trumpet.jpg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Politics

The Jan. 6 panel will reveal their findings with new videos and photos on Thursday

SACHA PFEIFFER, HOST:

Now we're turning our attention to another set of hearings - the Democratic-led House select panel investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Tomorrow night, in primetime, the committee will launch a series of hearings to reveal its findings. Here's committee member Adam Schiff.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ADAM SCHIFF: We're going to use whatever resources we can to make the presentations as compelling as possible. You know, we need to get across the danger to our democracy, how close we came to losing it, how many - multiple lines of effort there were to overturn the election, how close they came to succeeding. It's a pretty dramatic story, and it has to be told in a dramatic way.

PFEIFFER: Committee members say they'll be telling the fuller story of the siege through videos and images released to the public for the first time. With us with details is NPR congressional correspondent Claudia Grisales. Hi, Claudia.

CLAUDIA GRISALES, BYLINE: Hi there.

PFEIFFER: What are you expecting to hear tomorrow?

GRISALES: Well, this is going to mark the committee's opening arguments, if you will, a broad overview of their investigative findings since the panel was launched nearly a year ago last summer. It's built on interviews with more than a thousand witnesses, and they've obtained more than 100,000 documents. We'll see two witnesses appear before the panel tomorrow - a Capitol Police officer, Caroline Edwards, who was on duty the day of the attack, and a second witness is filmmaker Nick Quested, who is behind a documentary that captured members of extreme right-wing groups on the day of the siege. And as we heard Schiff say there at the top, the panel is going to use whatever resources possible to make this a compelling presentation. And NPR has independently confirmed reporting that former president of ABC, James Goldstone, has advised the committee on this.

PFEIFFER: And then there are more hearings later this month. How will those differ?

GRISALES: Right. So we're hearing of six hearings total scheduled for this month while the House is in session for the next two and a half weeks. They're going to hit on some of the major topics that we've gotten sneak previews on, such as a more expansive view of former President Trump's pressure campaign to overturn the election's result, former Vice President Mike Pence and his team's efforts to try and stop that behind the scenes, as well as the lack of response by Trump during the attack for 187 minutes. And we should also get some insight into some of these high-profile interviews the panel conducted behind closed doors. That includes voluntary appearances by daughter and former White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner. For example, we now know she tried to intervene several times on the day of the siege. Donald Trump Jr. is another witness who also appeared before the committee, too.

PFEIFFER: And those closed-door interviews you just referenced, were those on camera? Will we ever see video of them?

GRISALES: Yes, there is video. I talked to the committee's chairman, Bennie Thompson, about that today. He said it's possible we will see that video of Ivanka Trump in one of these hearings this month. And then in addition to that, we could see other high-profile former Trump White House officials testify in person. But to be clear, Thompson said, the panel is still making some final decisions here, so the plans could shift.

PFEIFFER: What is the panel saying it hopes to accomplish?

GRISALES: Well, members have said repeatedly they learned that democracy was under much more of a threat than many realize, so they're going to delve into this organized nature of the attack, as well as the wider conspiracy around it, including the fake elector scheme they expanded on and the money that funded the attack and the build-up to it. And sources tell us that that final hearing, for example, which is a little over two weeks away, will be co-led by two panel members, Virginia Democrat Elaine Luria and Illinois Republican Adam Kinzinger, and could focus on the flow of disinformation. Now, neither would comment about that, but I did talk to Luria about what is planned this month.

ELAINE LURIA: Our goal as a committee is to paint a very clear picture with a contiguous thread from what started even before the election in November of 2020 and built up and ultimately culminated on January 6 with violence. But for the American people to understand all of the factors that went behind that, I think that the day of January 6, it was a symptom of something much larger.

GRISALES: And she added she hopes Americans understand that these dangers continue to persist even today.

PFEIFFER: And, Claudia, have any committee members said what is the end game, what they hope to produce at the end here?

GRISALES: Well, they're hoping to issue a final report later this year, perhaps in September, as well as a series of legislative recommendations. And, we should note, the panel is still interviewing witnesses and obtaining documents. For example, former Attorney General Bill Barr testified formally on Friday before the panel. So there's more evidence that could come in the next few weeks and months.

PFEIFFER: That's NPR's Claudia Grisales. Claudia, thank you.

GRISALES: Thank you much.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.