The House panel will present new evidence on January 6 at the end of the hearings: NPR


The select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol is holding its ninth, and likely last, investigative hearing this week.

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The select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol is holding its ninth, and likely last, investigative hearing this week.

Pool/Getty Images

For a live stream of today’s hearing and live digital updates from NPR, go to our live blog.

The House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol is holding its ninth public hearing Thursday, potentially the last before the release of its report.

“This one is going to be a little different,” said a select committee aide.

The blockbuster January 6 hearings last summer each focused on a particular topic as part of the overall effort to overturn the 2020 election results. Instead, Thursday’s hearing will “take hindsight” and examine the efforts to undo President Biden’s victory in a broader context.

New testimony

The hearing could feature new testimony that hasn’t been shared before on a range of topics related to the investigation into the deadly siege. It could also include documents recently obtained by the Secret Service panel about his role, as well as revisiting former President Donald Trump’s lobbying campaign on key officials.

The hearing is expected to last 2.5 hours and no live witnesses are expected to appear, aides said.

“It will revisit many of the themes we discussed in June and July, but with new information to further inform our conclusions,” they said.

While the panel is expected to present testimony from new witnesses at Thursday’s hearing, aides declined to say which witnesses might be presented.

For example, it’s unclear whether the committee will share the testimony of Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who appeared behind closed doors last month.

Where is the panel headed

Committee chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., has repeatedly emphasized that the panel’s task is to follow the facts, make recommendations to protect democracy, and issue a report containing the committee’s findings. He says the report will be released before the select committee sunsets at the end of this year.

Even rank-and-file Democrats were skeptical that the committee hearings would break through or reveal substantial new information. But the series of summer public sessions – two in prime time – delivered many dramatic moments with largely Republican witnesses revealing new details about how then-President Trump was told repeatedly that he had lost the 2020 election and that the effort to overturn the results or push the fraud allegations was illegal, but he ignored that advice and pushed to reverse the election result.

Vice President Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., has served as the unofficial lead prosecutor for most of the hearings, laying out at the first hearing in June what the panel would demonstrate: “President Trump summoned the crowd, gathered the crowd and lit the flame of this attack.”

After the weeks of hearings in June and July, there were indications that Trump’s position as leader of his party was damaged. But the Justice Department’s search of his Florida residence in early August served to rally most congressional Republicans around him and his argument that the expanding federal investigations were politically motivated.

New ground to cover

The January 6 panel began teasing additional audiences shortly after completing its series of presentations in July. Committee members repeatedly said there was still new evidence to share about their findings.

“It’s just stuff you haven’t heard before,” Thompson told reporters last month when asked about specific areas that could be covered.

In previous hearings, Thompson or Cheney would often open or close presentations, with a particular committee member leading the discussion on the topic. This time, every panel member will play an equal role, Thompson and others said.

However, members have been more coy about what ground they will cover or which witnesses may or may not appear.

This summer, the panel delved into the Secret Service’s role in the Jan. 6 attack, while learning new details about the agency’s deleted text messages surrounding the period of the siege. After discovering that the Department of Homeland Security watchdog knew about the missing texts months earlier, the panel issued a subpoena to the Secret Service for additional documents.

As a result, Cheney told the Texas Tribune Festival last month that the panel obtained 800,000 pages of Secret Service documents.

“We received a tremendous amount of information,” she said.

Additionally, California Democratic Rep. Pete Aguilar, a panel member, said the hearing could cover new evidence regarding former Vice President Mike Pence. Earlier hearings illustrated the campaign of pressure he faced from Trump to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Some of Pence’s closest aides and advisers appeared before the panel, but Pence declined to testify directly himself.

“We have received new information from our hearings that is helpful to our investigation and we look forward to sharing what is appropriate,” Aguilar told NPR.

As the final report is expected by the end of the year, the commission could hold one or more additional hearings to announce these conclusions.


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