The congressional panel investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol will hold its ninth and possibly final hearing on Donald Trump’s “state of mind” as the insurgency unfolded.
The House of Representatives select committee will reconvene in Washington on Thursday at 1 p.m., after a two-and-a-half month break and is expected to present new video footage depicting efforts to respond to the violence as it unfolded.
“There will be some discussion of events that occurred prior to election day, and there will be some looking at events that occurred after January 6,” said an unnamed committee aide. “We’re going to bring a particular focus on the president’s state of mind and his involvement in these events as they unfold.
“So, what you’ll see is a synthesis of some evidence we’ve already presented with that new, never-before-seen information to demonstrate Donald Trump’s centrality to the scheme prior to the election.”
Over the summer, the committee outperformed many observers’ expectations with a series of televised hearings that placed Trump at the center of an attempted coup – a premeditated assault on American democracy aimed at overturning the 2020 presidential election.
It will seek to reclaim the spotlight on Thursday, less than a month before congressional midterm elections in which hundreds of Republicans who support Trump’s false claim of election fraud are running.
The committee will present documentary evidence from hundreds of thousands of pages handed over by the Secret Service in response to a subpoena. According to the Washington Post, the records will show how Trump, who encouraged his supporters to “fight like hell” in a speech on the morning of January 6, was repeatedly warned about the danger but still attempted to incite violence.
There will be no live witnesses, unlike previous hearings, according to the aide, but there will be new witness testimony, including from individuals who have not previously been heard from. It is unclear whether Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, a conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, will be included. Her panel interview from last month was transcribed but not videotaped.
The hearing on Thursday is expected to last about two and a half hours and will feature statements from the panel’s chair, Bennie Thompson, and vice-chair, Liz Cheney – who is nearing the end of her tenure in Congress after losing a Republican primary race in Wyoming – as well as all seven other members of the committee, each of whom will present different elements of the evidence.
Whereas previous hearings focused on a specific topic, drawing comparisons to TV crime dramas or podcasts, this one will “step back” and examine “the entire plan.” However, in a background briefing with reporters, the aide denied it amounted to a closing argument, stating that it was difficult to predict the select committee’s future schedule.
“The investigation is ongoing and, of course, at some point there will be a comprehensive report released which will present the committee’s findings in a more complete manner. That work goes on. I would resist any characterization that makes this seem like the final time you’re going to hear from the committee.”