At the end of November, House Select Committee chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) told reporters that they hadn't yet heard from a Secret Service agent that had corroborated the testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, the aide to chief of staff Mark Meadows.
The full report on the Jan. 6 attack on Congress and the attempt to overthrow the 2020 election detailed in Chapter 6 that Hutchinson's testimony was confirmed by other White House staffers.
"On the evening of Dec. 27th," the report said, "President [Donald] Trump boosted the upcoming event on Twitter: 'See you in Washington, DC, on January 6th. Don’t miss it. Information to follow!' The Select Committee learned that this tweet came after the White House spoke with a former Trump staffer, Justin Caporale, who was asked to help produce the Ellipse rally. That same evening, the President had dinner with Donald Trump, Jr., and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, who spoke with rally organizer Caroline Wren during the meal."
According to those who testified, Wren sent Guilfoyle talking points describing her hopes for the event that “buses of people are coming in from all over the country to support you. It’s going to be huge, we are also adding in programming the night of January 5th.”
Guilfoyle’s call with Wren was then followed by several calls with senior White House staff.
A Dec. 29th text from Wren to Caporale explained that after Trump's Jan. 6 speech, there “maybe [sic] a call to action to march to the [C]apitol and make noise.”
It marks the first mention of Trump's plans to call on the rally-goers to march on the Capitol.
"On Jan 2nd, rally organizer Katrina Pierson informed Wren that President Trump’s Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, had said the President was going to 'call on everyone to march to the [C]apitol,'" the report cited. "Inside the White House, the President’s intent was well-known. Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to Meadows, recalled in her testimony that she overheard discussions to this effect toward the end of December or early January. One such discussion included an exchange between Meadows and Rudolph Giuliani that occurred on January 2nd. Hutchinson understood that President Trump wanted to have a crowd at the Capitol in connection with what was happening inside—the certification of the electoral count."
The goal, she explained was to delay the certification and then they'd be able to send the vote to state legislatures to overturn it. The questionable legal theory is now before the Supreme Court as a question about the future of elections.
"During a call with members of the House Freedom Caucus," the report continued describing the tea party members, "the idea of telling people to go to the Capitol was discussed as a way to encourage Congress to delay the electoral college certification and send it back to the States. On January 4th, [Women for America First's] Kylie Kremer informed Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow and an ally of President Trump, that 'POTUS is going to have us march there [the Supreme Court]/the Capitol' but emphasized that the plan 'stays only between us.' The 'Stop the Steal' coalition was aware of the President’s intent. On January 5th, Ali Alexander sent a text to a journalist saying: 'Ellipse then US capitol [sic]. Trump is supposed to order us to the capitol [sic] at the end of his speech but we will see.'"
Pierson then told the committee that Trump thought, "Well, I should walk with the people," but at the time she didn't take him "seriously." Advisers tried to talk him out of it, including White House Senior Advisor Max Miller, who "shot it down immediately," the report said, because there were concerns about Trump's safety. Pierson agreed, but Trump was firm. That's when he first floated the idea of 10,000 National Guardsmen deployed to protect him and his supporters from any supposed threats by leftwing counter-protesters.
Trump has said over and over again that he told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi he wanted 10,000 National Guard soldiers. He has made it seem like he warned her that there would be violence, in fact, the truth is that Trump wanted them to protect him on a march to the Capitol.
"Miller again rejected the President’s idea, saying that the National Guard was not necessary for the event," the report says. "Miller testified that there was no further conversation on the matter. After the meeting, Miller texted Pierson, 'Just glad we killed the national guard and a procession.' That is, President Trump briefly considered having the National Guard oversee his procession to the U.S. Capitol."
Only the president can order the National Guard in Washington, D.C. As former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper's deposition makes clear, there are only about 1,200 Guard soldiers in the Washington, D.C. guard, so it would require the president to call on multiple states to bring together such a number. The idea was floated in June 2020 when protests broke out in cities over the murder of George Floyd. Esper told the committee that he made it very clear to Trump the difference between active-duty soldiers and guardsmen and what it would entail calling up just 5,000 to serve in Washington, D.C. during the Black Lives Matter protests.
"Pierson’s agenda for the meeting reflected the President’s plan for protestors to go to the U.S. Capitol after the rally," the report explained. "But President Trump did not give up on the idea of personally joining his supporters on their march..."
In Nov. 2022, writing for The Bulwark, Navy veteran and Brennan Center for Justice fellow Theodore Johnson argued that former President Donald Trump believed that just because he was the commander-in-chief, the military "swore an oath to him personally," and could be ordered to do whatever he wanted, regardless of whether it was legal or constitutional.
At the end of the report, in Appendix 2 on page 742, there's a key comment that an email was sent by then chief of staff Meadows explicitly saying on Jan.5 that the Washington, D.C. National Guard would be on hand to “protect pro Trump people.”
Read more of Raw Story's coverage of the Jan. 6 report here.