WASHINGTON — The Jan. 6 committee returns to prime time on Thursday evening with a hearing focusing on three-plus hours during the insurrection at the Capitol when then-President Donald Trump failed to act to stop the violence.
The defeated president’s lies about a stolen election drove his supporters to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and despite pleas from aides, allies and even members of his family, Trump did nothing to rein in the mob.
And what was Trump doing at the White House during those 187 minutes of inaction?
One committee member says Trump was “gleefully” watching the riot unfold 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 praised the rioters as “very special,” but asked them to disperse.
The hearing could be the committee’s final one after a series of public sessions 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, a press aide. Both submitted their resignations on Jan. 6, 2021, after what they saw that day.
Expect to see never-before-seen outtakes of a Jan. 7 video in which White House aides pleaded for Trump to make a message of national healing for the country. The footage is said to show how Trump struggled to condemn his supporters who violently breached the Capitol.
Leading the hearing will be Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria of Virginia, a former Naval officer, and Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who flew combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The committee chairman, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, is isolating after testing positive for COVID-19 and plans to attend the hearing by video