Sunday, December 10

House Capitol riot probe to hold public hearings, will seek GOP testimony

A supporter of US President Donald Trump sprays smoke during a “Stop the Steal” protest outside of the Capitol building in Washington DC January 6, 2021.

Stephanie Keith | Reuters

The select House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot will hold at least eight public hearings starting June 9 and will send requests this week for testimony to several GOP lawmakers, including three House members who previously refused to cooperate, the panel’s chairman said Thursday.

The committee also plans to send new interview requests to several other Republicans, including at least one Senator, committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss. told reporters.

Thompson wouldn’t say who the panel wanted to interview beyond House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, and Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry, all of whom previously refused to testify.

When asked what would happen “when they say no, again,” Thompson answered, “Well, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.” He didn’t rule out the possibility of subpoenaing those who don’t comply.

When asked if the senators whose testimony would be sought included Ted Cruz of Texas, and Utah’s Mike Lee, Thompson said: “Stand by.”

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Thompson said that both Donald Trump Jr., the son of ex-President Donald Trump, as well as the Trump’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani are “on the list” of witnesses still to be interviewed by the committee. He did not say when the younger Trump and Giuliani would be expected to appear.

CNN reported Wednesday evening that Giuliani is expected to testify in May. ABC News reported last week that Trump Jr. would voluntarily testify before the committee.

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Thompson also said that the public hearings in June will “tell the story about what happened” on the day of the Jan. 6, 2021, riot and the events surrounding that day.

He said the hearings also will highlight the panel’s findings after interviewing hundreds of witnesses and reviewing thousands of exhibits of evidence.

“It will give the public the benefit of what more than a year’s worth of investigation has gone to the committee,” Thompson said.

“Obviously we’ve collected an awful lot of information. And some of that information has bearings on members, and we want to give those members an opportunity to tell their side,” he said.

“At this point, the first hearing is June 9th,” Thompson later said.

The riot began when thousands of Trump supporters swarmed the US Capitol while a joint session of Congress met to confirm President Joe Biden’s Electoral College win over then-President Trump, a Republican.

Shortly before the crowd breached the Capitol’s walls, Trump and allies including Giuliani had urged attendees of a rally outside of the White House to fight against the certification of his Democratic opponent.

For weeks beforehand, Trump falsely claimed there had been widespread ballot fraud in the popular presidential vote in the swing states that gave Biden his margin of victory in the Electoral College.

Five people, including a Capitol police officer, died in connection with the riot, and hundreds of members of the mob that day have been arrested.

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