Eight Public Hearings Announced By Jan. 6 Committee


The House committee investigating the Capitol riot is preparing to host a series of what chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) has now revealed will include at least eight public hearings. According to Thompson, who made these revelations on Thursday, panel investigators are planning to host the hearings in June, and some of the proceedings will take place during primetime, helping provide broad swathes of the American public with the opportunity to see some of investigators’ findings. Thompson also indicated that the committee was intending to reach out to GOP Senators for testimony, although he did not specify the Senators he had in mind. Thompson explained:

‘We’ll tell the story about what happened. We will use a combination of witnesses, exhibits, and things that we have… We have tens of thousands of exhibits… as well as hundreds of witnesses we’ve deposed or talked to in general. It will give the public the benefit of what more than a year’s worth of investigation has borne to the committee.’

Thompson didn’t name witnesses who might appear at the hearings or specific topics investigators plan to cover. The committee has, however, long since been investigating more than the violence that affected the Capitol — panel members have also scrutinized developments including the lengthy efforts by then-President Trump and others to undercut the presidential election outcome. Trump and allies of his including Republican members of Congress spread lies about the integrity of the election — lies to which Trump still holds — and called for urgent action, despite the total lack of real-world underpinnings for their claims. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), another riot panel member, recently described how investigators would approach the hearings. “Trump was prepared to seize the presidency and likely to invoke the Insurrection Act and declare martial law,” Raskin said. “So, we’re going to tell the whole story of everything that happened. There was a violent insurrection, an attempted coup, and we were saved by Mike Pence’s refusal to go along with that plan and the valor and the bravery of our officers who stood strong against the attempt to just overrun the whole process.”

Thompson also recently specified that the riot committee was likely to reach out — again — to House GOP leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for testimony. Recently, startling tapes emerged of conversations involving McCarthy following last year’s Trump-inspired attack on the Capitol; in one of the conversations, McCarthy said that Trump admitted to possessing responsibility for the attack on the Capitol. That sort of revelation would obviously be of serious interest to the investigators on the riot committee. “I asked [Trump] personally today: Does he hold responsibility for what happened? Does he feel bad about what happened? He told me he does have some responsibility for what happened and he’d need to acknowledge that,” McCarthy said on a January 11 call last year.