Jan 5, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Jan. 6 committee may hold prime-time hearings

Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) (R) and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) (C), joined by fellow committee members, speak to the media.

January 6th Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) speak to the media after a hearing. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House's January 6th Committee is considering rare prime-time hearings to help build a maximum audience for testimony about what happened during the Capitol riot, one year ago tomorrow.

Why it matters: The committee sees its eyewitnesses as building a "case" to combat doubts raised by former President Trump and his Republican allies.

A committee aide told Axios: "Members are still discussing potential formats and timing for the committee’s 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 added.
  • "[W]e want to tell a story ... 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 ... for future hearings."

The committee's chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) told Bloomberg's Billy House the hearings could open in late March or early April. I'm told they could extend into summer.

  • Thompson said: "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."

Between the lines: The committee thinks these hearings will go very differently than impeachment, when Democrats would elicit testimony, then Republicans would try to poke holes.

  • The committee's only Republicans — Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois — want the story told. So the usual bouts of partisan bickering are unlikely.

Go deeper: "Jan. 6 committee requests Sean Hannity's cooperation," by Jonathan Swan.

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