Craighead declined to comment and said it did not know which of its photos the committee obtained.
But the existence of any photographic evidence presents the prospect that the select committee may be able to offer a more vivid and granular picture of what was happening inside the White House on January 6 than previously known. previously.
The panel amassed evidence of Trump’s movements and actions that day, attempting to piece together a minute-by-minute account of what the former president was doing as rioters crossed police lines and disrupted the vote count. elections – the final step in finalizing Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory before his inauguration. The committee has already obtained from the National Archives a private calendar that revealed the attendees of a key Oval Office meeting, as well as call logs and diary entries typically off-limits to public view.
The cache of photos is another indication of the valuable documents the committee has obtained from the Archives over the past few months. The panel, in August, made a voluminous request for Trump’s White House records from the archives, including for “[a]any photographs, videos, or other media…taken or recorded at the White House on January 6, 2021.” In legal filings associated with Trump’s efforts to block the transfer of hundreds of pages of documents, the National Archives said they planned to identify relevant evidence, including “digital photographs” – on an ongoing basis.
Thompson told reporters earlier this week that he has continued to exchange correspondence with the Archives to help tailor and refine the committee’s requests based on the evidence the committee continues to obtain. He reapplyed on Tuesday to the Archives for the documents.
In addition to material from the archives, committee investigators interviewed nearly everyone in attendance at Trump’s Oval Office meeting at 11:10 a.m., including Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle.
The committee is particularly focused on Trump’s 11:20 a.m. phone call with then-Vice President Mike Pence — when he made a direct last-ditch effort to pressure Pence to try to overturn the election — and a 2:24 p.m. tweet attacking Pence for refusing to submit to his demands.
“Mike Pence didn’t have the guts to do what should have been done to protect our country and our Constitution,” Trump said of his vice president just as Pence was rushed by the Secret Service into a the Capitol’s underground loading dock to protect it from the invading crowd.
The select committee increasingly sees this tweet as a catalyst for the worst violence of the day.
“Trump knew at the time that the Capitol had been overrun, right, and understood the danger everyone was in, and yet he escalated his calls against Pence,” Rep. Jamie said. Raskin (D-Md.), panel member. “It demonstrates a state of mind.”
Several defendants accused of raping the Capitol have pointed to this tweet as driving the mob’s fury. Video footage captured by the news media and taken by the rioters themselves show the crowd reacting to the tweet, which was posted 10 minutes after the first wave of people entered the Capitol through a window smashed by a rioter wielding a stolen police shield.
Previously leaked evidence from the select committee showed dozens of Trump aides, allies and family members imploring the president, through his chief of staff Mark Meadows, to publicly urge the rioters to go back home. But Trump’s first comment amid the chaos was his attack on Pence – which came nearly 90 minutes after the first lines of police at the Capitol broke down.
Members of the select committee repeatedly declined to comment on whether the committee knew more about the circumstances of Trump’s Twitter attack on Pence, such as whether Trump himself had worked on its drafting, sent it himself. himself or had authorized an assistant to do so on his behalf.
But the tweet was a key piece of evidence during Trump’s impeachment and trial in January 2021, when Democrats cited it as evidence of Trump’s indifference to violence. A Republican who voted for impeachment, Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina, said the tweet alone justified the accusation that Trump incited the mob.
“To me, that tweet was an incitement,” Rice said during a primary debate earlier this month. “If they had gotten hold of Mike Pence, we could have lost our democracy that day.”