The House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol building is planning to hold at least eight public hearings early this summer.
The hearings will begin on June 9, and last throughout that month, committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi) told reporters this week.
Thompson explained that the hearings will help “tell the story about what happened” on January 6, 2021, when a mob of loyalists to former President Donald Trump, prompted by his incendiary speech at the White House that morning, violently breached the Capitol building in an attempt to interrupt the certification of the 2020 presidential election.
“It will give the public the benefit [of] more than a year’s worth of investigation [that] has gone to the committee,” Thompson said of the public hearings.
Thompson also told reporters that the committee plans to request more Republicans voluntarily speak to investigators regarding what happened prior to, on the day off, and after the Capitol attack. The requests will include at least three current members of the House of Representatives, including Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Scott Perry (R-Pennsylvania), as well as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California).
The three have previously refused to speak with the committee on a voluntary basis, but Thompson left open the possibility of subpoenaing them if they ignore the request again. Thompson also told reporters that the Republicans’ testimony is important as it will allow them “to tell their side” of what happened.
McCarthy’s testimony is likely of great interest to the committee, especially in light of unearthed conversations he had with House Republican caucus members in the days after the January 6 attack. According to This Will Not Pass, a new book by New York Times reporters, McCarthy reportedly blamed Trump for the Capitol breach, acknowledging that the former president had “incit[ed]” the mob of his loyalists to attack Congress that day. McCarthy also called Trump’s actions “atrocious and totally wrong,” and pledged to ask for his resignation.
However, McCarthy appeared to have patched things up with Trump soon after, as the two posed for a photo op at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida in the same month that the attack took place.
Although McCarthy initially denied ever saying the quotes that were attributed to him in the book, the authors verified the quotes by releasing audio recordings of his conversations with other Republicans.
Several Republicans have claimed that Americans are ready to move past the events of January 6, 2021, but polling seems to indicate otherwise.
“You guys obsess over January 6,” Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wisconsin) said earlier this week, referring to the media. “Nobody cares. It’s history.”
In spite of Grothman’s assessment, however, most Americans appear to support continued examination of the Capitol attack. A Pew Research poll from earlier this year found that only 35 percent of the public say that the attack has gotten too much attention, while 33 percent say that it has gotten the right amount of attention and 31 percent say it has gotten too little attention.