After a year-long investigation into the attack on the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, the House committee leading the probe will start to present its findings Thursday night in the first of several planned days of hearings.
The House committee investigating the attack will present new video, audio, and a “mountain of evidence,” in an effort to highlight the ultimately deadly violence of the day and former president Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.
The Thursday hearing will start with eyewitness testimony from the first police officer attacked in the mob riot and from a documentary filmmaker who recorded the melee. It will also feature the committee’s accounts from Trump’s aides and family members of the deadly siege.
The committee chair, civil rights leader Rep. Bennie Thompson (D. Miss.), and vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R. Wyo.) will make the opening remarks.
What time do the hearings start?
There are several planned public hearings scheduled throughout the month. The committee has confirmed dates and times for the first three hearings.
Day 1 will be Thursday, June 9 at 8 p.m. Eastern
Day 2 will be Monday, June 13 at 10 a.m. Eastern
Day 3 will be Wednesday, June 15 at 10 a.m. Eastern
How can I watch or stream the hearings?
Most TV networks will carry the hearings live, but Fox News Channel will relegate live coverage to Fox Business.
PBS Newshour will livestream the hearings on its site, and the hearings will also be broadcast on local PBS stations. PBS will also offer live coverage on social media platforms, including YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
Many news sites will also stream the hearings on their websites.
Philadelphia-area connections to watch for
The committee has scheduled two witnesses to testify during the first hearing Thursday night, and both of their accounts of that day involve ties to the Philadelphia region.
Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards was the first injured while trying to hold back the pro-Trump mob looking to storm the Capitol that day. Her alleged attacker? Ryan Samsel, 39, of Bristol.
Authorities charged Samsel on counts including assaulting police officers, civil disorder, and violent and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. They’ve accused him of knocking down Edwards and toppling a barricade on top of her in his efforts to storm the Capitol building. As prosecutors have described it, he was one of the key instigators of the violence that eventually unfolded.
Samsel was seen on video having a brief conversation with Joseph Biggs — a regional leader of the far-right group the Proud Boys — just before he stormed toward Edwards and the bike rack barricades she was manning. In an indictment this week charging Biggs and four other Proud Boys leaders — including the organization’s former national chairman Enrique Tarrio and the head of its Philadelphia chapter, Zach Rehl, with sedition — prosecutors described Samsel’s attack on Edwards as “the first barrier protecting the Capitol grounds to be breached on Jan. 6.”
Samsel allegedly heaved a bike rack on top of Edwards, causing her to fall and hit her head on concrete. Samsel has pleaded not guilty and remains in custody while awaiting trial. He’s said he tried to assist Edwards after knocking her down. He claims he told her: “We don’t have to hurt you. Why are you standing in our way?”
Edwards, in a court filing last year urging a judge to keep Samsel behind bars, said she continues to suffer memory lapses as a result of her injuries and accused him of stealing “moments away from me that I can’t get back.”
The committee is also scheduled to hear Thursday from Nick Quested, a British documentarian who was embedded with the Proud Boys in the runup to and during the Jan. 6 assault. Notably, he filmed a Jan. 5 meeting between Tarrio, the Proud Boys chair, and members of other right-wing groups in an underground parking garage in Washington that investigators have pointed to as a possible sign of collusion between extremist groups.
The attendees of that meeting included Stewart Rhodes, founder of the extremist group the Oath Keepers who has also been charged with sedition, and Joshua Macias, a Virginia man, Navy veteran, and co-founder of the group Vets for Trump.
Lawyers for Rhodes and Tarrio have downplayed the meeting as a chance encounter and maintain that they were not discussing plans to assault the Capitol the next day. But months before that incident, Macias had been arrested on weapons charges in Philadelphia after he showed up outside the Convention Center while votes were being counted in the 2020 presidential election, armed with handguns.
FBI agents received a tip that Macias and another man — Antonio LaMotta — drove from Virginia intent upon “straightening things out” after vote counting in Philadelphia had become a national focus in the days after the election. Officers noticed their Hummer emblazoned with QAnon stickers parked unattended outside the Convention Center and later discovered an AR-style rifle along with 160 rounds of ammunition inside.
Both men were released on bail in late November. Macias’ attorney, William J. Brennan, has downplayed his client’s role in the events of Jan. 6. Macias has not been charged with in connection with the Capitol attack.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.