The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot is about to start the primary in a series of public hearings Thursday night, releasing latest information it says shows former President Donald Trump “at the middle” of a coordinated effort to reverse President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.
The brand new details will show how that effort directly led to the violence on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, by a mob of Trump supporters, committee aides told reporters on a call previewing the hearings.
Thursday’s hearing, which is about to begin at 8 p.m. ET, will begin with opening statements by committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Republican Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming.
The nine-member committee is predicted to point out video from the day of the attack, and to listen to testimony from a Capitol Police officer, Caroline Edwards, who suffered a traumatic brain injury from the violence.
Also scheduled to testify is Nick Quested, a documentary filmmaker, who was following members of the far-right Proud Boys group in the times before the riot and on the day of the invasion itself.
A panel aide said that the committee may even present previously unseen records and tape from prior witness interviews, including senior Trump administration officials, campaign aides and relations of the previous Republican president.
Thursday’s hearing comes after 10 months of investigation by the select House committee, which has conducted greater than 1,000 witness interviews and gathered over 140,000 documents, in addition to video and audio from the riot that has yet to be made public, an aide said.
“The select committee will begin to present the American individuals with our initial findings in regards to the attack of Jan. 6 and its causes,” a panel aide told reporters Wednesday afternoon, speaking on the condition that they’d not be identified by name as a way to discuss the hearing.
“We can be revealing latest details showing that the violence of Jan. 6 was the results of a coordinated, multistep effort to overturn the outcomes of the 2020 election and stop the transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden, and indeed that former president Donald Trump was at the middle of that effort.”
The aide also said, “There can be a variety of latest information revealed at [Thursday’s] hearing that goes beyond the testimony we hear from the live witnesses.”
Just two members of the panel are Republicans: Cheney, and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, each of whom were appointed with the Democrats on the committee by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., rescinded all five of his GOP nominees after Pelosi rejected two of them, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Indiana Rep. Jim Banks.
Cheney lost her position as chair of the GOP House Conference due to her participation on the committee and is now a pariah to a lot of her fellow Republicans.
The riot began after weeks of false claims by Trump that he had actually won the 2020 presidential election’s popular vote, and that Biden’s Electoral College victory was invalid, since it was based on ballot fraud that occurred in a handful of swing states.
No court accepted those arguments. And Trump’s own attorney general on the time, William Barr, said the claims had no merit.
However the invasion of the Capitol delayed for hours the confirmation of Biden’s electoral win by a joint session of Congress, whose members fled and hid as a horde of rioters swarmed through the complex, and into the Senate chamber itself.
Five people died in reference to the riot, amongst them a Capitol Police officer, and a member of the mob who was shot while breaching a room adjoining to the House chamber.
The rebellion injured greater than 100 cops and led to greater than 800 arrests, making it considered one of the biggest criminal probes within the history of the Justice Department.
Greater than 300 Capitol riot defendants have pleaded guilty, and five have been convicted at trial.
The subsequent scheduled public hearing for the committee is about for Monday morning, and the third session has been scheduled for Wednesday.
There may very well be as many as eight public hearings by the committee this month, with additional sessions possible after that.
The aide noted that the hearings represent the committee’s initial findings, and that “the investigation is ongoing.”
“We’re viewing this as revealing our initial findings to the American people on this initial set of hearings,” the aide said. “The whole lot stays on the table for what we may even see down the road.”
They noted that the panel is required to issue a final report. Thompson, the panel’s chairman, has indicated that report may arrive by the autumn.
At the same time as the committee begins to publicly reveal its work, it continues to hunt testimony from some key witnesses.
Last month, the panel issued subpoenas to McCarthy, the GOP House leader, and 4 other Republican lawmakers who refused to voluntarily cooperate with the investigation.
Some members of that group have indicated they could not comply with those subpoenas.
McCarthy and Jordan, considered one of the opposite subpoena targets, argued in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that the select committee is “weaponizing government to attack Republicans.”
Two former Trump White House top aides, Peter Navarro and Steve Bannon, have been criminally charged with contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with subpoenas issued by the committee.
The Justice Department decided to not pursue criminal charges against former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and aide Dan Scavino for their very own refusal to comply with committee subpoenas.