January 6 Panel: Key Takeaways from the Hearing on “Trump’s 187 Minutes of Inaction”
Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on Capitol Hill held its eighth public hearing Thursday, the latest in a series that has exposed that these riots, which left people dead and injured, were the result of attempts by the then President Donald Trump to annul the elections.
Thursday’s hearing focused on what happened during the 187 minutes between Trump’s speech, during which he encouraged supporters to march on Capitol Hill, and his tweet encouraging protesters to return home.
The hearing, led by two military veterans, Representatives Elaine Luria, D-Va., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., used witness testimony to reconstruct Trump’s actions on the evening of January 6as there was no official record of calls from the White House that afternoon and nothing included in the presidential agenda.
On Thursday they testified live Matthew Pottinger, Trump’s deputy national security adviser at the time, and Sarah Mathews, Trump’s deputy press secretary. Both resigned after the events of January 6, dismayed by what they considered an inadequate response by the president to quell the violence.
– Trump refused to say the election was over in a January 7 speech, according to never-before-seen outtakes that aired Thursday.
The committee played additional never-before-seen footage of Trump struggling to refine a recorded message to the country a day after the riots. Outtakes show the then-president having a hard time using the word “yesterday” and refusing to say “the election is over.”
– Trump resisted asking for the assailants to leave the Capitol.
White House counsel and White House officials testified that Trump did not make any calls to the secretary of defense, attorney general or secretary of homeland security during the siege.
– Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone said in recorded testimony that White House staff wanted the rioters to go home and suggested Trump didn’t.
The panel shared video testimony from top advisers to the then president and his sons imploring Trump to call off the attack.
– Witnesses corroborated a “heated exchange” between Trump and his security team.
Two witnesses corroborated some aspects of Hutchinson’s story during Thursday’s testimony, saying Trump had a “heated argument” with his team over their refusal to take him to Capitol Hill.
Hutchinson previously testified that Orntao told him that Trump was furious when agents told him they would not take him to Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 and he lunged at Engel and tried to grab the steering wheel. Engel, he said, was present when Ornato told him the story and did not dispute the story.
The Secret Service has also come under fire for destroying text messages from January 5 and 6.
What comes next?
In his closing statement, Adam Kinzinger said that Trump stepped down from his responsibilities as commander-in-chief on January 6.
“Whatever your politics, whatever you think about the outcome of the election, we as Americans must all agree on this: Donald Trump’s conduct on January 6 was a supreme violation of his oath of office. and a complete dereliction of duty to our nation,” he said. “It is a dishonor to all those who have sacrificed and died in the service of our democracy.”
Kinzinger said that when the committee releases its report, it will recommend “law and policy changes to guard against another January 6.”
It may interest you:
– January 6 panel: Mike Pence’s security team began to “fear for their own lives
– January 6 panel to seek evidence that Trump broke the law by failing to prevent the assault on Capitol Hill
– Jan. 6 Committee schedules hearing on Trump’s inaction during Capitol storming