MORE HEARINGS IN SEPTEMBER
Scheduled during the evening to reach a broad television audience, the public hearing was the eighth in six weeks by the House of Representatives Select Committee. Another round of hearings will begin in September, said the panel's Republican vice chairperson, Representative Liz Cheney.
The witnesses in the room were Matthew Pottinger, a deputy national security adviser under Trump, and Sarah Matthews, a deputy press secretary in his White House. Both resigned in the hours following the riot.
“If the president had wanted to make a statement and address the American people, he could have been on camera almost immediately,” Matthews testified. “If he had wanted to make an address from the Oval Office, we could have assembled the White House press corps within minutes.”
The panel of seven Democratic and two Republican House members has been investigating the attack for the past year, interviewing more than 1,000 witnesses and amassing tens of thousands of documents.
It has used the hearings to build a case that Trump's efforts to overturn his defeat by Biden in 2020 constitute illegal conduct, far beyond normal politics.
Previous hearings have focused on the run-up to the riot, Trump's pressure on Pence to deny Biden's victory, militant groups whose members participated in the Capitol attack, and Trump's interactions with close advisers questioning his false allegations of massive voter fraud.
Committee members said Trump incited the riot by refusing to admit he lost the election and through comments including a Twitter post in December calling supporters to Washington for a “big protest” on Jan. 6, saying, “Be there, will be wild.”
The attack on the Capitol led to several deaths. More than 850 people have been charged with taking part in the riot, with more than 325 guilty pleas so far.