Trump tried to call Jan. 6 committee witness, Cheney says

Tuesday's hearing was the first this month, the seventh so far.

Last Updated: July 12, 2022, 4:44 PM EDT

The House select committee investigating Jan. 6 used its seventh hearing Tuesday to focus on what it said was then-President Donald Trump "summoning the mob" to the Capitol, including extremist groups.

Jul 12, 2022, 4:22 PM EDT

Cheney previews next hearing, rioter apologizes to officers

Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said in her closing statement the committee's next hearing will analyze "minute by minute" what was going on at the White House as the events of Jan. 6 unfolded.

"You will hear that Trump never picked up the phone that day to order his administration to help," Cheney said. "This is not ambiguous. He did not call the military. The secretary of defense received no order. He did not call his attorney general. He did not talk to the Department of Homeland Security. Mike Pence did all of those things."

Stephen Ayres speaks to Harry Dunn, US Capitol Police officer, following testimony before the U.S. House Select Committee to investigate the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, July 12, 2022.
Sarah Silbiger/Reuters

After the hearing ended, witness Stephen Ayres turned to the members of law enforcement sitting in the front row and apologized for participating in the insurrection. In the front row were Harry Dunn and Aquilino Gonell, Capitol Police officers on Jan. 6 and then-Metropolitan Police Department officers Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges.

Jul 12, 2022, 4:04 PM EDT

Trump tried to call a committee witness: Cheney

Vice Chair Liz Cheney said, in closing the hearing, that Trump himself tried to call a witness who she said has not yet publicly testified.

"After our last hearing, President Trump tried to call a witness in our investigation -- a witness you have not yet seen in these hearings," she said.

Cheney said the witness did not answer the call.

Rep. Liz Cheney speaks during a House select committee hearing investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, July 12, 2022.
Ken Cendeno/UPI/Shutterstock

"Their lawyer alerted us, and this committee has supplied that information to the Department of Justice," she said.

"Let me say one more time, we will take any effort to influence witness testimony very seriously," she added, as the committee continually warns against witness tampering in its ongoing investigation.

Jul 12, 2022, 4:00 PM EDT

Raskin says Trump's legacy is 'American carnage'

Closing the hearing attempting to connect extremists directly to Trump and subsequent violence at the Capitol, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said Trump's legacy on America is "American carnage."

"The Watergate break-in was like a Cub Scout meeting compared to this assault on our people and institutions," he said.

Raskin said that authoritarian parties have two essential features in common: "They do not accept the results of democratic elections when they lose," and "They embrace political violence as legitimate," attitudes which, he argued, Trump embraced.

"American democracy is a precious inheritance, something rare in the history of the world and even on Earth today," he said. "We need to defend both our democracy and our freedom with everything we have and declare that this American carnage ends here and now."

Jul 12, 2022, 3:56 PM EDT

Raskin praises Capitol officer who was wounded during riot

Raskin praised Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, an Iraq War veteran who was injured during the violent attack.

Gonell was assaulted by the rioters, leading to permanent damage to his left shoulder and right foot that "make it impossible for him to continue as a police officer," Raskin said.

"Sgt. Gonell, we wish you and your family all the best. We are here for you, we salute you for your valor, your eloquence and your beautiful commitment to America," Raskin said of Gonell, who could be seen wiping away tears.

"I wonder what former President Trump would say to someone like Sgt. Gonell, who must now go about remaking his life. I wonder if he could even understand what motivates a patriot like Sgt. Gonell."