Reps. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Adam Schiff (D-CA), both of whom serve on the Jan. 6 committee, on Sunday detailed expectations ahead of the panel’s upcoming public hearings.
Asked about his remarks to CNN last month about the committee having “non-traditional” types of public hearings, Thompson, who chairs the committee, said that the panel is looking to speak to state and local election officials to determine whether the elections were fraudulent. Thompson added that the committee will also talk to some government officials who found nothing wrong with the elections.
“There were some people in the Department of Justice who said to former President Trump that, if you politicize the Department of Justice, we’re not going to leave, because that’s not who we are,” Thompson said. “So, we will look at that and we will talk again to individuals who came to Washington under various circumstances.”
Additionally, Thompson said the committee plans to speak with members of the National Guard who waited more than three hours before they were authorized to assist the Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police on the day of the deadly Capitol insurrection.
Thompson went on to say that the Capitol insurrection was anything but a “comedy of errors” and that the committee’s hearings will determine whether the attack was a “planned effort on the part of certain individuals.”
Schiff, who serves on the committee, told CBS that he hopes that the panel will begin public hearings in a matter of weeks, if not a few months from now.
Schiff said that the committee expects to lay out what it has learned during its investigation thus far about efforts to overturn the election.
According to Schiff, public hearings wouldn’t only address Trump’s election fraud falsehoods, but also efforts by local elections officials and state legislators as well as Justice Department officials to push the Big Lie.
“We hope to be able to tell the story to the country so that they understand it isn’t just about that one day, Jan. 6, but all that led up to it — what happened on that day and the continuing danger going forward,” Schiff said.
Thompson and Schiff’s comments come a week after the Washington Post reported that the committee is set to hold more dramatic presentations during public hearings in the new year as it works to deliver an interim report on the events surrounding the deadly Capitol insurrection by summer.
During a public business meeting held by the committee last month, in the run-up to the House’s vote to hold former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in contempt, the panel revealed a handful of the 9,000 documents and records that Meadows produced in his short-lived engagement with the panel, which demonstrated how there are still many lingering questions about the events of Jan. 6.
The committee’s presentation of some of Meadows’ texts related to his involvement in Trump’s attempts to subvert the election results — which showed an alleged plot to appoint alternate, Trump-friendly slates of electors as early as the day networks called Joe Biden’s presidential victory — offered a preview of the panel’s plans to hold additional, similar public hearings to present the evidence it has gathered.
“We want to tell it from start to finish over a series of weeks, where we can bring out the best witnesses in a way that makes the most sense,” a senior committee aide told the Post last week. “Our legacy piece and final product will be the select committee’s report.”