Washington, Jul 21 (EFE) .- Former United States President Donald Trump decided not to stop the 2021 assault on the Capitol because it suited him and instead spent the afternoon watching it on television, the committee investigating the matter said Thursday, reproaching him for deliberate passivity.
“He was the only person in the world capable of stopping the crowd. He could not be mobilized by his aides or his allies. He ignored the desperate pleas of his own family, including (his children) Ivanka and Donald Jr.,” Bennie Thompson, the committee’s chairman said.
This new session, broadcast during prime time, was the eighth and last, until September, of this series of public interrogations that began a month ago.
The focus was on the 187 minutes that passed since Trump harangued the crowd to make themselves heard in the Capitol until at 4:17 p.m. that Jan. 6 afternoon he posted a video on Twitter where he told them for the first time they had to leave the seat of congress.
Some 10,000 people participated in the protest – most of them Trump supporters – and about 800 broke into the building while the victory of Democrat Joe Biden in the November presidential elections was being formally certified. Five people died and about 140 others were wounded.
For the committee, the 187 minutes examined provide a clear example of abandonment of power by the former president, who had published a tweet to criticize the fact that then Vice President Mike Pence, refused to annul the elections, and two to ask protesters who were peaceful and respected the law.
Trump refused to use the word “peace” and it was his daughter who convinced him to do so.
The president was then in the White House, having failed to convince his drivers to take him to the Capitol, according to Cassidy Hutchinson, a key witness in this political investigation and assistant to then-Presidential Cabinet Chief Mark Meadows.
If he had appeared, according to a security agent, it would have ceased to be a public demonstration to become “something more.”
“I don’t know if you want to use the word insurrection, coup or whatever,” she told the committee.
The two main witnesses Thursday were Matthew Pottinger, assistant to the national security adviser in the Trump government, and then-White House Deputy Spokeswoman Sarah Matthews, who resigned after the assault, calling it “indefensible.”
If Trump had wanted to quickly address the nation, according to Matthews, he could have done so in less than a minute – the time she said it takes to go from the private dining room in the west wing to the media room. EFE