187 minutes: Six key moments from House Jan. 6 hearing on Trump’s timeline


The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot held a hearing Thursday on the 187 minutes — a period of more than three hours — between the beginning of the attack at 1:10 p.m. and when then-President Donald Trump finally released a video telling rioters to leave the Capitol at 4:17 p.m. The committee presented evidence that Trump spent much of that time watching the violence unfold on television while declining to intervene, despite pleas from lawmakers and some of his own aides.


Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) joined the hearing remotely as he recovers from COVID-19. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the panel’s vice chair, led the hearing in his absence.

Reps. Elaine Luria (D-VA) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) led the questioning of witnesses, Matthew Pottinger, the former national security adviser for the Trump administration, and Sarah Matthews, who served as a deputy press secretary.

Here are six key moments from the hearing.

Trump ‘Derelict In His Duty’

In fiery remarks, Kinzinger said, “We the people must demand more of our politicians and ourselves.”

“Donald Trump’s conduct on January 6 was a supreme violation of his oath of office and a complete dereliction of his duty to our nation,” he said. “It is a stain on our history, it is a dishonor to all those who have sacrificed and died in service of our democracy.”

Luria said Trump was informed of the attack at the Capitol within 15 minutes of the initial breach, adding witnesses said he watched the attack unfold on Fox News from his dining room for more than two-and-a-half hours with no record of his having placed any calls to law enforcement or military officials. Subsequent interviews with government officials and law enforcement confirmed no calls were made by Trump during the attack. The official White House photographer was not permitted in the room during that time.

After showing a clip of Gen. Mark Milley, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, criticizing former President Donald Trump for doing “nothing” during the Capitol riot. Kinzinger said Trump “did not fail to act during the 187 minutes between leaving the ellipse and telling the mob to go home. He chose not to act.”

Luria said Trump “tried to stop the peaceful transfer of power in the days leading up to January 6th.”

“With each step of his plan, he betrayed his oath of office and was derelict in his duty,” she said.

Pat Cipollone, former White House counsel, said in previously recorded testimony that he and others in the White House pushed for a strong statement from the president to condemn the riot.

“Many people felt the same way,” Cipollone said.

‘You Think It Looks Like We’re Effing Winning?’

Matthews called herself a lifelong Republican and explained how she came to work for the Trump administration. She said that had Trump chosen to act earlier, it would only have taken a matter of minutes for him to either go to the briefing room, which has a 24/7 live camera, or assemble the White House press corps in the Oval Office.

She said she made the recommendation that “the president needed to be out there immediately to tell these people to go home and condemn the violence.”

Matthews testified a colleague expressed concern they would be handing the media a win if they condemned the rioters.

“I motioned up at the TV and I said do you think it looks like we’re effing winning? Because I don’t think that it does,” Matthews said she replied.

Matthews is currently the communications director for the Republicans on the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. But on Twitter, the House Republican Conference called her “Just another liar and pawn in [House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s] witch-hunt,” before deleting the tweet.

Pottinger, meanwhile, testified that he thought the events of Jan. 6 had the potential to embolden foreign adversaries of the United States.

Congressional Leadership Planned During Attack To Resume Electoral Count 

The committee showed never-before-seen photos and videos of congressional leadership including Sens. Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell, asking Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller during the attack about when and how the Capitol could be secured so they could resume certification of the election. He replied that he would estimate four to five hours. The video shows these figures unvarnished and in private, huddled together in a safe room around the phone and sitting on a sofa together.

“We’re not gonna let these people keep us from finishing our business,” McConnell said in the clip.

Hawley Singled Out 

The committee showed a now-infamous Jan. 6 photograph of Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) raising a fist in salute to protesters outside before the riot, and then showed new footage of Hawley fleeing the Capitol after violence broke out.

A reporter for the Washington Examiner observed laughter in the committee room at the footage of Hawley running.

Luria: Last But Not Least

Luria, one of the two lawmakers who led the questioning of witnesses, hasn’t featured prominently in prior hearings. She faces a tough reelection race in a newly-drawn district that is now friendlier to Republicans.

Her Republican opponent, state Sen. Jen Kiggans, took aim at Luria’s participation on Twitter.

To Be Continued

Thompson said the committee would resume public hearings in September.

“As we’ve made clear throughout these hearings, our investigation goes forward,” he said. “We continue to receive new information every day. We continue to hear from witnesses. We will reconvene in September to continue laying out our findings to the American people.”


Cheney added, “our Committee will spend August pursuing emerging information on multiple fronts, before convening further hearings this September.”