REP. STEPHEN LYNCH: “This is a very recent reversal of your testimony.”
CHRISTOPHER MILLER: “Absolutely not, that’s ridiculous.”
REP. STEPHEN LYNCH: “You’re ridiculous.”
Democrats on Wednesday grilled former Trump officials at a House hearing on the response to the January 6th attack, with members arguing former acting Defense chief Christopher Miller and former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen failed in their capacity to defend the Capitol and the constitution.
REP. RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI: “…Or you just plain froze and were indecisive while people were being injured, killed while hundreds of rioters breached the Capitol and a nation was traumatized.”
Miller said he was reticent to deploy troops on that day for fear it would look like a coup, but didn’t own up to any shortcomings on that day.
CHRISTOPHER MILLER: “I stand by every decision I made on January 6th and the following days. I want to emphasize that our nation’s armed forces are to be deployed for domestic law enforcement only when all civilian assets are expended and only as the absolute last resort.”
But Miller did say that he spoke to the president ahead of January 6th and Trump was interested in a boosted national guard presence, but only to protect his supporters.
CHRISTOPHER MILLER: “I had a meeting with President Trump on the 3rd of January concerning some international threats and at the very end, he asked if there were any requests for national guard support and I informed him of Mayor Bowser’s request.”
REP. BYRON DONALDS: “Mr. Miller, to clarify that point, did you tell the president about the mayor’s request or did the President Trump ask if there were requests?”
CHRISTOPHER MILLER: “He asked if there were requests.”
REP. BYRON DONALDS: “What was the President’s response to you in regards to the request by Mayor Bowser?”
CHRISTOPHER MILLER: “Fill it and do whatever is necessary to protect demonstrators that were executing their constitutionally protected rights."
At issue - why there was a delay in requesting reinforcements as a mob of Trump supporters violently flooded into the Capitol - and whether Trump was involved in that delay.
REP. CAROLYN MALONEY: “Did President Trump as the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces call you during the January 6th attack to ensure the Capitol was being secured?”
CHRISTOPHER MILLER: “No, I had all the authority I needed from the president to fulfill my constitutional duties.”
REP. CAROLYN MALONEY: “Did you speak with President Trump at all as the attack was unfolding?”
CHRISTOPHER MILLER: “No, I did not. I didn’t need to, I had the authority I needed and I knew what had to happen.”
REP. ANDREW CLYDE: “I can tell you the House floor was never breached and it was not an insurrection.”
Meanwhile Republicans downplayed the events of the day, defending President Trump and his supporters - and focused their ire on Democratic lawmakers.
REP. CLAY HIGGINS: “Nancy Pelosi, I just don’t know why there aren’t uprisings all over the country… 19 people died from BLM riots last year… and yet we’re gonna discuss today as if none of that happened.”
Wednesday's hearing came right after Republican House members stripped Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney of her leadership position for confronting President Trump over his false claims of election fraud -- the very same 'big lie', she said, that fueled the insurrection on January 6th.