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House January 6 committee plans eight hearings for June

McCarthy defends remarks on audio recordings
House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy defends remarks on leaked audio recordings 07:25

The House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol plans to hold eight public hearings in the month of June after wrapping up its depositions in May, the panel's chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson, said Thursday.

"We'll tell the story about what happened," Thompson said. "We will use a combination of witnesses, exhibits, things that we have through the tens of thousands of exhibits we've [...] looked at, as well as the hundreds of witnesses we deposed or just talked to in general."

The committee previously held a hearing in July 2021 that featured testimony from police officers who helped defend the Capitol from the mob on January 6, 2021. According to Thompson, the eight remaining hearings will be spread out during the daytime and in primetime. Thompson said the first hearing will be held June 9.

The panel then plans to release a full report about the deadly attack on the Capitol in early fall, he said earlier this week. That was a change from the committee's initial plan to release an interim report before then. 

Capitol Riot Contempt
Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., of the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection, arrives to testify before the House Rules Committee seeking contempt of Congress charges against former President Donald Trump advisers Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino in response to their refusal to comply with subpoenas, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, April 4, 2022. J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Committee member Jamie Raskin told CBS News' "Red & Blue" that "eight is a lot of hearings," pointing out that most subjects before Congress get one or maybe two hearings. Raskin said the committee divided it up into chapters "that will allow for the unfolding of the narrative."

Raskin said no decision had been made about what specific witnesses will appear at the hearings, including former Vice President Mike Pence. Raskin suggested that Pence might not be asked to appear at before the committee, saying, "I think we have what we need from him." 

Raskin praised Pence for staying at the Capitol to ensure that Congress could affirm the Electoral College count of the ballots, despite the threats he faced from the mob at the Capitol and then-President Trump, who had tweeted that day that Pence "didn't have the courage to do what should have been done," that is, to overturn the election.

The committee previously planned to restart hearings in May, but delayed that plan to hold more depositions. The panel continues to engage with everyone still on their deposition wish list, including Donald Trump, Jr., Thompson said. 

By the end of this week, the panel will renew its request to speak with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and put in additional requests to speak with other Republican members, Thompson said. 

In audio recordings recently released by The New York Times, McCarthy told Republicans on January 10, 2021 that former President Donald Trump's allies in the House are "putting people in jeopardy" with their public tweets and comments that could put other lawmakers at risk of violence. In another recording that was released earlier by the Times, McCarthy told House Republicans that Trump had acknowledged bearing some responsibility.

The House created the select committee last year to investigate the January 6 attack, when thousands of Trump supporters descended on the Capitol as Congress counted the electoral votes, a largely ceremonial final step affirming Mr. Biden's victory. Lawmakers were sent fleeing amid the riot, which led to the deaths of five people and the arrests of hundreds more. Trump, who encouraged his supporters to "walk over" to the Capitol during the rally at the Ellipse before the electoral vote count, was impeached by the House one week later for inciting the riot but was later acquitted by the Senate.

To date, the committee has conducted nearly 935 depositions and interviews and received nearly 104,000 documents, according to an aide to the panel. 

Nikole Killion contributed to this report.

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