PORTLAND, OREGON: US President Joe Biden described as “devastating” testimony and video from a January 6 committee hearing two days ago, featuring congressional leaders in tense phone calls with Pentagon and White House officials during the assault on the US Capitol.
Biden was speaking to reporters during a stop at an ice cream shop in Oregon as he campaigned for Tina Kotek, who is running for governor of the state.
“I think it’s been devastating,” Biden said when asked about the latest hearing. “The case has been made, it seems to me, fairly overwhelming.”
Biden said he had been going out of his way not to comment on the proceedings.
“Any more I say about it, you … are going to ask me if I’m trying to influence the attorney general. I’m not. I’ve not spoken with him at all,” Biden said, referring to Attorney General Merrick Garland, whose Justice Department has the authority to pursue criminal charges related to the Capitol attack.
Some of the video footage came from the family of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi present at the Capitol that day. One of the clips showed the California Democrat in a call with Republican Vice President Mike Pence.
“When I spoke to him, I said, ‘I’m so afraid for you to be in the Capitol still,'” Pelosi said on Saturday during remarks at a San Francisco community farming event.
Pence responded that the Secret Service thought more attention would be drawn if he and his entourage left the Capitol, Pelosi said. “Lord knows what might have happened if that entourage went out there,” she added.
The House committee probing the January 6, 2021, attack by Donald Trump’s supporters voted unanimously on Thursday to subpoena the former president, a move that could lead to criminal charges if he does not comply.
The hearing followed eight others earlier this year and one in July 2021. There were no live witnesses on Thursday, but the panel presented videotaped testimony to build a case that Trump’s efforts to overturn his November 2020 presidential election defeat constituted illegal conduct far beyond normal politics.
The committee’s vote on Thursday may have been its last public action before the Nov. 8 congressional elections that will determine whether Biden’s Democrats continue to control the House and Senate.