Updated Jun 9, 2022 - Politics & Policy

What to expect from tonight's prime-time Jan. 6 hearing

Jan. 6 committee sets up the hearing room for tomorrow’s hesring

Television crews and technicians prepare the Cannon Caucus Room for tomorrow night's hearing. Photos: J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

The Jan. 6 committee’s prime-time public hearing debut will feature never-before-seen recordings and documentation from closed-door depositions with key Trump officials and members of the former president’s family, committee aides tell reporters.

The big picture: Tonight's televised 90-minute hearing, and sessions next week, will show that the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol "was a result of a coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election and stop the transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden," one committee aide said.

  • "And indeed, that President Donald Trump was at the center of that effort.”
  • "The select committee is also going to lay out a clear indication of ongoing threats to American democracy," said an aide who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.

What to watch: Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) will do most of the talking.

  • The two will deliver opening statements, ask questions of witnesses and present the mountain of evidence they've compiled — including through multimedia presentations.
  • Thompson will "place Jan. 6 in a broader historical context" and talk about it an an "aberration" in the history of American democracy, a committee aide said.

Depositions: Committee members will detail a "small, but meaningful" portion of the interviews they've conducted with senior officials from the Trump White House, administration and campaign, as well as members of Trump's family.

  • These are said to include previously unseen or unreported details and video and audio as well as documents.

The witnesses: The public will hear from British documentary filmmaker Nick Quested — who embedded with the far-right Proud Boys, including during the group's private meetings ahead of the insurrection — and Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards, the first law enforcement officer injured on Jan. 6.

  • Both plan to recount their experiences from the day of the attack, "particularly what they saw and heard from the rioters" a committee aide said.
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