Donald Trump wouldn’t call for prosecution of January 6 rioters, new video shows

President Donald Trump was unwilling to disavow the rioters who stormed the US Capitol on his behalf on January 6, 2021, and he deleted lines of prepared remarks the next day calling for their prosecution, according to new evidence released by a member of the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack.

Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) posted a video on Twitter Monday showing previously unpublished testimony from several people close to Trump, centering on a speech he was supposed to deliver on Jan. 7, 2021.

“It took over 24 hours for President Trump to once again address the nation after his Jan. 6 Rose Garden video in which he lovingly told his supporters to return home in peace,” Luria tweeted. “There were more things he didn’t want to say.”

According to video testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Trump aides were pushing him to tape another speech the day after the attack to stifle talk of his impeachment. or his removal via the 25th Amendment.

In part of the video Luria posted, Jan. 6 committee investigators showed Ivanka Trump — Trump’s eldest daughter and former senior presidential adviser — a draft document titled “Remarks on National Healing.”

On the document were handwritten edits that Ivanka Trump identified as her father’s. He had apparently deleted any mention of the Justice Department prosecuting the rioters. These lines were crossed out with prepared remarks: “I call on the Department of Justice to ensure that all offenders are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We must send a clear message – not with pity but with JUSTICE. The legal consequences must be swift and firm.

Also crossed out this message to those who had committed the violence: “I want to be very clear: you do not represent me. You do not represent our movement. At the start of the document, Trump apparently also crossed out that he was “sickened” by the violence.

Luria’s tweet referred to the committee’s prime-time hearing on Thursday, in which video clips of the Jan. 7 speech showed Trump refusing to say “election is over” and sounding frustrated, repeatedly punching the lectern with his palm while recording. . He was also hesitant to vilify the rioters in that speech, according to the excerpts.

During Thursday’s hearing, former White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews said Trump ‘didn’t want to include any sort of mention of peace’ in a tweet his aides urged him to send. as the Capitol Riot unfolded.

John McEntee, former director of the White House presidential personnel office, testified that he was asked to “push” Trump to ensure he delivered the Jan. 7 speech. Asked what made him feel like Trump was reluctant to give the speech, McEntee told the committee, “The fact that somebody had to tell me to push it.”

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