The congressional hearings on the 2021 assault on the U.S. Capitol by Donald Trump supporters will spotlight testimony by the former president’s top aides and family members as a House committee seeks to persuade Americans that the riot was an orchestrated attack on democracy.
After almost a year of investigation, the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack moves into a new phase on Thursday with a prime-time hearing that will include videotaped testimony from senior Trump White House officials and campaign officials, committee aides said.
We will be revealing that the violence of Jan. 6 was the 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, and indeed that the former president, Donald Trump, was at the center of that effort, said an aide, speaking on condition of anonymity to preview the hearing.
The aides declined to name witnesses whose taped depositions will be featured. But close Trump associates who have spoken to the committee include his son Donald Jr., daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, former Attorney General William Barr and senior aides to former Vice President Mike Pence.
The session is scheduled for 8 p.m. EDT (2400 GMT) on Thursday, aimed at capturing the attention of as many television viewers as possible.
The hearing will feature two in-person witnesses, U.S. Capitol police officer Caroline Edwards, who sustained a traumatic brain injury in the attack, and Nick Quested, a filmmaker who captured footage of the far-right Proud Boys group, accused of planning the deadly attack.
Thursday’s hearing is the first of an expected six this month as the Democratic-led Select Committee attempts to reverse Republican efforts to downplay or deny the violence of the day, with five months to go until the Nov. 8 midterm elections that will determine which party controls both the House and the Senate for the next two years.
The committee wants to make the case not just that Jan. 6 was planned with the cooperation of members of Trump’s inner circle, but that there is an ongoing threat to U.S. democracy.
But a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Thursday underscored the partisan lens through which many Americans view the assault.