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Jan. 6 panel promises 'previously unseen material' in prime-time hearing on June 9

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wy., will lead the public hearings for the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol.
Drew Angerer
Getty Images
Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wy., will lead the public hearings for the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol released an official notice that it will hold the first hearing on what it has found so far about the deadly siege on Thursday, June 9 in prime time at 8 p.m. ET.

In the notice made late on Thursday, the panel also said witnesses for the hearing would be announced next week.

At the hearing, the panel will "present previously unseen material documenting January 6th, receive witness testimony, preview additional hearings, and provide the American people a summary of its findings about the coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and prevent the transfer of power," it said.

This will be the first public hearing held by the committee in nearly a year. During the last hearing, in July, four police officers gave graphic accounts of the physical and verbal assaults they endured while protecting the Capitol and the lawmakers who had gathered on Jan. 6, 2021, to count and certify states' electoral votes from the 2020 election. Over 100 law enforcement officers were injured and several people died after pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol to overturn the election results.

Altogether, the panel is expected to hold about a half dozen public hearings in June and release a report on its findings in September. Committee members say the hearings will provide a narrative for what led up to the attack, who helped organize and fund some of the outside groups promoting false claims that Joe Biden did not rightfully win the election, and what then President Trump was doing behind the scenes around the time of the violent insurrection.

In recent months, the committee has held several business meetings to approve contempt charges against a handful of former Trump administration officials who refused to cooperate with the investigation.

Former White House chief of Staff Mark Meadows initially cooperated with a subpoena and turned over text messages and emails, but then reversed course and declined to appear or provide additional documents. Former aides Steve Bannon, Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino also defied subpoenas from the panel. The full House approved contempt charges for all four and referred them to the Justice Department. So far, DOJ has indicted Bannon for failing to comply with a congressional subpoena and his trial is set for this summer.

The committee has interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses, publicly subpoenaed about 100 individuals, and received tens of thousands of pages in documents since it was created roughly a year ago.

Initially top leaders from both parties pushed for an outside, independent commission to probe the riot, but Republican members decided to oppose that effort and also voted against setting up the select committee. Once the committee was approved, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., then tapped five members from his party to serve on it. But after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., rejected three of them, McCarthy boycotted the panel. Pelosi tapped Republicans Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois to serve on the committee.

Five House Republicans, including McCarthy, have received committee subpoenas that focused on their communications with Trump and others around the attack, but have so far declined to appear before the committee.

The panel does not have the authority to bring any criminal charges against the former president or any of those involved in the events leading up to or on the day of the attack, but several panel members maintain the Justice Department could take action even without the committee's report.

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Deirdre Walsh is the congress editor for NPR's Washington Desk.