

During her closing statement, Cheney said the Committee received reports of witness tampering from people close to Trump.

One witness, whom Cheney did not identify, said they were told, "as long as I continue to be a team player, they know that I'm on the team, I'm doing the right thing, I'm protecting who I need to protect, you know, I'm going to stay in good graces in Trump World."

That witness added the person who had spoken with them "reminded me a couple of times that Trump does read transcripts and just to keep that in mind as I proceeded through my depositions and interviews with the committee."

Another witness told the committee they had received a phone call ahead of their testimony, during which the person on the other end of the line said, "[A person] 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."

"I think most Americans know that attempting to influence witnesses to testify untruthfully presents very serious concerns," Cheney said.

Cassidy Hutchinson Testimony
Cassidy Hutchinson, a top former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testifies during the sixth hearing held by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol on June 28, 2022 in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC. Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images

Committee to Share Parts of Pat Cipollone's Testimony

Pat Cipollone is expected to be a key player in today's Jan. 6 hearing.

Cipollone served as the White House Counsel under former President Donald Trump and was the administration's top lawyer.

Cipollone gave a closed-door deposition to the Committee on July 8. This came after Committee Vice Chair Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming specifically called on Cipollone to speak with the panel last month.

In that testimony, Cipollone corroborated the details shared by previous hearing witness Cassidy Hutchinson, an aid to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

"Cipollone has corroborated almost everything that we've learned from the prior hearings," Committee member Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland told NBC News.

He added that Cipollone did not contradict Hutchinson, even though he had the opportunity to "say whatever he wanted to say."

The Committee got "a lot of relevant information" from Cipollone, despite his claims of privilege on conservations related to legal advice he gave to Trump.

"It provides us another perspective on what was happening in the White House," Committee member Representative Stephanie Murphy said on NBC News' "Meet the Press."

According to testimony during previous hearings, Cipllone was part of the group of advisers and officials who told Trump that there was no evidence of voter fraud in the 2020 Presidential election.

Cipollone was present for key meetings with Trump and his allies to discuss strategies to overturn the election's outcome, witnesses told the Committee.

The Committee is expected to share parts of his testimony during Tuesday's hearing.

Pat Cipollone Testimony
Pat Cipollone, former President Trumps White House counsel, exits a conference room during a break in his interview at the Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. House Office Building July 8, 2022 in Washington, DC. The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot is conducting a closed-door transcribed interview with Cipollone. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

During her testimony last month, Hutchinson said Cipollone warned members of the White House staff about the legal consequences that could follow if Trump went through with his intention to go to the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021.

Cipollone warned Hutchinson not to let Trump supporters go up to the Capitol.

"We're going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that visit happen," she recalled him saying. She added that he was worried that it would look like the White House was inciting and encouraging a riot.

She said Cipollone also urged former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to do something to stop the people from entering the Capitol.

Hutchinson said Cipollone told Meadows that if he did not do anything, people were going to die and "blood is going to be on your hands."

Cipollone also told Meadows that rioters were chanting "hang Mike Pence."

Right-Wing Groups at Center of Today's Hearing

The House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot will resume hearings Tuesday.

Today's hearing will focus on far-right groups, like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, who planned to storm the Capitol and their links to former President Donald Trump's inner circle.

While the Committee did not release the names of the witnesses, former members of these extremist groups are expected to testify. This may include Jason Van Tatenhove, a former spokesperson of the Oath Keepers. He has already spoken to the Committee twice and will be asked to give a "historical overview of the Oath Keepers and violent militias."

Trump's tweets have already been examined by the Committee in previous hearings. But today, the focus will be on his tweet encouraging his supporters to attend his protest rally ahead of the certification of the 2020 Presidential election on Jan. 6.

His December 19 tweet to telling supporters to "be there" and that the rally would "be wild" were seen as an invitation for extremist groups. Trump has been accused of emboldening these groups.

Committee member Representative Jamie Raskin said Trump "called a protest against his own government" to try to "stop the counting of the electoral college votes in a presidential election he had lost."

The Committee may also share excerpts from former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone's testimony. Cipollone gave a close-door deposition to the Committee last week after Committee cochair Representative Liz Cheney called on him to testify.

Cipollone may not be the only White House officials to be mentioned in this hearing.

Former Trump adviser Roger Stone and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who were both pardoned by Trump, have links to Proud Boys and QAnon. Those ties are expected to be examined by the Committee.

Proud Boys Jan. 6
A video showing Proud Boys members appear on screen during a House Select Committee hearing to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol, in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on June 9, 2022. MANDEL NGAN//AFP via Getty Images