What to watch when the panel returns to prime time on January 6

What to watch when the panel returns to prime time on January 6

The House committee returns to prime time for its eighth hearing on Jan. 6 — likely the final time this summer that lawmakers will present evidence about President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the U.S. Capitol uprising and his 2020 election defeat.

Thursday’s hearing is expected to focus on what Trump is doing in the White House as violence unfolds on Jan. 6, 2021. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican who is one of two members leading the hearing, said he hopes it will “open people’s eyes wide open.”

This will be the panel’s second hearing in prime time. The first, on June 9, was watched by more than 20 million people.

What to expect from Thursday’s hearing:

Trump in the White House

Committee members said the hearing would be a close look at what Trump was doing at the White House as hundreds of his supporters violently pushed past police and entered the building.

The panel has already released some of Trump’s testimony in previous hearings, showing clips of multiple White House aides trying to pressure the president to act or publicly calling for rioters to leave, as he watched television in a West Wing dining room. .

But there are still questions about what the president was up to, especially because the official White House records of Trump’s phone calls included an eight-hour span, from just after 11 a.m. that morning to about 7 p.m. that evening.

The committee tried to fill in those gaps with other sources, such as witness interviews and submissions of personal phone records. A panel member, Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif. Said Trump could have withdrawn the rioters at any time, but he didn’t. More than three hours, or 187 minutes, finally passed before him.

“The consequences we’re still dealing with today,” Aguilar said.

“You’re going to hear that Donald Trump didn’t pick up the phone that day to help his administration,” the committee’s Republican vice chairwoman, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, said during a preview of the hearing last week.

new witness

Two former White House aides who resigned shortly after the coup will testify at the hearing. Former deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews and former deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger will talk about what they saw and heard at the White House as Trump learned of the uprising and waited for hours to tell rioters to leave the Capitol.

Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., will lead the hearing along with Kinzinger. said the two witnesses “believed in what they were doing, but did not believe in the stolen election.”

The committee will “hear from people who have been in the White House, what they observed, what their reaction was,” Luria said.

full story

The closing panel of the committee’s summer series of hearings will seek to wrap up the story it’s been telling since the beginning — that Trump was told his massive fraud claims were false but pushed them anyway without regard for democracy or the people. affected, and that his words and deeds provoked riots in the Capitol.

Lawmakers are expected to give a minute-by-minute account of what happened on January 6, a capstone to earlier hearings examining the weeks leading up to the uprising.

A Democratic member of the committee, Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland, said Jan. 6 will hold hearings on what happened in three different places: the White House, inside the Capitol and outside the Capitol, where police officers were beaten and overwhelmed. rioter

Cliffhangers

As the committee wraps up this “season” of hearings like a television show, there are likely to be some cliffhangers.

Among the questions the committee may remain unanswered: Will the committee call Trump to testify? Or his Vice President Mike Pence? Will there be more hearings? Did they withhold any information for their final report?

At least one hearing is expected in the fall, when the nine-member panel is expected to issue a report on its findings, but more hearings are possible. If Republicans take control of the House in November’s midterm elections, they are expected to shut down the committee.

The panel’s work will continue to reverberate through other investigations, including the Justice Department’s, which has arrested more than 800 suspected rioters and seized or sought information from some politicians and others who tried to topple Trump. Vote. The Justice Department has asked the committee for transcripts of some of its interviews.

Before the hearings began, Raskin said the measure of success would be “whether we are able to preserve American democracy and our institutions — that’s a long-term test.”

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Associated Press writers Kevin Freking, Farnoush Amiri and Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.

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