House Jan 6th committee focusing on Trump phone call to Willard hotel 'war room' before riot: report
Donald Trump (AFP Photo/Timothy A. Clary)

The House select committee investigating the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol is zeroing in on communications Donald Trump had with top lieutenants before the riots began.

"Congressman Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the House select committee investigating the Capitol attack, has said the panel will open an inquiry into Donald Trump’s phone call seeking to stop Joe Biden’s certification from taking place on 6 January hours before the insurrection," Hugo Lowell reported for The Guardian. "The chairman said the select committee intended to scrutinize the phone call – revealed last month by the Guardian – should they prevail in their legal effort to obtain Trump White House records over the former president’s objections of executive privilege."

Trump reportedly referred to his aides' headquarters in the Willard Hotel as his "war room."

"The Guardian reported last month that Trump, according to multiple sources, called lieutenants based at the Willard hotel in Washington DC from the White House in the late hours of 5 January and sought ways to stop Biden’s certification from taking place on 6 January," Lowell reported. "The former president’s remarks came as part of wider discussions he had with the lieutenants at the Willard – a team led by Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Boris Epshteyn and Trump strategist Steve Bannon – about delaying the certification, the sources said."

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However, the specific details of Trump's call or calls could have major ramifications for what congressional investigators learn.

"The Guardian also reported Trump made several calls the day before the Capitol attack from both the White House residence, his preferred place to work, as well as the West Wing, but it was not certain from which location he phoned his top lieutenants at the Willard. The distinction is significant as phone calls placed from the White House residence, even from a landline desk phone, are not automatically memorialized in records sent to the National Archives after the end of an administration," the Guardian explained.

Read the full report.