Takeaways From Jan. 6 Panel's First Public Hearing

It was an 'attempted coup,' chairman says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2022 6:48 AM CDT
5 Takeways From Jan. 6 Panel's First Hearing
Vice Chair Liz Cheney, gives her opening remarks as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol holds its first public hearing to reveal the findings of a year-long investigation, Thursday, June 9, 2022.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The House select committee investigating one of the most dramatic days in American history started airing its findings in the first of six prime-time hearings Thursday night—which included emotional testimony from one of the many police officers injured in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. Some key takeaways:

  • Trump is the main focus. Thursday night's hearing made it very clear that "Donald Trump was at the center of that conspiracy,” said Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson the panel’s chairman, per the Wall Street Journal. "And ultimately, Donald Trump—the president of the United States—spurred a mob of domestic enemies of the Constitution to march down the Capitol and subvert American democracy." Rep. Liz Cheney, one of two Republicans on the panel, said Trump "summoned the mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack."

  • They're relying on testimony of Trump allies. Video played at Thursday's hearing included testimony from Ivanka Trump, former Attorney General Bill Barr, and Trump campaign aides, showing the panel "would rather let Trump’s own inner circle stitch together the details of the former president’s actions to remain in power—and his inaction as a mob of supporters overran the Capitol," reports Politico. Cheney promised there would be much more to come. "You will hear testimony, live and on video, from more than a half-dozen former Trump White House staff, all of whom were in the West Wing of the White House that day," she said.
  • An "attempted coup." The testimony and overview presented Thursday was part of an effort to show that the attack was premeditated, not a spontaneous event, the Guardian reports. Thompson described the day's events as an "attempted coup." "Violence was no accident," he said. "It represented Trump’s last stand, most desperate chance to halt the transfer of power.”

  • The role of right-wing groups. Thursday's hearing also focused on two far-right groups—Proud Boys and Oath Keepers—that the investigation said were inspired by Trump's claims the 2020 election had been "stolen." Dozens of members of both groups were arrested after the attack. Documentary maker Nick Quested testified that he was surprised to see hundreds of Proud Boys start walking toward the Capitol while Trump was still addressing a crowd of supporters on Jan. 6, per the Guardian.
  • The committee's plan. The panel set out how it will try to tell the story of Jan. 6 over the next five hearings, and potentially others in the months ahead of its final report in September, the Washington Post reports. On Monday, it will set how Trump, as Cheney put it, "ignored the rulings of our nation’s courts" and "his own campaign leadership" as he tried to overturn his election loss. Later hearings will look at how Trump tried to put pressure on election officials and then-Vice President Mike Pence, before looking at the events of Jan. 6 itself.
The AP reports that on social media Trump slammed the committee, repeated his election fraud claims once again, and claimed that Jan. 6 "represented the greatest movement in the history of our country.” Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee, meanwhile, said it was "All. Old. News." (Read more Jan. 6 hearings stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.