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If the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol has taught us anything, it’s that our understanding of that day is far from settled.
While much of the country watched the insurrection in real-time one and a half years ago on live television, the panel’s public hearings have delivered critical context to the circumstances around it.
Here’s the latest.
Members of the panel previewed on Sunday their next public hearing, on Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET, which will zero in on how the violent mob came together and the role of extremist groups in the deadly insurrection. The hearing will be led by Democratic Reps. Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Stephanie Murphy of Florida, CNN has learned.
Connecting the dots. “We are going to be connecting the dots during these hearings between these groups and those who were trying – in government circles – to overturn the election. So, we do think that this story is unfolding in a way that is very serious and quite credible,” Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California said of Tuesday’s hearing and another that hasn’t been scheduled in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”
CNN confirmed Sunday evening that Jason Van Tatenhove, a former spokesperson and self-described “propagandist” for the Oath Keepers, is expected to testify at Tuesday’s hearing. Van Tatenhove told Colorado TV station KDVR of his invitation last week.
Extreme encouragement. Murphy told NBC on Sunday that the panel could present evidence that members of Congress encouraged extremist groups to come to Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021, echoing then-President Donald Trump’s tweet in December 2020 that January 6 would “be wild.” She called that tweet a “siren call” for those groups.
Trump’s tweets. Raskin told CBS that Tuesday’s hearing will reveal the “fundamental importance of a meeting that took place in the White House on December the 18th,” after which Trump sent out the tweet asking his supporters to come to DC on January 6.
A spokesperson for the select committee declined to comment on the plans for Tuesday’s hearing.
Blockbuster testimony coming?
1. Steve Bannon – who defied a congressional subpoena and is set to go to trial on criminal contempt charges later this month – told the House select committee on Saturday that he is now willing to testify, ideally at a public hearing, according to a letter obtained by CNN.
Bannon’s reversal comes after he received a letter from Trump waiving executive privilege, although both the House select committee and federal prosecutors contend that privilege claim never gave Bannon carte blanche to ignore a congressional subpoena in the first place.
2. Three sources familiar with former Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone’s testimony to the panel behind closed doors on Friday characterized it as very important and extremely helpful and told CNN it will become evident in upcoming public committee hearings.
“In our interview with Mr. Cipollone, the Committee received critical testimony on nearly every major topic in its investigation, reinforcing key points regarding Donald Trump’s misconduct and providing highly relevant new information that will play a central role in its upcoming hearings. This includes information demonstrating Donald Trump’s supreme dereliction of duty. The testimony also corroborated key elements of Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony,” committee spokesperson Tim Mulvey said.
Lofgren told CNN on Sunday, “We will have some excerpts of Mr. Cipollone’s testimony” at upcoming hearings. “He was able to provide information on basically all of the critical issues that we’re looking at,” she said.
The (new) timeline
CNN’s Marshall Cohen and Avery Lotz have an extensive, minute-by-minute timeline of the attack, incorporating new information from recent public hearings. A few key moments noted in their story:
- Before 10 a.m. White House deputy chief of staff Tony Ornato informs Trump that authorities at the Ellipse, where Trump was going to hold a rally, encountered attendees with weapons, including pistols, rifles, bear spray and spears, according to Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony.
- 1:19 p.m. Trump arrives back at the White House. During the short drive back from the Ellipse, Trump becomes irate and demands to be driven to the Capitol, but members of his security team refuse to take him there, according to Hutchinson, who testified that she was told about the exchange by Ornato and another member of Trump’s security detail.
- 2:13 p.m. The Senate abruptly adjourns, amid a debate over a GOP objection to Biden’s electoral votes from Arizona.
- 2:24 p.m. Trump criticizes Pence in a tweet, slamming Pence for refusing to implement his illegal scheme to overturn the election while presiding over the joint session of Congress.
- Around 2:45 p.m. Pro-Trump rioters invade the Senate floor and break into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.
CNN’s Devan Cole, Morgan Rimmer and Aaron Pellish contributed to this report.