Jan 6 Hearing: Pence’s Secret Service team feared Trump’s mob was going to kill them
These are notes from the hearing, in the order of presentation. You can watch the full hearing here.
- Matthew Pottinger is a former marine & Deputy National Security Advisor, who quit after Jan. 6.
- Sarah Matthews is former Deputy White House Press Secretary & former Congressional staff. She also quit the White House after Jan. 6.
Rep Kinzinger: “What explains President Trump’s behavior? Why did he not take immediate action in a time of crisis? Because President Trump’s plan for January 6th was to halt or delay Congress’ official proceeding to count electoral votes… President Trump didn’t fail to act during the 187 minutes between leaving the Ellipse and telling the mob to go home. He chose not to act.”
National security professional working within the White House complex on Jan. 6: The WH was aware of multiple reports of weapons in the crowd that morning. On Trump wanting to walk with the crowd to the Capitol: “We were all in a state of shock…we all knew what that implicated, that this was no longer a rally…we all knew this would move from a normal, democratic public event into something else.” https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1550277657786556417
Confirmation of Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony:
- A former WH employee w/ national security responsibilities went to see Tony Ornato and Bobby Engel after the rally. Ornato said the president was “irate” when Engel refused to drive him to the capitol.”
- The former WH employee: “The President wanted to lead tens of thousands of people to the Capitol. I think that was enough grounds for us to be alarmed.”
- Retired police officer in the lead vehicle of the president’s motorcade. “The president was upset and was adamant about going to the capitol and there was a heated discussion about that.” Said that Trump was aware
- Retired police officer: “At the end of the speech, while inside the limo, the president was still adamant about going to the capitol…the motorcade was placed on standby, we were told to standby until they determined whether or not the president was going to go to the Capitol.”
Within 15 minutes of leaving the stage, President Trump knew that the Capitol was besieged and under attack.
From 1:25pm until 4:00pm, the President stayed in the dining room (connected to the Oval Office), facing a television tuned to Fox News.
During this time frame, Trump never called the Department of Defense, DOJ, DHS, or any other agency.
Kayleigh McEnany: Trump called senators seeking to convince them to delay the counting of the electoral votes.
Cipollone: When he first realized there was violence and rioting at the Capitol, “I think I was pretty clear there needed to be an immediate and forceful response, statement, public statement, that people need to leave the Capitol now.” He continued to push for a strong statement from Trump over the ensuing two hours.
Gen. Kellogg, who was Pence’s national security adviser, testified that some staffers were actually worried that a live statement by Trump on Jan. 6 would have “made matters worse” and he recommended against one, Rep. Kinzinger says, citing his testimony.
Instead of taking action to call off his supporters, Trump called Rudy Giuliani and spoke to him for eight minutes.
The radio chatter from Pence’s Secret Service detail on Jan. 6, which National Security Council staff was listening to in real time: “If we lose any time, we may lose the ability to leave…If we are going to leave we need to do it now…” https://twitter.com/kaitlancollins/status/1550285875099172865
A former WH employee w/ national security responsibilities: “The members of the VP detail at the time were starting to fear for their own lives…it was disturbing. There were calls to say goodbye to family members, so on and so forth…it was just chaos, it was just yelling…They’re running out of options and they’re getting nervous.” https://twitter.com/evanmcmurry/status/1550285798871793668
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) — who raised his fist in support of the Capitol insurrectionists earlier in the day — runs for his life from the rioters inside the building in never-before-seen video. https://twitter.com/therecount/status/1550289002586161153
Rep. Luria: “Despite knowing the Capitol had been breached, and the mob was in the building, President Trump called Mike Pence a coward and placed all the blame on him for not stopping the certification. He put a target on his own vice president’s back.”
Pottinger resigned after Trump’s 2:24pm tweet inciting the crowd against Mike Pence. “I was disturbed and worried to see the president was attacking VP Pence for doing his constitutional duty…what we really needed at that point was a de-escalation…it was pouring fuel on the fire.” https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1550286480676896768
Matthews on the tweet: “It was the last thing that was needed at that moment. I remember thinking that…it was essentially him giving the green light to these people…that they were justified in their anger.”
“POTUS is not ignorant of what his words would do.” — Ali Alexander, on Jan. 6 at 2:38 p.m. https://twitter.com/KlasfeldReports/status/1550293942805139456
Rep. Adam Kinzinger: “Think about that. Leader McCarthy, who was one of the President’s strongest supporters, was scared and begging for help. President Trump turned him down.”
Matthews: A colleague suggested that the president shouldn’t condemn the violence because they thought it would be handing a win to the media… I motioned to the tv and said “do you think it looks like we’re fucking winning” https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1550295376317521920
Matthews testifies to the Jan. 6 committee that Trump resisted using the word “peace” in a tweet to call off the rioters, and also didn’t want to say “stay peaceful” as suggested by Ivanka.
Hill leaders, in video unveiled for the first time, in secure location talking to defense officials about clearing the building and resuming counting electoral votes https://twitter.com/January6thCmte/status/1550300589279612928
Raw footage of Trump trying to film his infamous January 6 video message and ad-libbing as he goes https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1550297013530644484
In never before seen footage of Trump attempting to record an address to the nation on Jan. 7, Trump says, in an aside: “I don’t want to say the election is over.” He also adds that he “can’t say” the phrase, ‘if you broke the law.’ https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1550305207053127680
Trump told a WH employee as he went to the WH residence on Jan. 6: “Mike Pence let me down,” per committee. Kinzinger said: “President Trump said nothing to the employee about the attack.”
Giuliani was still calling lawmakers at 7pm trying to get them to further delay the certification. According to Kinzinger, Giuliani called Rep. Jordan, Sen. Blackburn, Sen. Tuberville, Sen. Hawley, Sen. Hagerty, Sen. Graham, and Sen. Cruz.