Next Jan. 6 hearing: Committee to hone in on Donald Trump’s 187 minutes during Capitol riot; White House aides to testify

WASHINGTON — The House committee on Jan. 6 will hold its final hearing of the summer the way the series began — clearly stating that Donald Trump’s lies about a stolen election sparked the horrific attack on the U.S. Capitol, which he did not. nothing to stop, but instead “joyfully watched on television in the White House.

Thursday’s prime-time hearing will dive into the 187 minutes Trump failed to act on Jan. 6, 2021, despite pleas for help from aides, allies and even his own family. The panel aims to show how the defeated president’s effort to overturn Joe Biden’s election victory has left the United States facing lingering questions about the resilience of its democracy.

“A profound moment of reckoning for America,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., a member of the committee.

MORE: Jan. 6 panel calls Secret Service over deleted texts

Featuring live testimony from two former White House aides and excerpts from the vault of more than 1,000 interviews, the nearly two-hour session will add a closing chapter to the past six weeks of hearings that have at times captivated the nation.

Returning to prime time for the first time since the series of hearings began, the panel aims to show how close the United States came to what a retired federal judge who testified this summer called a constitutional crisis.

The events of Jan. 6 will be described “minute by minute,” said the committee’s vice chairwoman, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.

“You’re going to hear that Donald Trump never picked up the phone that day to order his administration to help,” Cheney said.

“He didn’t call the military. His defense secretary didn’t get any orders. He didn’t call his attorney general. He didn’t talk to the Department of Homeland Security,” Cheney said. “Mike Pence did all that, Donald Trump didn’t.”

SEE ALSO: Trump Tried to Contact Witness Speaking to Committee Jan. 6, Liz Cheney Tells Hearing

On Thursday, former White House aides who were close to the administration will testify.

Matt Pottinger, who was deputy national security adviser, and Sarah Matthews, then press adviser, both resigned on January 6, 2021, after what they saw that day. Trump dismissed the hearings on social media and dismissed much of the testimony as bogus.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., the committee chairman, is self-isolating after testing positive for COVID-19 and will attend via video. Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., a former Navy officer who will lead the meeting with Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., who flew combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, said she expects testimony from White House aides will “Just be really exciting.”

“These are people who believed in the work they did, but they didn’t believe in the stolen election,” Luria said.

White House aides weren’t alone in calling it quits that day. The committee is expected to provide an accounting of Trump administration aides and even Cabinet members who resigned after Trump failed to thwart the attack. Some cabinet members were so concerned that they discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.

As the commission continues to collect evidence and prepares to issue a preliminary report of findings, it has assembled the most substantial public record yet of what led Americans to attack the seat of democracy.

While the commission cannot bring criminal charges, the Department of Justice monitors its work.

WATCH: Election lies spark deadly attack on US Capitol

So far, more than 840 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol riot. More than 330 of them have pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanors. Of the more than 200 defendants to be sentenced, about 100 were sentenced to prison terms.

What remains uncertain is whether Trump or the former president’s top allies will face serious charges. No former president has ever been federally prosecuted by the Justice Department.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said Wednesday that the Jan. 6 investigation is “the broadest investigation and the most significant investigation the Department of Justice has ever embarked on.”

“We have to get it right,” Garland said. “For people who are concerned, as I think every American should be, we need to do two things: We need to hold accountable every person who is criminally responsible for trying to subvert a legitimate election, and we need to do it in a manner filled with integrity and professionalism ».

Examining the timeline, the panel aims to show what happened from the time Trump left the stage at the Stop the Steal rally shortly after 1:10 p.m., after telling supporters to march on Capitol Hill and about three hours later. when he issued a video address from the Rose Garden in which he told the rioters to “go home” but also praised them as “very special”.

MORE: On Jan. 6, witness Cassidy Hutchinson who attended the hearing said an “enraged” Trump physically assaulted the security detail and demanded to go to the Capitol.

He also expects to produce additional evidence about Trump’s confrontation with Secret Service agents who refused to drive him to the Capitol – a witness account that the security detail disputed.

Five people died that day as Trump supporters battled police in fierce hand-to-hand battles to storm the Capitol. An officer has given evidence of how she was ‘sliding in other people’s blood’ as they tried to contain the mob. A Trump supporter was shot and killed by police.

“The president wasn’t doing much, but he was happily watching TV during that time frame,” Kinzinger said.

Not only did Trump refuse to tell the mob to leave the Capitol, he didn’t call other parts of the administration for support and didn’t order the deployment of the National Guard, Cheney said.

WATCH: Looking back on January 6, 2021

That’s despite countless pleas from Trump aides and allies, including his daughter Ivanka Trump and Fox News host Sean Hannity, according to previous testimony and text messages the committee has received.

“You’ll hear leaders on Capitol Hill begging the president for help,” Cheney said, including House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, who she said showed he was “frightened” and called several members of the president’s family Trump after he couldn’t convince. the President himself”.

The commission said its investigation is ongoing and that more hearings are possible. He expects to produce a preliminary report this fall and a final report by the end of this session of Congress.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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Next Jan. 6 hearing: Committee to hone in on Donald Trump’s 187 minutes during Capitol riot; White House aides to testify Source link Next Jan. 6 hearing: Committee to hone in on Donald Trump’s 187 minutes during Capitol riot; White House aides to testify

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