Supporters of President Donald Trump riot against the Electoral College vote count on January 6, 2021, in protest of Trump's loss to President-elect Joe Biden, prompting a lockdown of the Capitol Building. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 23 (UPI) -- The House committee investigating the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, has released its full report, which organizes and expands on much of what was already made known through the panel's series of hearings over the last year and a half.
The report was broken down into eight chapters, the first five of which largely dealt with former President Donald Trump's false claims of election fraud. The final three focused on the events on the day of the insurrection.
Here are summaries for some of the report's revelations.
Trump's false claims of election victory were 'premeditated'
Trump's pre-election plans to declare victory were "premeditated," reportedly beginning as early as Oct. 31, 2020, when his advisor, Steve Bannon, told a private audience that the president would declare victory even if that "doesn't mean that he's a winner."
"That's our strategy. He's gonna declare himself a winner," Bannon said.
Bannon, in an interview with Fox News on the morning of the election, insisted that Trump needed to address the nation that night and said on his podcast that same day that Trump would claim victory.
Roger Stone, a longtime political adviser to Trump, also told several associates before the election that Trump needed to declare victory even if the race hadn't been called.
Trump did not respond to Capitol siege
The report states that as the attack on the Capitol was underway, Trump did not do a thing to thwart it.
"President Trump did not contact a single top national security official during the day. Not at the Pentagon, nor at the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, the FBI, the Capitol Police Department or the D.C. Mayor's office. As Vice President [Mike] Pence confirmed, President Trump didn't even try to reach his own Vice President to make sure that Pence was safe."
In response to his inaction, Trump's chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said: "You know, you're the commander in chief. You've got an assault going on on the Capitol of the United States of America. And there's nothing? No call? Nothing? Zero?"
According to the report, Trump watched the siege via television from the Presidential Dining Room with a Diet Coke at his side.
"For the rest of the afternoon -- as his country faced an hours-long attack -- he hunkered down in or around the dining room, watching television," the report states. "He left only for a few minutes -- from 4:03 p.m. to 4:07 p.m. -- to film a video in the Rose Garden, only a few steps away, after hours of arm-twisting.
"But otherwise, the president remained in the dining room until 6:27 p.m., when he returned to his private residence.
The report states that during the attack, he refused repeated requests from nearly all who spoke to him to tell the mob to go home.
As he retired to his private residence, Trump told an employee, "Mike Pence let me down."
Hundreds of weapons seized from rally participants on Jan. 6
Prior to the attack on the Capitol, pro-Trump supporters participated in a rally on the Ellipse near the White House.
For the event, the Secret Service had erected magnetometers to screen for weapons, though the report states many chose to avoid the screening process all together.
In total, 28,000 did pass through the magnetometers, and the Secret Service confiscated 269 knives or blades, 242 canisters of pepper spray, 18 brass knuckles, 18 tasers, six pieces of body armor, three gas masks, 30 batons or blunt instruments and 17 miscellaneous items, such as scissors, needles or screwdrivers.
The report states those in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6 "were itching for a fight."
U.S. supermarket chain heiress paid for Ellipse rally
Julie Fancelli, the billionaire heiress to the Publix supermarket fortune, had spent $3 million to attract "as many people as possible" to the Capitol on Jan. 6.
According to the report, she was inspired by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his InfoWars podcast and was encouraged by Trump's infamous Dec. 19 "Be there, will be wild!" tweet.
Fancelli worked with Republican fundraiser Caroline Wren to create a multimillion-dollar budget to convene as many Trump supporters as possible on Jan. 6, it said.
The budget, it continued, earmarked $500,000 for busing and an ad campaign with another $500,000 to aid Jones and Women for American First in organizing the Ellipse rally.
Trump planned to accompany supporters on Capitol march
The committee states in its report that it was focused on whether Trump had intended to accompany his supporters as they marched on the Capitol to better understand his intent on Jan. 6.
The alleged plan was for Trump to go with them to the Capitol once he finished his speech at the Ellipse.
Several people testified that Trump was sincere in his desire to be apart of the march and that he had suggested deploying 10,000 National Guardsmen to protect him and his supporters -- a suggestion that was rejected.
Following his speech, Trump engaged in an interaction described by witnesses to the committee as "irate," "angry" or "furious" with the Secret Service in the presidential vehicle after the speech as he would not be allowed to accompany the marchers.
"Both [Steven] Engel and the driver testified that within 30 seconds of getting into the vehicle, the president asked if he could travel to the Capitol," the report states. "The president repeatedly asked why he could not go to the Capitol. Engel replied that the Secrete Service 'didn't have any people at the Capitol' to provide the president with appropriate security."
Though there are some inconsistencies in the testimonies that were given to the committee, the report says one thing is clear: "President Trump specifically and repeatedly requested to be taken to the Capitol. He was insistent and angry, and continued to push to travel to the Capitol even after returning to the White House."
President Donald J. Trump
delivers remarks to supporters gathered to protest Congress' upcoming certification of Joe Biden
as the next president on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021. File Photo by Shawn Thew/UPI1
Trumps 'Blizzard of lies'
The committee also detailed Trump's "blizzard of lies" that delegitimized mail-in voting and said lawmakers found dozens of instances in which Trump claimed that mail-in voting would produce a "rigged" election despite warnings from his supporters not to demonize mail-in ballots.
Trump "launched" what the committee called "The Big Lie" as the election was underway when he claimed that Democrats were going to "find" ballots and continue allowing people to vote after polls closed.
The president pushed his campaign leadership aside -- including Bill Stepien, who testified in the committee's hearings -- less than two weeks after the election and promoted his ally Rudy Giuliani and others willing to "spread baseless and extreme claims."
However, the committee blasted some of Trump's closest advisors including Jason Miller who "pushed claims of election fraud in public" but then told the committee that he privately told the president there was no election fraud.
Infighting between what the panel called "Team Normal" and Trump's new advocates escalated as Giuliani pushed to be put in charge of the campaign's legal operation.
The committee also described Trump's efforts to invalidate decisions made in courts across the country in response to his team's 62 legal challenges in the aftermath of the election.
Trump's team won just one of those cases, which were argued before 22 judges appointed by Republican presidents, the committee noted.
"Instead of accepting his defeat, President Trump attempted to justify his Big Lie with a series of increasingly preposterous claims. The President was not simply led astray by those around him. The opposite was true," the report reads.
"He actively promoted conspiracy theories and false election fraud claims even after being informed they were baseless."
The report recounted statements made by former Attorney General Bill Barr, who appeared in video testimony during the hearings, and dedicated an extensive section of the report to how Trump's own administration fought to debunk his false claims and those by his allies about Dominion Voting Systems.
"President Trump's fixation on Dominion's voting machines and the baseless theory that the machines had manipulated votes led to a concerted effort to gain access to voting machines in States where President Trump was claiming election fraud," the report reads.
Trump's advisors reportedly argued for hours during a meeting on Dec. 18, 2020, whether Trump had the authority to seize the voting machines just weeks before his infamous call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
Giuliani, who faced a defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion, later testified to the committee that he did not believe the voting machines stole the election.
The committee noted in the report that Trump and his supporters continued to make claims about fake ballots, but never included such claims in any of their legal challenges to the election.
"In addition to their false claims regarding fake ballots, President Trump and his surrogates also relentlessly asserted that tens of thousands of ballots were cast by dead or otherwise ineligible voters," the report reads.
The committee said that Trump campaign staff determined that such claims were false by mid-November 2020.
Some 200 attempts to force local administrations to overturn state election results
The report states that numerous senior Trump advisors who spoke to the panel -- including Stepien and Giuliani -- confirmed that there were strategies that included pressing state lawmakers to challenge results in key states.
"The Select Committee estimates that in the two months between the November election and the January 6th insurrection, President Trump or his inner circle engaged in at least 200 apparent acts of public or private outreach, pressure, or condemnation, targeting either State legislators state or local election administrators, to overturn State election results," the report reads.
The committee added that the Trump campaign contacted or tried to contact nearly 200 state legislators in battleground states between Nov. 30 and Dec. 3 of that year "to solicit backing for possible Statehouse resolutions to overturn the election."
The lawmakers on the committee further detailed such efforts throughout the rest of the chapter.
On Jan. 2, nearly 300 state legislators from battleground states allegedly participated in a private briefing with Trump Giuliani and attorney John Eastman. During the meeting, Trump urged the officials to exercise "the real power" to choose electoral votes.