Donald Trump hosted secret meetings in the White House residence in the days ahead of the Jan. 6 insurrection, according to statements from his former press secretary to the the House select committee.
Stephanie Grisham also told House investigators that documents provided to the U.S. Secret Service would memorialize whether Trump actually intended to march himself with supporters to the Capitol after his speech at the "Stop the Steal" rally at the Ellipse, two sources told The Guardian.
The sources said Grisham, who was Melania Trump's chief of staff when she resigned on Jan. 6, 2021, was more significant than the select committee expected, saying that she gave House investigators an overview of the former president's chaotic last weeks in office and the days leading up to the Capitol riot.
Only a small number of aides knew about the off-the-books meetings in the White House residence that were mostly scheduled by former chief of staff Mark Meadows, and she also said former chief usher Timothy Harleth would permit participants to go upstairs.
READ: SCOTUS ends Trump's request to keep January 6th files sealed in 8-1 ruling
The former president tried to fire Harleth, a former top employee at the Trump International Hotel before joining the White House in 2017, after he aided Joe Biden's transition team, but Melania Trump stepped in to keep him until Inauguration Day.
Grisham said she wasn't sure who Trump met with in the White House residence, where other officials have said he conducted private business in his presidency's final days, but told House investigators that Harleth and other individuals would likely know.