According to the Committee, Trump Removed a Sentence From His Address Regarding Prosecuting Jan. 6 Rioters!
In a speech he gave the day after the attack on the Capitol on January 6, former President Donald Trump took out a line that told the Justice Department to go after the rioters. This is according to a copy of his speech with his handwritten notes that were released Monday by a House committee looking into the attack.
Rep. Elaina Luria, a Democrat from Virginia who led the questions at last week’s hearing with Rep. Adam Kinzinger, posted a video to Twitter with recorded testimony from former White House staffers, including Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, and a document called “Remarks on National Healing.”
“It took more than 24 hours for President Trump to address the nation again after his Rose Garden video on January 6th in which he affectionately told his followers to go home in peace,” Luria tweeted. “There were more things he was unwilling to say.”
When asked about the document, Ivanka Trump told committee investigators that it seemed to be a copy of Trump’s planned remarks for January 7 and that her father had made changes to it.
In the draught of his speech, Trump crossed out this line with a black marker: “I am telling the Department of Justice to make sure that everyone who breaks the law is punished to the fullest extent of the law. We must send a clear message, not with kindness but with justice. The law must have swift and firm consequences.”
A paragraph follows with the line “I want to be very clear you do not represent me. You do not represent our movement” also crossed out. Trump edited a third sentence, which initially read “And if you broke the law, you belong in jail” to instead say “And if you broke the law, you will pay.”
In clips from testimony to the committee that was included in the more than three-minute-long video shared by Luria, Ivanka Trump said she believed conversations about the former president delivering remarks began the evening of Jan. 6, after the mob of Trump’s supporters violently breached the Capitol building and delayed the tallying of state electoral votes to reaffirm President Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.
Kushner told the committee he discussed “trying to put together some draft remarks for Jan. 7 that we were going to present to the president to try to say like we felt it was important to further call for de-escalation.”
Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, said White House staff talked about the need for Trump to address the violence in order to tamp down on talks about his Cabinet invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office or his impeachment, according to her testimony to the committee.
“The main reason I had heard was, “We didn’t do enough on the 6th. We need to send a stronger message and condemn this, or this will be your legacy.” The secondary reason was, “Think about what could happen in the last 15 days of your presidency if we don’t do this.” There have already been talks about using the 25th Amendment, so you need this to hide behind “she thought back.
At the end of the video that Luria shared, former director of the Presidential Personnel Office John McEntee tells the committee that Kushner asked him to “nudge” Trump to make the speech.
When asked if the implication was that the former president didn’t want to give that speech, McEntee said that it was because “someone has to tell me to move it along,” which is what the clip of his testimony says.
Luria released the testimony and document after the committee had finished its first round of hearings. On Thursday, the committee held its eighth public hearing, which was about the 187 minutes that Trump did nothing while violence broke out at the Capitol.
The panel showed during the hearing outtakes of Trump rehearsing a statement for Jan. 7, which included footage of him saying “I don’t want to say the election is over.” A number of the former president’s aides urged him to take action to quell the violence at the Capitol, according to testimony revealed by the committee, though he ultimately posted a tweet with recorded remarks taped in the Rose Garden repeating his baseless claims the election was rigged and telling the rioters they were “very special” but should return to their homes.
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