In just a few short weeks, the House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol will present its findings to the public after a sprawling months-long probe.
Open hearings begin June 9. The last public hearing was just under a year ago when police officers who defended Congress from the mob incited by former President Donald Trump delivered stunning testimony about the chaos and violence they endured.
Investigators on the committee have previewed the impending hearings as an event unlike anything the public has seen delivered from Congress.
With hearings expected to air during the day and, importantly, in primetime, Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin told Daily Kos last month that the panel will use its platform wisely: Members are devoted to equipping the public with “the means of intellectual self-defense against the authoritarian and fascistic policies that have been unleashed in this country,” he said.
To do that, the panel has promised no fewer than eight public hearings throughout June, utilizing the wealth of evidence and resources amassed from roughly 1,000-plus interviews with witnesses and officials, aides, and staff, including officials ranked high and low in the Trump administration.
Though the committee has closely guarded the details of how it will deliver its presentations, new reporting by CNN on Wednesday offered a peek at what likely lies ahead.
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Citing anonymously, CNN reported that the first hearing on June 9 will be a “broad overview” encapsulating what the committee has learned. And much like the way the committee parceled out its work into multiple teams focused on narrower issues—one group reviewed financing, another on domestic extremism, for example—the remaining hearings will likely be divvied up by theme.
Some of those topics are expected to center on things like what Trump was doing during the attack. In particular, what he was doing during a 187-minute stretch of deafening silence as law enforcement, lawmakers, congressional staff, reporters, and then-Vice President Mike Pence scrambled for their lives and Trump’s chief of staff fielded urgent pleas for help from the president’s family members, staff, and friendlies in the media.
Other topics are expected to focus on what Raskin described recently to Kos as Trump’s “defrauding” of the American public through his incessant promotion of lies about rampant election fraud.
Literal months before the presidential election, Trump began actively sowing the idea that it would be stolen. In fact, the “Stop the Steal” concept had been percolating since at least 2016 and with the help of none other than Roger Stone. It regained momentum in September 2020.
In fact, on the same day that right-wing toady Jack Posobiec tweeted “Stop the Steal” for the first time, conspiracy theorist and right-wing activist Ali Alexander also posted a stream announcing for the first time that he was preparing an organized movement to counter alleged election theft by the left. Both Posobiec and Alexander have since deleted that content.
The public can also expect to see at least one hearing devoted to unpacking the financing behind the rally at the Ellipse on Jan. 6 and other related rallies held in advance of the Capitol assault.
Another hearing is expected to pore over the response by law enforcement on Jan. 6, and another still may center on how state legislators factored into Trump’s push to overturn the results.
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The presentation format is still a “work in progress” and interviews are reportedly still being conducted by the probe, but once things are underway, heavy use of video footage is expected and there may be individual presentations delivered from each of the panel’s members.
Notably, some of that footage could be clips from witness interviews conducted by the committee behind closed doors. Trump’s children, Donald Jr. and Ivanka, for example, had their testimony taped. So too did Trump’s son-in-law and onetime adviser Jared Kushner.
There will also be live witness testimony. It is still unclear, however, who will participate. Though it is unofficial at this point, it was reported Wednesday that former Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and his deputy, Richard Donoghue, may come forward.
Both have been interviewed by the Jan. 6 panel in the past and both met with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee last summer. A report by that committee exposed the lengths to which the former president and his cronies at the Justice Department went in their attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
At least one fact witness previously deposed by the select committee in private has refused to testify openly, CNN reported.
As the clock winds down to June 9, the rush of new information does not appear to be slowing.
Just 24 hours ago a new batch of emails from 2020 election subversion strategist John Eastman emerged showing how the Trump ally advised at least one Republican state legislator on how they could join a bid to submit “alternate electors” for Trump. Significantly, those emails appear to show Eastman’s evolution from the “alternate elector” bid—spearheaded by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani—to the pressure campaign lobbed on Pence.
RELATED STORY: John Eastman advised battleground state lawmaker to toss votes in 2020 election, recount for Trump
The committee has asked a host of Republican lawmakers to voluntarily cooperate with the investigation, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Ronny Jackson of Texas, and Andy Biggs of Arizona.
None have cooperated. All have ridiculed the investigation as a partisan anti-Trump “witch hunt.”
The committee has opted, so far, against issuing formal subpoenas to these lawmakers. This has drawn ire from many in the public, but it has also avoided a potentially laborious and lengthy fight in court that almost certainly would not even be resolved until well after the committee is forced to disband per the terms of its organizing resolution.
The probe has instead opted to rely on the interviews and the wealth of records it has so far compiled, like firsthand witness statements by aides to Trump, Pence, and others, as well as presidential and vice presidential archives, cell phone and text metadata, and more.
A spokesperson for the Jan. 6 committee did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.