The House Select Committee investigating what caused the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol begins a series of hearings Thursday night by presenting its evidence of a coordinated effort to stop certification of the 2020 presidential election and the to keep former President Trump in office.
“We can’t sweep what happened under the rug,” said Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) in his opening statement, according to an excerpt from the committee. “The American people deserve answers. So I come before you tonight not as a Democrat, but as an American who swore an oath to defend the Constitution. The Constitution doesn’t just protect Democrats or just Republicans. It protects us all: “We the People”. And this scheme was an attempt to undermine the will of the people.”
Thompson and other members of the panel have stressed that the hearings will not only address the Capitol riot a year and a half ago, but also what can be done to prevent similar events from happening again.
“Our democracy remains in danger. The conspiracy to thwart the will of the people is not over yet. There are people in this country who thirst for power but have no love or respect for what makes America great: devotion to the Constitution, loyalty to the rule of law, our common path to building a more perfect union,” Thompson plans to say his Opening speech.
The hearing, held behind closed doors in prime time after more than 10 months of investigation, marks the committee’s first report to the American public, and at least five more hearings are expected to follow this month. Thompson and Vice Chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) are expected to provide more details at Thursday’s hearing about who will testify at those hearings and what topics they will cover.
House Republicans chose not to formally serve on the committee because Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) turned down two representatives recommended by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) to serve on the panel . Pelosi asked Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) to serve to ensure the committee was impartial and quorate.
Republicans have criticized the committee on social media and in television interviews rather than dismissing claims made in the hearing room. Hours before Thursday’s hearing began, the Republican National Committee called it a “prime-time political circus.”
Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), the senior Republican on the committee that oversees House functions, has said one of the party’s first priorities will be investigating Pelosi and the Jan once the GOP gains control recovered via the House of Representatives 6 committee.
https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2022-06-09/jan-6-hearings-day-1 Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection hearings kick off in Washington