The Jan. 6 hearings will now extend into July
MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:
A wave of new evidence is forcing the January 6 committee to stretch its hearing schedule into next month. Chairman Bennie Thompson told reporters today that the House select committee investigating the Capitol attack will hold hearings in July. They had been scheduled to wrap up by the end of June.
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BENNIE THOMPSON: We've taken in some additional information that's going to require additional work. So rather than present hearings that have not been the quality of the hearings in the past, we made a decision to just move them to sometime in July.
KELLY: That means tomorrow's hearing is the last one for June. NPR congressional correspondent Claudia Grisales is here. Hey, Claudia.
CLAUDIA GRISALES, BYLINE: Hi, Mary Louise.
KELLY: OK. So there is a hearing tomorrow. That's going to be No. 5. Plans seem to be evolving very much as they go. What more do you know?
GRISALES: Right. Thompson said two hearings initially planned for next week, which were focused on the January 6 mob and former President Trump's inaction responding to the attack, are now set for July. And they could add more hearings next month based on new evidence they've gathered in recent days. Here's what Thompson told me.
THOMPSON: The question would be, is there material in the two hearings that we could stretch out based on the new information? And we will spend some of this time seeing whether or not that is a possibility.
GRISALES: So after tomorrow, the House is expected to be mostly away until after the Fourth of July recess. So these new hearings could resume as early as mid-July when the House returns for about three weeks.
KELLY: Do we know, Claudia, what the new evidence coming in is that's behind this move?
GRISALES: A little bit - Thompson said they have months of new video to review from a documentary filmmaker Alex Holder, who was with Trump and his family before the 2020 election. There's also some hope among members that one key witness of interest - this is former Trump White House general counsel Pat Cipollone - could appear in person and testify in a public hearing next month. Sources familiar tell us that negotiations for that fell apart previously. But Thompson told me he hopes, with this extra time, perhaps the panel could see him appear in July instead. But this is as the panel could get more testimony next month from Justice Clarence Thomas' wife, Ginni Thomas, and that could happen in private. And we could also hear more about the Republican House members with ties to the pressure campaign to overturn the 2020 election results.
KELLY: OK. To the more immediate - quick preview of tomorrow's hearing?
GRISALES: Right. Illinois Republican Adam Kinzinger will be leading that hearing, focused on Trump's pressure campaign on the Justice Department. And we'll hear from top officials at the time who faced this pressure to investigate false claims of election fraud.
KELLY: And just to note - Kinzinger was appointed to the committee, so - as was Liz Cheney by Democrats. This touches on a sore spot for Republicans, with reports indicating former President Trump is mad about that, that he's criticizing Kevin McCarthy, the House GOP leader, for refusing to name Republicans to the panel himself. Where does that stand? What's McCarthy saying?
GRISALES: Right. McCarthy waved off that blowback today. He told our colleague Deirdre Walsh and other reporters that he's been in touch with Trump recently about this and said the panel continues to be purely political.
KELLY: NPR's Claudia Grisales. Thanks.
GRISALES: Thank you much.
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