Top officials to reveal what Trump did on January 6

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Two top White House officials during Donald Trump’s presidency will be the key witnesses at Thursday’s hearing of the legislative committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on Capitol Hill.

One is then-Deputy National Security Advisor Matt Pottinger and the other is then-Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Matthews.

Both resigned from their posts the day Trump supporters stormed the Capitol. Together with Cassidy Hutchinson, a collaborator of the then chief of staff, they are the only White House officials to testify publicly.

His appearance contrasts with the attitude of the group of Trump loyalists who have tried to flout the commission’s subpoenas, remained silent or rejected the revelations of the investigation.

The details of what Pottinger and Matthews will testify have been kept strictly secret, but the topic of the hearing is expected to be what Trump was doing — and not doing — during the assault that tried to prevent the election result from being certified.

Roughly three hours elapsed between Trump’s speech at a rally near the White House and his broadcast of a video calling the insurgents “very special” people and asking them to “go home now.”

Pottinger, 49, and Matthews, 27, could shed light on events behind the scenes as Trump ignored pleas from relatives, aides and co-religionists to condemn the assault and urge people to leave the building.

As a press office official, Matthews had attended debates about what the White House and Trump should say during the insurrection and what aides were advising. And while Pottinger dealt with foreign policy, her position put him at the crossroads of national security issues.

Whatever they saw that day, they both resigned and started an exodus of White House staff and cabinet members.

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