A 457 Minute Gap

The is a 7 hour gap in the phone logs at the White House from January 6, 2021.

Via WaPo: Jan. 6 White House logs given to House show 7-hour gap in Trump calls

Internal White House records from the day of the attack on the U.S. Capitol that were turned over to the House select committee show a gap in President Donald Trump’s phone logs of seven hours and 37 minutes, including the period when the building was being violently assaulted, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post and CBS News.

The lack of an official White House notation of any calls placed to or by Trump for 457 minutes on Jan. 6, 2021 – from 11:17 a.m. to 6:54 p.m. – means the committee has no record of his phone conversations as his supporters descended on the Capitol, battled overwhelmed police and forcibly entered the building, prompting lawmakers and Vice President Mike Pence to flee for safety.

But, of course, we know there were any number of phone calls during this period. But, again, we see a White House that has no time for niceties like preserving records, using proper secure communication processes, or adhering to the law as a general principle.

Can I get a “but her e-mails”?

More details:

At 11:17 a.m., the White House daily diary states, “The President talked on a phone call to an unidentified person.” That vague call listing, with no notes on duration, is the last official record of a phone conversation that Trump had until the evening of Jan. 6.

The records of Trump’s activity throughout the day are very limited. The daily diary notes that he addressed supporters at a rally at the Ellipse midday and returned to the south grounds of the White House at 1:19 p.m.

“The President met with his Valet,” the records note of Trump’s activity at 1:21 p.m. on Jan. 6.

Trump’s supporters breached the Capitol building shortly after 2 p.m.

The next documented event in the president’s diary comes at 4:03 p.m., when “The President went to the Rose Garden” to record, for four minutes, a video message for the pro-Trump mob that had stormed the Capitol. The video, posted on Twitter at 4:17 p.m., begins with Trump falsely claiming the 2020 election was stolen, then asks the rioters to “go home.” He added, “We love you. You’re very special.”

“The President returned to the Oval Office” at 4:07 p.m., the records state. The next listed action comes at 6:27 p.m.: “The President went to the Second Floor Residence.”

BTW: we should all remember the bit wherein he told the mob at the Capitol that he “understood” them and “loved” them.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, US Politics,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Mister Bluster says:

    The next documented event in the president’s diary comes at 4:03 p.m., when “The President went to the Rose Garden” to record,..

    No doubt he was there to conjure up the ghost of Rose Mary Woods for advice.

    3
  2. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    It seems Ms. Woods was a rank amateur and erasure, compared to FOG’s staff.

    5
  3. Kingdaddy says:

    Once again, shocked but not surprised.

    1
  4. CSK says:

    Two words: Burner phones.

    2
  5. Kathy says:

    Benito the Cheeto is so innocent, he had to destroy evidence of his innocence, lest he dazzle the world with his strong innocence.

    8
  6. Kathy says:

    Dear Mr. Garland,

    There’s more than ample evidence locally and federally to provide cause to investigate trump for a panoply of criminal activities, including an attack on the Unites States. And now there’s also evidence of a cover-up.

    Therefore, I humbly suggest you GET OFF YOUR FUCKING BUTT AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

    Even if it’s just to write a letter of resignation. By now that would be progress.

    19
  7. drj says:

    Two words:

    criminal conspiracy.

    Anything less just isn’t credible.

    2
  8. Matt Bernius says:

    This is where the Jan 6th Committee’s investigation of the phone records of others is super valuable. I’m sure they can reconstruct some of what might have happened during that time.

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/07/politics/january-6-committee-phone-records/index.html

    Also, my brain is foggy today, but I feel like most of the calls by the Republican Law Makers under seige–not to mention the ones from Conservative commentators, were made through calls and texts to Mark Meadows and other percieved as close to the President versus direct communications to Trump himself.

    See https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/sean-hannitys-txt-messages-to-mark-meadows/ for example.

    1
  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “but her e-mails.”

  10. MarkedMan says:

    As I’ve been saying for a number of years now, the Republican Party is irredeemable and an active threat to the country. This is just one more slab of evidence.

    5
  11. Lounsbury says:

    @Kathy: Doubtless the resignation of Mr Garland would bring joy among the TwitterChair General Staff with their deep expertise in building prosecutable cases not at all merely empty political grandstanding that would not survive contact with jury or judicial scrutiny.

    5
  12. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @CSK:
    As I noted earlier today:

    With regard to the 457-minute gap in Pres. Trump’s phone logs on 1/6, Axios PM reports:

    In a statement to The Post, Trump said, “I have no idea what a burner phone is, to the best of my knowledge I have never even heard the term.”

    My friend’s 8-year-old twins are more in touch with the world than FOG? As Inspector Gadget used to say, “Wowsers, Penny!”

    2
  13. CSK says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:
    And now John Bolton says that he heard Trump discuss burner phones several times, and that Trump understands what they are and what they’re used for. And who uses them.

    Of course Trump would know. He’s a criminal.

    20
  14. DK says:

    @Kathy: I don’t understand the widespread assumption Garland’s DOJ isn’t investigating the Trump administration’s potential crimes.

    Garland is doing the job the way it should be done, rather than doing what Comey did: creating media circuses with inappropriate public announcements outside the scope of his duty.

    Norms against premature public disclosure of DOJ/FBI investigations exist for a reason. The cascading, catastrophic aftereffects of Comey’s arrogant disregard for those norms include excess COVID death and democracy-on-the-brink at home and abroad.

    Granted, Garland has Comey’s disastrous example to inform his behavior. But I’m very pleased Garland has both the strength and good sense to stay focused, tune out the noise, and resist political pressure from people like me. Would it were that we could rewind to six years ago and give Jim Comeyn some of that.

    9
  15. Lounsbury says:

    @DK: Because Twitterable announcements and grandstanding to feed immediate desire for sensation of action, for the immediate sugar rush of superficial gratification is more important than the painful, slow work of real legal work.

    In the end not so different, a the Lefty online from the MAGA online, Beni Adam Beni Adam: the sugar rush of apparent immediate gratification overrides

  16. Kathy says:

    @DK:

    How did we know Cyrus Vance Jr. and Letitia James were investigating Little Benito? Because they requested documents and had to go to court to get them, and Benito whined incessantly about witch hunts and such.

    He’s not whining about Garland or the DOJ or FBI.

    6
  17. Kathy says:

    @Lounsbury:

    Your mind-reading act leaves a lot to be desired.

    7
  18. Jay L Gischer says:

    So, we know that several Senators and Members spoke with Trump by phone during this time.

    For instance, Mitt Romney and Kevin McCarthy. Does the 1/6 committee have their phone records? Surely those phone records will show the number called. So if he used a burner phone, it doesn’t matter. We’ll find out the number and get the records for that number. I dare him to try to fight that in court.

    I’m guessing there was no burner phone, just a redaction of records. I would love to see an interview/deposition by whomever was charged with keeping those records. We don’t have our Rosemary Woods yet.

    3
  19. Liberal Capitalist says:

    As they used to say in the old days…

    It’s not the crime. It was the cover-up.

    1
  20. Gustopher says:

    @Lounsbury:

    online, Beni Adam Beni

    Sure, but if we replaced Garland with large man with a large dog, pursuant to a prosecutorial zeal for fatty tissues and softened underbellies, viz. tender loins for snacking, whereupon the prospective views from a judicial visage were redundant in their inconsequential redundancy — a plum.

    5
  21. DK says:

    @Kathy: Mmm, the comparison is apples to…hand grenades. The NY State Attorney General’s Office is not the US Department of Justice, the Manhattan DA’s Office is not the FBI.

    Prosecuting a real estate developer for financial crimes in NYC does not carry the national security risks of prosecuting (or not prosecuting, as it were) a former president for trying to destroy American democracy. I wouldn’t expect associated sensitive disclosures to be handled the same way, by investigators or jurists.

    Given that the probe from the office of Alvin Bragg (who replaced Vance this year) already appears hopelessly botched, those of us wishing for a Trump indictment should probably not lionize that model.

    Tish James’s office seems to be faring better, but her appearances on The View give me pause and worries about potential self-aggrandizement and politicization. I actually think The View is an underappreciated window into how the news cycle is landing with an oft-neglected demographic, but I don’t want anyone DOJ-adjacent on teevee talking Trump with Whoopi and Joy.

    If yelling at Garland online because Trump isn’t whining about him helps folks feel better, fine. It’s likely not going to change Garland’s calculus, and I’m glad it’s not.

    3
  22. wr says:

    @CSK: “And now John Bolton says that he heard Trump discuss burner phones several times, and that Trump understands what they are and what they’re used for. And who uses them.”

    Beyond that, Trump’s “I ain’t never heard that word before” defense is ludicrous on its face. Because it’s quite possible that someone could use untraceable disposable cell phones to hide calls from being noted even if he’d never heard them called “burners.” It just felt like as close to an admission of guilt as you can get from that man.

    1
  23. CSK says:

    @wr:
    Indeed. That’s one of his weasel tricks.

  24. Kathy says:

    @wr:
    @CSK:

    Whenever Benito denies something, it can be taken as an admission.

  25. Kathy says:

    @DK:

    How is an investigation conducted?

    You talk to people involved and to witnesses. You look at relevant documents and records. Many of the latter may not be available without a warrant and many of the former may not want to talk without a subpoena.

    All that would leak. Maybe not the progress of the investigation, but the fact that there is one. And when it did, Benito would whine about it. Like the scorpion in the fable, it’s his nature (apologies to the scorpion).

    2
  26. Neil Hudelson says:

    From this past November:

    Jan. 6 Organizers Used Anonymous Burner Phones to Communicate with White House and Trump Family, Sources Say

    Some of the organizers who planned the rally that took place on the White House Ellipse on Jan. 6 allegedly used difficult-to-trace burner phones for their most “high level” communications with former President Trump’s team.
    […]
    The three sources say Kylie Kremer took one of the phones and used it to communicate with top White House and Trump campaign officials, including Eric Trump, the president’s second-oldest son, who leads the family’s real-estate business; Lara Trump, Eric’s wife and a former senior Trump campaign consultant; Mark Meadows, the former White House chief of staff; and Katrina Pierson, a Trump surrogate and campaign consultant.

    1
  27. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Well this isn’t the first time I’ve been dead wrong.

  28. Paul L says:
  29. @Paul L: Matt has an update.

    I don’t think that “hoax” is the right word. The gap exists, so not fake.