Trump Never Ordered Troops To Be Ready On Jan. 6, His Defense Secretary Testifies

INSIDE: Garland ... Pompeo ... CPAC
Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller speaks during a meeting with Minister of National Defence of Lithuania Raimundas Karoblis on November 13, 2020 at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

But But Trump Said He Did!

The House Jan. 6 Committee released more new footage of witness testimony on Tuesday, with this particular clip coming from testimony from former acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller on whether Trump had ordered troops to be ready protect the Capitol on Jan. 6.

  • Miller disputed Trump and ex-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows’ claims that the then-president had done so. “I was never given any direction or order or knew of any plans of that nature,” the ex-Pentagon chief testified.
  • Trump has claimed he ordered 20,000 troops, and Meadows claimed on Fox that it was 10,000 troops. It was, in fact, zero, per Miller.
  • Miller said explicitly in his testimony that there was “no order from the President” on deploying troops, and that there was nothing “more than contingency planning.”

DOJ Scrutinizing Trump’s Actions In Jan. 6 Probe

The Washington Post and the New York Times report that the investigators in the Justice Department’s Jan. 6 probe have been asking witnesses about Trump’s role in the scheme to steal the 2020 election.

  • Prosecutors also obtained phone records of top Trump White House officials and staffers in April, according to the Post and the Times.
  • However, none of this necessarily means the DOJ has opened a criminal investigation into the ex-president.

Garland Leaves Door Open For Prosecuting Trump

Attorney General Merrick Garland told NBC News on Tuesday that Trump’s status as a former president won’t stop the DOJ from potentially prosecuting him in the Jan. 6 investigation. Same goes if Trump decides to run again, Garland said, because “we will hold accountable anyone who is criminally responsible for attempting to interfere with the transfer — legitimate, lawful transfer of power from one administration to the next.”

Dems Demand DHS IG Recuse Himself From Secret Service Probe

House Oversight Committee chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and House Homeland Security Committee/Jan. 6 Committee chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) on Tuesday wrote a letter calling on Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Joseph Cuffari to recuse himself from the investigation into the Secret Service’s deleted texts.

  • Maloney and Thompson pointed to how Cuffari, a Trump appointee, didn’t alert Congress when he first found out in December that the texts sent and received by the Secret Service on Jan. 5 and 6 last year had been erased. The inspector general didn’t inform Congress of the deleted texts until July.
  • Cuffari’s lack of disclosure “cast serious doubt on his independence and his ability to effectively conduct such an important investigation,” Maloney and Thompson wrote.

Jan. 6 Panel In Talks With Pompeo For Potential Interview

The House Jan. 6 Committee has tentative plans to hold a private interview with Mike Pompeo, Trump’s former Secretary of State, in the coming days, according to ABC News.

CPAC Shrugs Off Orbán’s Attacks On ‘Race Mixing’

Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) organizer Matt Schlapp isn’t all that bothered by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán declaring that he wanted to prevent the Hungarian population from becoming a “mixed race,” and still plans on unrolling the red carpet for the anti-democratic leader as a keynote speaker at CPAC anyway.

Anti-Marriage Equality Bill GOPer Gave Speech At Son’s Gay Wedding

Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) apparently didn’t just go to his son’s gay wedding three days after he joined 156 other House Republicans to vote against protections for same-sex marriage: He also gave a heartfelt speech at the wedding, per new audio published by Buzzfeed News.

  • Thompson’s speech sounded unambiguously supportive of his son’s marriage, with the GOP lawmaker saying that when parents watch their kids grow up, “[w]e love it when they find their one true love, especially when they become a part of our families,” and that his family was “blessed” to include the new son-in-law.
  • Thompson had voted against the marriage equality bill because the legislation was “nothing more than an election-year messaging stunt for Democrats,” his spokesperson said a day after the vote. (Ahem, 47 of his GOP colleagues voted for it.)

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