Jan. 6 Committee Plans at Least One Additional Hearing
TTIME has learned that the House committee investigating Jan. 6, 2021’s attack on U.S. Capitol will hold at least one additional hearing beyond the six initially planned. Sources familiar with the matter say that members of the committee are open to holding more hearings.
In June the panel announced that it would host six televised meetings, two of which will be in primetime. This was to give the best account of the day as well as the week leading up it. Over the first three hearings, the committee has tried to captivate the nation while making an unassailable case that there was a coordinated conspiracy behind the violent insurrection—and that former President Donald Trump was at the center of it all.
The committee’s findings have improved since its June 9 hearing, which was viewed by almost 20,000,000 viewers. “Every day, new stuff is coming out,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland and a member of the panel, told TIME last week after the third hearing.
According to sources familiar with the issue, the new information has prompted the committee to reconsider its decision to hold more hearings. These proceedings are the result of 10 months worth of investigation, which included the gathering of over 130,000 documents and the testimony of more than 1000 witnesses.
Even so, the shocking revelations revealed at each hearing have prompted many to look into the committee. “We continue to receive information via our tip line,” a Jan. 6 committee aide says. “This is an ongoing investigation. We continue to take on new evidence every day.” Last week, the committee sent a letter to Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, a conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, requesting she testify before the committee, after more communications surfaced between her and John Eastman. Eastman, a lawyer, was the architect of Trump’s scheme to nullify Joe Biden’s election victory. This panel revealed evidence that Eastman had told Trump just two days earlier that his plan was illegal. He also sought to pardon Trump during the days following the storming.
There are seven scheduled hearings for the committee at this time, with another four in place. Each hearing will focus on a different topic. Tuesday’s hearing will focus on Trump’s pressure campaign against state election officials to overturn the election results, while Thursday’s session will examine Trump’s efforts to get the Department of Justice behind his attempted coup.
Sources say that there will be another hearing to look at extremist groups like the Oath Keepers or the Proud Boy, as well as one to deconstruct the 187 minute Capitol Riot. The committee hasn’t yet determined when they will hold these sessions, however.
In the fall, the committee plans to release a written report which will include some findings that won’t be covered in any of the hearings. A professional writer is needed to make the report a compelling narrative thriller. This was similar to what happened with 9/11 Commission Report.
The hearings were compared to an episode of Netflix, with multiple segments. The committee may find that the series will be much longer than originally planned due to the discovery of more important details.
“These are like the Watergate hearings for the streaming era,” says Norm Eisen, a Brookings Institute senior fellow who served as special counsel for the House’s first impeachment of Trump. “Because what they’ve recognized is that you need to tell a compelling story.”
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