In a surprise hearing of the House January 6 committee, lawmakers played police radio broadcasts identifying weapons—including the AR-15—that supporters of former President Donald Trump had on the day of Trump’s rally and attack on January 6, 2021. on the US Capitol.
At Tuesday’s hearing, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Vy.)—the deputy chairman of the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol attack—played a police broadcast that described people carrying firearms near the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. , where Trump held his rally in the morning. 6th of January
In one broadcast a voice says, “Three men dressed in AR-15s are walking down the street … at 14th and Freedom.”
“White men… AR-15 stock,” someone can be heard saying in the second recording. “Green fatigue… Glock-style pistol in the waistband.”
“Danger high in the trees … American flag face mask … arms on right hip,” says a third broadcast.
Cheney noted that supporters who chose to pass through metal detectors to get closer to Trump, security-checked weapons and equipment including pepper spray, knives, batons and gas masks. Several thousand more people did not go through metal detectors and looked from the nearby Washington Monument lawn.
The committee also showed a report sent by the Secret Service at 11 a.m. that day warning a man to have a rifle near the Ellipse where Trump was speaking.
In her surprise testimony on Tuesday, Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide to Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, said Tony Ornato – who oversaw Secret Service movements – said he told Trump that his January 6 rally with weapons armed men were involved.
In videotaped testimony, Hutchinson recalled a meeting with Meadows and Ornato around 10 a.m. on January 6. In that meeting, she said, Ornato described people carrying knives, pistols, rifles, bear spray, body armor, spears and flags. “Mark said, have you spoken to the president?” Hutchinson said in his video testimony. “And Tony said yes.”
Later in his video testimony, Hutchinson stated that TDum was furious about the size of the crowd. He wanted more people in the area where he was speaking, and he blamed metal detectors, he said.
“I don’t care if they have weapons,” Trump said., per Hutchinson. “They’re not here to hurt me… Take the f-ing mags away… Let my people in, they can march from here to the Capitol.”
Last year, Trump told Fox News that on 6 January there were “no guns” in the crowd.
An armed crowd of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol on the day lawmakers gathered to certify the 2020 presidential election won by Joe Biden. Before the riot, Trump incited the crowd at his nearby rally by falsely claiming the election plagiarized. The ensuing devastation and aftermath killed five people, including a US Capitol police officer.