What have we learned so far about the January 6 attack on the Capitol and when are the next sessions?
We’re halfway through the House select committee’s investigation into the January 6 riot. What has the panel discovered?
Despite the cost of living crisis dominating the mind sof most Americans, the House select committee investigating the events of January 6 continues its efforts unabated. At the halfway point of proceedings, much has been released, including dozens of testimonies from Donald Trump insiders and allies, explaining their role in the riot and the events surrounding it.
Alongside that, the panel has heard from first responders to the scene, including police officers who were woefully underprepared to prevent the riot.
We take a look at some of the big talking points so far.
Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards spoke about her experience during the events of January 6th, 2021, during the first night of hearings the Select House Committee will hold over the coming weeks. The testimony of Officer Edwards is harrowing and provides the country with a first-hand account of what law enforcement officers faced as a violent mob made its way towards and later into the US Capitol.
The public also saw new statements from interviews conducted with various members of the Trump Administration including, former-Attorney General Bill Barr and General Milley, the Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“I did not agree with the idea of saying that the election was stolen and putting out this stuff which I told the President was bullshit,” said former Attorney-General Barr. The hearing was also shown evidence at threats made by the mob towards Mike Pence, which was more of the focus in the third hearing.
Several witnesses spoke at the second hearing last week, offering some insight into what was going on in the Trump camp in the aftermath of the November 2020 election.
It was also shown that millions of dollars were raised for a so-called “Election Defense Fund” immediately after the election result. However, in a testimony from former Trump campaign staffer Hanna Allred, it was shown that the fund didn’t really exist and it was not clear where the money was going.
“I don’t believe there is actually a fund called the Election Defense Fund,” Allred testified.
It was also claimed by Liz Cheney, one of the two Democrat members of the committee, that Trump did not listen to his advisors who told him to respect the result but that he did listen to a “definitely intoxicated” Rudy Giuliani. Former Trump adviser Jason Miller corroborated this in a video but Giuliani’s lawyer dismissed this in a statement.
Last Thursday’s hearing focused upon then-vice president Mike Pence. The committee heard how Trump, assisted by lawyer John Eastman, applied plenty of pressure onto Pence in an attempt to get him to overturn the election result as per his governmental remit.
However, Pence refused to budge and Greg Jacob, a counsel to the vice president, told the committee that Pence was never in mind to follow his boss’ word. “Our review of text, history, and frankly, just common sense, all confirm the vice president’s first instinct on that point, there is no justifiable basis to conclude that the vice president has that kind of authority,” he told the committee in live testimony.
The first steps were also ideas mooted to prosecute Donald Trump for the events on January 6. Earlier this year, a federal judge said it was “more likely than not” that Trump and Eastman conspired and “corruptly attempted to obstruct” Congress.
When are the next three sessions?
After the three hearings that have already taken place, two more hearings are scheduled for Tuesday, June 21, and Thursday, June 23. A date for the final hearing has yet to be set.
Recordings of all the hearings that have already taken place can be found on the select committee’s YouTube channel.