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Biden calls testimony from Jan. 6 committee hearing 'devastating'

“I mean, the case has been made, it seems to me, fairly overwhelming," the president said.
President Joe Biden speaks in the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex
President Joe Biden speaks at White House complex on Oct. 11.Susan Walsh / AP

President Joe Biden said Saturday that he found testimony at the House Jan. 6 committee’s hearing last week to be “devastating” and that he believed the panel has made an “overwhelming” case.

Asked by reporters about his thoughts on the committee's ninth public hearing during a stop at a Baskin-Robbins in Portland, Oregon, Biden said: “I think the testimony in the video are actually devastating.

“And I’ve been going out of my way not to comment and see what happens. But it’s — I think it’s been devastating," he said. "I mean, the case has been made, it seems to me, fairly overwhelming." 

He added: "But any more I say about it, you — justified — 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.”

The committee’s hearing Thursday — the last before the midterm elections — delved into former President Donald Trump’s mindset as the violence at the Capitol unfolded on Jan. 6, 2021.

The hearing featured never-before-seen video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York and other congressional leaders calling for help during the riot as Trump refused to call off the mob of his supporters.

Former Trump White House aides testified that Trump privately knew he had lost the 2020 election, even though he espoused false claims of widespread election fraud.

The hearing concluded with the committee voting unanimously to subpoena Trump for documents and testimony.

Biden previously weighed in on the importance of the Jan. 6 congressional hearings in June, saying that Americans should know what unfolded and that “the same forces that led to Jan. 6 remain at work today.”

“The insurrection on Jan. 6 was one of the darkest chapters in our nation’s history — a brutal assault on our democracy, a brutal attack on law enforcement, some losing their lives, and we heard about it last night again,” Biden said in June at the top of remarks focused on inflation at the Port of Los Angeles.

Although he said he was unable to watch the committee's first public hearing in June, Biden stressed that it is important that the public understands "what truly happened.”

“We have to protect our democracy,” he said, adding that “the soul of America has been far from won.”