Jan 6 hearings resume latest: Newly released photos show Pence and family in hiding during Capitol riot

‘The Big Lie was also the big-rip off’: Jan 6 committee hears Trump’s fraud claims

A newly released photograph shows then-vice president Mike Pence and his family in hiding after they were evacuated from the floor of the US Senate as a mob breached the US Capitol and stormed the halls of Congress on 6 January 2021.

The image — obtained by ABC News — shows Mr Pence with his wife Karen Pence, his brother (US representative Greg Pence) and the former vice president’s daughter Charlotte inside a ceremonial office near the Senate floor. Ms Pence can be seen drawing the curtains to the office.

Meanwhile, the panel has released footage of a tour given the day before the Capitol riot by Republican congressman Barry Loudermilk – pointing out that “individuals on the tour photographed and recorded areas of the complex not typically of interest to tourists, including hallways, staircases, and security checkpoints”.

Mr Loudermilk denies that the tour provided a “reconnaissance” opportunity to his visitors, and a letter from the Capitol Police released earlier this week said that the force is not treating it as suspicious.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump wrote in capital letters on Truth Social: “They cannot defend the fraud and irregularities that took place. The Committee is a SCAM!”

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Full Biden statement on Ukraine aid

Per the White House, the call with the Ukrainian president informing him of the aid lasted from 10.54am to 11.35am this morning:

Statement by President Joe Biden on Support for Ukraine and Call with President Zelenskyy of Ukraine

This morning, I spoke with President Zelenskyy to discuss Russia’s brutal and ongoing war against Ukraine. I reaffirmed my commitment that the United States will stand by Ukraine as it defends its democracy and support its sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of unprovoked Russian aggression.

I informed President Zelenskyy that the United States is providing another $1 billion in security assistance for Ukraine, including additional artillery and coastal defense weapons, as well as ammunition for the artillery and advanced rocket systems that the Ukrainians need to support their defensive operations in the Donbas. We also discussed Secretary Austin’s efforts in Brussels today to coordinate additional international support for the Ukrainian armed forces.

We also remain committed to supporting the Ukrainian people whose lives have been ripped apart by this war. Today, I am also announcing an additional $225 million in humanitarian assistance to help people inside Ukraine, including by supplying safe drinking water, critical medical supplies and health care, food, shelter, and cash for families to purchase essential items. The bravery, resilience, and determination of the Ukrainian people continues to inspire the world. And the United States, together with our allies and partners, will not waver in our commitment to the Ukrainian people as they fight for their freedom.

Later at the White House press briefing, NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said the administration has now provided a total of $5.6bn in military assistance to Ukraine since the Russian invasion.

Oliver O’Connell16 June 2022 04:59

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‘Blockbuster moment’ expected during retired judge Michael J Luttig’s testimony

Retired federal Judge Michael J Luttig is going to testify before the 6 January committee on Thursday and he is planning to state that the Republican National Committee is wrong to have referred to some of the events of 6 January last year as “legitimate political discourse.”

CBS News reported, quoting two sources familiar with the planned testimony, that Mr Luttig is also expected to warn fellow conservatives not to ignore the gravity of what Mr Trump did as he scrambled to hold onto the presidency that day.

Conservative activist and commentator George Conway told MSNBC: “I really want to hear this [Mr Luttig’s] testimony. I think it’s going to be a blockbuster moment in these hearings.”

Maroosha Muzaffar16 June 2022 04:50

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Newly released photos show Pence and family in hiding from pro-Trump mob during Capitol riot

A previously unreleased photograph obtained by ABC News shows then-Vice President Mike Pence and his family in hiding after they were evacuated from the floor of the US Senate as a mob breached the US Capitol and stormed the halls of Congress on 6 January 2021.

The image shows Mr Pence with then-Second Lady Karen Pence, his brother, US Rep Greg Pence, and the former vice president’s daughter Charlotte inside a ceremonial office near the Senate floor. Ms Pence can be seen drawing curtains to the office.

Read the full story by Alex Woodward here:

Maroosha Muzaffar16 June 2022 04:33

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Biden administration to approve $1bn in additional Ukraine military aid

President Joe Biden is set to approve an additional $1bn in miltary shipments to Ukraine as the beleaguered eastern European country attempts to fend off a Russian invasion.

The move was first reported on Wednesday by the Associated Press, citing senior US officials.

Oliver O’Connell16 June 2022 04:00

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Photos emerge of Trump team election night as Jan 6 committee says they knew of loss

Photos from the Trump White House taken on election night 2020 have been released showing the then First Family and Trump staffers as they watched President Joe Biden take the lead.

The Trumps followed the votes being counted alongside aides as the then-president’s early lead began to subside as more ballots were recorded.

The photos were published in the book Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show by ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl.

Gustaf Kilander has the story for The Independent.

Oliver O’Connell16 June 2022 03:00

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Loudermilk releases statement on Jan 6 evidence

Rep Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga) has released a statement following the release of evidence by the January 6 committee regarding a tour led by the congressman on the day before the Capitol riot.

“The Capitol Police already put this false accusation to bed, yet the Committee is undermining the Capitol Police and doubling down on their smear campaign, releasing so-called evidence of a tour of the House Office Buildings, which I have already publicly addressed. As Capitol Police confirmed, nothing about this visit with constituents was suspicious. The pictures show children holding bags from the House gift shop, which was open to visitors, and taking pictures of the Rayburn train.

“This false narrative that the Committee and Democrats continue to push, that Republicans, including myself, led reconnaissance tours is verifiably false. Nowhere that I went with the visitors in the House Office Buildings on January 5th were breached on January 6th; and, to my knowledge, no one in that group was criminally charged in relation to January 6th.

“Once again, the Committee released this letter to the press, and did not contact me. This type of behavior is irresponsible and has real consequences – including ongoing death threats to myself, my family, and my staff.”

Oliver O’Connell16 June 2022 02:05

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Watch: Barry Loudermilk defends 5 January tour on Fox News

Barry Loudermilk went on Fox News last night to defend the Capitol Hill tour he gave to a group of 15 people the night before the attack on Congress. This is what he had to say – bear in mind the Jan 6 committee went on to release video of the event less than 24 hours later.

Oliver O’Connell16 June 2022 01:35

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Opinion: Trump’s Big Lie cost his supporters millions of dollars — and taxpayers even more

One of the grubbier revelations at Monday’s 6 January committee hearing was that the Trump team raised some $250m from the ex-president’s supporters in the name of “stopping the steal” but mostly kept the money for Mr Trump’s PAC, Save America.

Writing for The Independent, Kathleen N. Walsh explains why this matters:



As expensive as upkeep on Trump’s Big Lie has been for his supporters, that is nothing compared to the hundreds of millions it has already cost taxpayers — and will continue to cost us in the future….

Every day we lose more and more precious tax dollars to the enormous effort of propping up democracy with our bare hands while voting rights legislation withers on the vine. People are bleeding money on rent, at the gas pump, and in the grocery store while simultaneously footing the bill for Trump’s petty fascism.

If there is a place where the lasting impact of the Big Lie may be felt most directly and acutely, it is not in the looming, intangible threat of authoritarianism — it’s in the bank.

Oliver O’Connell16 June 2022 01:05

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Giuliani deletes tweets denying he was drunk on 3 November 2020

Rudy Giuliani flew off the handle earlier this week when Liz Cheney and several witnesses to the 6 January inquiry described him as “apparently inebriated” on the night of the 2020 election, as has been reported in various other accounts in the intervening 18 months.

Mr Giuliani responded in two angry tweets. “I am disgusted and outraged at the out right lie by Jason Miller and Bill [Stepien],” he wrote. “I was upset that ther were not prepared for the massive cheating (as well as other lawyers around the president), it continued, apparently referring to the Trump campaign’s bogus claims of fraud and not his own efforts to overturn the election.

“I REFUSED all alcohol that evening,” he claimed. “My favorite drink..Diet Pepsi”.

But now, he has deleted his tweets, and it is unclear exactly why. John Bowden has more.

Oliver O’Connell16 June 2022 00:35

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Context for Loudermilk footage

By releasing footage of Barry Loudermilk’s constituent tour on 5 January 2021, the Capitol riot committee is doing several things at once: connecting the congressman directly to someone who attended the riot and threatened specific lawmakers, undermining his claim that there is no reason to think the tour posed any kind of security risk, and upping the pressure on him to hand over more information to their investigation.

For context on why the footage of constituents taking photos in bland-looking corridors is so obvious, here’s Jake Sherman of Punchbowl News, which broke the story this morning:

Oliver O’Connell16 June 2022 00:05