Trump Updates: Watch Trump's Arizona Rally with Kari Lake

Live Updates
  • Former President Donald Trump is holding a rally in Arizona the day after the prime time hearing from the House Select Committee investigating the events of January 6.
  • Both Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Arizona on Friday to attend campaign events in support of different Republican candidates for governor.
  • During last night's hearing, the Committee outlined Trump's inaction as he watched rioters storm the U.S. Capitol building from the White House dining room.
  • Two former White House staffers, Sarah Matthews and Matthew Pottinger, recalled being horrified by a tweet from Trump calling out Pence as the mob breached the Capitol. The conduct prompted both staffers to resign.
  • The hearing played audio clips from Secret Service agents as people entered the Capitol. Pence's security detail said they "were starting to fear for their own lives" and some called their families to say goodbye.
  • The Committee also showed Trump filming his video message telling the mob to go home and outtakes from Trump's speech the day after the riot.
  • Committee Chair Bennie Thompson said the hearings will continue in September, just over a month before the 2022 midterms.
Trump Speech Jan 6 Hearing
A video of former US President Donald Trump recording an address to the nation on January 7, 2021, is displayed on a screen during a hearing by the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6th attack on the US Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC, on July 21, 2022. Al Drago / POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Live Updates Have Ended.

Watch Trump's Arizona Rally with Kari Lake

Former President Donald Trump is holding a rally this evening in Prescott Valley, Arizona, just one day after the House Jan. 6 Committee hosted its eighth public hearing in prime time.

Trump predicted in a Friday afternoon Truth Social post that the rally would draw a "big crowd."

Coverage of the event is expected to start at 7 p.m. ET, according to C-SPAN, though doors to the Findlay Toyota Center opened at 11 a.m. local time to begin allowing crowds in.

Guest speakers are scheduled to begin delivering remarks at 4 p.m. local time, after which Trump's Save America PAC said the former president will take the stage at 7 p.m.

The rally will be "a continuation of President Trump's unprecedented effort to advance the MAGA agenda by energizing voters and highlighting America First candidates and causes," the PAC said.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake is one of the guest speakers expected to deliver comments in the hours before Trump's speech. Trump endorsed Lake last September, saying at the time that she "will do a far better job than RINO Governor Doug Ducey." Ducey and former Vice President Mike Pence were both campaigning on behalf of Lake's Republican rival, Karrin Taylor Robson, earlier Friday.

The rally will stream live on YouTube. Some networks began covering the rally before it officially started, showing the crowds awaiting the arrival of Trump and other scheduled speakers.

Kinzinger Says Trump Supporters Will be 'Embarrassed' in 10 Years

Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois said Trump supporters will be "embarrassed" to admit to their children that they voted for the former president.

Kinzinger, one of the two Republicans serving on the House Select Committee investigating the events of Jan. 6, compared supporting Trump in 2022 to supporting Richard Nixon he resigned amid the Watergate scandal in 1974.

On CNN Friday morning, Kinzinger said he predicts that in five to 10 years, "you're not gonna be able to find a single person that admits to supporting or voting for Donald Trump in this country."

Kinzinger said Trump supporters will be "embarrassed" when their kids question why they voted for Trump.

"Their kids are gonna say, 'you actually supported Trump? Are you kidding me?'" he said.

Kinzinger also called on his fellow Republicans in Congress to "stand up and speak out" or else "your kids will be ashamed of having that last name."

Trump Predicts 'Big Crowd' at Arizona Rally

Former President Donald Trump shared a reminder about his upcoming rally in Arizona in a Friday afternoon Truth Social post, which predicted the event will draw a "big crowd."

The rally will be taking place at the Findlay Toyota Center in Prescott Valley. It is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET.

"Join me tonight in Prescott Valley, Arizona," Trump said in his post, which went on to mention a few networks that will be airing the rally. "Big crowd!"

The rally was initially scheduled for July 16 but was delayed last week following the death of Trump's ex-wife, Ivana.

The rally will now take place hours after former Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Arizona to campaign with Republican gubernatorial candidate Karrin Taylor Robson ahead of the state's primary election on August 2. Pence and Arizona's current Republican governor, Doug Ducey, have both endorsed Robson in the race.

Trump has endorsed another Republican, Kari Lake, in the gubernatorial primary. Lake is expected to appear at Trump's Friday evening rally as one of its guest speakers.

Watch Pence Speak at Karrin Taylor Robson Rally

Former Vice President Mike Pence is speaking at a rally in Arizona in support of Republican gubernatorial candidate Karrin Taylor Robson.

Robson is running against Kari Lake, a Republican endorsed by former President Donald Trump, in the state's primary election on August 2.

Pence tweeted a link to the campaign event Friday afternoon, encouraging people to tune in.

His remarks can be streamed live on local news stations.

Steve Bannon Guilty of Contempt of Congress

Trump ally and former strategist Steve Bannon was found guilty of two counts of contempt of Congress for ignoring a subpoena from the Jan. 6 House Select Committee.

After five days in court and less than three hours of deliberation Friday, the jury just issued its verdict.

Each count carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days in jail, but Bannon faces up to a year in federal prison and hefty fines for each.

The judge set the sentencing date for Oct. 21, 2022 at 3 p.m.

Bannon was found guilty on two counts: refusal to appear for deposition and refusal to produce documents for the Committee for its investigation into the Capitol riot.

In this case, Bannon's team did not present evidence or witnesses. Bannon himself did not take the stand to testify.

Pool reporters in the courtroom said Bannon smiled and smirked as the verdict was read.

As he left the courtroom, Bannon told reporters he may have lost the battle today but "we're not going to lose this war."

"I stand with [Donald] Trump and the Constitution," he said.

He thanked the judge and jury and respected their decision, but blasted the "gutless" members of the House Select Committee for got coming to testify in this case.

Bannon's lawyer David Schoen said their team has a "bulletproof appeal coming."

Schoen said the decision will be overturned on appeal and called out the government's "overreaching."

What Jan. 6 Committee Will Do Next

Rep. Elaine Luria of Virginia said the House Jan. 6 Committee has received "so much new information" when asked what the American public can expect from the select committee's next public hearings.

Luria, a Democrat, co-led the select committee's eighth hearing on Thursday evening. The committee has thus far presented evidence and witness testimony on the events leading up to and during January 6, 2021, when a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol Building. Thursday's hearing focused on former President Donald Trump's actions as the riot was taking place.

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the committee's vice chair, said in her closing remarks Thursday evening that the committee has "much work yet to do" and won't hold another public hearing until September.

During a Friday morning appearance on the MSNBC show Morning Joe, Luria said the committee initially planned for Thursday's hearing to be its last. But Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the committee chair, has said the panel is receiving "new information every day."

"There's been so much new information, so many new people coming forward, and really so many different paths that this investigation is taking," Luria said on Friday.

The Congresswoman said she cannot "lay out exactly right now" what Americans will see from the committee in September. Luria said the committee has been in contact with new witnesses, has questions about missing U.S. Secret Service text messages, and might need to follow up with witnesses the committee has heard from before.

"Knowing what we know now, I think we probably need to go back and call some of those people again, because we have a better understanding of the circumstances, so that we can go back and ask some more pointed questions," Luria said.

Fellow Democratic committee member Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida also reminded Americans on Friday morning that the select committee is "willing to hear from anyone with relevant information who is patriotic enough to come and testify before us."

Kari Lake Back on Twitter After Violating Privacy Rules

Trump-endorsed Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake was locked out of her Twitter account for sharing private information on her opponent online.

On Sunday, Lake tweeted a video captioned "Kari Lake EXPOSES Her Opponent's Disgusting Fundraising Tactics" to attack Karrin Taylor Robson's fundraising tactics and large amount of refunds.

In the video, a phone number flashes on screen. According to AZ Central reporter Stacey Barchenger said it was the phone number of Robson's campaign manager.

A Twitter spokesperson told Daily Beast that the company deemed that "private information" and deleted the video.

"We took enforcement action on the account you referenced for violating the Twitter Rules on private information," Twitter's Trenton Kennedy told the outlet. "The account owner [Kari Lake] will be required to delete the violative Tweet before regaining full access to their account."

According to Twitter's rules, a user cannot post or publish other people's private information without their express authorization and permission. The social media company also prohibits "threatening to expose private information or incentivizing others to do so."

Lake took to Instagram to use this incident as a fundraising opportunity.

"We must be right over the target," she wrote. "The RINOS, the Media, The Left & Big Tech — they are ALL trying to bring down our Movement."

Lake was able to regain access to her account after she deleted the flagged tweet. She then reuploaded the same video without the phone number.

Hawley Sells Mug Depicting Fist of Support for Capitol Rioters

Republican Representative Josh Hawley of Missouri responded to last night's Jan. 6 hearing by sharing a link to new merch on his website.

Hawley is selling a $20 coffee mug that shows the now infamous image of him raising his fist in support to the protesters outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

The House Select Committee displayed this image during the prime-time hearing Thursday before showing footage of Hawley running through the halls of the Capitol to escape the rioters who entered the building later that day.

Committee member Representative Elaine Luria said Hawley's raised fist "helped to rile up" the crowd.

Hawley Fist of Support
An image of US Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) raising his fist to protesters outside the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, is displayed on a screen during a hearing by the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6th attack on the US Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC, on July 21, 2022. AFP via Getty Images/OLIVER CONTRERAS

Hawley was one of the representatives who lead the efforts to challenge the certification of the 2020 presidential election results. He previously said that he does not regret making this gesture, as the protesters were peaceful at the time.

The Congressman tweeted out the link to the mug with a blowing-a-kiss emoji, trolling those online who have criticized and mocked him for his conduct before, during and after the certification of the 2020 presidential election.

The mug shows Hawley holding up his fist with the words "show me strong" under his name.

Donald Trump Jr. Calls Out 'BS J6 Inquisition'

Donald Trump Jr. said the House Jan. 6 Committee will not be showing a memo that he says demonstrates his father's efforts to maintain safety on January 6, 2021.

The former president's son posted his criticism of the panel on Twitter Friday morning, following the select committee's eighth public hearing Thursday evening. The hearing focused on former President Donald Trump's actions in the White House on the day rioters stormed the Capitol Building as Congress was attempting to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Trump Jr. shared a link to an article on MxM News, a news aggregation app he co-founded. He described the platform in his tweet as "a new app without media bias or censorship."

Trump Jr. said the article he was sharing included a memo that said the former president "gave order to 'make sure' J6 rally was 'safe event'."

"Strange how this will receive exactly zero coverage from the BS J6 Inquisition and the MSM," Trump Jr. tweeted, referring to the select committee and the mainstream media. "I'm shocked!"

Democrats Start Planning 'Hawlin' Hawley' 5K Race

Missouri Democrats said Friday morning they are planning a 5-kilometer race inspired by a video of Missouri Senator Josh Hawley running in the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021.

The video was shown during the House Jan. 6 Committee's public hearing Thursday night.

The race, a date for which has not yet been announced, will be called the "Hawlin' Hawley 5K," according to a promotional image the Missouri Democratic Party shared on Twitter.

"We are coming, ya'll!!! Keep your eyes peeled for registration information soon," the state party tweeted.

The video of Hawley shown by the select committee on Thursday was recorded after Hawley raised his fist to supporters of former President Donald Trump as they gathered outside the Capitol.

A photo taken of that moment shows how Hawley "raised his fist in solidarity with the protesters already amassing at the security gates," said Rep. Elaine Luria, who co-led Thursday's hearing. Luria said a U.S. Capitol Police officer told the select committee that Hawley's raised fist "riled up the crowd."

"Later that day, Senator Hawley fled after those protesters he helped to rile up stormed the Capitol," Luria said. The select committee then played a short video of Hawley running across a hallway inside the Capitol, a clip that prompted brief laughter in the room and hours of memes shared online.

The Missouri Democratic Party retweeted the video clip and wrote, "And here, ladies and gentlemen, is the real Joshua Hawley."

On Friday morning, the party appeared to respond to a suggestion for a Hawley-inspired race.

"Love the 5K idea guys, workin' on it," the party tweeted. The Missouri Democratic Party later shared the "Hawlin' Hawley" image alerting Twitter users that race registration information would be coming soon.

Bannon Wants to Know if Jurors Watched Jan. 6 Hearing

The jury began deliberation in the Steve Bannon contempt of Congress trial after closing arguments were presented Friday.

In November, Bannon was indicted on two counts of criminal contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with the subpoena from the House Select Committee investigating the events of Jan. 6. Bannon pleaded not guilty to the charges. He faces a minimum of 30 days in jail if found guilty.

Bannon's defense team began the day by filing a motion asking the judge to ask the jurors if they watched last night's Jan. 6 hearing, according to court documents.

Bannon to Court Friday
Former White House senior strategist Steve Bannon arrives at the Federal District Court House for the fifth day of his contempt of Congress trial on July 22, 2022 in Washington, DC. Tasos Katopodis//Getty Images

"The Defendant respectfully requests, subject to the Court's experienced view on how best to address the matter, that there should be some inquiry, while assuring the jurors of the importance of candor and that they will not suffer negative consequences if they acknowledge exposure to the broadcast or its subject," Bannon's team wrote in the motion.

His team argued that Bannon's featured segment during the hearing was "highly inflammatory."

"The nature and substance of the segment present a significant cause for concern regarding possible prejudice to Mr. Bannon's constitutional fair trial rights and right to a jury trial if a juror viewed the segment of was made aware of it in some manner," the motion read.

Bannon served as former President Donald Trump's chief strategist and pushed false claims of widespread election fraud.

During the Jan. 6 hearing Thursday night, the House Select Committee played audio from a meeting Bannon held with associates days before the 2020 election.

"What Trump's gonna do is declare victory," Bannon said in the clip. "But that doesn't mean he's the winner. He's just going to say he's the winner."

Bannon also said that Trump would claim the election was stolen if he was losing on election night.

"If Trump is losing...it's going to be even crazier," he said. "He's going to sit right there and say they stole it. If Biden is winning, Trump is going to do some crazy sh*t."

Trump did claim he won the election, despite his advisers repeatedly telling him that he lost and there was no evidence of election fraud.

"What the new Steve Bannon audio demonstrates is Donald Trump's plan to falsely claim victory in 2020, no matter what the facts were, was premeditated," Committee Vice-Chair Liz Cheney said. "Perhaps worse, Donald Trump believed he could convince his voters to buy it, whether he had any actual evidence of fraud or not."

Bannon Jan 6
A video of former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon is displayed on a screen during a hearing by the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6th attack on the US Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC, on July 21, 2022. SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Why 'Clark Kent' Is Trending on Twitter

A man who was sitting behind the two witnesses called to testify during Thursday's House Jan. 6 Committee public hearing has captivated social media users eager to identify him.

The man's name was unknown as of Friday morning, but people on Twitter are calling him Clark Kent.

The man appeared at the hearing wearing glasses and a suit, prompting many to draw comparisons with Superman's alter ego. He sat behind Matthew Pottinger, the former deputy national security adviser, and Sarah Matthews, the former deputy White House press secretary. The select committee called Pottinger and Matthews to testify publicly about what was happening in the White House on January 6, 2021, as a violent mob was storming the U.S. Capitol Building.

Some Twitter users jokingly thanked the select committee for "inviting" Clark Kent to the hearing. Others took screenshots of the man and imposed Superman's suit over his own. Some people wondered what the man's reaction would be to learning of his sudden Twitter fame.

Several media outlets published articles about the public's interest in the Clark Kent look-a-like in the hours after the hearing concluded. "Clark Kent" was still trending on Twitter midday Friday.

Clark Kent at Jan. 6 hearing
A man social media users are referring to as "Clark Kent" sits between former National Security Council member Matthew Pottinger (L) and former Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Matthews during a hearing by the House Jan. 6 Committee in Washington, D.C., on July 21, 2022. SAUL LOEB/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Former DC Police Officer Calls Hawley a 'B**ch'

Former Washington D.C. police officer Michael Fanone called Republican Representative Josh Hawley a "b**ch" after seeing video of the Missouri congressman running from rioters in the Capitol after showing them support earlier that day.

Fanone was assaulted during the Jan. 6 riot and testified with other officers on the events of the riot before Congress last year.

He said his first reaction to seeing that video during last night's hearing was that, "Josh Hawley is a b**ch."

"The fist pump, combined with what he did in the immediate aftermath shows the true character, or lack thereof," he told Politico outside of the hearing.

Hawley was one of the members of Congress leading the effort to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election. He was seen raising his fist to the crowd outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. During the hearing Thursday, the Committee showed footage of Hawley running through the halls of the Capitol to escape the rioters who entered the building.

Fanone called people like Hawley "a clown."

"You see the way these guys perform in public and then what they are in reality," he said.

He said members of Congress have become "caricatures in the media."

"But in reality they have no character, they have no honor, they have no integrity," he said. "They way they behave outside of the camera's eye is very different."

Mike Pence 'Looking Forward' to Robson Campaign Rally

Former Vice President Mike Pence said he is "looking forward" to supporting Arizona gubernatorial candidate Karrin Taylor Robson at two campaign events on Friday.

Pence is traveling to Arizona on the same day former President Donald Trump is holding a rally in Prescott Valley.

On Friday morning, Pence posted a brief message on Twitter about his visit to Arizona.

"Looking forward to campaigning with the next governor of Arizona @Karrin4Arizona! See You Soon," he wrote, ending his tweet with an American flag emoji.

Accompanying Pence's tweet was a link to an article published by the Glendale-based radio station KTAR-FM about his impending visit. Sitting Governor Doug Ducey will accompany Robson for her two campaign events with Pence on Friday, the station reported.

Pence and Trump have endorsed different Republican gubernatorial candidates in Arizona ahead of the state's primary election on August 2. While Pence endorsed Robson in the race, Trump has endorsed Kari Lake. Lake is expected to be one of the speakers at Trump's Friday evening rally.

Trump, Pence to Hold Opposing Rallies in Arizona

Both former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence are holding separate rallies in Arizona the day after the eighth January 6 hearing.

Trump and Pence are endorsing different candidates in the Arizona gubernatorial race. The opposing rallies demonstrate the current divide among the Republican party.

Trump is backing Kari Lake at a rally at the Findlay Toyota Center in Prescott Valley. Lake is a former television anchor who continues to spread Trump's claims about the 2020 election being stolen.

Pence has endorsed Karrin Taylor Robson and will speak at a rally at TYR Tactical in Peoria before going to a rally at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection office in Tucson. Robson is a lawyer and housing developer who represents more mainstream Republicans breaking away from Trump.

She has the support of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. Ducey was one of the state officials who refused Trump's calls to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election.

Lake is slightly ahead of Robson in recent polls.

The Arizona primary election will be held on Aug. 2.

Hearings to Reconvene in September: Thompson

Representative Bennie Thompson, head of the House January 6 probe, said it will reconvene in September for an additional public hearing after receiving "new information every day" and finding new witnesses to pursue.

The committee initially said it would hold seven nationally broadcast hearings to lay out its findings into its investigation of the attack on the Capitol and what role Donald Trump may have had.

But Thompson announced there would be another at the end of the committee's eighth hearing Thursday, which focused on the White House's response to the attack. The timing means the next hearing will take place with just over a month before the fall midterm elections.

"Today, we know far more about the president's plans and actions to overturn the election," Representative Liz Cheney, the committee's vice-chair, said earlier in the hearing.

She said the committee will spend August "pursuing emerging information on multiple fronts" before reconvening in September.

Trump Refused to Say Election Was Over in Jan. 7 Speech

Video released by the House January 6 probe shows Donald Trump refusing to acknowledge that he lost the 2020 presidential and attempting to soften language condemning rioters who stormed the Capitol.

Former White House aides described to the probe during its Thursday hearing how Trump's staff struggled with messaging after a mob of his supporters overran the Capitol.

The House committee played outtakes of Trump's videotaped message recorded a day after the attack as the then-president was increasingly shunned. Other Republicans by then had recognized Joe Biden won the election, but not Trump.

One video shows Trump reading from a script stating that the election is over.

"I don't want to say, 'the election is over,'" Trump said in the video. "I just want to say, 'Congress has certified the results,' without saying the 'election is over,' okay?"

Trump was also shown resisting saying that rioters "broke the law," pointing out the script already said "you will pay."

"I would like to begin by addressing the heinous attack yesterday," Trump is shown beginning another video before pausing to say, "'Yesterday' is a hard word for me."

Capitol Riots Hurt National Security: Pottinger

Matthew Pottinger, a former White House security official, told the House January 6 committee that Donald Trump's refusal to accept the 2020 presidential election played into the hands of the United States' adversaries.

Pottinger, who served as Trump's deputy national security adviser, told the probe Thursday, that any presidential transition is a "time of vulnerability" even "under the best circumstances."

He said the United States' "national security was harmed in a different way" by the January 6 insurrection.

"I think [it] emboldened our our enemies by helping give them ammunition to feed a narrative that our system of government doesn't work that the United States is in decline," Pottinger said.

Pottinger said that while China, Russia and other autocratic governments have pushed that narrative, they "have been proven wrong every single time."

"But nonetheless, January 6, helped feed a perception that, I think, emboldens our adversaries," he said.

Additionally, Pottinger said the January 6 riot also sparked concern over the health of the U.S.'s democracy among its European and Asian allies.

"I think it's incumbent upon us to put their minds at ease, to put our own hearts at ease, by investigating what happened on the sixth and making sure that it never happens again," he said.

Trump Aide Said Condemning Violence Would 'Hand Win to Media'

Former Trump press aide Sarah Matthews recalled to the House January 6 committee how a White House staffer resisted condemning the violence that unfolded at the Capitol out of political considerations.

Matthews, who served as Trump's deputy press secretary, told the committee how she argued for Donald Trump to clearly condemn the violence and tell rioters to go home.

"A colleague suggested that the president shouldn't condemn the violence because they thought it would be 'handing a win to the media if you were to condemn his supporters,'" said Matthews.

Matthews said she "couldn't believe that we were arguing over this in the middle of the West Wing, talking about the politics of a tweet being concerned with handing the media a win when we had just watched all of that violence unfold at the Capitol."

Becoming visibly frustrated, Matthews said she motioned at the TV in the press office and asked, "Do you think it looks like we're effing winning?"

Jan. 6 Witness: Security Agents in Capitol Said 'Goodbye to Family'

An anonymous White House security official told the House January 6 probe Thursday that Secret Service agents in the Capitol feared for their lives as a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol.

The official recalled to the committee hearing radio traffic on January 6 of how the "Capitol does not sound good right now" and that members of then-Vice President Mike Pence's security detail were starting to fear for their own lives.

"There was a lot of yelling, a lot of very personal calls over the radio, so it was disturbing," the official said. "I don't like talking about it, but there were calls to say goodbye to family members."

The official said the security agents were "running out of options" and "getting nervous" as they considered using "lethal options."

White House Staff Say Trump Tweet Put 'Fuel To the Fire'

Two former White House aides said former President Donald Trump "added fuel to the fire" to the January 6 Capitol riot by tweeting that then-Vice President Mike Pence "didn't have the courage" to block the certification of the 2020 presidential election.

Matthew Pottinger, former Trump administration deputy national security advisor, told the House January 6 committee Thursday he decided to resign after seeing the tweet. Pottinger said he had earlier been away from the White House. When he returned, he said he saw "the chaos that was unfolding at the Capitol," and an aide handed him a sheet of paper with the now infamous tweet.

"I was disturbed and worried to see that the president was attacking Vice President Pence for doing his constitutional duty," Pottinger.

He said he decided that January 6 would be his last day working in the White House because he "simply didn't want to be associated with with the events that were unfolding on the Capitol."

Sarah Matthews, a former deputy press secretary at the Trump White House, told the committee the tweet gave the "green light" to the rioters and would "be bad" for Pence.

"It was obvious that the situation at the Capitol was violent and escalating quickly," she said. "And so I thought that the tweet about the Vice President was the last thing that was needed in that moment."

Matthews recalled traveling with Trump on the campaign trail and watching as his supporters latched on to every word and tweet from the then-president. She said that Trump should have instead condemned the violence and told his supporters to go home.

'He's Got to Condemn This S**t ASAP': Trump Jr.

President Donald Trump's son, Donald J. Trump Jr. condemned his father's first tweet about the January 6 riots in text messages to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

"He's got to condemn this s**t ASAP. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough," Trump Jr. wrote.

"I am pushing it hard. I agree," Meadows replied.

"This is one you go to the mattresses on they will try to f**k his entire legacy on this if it gets worse," Trump Jr. responded.

In an interview with the committee, Trump Jr. said that "go to the mattresses" was a reference to The Godfather and meant "going all-in."

White House Aides Worried Trump Press Conference Would Inflame Riot

Witnesses for the House January 6 probe said Donald Trump could have quickly made a national address as a mob overran the Capitol. But White House aides told the probe they worried an "unscripted" remark from Trump could make the situation worse.

Sarah Matthews, who served briefly as a Trump White House deputy press secretary, described to the committee Thursday how the president's staff could have rapidly organized a national address or assembled a press conference within minutes in hopes of quelling the riot.

But Representative Adam Kinzinger said that the probe heard from other White House staff who were worried that Trump, known for his confrontational press appearances, could "actually make matters worse."

Kinzinger recalled how retired Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg, who served as a White House national security official, told the committee he recommended against doing a press conference.

Kellogg told the committee, according to Kinzinger, that during his four years in the Trump administration "there wasn't a single clean press conference we had had."

Trump Watched Fox News for 2.5 Hours While Riots Raged

Representative Elaine Luria said that after Donald Trump was told on January 6 that the Capitol was under attack, the then-president headed to the White House dining room where Fox News was playing.

Citing witness testimony, Luria described how Trump settled in at the White House dining room after his Secret Service detail refused to take him to the Capitol where Congress was certifying the presidential 2020 election.

"There was no official record of what President Trump did while in the dining room," said Luria.

Luria showed clips of what Fox News was broadcasting while Trump was in the dining room. The network was broadcasting the agitated crowd and how police had declared a riot.

"We have confirmed in numerous interviews with senior law enforcement and military leaders, Vice President Pence of staff and DC government officials, none of them not one heard from President Trump that day," said Luria. "He did not call to issue orders. He did not call to offer assistance."

Luria also said that Trump became aware of the riots just 15 minutes after leaving the stage following his speech.

Lofgren: Secret Service Has Lawyered Up Over Deleted Texts

A member of the House January 6 committee says the Secret Service has taken the "unusual" step of retaining private counsel over deleted text messages sought by the panel.

Representative Zoe Lofgren made the revelation to Nicolle Wallace, host of MSNBC's Deadline White House, earlier Thursday.

The Secret Service has come under scrutiny after Inspector General Joseph Cuffari told Congress that it had requested texts from the Secret Service sent on January 5 and 6, 2021. But the Secret Service replied that the texts had been deleted as part of a planned mobile reset.

The committee has turned its attention to the Secret Service after hearing from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson. She told the committee how she heard second-hand from a Secret Service official that on January 6 Donald Trump tried to take command of a vehicle driven by an agent and take it to the overrun Capitol.

Lofgren told Wallace the committee wants to hear from Secret Service agents. She also said she was annoyed that the committee had only just recently heard about the deleted texts.

What Happened at Last Week's Jan. 6 Committee Hearing

The Thursday evening hearing of the House January 6 committee seeks to build on last week's proceeding that attempted to link Donald Trump to right-wing groups involved with the insurrection.

During its July 12 hearing, the committee heard from Jason Van Tatenhove, a former "propagandist" for the Oath Keepers as well as Stephen Ayres, who pleaded guilty to entering the Capitol illegally.

Both told the committee that in the runup to the Capitol attack, Trump whipped his supporters into a fervor with his false claims the election was stolen.

Donnell Harvin, the former Chief of Homeland Security and Intelligence for the D.C. government, reviewed "alarming" intelligence that other violent pro-Trump groups, including the Proud Boys, were headed to the Capitol.

Representative Jamie Raskin, a member of the committee, sought to link Trump's tweets and public statements to the mob that overran the Capitol.

MPD Officer Mike Fanone Describes Jan. 6 'Onslaught'

Mike Fanone, a former Metropolitan police officer, described in his victim impact statement how he was nearly killed by the mob storming the Capitol who overwhelmed other officers in hand-to-hand combat.

Fanone's statement is part of his testimony before the House January 6 committee's Thursday hearing, where he is expected to give his harrowing first-hand account of what he described as an "onslaught."

Earlier during the attack, Fanone wrote that the United States Capitol Police issued an "agency in distress call" as the mob broke through barriers to the Capitol where lawmakers were certifying the election.

He described how outnumbered officers became separated from their platoons but continued waging their "stand" as they were pelted with metal piping ripped from the scaffolding, rocks, bottles and improvised commercial grade fireworks. Additionally, officers took direct hits of bear spray, he wrote.

"During this onslaught at the [Capitol] door, I was from the front of the police line, pulled into the crowd, and violently beaten and electrocuted with a stun gun," wrote Fanone.

Rioters unsuccessfully attempted to remove his service pistol before a group of demonstrators intervened and pushed him toward the police line, Fanone wrote.

"It is likely that without the intervention of those demonstrators, I would have lost my life," wrote Fanone.

Luria, Kinzinger Face Risks with Jan. 6 Panel Participation

The House January 6 committee's primetime hearing will be a test for the political futures of two of its members.

Representatives Elaine Luria, a Virginia Democrat, and Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, will lead Thursday's hearing that promises to lay out what happened in the White House and other agencies during the attack on the Capitol.

Both are veterans and both have cited their oath to defend the Constitution as a reason for their participation in the committee.

Luria told CNN's Dana Bash earlier Thursday that veterans understand what a time of crisis looks like. She said the hearing will show how then-President Donald Trump failed as commander-in-chief as a mob overtook the Capitol.

"I look at it as a dereliction of duty," she said. "He didn't act. He had a duty to act so we will address that and a lot of detail."

Elected in 2018, Luria faces a tough reelection fight for a House seat redrawn to give Republicans a leg-up.

After becoming an outcast in the Republican Party, Kinzinger has bowed out of reelection, but hasn't ruled out another run for elected office. He previously said support for Trump will gradually wither, much like with disgraced former President Richard Nixon.

Who Is Sarah Matthews?

Sarah Matthews, an ex-aide to former President Donald Trump, is expected to testify at Thursday night's prime-time hearing of the House Select Committee on the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Matthews, 27, served as a deputy press secretary at the Trump White House for roughly six months before abruptly resigning just after the Capitol attack on January 6, 2021. Thursday's January 6 committee hearing, the last public hearing currently scheduled to take place, is expected to focus on Trump's activities during the attack.

For more information, read the full article here.

Fox News Announces It Will Not Air Jan. 6 Hearing

Fox News will again not broadcast Thursday evening's hearing of the House January 6 committee and will instead stick to its regularly scheduled programming.

The network said in a statement provided to The New York Times that Fox Business, which has fewer viewers than Fox News, will instead broadcast the hearing. Fox News will air its usual line-up of Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, some of the network's most watched programs.

Last month, Fox News, which has had a friendly relationship with Donald Trump, was criticized for not airing the hearings that have laid out evidence linking the former president to the attack on the Capitol.

Bill Johnson Calls Investigation 'a Charade'

Representative Bill Johnson referred to the House Jan. 6 Committee hearings as "a charade" while speaking with a reporter Thursday afternoon.

Johnson, an Ohio Republican, was asked about the ongoing investigation into the January 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol Building just hours before the select committee was set to hold its eighth public hearing. The hearing, which is expected to explore former President Donald Trump's actions during the riot, is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET.

Johnson was endorsed by Trump earlier this year in his bid for re-election.

"I have said many, many times before: There had been other investigations already in the Senate, in the Justice Department," Johnson told Spectrum News reporter Taylor Popielarz, who shared a video of Johnson's comments on Twitter.

"This is just a charade," Johnson continued. "It's a distraction from what the real issues are."

Johnson went on to list several issues he said "everybody" in his district are discussing at home, including inflation, gas prices and the border crisis. In contrast, Johnson said "none" of the people in his district are talking about the hearings.

"This is a distraction," he said.

Melania Trump 'Unaware' Riot Was Happening

Former First Lady Melania Trump said she was at the time "unaware" of the events that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021.

Trump spoke about the day of the Capitol riot exclusively with Fox News Digital on Thursday, shortly before the House Jan. 6 Committee was scheduled to begin its eighth public hearing.

Trump told Fox News Digital that she was "fulfilling one of my duties as First Lady of the United States of America" and was thus "unaware of what was simultaneously transpiring at the U.S. Capitol Building."

Those duties involved archiving historic items in the White House, a task Trump said a "qualified team of photographers, archivists, and designers" was working on with her. That team's participation in the archival process on that day was planned "months in advance," Trump said.

Trump said she "would have immediately denounced the violence" if she had known what was happening at the Capitol.

The former first lady also rejected comments by her former chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, who has said Trump hesitated to approve a statement denouncing the violence at the riot. Trump said Grisham hadn't been inside the White House on that day and that "her behavior in her role as Chief of Staff ultimately amounts to dereliction of duty."

Bannon Says He Stands with Trump, the Constitution

Steven Bannon spoke to supporters outside of the courtroom of his contempt of Congress trial Thursday.

"I stand with [Donald] Trump and the Constitution," Bannon said to the crowd as he left court.

Bannon, a former strategist for Trump, went to trial for ignoring a Congressional subpoena from the House Select Committee investigating the events of Jan. 6.

His team decided not to present any witnesses or evidence in this case. The jury was sent home without hearing any testimony Thursday.

Closing arguments and jury instruction will begin Friday morning.

Trump Promotes Arizona Rally Ahead of Hearing

Several hours before the House Jan. 6 Committee was scheduled to begin its eighth public hearing, former President Donald Trump posted a reminder on social media about an upcoming rally he is holding in Arizona.

The rally is taking place Friday evening in Prescott Valley. It was initially scheduled for last week but was postponed after the death of Trump's ex-wife Ivana.

"Big Rally in Arizona Friday evening," Trump posted Thursday morning on Truth Social. "See you there!"

The rally is being held less than two weeks before Arizona's primary election. Some of the state's Republican candidates who are endorsed by Trump are expected to address the crowd on Friday, including gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.

Trump endorsed Lake last September. A statement he released at the time said Lake "will do a far better job than RINO Governor Doug Ducey—won't even be a contest!" Ducey, Arizona's sitting governor, has endorsed another Republican in the race.

Trump reiterated his support for Lake in a separate Truth Social post on Thursday.

"Arizona finally has a chance to have a GREAT Governor," his post said. "Vote for Kari Lake - She has my Complete and Total Endorsement!"

Rioter Who Threatened to Shoot Pelosi Sentenced

One of the people who entered the U.S. Capitol on January 6 was sentenced to two months in prison Thursday.

Dawn Bancroft was inside the Capitol for approximately 30 seconds to one minutes, according to court documents. While attempting to exit the Capitol, Bancroft allegedly filmed herself saying she and Diana Santos-Smith, another woman charged in the riot, "broke into the Capitol" and "did our part."

In September, Bancroft pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge in connection to her involvement in the January 6 riots. She had initially faced four charges.

During the Capitol riot, Bancroft made a video threatening to shoot House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the head.

"We were looking for Nancy to shoot her in the frickin' brain but we didn't find her," Bancroft said in the video made during the riots, according to a criminal complaint. Her defense attorney has stated Bancroft was not being serious when she made the comments and added that the video was meant to be a private message sent to one person.

Judge Emmitt Sullivan delivered the sentence to deter Bancroft and others from that conduct, according to CBS reporter Scott MacFarlane.

The judge said that video was "very troubling."

"They didn't happen in the privacy of your home," he said. "They happened on the steps of the Capitol."

He said there are "probably some misguided souls that think they should probably go to the Capitol and put a bullet in the head" of the Speaker of the House.

"People are responsible for what they say," he added.

Bancroft said the comments she made about Pelosi were "foolish," MacFarlane reported.

The judge said he was considering a longer sentence, but settled on sentencing Bancroft to two months in jail with three years of probation.

The prosecution called their recommended sentence "fair," considering the seriousness of Bancroft's conduct.

Trump Says Pelosi Rejected Call for Troops

Former President Donald Trump on Thursday questioned why the House Jan. 6 Committee, which he refers to as the "Unselect Committee," has not called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to testify.

In a Thursday afternoon post on Truth Social, Trump said he had in early January tried to arrange for thousands of troops to "stand guard" at the U.S. Capitol Building as Congress held a joint session on January 6, 2021, to confirm the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Both Pelosi and Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser "turned down" that "recommendation," Trump said.

"Why aren't the Unselects asking Nancy Pelosi and the Mayor of D.C. to testify as to why they turned down my recommendation on January 3rd of 10,000 to 20,000 troops to stand guard at the Capitol Building on January 6th," Trump's post said.

His comments continued by suggesting the Capitol riot that took place that day would not have happened if Pelosi and Bowser had taken his advice.

"Had they followed this recommendation, there would have been no problem on January 6th!!! They must testify," his post said Thursday.

Trump posted his comments a few hours before the select committee was set to hold its eighth public hearing during prime time. The hearing is expected to review Trump's actions as the riot was taking place.

DHS to Investigate Missing Secret Service Texts

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched a criminal investigation into the destruction of Secret Service text messages related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

The results of this investigation could be referred to federal prosecutors, NBC reports.

On Wednesday, the DHS Inspector General sent a letter to the Secret Service asking them to stop the internal investigation into the missing text messages related to Jan. 6, CNN reported.

"To ensure the integrity of our investigation, the USSS must not engage in any further investigative activities regarding the collection and preservation of the evidence referenced above," DHS Deputy Inspector General Gladys Ayala wrote to Secret Service Director James Murray. "This includes immediately refraining from interviewing potential witnesses, collecting devices or taking any other action that would interfere with an ongoing criminal investigation."

This comes after the Secret Service was only able to produce a single text message to the inspector general following a request for a month's worth of records for two dozen Secret Service personnel.

The House Select Committee investigating the events of Jan. 6 sent the Secret Service a subpoena for those messages.

Committee Co-Chairs Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney said they have concerns about a system migration that was said to have resulted in the erasure of Secret Service cell phone data.

This system migration process went into effect on Jan. 27, 2021, three weeks after the attack on the Capitol.

"Four House committees had already sought these critical records from the Department of Homeland Security before the records were apparently lost," the representatives said in a joint statement. "Additionally, the procedure for preserving content prior to this purge appears to have been contrary to federal records retention requirements and may represent a possible violation of the Federal Records Act."

"Every effort must be made to retrieve the lost data as well," they added.

In a statement, the Secret Service said in a statement that it has informed the Committee of the DHS inspector General's request "and will conduct a thorough legal review to ensure we are fully cooperative with all oversight efforts and that they do not conflict with each other."

Trump's Former Deputy Press Secretary to Testify

The Committee is expected to hear from Sarah Matthews, the former deputy press secretary under the Trump administration.

Matthews will join former deputy national security adviser Mathew Pottinger as a key witness from Donald Trump's inner circle.

As a part of the press office, Matthews was aware of conversations about what the White House and Trump should say publicly during the Capitol riot. She may testify to the advice of aides close to Trump.

Sarah Matthews to Testify
In this image from video released by the House Select Committee, an exhibit shows Sarah Matthews, former White House deputy press secretary, during a video deposition to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, that was displayed at the hearing Thursday, June 16, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. House Select Committee via AP

Matthews' testimony is expected to carry a lot of weight before the Committee.

Alyssa Farah Griffin, the former White House director of strategic communications, told the Associated Press that Matthews is a "tried and true Republican."

Matthews was interns on Capitol Hill before being hired as a deputy press secretary for Trump's reelection campaign. Former Trump press secretary Kayleigh McEnany then brought Matthews to the White House.

She worked in the "upper press" area of the West Wing, placing her in closer proximity to the Oval Office than others in her office, according to AP.

Matthews resigned from her position on Jan. 6, 2021.

She issued a statement that day saying she was "deeply disturbed by what I saw today."

Matthews' later called that attack "one of the darkest days in American history."

"Make no mistake, the events on the 6th were a coup attempt, a term we'd use had they happened in any other country, and former President Trump failed to meet the moment," she tweeted.

Matthews also tweeted out her support for Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, when she testified before the Committee last month.

"Just want to say how much admiration I have for the tremendous bravery Cassidy Hutchinson is displaying," she said in a tweet. "Even in the face of harassment and threats, she is choosing to put her country first and tell the truth."

"This is what real courage, integrity, and patriotism looks like," she added.

Nearly 6 in 10 Americans Blame Trump for Riot

More than half of Americans place blame on former President Donald Trump for the riot at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021, according to a new NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist poll.

The poll found 57 percent of Americans "say former President Donald Trump deserves, at least, a good amount of the blame" for the events on January 6, a four percent increase from polling results collected six months ago.

The latest poll was conducted among 1,160 American adults between July 11 and 17. Its results were released Thursday morning, several hours before the House Jan. 6 Committee's eighth public hearing was due to begin.

While 50 percent of Americans told pollsters they believe Trump "should be charged with crimes based on the evidence" the select committee has presented in its public hearings thus far, 61 percent of respondents said they don't believe he will face charges.

Thirty-eight percent of Americans continue to have a "favorable opinion" of the former president, who "remains popular" with about 83 percent of Republicans, the poll said.

Mark Meadows Seen Near Capitol Hill

Mark Meadows was seen walking in Washington, D.C.'s Capitol Hill neighborhood Thursday morning, several hours before the House Jan. 6 Committee's eighth public hearing was scheduled to begin.

Meadows, who worked as the White House chief of staff under former President Donald Trump, has thus far refused to testify before the select committee.

Meadows was walking away from the Capitol Hill Club, which is located a couple of blocks south of the U.S. Capitol Building, when reporters saw him on the street. He declined to answer questions about the select committee's investigation or Trump's future campaign plans, according to CNN reporter Annie Grayer.

Haley Talbot of NBC News posted a video of Meadows walking along as reporters peppered him with questions. He ignored most of their queries and declined to comment on others.

When asked if he has spoken with his former aide, Cassidy Hutchinson, since she testified before the committee last month, Meadows told the reporters, "I don't comment on anything on January 6th, guys."

"I appreciate the job you're doing," he added.

The reporters continued following Meadows and asking him questions. He didn't respond when asked whether he's been in touch with members of Congress who requested pardons after the Capitol riot, if he is cooperating with the committee or if he believes Trump committed a crime.

When asked about a possible campaign announcement from his former boss, Meadows said, "The president's opinions obviously speak for themselves." He declined to comment on whether he'd work with Trump again.

Bannon Will Not Testify in Contempt Trial

Steve Bannon will not testify in his contempt of Congress trial.

Bannon went to trial for ignoring a Congressional subpoena from the House Select Committee investigating the events of Jan. 6.

Bannon's team told the judge Thursday that it will not present a case to the jury. There will be no witnesses called, no evidence presented and no testimony from Bannon himself.

The defense is not required to present a case because the burden is on the Justice Department to prove its charges. The trial will go straight to closing arguments and jury instructions.

Bannon's team began the day by filing a motion for acquittal, asking the judge to dismiss this case, according to pool reports from inside the courtroom.

"It's abundantly clear that there was no evidence presented that the defendant is guilty," Bannon's attorney Evan Corcoran said, before the jury came into the courtroom.

He added that "no reasonable juror could conclude that Mr. Bannon refused to comply."

The defense argued Wednesday that the deadline to appear before the committee was flexible.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Vaughn said the government did present sufficient evidence. She added that the dates to comply were clearly stated on the subpoena.

"The committee made clear in its letters to the defendant that those were the dates and they had violated them," she said.

Judge Carl Nichols reserved judgement on the motion, saying he was still concerned about the possibility of prejudice to the jury. The judge was concerned the jury heard the defense announcing its plans to seek a dismissal.

Bannon served as former President Donald Trump's strategist and close adviser. The House Committee is investigating his alleged involvement in the Capitol riots on Jan. 6.

In November, Bannon was indicted on two counts of criminal contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with the subpoena. Bannon pleaded not guilty to the charges. He faces a minimum of 30 days in jail if found guilty.

Bannon Contempt Trial
Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon arrives at the U.S. District Courthouse for his trial for contempt of Congress on July 21, 2022 in Washington, DC. Nathan Howard/Getty Images

Trump 'Just Watched' Riot, Former Sergeant Says

Former President Donald Trump "just watched" the riot as it unfolded at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021, according to former U.S. Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonell.

Gonell tweeted Thursday morning about Trump's actions on that day ahead of the House Jan. 6 Committee's eighth public hearing, which is expected to focus on what Trump did during the riot.

"Today we will learn how bigly our mightiest, fearless leader came to the rescue and saved the Capitol," Gonell tweeted in a preview of the select committee's hearing, which is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET. "Oh wait...(sarcasm)," he added.

"By oath, He had a duty to act," Gonell tweeted a couple of minutes later. "He didn't act. Dereliction of duty."

Gonell later shared a link to an opinion article written by retired generals and admirals that The New York Times published Thursday morning. The article declared the former president's actions on January 6 a "dereliction of duty."

Gonell was at the Capitol on the day of the riot. He suffered injuries that day that have left him unable to continue his work with the U.S. Capitol Police.

In a message accompanying the article link, Gonell wrote that as officers were working to "fight for our lives" and "protect the Capitol," Trump was "watching tv."

"The Oath breaker just watched," Gonell wrote.

Aquilino Gonell and Stephen Ayres
U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell (R) speaks with Stephen Ayres (L), who pleaded guilty to entering the Capitol illegally on January 6, at the conclusion of a House Jan. 6 Committee hearing on July 12, 2022, in Washington, D.C. OLIVER CONTRERAS/AFP via Getty Images

AG Garland Says Trump is Not Above the Law

Attorney General Merrick Garland said former President Donald Trump will not get any special treatment from the Justice Department.

When asked about the how the Justice Department is weighing the possibility of charges brought against Trump, Garland simply said that "no person is above the law in this country."

Garland dismisses claims that the DOJ could be "accused of playing politics" in taking action against Trump.

"There is nothing in the principles of prosecution and any other factors from preventing us from investigating anyone who is criminally responsible for an attempt to undo a democratic election," he said.

Panel to Review Trump's Actions During Riot

The House Jan. 6 Committee's eighth public hearing is expected to focus on the 187 minutes that passed between former President Donald Trump's speech at the Ellipse on January 6, 2021, and the moment he posted a video on Twitter telling his supporters to "go home."

Earlier hearings have explored the pressure that the select committee says the former president and his allies placed on former Vice President Mike Pence and the U.S. Department of Justice to change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Prior hearings have also reviewed the legal challenges carried out by attorneys with Trump's campaign.

During the select committee's hearing last week, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming said the panel will turn its attention back to the events on the day of the riot at the U.S. Capitol for its eighth hearing.

Rep. Pete Aguilar of California, a Democrat on the select committee, explained a bit more about the panel's plans to detail Trump's "failed leadership" during a press conference earlier this week.

"What we will lay out on Thursday is what was happening during those 187 minutes in the White House," Aguilar said.

"At any point, he could have walked to the press room a couple feet away and called off the rioters," Aguilar added. "The rioters that he knew were armed, that he knew were angry. And yet, he pointed at the Capitol four times and told them to march."

Former Deputy National Security Adviser to Testify

The Jan. 6 Committee will hear from former U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Matthew Pottinger at today's hearing.

He is expected to testify on what Donald Trump did, and didn't do, as the U.S. Capitol was under siege.

Alyssa Farah Griffin, the former White House Director of Strategic Communications, told the Associated Press that Pottinger has "enormous credibility." She said he is "highly respected in the national security space" and not seen as overtly political.

The Committee previously showed clips from Pottinger's video deposition during a hearing featuring Cassidy Hutchinson in June.

Mathew Pottinger
Former Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger is set to testify before the Jan. 6 Committee Thursday. Above, a video of Pottinger is played as Cassidy Hutchinson, a top former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testifies during the sixth hearing by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol, in Washington, DC, on June 28, 2022. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Pottinger resigned from his position in the White House after the events of Jan. 6, 2021.

He said that after reading Trump's tweets attacking Vice President Mike Pence as the riot was underway, he knew he had to go.

"I read that tweet and made a decision at that moment to resign," Pottinger said. "That's where I knew that I was leaving that day once I read that tweet."

Pottinger has long been an advocate for preserving democracy.

Before he was in the White House, Pottinger was a journalist in China before enlisting in the U.S. Marines in 2005 after the invasion of Iraq.

He once wrote an essay saying that "living in China also shows you what a non-democratic country can do to its citizens."

During an interview with the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute two years ago, Pottinger said "our form of government is not inevitable."

"It shouldn't be taken for granted," he added. "But it's a form of government very much worth fighting for."

Pottinger was deployed to Iraq as an intelligence officer and later worked in Afghanistan with U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. After Trump was elected, Flynn invited Pottinger to join him in the National Security Council. Pottinger was promoted to deputy national security adviser in 2019 and focused on Asia as Trump took a strong stance towards China.

How to Watch Eighth Hearing

The House January 6 Committee will hold its eighth public hearing this evening starting at 8 p.m. ET.

The hearing will stream live on the select committee's website and YouTube channel. Major news networks will broadcast the hearing live.

This is the second time the select committee is holding a hearing during prime time. The committee's first public hearing on June 9 also aired in the evening.

Watch the hearing at this link or below.

Who Will Chair Today's Hearing? Thompson Tests for COVID

Bennie Thompson during opening Jan. 6 hearing
Representative Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House committee investigating the Capitol riot, speaks during a House Select Committee hearing to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol, in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on June 9, 2022. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

It is unclear who will chair Thursday's hearing after Chairman Bennie Thompson tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.

Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, has instructed the committee to go ahead with the hearing but it is not yet known if he will participate virtually.

Republican Representative Liz Cheney is vice chair and has played a major role in the proceedings so far. She could act as chair in his stead.

Thompson is fully vaccinated and encouraged "each person in America to get vaccinated and continue to follow the guidelines to remain safe."

Kinzinger Shares Testimony Video Clips

Panel member Adam Kinzinger has shared clips of testimony from several witnesses about Trump watching TV on Jan. 6.

In the clip, former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany in her deposition said that to her knowledge Trump was "always in the dining room."

General Keith Kellogg, former national security adviser to then Vice President Mike Pence, and Trump's former executive assistant Molly Michael are also shown saying that Trump was watching TV.

Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone, when asked if the violence at the Capitol was visible on TV in the dining room, he replied "yes."

Panel Member Accuses Trump of 'Dereliction of Duty'

A member of the committee on Wednesday looked ahead to today's hearing...

Democratic Representative Elaine Luria told MSNBC: "This is a dereliction of duty of the president and we're gonna talk in depth about the events that happened - almost minute by minute - in the White House that day.

"We'll use clips of news footage," she went on. "What would he [Trump] have been seeing on Fox News? What would the rest of the country have been seeing? And tie it into the conversations that were had."

"If you were president, wouldn't you just jump into action? Wouldn't you call everyone in your administration, in your cabinet, who could help quell this and monitor the situation carefully?" she added.

Hearing Comes Day After Ivana Trump's Funeral

Today's hearing will begin a little over 24 hours since Donald Trump, the ex-president at the center of the inquiry, attended the funeral of Ivana, his ex-wife.

Trump was surrounded by his and Ivanka's three children—Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric—daughter Tiffany, current wife Melania and their son, Barron.

Ivana died aged 73 on July 14 as a result of "blunt impact injuries" to the torso, New York City medical examiner's office said. Her death was accidental, it said.

Funeral of Ivana Trump
Funeral of Ivana Trump . Donald Trump, Melania Trump, Barron Trump, Jared Kushner, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump are seen at the funeral of Ivana Trump on July 20, 2022 in New York City. Getty

Secret Service Under Scrutiny Over Jan. 6 Texts

The committee has suggested the Secret Service may have acted unlawfully following claims text messages from January 5 and 6, 2021, had been lost.

Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Joseph Cuffari received only one text exchange from the Secret Service after requesting a month's data from 24 agents.

But the Secret Service said the messages were erased in an agency-wide system migration—something the panel believes may have violated the Federal Records Act's data preservation procedures.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has directed the Secret Service to investigate the potential "unauthorized deletion" of text messages and to deliver a report on the matter in 30 days. Secret Service said it will co-operate.

"The Select Committee is seeking additional Secret Service records as well," the January 6 committee tweeted on Wednesday.

New Video to Show Trump Speech Outtakes: NBC

Viewers will be shown never-before-seen footage from Jan. 6, NBC Washington Correspondent Hallie Jackson reports.

Video clips will show outtakes from a speech from President Trump after the attack and members of congress escaping from the Capitol building, she told Today.

The House panel "are looking to lay out the argument that not only did Trump do nothing as the Capitol was overrun but that he liked watching it happen," Jackson said.

Recap of All Seven January 6 Hearings so Far

The July 21 hearing will be the eighth live-televised House select committee hearings into Jan. 6—and the second held at prime time.

Here's a very quick recap of what's happened so far:

  1. On June 9, committee chair Bennie Thompson said Trump's efforts to stay in power culminated in a "coup" attempt. Liz Cheney, censured by the GOP for her panel role, told Republicans "defending the indefensible" that, "There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain."
  2. The second sought to show Trump was aware claims of widespread voter fraud were baseless. Ex-AG William Barr said Trump had "become detached from reality" and the fraud claims were "bulls***t."
  3. The third examined how Trump and allies pressured the then-VP Mike Pence to selectively discount electoral votes.
  4. The fourth featured Arizona and Georgia election officials who said they were pressured to "find" votes for Trump
  5. The fifth focused on Trump's attempts to weaponize the Justice Department. The panel also heard how several Trump allies sought pardons after Jan. 6.
  6. On June 28, an unscheduled session brought the blockbuster testimony of Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson. She told how Trump knew of the potential for violence and wanted to join his supporters at the Capitol.
  7. In the seventh, ex-spokesperson for Oath Keepers militia said Trump had attempted to mount "an armed revolution." Cheney said that Trump "tried to call a witness in our investigation" and had been reported to the DoJ.