7-Hour Gap In Trump Phone Records From Jan. 6 Discovered By Congress

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Investigators on the House committee examining the Capitol riot have uncovered an over seven-hour gap in official White House records of phone calls that then-President Donald Trump made on January 6 last year, despite the fact he’s known to have made specific phone calls during the period the records don’t cover. The hours-long gap in official White House records of Trump’s calls stretches from from 11:17 a.m. to 6:54 p.m on the day of the Capitol attack — meaning that it covers the period when the bulk of the violence unfolded. What was Trump doing during this time period? The records in which riot committee investigators have discovered this lengthy gap were among those released to them by the National Archives, and The Washington Post specified the records as having been transferred after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Trump’s attempt to keep certain White House records from the committee.

Now, The Washington Post explains that the riot panel is looking into “whether Trump communicated that day through backchannels, phones of aides or personal disposable phones” and “whether it received the full logs from that day.” Although the individual wasn’t identified by name in the Post report, one legislator on the riot committee said that investigators were looking at a “possible coverup” — and in theory, the ramifications could be serious. Was Trump fielding calls from people urging him to do more to stop the rioters? In theory, for Trump to have pushed back on these hypothetical demands could potentially help establish the sort of corrupt intent required for certain criminal convictions over actions he took around the riot. Was Trump trying to coordinate with allies to use the violence as “part of the plan,” as riot committee member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) has previously discussed a focus of the panel’s probe?

Notably, the records that the committee was able to obtain reveal two phone conversations between Trump and his longtime ally Steve Bannon on January 6, making it clear that Bannon would have relevant information for the riot panel — although he’s refused to cooperate and since been charged with contempt of Congress over that refusal. His trial has been scheduled for July. Reportedly, Bannon pushed Trump in one of his January 6 conversations with the then-president to keep up the pressure on then-VP Mike Pence to block the certification of Biden’s election victory in his role overseeing the Congressional proceedings dealing with the election outcome. Pence didn’t possess the legally recognized power to undertake such a move. On January 6, Trump also talked with Rudy Giuliani twice, and the final morning record before the hours-long gap says he spoke with an “unidentified person.”

In a Monday statement, Trump pushed back on suggestions he could have used disposable phones, otherwise known as burner phones, commenting: “I have no idea what a burner phone is, to the best of my knowledge I have never even heard the term.” Obviously, he’s not a credible source on basically anything at this point. Read more at this link.