Primetime January 6 Committee Hearings Have One Target: Trump

The rare primetime televised hearings from the House committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot kicked off Thursday with one clear target: former president Donald Trump.


The rare primetime televised hearings from the House committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot kicked off Thursday with one clear target: former president Donald Trump.

  • The 9-member panel of seven Democrats and two Republicans blamed Trump for the Capitol riot, alleging the attack on the Capitol was “not spontaneous” but rather an “attempted coup” and a “direct result” of Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
  • The committee aired testimony from a series of top Trump advisers, including his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, General Mark Milley, Attorney General William Barr, and campaign adviser Jason Miller.
  • Barr and Ivanka both testified that specious claims Trump and some loyalists were making of a ‘stolen election’ were, as Barr put it, “bullshit.”
  • Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) said in her statement – to audible gasps – that the committee heard testimony from witnesses who claimed Trump responded to reports of rioters chanting ‘hang Mike Pence’ by saying, “Maybe our supporters have the right idea,” and that Mike Pence “deserves it.”
  • The committee heard live testimony from Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards, who told the panel she was knocked over by the rioters and assaulted with chemical spray and saw “officers on the ground bleeding and throwing up…it was carnage. It was chaos.”


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times wrote, “Trump was at the center” of the committee’s presentation, which included evidence that members of Trump’s cabinet discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from power.
  • The Washington Post observed the committee’s conclusions came after conducting over 1,000 interviews and collecting 140,000 documents. The panel aired previously unseen security footage of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s aides fleeing from the mob.
  • Politico reported Trump rebuked his own daughter for her testimony, saying “Ivanka Trump was not involved at looking at, or studying, Election results. She had long since checked out.”



  • National Review called the hearing “a not-so-stunning” night and wrote, “if this was the high point of the committee’s public work, it is, not surprisingly, not going to have much of an impact and certainly not going to change the trajectory of the midterms, as Democrats are hoping.”
  • The Wall Street Journal’s takeaways included: Cheney’s allegation that Trump oversaw “a sophisticated seven-part plan to overturn the presidential election;” and the noticeable absence of pro-Trump Republicans from the proceedings after House and Senate Republicans blocked other formats or refused to participate.
  • Commentary Podcast observed the hearing substantiated allegations that had previously just been rumor: “Donald Trump simply abdicated the role of president in the three-some hours when the Capitol was under attack. He made no contact with or effort to contact the Pentagon, call out the National Guard, or contact law enforcement. He simply abdicated the role of commander-in-chief, and it was subsequently assumed by Mike Pence.”

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© Dominic Moore, 2022