The House committee investigating the Capitol attack held the last of its summer hearings Thursday night, focusing on former President Trump's failure to act as a mob of his supporters stormed the building. The panel presented evidence that Trump ignored repeated pleas to call off his supporters in the 187 minutes between the conclusion of his speech urging them to march to the Capitol and his release of a video telling the "very special" rioters to go home, the AP reports. Some takeaways:
- Timeline clarified. It had been unclear how quickly Trump was made aware of the seriousness of the situation, but former White House counsel Pat Cipollone said the push by White House staffers for Trump to make a strong statement to stop the violence began around 2pm, the Washington Post reports. That was 15 minutes before rioters made it into the Capitol building—and more than 20 minutes before Trump attacked then-Vice President Mike Pence in a tweet. A witness said that around that time, the situation surrounding Pence had become so tense that members of his Secret Service team made goodbye calls to their families.
- Trump never called law enforcement or the Pentagon. The hearing was told that as Trump sat in a small dining room off the Oval Office watching Fox News footage of police being overwhelmed at the Capitol, he didn't make a single call to any law enforcement or national security agency, reports the New York Times. In a deposition played for the hearing, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: "You’re the commander in chief—you've got an assault going on the Capitol of the United States of America and there’s nothing? No call? Nothing? Zero?"
- Hutchison's testimony bolstered. The Hill notes that witnesses Thursday night backed up some of the explosive testimony from former Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson last month. Mark Robinson, a retired Washington police officer who was part of Trump's motorcade said he had been told by a Secret Service agent "the president was upset, and was adamant about going to the Capitol, and there was a heated discussion about that." He said there hadn't been anything similar in the more than 100 Trump motorcades he had been a part of. He made no mention, however, of Trump allegedly lunging for the steering wheel.
- "Compelling" new footage. The prime-time hearing delivered what CNN calls a "compelling multimedia experience" of videos, photos, and audio that had not been publicly released before, including outtakes of a Jan. 7 video in which Trump still refused to admit that the election was over, and footage of GOP Sen. Josh Hawley running to safety not long after he had greeted protesters outside the Capitol with a raised fist.
- The hearings aren't over. The panel's probe "has opened up extraordinary new avenues of inquiry," including the Secret Service's deletion of text messages, and there will be more hearings to come, Politico reports. Rep. Liz Cheney said the panel "will spend August pursuing emerging information on multiple fronts, before convening further hearings this September."
(Read more Jan. 6 hearings