After a two-month hiatus, the House Jan. 6 committee appears to be ending an investigation that made and broke the political careers of all nine members while providing the most comprehensive account yet of what happened. the day the peaceful transfer of power was almost reversed.
The committee had planned to hold another hearing on Wednesday but postponed it due to the hurricane approaching Florida. In a statement on Tuesday, commission leaders said they would “soon” announce the date for the ninth hearing, the first since July.
Once postponed, the hearing is to be something of a farewell, with the committee deviating from a format that relied heavily on a few members at a time and instead giving all nine a chance to take the mic and lead various segments.
“Each member will have a section of the hearing to discuss,” Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chair of the panel, told reporters recently. “And so rather than an opening and closing chair and vice-chair, we will do our part and each member will have a particular part of the audience to lead.”
The members did not explicitly say that the next hearing would be their last. They have yet to produce a written report on their findings over the past 14 months. But with the Justice Department now stepping up its criminal investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the committee’s relevance has begun to fade, one of its members acknowledged.
“We’re really moving here to ‘We need to write this report,'” the member said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the panel’s thinking. “I see it as, look, we did a great job and at one point it’s like, get the win and now it’s in the hands of the DOJ.”
While much of the upcoming hearing will dwell on the committee’s revelations during its investigation, Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney, R., Wyo., said “new information, new evidence” will be presented “because the investigation continues.” On Monday, the panel subpoenaed Robin Vos, the Speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly, who said former President Donald Trump tried to pressure him in July to overturn the results of the presidential election that was held. took place 20 months earlier.
Video clips from a documentary that follows Trump adviser Roger Stone before the Jan. 6 riot will likely be part of a multimedia presentation at the next committee hearing, sources told NBC News.
“Nothing provided by the Jan. 6 committee can be considered credible, or unedited or unedited,” Stone told NBC News on Tuesday. “Nothing they produce is in context. Their previous testimony provided against me is categorically false.”
The committee also obtained a treasure trove of Secret Service documents from the period around the January 6 attack. Thompson said some of that information could “potentially” come out at the next hearing. Still, Cheney said the panel did not delete text messages from January 5 and 6, when officers may have discussed an alleged altercation between Trump and his security team as he tried to join the rioters on Capitol Hill. . In response to a subpoena, the Secret Service turned over more than 800,000 pages of information that may still shed light on what was going on during this difficult time.
“Well, the text messages themselves, in many cases, are gone,” Cheney told the Texas Tribune Festival over the weekend. “There are other forms of communication like Teams messages and emails. And we got, you know, probably around 800,000 pages, at least, of material.
The committee also recently reached an agreement to interview Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Previous hearings have featured recorded testimony from some Trump cabinet members, including Attorney General Bill Barr and Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, who told the panel they urged Trump to give in to Joe Biden after he was clear that there was no widespread electoral fraud.
The postponed session could feature a video of testimonials from some other Trump cabinet members, such as Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who both spoke to the committee but did not participate in any of the hearings.
Chao, wife of Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, sat down for a videotaped interview in August; she announced she was resigning from her position the day after the attack on the Capitol, saying it had “deeply disturbed me in ways that I simply cannot put aside.” (Trump lashed out at the couple. On his Truth Social website last month, he called his former Cabinet Secretary “crazy” and her husband a “broken politician.”)
Committee members were interested in conversations Pompeo allegedly had with other Cabinet members after the attack on invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from power. In the end, there was never a vote, but the discussions underscored how concerned Trump’s top officials were about his behavior.
“I think that’s definitely something that will be explored,” said the committee member, who requested anonymity, during the hearing. “We change a bit – from time to time, but I definitely think it will happen.”
Few knew what to expect when the committee held its first public hearing on June 9. So many leaks preceded that prime-time hearing that even Thompson worried it might turn out to be a flop. Determined to tell a story that would keep viewers riveted, the panel unfolded a narrative that focused relentlessly on Trump and his efforts to maintain power despite his defeat.
“According to what they [the committee] had and the authorities they had, in a short time they sealed their legacy as one of the most dynamic committees in the history of the United States,” said Denver Riggleman, a former congressman Virginia Republican who served as a staffer on the committee until resigning in April.
At times, the hearings resembled the kind of meticulous impeachment trial that eluded Democrats and a few Republicans when they sought to convict Trump in the weeks following the Jan. 6 riot. With little time to investigate Trump’s role, House impeachment officials were unable to answer basic questions about Trump’s actions as his supporters raped the Capitol while Congress convened to certify Biden’s victory.
But in the January 6 hearings, investigators filled in the blanks. A hearing in July included testimony that Trump had done nothing to stop the violence three hours after the riot began. Asset, instead, he phoned a senator to delay the vote count and spoke to his outside attorney, Rudy Giuliani. He watched the melee on television in his dining room near the Oval Office and resisted efforts by his aides to get him to issue a statement condemning the attack, the committee showed. Trump was reluctant to post a tweet using the word “peace,” a former press secretary testified. It was only after his daughter Ivanka pressed him that he agreed to say in a tweet: “Rest in peace”.
One issue that emerges from the hearings is the future of various members. Few members of the House get the kind of prime-time scene that the hearings afforded, but in Cheney’s case, the attention proved to be a double-edged sword. His high-profile criticism of Trump no doubt explained his lopsided defeat in Wyoming’s Republican primary race last month.
“If she is rational, which is doubtful, she will become a Democrat and her future will be in the Democratic Party,” said Newt Gingrich, former Republican House Speaker.
Yet Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, also received widespread praise for risking her congressional career as she dug into Trump actions around January. In April, the Kennedy family and the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation presented him with their “Profile in Courage Award”.
“We all took the same oath to the Constitution,” Cheney told NBC News in a statement, responding to the GOP criticism she faced. “Some of us respect him.”