Jun 6, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Jan. 6 committee's secret adviser

James Goldston

James Goldston. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The House's Jan. 6 committee has turned to a renowned former network news executive to hone a mountain of explosive material into a captivating multimedia presentation for a prime-time hearing Thursday.

  • James Goldston — former president of ABC News, and a master documentary storyteller who ran "Good Morning America" and "Nightline" — has joined the committee as an unannounced adviser, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: I'm told Goldston is busily producing Thursday's 8 p.m. ET hearing as if it were a blockbuster investigative special.

  • He plans to make it raw enough so that skeptical journalists will find the material fresh, and chew over the disclosures in future coverage.
  • And he wants it to draw the eyeballs of Americans who haven't followed the ins and outs of the Capitol riot probe.

Goldston is shaping a massive trove:

  • The hearing will be a mix of live witnesses and pre-produced video.
  • I'm told the committee has gained access to official White House photographs from Jan. 6, 2021, that have never been seen publicly.
  • Only a fraction of the surveillance footage from inside the Capitol — all kinds of angles were captured — has been shown.
  • Many of the committee's depositions were videotaped. We'll see clips.

An aide says the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol ...

  • Has conducted more than 1,000 depositions and interviews, with more scheduled.
  • Received 140,000+ documents.
  • And is following up on 472 tips received through the committee's online tip line.

The hearing — the first of a series by the committee (most will be during daytime) — has the makings of a national event:

  • At least two of the broadcast networks will interrupt evening programming for live coverage anchored by ABC's David Muir and CBS' Norah O'Donnell. NBC will announce plans soon.

The other side: Republicans will argue that the 1/6 committee — which consists of seven Democrats plus Republicans Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois — is just out to get former President Trump.

  • As part of a Republican counter-programming blitz, key members of Congress are already booked for cable interviews after the hearing.
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