WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) — A House committee hearing scheduled for prime time on Thursday will present the most compelling evidence of then-President Donald Trump’s “negligent dereliction of duty” on the day of the January 6 uprising. When new witnesses elaborated on their failure to stop, panel members said Sunday that angry crowds stormed the Capitol.
“It will be a big eye-opener for the people,” said Republican Representative Adam Kizinger of the House committee investigating the riots, who will help co-chair Thursday’s session with Democrat Representative Ellen Luria. “The president didn’t do anything.”
After a year’s investigation, the commission that probed what happened on January 6, 2021, wants to conclude what could be its last hearing even if the investigation is expedited.
The commission says it receives new evidence daily and is not ruling out additional hearings or interviews with several people close to the president. One of them is Steve Bannon, whose trial begins this week on charges of criminal contempt of Congress after he refused to comply with a House panel subpoena.
The commission also issued an extraordinary summons to the Secret Service last week to produce texts about January 5 and 6 by Tuesday, following conflicting reports about whether they had been redacted or No.
But panel members say Thursday’s hearing will be the most conspicuous yet in presenting and piecing together no previously known details of how Trump’s actions run contrary to his constitutional duty to stop the January 6 riots. Unlike members of the public, who generally do not have a duty to take action to prevent a crime, the Constitution requires a president “to see that laws are executed exactly.”
“The Commander-in-Chief is the only person in the Constitution explicitly established to ensure that laws are executed correctly,” Luria said. “I see it as a dereliction of duty. (Trump) did not act. It was my duty to do it.”
Thursday’s hearing will take place in prime time for the first time since its opening session on June 9, which was watched by nearly 20 million people.
Associated Press writer Will Weissert contributed to this report.