NATIONAL NEWS

Jan. 6 Capitol attack committee goes prime time with probe

Jun 9, 2022, 5:55 AM | Updated: Jun 25, 2022, 8:54 pm

Protesters gather on the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. Pro-Trump protes...

Protesters gather on the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. Pro-Trump protesters entered the U.S. Capitol building after mass demonstrations in the nation's capital during a joint session Congress to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — With never-seen video, new audio and a “mountain of evidence,” the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol will attempt to show not only the deadly violence that erupted that day but also the chilling backstory as the defeated president, Donald Trump, tried to overturn Joe Biden’s election victory.

Thursday’s prime-time hearing will open with eyewitness testimony from the first police officer pummeled in the mob riot and from a documentary filmmaker who recorded the melee, and it will feature the committee’s accounts from Trump’s aides and family members of the deadly siege that put U.S. democracy at risk.

“When you hear and understand the wide-reaching conspiracy and the effort to try to corrupt every lever and agency of government involved in this, you know, the hair on the back of your neck should stand up,” Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., a member of the 1/6 committee, said in an interview with The Associated Press.

“Putting it all together in one place and one coherent narrative, I think, will help the American people understand better what happened on January 6th — and the threats that that could potentially pose in the future.”

The 1/6 panel’s yearlong investigation into the Capitol attack will begin to show how America’s tradition of a peaceful transfer of presidential power came close to slipping away. It will reconstruct how Trump refused to concede the 2020 election, spread false claims of voter fraud and orchestrated an unprecedented public and private campaign to overturn Biden’s victory.

The result of the coming weeks of public hearings may not change hearts or minds in politically polarized America. But the committee’s investigation with 1,000 interviews is intended to stand as a public record for history. A final report aims to provide an accounting of the most violent attack on the Capitol since the British set fire to it in 1814 and to ensure such an attack never happens again.

Emotions are still raw at the Capitol, and security will be tight for the hearings. Law enforcement officials are reporting a spike in violent threats against members of Congress.

Against this backdrop, the committee will try to speak to a divided America, ahead of the fall midterm elections, when voters decide which party controls Congress. Most TV networks will carry the hearings live, but Fox News Channel will not.

The committee chairman, civil rights leader Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, will set the tone with opening remarks.

The two congressional leaders will outline what the committee has learned about the events leading up to that brisk January day in 2021 when Trump sent his supporters to Congress to “fight like hell” for his presidency as lawmakers undertook the typically routine job of certifying the previous November’s results.

“People are going to have to follow two intersecting streams of events — one will be the attempt to overturn the presidential election, that’s a harrowing story in itself,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., a member of the committee, told the AP.

“The other will be the sequence of events leading up to a violent mob attack on the Capitol to stop the counting of Electoral College votes and block the peaceful balance of power,” he said.

First up will be wrenching accounts from police who engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the mob, with testimony from U.S. Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards, who was seriously injured in the attack. Also appearing Thursday will be documentary maker Nick Quested, who filmed the extremist Proud Boys storming the Capitol. Some of that group’s members have since been indicted, as have some from the Oath Keepers, on rare sedition charges over the military-style attack.

Along with the live eyewitness testimony, the panel will unveil multimedia presentations, including unreleased video and audio, and a “mountain of evidence,” said a committee aide who insisted on anonymity to preview the hearing. There will be recorded accounts from Trump’s senior aides at the White House, the administration and the campaign, as well as members of Trump’s family, the aide said.

In the weeks ahead, the panel is expected to detail Trump’s public campaign to “Stop the Steal” and the private pressure he put on the Justice Department to reverse his election loss — despite dozens of failed court cases and his own attorney general attesting there was no fraud on a scale that could have tipped the results in his favor.

The panel, made up of nine lawmakers, faced obstacles from its start. Republicans blocked the formation of an independent body that could have investigated the Jan. 6 assault the way the 9/11 Commission probed the 2001 terror attack.

Instead, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ushered the creation of the 1/6 panel through Congress over the objections of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. She rejected Republican-appointed lawmakers who had voted Jan. 6 against certifying the election results, choosing her own preferred members to serve.

Trump has dismissed the investigation as illegitimate, and many Republicans are poised to defend him.

Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York said at a GOP leadership news conference that the committee’s “shameless prime-time show” is nothing but a smear campaign against the former president, his party and his supporters.

But by many measures, the attack was set in motion shortly after Election Day, when Trump falsely claimed the voting was rigged and refused to concede once Biden was declared the winner.

The proceedings are expected to introduce Americans to a cast of characters, some well known, others elusive, and to what they said and did as Trump and his allies tried to reverse the election outcome.

The public will learn about the actions of Mark Meadows, the president’s chief of staff, whose 2,000-plus text messages provided the committee with a snapshot of the real-time scramble to keep Trump in office. Of John Eastman, the conservative law professor who was the architect of the unsuccessful scheme to convince Vice President Mike Pence to halt the certification on Jan. 6. Of the Justice Department officials who threatened to resign rather than go along with Trump’s startling proposals.

Lawmakers have also been caught up in the probe, including House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, who defied the committee’s subpoena requests for testimony. Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, who urged her father to call off the rioters, appeared privately before the committee.

The Justice Department has arrested and charged more than 800 people for the violence that day, the biggest dragnet in its history.

___

Associated Press writers Kevin Freking and Michael Balsamo contributed to this report.

___

For full coverage of the Jan. 6 hearings, go to https://www.apnews.com/capitol-siege.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

Five suspects in the Memorial Day shooting that injured nine people near South Florida’s bustling...

Jamiel Lynch and Nouran Salahieh

5 suspects arrested in the Florida shooting on Hollywood Beach that injured 9

Five suspects in the Memorial Day shooting that injured nine people near South Florida’s bustling Hollywood Beach Broadwalk are now in custody, police announced Monday.

1 day ago

This rendering shows how scientists think the Psyche asteroid appears up close. (MaxarASU/P. Rubin/...

Ashley Strickland

NASA’s Psyche mission will launch to an unexplored metal world this fall

A NASA mission to explore a metallic asteroid is set to launch in October after software issues caused an initial delay that prevented the spacecraft from lifting off in 2022.

1 day ago

FILE - California Attorney General Rob Bonta speaks at a news conference at the Capitol in Sacramen...

Tran Nguyen and Olga R. Rodriguez

California officials blast Florida’s DeSantis over transfer of migrants from Texas to Sacramento

California leaders have lashed out at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and hinted at a criminal investigation over the arrival of two flights of migrants who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border into Texas and then were sent to Sacramento.

1 day ago

FILE - Semi-automatic handguns are displayed at shop in New Castle, Pa., March 25, 2020. A federal ...

Claire Rush

Permit-to-purchase: Oregon’s tough new gun law faces federal court test

The federal trial over Oregon's voter-approved gun control measure started Monday in Portland.

1 day ago

Police lights...

Betty Yu

Thieves steal $100,000 in cigarettes, cash from California smoke shop

Family-owned small business Cigarettes R Cheaper suffered its biggest hit last month in its long history in San Francisco.

1 day ago

FILE - Sections of a USA Today newspaper are displayed Aug. 5, 2019, in Norwood, Mass. Journalists ...

Alexandra Olson

Hundreds of journalists strike, demanding leadership change at biggest US newspaper chain

Journalists at two dozen local newspapers across the U.S. walked off the job Monday to demand an end to painful cost-cutting measures and a change of leadership at Gannett, the country’s biggest newspaper chain

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Brunette guy in headphones playing games on his desktop computer...

PC Laptops

Looking For a New Computer? Use This Desktop Buying Guide

Choosing a new desktop computer can come with a lot of questions, so we created this desktop buying guide.

Portrait of happy boy playing and splashing water in the swimming pool...

Get Out Pass

Family Fun Activities in Utah You Have to Try This Summer

These family fun activities will entertain you all summer, so if you ever feel stuck in a rut wondering what to do, refer to this guide!

Woman IT specialist in elegant suit working on notebook computer in data center next to server rack...

Les Olson

Your Complete Guide to Outsourcing IT Services

This guide covers everything you need to know about the different benefits of outsourcing IT services to meet your small business needs.

diverse group of friends dance outside under string lights...

Lighting Design

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Lighting

Read for the most frequently asked questions about outdoor lighting to help narrow the search for your home.

Stack of old laptops with dark background...

PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...

BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.

Jan. 6 Capitol attack committee goes prime time with probe