In a surprise hearing of the House Jan. 6 committee, lawmakers played police radio transmissions identifying weapons — including AR-15s — that supporters of former President Donald Trump had with them on Jan. 6, 2021, the day of Trump’s rally and the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
In Tuesday’s hearing, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) — vice chair of the House select committee investigating the Capitol attack — played police transmissions that described people carrying firearms near the Ellipse in Washington, D.C., where Trump held his rally the morning of Jan. 6.
“Three men walking down the street in fatigues carrying AR-15s... at 14th and Independence,” a voice says in one transmission.
“White male... stock of an AR-15,” someone can be heard saying in another recording. “Green fatigues... Glock-style pistols in their waistband.”
“Elevated threat in the trees... American flag face mask... weapon on the right-side hip,” a third transmission says.
Cheney noted that among the supporters who chose to pass through metal detectors so they could get closer to Trump, security screened weapons and equipment including pepper spray, knives, batons and gas masks. Several thousand more people did not go through metal detectors and watched from the nearby Washington Monument lawn.
The committee also showed a report sent by Secret Service at 11 a.m. that day warning of a man with a rifle near the Ellipse, where Trump was speaking.
In her surprise testimony Tuesday, Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide to Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, said that Tony Ornato ― who oversaw Secret Service movements ― said he told Trump there were people armed with weapons attending his rally on Jan. 6.
Cassidy Hutchinson says Trump wanted a bigger crowd at his rally, and he said:
"I don't fucking care that they have weapons. They're not here to hurt me. Take the fucking mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here.” #January6thHearingspic.twitter.com/cRJkpIkv7C
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) June 28, 2022
In videotaped testimony, Hutchinson recalled a meeting around 10 a.m. on Jan. 6 with Meadows and Ornato. At that meeting, she said, Ornato described people carrying knives, pistols, rifles, bear spray, body armor, spears and flagpoles. “Mark said, have you talked to the president?” Hutchinson said in her video testimony. “And Tony said yes.”
Later in her video testimony, Hutchinson said that Trump was angry about the crowd size. He wanted more people in the area where he was speaking, and he blamed the metal detectors, she said.
“I don’t f-ing care that 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 to the Capitol from here.”
Last year, Trump told Fox News that “there were no guns whatsoever” in the crowd on Jan. 6.
An armed mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol that day as lawmakers gathered to certify the 2020 presidential election, which Joe Biden won. Before the riot, Trump incited the crowd at his nearby rally by falsely claiming the election had been stolen. Five people died in the ensuing mayhem and its aftermath, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.