Trump Ignored Pleas To Call Off Riot For 187 Minutes

The New York Times reports:

As a mob of his supporters assaulted the Capitol, former President Donald J. Trump sat in his dining room off the Oval Office, watching the violence on television and choosing to do nothing for hours to stop it, an array of former administration officials testified to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack in accounts laid out on Thursday.

In a final public hearing of the summer and one of the most dramatic of the inquiry, the panel provided a panoramic account of how, even as the lives of law enforcement officers, members of Congress and his own vice president were under threat, Mr. Trump could not be moved to act until after it was clear that the riot had failed to disrupt Congress’s session to confirm his election defeat.

Calling on a cast of witnesses assembled to make it hard for viewers to dismiss as tools of a partisan witch hunt — top Trump aides, veterans and military leaders, loyal Republicans and even members of Mr. Trump’s own family — the committee established that the president willfully rejected their efforts to persuade him to mobilize a response to the deadliest attack on the Capitol in two centuries.

The Washington Post reports:

He did not call the National Guard, or the FBI, or D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D), or anyone else who could have provided aid. He did call senators, urging them to continue objecting to the certification of the vote. He did call Rudy Giuliani. Why? This was his only chance to stop an electoral count declaring him the election’s loser. As Mr. Kinzinger put it in his opening statement, “The mob was accomplishing President Trump’s purpose, so of course he didn’t intervene.”

The presenters argued Thursday that not calling off the assault was a dereliction of duty. That’s certainly true. Yet it was also something worse: an effective endorsement of that day’s horrific events, delivered in the form of all-too-meaningful silence, and punctuated with tweets that made clear exactly what the lame-duck leader was trying to communicate. Most alarmingly: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what was necessary,” Mr. Trump wrote at 2:24 p.m.

Reuters reports:

Donald Trump sat for hours watching the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol unfold on live TV, ignoring pleas by his children and other close advisers to urge his supporters to stop the violence, witnesses told a congressional hearing on Thursday.

“President Trump sat at his dining table and watched the attack on television while his senior-most staff, closest advisors and family members begged him to do what is expected of any American president,” said Democratic Representative Elaine Luria.

Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone was asked question after question in the recorded testimony about Trump’s actions: did he call the secretary of defense? The attorney general? The head of Homeland Security? Cipollone answered “no” to each query.