The House Select January 6 Committee is expected to present the most compelling evidence yet on Thursday as it tries to prove former President Donald Trump’s dereliction of duty on the day of the U.S. Capitol attack, according to members of the committee.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill. 16th District) told CBS' Face the Nation on Sunday that the hearing, scheduled for 8 p.m. on Thursday evening, will “open people’s eyes in a big way."
“The reality is, I’ll give you this preview, the president didn’t do very much but gleefully watch television during this timeframe,” he said. “We’re going to present a lot more than that.”
What to Expect
Aides to the select committee said Wednesday the core of the committee’s presentation will be a detailed examination of the 187 minutes that passed between the end of Trump’s speech at The Ellipse near the White House, and when he eventually took action several hours after a mob of his supporters forced its way into the Capitol.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the committee's vice chair, said at the close of the most recent hearing that the panel will walk through, minute-by-minute, Trump’s actions, or inaction, during the attack.
Several reports have said the committee will hear from two live witnesses to further illustrate Trump’s conduct on January 6, 2021: Matthew Pottinger, former deputy national security adviser, and Sarah Matthews, a former deputy press secretary, both of whom were in the White House during the Capitol attack and resigned the same day.
The two could be in a position to corroborate and add to the testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, the former principal aide to Mark Meadows, Trump's final Chief of Staff.
The committee has so far not confirmed the reports.
Alleged Attempts to Influence Witnesses
The committee is also expected to explore Trump’s alleged attempts to contact and potentially influence witnesses.
At the end of the most recent hearing, Cheney revealed that after the committee's hearing on June 28, Trump allegedly attempted to call a witness himself. According to Cheney, the witness declined the call and alerted their lawyer, who then reported the incident to the committee.
The committee referred this information to the Department of Justice.
The June 28 hearing featured Hutchinson’s testimony and was a last-minute addition to the hearing scheduled before Congress’ Fourth of July recess.
"Let me say one more time: We will take any effort to influence witness testimony very seriously," Cheney said.
The committee will be without its chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss. 2nd District), in-person due to a positive COVID test. Aides said Wednesday that he would chair the hearing remotely.
Thompson tweeted Tuesday he is experiencing mild symptoms. His diagnosis is not expected to impact the committee’s presentation, set to be led by Kinzinger and Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va. 2nd District).
Committee members and staff have stressed throughout the series of hearings that the committee’s investigation is ongoing. Given that it is a select committee, established for a specific purpose, its work will not officially wrap up until it issues its final report and gives any legislative recommendations to the full House.
Thompson previously noted Thursday’s hearing will be the last “in this series,” though the prospects for any future hearings beyond this week remain unclear.