Donald Trump sat for hours watching the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol live, ignoring pleas from his children and other close advisers to urge his supporters to stop the violence, witnesses at a congressional hearing said.
This summer, a House select committee held its eighth hearing to detail what members said was Trump’s inaction during the 187 minutes between the end of his inflammatory rally speech urging supporters to march on the Capitol and the release of a video telling them to go home.
“President Trump sat at his dinner table watching the attack on TV while his most senior staff, closest advisers and family members begged him to do what is expected of any American president,” Democratic Party committee member Elaine said Thursday. Luria. .
The group played video footage of testimony from White House aides and security officials discussing the day’s events.
Former White House adviser Pat Cipollone was asked question after question in a recorded deposition about whether Trump took this or that action: Did he call the secretary of defense? Did he call the US Attorney General? Did he call the head of homeland security?
Mr Cipollone answered in the negative to every question.
Commissioners said Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son Don Jr. were among those pleading with him to act.
The hearing, expected to be the last before September, detailed both the violence that played out as Trump supporters forced their way into the Capitol and Trump’s actions in the hours following his speech, in which he urged the crowd to “fight like hell ”, and the release of a video in which the rioters are asked to go home.
“He recklessly paved the way for lawlessness and corruption at the cost of damned democracy,” Chairman Benny Thompson said at the start of the final public hearing.
“There must be accountability to the law, accountability to the American people. Accountability at all levels… all the way to the Oval Office.
“He called the crowd”
An attack on the Capitol during a meeting between Vice President Mike Pence and politicians resulted in more than 140 police officers being injured and delaying confirmation of Democratic President Joe Biden’s victory in the November 2020 election.
“Over the past month and a half, a special committee has told a story about a president who did everything in his power to cancel the election. He lied, he intimidated, he betrayed his oath,” said Democratic committee chairman Benny Thompson. , said via remote video broadcast after he was diagnosed with COVID-19.
“He tried to destroy our democratic institutions. He called a crowd to Washington.”
Adam Kinzinger, a member of the Republican committee, said that Trump is not interested in recalling the rioters.
“The crowd was doing President Trump’s design, so of course he didn’t interfere,” Kinzinger said.
Trump remains very popular with Republican voters and continues to flirt with the possibility of running again for president in 2024. But a Reuters/Ipsos poll Thursday showed his authority among Republicans has waned a bit since hearings began early last month.
Donald Trump denies his guilt
Trump denies wrongdoing and continues to falsely claim that he lost due to widespread fraud.
The public hearing, scheduled for the evening for a wide television audience, was the eighth in six weeks by a House Select Committee.
Another round of hearings will begin in September, said GOP Vice Chair Liz Cheney.
The witnesses in the room were Matthew Pottinger, Trump’s deputy national security adviser, and Sarah Matthews, deputy press secretary at his White House. Both resigned within hours of the riots.
“If the president wanted to make a statement and address the American people, he could be on camera almost immediately,” Matthews said.
“If he wanted to give a speech from the Oval Office, we could assemble the White House press corps in a matter of minutes.”
A group of seven Democrats and two Republican members of the House of Representatives investigated the attack over the past year.
He used the hearings to argue that Trump’s attempts to undo his 2020 defeat by Joe Biden constitute illegal behavior far beyond normal politics.