Takeaways from January 6 public hearings: How to watch the next session
Tuesday’s hearing of the US House of Representatives committee investigating the deadly attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 addressed former President Donald Trump and members of his administration’s plan to send bogus voters to Congress, to overthrow the 2020 presidential election. The session also included testimonies from election officials and workers who have been the target of harassment from Trump and his fan base.
Founded almost a year ago, the Selection Committee has investigated the circumstances behind the Jan. 6 attack and those that influenced the more than 800 people criminally charged in trying to prevent Congress from confirming President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. The committee has had two public hearings so far, with at least three more scheduled for June.
When is the next committee hearing on January 6th?
The fourth public hearing is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, June 23 at 12:00 p.m. PT/3:00 p.m. ET.
How can I view it?
The hearings will be available live on C-SPAN and the Committee’s January 6 YouTube channel. So far, it’s unclear if networks will live stream the next hearings.
What did the committee reveal at the first hearing?
The first hearing, on June 9, provided an overview of what to expect while showing never-before-seen testimony and footage of the Capitol riots.
Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee chair and a Democrat from Mississippi, and Rep. Liz Cheney, the committee vice chair and a Republican from Wyoming, spoke during the two-hour hearing. They revealed how officials from Trump’s administration did not believe his allegations of voter fraudlike several Republican congressmen asked the President for a pardon for their role trying to overturn the election and like the vice president when the mob chanted “Hang Mike Pence” Trump said, “He deserves it.”
The second half of the hearing included testimony from two witnesses: documentary filmmaker Nick Quested and Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards. Quested was part of the far-right group The Proud Boys and attended a discreet January 5 meeting between the group’s then-leader, Enrique Tarrio, and Stewart Rhodes, the leader of another far-right group called the Oath Keepers. Tarrio, Rhodes and other members of their groups have since been charged with seditious conspiracy over their actions.
In its testimony, Quested also confirmed that hundreds of Proud Boys made their way to the Capitol on the morning of January 6 before Trump delivered his speech that day, which was the trigger for other supporters to move to the Capitol. where Congress would certify Biden’s election victory.
Edwards testified about the violence committed by the Trump supporter crowd on Jan. 6. She also spoke about her injuries that day.
What did the second hearing tell us?
The hearing on Monday dealt with the false claims by Trump and his administration that the 2020 presidential election was allegedly stolen, which has been called a “big lie”.
Video testimonies by former White House Counsel Eric Herschmann, former White House Staff Secretary Derek Lyons, former Attorney General Bill Barr and others played during the hearing showed these officials confirmed that there was no basis for the claims of electoral fraud.
Former US Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia BJay Pak, former Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt and Electoral Attorney Benjamin Ginsberg provided testimony disproving claims made by Trump and his administration. The committee also announced the results of its investigation into how the election conspiracies were used to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for political organizations supporting Trump.
What was the third hearing about?
Almost the entire hearing on Thursday revolved around Pence. The committee explained that the former vice president had no authority to stop the counting of electoral votes. John Eastman, an attorney who advised Trump, promoted a legal theory that Pence has this power even though it is not enshrined in the Constitution.
Greg Jacob, Pence’s chief attorney, and former federal judge Michael Luttig testified about the vice president’s powers and their assessment that Pence could not stop the vote count. The committee also played statements by Trump staffers, who said the former president and others in his administration agreed Pence could not change the election results, although some still pressured him to do so.
In addition, the committee played the testimony of Eastman, who pleaded fifth more than 100 times during his testimony and had sought a presidential pardon for his actions.
What happened in the fourth hearing?
On Tuesday, the committee heard testimony from Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers for the first time. He testified how Trump and his then-attorney Rudy Guiliani urged Bowers to agree to using pro-Trump voters in place of the legitimate voters the state was already sending to DC. Bowers also said two Republican congressmen asked him to support Trump’s plan to equalize Biden’s win, which he disagreed with.
The committee played several deposition videos of witnesses saying Trump had a hand in pushing a plan to round up these fake voters along with Eastman, the attorney who theorized the election could be overturned.
After a pause, the committee heard testimonies from Georgia’s Foreign Minister Brad Raffensperger, his deputy Gabe Sterling, as well as Georgian election worker Wandrea “Shaye” Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman. All four spoke of the near-continuous abuse they faced after Trump, Guiliani and others singled them out for false claims they helped steal the election.
Raffensperger testified about the call he had with Trump asking him to find 11,000 more votes. Sterling spoke about the threats of physical violence that poll workers were subjected to because of the former President’s false claims about the election.
Moss and Freeman became targets for Trump’s team and his fans after video footage was used to falsely claim the two engaged in illegal activity and counting fake votes. The mother (who previously gave her statement via video) and daughter spoke out about the numerous death threats, messages and abuse they received after being named by Guiliani. Both had to take precautions for their safety while still trying to keep a low profile in public for fear someone might recognize them.