Jan. 6 committee releases Oath Keepers’ reaction to Trump tweet during attack
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The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol Thursday released walkie talkie communications from the far-right group Oath Keepers on the day of insurrection. In the audio, the group says that former President Donald Trump did not tell the rioters to “stand down” when he tweeted to support Capitol police amid the attack.
At about 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2021, Trump tweeted “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”
The House Jan. 6 committee tweeted Thursday said that the released walkie talkie communication was between some members of the Oath Keepers who were at the Capitol, and some who were monitoring intelligence elsewhere.
In the recording, a member of the Oath Keepers read the tweet and said, “That’s saying a lot. But what he didn’t say, he didn’t say not to do anything to the congressmen.”
There is laughter, and then another person said, “Well, he did not ask them to stand down. He just said to stand by the Capitol Police.”
The same person then added they were watching CNN and “it’s looking pretty friggin radical to me. CNN said that Trump has egged this on, that he is egging it on, and that he is watching the country burn two weeks before he leaves office. He is not leaving office. I don’t give a s— what they say.”
Someone then burst onto the communication, saying they were “in the mezzanine” and in the “main dome.”
“We are rocking it,” the person said, adding that “they are throwing grenades.”
Another voice said to “be safe” and then said the riot is “everything we f—— trained up for.”
The House committee did not identify any of the voices, or disclose how it obtained the audio.
The tweet comes on the heels of the House Jan. 6 committee asking U.S. District Judge David O. Carter on Wednesday to review 3,200 pages of emails from Trump-allied attorney John Eastman to see if they fit his claims of executive privilege. In the filing, House counsel Douglas Letter said their questions to Eastman’s counsel have largely gone unanswered, and “it seems clear that further consultation with plaintiff’s counsel will not result in the select committee receiving the material that it seeks in a timely manner.”
In July, Carter ordered Eastman to turn over 159 documents to the committee, ruling that another 440 were privileged and protected from disclosure.
The Jan. 6 committee has focused on Eastman as the alleged architect of a dubious legal strategy, following the 2020 election, to get then-Vice President Mike Pence to reject electoral votes from key battleground states won by President Biden. Pence ultimately rejected the plan, arguing he did not have the authority to carry it out.
The Jan. 6 committee met again this week, after taking a hiatus following a series of public hearings this summer aimed at revealing what they have found out during their yearlong investigation into the attack. Earlier this week, committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson said the committee’s “goal” to have another public hearing on Sept. 28.
Thompson said Tuesday that the committee intends to put together an interim report in mid-October, two weeks after a proposed late September hearing, and will finalize the report before the end of the year.