Former House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy reflected on the “heartbreaking” violence and destruction that took place at the U.S Capitol last week on the latest episode of “The Trey Gowdy Podcast” Tuesday, stressing that the rioters “ignored the law.”
In the episode titled “We Can Only Be Destroyed From Within,” the former federal prosecutor said he hopes the country returns to acting as a nation of laws.
Police in Washington, D.C., said the security breach at the U.S. Capitol resulted in five deaths, including a veteran who reportedly served four tours with the Air Force and a U.S. Capitol police officer who died after suffering injuries during the riots. Dozens of people were arrested and at least 14 officers were wounded during the demonstrations, authorities said.
Trump invited supporters to rally in Washington Jan. 6, saying it would be “wild,” and gave a speech where he said those rallying would march “peacefully” to the Capitol. During the speech, he repeated the unproven claim that the election was stolen from him.
Violent, pro-Trump protesters interrupted the proceedings to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory, which led to the quick recess of Wednesday’s session. Vice President Mike Pence, who presided over the joint session, was rushed out of the building. All others were initially told to shelter in place and take cover.
In the latest episode, Gowdy explained the consequences of the destructive nature of the fighting amongst fellow Americans and posed the question of where the accountability lies for political leaders who misled their constituents.
“After the president’s speech a group of people marched toward the Capitol, the biggest symbol of our freedom I can think of,” Gowdy said. “I cannot think of something more emblematic of our freedom as a people than the United States Capitol.”
He noted that the group “left after listening to the president” and then “assaulted officers, killing one.”
“They broke windows, they destroyed property, they ignored the law,” Gowdy continued.
He went on to note, “What was said by whom and with what intent is one issue.”
“The other issue is this: Regardless of intent, the siege of the Capital began. Regardless of intent people did attack the Capitol,” he added.
Gowdy then asked, “When did the president and his closest advisers learn of this attack? Were they watching? Were they in close contact with people at the Capitol? I mean, the vice president himself was at the Capitol. He was presiding.”
“Was there communication between the leaders of the House and the Senate and the White House?” he continued to ask. “Was there communication between Capitol Police, D.C. Metro Police and Secret Service?”
Gowdy also pointed out other questions, which include: “What was known? What was communicated? To whom was it communicated? Was the communication reliable, accurate, timely and what was the response?”
He stressed that “being surprised at how people reacted or acted in the aftermath of a series of speeches is one evidentiary issue.”
“Surprise is not a defense once something actually happens,” he said.
Gowdy then said that everyone “should have an equal expectation of a fulsome answer” to the question of whether the response to “the siege of the Capitol” was timely, sufficient or delayed.
Fox News’ David Aaro and Angelica Stabile and Fox News Radio’s Jonah Blocker contributed to this report.