U.S. news outlets say two aides of former President Donald Trump will testify this week before the special congressional committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol about Trump’s immediate reaction to the attack.
Matthew Pottinger, the ex-president’s deputy national security adviser, and then-deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews will appear before the House committee during Thursday’s session, which will focus on the scene in the White House as Trump’s supporters raided the U.S. Capitol to stop the official certification of Joe Biden’s win in the November 2020 presidential election.
Pottinger and Matthews are expected to testify about frantic, yet unsuccessful efforts among White House staffers, as well as Trump’s own family, to get him to issue a statement in the first hours of the attack urging his supporters to stand down. More than three hours passed before Trump finally issued a statement calling on the rioters to go home.
Both Pottinger and Matthews resigned their posts later that day.
Thursday’s hearing is being held at night to take advantage of a bigger nationwide television audience. Republican committee member Adam Kinzinger said Sunday during an interview that the committee has “filled in the blanks” on what Trump was doing during the attack, saying the former president did little but “gleefully watch television during this time frame.”
Meanwhile, the Secret Service is expected on Tuesday to hand over to the committee all electronic communications from its agents around the time of the attack. The panel subpoenaed the agency after the internal inspector for the Department of Homeland Security, the Secret Service’s parent agency, issued a report saying the Secret Service had deleted agents’ text messages sent January 5 and 6, 2021.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press.