The House Jan. 6 committee has released a short, teaser-type video that appears to offer a preview of some of the witness testimony that will likely be shown during Thursday night’s primetime hearing.
The video, which was tweeted Thursday morning by select committee member Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., features a mashup of clips taken from the panel’s prior interviews with former Trump White House staffers, including press secretary Kayleigh McEnany; Trump’s executive assistant Molly Michael; Keith Kellogg, who served as national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence; and ex-White House counsel Pat Cipollone.
In the clips, the former staffers, who were working at the White House on Jan. 6, 2021, are asked about President Donald Trump’s whereabouts while the U.S. Capitol was being attacked by a violent mob of his supporters. One after another, each is heard stating that they recall Trump watching the riot play out on television from the president’s private dining room.
“Was the president in that private dining room the whole time that the attack was going on?” a House investigator is heard asking McEnany in one of the clips. “Or did he ever go, ... to your knowledge, to the Oval Office, to the White House Situation Room, anywhere else?”
“To the best of my recollection, he was always in the dining room,” McEnany responds.
In another clip, Kellogg is asked what Trump or his then-chief of staff, Mark Meadows, said during a brief encounter he had with them in the private dining room, to which the retired lieutenant general replies: “I think they were, really, watching the TV.”
“What was Donald Trump doing while the Capitol was under siege? Take a look,” tweeted Kinzinger, who is slated to take the lead at Thursday’s hearing, along with Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va.
The primetime presentation is the eighth and likely last in a series of televised hearings the select committee has held this summer to share the findings of its ongoing investigation into the Jan. 6 attack, which it has described as the culmination of a multistep plan by Trump to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Thursday’s hearing is expected to focus on what Trump was doing during the 187 minutes between the end of his speech at the Ellipse, south of the White House, at around 1:10 p.m., and when he finally released a video statement urging his supporters to go home, at approximately 4:17 p.m.
“In that time, President Trump refused to act to defend the Capitol as a violent mob stormed the Capitol with the aim of stopping the electoral votes and blocking the transfer of power,” a committee aide told reporters on background on Wednesday.
The committee will likely rely on witness accounts, like those in the video shared by Kinzinger Thursday morning, to demonstrate not only Trump’s failure to act but also his awareness of what was happening at the Capitol as the violence unfolded.
In addition to clips of filmed depositions, the primetime hearing is expected to feature in-person testimony from former Trump deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger and former White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews, both of whom resigned in response to the events of Jan. 6.
Viewers may also get to see outtakes from a prerecorded speech that the White House released on Jan. 7, 2021, one day after the riot, in which Trump declared that the “demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy” and vowed to hold those who broke the law accountable. According to a report in the Washington Post, the outtakes obtained by the committee, which have not previously been made public, show that Trump struggled to condemn the rioters, tried to refer to them as patriots and refused to acknowledge that the election was over.