What we know going into the final Jan. 6 hearing

The Jan. 6 select committee is convening Wednesday for what is likely its last public hearing before releasing a final report on its findings and recommendations.

Why it matters: This week’s hearing will bookend the investigation into the Capitol riot that has spanned more than a year and has included more than 130,000 documents and testimony from more than 1,000 witnesses.

The big picture: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif), a Jan. 6 panel member, previewed the final hearing on Sunday, saying: “I can say that, as this may be the last hearing of this nature — that is, one that is focused on sort of the factual record — I think it’ll be potentially more sweeping than some of the other hearings.”

  • Committee chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) also offered a teaser of the hearing, saying the panel has “substantial footage of what occurred … [and] significant witness testimony that we haven’t used in other hearings.”
  • Wednesday is set to be the last public hearing for Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the vice chair of the committee, after she lost an August primary for her reelection to a Trump-backed candidate.
  • Cheney, and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), who is retiring, are the only two House Republicans on the panel.

How we got here

  • The select committee in its previous hearings has tried to link Trump directly to the violence of Jan. 6 through witness testimonies and video evidence. Here’s some of what we’ve learned so far …
  • Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testified that Trump grew increasingly irate on Jan. 6, reportedly lunging at his former security detail when the Secret Service would not drive him to join protesters at the Capitol.
  • Hutchinson also testified that Trump knew that some rallygoers on Jan. 6 had weapons, but he requested that the metal detectors to enter the Ellipse be removed anyway.
  • Mike Pence’s legal aides testified that the former vice president resisted the “pressure campaign” by Trump to reject electoral votes.
  • Top Trump administration and campaign officials, including former Attorney General Bill Barr, described trying to convince Trump that he lost the election — and the 45th president’s continued commitment to pushing the “Big Lie” anyway.

What to watch

  • The panel has requested testimony from a number of Trump allies or individuals who may have knowledge of the events on Jan. 6, including …
  • Conservative activist Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has agreed to sit down for a voluntary interview with the House Jan. 6 select committee, her lawyer confirmed to Axios last week.
  • Steve Bannon, a former Trump chief strategist, told the committee in July that he was willing to testify, per the New York Times.
  • The panel is also seeking an interview with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) about his involvement in events leading up to the Capitol riot.
  • It’s not yet clear whether all of the potential witnesses have agreed to testify — and whether the panel will publicly show details of their interviews.
  • Both Thompson and Cheney have also said that the committee has received thousands of materials from the Secret Service in response to a July subpoena of the agency.
  • Cheney, however, said this weekend that communications from around Jan. 6 were largely not recovered.

What’s next

  • The select committee has said that it plans to release a final report after the midterm election, but plenty of news could be made before then, Axios’ Andrew Solender and Alayna Treene report.
  • The committee, which has said that the election is not a big factor in planning, also said it plans to release early findings and recommendations before the election.

The bottom line: Finally, one question underpinning the panel’s work is whether the final report should include a criminal referral regarding Trump’s conduct.

  • Schiff said Sunday that if a referral is made, it should be unanimous among panel members.
  • “It will be certainly, I think, my recommendation, my feeling that we should make referrals, but we will get to a decision as a committee, and we will all abide by that decision, and I will join our committee members if they feel differently,” he told CNN.

Go deeper… Key takeaways from New York AG’s lawsuit against Trump

Source: https://www.axios.com/2022/09/26/jan6-committee-hearing-sept28-trump
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Erin Doherty

Author: axios