Sunday, November 27

How to watch Thursday’s primetime Jan. 6 hearing focused on what Trump was doing during Capitol attack

The House Jan. 6 committee will be conducting a public hearing on Thursday, this time in primetime. It is expected to focus on what former President Donald Trump was doing during the 187 minutes after rioters descended on the Capitol and before he issued he a public response. 

CBS News will broadcast the hearing as a Special Report starting at 8 p.m. ET anchored by Norah O’Donnell. 

Two former Trump White House officials who resigned as a result of the Jan. 6 attack: Former deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger — who announced his departure that day — and Trump deputy White House press secretary Sarah Matthews. 

Committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson said Tuesday he had tested positive for COVID-19 and would not be attending Thursday’s hearing. A spokesperson for the committee said he instructed the committee to go ahead with the hearing, and committee member Rep. Pete Aguilar confirmed the hearing would proceed as scheduled.

Capitol Riot Investigation
FILE – From left, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., staff counsel Dan George, Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., staff counsel Candyce Phoenix, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., and Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., sit on the dais as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

“That’s what he’s asked and that’s what we’ll do,” he said Tuesday.

Former Trump White House staffer Garrett Ziegler testified privately before the committee on Tuesday. Ziegler was an aide to trade adviser Peter Navarro, who has been charged with contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena to appear before the committee. 

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who will be one of the committee members leading Thursday’s hearing, told “Face the Nation” Sunday that the hearing will “open people’s eyes in a big way” about Trump’s behavior.

“I can’t necessarily say that the motives behind every piece of information we know we’ll be able to explain, but this is going to open people’s eyes in a big way,” Kinzinger said. He added, “I’ll give you this preview: the president didn’t do very much but gleefully watch television during this time frame.”

Kinzinger, a Republican, urged the American people, and his GOP colleagues in particular, to “watch this with an open mind” and ask, “Is this the kind of strong leader you really think you deserve?”

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security watchdog told lawmakers that the U.S. Secret Service had erased texts from Jan. 5 and 6. DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari said the messages were deleted after his office requested the records, and the Secret Service claimed some phone data had been erased unintentionally as a part of a pre-planned system migration.

The House Jan. 6 committee gave the Secret Service a deadline of Tuesday to turn over its texts. The Secret Service said Tuesday that it had delivered text messages to the committee and other records involving the planning and operations for Jan. 6. But Secret Service officials also said that text messages that were not delivered to the committee “are presumed to be permanently deleted.” The agency is exploring whether forensic analysis of the phones or some other means can restore the lost messages.

This will be the eighth hearing the select committee has held this summer and the ninth overall. It may be the last until the committee finishes its report after the yearlong investigation.

The previous public hearings have focused on the mobilization of the rioters at the Capitol, Trump’s speech at the Ellipse on Jan. 6 ahead of the riot and his desire to join his supporters. The committee has also detailed as Trump’s pressure campaigns after Election Day to push his baseless elections claims on Pence, the Justice Department, state lawmakers and local elections officials

The hearings have revealed new details about a scheme to put forward alternate electors who support Trump in seven battleground states that President Joe Biden won. Thompson said last week that the Justice Department had requested information about the scheme. 

“The only issue that we’ve engaged them on is the list of the fraudulent electors that were submitted,” Thompson told reporters last week. “That’s the first tranche that we’ve been talking to them about.”  

Nikole Killion and Nicole Sganga contributed to this report.

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