Committee ‘filled in the blanks’ on Trump’s Jan. 6 activities, Kinzinger says

Former President Donald Trump did ‘nothing’ to stop the riot on Capitol Hill as it unfolded on Jan. 6, 2021, and new witnesses will fill in the gaps in Trump’s activities that day when the committee House select group investigating the attack will hold its next hearing, members of the bipartisan panel said on Sunday.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), who is scheduled to lead the prime-time hearing on Thursday, said the session is “going to be a big eye-opener for people” as they examine Trump’s actions in detail. over time. Capitol has been swarmed by a mob seeking to prevent certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.

“We filled in the blanks,” Kinzinger said on CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday. Trump “didn’t do much, but I watched TV happily during that time.”

Kinzinger, one of two GOP members of the bipartisan panel who comes under regular attack from Trump for his role on the committee, implored fellow Republicans to watch the upcoming hearing with an open mind and to ask yourself, “Is this the kind of leader you really think you deserve?”

Late Friday, the committee took the unusual step of subpoenaing the Secret Service after reports that the agency deleted text messages from January 5 and 6, 2021, after the Department Inspector General’s Office Homeland Security requested them. Committee members said they expected to receive the text messages by Tuesday.

“An agency that played such a significant role in a critical event in our history, one would assume they did everything possible to preserve these records,” Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) said on “State of the Union” from CNN. “When it comes to digital recordings and text messages, I’m not a computer expert, but I understand there’s a lot that can be done, a lot of forensic analysis and data recovery .”

Secret services subpoenaed for deleted texts

Previous hearings have focused on Trump’s efforts to pressure the Justice Department, state officials and his own vice president to overturn the 2020 election results; Trump’s own outburst as he was barred from going to the Capitol with his supporters that day; and links between the Trump White House and the violent extremist groups that were part of the attack. But so far, the committee has made little public about what Trump was doing during the Capitol riot, after returning to the White House.

Thursday’s hearing will be the last in the first round, but committee members said there may be further hearings later in the year.

“If we get information that the American people need, we might end up having more hearings then as well,” Kinzinger said.

Committee members said Sunday that Trump did not intervene in the 187 minutes between leaving his ‘Stop the Steal’ rally on the Ellipse that day and finally tweeting a video. at 4:17 p.m. telling his supporters to leave the Capitol.

“It’s quite simple: he wasn’t doing anything to stop the riot,” Luria said.

“We’re going to go pretty much minute by minute through that time, from when he left the stage at the Ellipse, came back to the White House, and really sat down in the White House, in the hall at eat, with his advisers urging him to continually ask him to act, to act more,” Luria added.

The House January 6, 2021 committee held its final public hearing on July 12, focusing on how President Donald Trump summoned far-right militant groups to DC (Video: Mahlia Posey/The Washington Post , Photo: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post)

Luria also referenced the now infamous tweet sent at 2:24 p.m. that day accusing Vice President Mike Pence of not having “the courage to do what should have been done,” further inflaming the situation.

When asked if Trump’s inaction would constitute a crime, Luria said Trump should have understood what action in times of crisis looks like as the nation’s commander-in-chief.

“He is the only person in the Constitution whose duty is explicitly stated to ensure that the laws are faithfully carried out,” said Luria, a veteran. “I consider this a dereliction of duty.”

Luria and Kinzinger said the committee continues to research and receive new information about the Jan. 6 attack every day.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-California) told ABC’s “This Week” that the committee plans to release a final report later this year.

“This investigation is very much in progress. The fact that the series of hearings ends this Thursday does not mean that our investigation is over,” Lofgren said.

“Frankly, if the president’s supporters hadn’t engaged in frivolous litigation for months, we would be further along than we are,” Lofgren said.

Before the next committee hearing on Jan. 6, members asked the Secret Service agency to turn over allegedly deleted text messages from the Capitol attack. (Video: The Washington Post)

Kinzinger also once again defended Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, who testified last month that she was told Trump had angrily pounced on his Secret Service detail. while he was inside the presidential limo because they wouldn’t be driving him to the Capitol.

Anonymous sources have since disputed his testimony, but Kinzinger said the committee was still working to speak to those who were in the presidential limo at the time and that any statements should be made under oath.

“We have every reason to believe that what Cassidy Hutchinson said, at least from what she said she heard, because she wasn’t in the limo – never said she was,” Kinzinger said. “She was told that. We fully believe she is a credible witness and her allegations are quite explosive.

Joanna Slater and Ariana Eunjung Cha contributed to this report.

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