Bennie Thompson says the committee hopes to “set the tone” of the investigation by hearing from these first responders, a lot of whom had been brutally overwhelmed and verbally abused by former President Donald Trump’s supporters
A brand new House committee investigating the January 6 rebellion on the Capitol is anticipated to carry its first public hearing this month with cops who responded to the attack and custodial employees who cleaned up afterward, chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson mentioned Friday.
Thompson, D-Miss., says the committee hopes to “set the tone” of the investigation by hearing from these first responders, a lot of whom had been brutally overwhelmed and verbally abused by former President Donald Trump’s supporters as they pushed previous legislation enforcement and broke into the Capitol to interrupt the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.
Referring to the cops, Mr Thompson informed The Associated Press in an interview, “We need to hear how they felt, we need to hear what people who broke into the Capitol said to them.” He mentioned the members of the panel, who held an preliminary technique session this week, need to body that first hearing in order that it’s clear that they’re critical, and likewise that they care about “those individuals who either secure the Capitol or clean the Capitol.”
Mr Thompson mentioned the choose committee is eyeing the week of July 19 for the hearing, which is prone to be a dramatic curtain-raiser for the brand new investigation. An growing variety of cops who responded to the attack, together with members of the U.S. Capitol Police and Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department, have lobbied for Congress to launch an impartial, bipartisan investigation of the rebellion, however that proposal was blocked by Senate Republicans.
The officers have pressured Republicans who’ve downplayed the violence to take heed to their tales, and several other watched from the gallery final week because the House voted alongside social gathering strains to type the choose committee.
Two Senate committees have already investigated the attack and made safety suggestions, however they didn’t study the origins of the siege, leaving many unanswered questions.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has appointed eight members to the choose committee, together with seven Democrats and Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming. Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has discretion over 5 extra appointments, although Pelosi should approve them.
Mr McCarthy has not but mentioned who he will appoint or if Republicans will even take part within the probe, as many are nonetheless loyal to Trump. Some have sought to downplay the rebellion and deny the political motives behind it.
Mr Thompson mentioned the panel welcomes Republican members, however will be transferring forward even when McCarthy chooses to not take part. Under the committee’s guidelines, the eight members appointed by Pelosi will be sufficient for the committee to have a working quorum. He mentioned an absence of GOP participation will not diminish what the committee is attempting to do.
“As chair, my role is to keep the committee moving forward, making sure that whatever deflections that come up basically would not impede the work of the committee,” he said. “And I plan to do that.” Mr Thompson mentioned the central focus of the investigations will be why the programs that had been in place that day failed — why there wasn’t a better presence of legislation enforcement, why the army was delayed for hours because the police had been shortly overwhelmed and why essential intelligence predicting the attack was missed.
The panel can also be anticipated to probe the hyperlinks that some rioters needed to white supremacist teams. Mr Thompson mentioned an evaluation by FBI Director Christopher Wray that racially motivated violent extremism, and particularly white supremacy, is without doubt one of the greatest threats to U.S. safety “tells me that the significance of this committee’s work is as important as it can ever get.” Thompson hasn’t mentioned whether or not the panel will name Trump to testify, however mentioned, “I don’t think anyone is off limits.”
And if any witnesses resist, Mr Thompson reiterated that he’s keen to make use of the panel’s subpoena authority “to the fullest extent of the legislation.” He mentioned the panel is hiring skilled employees who will have the talents and expertise to acquire and kind via huge quantities of information, and their work will proceed via the summer season break. At the technique session on Wednesday, he informed his colleagues on the committee that “whatever recess you might have planned for August, you might have to reassess it.” The committee remains to be deciding how a lot of its work will be achieved behind closed doorways, Thompson mentioned, as some witnesses could not need to testify in public and a few info may very well be delicate or labeled.
He mentioned there will even be no foregone conclusions — on timing or in any other case — because the committee begins its work.
“We don’t have a timetable,” Mr Thompson mentioned. “The goal of the committee is to be as thorough as we can in the investigation, but also flexible to the point that we know that things change along the way.”