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Jan. 6 investigators release new findings

What will the hearing reveal?

An image of President Donald Trump appears on video screens before his speech to supporters from the Ellipse at the White House in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, as the Congress prepares to certify the electoral college votes.

Bill Clark | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

The select committee promises that its first public hearing will include new material illustrating a conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election results and showing that former President Donald Trump “was at the center of that effort.”

That new information may come from witness testimony, as well as from video, audio or other documentary evidence. At least two witnesses are set to speak in person at Thursday’s hearing. The panel will also share testimony from prior witness interviews.

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., is hoping to illustrate the significance of the riot in U.S. history, according to aides who briefed reporters ahead of the hearing. The committee will also preview what to expect over the next few weeks of hearings.

The aides stressed that all of the upcoming hearings represent only the initial findings of the committee, and that “the investigation is ongoing.”

They noted that the panel is required to issue a final report, which Thompson has indicated may arrive by the fall.

Kevin Breuninger

What is the format of the public hearing?

The select committee’s first public hearing is slated to begin at 8 p.m. ET. It will take place in a meeting room in Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill.

A committee aide told reporters to expect opening statements from the panel’s chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and its vice chair, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.

After that, the panel will show “substantive” multimedia presentations, as well as a portion of the hearing dedicated to live witness testimony, the aide said.

The panel tapped former ABC News executive James Goldston to help produce the proceedings, indicating to some that the goal of the hearings is to craft a clear, compelling narrative about the Capitol riot that draws in the public and lands with maximum impact.

Kevin Breuninger

Which witnesses will be speaking?

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump clash with police officers in front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S. January 6, 2021.

Stephanie Keith | Reuters

The select committee has announced two witnesses who will speak in person at the hearing about their experiences on the day of the Capitol riot.

One of them is U.S. Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards, who was injured in the riot and suffered a traumatic brain injury. “She was the first law enforcement officer injured by the rioters as they were storming the Capitol grounds,” a committee aide told reporters in a preview of the first hearing.

The other live witness is Nick Quested, a British documentary filmmaker who took footage of the first moments of violence against police officers at the Capitol, the aide said. Quested had been following the far-right group the Proud Boys on the day of the riot.

The live witnesses will recount what they saw and heard from the rioters during the invasion itself, according to the aide.

The committee will also present previously unseen records and tape from prior witness interviews, including senior Trump administration officials, campaign aides and family members of the former Republican president.

“The witnesses will tell the story in large part,” the aide said. “I think you’ll find that the facts will speak for themselves as we lay them out.”

Kevin Breuninger

The scope of the Jan. 6 probe

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), vice-chair of the select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol, speaks during a business meeting on Capitol Hill on December 13, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Anna Moneymaker | Getty Images

The House select committee was formed last summer, after Senate Republicans blocked a vote that would have empowered a team of independent investigators to study the Capitol riot similar to the 9/11 Commission.

Since its work began, the select committee has conducted interviews with more than 1,000 people, an aide for the panel told reporters Wednesday.

The investigators have also obtained more than 140,000 documents, and they are still following up on nearly 500 substantive tips, the aide said.

The aide noted that “the investigation is ongoing,” and “everything remains on the table for what we may see down the road.” The committee is required to produce a final report and issue recommendations based on its findings.

Kevin Breuninger



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