Actor and political activist Sean Penn showed up at Thursday's hearing, sitting through the nearly 3-hour proceedings with the rest of the attendees. The unexpected visitor said he was there as just another citizen. January 6 committee member Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who led most of the discussion Thursday, reviewed many electronic messages that then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows both sent and received before, during, and after the January 6 attack on the US Capitol. The brunt of Thursday's hearing focused on the various ways Donald Trump and his allies tried to make Department of Justice officials comply with unlawfully overturning the 2020 election. Some of the evidence presented included text messages Republican Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania sent White House officials urging them to move attorney Jeff Clark up the management ladder so he could help validate the baseless election fraud strategy. As part of his testimony, former acting deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue explained that he resisted Trump's efforts to draw the DOJ into his election fraud fantasy every step of the way. And he warned others to steer clear as well. As if dragging American election workers through the mud weren't enough, January 6 committee staff also presented evidence of far-fetched claims by House Republicans of potential interference by European powers. The Department of Justice officials testified about how they and others got fed up with Trump's attempts to drag them into his election fraud scheme.They said they managed to quash a last-ditch plan to install election denier Jeff Clark as acting attorney general by telling Trump that if he pushed for regime change, they'd resign en masse and Clark would be left leading a graveyard. January 6 committee staff made good on co-chair Liz Cheney's promise from few weeks ago to expose House Republicans who'd asked Trump to pardon them in the wake of the attack on the US Capitol. On Thursday the committee revealed that Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Louie Gohmert of Texas, and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia had all requested protection from the fallout of the 2020 election fraud scheme. Rep. Matt Gaetz actually came up more than once during the discussion of pardon requests. White House aides testified about direct conversations they'd had with the Florida Republican regarding presidential pardons, and Rep. Mo Brooks mentioned him specifically in an email he shot over to administration officials.