Politics

House Capitol riot probe seeks testimony from key GOP lawmakers, sets 8 days of public hearings in June

Key Points
  • The select House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot will hold at least eight public hearings, starting in June.
  • The panel will send new interview requests to several Republican members of Congress before the end of this week.
  • Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said that both Donald Trump Jr., the son of ex-President Trump, as well as Trump's former lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, are "on the list" of witnesses still to be interviewed.
  • The Capitol riot began on Jan. 6, 2021, when a mob of Trump supporters invaded the halls of Congress, disrupting the confirmation of the Electoral College win by President Joe Biden.
A supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump sprays smoke during a "Stop the Steal" protest outside of the Capitol building in Washington D.C. January 6, 2021.
Stephanie Keith | Reuters

The select House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot will hold at least eight public hearings starting June 9 and will send requests this week for testimony to several GOP lawmakers, including three House members who previously refused to cooperate, the panel's chairman said Thursday.

The committee also plans to send new interview requests to several other Republicans, including at least one senator, committee Chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., told reporters.

Thompson wouldn't say who the panel wanted to interview beyond House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, and Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry, all of whom have previously refused to testify.

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Ex-cop says he acted in self-defense when he attacked a police officer during insurrection

When asked what would happen "when they say no again," Thompson said, "Well, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it." He didn't rule out the possibility of subpoenaing those who don't comply to the request.

When asked if the senators whose testimony would be sought included Ted Cruz of Texas, and Utah's Mike Lee, Thompson said: "Stand by."

Thompson said that both Donald Trump Jr., the son of ex-President Donald Trump, as well as Trump's former lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, are "on the list" of witnesses still to be interviewed by the committee. He did not say when the younger Trump and Giuliani would be expected to appear.

CNN reported Wednesday evening that Giuliani is expected to testify sometime next month. ABC News reported last week that Trump Jr. would voluntarily testify before the committee.

Thompson also said the public hearings in June will "tell the story about what happened" during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot and the events surrounding it.

He said the hearings also will highlight the panel's findings after interviewing hundreds of witnesses and reviewing thousands of exhibits of evidence.

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene questioned about her alleged role in Jan. 6 insurrection

"It will give the public the benefit" of "more than a year's worth of investigation [that] has gone to the committee," Thompson said.

"Obviously we've collected an awful lot of information. And some of that information has bearings on members, and we want to give those members an opportunity to tell their side," he said.

 "At this point, the first hearing is June 9th," Thompson later said.

The riot began when thousands of Trump supporters swarmed the U.S. Capitol during a joint session of Congress set to confirm President Joe Biden's Electoral College win over then-President Trump, a Republican.

Shortly before the crowd breached the Capitol's walls, Trump and allies including Giuliani had urged attendees rallying outside of the White House to fight against the certification of his Democratic opponent.

For weeks beforehand, Trump falsely claimed there had been widespread ballot fraud in the popular presidential vote in the swing states that gave Biden his margin of victory in the Electoral College.

Five people, including a Capitol police officer, died in connection with the riot, and hundreds of members of the mob have been arrested.