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Newly revealed visitor logs show who was visiting Trump ahead of Jan 6 riot

Trump acted early in his presidency to shield identities of White House visitors from the public

John Bowden
Washington DC
Tuesday 17 January 2023 17:46 GMT
Trump makes election promise to pardon January 6 rioters

Donald Trump was continuing to rally his allies and fight tooth and nail to cling on to the presidency during his final weeks in the White House, and nowhere is that more evident than in the visitor logs obtained by the January 6 committee.

The acquisition of the logs was itself an accomplishment for the panel, which fought a legal battle against the former president to obtain them from the National Archives. Mr Trump opted in early 2017 to make the records private, reversing an Obama-era policy.

The logs were published in the committee’s final trove of documents last month; their appearance was first noted by Politico which published an article containing a searchable database of the visitor logs.

And those records reveal a president who was clearly trying to rally his troops in the final days.

For instance, the logs reveal a who’s-who gathering of far-right election deniers and conspiracy theorists occurring in the Oval Office on 21 December; attendees included Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar, Sidney Powell and others. Just over a week later Mr Trump would then have a meeting with Republican leadership in the House, includin Kevin McCarthy and Elise Stefanik, that was also apparently attended by Kashyap Patel, a top Trump loyalist known to have been in contact with “Stop the Steal” rally organiser Ali Alexander.

The logs even reveal a 18 December visit at the White House residence from none other than Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp, who became famous for resisting Mr Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of his state’s voting in the 2020 election.

Mr Trump and members of his legal team were formally referred to the Justice Department by the committee for prosecution on a number of criminal counts; the ex-president himself is accused of the most serious of the bunch, giving comfort to an insurrection.

Though the Justice Department will not act on the committee’s recommendations, the agency continues to operate its own independent investigation into January 6 and the effort to overturn the 2020 election, and reportedly obtained evidence and testimony from the January 6 committee before the latter’s dissolution.

Prosecutors in Fulton County, Georgia, are also known to be operating a similar criminal case based on actions taken by the Trump campaign in that state to block Joe Biden’s victory.

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