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See the highlights from the January 6 committee's fifth public hearing

Submitted by Tech Insider on June 23, 2022 - 8:30pm

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel Steven Engel (L), former Acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen (C) and former Acting U.S. Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue (R) look on during the fifth hearing held by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol on June 23, 2022 in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC.
Former Assistant U.S. Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel Steven Engel (L), former Acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen (C) and former Acting U.S. Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue (R) look on during the fifth hearing held by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol on June 23, 2022 in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC.


  • The January 6 select committee held its fifth public hearing June 23. 
  • Witnesses testified about Donald Trump trying to push DOJ to follow his election fraud scheme. 
  • Here are some of the most striking visuals from the committee's hearing on Thursday. 
Actor Sean Penn listened in
Sean Penn
Fom left, former Washington Metropolitan Police Department officer Michael Fanone, actor Sean Penn, and Washington Metropolitan Police Department officer Daniel Hodges listen as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 23, 2022.

Actor and political activist Sean Penn showed up at Thursday's hearing, sitting through the nearly 3-hour proceedings with the rest of the attendees. 

The unexpected visitor said he was there as "just another citizen." 

 

Mark Meadows role as gatekeeper was explored
A snapshot of the myriad text messages and emails that flowed to and from then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows as Trump tried to push his election fraud scheme.
A snapshot of the myriad text messages and emails that flowed to and from then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows as Trump tried to push his election fraud scheme.

January 6 committee member Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who led most of the discussion Thursday, reviewed many electronic messages that then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows both sent and received before, during, and after the January 6 attack on the US Capitol. 

Scott Perry's involvement was revealed
A snapshot of a text message Rep. Scott Perry allegedly sent then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows about replacing Department of Justice leaders with fellow election deniers.
A snapshot of a text message Rep. Scott Perry allegedly sent then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows about replacing Department of Justice leaders with fellow election deniers.

The brunt of Thursday's hearing focused on the various ways Donald Trump and his allies tried to make Department of Justice officials comply with unlawfully overturning the 2020 election. 

Some of the evidence presented included text messages Republican Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania sent White House officials urging them to move attorney Jeff Clark up the management ladder so he could help validate the baseless election fraud strategy. 

Senior officials issued lots of warnings
A snapshot of a warning acting deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue issued after being presented with Trump's bogus election fraud scheme.
A snapshot of a warning acting deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue issued after being presented with Trump's bogus election fraud scheme.

As part of his testimony, former acting deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue explained that he resisted Trump's efforts to draw the DOJ into his election fraud fantasy every step of the way. 

And he warned others to steer clear as well. 

Trump's scheme didn't end at the water's edge
A snapshot of a message GOP Rep. Scott Perry sent White House officials suggesting that Italy had somehow meddled with the 2020 election.
A snapshot of a message GOP Rep. Scott Perry sent White House officials suggesting that Italy had somehow meddled with the 2020 election.

As if dragging American election workers through the mud weren't enough, January 6 committee staff also presented evidence of far-fetched claims by House Republicans of potential interference by European powers. 

Some officials threatened to quit
A snapshot of the half-dozen DOJ officials who were reportedly ready to quit if Trump installed election denier Jeff Clark as acting attorney general.
A snapshot of the half-dozen DOJ officials who were reportedly ready to quit if Trump installed election denier Jeff Clark as acting attorney general.

The Department of Justice officials testified about how they and others got fed up with Trump's attempts to drag them into his election fraud scheme.

They said they managed to quash a last-ditch plan to install election denier Jeff Clark as acting attorney general by telling Trump that if he pushed for regime change, they'd resign en masse and Clark would be left "leading a graveyard." 

Pardons were requested
January 6 select committee staff displayed an image of a email Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama allegedly sent the White House requesting presidential pardons for MAGA lawmakers during the panel's fifth public hearing on Thursday, June 23.
January 6 select committee staff displayed an image of a email Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama allegedly sent the White House requesting presidential pardons for MAGA lawmakers during the panel's fifth public hearing on Thursday, June 23.

January 6 committee staff made good on co-chair Liz Cheney's promise from few weeks ago to expose House Republicans who'd asked Trump to pardon them in the wake of the attack on the US Capitol. 

On Thursday the committee revealed that Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Louie Gohmert of Texas, and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia had all requested protection from the fallout of the 2020 election fraud scheme. 

 

Names were named
A video displays a discussion about presidential pardons during the fifth public hearing by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building on June 23, 2022 in Washington, DC.
A video displays a discussion about presidential pardons during the fifth public hearing by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building on June 23, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Rep. Matt Gaetz actually came up more than once during the discussion of pardon requests. 

White House aides testified about direct conversations they'd had with the Florida Republican regarding presidential pardons, and Rep. Mo Brooks mentioned him specifically in an email he shot over to administration officials. 

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