Posted on: July 22, 2022 Posted by: Winter Auto Comments: 0

‘Donald Trump’s conduct on Jan. 6 … is a stain on our history,’ Kinzinger says

House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol member Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) delivers opening remarks during a prime-time hearing in the Cannon House Office Building on July 21, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Kent Nishimura | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images

“Donald Trump’s conduct on Jan. 6 … is a stain on our history,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger said at the close of the hearing.

Kinzinger, R-Ill., blasted Trump for failing to call off the mob of his supporters attacking the Capitol, and for sending out tweets from the comfort of his private dining room in the White House “that inflamed and expressed support for the desire of some to literally kill Vice President Mike Pence.”

“For three hours he refused to call off the attack,” Kinzinger said. “Donald Trump refused to take the urgent advice he received that day … from his own family, his own friends, his own staff, and his own advisors.:

“Still he refused to lead, and meet the moment to honor his oath,” Kinzinger said.

“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 Jan. 6 was a supreme violation of this oath of office and a complete dereliction of his duty to our nation,” he said. “It is a stain on our history, it is a dishonor to all those who have sacrificed and died in service to our democracy, when we present our full findings we will recommend changes to laws and policies to guard against another Jan. 6.”

Kinzinger said the forces and people Trump unleashed that day are still around. “They’re still out there, ready to go. That’s the elephant in the room,” the lawmaker said.

– Dan Mangan

Hearing adjourns

U.S. Representative Liz Cheney, a Republican from Wyoming, speaks during a hearing of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., US, on Thursday, July 21, 2022. 

Al Drago | Reuters

The Jan. 6 committee concluded its primetime hearing about 15 minutes before 11 p.m. ET. It started at 8 p.m., meaning the hearing was shorter than the 187 minutes Trump didn’t act to halt his supporters’ Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

“Donald Trump made a purposeful choice to violate his oath of office,” Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney said during her closing statement.

Ex-Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia urged Trump not to listen to Giuliani after riot

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, personal attorney to U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 7, 2020.

Eduardo Munoz | Reuters

In a memo drafted after the riot, then-Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia urged Trump not to publicly deny the election results for the rest of his presidency, and not listen to private individuals who have served him “poorly.”

Those individuals were unnamed in Scalia’s memo, which pushed for Trump to convene a Cabinet meeting to gain their advice on what decisions to make in the final weeks of his presidency.

But Kinzinger said that Scalia was referring to Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s then-personal attorney who was deeply involved in efforts to overturn the 2020 election, among others.

Kevin Breuninger

House Republicans call their own employee Matthews ‘liar’ and ‘pawn’ in ‘witch-hunt’

The official House Republicans Twitter account called GOP congressional employee Sarah Matthews “just another liar and pawn in [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi’s witch-hunt” during the hearing, where she was testifying.

That tweet about Matthews, who had worked as a Trump White House press aide, was soon deleted.

So was another House Republicans tweet referring to hearing: “This is all heresy.”

A number of Twitter accounts quickly mocked the GOP account, saying it apparently meant to say the testimony was “hearsay.” But others suggested that “heresy” was how the Republicans saw it.

Matthews, 27, resigned within hours of the attack of the Capitol by Trump supporters.

She currently works as the communications director for Republicans who serve on the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

Matthews testified that Jan. 6 “was one of the darkest days in American history.”

“Make no mistake, the events on the 6th were a coup attempt, a term we’d use had they happened in any other country, and former President Trump failed to meet the moment,” Matthews tweeted earlier this year.

– Dan Mangan

Trump’s ‘we love you’ message to rioters was ‘disturbing,’ Matthews says

Former US President Donald Trump displayed on a screen during a hearing of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., US, on Thursday, July 21, 2022.

Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Former White House press aide Sarah Matthews said it was “disturbing” to hear Trump tell the rioters “we love you, you’re very special” in his 4:17 p.m. video finally calling for an end to the riot.

Matthews said she knew that as a communications staffer, she would be asked to defend that message. But she believed that his message “was indefensible,” and therefore “I knew that I would be resigning that evening.”

Trump’s Rose Garden message was delivered “off the cuff,” another witness told the committee, even though more forceful language had been written for him to read.

The committee played deleted scenes from the video, showing Trump refining his message, which included numerous false claims about election theft that had spurred the mob to invade the Capitol in the first place.

Jared Kushner: McCarthy was ‘scared’ when he called and asked for help during riot

A video of Jared Kushner is shown on a screen, as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, July 21, 2022. 

Alex Brandon | Reuters

Trump’s son-in-law and former senior advisor Jared Kushner told the committee that he believed House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy was “scared” when he called Kushner during the riot and asked for help.

McCarthy had also spoken with Trump on the phone, but the then-president did not act to call off the mob until later in the afternoon.

Kushner, in a video clip from his interview with the select committee, said McCarthy “told me it was getting really ugly.”

Kushner added: “He was scared, yes.”

Kevin Breuninger

White House staff wanted rioters to leave the Capitol, Cipollone said — but Trump refused

Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone told investigators that he couldn’t think of any members of the White House staff who did not want the mob immediately dispersed from the Capitol — but Trump refused, the committee said.

Cipollone named an array of then-White House staffers, lawyers and Trump family members, all of whom wanted the rioters to leave the building. Among those he named were Kayleigh McEnany, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Eric Herschmann, Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino.

But when asked if Trump wanted the same thing, Cipollone said he could not discuss his communications with the former president, citing executive privilege.

Kevin Breuninger

Pence’s security team started ‘to fear for their own lives’

Shocking new surveillance video footage and security chat logs show that Vice President Pence’s security detail started “to fear for their own lives” as Trump-supporting rioters got close to them in the Capitol.

“If we lose any more time, we may lose the ability to leave,” one member of Pence’s security team said on a radio call. “So if we’re going to leave, we need to do it now.”

Radio traffic obtained by the committee revealed members of Pence’s security asking colleagues to tell their families “goodbye” as fear rose that they would be attacked as they moved the vice president.

– Dan Mangan

Trump’s mid-riot tweet attacking Pence ‘put a target on his own vice president’s back’

The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol hold a prime-time hearing in the Cannon House Office Building on July 21, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Win Mcnamee | Getty Images

Trump attacked Vice President Mike Pence in a 2:24 p.m. ET tweet on Jan. 6, despite knowing that the violent mob had entered the Capitol, “adding fuel to the fire,” Rep. Elaine Luria said.

“He put a target on his own vice president’s back,” Luria said.

Trump in that tweet wrote that Pence “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.”

Matthews and Pottinger, the two former Trump aides testifying in person, strongly criticized the tweet.

“That was the moment that I decided I was going to resign,” Pottinger said. “I didn’t want to be associated with the events that were unfolding at the Capitol.”

Pottinger and Matthews both submitted their resignations on Jan. 6.

Kevin Breuninger

Matthews: If Trump wanted to make a statement, he could have been on camera ‘almost instantly’

Former Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Matthews speaks during a hearing by the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6th attack on the US Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC, on July 21, 2022.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

Former White House press aide Sarah Matthews testified that if Trump wanted to quickly call for his supporters to disperse from the Capitol, he could have been on camera “almost instantly.”

Trump was in the White House dining room, adjacent to the Oval Office, for much of the 187-minute interval, the committee said. That room is near the White House briefing room; in between both is the Rose Garden, where Trump eventually recorded his video call for the rioters to “go home.”

A diagram of the Oval Office of the White House and grounds displayed on a screen during a hearing of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., US, on Thursday, July 21, 2022. 

Al Drago | Reuters

Cipollone said he and others — including Ivanka and Mark Meadows — pushed for stronger calls for mob to leave

Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone said in his deposition with investigators that as soon as he learned of violence at the Capitol, he and others had forcefully pushed for the release of a statement telling rioters to leave the building immediately.

“People need to be told, there needs to be a public announcement fast that they need to leave the Capitol,” Cipollone said. He refused to relay his direct conversations with Trump during the interview, citing executive privilege.

But he said he was joined in that effort by other officials, including Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and White House lawyer Eric Herschmann.

Kevin Breuninger

Trump was told Capitol was under attack within 15 minutes of leaving rally stage.

The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol hold a prime-time hearing in the Cannon House Office Building on July 21, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Tasos Katopodis | Getty Images

Trump was told as soon he returned to the White House from a rally just outside that the U.S. Capitol was being attacked, Rep. Elaine Luria revealed.

Luria, D-Va., pointed out a photo of Trump, still wearing his overcoat from the rally, in the Oval Office when he came back inside, after the Secret Service refused to take him to the Capitol to lead his supporters in a protest there, as he had wanted.

“A White House employee informed the president, as soon he returned, about the riot at the Capitol,” Luria said.

“Let me repeat that: Within 15 minutes of leaving the stage, President Trump knew that the Capitol was besieged and under attack.”

Luria said that witnesses have told the committee that Trump then, at 1:25 p.m., went to his private dining room off the Oval Office, where he sat until 4 p.m. watching Fox News, which was showing the scenes inside and outside the Capitol.

She noted that there is no record of Trump receiving or placing a call between 11:06 a.m. and 6:54 p.m.

– Dan Mangan

Multiple sources tell committee Trump angrily demanded ride to Capitol

Trump was “irate” and got in a heated argument when his security officials refused to drive him to the Capitol after his rally outside the White House on Jan. 6, more witnesses testified to the select committee.

The newly revealed testimony appears to align with what former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson told the select committee in sworn testimony last month. Some of Trump’s allies, and unnamed Secret Service sources, had initially pushed back on Hutchinson’s testimony.

In Thursday’s hearing, the committee said that one White House employee, who was unnamed out of fears of retribution, said that they heard from Trump’s security chief Tony Ornato on Jan. 6 that Trump was “irate” when another agent, Bobby Engel, refused to drive him to Capitol.’

Another witness, retired D.C. Police Department Sgt. Mark Robinson, told the committee, “There was a heated argument or discussion about going to the Capitol.”

Kevin Breuninger

Trump didn’t fail to act for 187 minutes — ‘He chose not to act,’ Kinzinger says

“187 Minutes” is displayed on a screen between images of former US President Donald Trump during a hearing by the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6th attack on the US Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC, on July 21, 2022.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

Trump’s refusal to call off the mob of his supporters for more than three hours was a “dereliction of duty,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., said — but it was a deliberate choice, not a failure of action, by the former president.

Trump’s plan was to halt or delay Congress from counting key electoral votes for Biden, Kinzinger said, and the evacuation of Congress caused by the mob accomplished Trump’s goal. “So of course he didn’t intervene,” Kinzinger said.

Trump didn’t “fail to act,” Kinzinger said, “He chose not to act.”

Kevin Breuninger

Almost no one defended Trump after Jan. 6 ‘and no one should do so today,’ Cheney says

Vice Chair U.S. Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) speaks during a public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to investigate the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, U.S., July 21, 2022.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Cheney said that Trump’s staff, his counsel, his allies in Congress and members of his family had implored him to act to quickly stop the violence on Jan. 6 — but Trump refused.

After his other efforts to reverse Biden’s electoral victory failed, only the violent mob was achieving Trump’s goal of disrupting Congress from confirming the election results, Cheney explained.

In the days after the riot, almost no one would defend Trump’s conduct, “and no one should do so today,” Cheney said.

That remark came right after Cheney noted that House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy “was scared, as were others in congress,” during the riot. McCarthy, and many other Republicans, have since resumed vocally supporting Trump.

Kevin Breuninger

Trump ‘could not be moved’ to stop the mob on Jan. 6, Thompson says

Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, delivers opening remarks via video due to being positive for COVID-19 in the Cannon House Office Building on July 21, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Tasos Katopodis | Getty Images

Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said that Trump refused to move from the White House dining room to quell the violent mob of his supporters even as he knew they were storming the Capitol.

“He could not be moved” for 187 minutes,” Thompson said of Trump at the start of the hearing.

The president, who had “emphatically commanded the heavily armed mob to fight like hell,” suddenly “could not be moved to rise from his dining room table” during the riot, Thompson said.

“There needs to be accountability” under the law, the chairman said. “There must be stiff consequences for those responsible.”

Kevin Breuninger

Select committee will hold more hearings in September

Representative Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, center, speaks during hearing of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., US, on Tuesday, June 21, 2022.

Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The select committee will hold more hearings in September, NBC News reported, citing three sources familiar with the matter.

Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., is expected to announce the new schedule during Thursday’s hearing, NBC reported.

“The dam has begun to break,” Cheney said during the hearing, confirming the NBC report.

Kevin Breuninger

Two ex-Trump administration aides expected to testify in person

Sarah Matthews, White House deputy press secretary, listens during a news conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S. on Wednesday, July 8, 2020.

Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Former White House press aide Sarah Matthews and ex-national security aide Matthew Pottinger are expected to testify before the select committee in the hearing, NBC News reported.

Matthews, who was White House deputy press secretary under Trump, resigned on the evening of the Capitol riot. “As someone who worked in the halls of Congress I was deeply disturbed by what I saw today,” she said in a statement at the time.

Pottinger, the former U.S. deputy national security advisor, submitted his resignation that same day.

Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said in a previous hearing that Pottinger “was in the vicinity of the Oval Office at various points throughout the day.”

Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger arrives for a Medal of Honor ceremony for Sergeant Major Thomas P. Payne, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry in the East Room of the White House on September 11, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Drew Angerer | Getty Images

Other high-level Trump officials, including former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, resigned in the aftermath of the insurrection. Chao’s resignation statement appeared to place blame on Trump, lamenting the “entirely avoidable event” caused by “supporters of the President … following a rally he addressed.”

Kevin Breuninger

Trump was watching TV in White House dining room during riot, witnesses told committee

Trump was watching television in a White House dining room while rioters were raging at the Capitol, multiple witnesses told the select committee.

That’s according to a video shared hours before the hearing by Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., who is set to co-lead the presentation with Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va.

The 49-second video shared on Kinzinger’s Twitter account included clips of the committee’s interviews with multiple former Trump administration officials, who described their experiences at the White House on Jan. 6.

“To the best of my recollection, he was always in the dining room,” former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told investigators, the video showed.

In another clip, Retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg said he recalled “everyone was watching the TV” during his brief encounter in that dining room.

Trump’s former executive assistant Molly Michael told the committee that when she talked to Trump on Jan. 6, “It’s my understanding he was watching television.”

Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone, a highly sought-after witness who spoke with the investigation under subpoena in recent weeks, confirmed that the violence occurring at the Capitol was visible on the television screen when he was in the dining room with Trump.

Kevin Breuninger

Trump lashes out at select committee, Pelosi ahead of hearing

Donald Trump started criticizing the select committee on social media hours before the hearing began.

In a post on his online platform Truth Social, the former president trotted out a much-disputed claim to suggest that two Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser, were to blame for the Capitol riot.

The post asked rhetorically why the “Unselects” are not making Pelosi and Bowser testify “as to why they turned down my recommendation on January 3rd of 10,000 to 20,000 troops to stand guard at the Capitol Building on January 6th.”

“Had they followed this recommendation, there would have been no problem January 6th!!!” Trump claimed.

Fact-checkers have repeatedly determined that there is no evidence that Pelosi rejected a request from Trump to authorize National Guard troops ahead of Jan. 6, 2021. Some have pointed out the D.C. National Guard falls under the control of the president.

Select committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., has also noted that on the day of the riot itself, Trump “gave no order to deploy the National Guard that day, and made no effort to work with the Department of Justice to coordinate and deploy law enforcement assets.”

Kevin Breuninger

What to expect from the hearing

US President Donald Trump’s supporters gather outside the Capitol building, January 6, 2021.

Probal Rashid | LightRocket | Getty Images

The committee’s prime-time hearing Thursday evening will serve as the next chapter in a summer of revelations of how former President Donald Trump behaved before and during the assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

The bipartisan committee, though several key witnesses, has painted the former commander-in-chief as a vitriolic and dangerous leader who urged supporters to storm the Capitol in protest of the presidential election he lost to President Joe Biden.

One of the witnesses the panel plans to question on Thursday is Matthew Pottinger, who served as deputy national security adviser in the Trump administration until he resigned on Jan. 6. Pottinger, a Marine Corps veteran, is expected to detail how the former president failed to act for hours as his supporters broke into the Capitol.

The committee also plans to play a number of recorded testimonies that document Trump’s failure to reinforce Capitol police on Jan. 6, including remarks from Pat Cipollone, the former White House counsel.

Thomas Franck

Criminal probe launched after the deletion of Secret Service Jan. 6 text messages

U.S. Secret Service agents stand watch as Marine One, with U.S. President Donald Trump on board, departs the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Committee Chairman Thompson won’t be in the room due to Covid diagnosis

Committee Chairperson U.S. Representative Bennie Thompson (D-MS) speaks during fifth public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 23, 2022. 

Jim Bourg | Reuters

Rep. Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the Jan. 6 committee, will miss Thursday evening’s hearing as he recovers from Covid-19.

The Mississippi Democrat, who is fully vaccinated and boosted against the coronavirus, wrote in a tweet Tuesday morning that he was experiencing mild symptoms after receiving a positive test result. Committee spokesman Tim Mulvey told reporters that Thompson directed the panel to proceed with Thursday evening’s hearing without him.

The chairman is expected to attending the hearing virtually and his isolation is not expected to affect the hearing otherwise.

Thomas Franck