Thu. Sep 28th, 2023

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol will hold the first of at least six public hearings in a rare prime-time session Thursday evening to show the American public what they have learned so far about the riot and former President Trump’s role. 

The committee chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson, said last week that they plan to use a “combination of witnesses, exhibits, things that we have through the tens of thousands of exhibits we’ve […] looked at, as well as the hundreds of witnesses we deposed or just talked to in general.”

CBS News will broadcast the hearing as a Special Report on all CBS stations starting at 8 p.m., anchored by “CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell. She will be joined by CBS News chief political analyst John Dickerson; CBS News chief election and campaign correspondent Robert Costa; CBS News chief White House correspondent Nancy Cordes; CBS News chief national affairs and justice correspondent Jeff Pegues; and CBS News chief congressional correspondents Nikole Killion and Scott MacFarlane. 

The committee has promised to show “previously unseen material” at the hearings. Members have spent nearly a year reviewing documents and hearing testimony from people ranging from former Trump officials to Capitol police to riot defendants.   

Rep. Liz Cheney, one of only two Republicans on the committee, told “CBS Sunday Morning” she is confident what they found as a committee will make the American people wake up and pay attention. 

“You know, we are not in a situation where former President Trump has expressed any sense of remorse about what happened,” Cheney said. “We are in fact in a situation where he continues to use even more extreme language, frankly, than the language that caused the attack. And so, people must pay attention. People must watch, and they must understand how easily our democratic system can unravel if we don’t defend it.”

Capitol Riot-Hearings-Things to Know
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol will go public with its findings starting Thursday, June 9.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The select committee announced Tuesday evening it planned to call two witnesses on Thursday: Nick Quested, a filmmaker who followed the Proud Boys on Jan. 6, and Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards, the first law enforcement officer injured by rioters storming the Capitol grounds. Edwards suffered a traumatic brain injury and has not been able to return to work since the attack, according to the committee.

Quested will likely face questions about the footage he shot both on the days leading up to Jan. 6 and on the day of the attack, when he followed a group of Proud Boys as they stormed the Capitol. The leader and four members of that far-right group are facing charges of seditious conspiracy.

James Goldston, who worked for nearly two decades at ABC News as an executive producer and eventually president of the news division, is helping the committee put together its presentation, which is expected to include audio and video elements. 

Committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin told CBS News’ “Red & Blue” in May that the committee divided material up into chapters “that will allow for the unfolding of the narrative.”

The nine-person committee is comprised of seven Democrats and two Republicans. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi created the committee despite opposition from Republicans to investigate the origins of the attack, which took place after then-President Trump encouraged his supporters to “walk down” to the U.S. Capitol while the Electoral College votes were being counted. “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” he said. In the ensuing riot, five people died, including a Capitol police officer. 

The Democratic-controlled House voted to impeach Trump one week later, but he was acquitted by the Senate

Several of Trump’s closest supporters have appeared before the committee, including his children Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. and son-in-law Jared Kushner. But others have refused to comply with subpoenas, including former chief of staff Mark Meadows and former adviser Steve Bannon, who has been charged with contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with the subpoena. 

Zak Hudak contributed to his report.

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