WASHINGTON (CN) — The House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol Attack is set to resume public hearings next week with the expectation that the panel will reveal new details about last year’s deadly insurrection.
Details about the hearing scheduled for an 8 p.m. prime-time slot on national television Thursday are sparse, and the witness list has yet to be released, but the committee has said it will present "previously unseen material," witness testimony, and a summary of its investigatory findings about the "coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and prevent the transfer of power."
“The hearings will tell a story that will really blow the roof off the House,” Representative Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland, said at a Georgetown University event in April.
The Jan. 6 committee held its first public hearing last summer, which focused on the police response to the Capitol siege. The probe has since reached new depths, with interviews of more than 1,000 witnesses, including Trump supporters who physically stormed the Capitol, as well as members of the former president’s administration, legal team and family.
The nine-member panel, which contains only two Republicans, has focused efforts on security failures by Capitol Police and federal officers responding to the insurrection, the "Stop the Steal" rally at the Ellipse that preceded the attack, and the legal effort by Trump and his team to halt the certification of the 2020 election results.
In recent weeks, the panel has increasingly homed in on members of Trump's inner circle, indicating Thursday's hearing will likely probe the goings-on in the White House leading up to and during the insurrection as well as why Trump did not intervene immediately upon learning that a mob of his supporters attacked the Capitol, intent on preventing Congress from certifying Joe Biden's victory.
Just this week, former Attorney General William Barr, who publicly rejected Trump's claims of election fraud and left the administration before the attack, was seen meeting with the panel.
Trump pressured Barr's replacement, Jeffrey Rosen, to contest the election and toyed with handing the department over to then-Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark, a vocal proponent of Trump’s lie that the election was stolen through voter fraud.
In public comments over the last few months, committee members have repeatedly asserted that there is a connection between the motivation of rioters who stormed the Capitol and the rhetoric of Trump, as well as the legal strategy to prevent the certification of the election that was concocted by those in the upper echelons of Washington.
Lawmakers on the panel face the lofty task of making a public case about the insurrection at a time when inflation, frequent mass shootings and the ongoing pandemic have driven the events of a year and a half ago to the back of many Americans’ minds.
The committee has also faced partisan criticism since its inception. Lawmakers initially tried to form a bipartisan commission to investigate Jan. 6, but after fierce opposition from Republicans unwilling to reject Trump's election-conspiracy lie, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi formed the nine-member select committee, made up primarily of Democrats.
Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois are the sole Republicans on the committee and have faced blowback from their party over their involvement in the investigation.
With the prospect of a 2024 Trump bid for the presidency on the horizon, the hearings are a critical opportunity for the panel to provide new information about the his actions, or lack thereof, as president in the hours leading up to, after and during the Capitol attack.