Jan. 6 Panel Reschedules Final Hearing as Key Questions Remain Unresolved

The committee, whose work has mostly faded from view since it wrapped up a summertime series of hearings in July, is toiling to conclude its investigation and recapture public attention.

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Jan. 6 Panel Reschedules Final Hearing as Key Questions Remain Unresolved | INFBusiness.com

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol will have another hearing, possibly its last, next week.

WASHINGTON — The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol has rescheduled its next and potentially final hearing for Thursday, Oct. 13 at 1 p.m., when it will attempt to refocus the country’s attention on former President Donald J. Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election and the continuing threat that election deniers pose to American democracy.

Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and chairman of the committee, said last week he expected the hearing to be the panel’s first without live testimony from witnesses. But he promised the committee would present new revelations about the Capitol riot and the events that led to it.

“We still have significant information that we’ve not shown to the public,” Mr. Thompson told reporters on Capitol Hill.

The hearing, which Mr. Thompson had previously said would be the panel’s last barring unforeseen revelations, was postponed abruptly last week as Hurricane Ian bore down on Florida.

The rescheduled session will come as the committee, with only months remaining in its work, still faces many significant unresolved issues. It still must decide whether to issue subpoenas to Mr. Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence, a possibility that appears increasingly unlikely with each passing day. Members must weigh whether to enforce subpoenas issued to Republican members of Congress who have refused to cooperate with their inquiry, when to turn the investigative files over to the Justice Department and whether to make criminal referrals.

The panel also must reach a consensus on what legislative recommendations to make. And perhaps most daunting, its staff must still deliver a comprehensive written report that lawmakers had hoped to complete and release well before next month’s midterm elections, but whose publication date has slipped repeatedly, placing that self-imposed deadline in serious doubt.

The hearing now scheduled for next week is expected to focus on Mr. Trump’s central role in attempting to overturn the 2020 election and to look toward continuing threats against American democracy.

“We face a clear and present danger from election deniers on the ballot at different levels all across the country,” said Representative Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland and a member of the committee. “We face a clear and present danger in the continuing efforts of the domestic violent extremist groups to attack our political and social order. There is further peril in the way that social media carries fanatical messages and conspiracy theories all over the country without any meaningful efforts to combat or counter that.”

On Wednesday, Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming and the vice chairwoman of the committee, traveled to Arizona and spoke at the McCain Institute for International Leadership against her party’s nominees for governor and secretary of state there who have embraced Mr. Trump’s lie of widespread election fraud in 2020.

“We cannot give people power who have told us that they will not honor elections,” Ms. Cheney said. “Elections are the foundation of our republic, and peaceful transfers of power are the foundation of our republic.”

At next week’s hearing, the committee is expected to use some evidence from a Danish film crew that trailed the political operative Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime ally of Mr. Trump, for a documentary titled “A Storm Foretold.”

Included in the evidence the film crew provided are text messages that show that Mr. Stone sought a pardon in connection with the events of Jan. 6 and maintained close relationships with the leaders of two far-right extremist groups, the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers.

The footage also shows Mr. Stone using bellicose language, endorsing violence and laying out plans to create and exploit uncertainty about the election results to help Mr. Trump cling to power.

The committee obtained the footage from the filmmakers after extensive negotiations, issuing a subpoena and then traveling to Copenhagen to spend a week going through the evidence. Its investigators received about 10 minutes out of 170 hours of footage from a crew, which has denied similar access to the F.B.I.

The panel also could use some of the testimony of Virginia Thomas, the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas and a conservative activist who pushed to overturn the 2020 election. Ms. Thomas testified last week that she did not discuss those efforts with her husband, during a closed-door interview in which she continued to perpetuate the false claim that the election was stolen.

While Mr. Thompson and other Democrats on the panel have said the hearing would likely be the committee’s last, Ms. Cheney has pledged additional hearings.

Source: nytimes.com

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