Members of the Capitol’s Jan. 6 Riot Committee know what to expect at this week’s hearings

Committee members attend the public hearing of the United States House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, USA , June 9, 2022.

Jonathan Ernest | Reuters

Members of the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot were tight-lipped about what to expect during public hearings this week, giving few details beyond their track record to prove that former President Donald Trump is to blame for efforts to nullify the 2020 election results.

The first public hearing held by the nine-member committee took place on Thursday evening, and three more days of hearings have been officially scheduled for Monday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

Among the revelations of the first hearing, several Republican congressmen asked for a presidential pardon. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the committee’s vice chair and one of its two Republican members, named Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., as one of those representatives. Perry denied the claim, calling it a “shameless” and “soulless” lie.

The identities of the other members of Congress who requested the pardon remain unknown, but several committee members said in television appearances on Sunday that they believed the requests showed they knew they were doing something illegal. .

“To me, I think this is one of the most compelling pieces of evidence of awareness of guilt. Why would members do this if they felt that their involvement in this conspiracy to nullify the election was in some way appropriate kind?” California Rep. Adam Schiff said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, the other Republican representative on the Jan. 6 committee, echoed that thought during an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

“Usually if someone asks for forgiveness it’s because they really fear they’ve done something illegal. I’ll leave it at that, but I’ll say more information will come,” he said. -he declares.

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is not on the committee, said on CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ the same day that every member of Congress should be able to respond if they seek a pardon. .

“When you don’t know which of your colleagues was part of a potential conspiracy, we have to find out,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “I believe the committee would never make such a serious allegation without very substantial evidence to present to the American public.”

Maryland Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, who sits on the select committee, said the investigation was not restricted to the public.

“I guess our whole investigation is a referral of crimes both to the Justice Department and to the American people, because this is a massive assault on the machinery of American democracy,” he said. during an appearance on “State of the Union”.

But he did not say the Justice Department should indict Trump, saying instead that he respects the independence of law enforcement. Schiff, for his part, told ABC’s Martha Raddatz that he wanted the DOJ to investigate.

“I would like to see the Department of Justice investigate any credible allegations of criminal activity by Donald Trump or anyone else. The rule of law should apply to everyone equally “Schiff said.

Monday’s hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. ET. The committee is expected to focus on Trump’s disinformation campaign and the lack of evidence to support claims of voter fraud.

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