Tuesday, April 23

Matthew Pottinger and Sarah Matthews to testify at Jan. 6 hearing, source says

Matthew Pottinger, a former National Security Council official, and Trump White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews will testify at Thursday’s primetime hearing from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, a source with direct knowledge told CBS News.

The committee has not publicly confirmed Thursday’s witnesses. The identities of the witnesses were first reported by CNN. 

Both Pottinger and Matthews resigned in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack. In the hearing last week, the committee said Matthews had described the scene on Jan. 5 when Trump called top aides to the White House. 

In a hearing held in June, the committee played video testimony from Pottinger in which he said he decided to resign after Trump tweeted that former Vice President Mike Pence should have had more courage. 

Capitol Riot Investigation
Lawmakers sit on the dais as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

“I read that tweet. And made a decision at that moment to resign,” Pottinger said in recorded testimony. “That’s where I knew that I was leaving that day, once I had read that tweet.”

Matthews has since publicly defended Cassidy Hutchinson, who gave bombshell testimony in June about Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 as well as what members of his inner circle knew ahead of the riot. 

Thursday’s hearing will focus on what Trump was doing for the 187 minutes between when rioters descended on the Capitol and when Trump issued a public response. 

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of the committee members taking a lead role in Thursday’s hearing, told “Face the Nation” on Sunday that the upcoming hearing will “open people’s eyes in a big way.” 

“I can’t necessarily say that the motives behind every piece of information we know we’ll be able to explain, but this is going to open people’s eyes in a big way,” Kinzinger said. “The reality is, I’ll give you this preview, the president didn’t do very much but gleefully watch television during this time frame.”

Kinzinger urged the American people, and his Republican colleagues in particular, to “watch this with an open mind” and ask, “Is this the kind of strong leader you really think you deserve?”

Previous public hearings have focused on the mobilization of the rioters at the Capitol and Trump’s speech at the Ellipse on Jan. 6 ahead of the riot, as well as Trump’s pressure campaigns after Election Day on Pence, the Justice Department, state lawmakers and local elections officials. 

The hearings have also given new details about a scheme to put forward alternate electors who support Trump in seven battleground states that President Biden won.

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