The House select committee investigating Jan. 6, 2021, was gearing up to hold what is likely to be its last hearing ahead of its final report. The hearings were scheduled to resume today, Wednesday, September 28, 2022, according to the committee’s schedule. But it has been postponed. Why?
The committee’s schedule simply says the hearing was postponed, but major news outlets are reporting that the reason for the delay is Hurricane Ian. It was headed toward Florida when the committee’s chairman, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, and vice chairwoman, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, made the announcement, according to CNN.
“In light of Hurricane Ian bearing down on parts of Florida, we have decided to postpone tomorrow’s proceedings,” Thompson and Cheney said in a joint statement. “We’re praying for the safety of all those in the storm’s path. The Select Committee’s investigation goes forward and we will soon announce a date for the postponed proceedings.”
Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy, who is one of the nine committee members, represents a district that includes parts of Orlando, according to CNN. The news outlet reported before the announcement that she may have been unable to attend. The committee did not immediately announce a new date for the rescheduled hearing.
The committee is keeping the details of what it will present secret, including the names of key witnesses, CNN reported. Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California told CNN that this hearing, like past hearings, will be thematic. But he said he expects the evidence presented to be “more sweeping” than in previous hearings.
“I think it’ll be potentially more sweeping than some of the other hearings, but it too will be in a very thematic – it will tell the story about a key element of Donald Trump’s plot to overturn the election,” Schiff told CNN.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Hearing Will Include New Footage From the Events of Jan. 6, 2021
The hearing will include “substantial footage” from the date of the insurrection that has not previously been aired during the public hearings and “significant witness testimony” that has not yet been presented in hearings, chairman of the committee, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, told CNN.
After the hearing, the committee will continue its work on the final report of its findings, CNN reported. The report is expected to be finalized by the end of the year, but likely not before the November midterms, sources told CNN.
Schiff told CNN that he thinks the report should include a criminal referral for former President Donald Trump. But, he said that if the committee does make a criminal referral, it should be made by a unanimous decision.
“It will be certainly, I think, my recommendation, my feeling that we should make referrals, but we will get to a decision as a committee, and we will all abide by that decision, and I will join our committee members if they feel differently,” Schiff told CNN.
Past Testimony Included Cassidy Hutchinson, an Aide to Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, & Federal Judge J. Michael Luttig
Hutchinson testified to U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack about conversations related to January 6 she said she overheard, recounting what she described as a tirade by then-President Donald Trump. She testified he did not care that protesters had weapons because they weren’t there to hurt him, according to her testimony. Her testimony was played during primetime coverage of the hearings on Thursday, July 21, 2022.
“I overheard the president say something to the effect of ‘I don’t f-ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the f-ing mags away. Let my people in, they can march to the Capitol from here. Let the people in, take the f-ing mags away.”
Hutchinson testified that Trump was enraged that he was being driven back to the White House after his speech earlier that day, where he told protesters to “fight like hell.” She said he lunged for the steering wheel to grab it from Secret Service head agent Robert “Bobby” Engel. Read more about him here.
“I’m the effing president,” Hutchinson heard Trump say, according to her testimony.
Hutchinson further said that when Meadows learned about violence at the Capitol, he “almost had a lack of reaction.”
The June 28 hearing was the sixth the committee held to present evidence surrounding the U.S. Capitol insurrection. The committee said the hearing June 28 was scheduled “to present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony.” The committee had initially planned to take a brief hiatus until the week of July 11.
Federal Judge J. Michael Luttig had strong words for the House select committee at its hearing June 16, 2022, saying that he would never have let Pence overturn the election. Read more about him here.
“I would have laid my body across the road before I would have let a Vice President overturn an election,” Luttig testified.
Twitter users latched onto the biting statement.
“Luttig says he would’ve ‘laid my body across the road before I would’ve let the VP overturn the 2020 election,’ Scott Dworkin wrote on Twitter. “I felt that.”
Historian Heather Cox Richardson commented on the significance of Luttig’s testimony due to his reputation among conservatives.
“Luttig says the fake electors had no legal authority,” she wrote on Twitter. “Luttig is incredibly highly regarded in conservative circles. So this is very significant testimony.”