House Jan. 6 committee chair says ‘goal’ is to restart public hearings on Sept. 28

▶ Watch Video: Raskin wants Gingrich, Ginni Thomas and Pence to testify to Jan. 6 committee

Rep. Bennie Thompson, the chair of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, said Tuesday that it is the committee’s “goal” to restart public hearings on Sept. 28.

The details of the latest public hearing were not immediately clear. The committee held a series of public, televised hearings in June and July that revealed the findings of the yearlong investigation into the attack.

Thompson said Tuesday that the committee intends to put together an interim report two weeks after the proposed late September hearing, in mid-October, and will finalize the report before the end of the year.

“We sunset at the end of December,” Thompson said.

That would take them past the November elections – the committee’s two Republicans, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, are both leaving Congress in January. Cheney lost the Republican primary in Wyoming and Kinzinger decided to not to run for reelection.

Select Committee To Investigate January 6th Attack On U.S. Capitol Holds First Hearing
Representative Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi and chairman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, speaks to members of the media outside a hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, July 27, 2021. Seven House Democrats and two Republicans today launch what they say will be the fullest investigation yet of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, an inquiry that could drag the issue into next year’s midterm election campaign. Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Thompson said the committee still wanted to speak to conservative activist Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Thompson said that  “because of some things that happened,” meeting with Ginni Thomas had to be “delayed.”

Thomas attracted the committee’s interest after it became public that she had corresponded with John Eastman, a lawyer involved in the campaign to pressure former Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to certify the election results. Thomas also attended the former President Donald Trump’s rally at the Ellipse that preceded the Capitol attack and urged former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows to work on overturning the 2020 election results.

The committee is also seeking to speak to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Thompson said Tuesday that the committee is “in the process of working through a response” with Gingrich.

The committee on Sept. 1 released a letter it had sent Gingrich saying they had requested information regarding his alleged involvement “in a scheme to overturn the 2020 election.” In the letter, Thompson said the committee had obtained emails Gingrich exchanged with Trump’s senior advisers, including Jared Kushner and Jason Miller.

In those emails, according to Thompson, Gingrich “provided detailed input into television advertisements that repeated and relied upon false claims about fraud in the 2020 election.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin told “Face the Nation” earlier this month that the committee still wanted to hear not only from Ginni Thomas and Gingrich, but also former Vice President Mike Pence.

Pence said in Aug. that he would “consider” speaking to the committee, calling it “unprecedented in history for a vice president to be summoned to testify on Capitol Hill, although there have been several instances of both presidents and vice presidents appearing before Congress.

During the public hearings this summer, the committee uncovered more evidence of Trump and his allies’ pressure campaign on Pence to refuse to certify the election results at the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6. The committee also showed testimony that Secret Service agents on Pence’s detail on Jan. 6 who had “fear for their own lives” and contacted loved ones to say goodbye.

In the public hearings, the committee zeroed in on Trump and his allies’ pressure campaign not only on Pence, but also the Justice Department and local and state elections officials. The hearings also focused on a scheme by Trump and his allies to put forward false electors on Jan. 6, and what Trump was doing during the attack as well as showed never-before-seen footage from the riot and testimony from a Capitol police officer who suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Graham Kates contributed to this report.

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