House Panel Zeroes In on Trump's Tweet to Supporters

He urged allies to come to the Capitol on Jan. 6 for 'wild' day
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2022 1:21 PM CDT
Jan. 6 Hearings: Trump's Tweet Labeled a 'Call to Arms'
Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., speaks at the House hearing on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The House panel investigating the Capitol riot on Tuesday zeroed in on a now-famous tweet issued by then-President Trump on Dec. 18, 2021, encouraging his supporters to come to the Capitol. "Be there, will be wild," Trump wrote, according to panel member Rep. Stephanie Murphy, per CNN. "This tweet served as a call to action and in some cases as a call to arms," said Murphy. Rep. Jamie Raskin, who with Murphy is leading Tuesday's hearing, added that the tweet mobilized right-wing extremists in the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, and other groups, reports the Washington Post.

The panel members also noted that Trump tweeted that message after a meeting in the Oval Office that Raskin said has been described as "unhinged" and "the craziest meeting of the Trump presidency." In that session, advisers including Michael Flynn, attorney Sidney Powell, and business executive Patrick Byrne encouraged Trump to take extreme actions to stay in power, per the New York Times. The advice included issuing an executive order to seize voting machines. Trump tweeted soon after the meeting broke up about midnight. In his opening statement Tuesday, chair Bennie Thompson described things this way: Trump "summoned a mob to Washington, DC, and ultimately spurred that mob to wage a violent attack on our democracy."

The panel also made clear that while Trump received advice of the aforementioned nature, many of his top aides were telling him that no election fraud existed and that he should embrace a smooth transition of power. For example, the committee on Tuesday played testimony from Gene Scalia—Trump's labor secretary and son of the late Supreme Court justice. "I might have called on (Dec.) 13th—we spoke I believe on the 14th—in which I conveyed to him that I thought that it was time for him to acknowledge that President Biden had prevailed in the election," Scalia said in his video deposition. The 14th is a key date because that's when the Electoral College met and affirmed Biden's victory. (Liz Cheney on Tuesday said Trump is a grown man who must be held accountable for his own actions.)

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