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House panel probing Jan. 6 plans broad overview at hearing

Thursday’s hearing will not feature any live witnesses, but each of the nine panel members will present new information, aides said

QAnon imagery appears on a screen during a Jan. 6 Select Committee  hearing in July. From left are Rep. Adam Schiff, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, counsel, Rep. Stephanie Murphy, Chairman Bennie Thompson, Vice Chair Liz Cheney and Rep. Jamie Raskin.
QAnon imagery appears on a screen during a Jan. 6 Select Committee hearing in July. From left are Rep. Adam Schiff, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, counsel, Rep. Stephanie Murphy, Chairman Bennie Thompson, Vice Chair Liz Cheney and Rep. Jamie Raskin. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol plans to present a broad overview of its latest findings Thursday on former President Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election, in what might be its last hearing.

Thursday’s panel hearing, the 10th, comes more than two months after the previous one because of summer recess and then Hurricane Ian. The members face a deadline of the end of the 117th Congress to issue a report on the circumstances leading to the attack and recommend changes to the law.

The hearing will not feature any live witnesses, but panel aides told reporters they expect the event to last more than two hours. During that time, each representative on the nine-member panel will make a presentation that includes new information, such as that gleaned from hundreds of thousands of pages the committee received from the Secret Service, the aides said.

Those revelations could put a spotlight on Trump’s actions the day of the 2021 attack, as well as flesh out testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, then an aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

In hearings over the summer, Hutchinson said Trump wanted armed supporters at a rally before the attack and lashed out at members of his Secret Service detail when they refused to drive him to the Capitol after his speech.

Aides also said there would be new evidence about the former president’s “state of mind” and his “centrality” to the effort to overturn the election results.

Trump’s actions at the time of the attack were the focus of one hearing this summer that emphasized hours he spent in the White House watching news coverage of his supporters storming the Capitol.

Committee aides said Thursday’s presentation would be “a little bit different” than hearings over the summer that focused on individual elements of the campaign to overturn the 2020 election.

In Thursday’s hearing, the panel plans to be “taking a step back. We’re going to be looking at the entire multipart plan to overturn the election,” an aide said.

The hearing follows interviews with hundreds of witnesses, including conservative activist Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Ginni Thomas appeared before the committee last month, following the publication of emails and texts showing her backing the effort to overturn the election.

Earlier this year, CNN published a trove of text messages between Ginni Thomas and Meadows in which she urged him to “Help this Great President Stand Firm” and referred to the election as a “heist” by Democrats.

Clarence Thomas was the only dissenting vote in a January decision concerning Trump’s attempt to keep the committee from accessing records from his time in office. That case may have included the texts between Ginni Thomas and Meadows, which rankled Democrats.

Committee aides demurred on whether Thursday’s hearing would be the “closing argument” in the panel’s public case about the attack. The committee’s investigation is ongoing, they said.

While the panel’s chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., has said he plans to issue a report on the attack, other panel members have publicly floated criminal referrals for the former president or others involved.

Over the summer, Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said the body may make multiple criminal referrals for Trump following its investigation. Last month, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said if the panel made any criminal referrals, it would be unanimous.

The panel’s probe has progressed alongside hundreds of federal prosecutions against those who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, including an ongoing trial of Stewart Rhodes, founder of the far-right group Oath Keepers, on charges of seditious conspiracy.

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