White House call logs obtained during the Jan. 6 committee attack on the Capitol do not list calls made by then-President Donald Trump as he watched the violence unfold in television, nor calls made directly to the president, according to two people. familiar with the probe.
Official records given to the panel reveal only a few calls Trump made and received on the day of the uprising, though witnesses say the then-president made numerous calls as the violence was unfolding, as first reported by The New York Times and CNN.
There are several possible explanations for the omissions in the records, which do not reflect conversations Trump had on Jan. 6 with several Republican lawmakers, for example. Trump was known to use a personal cell phone, or he could have had a phone passed by an aide.
Some of the former president’s calls have already been flagged or discussed by recipients, such as an early morning chat with Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) and his far-right colleague Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) does not appear in the official journal.
The former president also called Vice President Mike Pence the morning of the riot. He sought to harangue his loyal lieutenant into joining the effort to undo President Biden’s election victory, also not appearing on the newspaper.
Because the committee does not have a complete official record of Trump’s calls, they subpoenaed phone records of Trump allies, aides and family members to map his contacts on Jan. 6.
House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (DN.Y.) that she was “deeply concerned that these documents were not provided promptly to the National Archives and Records Administration at the end of the Trump administration and they seem to have been removed from the White House.”
The gaps in the logs are somewhat reminiscent of the infamous 18.5-minute gap in White House recordings of conversations between former President Richard Nixon and his aides as he unsuccessfully sought to contain the Watergate scandal.
Nixon’s fiercely loyal secretary Rose Mary Woods made an appearance in the story when she claimed to have inadvertently erased parts of the tapes that critics suspect included Nixon’s damning confessions.
The National Archives, in its own statements earlier this week, acknowledged that Trump officials cooperated with them and located documents “that were not transferred to the National Archives at the end of the Trump administration.” The agency arranged for the documents to be transported to Washington, DC, and did not travel to Florida.
“Whether through the creation of adequate and appropriate documentation, good records management practices, the preservation of records, or their timely transfer to the National Archives at the end of an administration, there should be no doubt about the need for both diligence and vigilance,” said archivist David Ferriero. “Records matter.”