President Donald Trump refused multiple pleas from those in his inner circle on Jan. 6, 2021, to call off the escalating violence at the Capitol, a “dereliction” of his duty that amounted to a “supreme violation of his oath of office,” the Jan. 6 committee asserted Thursday evening in the last of eight hearings that have expanded the country’s understanding of the riot and how it happened.
Former Trump staffers gave evidence at the most recent hearing. They testified in person as well as in depositions on videotaped recordings about how they encouraged Trump that day to issue a public condemnation of the Capitol assault. However, he continued to follow the events from Fox News’ dining room just outside the Oval Office.
At one point, former White House Counsel Pat Cippolone recounted for committee investigators all the officials who asked Trump to try to quell the violence on Jan. 6, including White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, White House lawyer Eric Herschmann, Deputy White House Counsel Patrick Philbin, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino, National Security official Keith Kellogg, and Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner.
When asked whether Trump was among those who didn’t want to call off the attack, Cippolone said: “I can’t reveal communications, but obviously, I think, you know, yeah.”
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Republican of Illinois, who co-led questioning of the hearing, said Cippolone’s testimony revealed that Trump simply did not want to convince the mob to stop the attack to block the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory. “There’s no ambiguity in what he said,” Kinzinger said. “Almost everybody wanted Trump to instruct the mob to disperse. Trump refused.”
This Thursday night, the committee provided a breakdown of all 187 hours that the Capitol was under siege. It was a difficult day for both Congressmen and officers, who had to fear for their lives when rioters invaded Congress’ halls.
An unnamed White House security official—whose voice was altered to protect their identity—told the committee in taped deposition that the scene was so volatile on Jan. 6 that “there were calls to say goodbye to family members” from those on Vice President Mike Pence’s detail around the time he was escorted out of the Capitol to a secure location. “The vice president’s detail thought this was about to get very ugly.”
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