Trump's 3-Hour Silence on Jan. 6 Was Reportedly Filled With Video Retakes Urging Rioters to Leave
23:25 GMT 24.12.2021 (Updated: 04:26 GMT 25.12.2021)
As supporters of then-US President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol building on 6 January 2020, the Republican president and then-nominee went missing from public view for over three hours and, upon his return, issued a video message that emboldened the rioters in their act, while also asking them to leave the Capitol building.
Then-US President Donald Trump's address to his rioting supporters at the US Capitol did not come easy for 45, as "he wouldn't say the right thing" and had to record a brief message several times before his team settled on the right take, according to Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), chair of the US House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.
Prior to the storming of the US Capitol building, in which five people died, including a Capitol police officer, Trump told attendees of his "Stop the Steal" rally that they would need to "fight like hell" if they wanted to keep their country.
"It appears that he tried to do a taping several times, but he wouldn't say the right thing", Thompson told The Washington Post, based on information the 9-person panel observed in interviews, media reports, and witness testimony.
The Select Committee chairman suggested that the delay in Trump's action could factor into whether the committee issues a criminal referral to the US Department of Justice, which ultimately decides whether charges will be pursued.
"That dereliction of duty causes us real concern", Thompson said. "And one of those concerns is that whether or not it was intentional, and whether or not that lack of attention for that longer period of time, would warrant a referral".
Thompson noted that the Select Committee is prepared to issue a criminal referral against Trump, if deemed necessary, and is not deterred by the historic nature of the potential move.
"I can assure you that if a criminal referral would be warranted, there would be no reluctance on the part of this committee to do that", he told the outlet.
DOJ Releases New Jan. 6th Footage Showing Three-Hour Assault on Police
Earlier this week, the DOJ released a three-hour video detailing the conflict between police and rioters. The now-public footage is the longest video the government has released from the deadly riot.
Several news outlets, including CNN, initially sued for access to the footage.
From crutches to flag poles and audio speakers — virtually anything that could be carried or thrown — became a weapon for the rioters.
Meanwhile, responding authorities were equipped with firearms, as well as crowd control equipment, including batons, pepper spray, and riot shields.
However, several officers had their own weapons turned against them, particularly in the nearby tunnels.
Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone, who said he experienced a heart attack and fell unconscious during the series of events, can be seen being dragged from the police line and into the sea of rioters, who tased and beat him, threatening to "kill him with his own gun".