January 6 committee announces surprise hearing on Tuesday and offers some details


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The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the United States Capitol said Monday it would hold a surprise hearing on Tuesday to “present newly obtained evidence and receive testimony.”

It was not immediately clear who the committee planned to interview and what topics lawmakers intended to focus on. The decision announced on Monday was shrouded in secrecy, with staff and committee members explicitly asked to remain in the dark and not speak to the media, according to two people involved in the investigation.

The news was so closely watched that even some senior committee members and aides to lawmakers were kept out Monday afternoon. Three people familiar with the investigation said the secrecy was partly due to credible threats to the safety of a witness.

The committee remained in negotiation with potential witnesses to appear publicly as hearings continued. Vice President Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) appealed to former White House attorney Pat Cipollone after revealing the committee had evidence that he and “his office tried to do the right thing and “tried to stop a number” of former President Donald Trump’s plans for Jan. 6.

“We believe the American people deserve to hear from Mr. Cipollone personally,” Cheney said, adding that the committee is “certain that Donald Trump does not want Mr. Cipollone to testify here.”

The revised timeline comes days after the committee announced a brief hiatus to assess new evidence and records obtained by the committee, with plans to wait until after the July 4 recess for any further public hearings. The sudden change suggested an urgency and sensitivity around Tuesday’s presentation.

Last week, British filmmaker Alex Holder met with committee investigators behind closed doors and provided more than 10 hours of footage to the panel of interviews with Trump, his adult children, former Vice President Mike Pence, and the attack on the Capitol by a pro- Trump Mafia. The committee has been in contact with new people involved in efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, including conservative activist Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, who is the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, as well as Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala. ).

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Brooks, who lost his run-off in the Alabama Senate last week, emailed the White House five days after the Capitol attack asking for forgiveness for himself, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R -Fla.) And all lawmakers who “voted to reject voting submissions from the Arizona and Pennsylvania electoral colleges,” according to evidence presented by the committee. Responding to lawmakers’ repeated requests to appear before the committee , the Alabama lawmaker said he was willing to testify, but only publicly.

Tuesday’s hearing is unlikely to focus on topics that have already been teased by the committee, including a hearing on the extremist groups that have stormed the Capitol and another that breaks down the 187 minutes that it took the former president to respond to the violence on January 6, 2021.

Tuesday’s hearing will be the committee’s sixth public session this month. The committee has already told parts of the complicated story of how Trump and his allies tried to overturn the 2020 election results. Previous hearings have focused on pressure campaigns targeting state and local officials, Justice Department leaders and Pence.

The hearings featured live and pre-recorded testimony from figures in Trump’s own orbit as well as Republican officials, including Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, former Attorney General William P. Barr and Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to the head of the White House at the time. Mark Meadows staff.


Washington

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