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Jan. 6 Committee Hearing on Capitol Attack, Trump’s Role

House Jan. 6 committee chair will say ‘democracy remains in danger’

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., right, and Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., are seen after the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol

From left to right, January 6 Select Committee members Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md.

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the House panel investigating the January 6 attack, will say tonight that the American people deserve answers about the insurrection.

“We can’t sweep what happened under the rug,” Thompson says in early excerpts of his opening statement. “The American people deserve answers. So I come before you this evening not as a Democrat, but as an American who swore an oath to defend the Constitution.”

The House Select Committee on January 6 will have its first major public hearing tonight, kicking off a series of public hearings about the attack, efforts to overturn the election, and what then-President Donald Trump was aware of in the lead up to it.

Thompson will add that American democracy “remains in danger.”

“… Our work must do much more than just look backwards,” Thompson will say. “Because our democracy remains in danger. The conspiracy to thwart the will of the people is not over. There are those in this country who thirst for power but have no love or respect for what makes America great: devotion to the Constitution, allegiance to the rule of law, our shared journey to build a more perfect Union.”

Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, is facing a defining career moment after nearly three decades in Congress. Thompson told Insider’s Camila DeChalus that the committee is his “signature work in the United States House of Representatives.”

Bennie Thompson is poised to take center stage as Jan. 6 hearings start after 29 years in Congress

bennie thompson

House Homeland Security Committee Chair Benny Thompson (D-MS) listens as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) discusses the formation of a select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol during a news conference in Washington, U.S., July 1, 2021.

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Rep. Bennie Thompson is the chairman of the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021 insurrection. He has been in Congress for 29 years but views this investigation as his “signature work.”

“There’s a lot of other pieces of legislation that basically alter the trajectory of so many people in my district, in this country, as well as other pieces of legislation, but nothing compares to the importance of this committee and why I value its work as my signature work in the United States House of Representatives,” he told Insider’s Camila DeChalus in a May interview.

In the first public hearing of the January 6 committee, Thompson will take center stage.

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Sen. Ted Cruz says watching paint dry would be more productive than tuning into a single second of the January 6 committee’s first public hearing

Ted Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) holds up a cellphone during the confirmation for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett on the third day before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill on October 14, 2020 in Washington, DC.


Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas offered up three things he’d rather do Thursday night than sit through any part of the January 6 committee’s highly anticipated prime-time hearing. 

“I’ve got to mow my lawn. Or comb my hair. Or maybe just watch the paint dry on the walls,” Cruz said of what he considered better ways to invest one’s time than validating the existence of  “a political campaign ad for the Democrats.” 

Cruz bashed the ongoing House investigation as political theater meant to distract a recession-wary populace from all the ways he said President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats have failed them. 

“From the opening gavel to the close of the hearing, one hundred percent of their endeavor is a political Hail Mary pass,” Cruz told Insider in the tunnels beneath the Senate chamber. “The American people are deeply unhappy with the disaster of the left-wing policy agenda we’ve seen for the last two years.” 

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DOJ lawyers expect transcripts from the 1,000 January 6 committee witnesses to be made public in September


Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as in the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Brent Stirton/Getty Images

A Justice Department lawyer revealed Thursday that transcripts of the 1,000 interviews conducted as part of the House January 6 committee’s investigation into the Capitol attack will be made public in September. It would be an unprecedented release of documents that could shed new light on the January 6, 2021 insurrection.

The revelation came during a pretrial hearing for former Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio and four other members of the far-right group who were charged with seditious conspiracy in connection with their alleged role in planning and participating in the Capitol siege.

“The committee will release the transcripts in early September and a report of the committee’s findings will be released around the same time,” Assistant US Attorney Jason McCullough told a judge.

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The first public hearing held by House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection starts at 8 p.m. ET. Catch up on what you need to know ahead of the hearing.

Bennie Thompson Liz Cheney

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi), left, listens as Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) speaks during the House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack in Washington, DC, on July 27, 2021. Washington Metropolitan Police Department officer Michael Fanone is at center.

Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via AP, Pool

The House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection is holding a much-anticipated public hearing Thursday night.

The nine-member panel, chaired by Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, has spent months interviewing witnesses and examining phone and email records to try to get to the bottom of former President Donald Trump and his allies’ efforts to overturn the 2020 election and prevent President Joe Biden from taking office.

The committee, which includes Republican Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, is expected to hold a half-dozen public hearings in June.

Here’s what you need to know ahead of the broadcast at 8 p.m. ET:

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