Jan. 6 hearings are coming to primetime; here’s what you need to know before they start

This June, the House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the United States Capitol will be broadcast live — competing against baseball, NHL hockey, and maybe the WWE. The televised hearings, which aim to tell a more complete story of what happened the day of the Capitol riot and what led to it, are likely to dominate the national conversation throughout the summer, possibly right up to November’s midterm elections. So, what do you need to know before tuning in? Yahoo News explains.

Video transcript

[BELL]

- Get ready. January 6 is coming to prime time. Yes, this June the House Select Committee to investigate the attack on the United States Capitol will be televised live, competing against baseball, NHL hockey and maybe even the WWE. The committee says their goal is to show a more complete story of what really happened the day former President Trump told thousands gathered in Washington that they should take a little stroll down to the Capitol.

DONALD TRUMP: We're going to walk down to the Capitol.

- And what happened next.

[SHOUTING]

[INTERPOSING VOICES]

- This is America!

[SHOUTING AND BANGING]

- Everybody stay down! Get down!

- These hearings are likely to dominate the national conversation throughout the summer, maybe even right up to this November's midterm election. So what do you need to know before tuning in?

Why it's important. So far, the majority of the work by the January 6 committee has been done behind closed doors. Over the last 11 months, they've been gathering evidence, like email, phone and other records, issuing subpoenas, and conducting deposition interviews with hundreds and hundreds of people, including Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, and former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani. So in addition to any new testimony, these hearings will be the first time much of the information uncovered by the committee will be revealed to the public.

How it got started. The story of the January 6 Select Committee goes back to, well, January 6, 2021 and the days that followed. There was enormous bipartisan support to find out what happened and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.

MITCH MCCONNELL: A great deal has already been said about the disgraceful events of January the 6th. More will be said in the weeks ahead.

- Fast forward to Spring, 2021. Efforts to form an independent 9/11-style commission were blocked in the Senate due to the filibuster. Without any other viable options, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House would form its own committee.

NANCY PELOSI: It is imperative that we establish the truth of that day.

- So who is on the committee? The original plan was to have 13 members, eight selected by Speaker Pelosi, including one GOP member, Representative Liz Cheney, with the remaining five to be recommended by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. But then things got a little messy. McCarthy's picks included members who had actually supported overturning the 2020 election results.

- Two of those members, Jim Jordan and Jim Banks, signed on to the Texas lawsuit that would have invalidated millions of votes across several battleground states.

JIM JORDAN: I mean, look. Will she kick me off the committee? I don't know.

- Pelosi rejected two Republican Congressman, Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana.

- Eventually the Minority Leader pulled all his picks and Pelosi appointed GOP Representative Adam Kinzinger as the ninth and final member of the Select Committee. Kinzinger, notably, was the only other Republican to vote in favor of the committee and is not seeking re-election.

Who will appear at the hearings? While we aren't sure yet, Committee Chair, Representative Bennie Thompson, has said some of these hearings will include people we haven't heard from yet. This could include any number of people, including top officials in the Trump administration and election campaigns, or even sitting members of the House. But don't expect to see former President Trump taking the stand.

What's next. The House Select Committee doesn't actually have a deadline. But because we're in an election year and Democrats can't guarantee control of the House in 2023, it's likely that we're entering the final stages of their investigation. Following the hearings, probably sometime in early fall, the Committee will publish a report that lays out their findings. It could also recommend that the Department of Justice pursue criminal cases, but that remains to be seen.

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