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Trump’s response to Capitol attack

WASHINGTON – The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol plans to chronicle at its Thursday hearing all that was happening in Congress and at the White House during the 187 minutes between then-President Donald Trump’s fiery speech and his video encouraging the mob to go home.

Committee members have argued that Trump’s lack of response was a dereliction of duty under the Constitution to protect Congress.

  • Thompson by remote: Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, of Mississippi, who is the chairman of the committee, is attending Thursday’s hearing remotely after testing positive for Covid-19 this week.
  • 🎤 Who will testify? The committee will hear from former Trump aides Matthew Pottinger and Sarah Matthews, who each resigned in protest soon after Jan. 6. In addition, the panel will show videotaped depositions from former White House counsel Pat Cipollone; former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson and Greg Jacob, former Vice President Mike Pence’s counsel; who will describe that day in detail.
  • 🏛️ Why is this important and what will be said?: While snippets of what happened behind-the-scenes have been revealed through testimony and evidence, there are still large gaps of the day we don’t know about, and the committee has promised more details which could be revealed in Thursday’s “minute by minute” account.
  • Taking the lead: The primetime hearing  led by two lawmakers who are military veterans — Democrat Elaine Luria, of Virginia, and Republican Adam Kinzinger, of Illinois.

Live timeline of Trump’s actions during the Capitol attack:On Jan. 6, Trump was out of public view as aides urged him to act. A breakdown of those 187 minutes.

Matthew Pottinger and Sarah Matthews before testifying at public hearing before the House select committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol held on July 21, 2022. Matthews is a former deputy press secretary and Pottinger is a former deputy national security adviser in the Trump administration.

White House security “in a state of shock” long before Capitol was breached 

A White House security official, who spoke anonymously to the Jan. 6 Committee out of fear of retribution, said security knew that the crowd gathered at Jan. 6 moved from being a “normal, democratic public event” into a security threat. 

The security official said that White House security became concerned long before rioters breached the Capitol, as they were aware of multiple reports of weapons in the crowd at the Ellipse for former President Donald Trump’s rally. 

“The President wanted to lead tens of thousands of people to the Capitol. I think that was enough grounds for us to be alarmed.” 

– Katherine Swartz

Former White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews answers a question during a public hearing before the House select committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol held on July 21, 2022.

Trump ‘chose not to act’ as violent rioters entered the Capitol

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., said Trump deliberately “chose not to act” as rioters breached the Capitol building because the mob was doing his bidding. 

“Why did he not take immediate action in a time of crisis?” Kinzinger said. “Because President Trump’s plan for January 6 was to halt or delay Congress’ official proceedings to count the votes.”

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