After 11 months and more than 1,000 interviews, the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob is ready to share what it knows.
It will do that in public hearings, some in prime time, throughout this month. The first will be held this week. Here’s what to know about the hearings.
Live coverage of Thursday’s Jan. 6 committee hearing
When are the hearings’ dates and times?
The first hearing will start Thursday, June 9, at 8 p.m. Eastern. The second will be held Monday, June 13th, at 10 a.m. Eastern. There is also a hearing Wednesday, June 15th at 10 a.m. Eastern, and there could be even more that week. The committee hasn’t announced a formal schedule for the rest, but there could be as many as eight in total through June, with a final hearing in September — right before the November midterm elections.
How to watch the hearings
The committee usually live-streams its hearings, and most major TV news stations will be airing at least Thursday’s hours-long hearings in full: ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC and CNN plan to. Fox News is the only major news network to decide not to, instead saying it will continue with its regular, primetime coverage and talk about the hearings “as warranted.”
The Washington Post will have anchored coverage and analysis beginning Thursday night 7 p.m. Eastern on YouTube and www.washingtonpost.com. C-SPAN will air all hearings in full. CNN.com will also stream the hearings, without requiring a cable subscription.
Are you planning to watch the Jan. 6 hearings? And why? Tell The Post.
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More on the Jan. 6 hearings
Each hearing will have a theme. On Thursday, lawmakers are planning to introduce the public to what they’ve been up to for the past 11 months since Democrats in Congress voted to set up the investigatory committee. Only two Republicans, Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) sit on it, and there are no Trump allies on the committee. They will make an opening statement that offers an overview of the Jan. 6 events.
Investigators have not gotten many close Trump allies or top Republican members of Congress to testify. So they plan to call in staffers to some of the top players, like aides to former vice president Mike Pence, or former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. And they plan to play videos of their previous interviews with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, report The Post’s Jacqueline Alemany, Josh Dawsey and Amy Gardner.
The New York Times reports that on Thursday, a Capitol police officer who was injured in the attack and a documentarian who interviewed the Proud Boys will provide testimony as some of the panel’s first public witnesses. This comes after the current and former leaders of the Proud Boys were charged with seditious conspiracy, for allegedly planning the attack on the Capitol.
Other hearings could focus on what Trump did (or didn’t do) on Jan. 6; how he and his allies tried to dismantle the electoral process in the weeks after Election Day, to keep him in power; how disinformation spreads; and policy recommendations to prevent such an attack from happening again.
The committee plans to detail their findings of what they say was a months-long Republican conspiracy to overthrow Joe Biden’s legitimate election victory, led by President Donald Trump. The committee could even conclude that Trump committed a crime by intentionally trying to stop Congress’s certification of Biden’s win on Jan. 6, 2021. But Congress’s power is limited; ultimately, the Justice Department would have to decide whether to prosecute.
Another question the committee must grapple with: how to make the public care about the intricate details of an attack that’s more than a year old. In an interview with CBS that aired this weekend, Cheney, the top Republican on the committee, tried to spin things forward, saying that Trump has expressed no remorse for what happened — and that that’s worrisome for the next election.
“We are, in fact, in a situation where he continues to use even more extreme language, frankly, than the language that caused the attack,” she added. “And so, people must pay attention. People must watch, and they must understand how easily our democratic system can unravel if we don’t defend it.”
This has been updated with the latest news.
U.S. Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards, who was injured by rioters storming the Capitol grounds, offered vivid testimony at Thursday’s hearing, recalling the violent scene she saw: “It was carnage, it was chaos,” and one that she and other officers were not trained for. “That day it was just hours and hours of hand-to-hand combat,” she said.
In opening statements, committee members have put former President Donald Trump squarely at the center of a conspiracy over election fraud that led to the deadly riot that day.
Trump earlier that day “spurred a mob of domestic enemies of the constitution” to march to the Capitol and “subvert American democracy,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson, the panel’s top Democrat. “January 6 was the culmination of an attempted coup.”
- Opening statement: Rep. Liz Cheney, the panel’s vice chair, revealed that Trump had expressed support for rioters’ calls to hang Pence.
- Video footage: Thompson played a clip of former Attorney General Bill Barr saying that referring to the 2020 election as stolen was “b*******,” and that he told the former president that.
- Who the panel wanted to talk to: In addition to live witnesses, the first hearing also has featured video clips from recorded interviews the panel has conducted during its nearly 11-month investigation. Here’s who the House panel has wanted to hear from during its 10-month investigation. Some have cooperated, some have not.