Monday, July 15, 2024
    HomePoliticsHouse January 6 committee will not hold hearing on Thursday

    House January 6 committee will not hold hearing on Thursday

    A committee aide told CNN later Monday that “we expect that we will hold a hearing next week.”

    The reason for delaying the hearing, the aide said, was to give members and investigators time to process the “new and important information” it has received “on a daily basis.”

    The panel had not formally advised a Thursday hearing, which must typically be done a week in advance, but there were preliminary plans in the works to hold the hearing Thursday during prime time. The committee can call a hearing on short notice with an agreement of the chairman and vice chairwoman.
    This hearing is expected to be focused on the 187 minutes that the US Capitol was under siege and what former President Donald Trump was, and perhaps more importantly, was not doing as the riot was unfolding. Members of the committee have described his conduct as a “dereliction of duty.”
    The decision to move the hearing back could be connected to the committee’s recent deposition of former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, who met with investigators last Friday for more than seven hours. Cipollone is believed to have unique insight into what was happening in the West Wing during key moments on January 6, and excerpts of his closed-door interview with the panel are expected to be featured during the committee’s next hearing, committee aides said on Monday.
    The next hearing is scheduled on Tuesday for 1 p.m. ET, and committee members have said it will focus on how the violent mob came together and the role of extremist groups in the deadly insurrection.

    Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, a member of the committee, in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” said the Tuesday hearing will zero in on connections between the Trump administration and militia groups such as the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys. She acknowledged that Roger Stone, a Trump ally, and Michael Flynn, Trump’s onetime national security adviser, could be two of those connections, among others.

    Cipollone’s taped testimony expected Tuesday

    Cipollone’s videoed testimony is expected to appear at Tuesday’s hearing. Cipollone was asked about a meeting that took place on December 18, 2020, in the White House, where Trump welcomed a group of the most extreme election deniers to the West Wing, to plot a course to attempt to stand in the way of Joe Biden’s certification as President of the United States.

    As CNN previously reported, the meeting included Flynn and his lawyer Sidney Powell, two people familiar with the matter said, describing a session that began as an impromptu gathering but devolved and eventually broke out into screaming matches at certain points as some of Trump’s aides pushed back on Powell and Flynn’s more outrageous suggestions about overturning the election.

    Select committee aides on background Monday told CNN that Flynn will be among the former Trump associates whose role in overturning the election will be highlighted during Tuesday’s hearing.

    Two sources familiar with Cipollone’s testimony tell CNN that he was asked extensively about his role in that meeting and what was discussed. A source familiar with Cipollone’s testimony told CNN that the he described to the committee his view of how insane the meeting was.

    The committee aides also said that meeting on December 18 is of high interest to the panel’s investigation. They pointed to a tweet Trump sent the following day, encouraging his supporters to descend on Washington as a key moment that ultimately led to the violence on Capitol Hill on January 6.

    “We’ll talk about how that was a pivotal moment that spurred a chain of events, including pre-planning by the Proud Boys who you probably know are an extremist group that led the invasion of the Capitol on that day,” the aide said.

    Cipollone’s deposition was recorded on video, and January 6 committee members have promised that portions of his deposition will be shown during Tuesday’s hearing.

    Other witnesses to testify Tuesday

    Stephen Ayres, one of the many people who descended on Capitol Hill on January 6 and was later accused and pleaded guilty to entering the Capitol illegally will be among those scheduled to testify at Tuesday’s hearing, a source familiar with the committee’s plans confirms to CNN. ABC News was first to report Ayres’ scheduled appearance.

    Jason Van Tatenhove, a former spokesperson and self-described “propagandist” for the Oath Keepers, is expected to testify on Tuesday, a source familiar with the hearing plans confirmed to CNN on Sunday. Van Tatenhove told Colorado TV station KDVR of his invitation last week.

    What the January 6 committee will present this week and what we've learned so far
    The connections between Trump associates and the extremist groups have shown up in the Justice Department’s cases against members of the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, including some members providing “security” to Stone, for instance. Stone also has close ties to prominent members of the Proud Boys, going back years. Neither Stone nor Flynn has been charged with a crime connected to January 6.

    Committee aides said Monday that the hearing would seek to draw connections between the various pressure campaigns Trump undertook to try to overturn the 2020 election and how “all the elements came together” and erupted into violence at the Capitol on January 6.

    The hearing, aides said, would scrutinize Trump’s actions, including the Oval Office meeting held in December 2020 to discuss the prospect of seizing voting machines or appointing a special counsel to investigate supposed voter fraud, as well as the tweet Trump sent afterward encouraging people to come to Washington, DC, on January 6.

    The hearing will show the “impact” that the Trump tweet had on the lead-up to January 6, the aides said, saying it was as “pivotal moment that spurred a chain of events, including pre-planning by Proud Boys.”

    Democratic Reps. Stephanie Murphy of Florida and Jamie Raskin of Maryland will jointly lead the hearing, which also plans to examine the Q-Anon movement and to look at how members of Congress were involved in Trump’s pressure campaign leading up to January 6, specifically related to then-Vice President Mike Pence.

    This story has been updated with additional developments Monday.

    CNN’s Pamela Brown and Devan Cole contributed to this report.



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