Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson says Trump is ‘politically’ and ‘morally responsible’ for January 6


Republican governor says Trump is ‘politically, morally responsible’ for January 6 after Capitol riot committee’s primetime hearing: Democrat on panel says the focus is on what ex-president ‘was not doing’ that day

  • GOP Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas said Trump’s actions on January 6 are a ‘costly error for our democracy’ and urged Republicans to move on 
  • He said the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot is ‘important’
  • Committee member Rep. Elaine Luria said the hearings are focusing on Trump’s ‘dereliction of duty’ as a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol 
  • The panel’s first in a series of six hearings took place on Thursday night
  • Lawmakers’ second hearing will be on Monday morning at 10 am Eastern 

The Republican governor of Arkansas said Donald Trump was ‘politically and morally responsible’ for last year’s January 6 Capitol riot during a Sunday television interview.

Asa Hutchinson’s most direct condemnation of the former president over the riot yet comes just a few days after the House select committee investigating the attack held its first in a series of six hearings presenting its findings.

The Democrat-led panel made clear on Thursday night that its hearings would outline how the insurrection was part of Trump and his allies’ wider plan to undermine democracy and steal the 2020 presidential election.

Committee member Rep. Elaine Luria said the hearings would focus on what Trump was ‘not doing, especially’ when asked by NBC Meet the Press host Chuck Todd.

Luria said ‘it’d be more clear to describe it as what he was not doing’ in the 187-minute window it took for the ex-president ask his supporters storming the Capitol to go home.

‘You know, it’s been reported previously that the phone logs at the White House on that day. They’re missing information,’ Luria said. ‘And then 187 minutes, you know, this man had the microphone; he could speak to the whole country.’

‘His duty was to stand up and say something and try to stop this. So, we’ll talk about that and what I see to be his dereliction of duty, and he had a duty to act.’

Arkansas' Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson urged his party to do some 'soul searching' over its support of Trump following January 6

Arkansas’ Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson urged his party to do some ‘soul searching’ over its support of Trump following January 6

Meanwhile Capitol riot committee member Rep. Elaine Luria said the panel's hearings would focus on Trump's 'dereliction of duty'

Meanwhile Capitol riot committee member Rep. Elaine Luria said the panel’s hearings would focus on Trump’s ‘dereliction of duty’

She added that the panel put together a ‘very comprehensive’ timeline of what Trump was doing in that time. 

A report in the Washington Post last week suggested Luria would play a main role in the last of the six hearings, which is supposedly the one most centered on Trump himself.

She and Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger are reportedly going to co-lead the hearing, which will go into detail on what the former president said, did and did not do during the riot. 

The committee has gathered hundreds of hours’ worth of witness testimony and a vast tranche of documents that it suggests could prove that Trump and his Republican allies conspired to undemocratically seize power, and that the January 6 riot was ‘no accident’ but rather part of ‘Trump’s last stand.’

Hutchinson, meanwhile, urged his own party to do some ‘soul searching’ on its allegiance to Trump.

Speaking to Fox News Sunday host Bret Baier, Hutchinson called the committee’s investigation an ‘important review’ of January 6 – but was more skeptical that they could make the case for criminal guilt.

‘You can make the case, and I would agree, that he’s politically and morally responsible for much of what has happened,’ the governor said.

‘But in terms of criminal liability, I think the committee has a long way to go before they could establish that.’

One of their main foci is the 187-minute window between rioters storming the Capitol and when Trump finally called them off

One of their main foci is the 187-minute window between rioters storming the Capitol and when Trump finally called them off

The Arkansas governor has not shied away from criticizing Trump, particularly this year as speculation has ramped up that he’s potentially mulling a 2024 presidential bid.

He repeated that criticism on Sunday, predicting that the future of the GOP is ‘different than President Trump’s leadership.’

He said Trump had gone ‘off track’ on January 6 and called his actions a ‘costly error for our democracy.’ 

‘I hope we move in a different direction. I believe that what happened on January 6 is a lot at his feet. It was wrong for our country, and for him to continue to push that theory – I agree, is the wrong direction for the Republican Party,’ Hutchinson said.

‘I agree with a lot of the comments – he is, has responsibility there. We need to make sure that’s clear.’

He continued, ‘I think Republicans need to do a lot of soul searching as to – what is the right thing here? What is the right thing to say for our party and our democracy and our future?’

The committee’s next hearing is on Monday, June 13 at 10am Eastern Time.

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