National Security

Jan. 6 panel weighing prime-time televised hearings, chairman says

Jan. 6 House Select Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) gives an opening statement during a hearing to consider holding former Trump White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon in contempt of Congress on Tuesday, October 19, 2021.
Greg Nash

The chairman of the House select committee investigating the events surrounding the Jan. 6 Capitol riot said in an interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday that the committee is considering holding multiple hearings that would be televised during prime-time hours.

While noting that no dates have been established yet, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) told the news outlet those hearings may be scheduled for late March or early April. 

The Jan. 6 committee chairman reasoned that it was in the public’s interest to hear from those testifying about their alleged involvement during that violent day as supporters of former President Trump stormed the Capitol and tried to stop Congress from certifying the 2020 presidential election.

“The public needs to know, needs to hear from people under oath about what led up to Jan. 6th, and to some degree, what has continued after Jan. 6,” Thompson told Bloomberg.

An aide for the select committee told The Hill that its members were still looking into the timing and “potential formats” of their hearings.

“The Select Committee views upcoming hearings as one of its most important opportunities to lay out facts and provide answers to the American people about the January 6th attack and its causes,” the aide said. “Across a series of hearings, we want to tell a story, start to finish, reaching as many people as we can. The Select Committee’s business meetings so far have been held in the evening, and that’s certainly an option under consideration for future hearings.”

Thompson also told Bloomberg that the select committee would likely be requesting the voluntary cooperation of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), telling the outlet that McCarthy “did make a strong statement right after Jan. 6, putting the blame on the White House.”

McCarthy, who acknowledged the upcoming anniversary of the violent riot that will occur on Thursday and condemned those who participated, said in a letter to House Republicans on Sunday that Democrats were “using it as a partisan political weapon to further divide our country.”

“Unfortunately, one year later, the majority party seems no closer to answering the central question of how the Capitol was left so unprepared and what must be done to ensure it never happens again,” the House minority leader wrote to colleagues.

The Hill has reached out to McCarthy’s office for comment.

Tags Bennie Thompson Bennie Thompson Donald Trump House Select Committee on Jan. 6 Jan. 6 attack jan. 6 riot Kevin McCarthy Kevin McCarthy

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