Jan. 6 committee adviser admits no 'smoking gun' showing Trump planned riot at the U.S. Capitol


A former top adviser to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot said Sunday there was no “smoking gun” indicating former President Donald Trump planned for the U.S. Capitol to be overrun by his supporters.

Denver Riggleman, who until recently was senior adviser to the committee, told CNN’s “State of the Union” that there was no direct evidence indicating the riot was a premeditated attack.

“That probably [was] going to be very difficult to even find based on the limited authorities of Congress as far as getting data and things like that,” said Mr. Riggleman, a one-term Republican congressman from Virginia who lost renomination to a more conservative challenger in 2020.

However, he said that when the totality of evidence is presented by the committee next week, it will paint a troubling picture of Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn the election.

“I think when you look at the totality of the evidence — and some of these are my personal opinions — it is pretty apparent that at some points, President Trump knew what was going on,” Mr. Riggleman said. “If you look at what’s happening and the message that’s being pushed by President Trump himself on social media … you start to see this pipeline of information that’s very damaging.”

The comments come as the Democrat-led House panel investigating the Jan. 6 riot is set to hold its first hearing next week. Unlike most congressional hearings, this one will be held in the evening in a prime-time news slot.

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