The Jan. 6 committee returns to prime time Thursday night with a hearing covering more than three hours during the insurgency on Capitol Hill when then-President Donald Trump failed to act to stop the violence.
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The defeated president’s lies about a stolen election drove his supporters to the Capitol on January 6, 2021, and despite pleas from aides, allies and even family members, Trump has done nothing to contain the crowd.
And what was Trump doing in the White House during those 187 minutes of inaction?
A member of the committee said Trump was watching the riot unfold “with joy” on television at the White House.
Three hours and 7 minutes after the assault began, Trump released a video that day at 4:17 p.m., recorded in the Rose Garden, in which he hailed the rioters as “very special” but asked them to disperse.
The hearing could be the committee’s last after a series of public hearings over the past six weeks.
Live testimony is expected from two former White House aides. They are Matt Pottinger, who was deputy national security adviser, and Sarah Matthews, press secretary. Both tendered their resignations on January 6, 2021, after what they saw that day.
Expect to see never-before-seen clips from a Jan. 7 video in which White House aides pleaded for Trump to deliver a national healing message for the country. The footage is said to show how Trump struggled to condemn his supporters who violently violated the Capitol.
Leading the audience will be Democratic Representative Elaine Luria of Virginia, a former Navy officer, and Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who served combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The committee chair, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, is self-isolating after testing positive for COVID-19 and plans to attend the hearing via video.
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