Fmr Trump cabinet secretary claimed Bill Barr advised he resign after J6 riot

The latest publicized finding from the Jan. 6th committee is that after the Jan. 6th riot, then-former Attorney General Bill Barr told at least one remaining Cabinet member to resign and “get out of there.”

That Cabinet member, then-Trump-era Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia, revealed as much during a deposition that occurred on June 30th of this year.

The relevant part of the deposition began with an interviewer asking, “Did you talk to anyone else, reach out to anyone else on the night of the 6th, given that you were one Cabinet member very disturbed by what had occurred?”

“I called Bill Barr, the former Attorney General. … I had known Bill Barr a long time. I had considered Bill Barr a friend. We had been Cabinet Secretaries together. I thought Bill was a thoughtful person,” Scalia replied.

“Of course, he had resigned previously [in December 2020]. And I just called Bill to say, ‘Bill, what’s your advice? What should I do? I was interested in what he had to say,” he added.

Barr then told him to resign, which was something that he hadn’t even been considering at the time.

“You know, at the time, I did not give resignation serious consideration. But I recognized it as the kind of thing that people might consider in that circumstance, and Bill did tell me you should resign. That was Bill’s advice. And that’s what I recall from that call,” Scalia explained.

“You know, Bill didn’t say, Gene, you have a responsibility to resign. He said, you know, if I were you, I’d resign. Get out of there,” he added.

However, Scalia chose to not listen to Barr’s advice and instead remained on as Secretary of Labor even after the Jan. 6th riot and tried to convene a Cabinet meeting.

“Bill was one of a number of people that I was speaking to after the events of January 6th, trying to figure out what the right course of action was. I continued to think about what the right to do was. And on the morning of the 7th, the decision that I arrived at was that the most constructive thing I could think of was to seek a meeting of the Cabinet,” he explained during his deposition.

“I thought that trying to work within the administration to steady the ship was likely to have greater value than simply resigning, after which point I would have been powerless to really affect things within the administration,” he added.

Scalia continued by admitting that he’d also gotten the impression from White House counsel Pat Cipollone that he was still needed.

“I had also gotten the impression from Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel, that he valued my being around in the administration as someone that he could talk to and as somebody who was there to express concerns when they arose,” he said.

“And so, I got the sense that Pat wanted me around. And so I thought that the one value that I could provide by remaining was just whether value Cipollone saw in my being around, I was happy to provide at least at that time,” he added.

(Source: White House, Scalia being sworn in on Sept. 30th, 2019)

Dovetailing back to the Cabinet meeting, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later testified on Aug. 9th of this year that Scalia had requested specifically to ask then-President Donald Trump to resign.

“If I recall correctly, Secretary Scalia’s purpose of the meeting was to have a conversation with the President, asking him about the events of January 6th, implicitly at least, if not directly, to ask him to think about resigning. I thought the probability of that was low and that there was an awful lot of work to be done,” said.

“So I just didn’t think it would be a productive use of the Cabinet members’ time. It was about outcomes, right, I was just thinking about what’s the outcome, what are we going to deliver. And I didn’t think it was a good use of Cabinet members’ time on that day,” he added.

Indeed, Trump never resigned. Unlike Barr, he remained at the helm of the ship until the very last moment, not stepping down until Inauguration Day.

The then-president stayed on based on the belief that he’d done nothing wrong — that the Jan. 6th riot wasn’t in any way, shape, or form his fault.

“President Trump will not resign. Nor will he turn power over to Vice President Pence and ask him for a pardon, according to top White House advisers who have spoken with the highest ranking members of Mr. Trump’s Cabinet, including Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, Pence and chief of staff Mark Meadows,” CBS News reported on Jan. 9th, 2021.


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Vivek Saxena


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