Committee News is a website devoted to reporting on the activities of Parliament’s select committees. These bodies are often charged with examining business that takes place in Parliament in detail, such as the drafting of legislation.
The committee’s final report is due to be published before Christmas. It is likely to be shaped by the debates and disagreements that have taken place since the committee began its investigation.
A key issue has been the committee’s approach to testimony from witnesses, especially White House counsel Pat Cipollone and presidential campaign staffer Cassidy Hutchinson. The panel hoped to show a range of facets of Trump’s interactions with his team, but in reality it has had to rely on clips of video interviews and other written reports. The report also suggests that the panel has been unable to gain cooperation from many of the people it sought, and that it may have overproduced its hearings.
Another point of contention has been the fact that a number of Republicans have refused to comply with subpoenas, or have been caught in other legal binds. The report names four House members – Kevin McCarthy of California, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Andy Biggs of Arizona – as examples of this, but argues that they are unlikely to face any repercussions in the new year.
One of the most surprising aspects of the committee’s work is its determination to hold hearings in prime time, in a move that could help cement its findings into the public consciousness. It has held six hearings so far, which have been watched by millions of viewers.
In a draft schedule released ahead of the first hearing on 9 June, the committee plans to present around two hours of events that led up to the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. The hearings will feature new photos and videos to starkly illustrate live witness testimony.
The panel also intends to show the same level of effort to highlight the role of former President Obama in preventing an attack on the Capitol in 2010. In addition, it wants to include interviews with senior officials from that administration, including former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
It is expected that the committee will reveal previously secret White House records, as well as photos and videos to sharply contrast witness testimony. This is intended to help audiences grasp the magnitude of the attacks on Congress, which left several lawmakers dead and countless others injured.
There is a lot to take in from the hearings, which are likely to be watched by millions of Americans over the coming weeks. The committee will also try to reveal a number of controversies that have erupted over the course of its investigation, and it will attempt to identify individuals that could be charged with crimes related to the insurrection.
In particular, the committee will focus on how people like John Eastman and Kenneth Chesebro worked to create an “advisory” scheme that aimed to allow Pence to overturn the election. It is the most significant revelation so far in the committee’s investigations, and it will be the subject of much of its future work.