POLITICS

Here's what you need to know about the Jan. 6 committee and its June hearings

Chelsey Cox
USA TODAY

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its first public hearing Thursday in prime time. 

Since its formation in 2021, the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol – as it's formally known  has interviewed hundreds of witnesses and subpoenaed almost 100 allies of former President Donald Trump, as well as other individuals and businesses deemed responsible for events surrounding the attack on the Capitol.

The hearings will examine the evidence the committee has gathered to answer simple questions: What happened that day? Who was involved in the planning and execution of the insurrection? How can future attacks be prevented?

When will the hearings begin and end? What has the committee already learned? Here's what we know.

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When will the Jan. 6 committee hearings begin?

The first public hearing is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET Thursday and will be carried by the major networks and most cable news channels.

Seven more hearingsare scheduled over the next few weeks.

What is the mission of the Jan. 6 committee and its hearings?

The Jan. 6 committee is expected to hear testimony and unveil evidence collected over the past year to provide a fuller picture of how the plan to attack the Capitol started, who was involved and what exactly was going on at the White House that day. A final report is scheduled for the fall.

Its mission is not only to learn new information provided by the witnesses who appear before it, but also to share with the American public what its investigation has uncovered about the attempted insurrection.

Liz Cheney on Jan. 6 Capitol attack:'We must know what happened'

Who is on the House committee on Jan. 6?

Leadership:

  • Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairperson
  • Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., co-chair & minority member

Majority members:

  • Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.
  • Elaine Luria, D-Va.
  • Adam Schiff, D-Calif.
  • Pete Aguilar, D-Calif.
  • Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla.
  • Jamie Raskin, D-Md.

Minority member:

  • Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.

Who will testify? Has Pence or Trump cooperated?

Multiple people interviewed by the committee, including Trump's children Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, might testify during the hearings. Jared Kushner, former aide to Trump and Ivanka's husband, could also testify.

Former Justice Department officials Jeff Rosen and Richard Donoghue are also likely to be called to testify before the committee, sources told CNN.

The committee sought former Vice President Mike Pence's testimony in January. Members of Pence's staff, including his former press secretary Alyssa Farah and chief of staff Marc Short, have already cooperated with the committee, according to reports.

Former President Trump has tried in vain to block White House documents from the committee. In November, a federal judge declined to issue a preliminary injunction requested by Trump's lawyers to keep the records private on the basis of executive privilege.

Who has been subpoenaed?

The committee has subpoenaed nearly 100 people and organizations with connection to events surrounding the attack on the Capitol, including some members of Congress.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was subpoenaed along with four other House representatives.

Why was Kevin McCarthy subpoenaed?

McCarthy refused to voluntary cooperate with the committee's investigation, according to his subpoena.

He was compelled to testify about his knowledge of events before, during and after the attack on Jan. 6.

What evidence has the Jan. 6 committee collected?

The committee has accessed hundreds of pages of Trump's diaries, call logs and aides' handwritten notes in preparation for the hearing. 

Trump fought the release of the documents in court on the basis of executive privilege, but President Joe Biden waived executive privilege for the investigation and the Supreme Court refused to hear Trump's appeal.

The National Archives and Records Administration, which houses the records, also discovered Trump had taken 15 boxes of White House records with him to Florida. The records must be turned over to the National Archives if Trump is found in violation of the Presidential Records Act. The Justice Department is investigating the handling of the records taken to Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort.   

The Jan. 6 committee asked Facebook, Google and Twitter and other technology companies in mid-2021 to supply records on efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

The committee sought to learn more about any policy changes made or not made by the companies to address the spread of misinformation, violent extremism and foreign influence, including decisions to ban content.

Companies 4chan, 8kun, Gab, Parler, Reddit, Snapchat, Telegram, theDonald.win, TikTok, Twitch and Zello were also targeted by the committee.

Reach out to Chelsey Cox on Twitter at @therealco.