National Security

Jan. 6 panel announces prime-time slot for first hearing

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol formalized its plans Thursday to hold its first hearing during prime time.

The committee is staying mum about who its first witnesses will be, but announced it would kick off its slate of hearings during the 8 p.m. time slot on June 9.

“The committee will present previously unseen material documenting January 6th, receive witness testimony, preview additional hearings, and provide the American people a summary of its findings about the coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and prevent the transfer of power,” the committee wrote in its notice.

Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) has previously told reporters that there could be as many as eight hearings spread throughout the month of June as the committee wraps up more than 1,000 interviews and prepares to present its findings to the public.

The prime-time slot indicates the committee is eager to make a case to a broad audience, including many who watched the events unfold live on television as rioters stormed the Capitol.

That could present a challenge for the panel to reach those who feel they already understand what transpired that day. Polling has also found that many right-leaning respondents believe it’s time to “move on” from reviewing the attack. 

While it’s unclear who the first witnesses may be, several recent reports indicate the committee has been talking to legal advisers to former Vice President Mike Pence.

Axios reported Thursday that the committee has been in discussions with J. Michael Luttig, a former judge on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals appointed by George H. W. Bush, who helped provide Pence with legal reasoning to resist former President Trump’s suggestion he buck his ceremonial duties in certifying the election results. Luttig has previously said he would be willing to testify.

CNN also reported Thursday that the committee has likewise been talking to Pence’s former Chief of Staff Marc Short and Greg Jacob, chief counsel to the former vice president, who has already spoken to the committee about his pushback against Trump campaign attorneys.

Updated at 6:20 p.m.

Tags Bennie Thompson Bennie Thompson Bush Donald Trump Jan. 6 Capitol riot Marc Short Mike Pence

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