House members will huddle Friday to plot next steps on Jan. 6 probe
Members of the special House committee investigating the Capitol attack will huddle behind closed doors Friday to plot their next steps after holding what they viewed as a very successful first hearing this week featuring emotional testimony from four police officers who defended the complex on Jan. 6.
One of the issues to be discussed is whether the select committee should hold a public hearing during the August congressional recess to build momentum for the panel’s investigation.
After Tuesday’s hearing with officers from the Capitol Police and D.C. Metro Police Department, committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) expressed interest in holding a hearing in the coming weeks. He also said the first wave of subpoenas in the investigation, for emails, phone records and text messages, would be sent out “soon” by his committee.
One member of the panel, which consists of seven Democrats and two Republicans, said there’s a variety of topics in the mix for a second hearing: a critical look at intelligence and security failures before and on Jan. 6; coordination and planning for the attack by right-wing paramilitary and white supremacist groups, including the Proud Boys; and coordination and planning for the “Stop the Steal” effort by then-President Trump and his White House allies.
At the same time, there is concern among members that the committee might not be able to get the information and secure witnesses in time to hold an August hearing on the efforts to coordinate the attack.
A public discussion of the security failures at the Capitol might be lower hanging fruit given that House and Senate committees have already held multiple hearings on that subject. Senators last month issued a 127-page report on the intelligence and security lapses.
But members of the House panel said the Jan. 6 committee will have access to documents and other information from the House Democrats’ impeachment investigation into whether Trump incited the deadly insurrection, as well as material from other committees that have probed the attack. Those include the House Administration, Armed Services, Oversight, and Homeland Security committees, the latter of which is led by Thompson.