Update on the crisis unit that allegedly piloted the attack on the Capitol

Since 1847, the elegant luxury hotel Williard InterContinental has welcomed a wealthy clientele, visiting dignitaries and numerous politicians a stone’s throw from the White House. But in early January 2021, the establishment would have mostly hosted a “crisis cell”, close to Donald Trump, directly involved in the attack on the Capitol on January 6. 20 minutes takes stock of this cell now at the center of the parliamentary inquiry into this event.

Who is part of this crisis unit?

Three men met at the Williard before and after the assault on Congress by supporters of the former Republican president: lawyers Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, as well as Steve Bannon, a close ally of Donald Trump. But according to independent journalist Seth Abramson, several dozen relatives of the billionaire attended the establishment in the days preceding the attack. He quotes Conservative political adviser Roger Stone, former spokesperson Jason Miller, campaign adviser Boris Epshteyn and ex-New York police chief Bernard Kerik, among others.

Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, would have been at the head of this small staff, according to the Washington post which evokes notes proving the long-term work, day and night, of a whole team mobilized to give a second term to the Republican billionaire. The newspaper also reveals that the rooms for the attention of this cell were paid for by Donald Trump’s campaign account, for an amount of $ 55,295, from December 18 to January 8.

Why is the parliamentary commission of inquiry interested?

The commission is in fact interested very closely in Steve Bannon, major architect of the victory of Donald Trump in 2016. He is suspected of having played a role “in the communication operation of the campaign” Stop the theft “which motivated the attack ”on the Capitol, and to have“ participated in the events that day ”from the crisis staff. This is not the first time that Steve Bannon’s name has been mentioned in this case. In the book Danger, which recounts the last weeks of Donald Trump’s tenure, two journalists from Washington post explain that he would have incited the president to use the alleged electoral fraud to prevent the January 6 vote validating the election of Joe Biden.

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In a Jan. 5 podcast, Steve Bannon predicted the “victory” of this strategy the next day. “Everything converges and it’s time to attack,” he said. Steve Bannon and Donald Trump “understood that it was time to blow things up, and that’s exactly what they did,” said Bob Woodward, one of the authors of Danger. The explanations of the former adviser are considered essential to understand the events and actions of Donald Trump, but he refused to testify. The House of Representatives therefore decided to initiate
prosecution for obstructing the work of Congress, referring Steve Bannon to federal judges.

Is Donald Trump directly involved?

It is established that the US president called this crisis cell after an interview with Mike Pence on the evening of January 5. During this meeting, the vice-president would have refused, according to the authors of Danger, to block the vote on January 6, when Donald Trump had earlier announced the opposite to his supporters. Faced with this turnaround, what was the president’s reaction during the telephone conversation with the crisis staff? The commission of inquiry wishes to obtain the telephone records of the exchanges linked to January 6.

For Robert Costa, the other author of Dangerthe purpose of this conversation was to “coordinate this attempt to speak for” Mike Pence the next day. The journalist explains that it is also the lawyer John Eastmann who would have developed the legal argument to initially allow Mike Pence to block the vote of Congress by arguing of fraud. John Eastmann had also recognized, last May on a radio station in Denver, the existence of this “crisis unit of the Willard hotel (which) coordinated all communications”.

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