At the conclusion of the first in a series of televised hearings of the House select committee probe into the events surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, committee Chairman Bennie Thompson introduced previously unreleased footage of arrested rioters telling investigators that they believed they had been directed to the Capitol by then-President Trump.
BENNIE THOMPSON: The witnesses have just told us what they heard the rioters saying while they stormed the Capitol on that day. Now we're going to hear it from the rioters themselves. Without objection, I include in the record a video presentation.
- We were invited by the president of the United States!
ROBERT SCHORNACK: What really made me want to come was the fact that, you know, I had supported Trump all that time. I did believe, you know, that the election was being stolen. And Trump asked us to come.
ERIC BARBER: He personally asked for us to come to DC that day. And I thought, for everything he's done for us, if this is the only thing he's going to ask of me, I'll do it.
DONALD TRUMP: And we're going to walk down to the Capitol.
- Did you recall President Trump mentioning going to the Capitol, during his speech?
- Oh, yeah. So that's one of my disappointments. He said he was going to go, go with us, that he was going to be there.
JOHN WRIGHT: I know why I was there. And that's because he called me there. And he laid out what is happening in our government. He laid it out.
GEORGE MEZA: But I remember Donald Trump telling people to be there, right? I mean, to support.
- So you mentioned that the president asked you. Do you remember a specific message?
DANIEL HERENDEEN: Basically, yeah, he asked for us to come to DC, I think things are going to happen.
MATTHEW WALTER: What got me interested, he said I have something very important to say on January 6, or something like that. That is what-- what one-- what got me interested to be there.
ROBERT SCHORNACK: You know, Trump has only asked me for two things. He asked me for my vote, and he asked me to come on January 6.
BENNIE THOMPSON: When the committee reconvenes next week, we're going to examine the lies that convinced those men and others to storm the Capitol to try to stop the transfer of power. We're going to take a close look at the first part of Trump's attack on the rule of law, when he hit the fuse that ultimately resulted in the violence of January 6. Without objection, and with that, the committee stands adjourned.