With just two days to go before the debut of the Jan. 6 Select Committee’s public hearings, new details have emerged on potential witnesses and the focus of the first hearing.
The committee has not yet officially announced who it will call as witnesses on Thursday. But a New York Times report offered a glimpse at what to expect from the first hearing, which will reportedly focus largely on the far-right group the Proud Boys and its members’ involvement in the deadly Capitol insurrection. On Monday, five members of the group, including leader Enrique Tarrio, were charged with seditious conspiracy over their alleged role in the attack.
The committee’s first public hearing will reportedly include testimony from documentary filmmaker Nick Quested, who was embedded with the group as it stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, the Times reported. Additionally, Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards, who suffered injuries in an assault allegedly triggered by the Proud Boys, is scheduled to testify as well.
Here’s a rundown of more details that have emerged in recent days, giving us a more solid idea of what to expect from the hearings:
Who has reportedly been confirmed to testify
Former Pence chief of staff Marc Short, former Pence chief counsel Greg Jacob and former federal Judge J. Michael Luttig, who has direct ties to Pence, are reportedly expected to appear as witnesses, according to the Washington Post. Last week, CNN reported on the committee’s invitation to several of former Vice President Mike Pence’s aides to testify during public hearings.
A top aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has reportedly also confirmed her testimony. Cassidy Hutchinson, who has previously sat for multiple depositions with committee investigators, is expected to play a “starring role” in the hearings, people familiar with the matter told the Washington Post.
Hutchinson has reportedly provided the committee with extensive information about Meadows’ Big Lie activities. Hutchinson reportedly told the panel last month that Meadows knew that Trump was a fan of his supporters’ “Hang Mike Pence!” chants. Hutchinson also reportedly kept detailed schedules of activities in the West Wing and had extensive talks with Meadows.
According to the Post, Hutchinson’s live testimony before the committee will be accompanied by video footage of her previous interviews before investigators.
Additionally, although they are not scheduled to testify in person, the committee is reportedly considering airing footage of testimony from Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, people familiar with the investigation told the Post. Trump reportedly spoke to the panel about her father’s actions in the West Wing on Jan. 6.
Who the committee has invited to testify
The committee has reportedly issued additional requests for testimony from former Justice Department officials who refused to act on pressure from Trump and his allies to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.
The panel is reportedly waiting for then-acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen and his deputy Richard Donoghue to respond to formal requests to testify, two people briefed on the matter told the Times.
People familiar with the discussions also told the Times that the committee is still in informal talks with Pat A. Cipollone, one of the top lawyers in the Trump White House, and Byung J. Pak, who formerly served as U.S. attorney in Atlanta before his sudden resignation on Jan. 4, 2021. TPM was first to report that Pak resigned over Trump’s plan to fire him for refusing to declare that the election was fraudulent.
How hearings will be organized
The Post report also offered insight into the committee’s thinking on themes for each of the hearings, of which there are expected to be at least six.
The first hearing will likely feature an opening argument and overview of the events of Jan. 6, as well as relevant events that preceded the insurrection that the committee has uncovered in its investigation, the Post reported. Lawmakers are also expected to zero in on the proliferation of Trump’s election fraud falsehoods that continue to pose threats to future elections, according to the Post.
The following hearings will focus on particular plot lines entangled in the scheme to subvert the election results, with one hearing expected to specifically focus on the fake Trump electors, people involved with the investigation told the Post.
Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Elaine Luria (D-VA), who serve as members of the committee, are expected to lead the final hearing. The final hearing will reportedly focus primarily on Trump’s whereabouts before and during the Jan. 6 insurrection. The few remaining “bombshell” revelations in the hearings will reportedly come in the final hearing, a person familiar with the planning told the Post.
Behind the scenes
Committee vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) is reportedly taking an “aggressive role” in organizing the hearings, people familiar with the matter told the Post.
Additionally, former ABC News president James Goldston has reportedly joined the committee as an unannounced adviser to help the panel with its public multimedia presentations on troves of explosive material, according to Axios. Goldston reportedly envisions the public hearings as a “blockbuster investigative special” where reporters will find fresh material that they can continue digging into after hearings.