WASHINGTON — A House committee prime-time hearing on Thursday will present the most compelling evidence of then-President Donald Trump’s “defiance of duty” on the day of the January 6 uprising, with new witnesses detailing his failure to stop an angry mob. Capital, committee members said on Sunday.
“It’s going to open people’s eyes in a big way,” said Rep. Adam Kizinger, R-Ill., a member of the House committee investigating the riots that led Thursday’s session with Representative Ellen Luria, D-Va. will help. “The president didn’t do anything.”
After a year-long investigation, the House January 6 panel is trying to wrap up its last hearing, even as its investigation heats up.
The committee says it receives new evidence every day and is not ruling out additional hearings or interviews with additional people close to the president. One such figure is Steve Bannon, whose trial begins this week for refusing to comply with a House Committee subpoena on criminal contempt of Congress charges.
The committee also last week issued an extraordinary summons to the Secret Service to produce texts on Tuesday from January 5 and January 6, 2021, after conflicting reports about whether they had been removed.
But panel members say Thursday’s hearing will be the most specific to date and will weave together previously known details of how Trump’s action was contrary to his constitutional legal duty to stop the January 6 riots. Unlike members of the public, who generally have no duty to take action to prevent a crime, the Constitution requires a president to “take care that laws be faithfully executed.”
“The Commander-in-Chief is the only person in the Constitution whose duty is clearly laid down to ensure that laws are faithfully executed,” Luria said. “I see it as a dereliction of duty. (Trump) did not act. He had a duty to act.”
Thursday’s hearing will be the first in the prime-time slot since its June 9 debut that was watched by an estimated 20 million people.
Luria said the hearing will uncover additional testimony from White House counsel Pat Cipollone and other witnesses not yet seen before, “which will add a lot of value and information to the events of that crucial time on January 6. She cited Trump’s inaction for more than three hours that day, as well as a tweet that afternoon criticizing Vice President Mike Pence for his lack of courage to counter Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election. who may have worked to lay eggs on the mob.
“We’ll see a lot, minute by minute, during that time frame, from the time he left the stage in the Ellipse and came back to the White House, and actually in the White House, in the dining room, urging his advisers to take him into action. for, to take more action,” Luria said.
The hearing comes at a turning point for the panel, which is racing to wrap up the findings for a final report this fall. Panel members said the committee originally expected to conclude most of its investigation with a final hearing at this point, but is now considering possible options for additional interviews and hearings.
“This investigation is very much going on,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., said. “The fact that a series of hearings is going to end this Thursday doesn’t mean our investigation is over. It’s very active, new witnesses are coming out, additional information is coming out. “
For example, the committee took a rare step last week in issuing a summons to the Secret Service, an executive branch department. According to two people familiar with the matter, it came after receiving a closed briefing from Homeland Security Department watchdogs that the Secret Service had deleted the texts from about Jan.
The discovery raised the alarming possibility of lost evidence that could shed further light on Trump’s actions during the rebellion, especially after earlier testimony about his conflicts with security as he sought to join supporters at the Capitol. tried.
“That’s what we have to get to the bottom of,” Luria said of the possibly missing texts. “Where are these text messages? Can they be recovered? And we have summoned them because those are the legal records that we need to see for the committee. ,
Luria spoke on CNN’s “State of the Union”, Lofgren was on ABC’s “This Week”, and Kinzinger appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation”.