In final hearing, Jan 6 panel's investigation into Trump's 187 minutes
- The panel aims to show just how close the United States came to a constitutional crisis
- Testifying on Thursday will be former White House aides who had close proximity to power
- More than 840 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol riot
The Jan. 6 committee will on Thursday hold its final hearing of the summer the way the series began — vividly making the case that Donald Trump's lies about a stolen election fuelled the grisly US Capitol attack, which he did nothing to stop but instead "gleefully" watched on television at the White House.
According to reports, Thursday's prime-time hearing will dive into the 187 minutes that Trump failed to act on Jan. 6, 2021, despite pleas for help from aides, allies and even his family.
The panel intends to show how the defeated president's attempt to overturn Joe Biden's election victory has left the United States facing enduring questions about the resiliency of its democracy.
"A profound moment of reckoning for America," said Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., a member of the committee.
With live testimony from two former White House aides, and excerpts from its trove of more than 1,000 interviews, the nearly two-hour session will add a closing chapter to the past six weeks of hearings that at times have captivated the nation.
Returning to prime time for the first time since the series of hearings began, the panel aims to show just how close the United States came to what one retired federal judge testifying this summer called a constitutional crisis.
The events of Jan. 6 will be outlined "minute by minute," said the panel's vice chair, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.
"You will hear that Donald Trump never picked up the phone that day to order his administration to help," Cheney said.
"He did not call the military. His Secretary of Defence received no order. He did not call his Attorney General. He did not talk to the Department of Homeland Security," Cheney said.
Testifying on Thursday will be former White House aides who had close proximity to power.
Matt Pottinger, who was deputy national security adviser, and Sarah Matthews, then press aide, both submitted their resignations on Jan. 6, 2021, after what they saw that day. Trump has dismissed the hearings on social media and regarded much of the testimony as fake.
Also read: Who is Matthew Pottinger?
Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., the chairman of the committee, is isolating after testing positive for Covid-19 and will attend by video. Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., a former Naval officer who will lead the session with Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., who flew combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, said she expects the testimony from the White House aides will "just be really compelling."
So far, more than 840 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol riot. Over 330 of them have pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanours. Of the more than 200 defendants to be sentenced, approximately 100 received terms of imprisonment.