The January 6 investigation is about to play out in primetime. The House Select Committee, which includes seven Democrats and two Republicans, has been examining the attack on the U.S. Capitol for nearly a year. The committee plans to present its findings and interview witnesses in its first televised hearing on June 9 beginning at 8 p.m.
Here’s what you need to know.
The Hearing Is Streaming Live & Most TV Networks Are Broadcasting It
Most of the major news networks plan to broadcast the hearing live, meaning regular Thursday night programming will be preempted. ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC all plan to air the hearing live, USA Today reported.
Fox News is sticking with its usual primetime schedule, but according to a network press release, the “primetime programs will cover the hearings as news warrants.” The hearing will be covered live on Fox Business, and streamed on Fox News Digital for free, with anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum leading the coverage. The network says Baier, MacCallum and correspondent Shannon Bream will then anchor a “reaction special” on Fox News starting at 11 p.m. ET.
The Committee Will Interview a U.S. Capitol Police Officer & a Filmmaker Who Had Been Documenting The Proud Boys
The Committee says it will interview at least two witnesses during the televised hearing on June 9. The panel will hear from U.S. Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards. According to the congressional website, she was “the first law enforcement officer injured by rioters storming the Capitol grounds” and continued to defend the Capitol “even after suffering a traumatic brain injury.”
Viewers will also hear from British filmmaker Nick Quested. The committee says he “documented the movements around the Capitol that morning, the first moments of violence against U.S. Capitol Police, and the chaos that ensued.”
According to the New York Times, Quested is also expected to testify about any planning that took place before January 6. The outlet reports Quested had been documenting The Proud Boys, with the organization’s permission, in the weeks leading up to the rally and filmed leaders such as former chairman Enrique Tarrio.
The Justice Department says The Proud Boys describe themselves as a “pro-Western fraternal organization for men who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world, aka Western Chauvinists.” Tarrio and four other members of the extremist group are facing several federal charges including seditious conspiracy for their role in the Capitol attack.
In addition to the witness interviews, the January 6 Committee says it will “present previously unseen material documenting January 6th” and “provide the American people an initial summary of its findings about the coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and prevent the transfer of power.”
The findings are expected to include information about former President Donald Trump and his activities surrounding January 6. Committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin told TIME the hearing would include “live and taped testimony from members of Trump’s inner circle, including at least one of his children.”
The AP reports the committee completed more than 1,000 interviews since launching the investigation.
A Former TV News Executive Was Brought On to Produce the Televised Hearings, Axios Reports
The House panel turned to a network television veteran to help make the primetime hearing more interesting to audiences, according to Axios. The outlet says former ABC News president James Goldston was brought on as an “unannounced adviser” to the committee and that he is producing the hearing “as if it were a blockbuster investigative special.”
Goldston left ABC News in early 2021 after 17 years with the network, the LA Times reported. During his time with the network, Goldston served as executive producer of “Nightline” and “Good Morning America.”
Goldston’s involvement has triggered criticism. CBS News reports five congressional Republicans sent a letter to the House panel questioning whether Goldston’s involvement violated House rules. The letter includes in part: “We also want to ensure that Mr. Goldston is not providing his media and production services free of charge. Such an arrangement would violate House Rules and the House Ethics Manual regulations which clearly states that ‘no logical distinction can be drawn between the private contribution of in-kind services and the private contribution of money, and that both perpetuate the very kind of unofficial office accounts and practices that are prohibited’ by the rule.”
As of this writing, the January 6 Committee had not publicly commented on Goldston’s role. The committee members include:
- Rep. Bennie Thompson, Chairperson (D-MS)
- Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
- Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA)
- Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)
- Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA)
- Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL)
- Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD)
- Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY)
- Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)