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Jan. 6 Panel to Dissect Trump’s 187 Minutes of Inaction During Riot


WASHINGTON — The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol is planning to return to prime time on Thursday for what might be the finale of its summer hearing schedule: a session focused on former President Donald J. Trump’s 187 minutes of inaction as a mob of his supporters assaulted Congress.

The hearing, scheduled for 8 p.m. on July 21, is predicted to provide an in depth account of how Mr. Trump resisted multiple entreaties from staffers, lawyers and even his family to call off the attack, which raged for hours within the early afternoon of Jan. 6, 2021.

Representatives Elaine Luria, Democrat of Virginia, and Adam Kinzinger, Republican of Illinois, are expected to play leading roles within the hearing.

One witness the panel could hear from is Sarah Matthews, a former White House press aide who resigned within the aftermath of Jan. 6. She has told the committee that a tweet Mr. Trump sent attacking Vice President Mike Pence while the riot was underway was like “pouring gasoline on the hearth.”

Mr. Trump had tried unsuccessfully to pressure Mr. Pence to reject Congress’s official count of electoral votes to substantiate Joseph R. Biden Jr. because the president-elect and was contained in the Capitol as rioters breached the constructing chanting “hang Mike Pence.”

The committee can be more likely to play clips of the testimony of other witnesses who attempted to intervene with Mr. Trump during those greater than three hours, including Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel. The committee has also said it received testimony from Keith Kellogg, a retired lieutenant general who was Mr. Pence’s national security adviser, about Mr. Trump’s refusal to sentence the violence because the mob engulfed the Capitol.

Mr. Kellogg said Ivanka Trump, Mr. Trump’s eldest daughter, urged her father at the very least twice to call off the violence, as did Mark Meadows, the chief of staff, and Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary.

The panel has already heard testimony from witnesses about unsuccessful attempts to get Mr. Trump to call for peace.

Most memorably, the previous White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson described to the committee how Mr. Trump sided with the mob and sympathized with their chants for the execution of Mr. Pence.

The hearing was initially planned to be the last in a series of summer sessions through which the panel would reveal its findings. However the committee has continued to gather recent evidence, and lawmakers have hinted that they may add more hearings to the schedule.

Key Revelations From the Jan. 6 Hearings

Among the many recent wrinkles, the committee is looking into the disappearance of Secret Service text messages from across the time of the attack.

The committee issued a subpoena to the Secret Service on Friday evening, searching for text messages from Jan. 5 and 6, 2021, that were reportedly erased in addition to any after-action reports.

The event got here after the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, the parent agency of the Secret Service, met with the panel on Friday and told lawmakers that most of the texts were erased as a part of a tool alternative program even after the inspector general had requested them as a part of his inquiry into the events of Jan. 6.

The Secret Service has disputed parts of the inspector general’s findings, saying that data on some phones had been “lost” as a part of a planned three-month “system migration” in January 2021, but none pertinent to the inquiry.

The agency said that the project was underway before it received notice from the inspector general to preserve its data and that it didn’t “maliciously” delete text messages.

Representative Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland and a member of the committee, said the panel wants to listen to more from the Secret Service to attempt to get to know what happened.

“The committee is totally determined to unravel this and to search out all the missing texts,” Mr. Raskin told reporters on Capitol Hill. “They’re missing, but within the age of high technology, we must always not surrender.”

On Friday, the committee also interviewed Patrick Byrne, the previous CEO of Overstock.com, who financed a few of the legal efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Mr. Byrne was present at what was perhaps essentially the most dramatic meeting of the Trump presidency on Dec. 18, 2020, through which Michael T. Flynn, the previous national security adviser, and Sidney Powell, the pro-Trump lawyer, pressed to seize voting machines and name Ms. Powell as a special counsel to work to overturn the election.

Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and the Jan. 6 committee chairman, said the panel also has been discussing what to do about some more high-profile potential witnesses.

Virginia Thomas, a political activist who pushed to overturn the 2020 election and the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, is “still on the committee’s list” of witnesses to call, though she has rebuffed attempts to interview her, Mr. Thompson said.

Mr. Thompson also told reporters the panel was continuing to debate — as members have for months — whether it should attempt to summon Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence to testify, but lawmakers haven’t reached a conclusion about the right way to proceed.

The panel believes each men would probably fight attempts to get them to testify, and a few lawmakers worry a public battle over Mr. Trump’s compliance would distract from the actual work of fact finding.

Mr. Thompson has previously said the committee had ruled out a subpoena for Mr. Pence, citing “significant information” it had received from two of his aides, Marc Short and Greg Jacob.

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