WASHINGTON (AP) — Two former White House aides are expected to testify on the House Jan. 6 committee’s prime-time hearing Thursday because the panel examines what Donald Trump was doing as his supporters broke into the Capitol, in keeping with an individual acquainted with the plans.
Matthew Pottinger, former deputy national security adviser, and Sarah Matthews, a former press aide, are expected to testify, in keeping with the person, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the matter and requested anonymity. Each Pottinger and Matthews resigned immediately after the Jan. 6, 2021, riot that interrupted the congressional certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.
Former deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger departs after President Donald Trump awarded the Medal of Honor to Army Sgt. Maj. Thomas P. Payne within the East Room of the White House, Sept. 11, 2020, in Washington.
Andrew Harnik via Associated Press
On this image from video released by the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 riot, an exhibit shows Sarah Matthews, former White House deputy press secretary, during a video deposition that was displayed on the hearing on June 16, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
House Select Committee via Associated Press
The 2 witnesses will add to the committee’s narrative in its eighth, and possibly final, hearing this summer. The prime-time hearing will detail what Trump did — or didn’t do — during several hours that day as his supporters beat cops and broke into the Capitol.
Previous hearings have detailed chaos within the White House and aides and outsiders were begging the president to inform the rioters to depart. But he waited greater than three hours to accomplish that, and there are still many unanswered questions on what exactly he was doing and saying because the violence unfolded.
A spokesperson for the committee declined to comment. CNN was the primary to report the identity of Thursday’s witnesses.
Lawmakers on the nine-member panel have said the hearing will offer probably the most compelling evidence yet of Trump’s “dereliction of duty” that day, with witnesses detailing his failure to stem the indignant mob.
“We’ve filled within the blanks,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-In poor health., a member of the House committee investigating the riot who will help lead Thursday’s session, said Sunday. “That is going to open people’s eyes in an enormous way.”
“The president didn’t do very much but gleefully watch television during this timeframe,” he added.
Throughout its yearlong investigation, the panel has uncovered several details regarding what the previous president was doing as a mob of rioters breached the Capitol complex. Testimony and documents revealed that those closest to Trump, including his allies in Congress, Fox News anchors and even his own children, tried to influence him to call off the mob or put out an announcement calling for the rioters to go home.
At one point, in keeping with testimony, Ivanka Trump went to her father to plead with him personally when those around him had didn’t get through. All those efforts were unsuccessful.
Thursday’s hearing will probably be the primary within the prime-time slot for the reason that June 9 debut that was viewed by an estimated 20 million people.
The hearing comes nearly one week after committee members received a closed briefing from the watchdog for the Department of Homeland Security after it was discovered that the Secret Service had deleted text messages sent and received around Jan. 6. Shortly after, the committee subpoenaed the agency, looking for all relevant electronic communication from agents across the time of the attack. The deadline for the Secret Service to reply is Tuesday.
Committee member Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., told The Associated Press on Monday that the Secret Service informed them it’s going to turn over records throughout the requirements of the subpoena.
Follow AP’s coverage of the Jan. 6 committee hearings at https://apnews.com/hub/capitol-siege.