Former White House aides to testify at next Jan. 6 hearing

Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., listen as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington

Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., listen as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Two former White House aides are expected to testify at the House Jan. 6 committee’s prime-time hearing Thursday as the panel examines what Donald Trump was doing as his supporters broke into the Capitol, according to a person familiar with the plans.

Matthew Pottinger, former deputy national security adviser, and Sarah Matthews, a former press aide, are expected to testify, according to the person, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the matter and requested anonymity. Both Pottinger and Matthews resigned immediately after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection that interrupted the congressional certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.

The two witnesses will add to the committee’s narrative in its eighth, and possibly final, hearing this summer. The prime-time hearing will detail what Trump did — or did not do — during several hours that day as his supporters beat police and broke into the Capitol.

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Previous hearings have detailed chaos in the White House and aides and outsiders were begging the president to tell the rioters to leave. But he waited more than three hours to do so, and there are still many unanswered questions about what exactly he was doing and saying as the violence unfolded.

Lawmakers on the nine-member panel have said the hearing will offer the most compelling evidence yet of Trump’s “dereliction of duty” that day, with witnesses detailing his failure to stem the angry mob.

“This is going to open people’s eyes in a big way,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., a member of the House committee investigating the riot who will help lead Thursday’s session, said Sunday. ”The president didn’t do anything.”

Thursday’s hearing will be the first in the prime-time slot since the June 9 debut that was viewed by an estimated 20 million people.

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