The January 6 committee will meet next week and unveil more testimony from White House counsel Pat Cipollone, the ex-Trump administration official whose testimony was at the heart of much of Tuesday’s hearing.
Committee vice chair Liz Cheney previewed the committee’s next meeting in her closing remarks to viewers on Tuesday, showing a video of Mr Cipollone answering questions about Mr Trump’s actions and remarks during the attack itself. The actions of the president while police officers were being badly beaten on the steps of Congress has been an aspect of intense speculation since the attack took place, as Mr Trump has sought to blame congressional Democrats for being unprepared for the attack while offering no explanation for why he didn’t act sooner to either call off his supporters or reinforce police on Capitol Hill during the riot.
“You will hear that Donald Trump never picked up the phone that day to order his administration to help. This is not ambiguous. He did not call the military, his secretary of Defense received no order, he did not call his attorney general, he did not talk to the Department of Homeland Security. Mike Pence did all of those things. Donald Trump did not,” she explained.
Next week, lawmakers will present a “minute-by-minute” account of the attack itself and the White House’s response, according to Ms Cheney.
The vice chair concluded her statement with a grave warning to the former president and his allies regarding the possibility of witness tampering, and explained that Mr Trump “tried to call a witness in our investigation” whose testimony has yet to be unveiled by the committee; the Republican congresswoman said that the incident had been specifically referred to the Department of Justice.
The stunning news adds a new layer to the January 6 hearings which will likely continue to neutralise the president’s attempts to explain away his responsibility for the attack on Congress next week as the committee takes a look at how Mr Trump responded to the violence that was unfolding in his name.
It’s already been reported by witnesses at previous committee hearings that Mr Trump appeared to support the sentiment that rioters were expressing when he was told that they were calling for Vice President Mike Pence to be hanged for treason over his refusal to help the president overturn the election.
The Justice Department has not yet given any indication that it is formally investigating the ex-president, though it continues to charge and seek convictions against participants in the attack itself. The president’s actions to pressure local officials in Georgia to assist his scheme remain under a separate, state-led investigation that is currently before a grand jury.