Yesterday, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Congresswoman Elaine Luria (D-VA) led the Select Committee to investigate the attack on the United States Capitol hearing that focused on the 187 minutes where former President Donald Trump watched as the Capitol was under siege. The hearing brought into sharp focus the egregious violation of former President Trump's oath when he watched the attack on the United States Capitol building on TV for more than three hours and did nothing to try to stop his mob of supporters.
The witnesses at yesterday's hearing served in the Trump Administration and resigned on January 6th, citing his inaction and refusal to act. They are: Mr. Matthew Pottinger, Deputy National Security Advisor to former President Trump and Ms. Sarah Matthews, Deputy Press Secretary and Special Assistant to former President Trump.
The full video of yesterday's hearing can be found on the Committee's YouTube page here, and excerpts of the Congressman's opening and closing remarks -- as written -- can be found below.
"One week after the attack, Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy acknowledged the simple truth--President Trump should have acted immediately to stop the violence. During our investigation, General Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also remarked on the President's failure to act. Let's hear what they had to say:"
Kevin McCarthy January 13th Floor Speech: "The president bears responsibility for Wednesday's attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding. These facts required immediate action by President Trump."
Gen. Mark Milley Interview Timestamp: "You know, you're the Commander in Chief. You've got an assault going on on the Capitol of the United States of America, and there's nothing? No call? Nothing? Zero?"
"Like my colleague from Virginia, I am a veteran. I served in the Air Force and serve currently in the Air National Guard. I can tell you that General Milley's reaction to President Trump's conduct is 100% correct, and so was Leader McCarthy's."
"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. The mob attacking the Capitol quickly caused the evacuation of both the House and Senate. The count ground to an absolute halt, and was ultimately delayed for hours. The mob was accomplishing President Trump's purpose, and he did not intervene."
"Here is what will be clear by the end of this hearing: President Trump did not fail to act during the 187 minutes between leaving the Ellipse and telling the mob to go home. He chose not to act."
"But there were hundreds that day who honored their oaths and put their lives on the line to protect the people inside the Capitol and safeguard our democracy. Many are here tonight, and many more are watching from home. As you already know, and will see again tonight, their service and sacrifice shines a bright light on President Trump's dishonor and dereliction of duty."
"Tonight's testimony and evidence is as sobering as it is straightforward. Within minutes of stepping off the Ellipse stage, Donald Trump knew about the violent attack on the Capitol. From the comfort of his dining room, he watched on TV as the attack escalated. He sent tweets that inflamed, and expressed support for the desire of some to literally kill Vice President Mike Pence. For three hours he refused to call off the attack."
"Donald Trump refused to take the urgent advice he received that day. Not from his political opponents or the liberal media, but from his own family, friends, staff, and advisers. In the midst of an attack, when there was no time for politics, the people closest to Trump told him the truth: it was his supporters attacking the Capitol, and he alone could get through to them. So they pled for him to act, to place his country above himself. Still, he refused to lead and meet the moment--to honor his oath."
"It was only once the Vice President and the Members of Congress were in secure locations, and the officers defending the Capitol began to turn the tide, that Trump engaged in the political theater of telling the mob to go home. And even then, he said they were "special" and he "loved" them."
"Whatever your politics, whatever you think about the outcome of the election, we as Americans must all agree on this: Donald Trump's conduct on January 6th was a supreme violation of his oath of office, and a complete dereliction of his duty to our Nation. It is a stain on our history. It is a dishonor to all those who have sacrificed and died in service of our democracy."
"When we present our full findings this Fall, we will recommend changes to laws and policies to guard against another January 6th. The reason that's imperative is that the forces Donald Trump ignited that day have not gone away. The militant, intolerant ideologies--the militias, the alienation, and the disaffection--the weird fantasies and disinformation. They're all still out there, ready to go. That's the "elephant in the room.""
"But if January 6th has reminded us of anything, I pray it has reminded us of this: laws are just words on paper. They mean nothing without public servants dedicated to the rule of law, and who are held accountable by a public that believes oaths matter more than party tribalism and the cheap thrill of scoring political points."
"We the people must demand more of our politicians and ourselves. Oaths matter. Character matters. Truth matters. If we do not renew our faith and commitment to these principles, this great experiment of ours, our shining beacon on a hill, will not endure."