Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol


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Live Reporting

Edited by Gareth Evans

All times stated are UK

  1. Evidence leaves some watchers in tears

    John Sudworth

    In the hearing

    The Committee has been discussing President Donald Trump’s last tweet of 6 January, in which he appeared to justify the violence.

    In the tweet, Trump said when an election is stolen “these are the things that happen”, and told the crowd to “go home with love and in peace”.

    There have been tears among some of those watching from the public gallery throughout tonight’s hearing. They are upset by the depth and detail of the evidence showing the attempt to subvert the democratic process.

  2. The Republican rebuttal on Twitter

    As many critics of the committee have repeatedly noted, it is a panel largely run by Democrats and it does not provide equal time for the points of view held by many Republicans.

    That has to do with how the committee came together – after House Republicans refused to co-operate on the creation of a bipartisan probe in the style of the committee that investigated the 9/11 terror attacks.

    Nevertheless, the official Twitter account for Republicans in the House of Representatives has been live-tweeting pithy comments on behalf of the party throughout the hearing:

  3. Trump ignored prepared remarks – former assistant

    The committee has just said that, when Donald Trump finally delivered a speech asking his supporters to go home, he ignored the remarks that had been prepared for him.

    Those prepared remarks included the words: “I am asking you to leave the Capitol Hill region NOW and go home in a peaceful way.”

    But Trump chose to speak “off the cuff”, his former assistant Nicholas Luna says in recorded testimony.

    And after one quick take, former White House counsel Eric Herschmann says the “emotionally drained” staff at the White House considered the day to be over.

  4. Rioters saw tweet as encouragement, hearing told

    John Sudworth

    In the hearing

    The committee is now going through the discussions among President Donald Trump’s staff about the need to get him to call the mob off.

    The hearing has also heard audio from some of the rioters’ own communication channels, reacting with glee to a tweet sent by the president asking them to “support the Capitol police”.

    They saw the tweet not as a instruction to leave, but as encouragement to continue, the hearing heard.

    In the White House, Sarah Matthews, the former deputy press secretary and one of the witnesses, told the hearing that as staff debated what to do, one colleague suggested that it would be wrong to condemn the violence as this would be “handing a win to the media”.

  5. Nobody in the White House condoned the violence – witness

    In its past three hearings, the committee has relied heavily on the testimony of Pat Cipollone, the former White House counsel who was present for many of the key meetings around the time of the riot.

    Cipollone says that he cannot think of anybody in the White House that condoned the violence that was taking place.

    He lists several key figures who he says implored Trump to condemn the riot and call for people to stand down.

    But he is seen, on the advice of his own counsel at the deposition, refusing to say who in the White House did condone the violence. The committee plays the lengthy moments of silence in which Cipollone looks to his lawyer before declining to go on.

    Committee member Adam Kinzinger fills in the silence by saying: “Almost everybody wanted President Trump to instruct the mob to disperse but he refused”.

  6. Laughter from the press benches

    John Sudworth

    In the hearing

    We just took a short recess, but not before a moment of some hilarity for those watching from the press benches.

    The hearing was shown a picture of Republican Senator Josh Hawley, a Donald Trump loyalist, raising his fist in solidarity with the crowd outside the Capitol – a gesture, the committee said, made from the safety of a “protected area”.

    But the room was then shown closed circuit footage of Hawley inside the breeched building, moving at speed and scuttling across a hallway while looking altogether far less confident – an image greeted with much laughter.

  7. Trump tweet was the last straw – witnesses

    John Sudworth

    In the hearing

    The committee has been asking the witnesses about their reaction to a tweet – “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done” – sent by President Donald Trump at 14:24, the moment when the vice-president was pinned down inside the Capitol.

    At that time, the building had already been breached and the mob outside were expressing its anger at Pence’s refusal to do his president’s bidding.

    It was the moment, both witnesses said, when they knew they could no longer stay in government.

    “[It was] the opposite of what needed to be done”, Matthew Pottinger said.

    Video content

    Video caption: Trump tweet about Pence was green light for rioters, witness says
  8. Pence’s security detail feared for their lives – official

    Footage played at the hearing asserts that word “spread like wildfire” that Vice-President Mike Pence had “folded” and “betrayed” Donald Trump supporters.

    An unidentified White House security official testifies that, with Pence still inside the Capitol building and in danger of being boxed in by the rioters, members of his security detail “began to fear for their lives”.

    The official claims there were “a lot of very personal calls on the radio” and “calls to say goodbye to family members”.

    Nevertheless, as the committee shows, a Trump tweet at that time attacks Pence as a coward who “didn’t have the courage” to refuse to certify the 2020 election results.

    Trump “put a target on his own vice-president’s back”, committee member Elaine Luria says.

  9. Trump could have condemned riot in minutes – witness

    The committee plays footage from several witnesses.

    They each corroborate that Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka was among several key figures close to the president who tried – unsuccessfully – to wrangle him into making a statement condemning the violence.

    Then-White House counsel Pat Cipollone says that “it would have been possible” for Trump to address the nation from the press briefing room at any moment during the attack.

    Sarah Matthews, one of today’s live witnesses, was deputy press secretary at the time.

    She testifies that it would have taken the president “less than 60 seconds” to walk to the briefing room and “a matter of minutes” to gather the press corps for a live appearance if he had wanted.

  10. Trump sat in dining room as riot unfolded, hearing told

    John Sudworth

    In the hearing

    The committee have been laying out evidence of a glaring silence from President Trump after he returned to the White House – apparently against his will.

    They’re showing on the committee room screen some images of the White House call log. They show that no calls were made at all during the there hour period of unfolding violence.

    Instead, Trump apparently sat in the dining room where – in remarks met by a few chuckles here on the press benches – they said the television was tuned to Fox News.

  11. Trump wanted to join Capitol crowd – police officer

    John Sudworth

    In the hearing

    The committee has been recapping much of its case made in the previous hearings – that the president, knowing some in the crowd were armed, urged them to march on the Capitol and told them he’d be with them.

    They’ve now played a clip of a police officer, Sgt Mark Robinson, who was regularly a part of President Trump’s motorcade.

    Robinson supported earlier evidence about the president’s intent to override the advice of his security officials by driving, not to the White House, but to join the crowd at the Capitol.

    “The President was upset. He was adamant about going,” Robinson says.

  12. The 187 minutes under scrutiny

    Video content

    Video caption: Representative Adam Kinzinger asks: “Why did [Trump] not take immediate action?”

    Committee members say they will detail how the former US president failed to act from inside the White House as the assault on the Capitol took place.

    That timeframe – 187 minutes – begins at 13:10 local time, when Donald Trump finished his speech at the Ellipse, a site near the Capitol complex.

    It ends at 16:17, when Trump released a video on Twitter urging the protesters to go home.

    Representative Adam Kinzinger, one of the two Republicans on the committee, says “the mob was accomplishing President Trump’s purpose, so of course he did not intervene”.

    “He did not fail to act,” says Kinzinger. “He chose not to act.”

  13. Witnesses sworn in – who are they?

    Matthew Pottinger and Sarah Matthews are sworn in

    Copyright: Getty Images

    The two witnesses for today’s hearing have just been sworn in.

    They are Matthew Pottinger, a former deputy national security adviser to Donald Trump, and Sarah Matthews, who served as Trump’s deputy press secretary.

    Pottinger and Matthews both resigned in the immediate aftermath of the Capitol riot.

    Pottinger, who worked for seven years as a China correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, sat on Trump’s National Security Council as its Asia Director, becoming known for his tough stance on China.

    He opens his remarks to the committee by noting how proud he was of the administration’s China policy.

    Fluent in Mandarin, he is also a Marine Corps veteran and former military intelligence officer who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Matthews, who identifies herself to the committee as “a lifelong Republican”, served as a a spokeswoman for Trump’s re-election campaign before she became an understudy to then White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

    On the one-year anniversary of the Capitol riot this year, Matthews tweeted that she believed the events were a “coup attempt” and “one of the darkest days in American history”.

    “While it might be easier to ignore or whitewash the events of that day for political expediency – if we’re going to be morally consistent – we need to acknowledge these hard truths,” she added.

  14. Panel argues Trump stood still as riot unfolded

    John Sudworth

    In the hearing

    Bennie Thompson has been setting out the broad thrust of the committee’s case tonight – to show that Donald Trump, having whipped a mob to the point of frenzy, then stood back as the consequences began to unfold and the Capitol came under attack.

    Despite pleas from officials and families “he could not be moved”, Congressman Thompson said.

  15. Committee to continue its work in September

    Chairman Bennie Thompson says the committee will reconvene in September, signalling that more public hearings are likely.

    “Our investigation goes forward, we continue to receive new information every day,” he says.

    “Doors have opened,
    new subpoenas have been issued and the dam has begun to break. We have far more
    evidence to share with the American people and more to gather.”

  16. The hearing begins

    The final scheduled public hearing of the January 6 committee has just begun.

    Chairman Bennie Thompson – who has recently tested positive for Covid-19 – gavels in virtually.

    We’ll bring you live updates throughout the proceedings, and our correspondent John Sudworth is in the room.

  17. What has Trump said about the hearings?

    Donald Trump

    Copyright: Getty Images

    Former President Donald Trump will loom over this hearing. His actions and response to the riot will be its main focus, so what has he said about the committee’s work?

    He has dismissed the hearings, writing in June that the Democrat-led committee was “illegally constituted” and a “kangaroo court”.

    Ahead of the last hearing, Trump accused the committee of unfairly targeting him and dismissed past witness testimonies as “fake and made up stories”.

    He has also continued to repeat his false claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election, saying that “there is massive and incontestable evidence and proof”.

    Earlier on Thursday, the ex-president again took to his Truth Social platform to argue his vice-president. Mike Pence, had made the wrong decision by choosing to certify the election result.

    He wrote that “everybody ganged up and said that Mike had no
    choice”, which he called “an election-changing

  18. Two witnesses confirmed

    John Sudworth

    In the hearing

    The press are taking their places at the moment, with snappers milling around, and lots of chat and banter.

    The two witness name cards are there on display, confirming, as widely reported, the appearance tonight of Matthew Pottinger – the former deputy national security adviser and the most senior Trump administration official to resign after 6 January – and Sarah Matthews, the former White House deputy press secretary who resigned the same day.

    Their testimony, of course, is expected to shed light on the actions taken – or not taken – by President Trump during the riot.

  19. A preview of the testimony

    Ahead of this evening’s hearing, panel member Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, tweeted a video clip showing some testimony from Trump insiders about the former president’s actions on the day of the riot.

    In the video, former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany testifies that she recalls Trump was “always in the dining room” during the riot.

    Two other witnesses – General Keith Kellogg, Mike Pence’s national security adviser, and former Trump executive assistant Molly Michael – both claimed that Trump was watching the riot unfold on TV.

    Lastly, former White House counsel Pat Cipollone responds “yes” when asked if violence from the riot was visible to Trump on television.

  20. How 6 January 2021 played out

    Supporters of former US president Donald Trump storming the Capitol on 6 January 2021.

    Copyright: Getty Images

    Before the hearing gets under way, it’s worth a reminder of what exactly happened on the 6 January last year.

    Supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building in a bid to thwart the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory.

    The key events began early in the morning, with an 08:17 tweet from Trump in which he repeated claims of electoral fraud and a “corrupt process”.

    In a speech at midday, he said he hoped supporters would march to the Capitol “to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard”.

    But within the hour, a growing crowd was trying to push past police officers to get inside the building. The protesters broke through the windows, pushed inside, and hopped through the broken glass. They then kicked open the doors to let others in.

    Read a full breakdown of the day’s events here.