What have the January 6 hearings revealed so far?

House committee gears up for final public hearing before releasing its anticipated report

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The US House of Representatives special panel that is investigating the January 6, 2021, attack at the US Capitol will hold its ninth, and probably final, public hearing.

It was expected to take place on Wednesday, September 28, but the committee announced it was postponing the hearing due to Hurricane Ian's expected landfall in Florida on the same day. The panel did not announce a new date.

With the committee's two Republican members — Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois — set to leave Congress next year, the panel faces a tight schedule to complete its work before November's midterm elections, when Republicans are expected to take control of the House and shut the probe down.

Former president Donald Trump has been at the centre of the committee's work and the panel has already interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses during their months-long investigation, including former vice president Mike Pence.

Speaking to CBS's Face the Nation at the weekend, panel member Pete Aguilar said the hearing would expose new details about the investigation.

Here is what the committee's public hearings have revealed so far.

Pressure campaign on election officials

After making repeated, unsubstantiated claims of election fraud, Mr Trump and his administration launched a campaign to pressure electoral and Department of Justice officials to pursue the allegations.

This effort focused primarily on the state of Georgia, where the defeated president asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his deputy to “find 11,780" votes, one more vote than the tally by which Democrat Joe Biden had beaten him.

Rusty Bowers, speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, told the committee on June 21 that he received calls from Mr Trump and his supporters to decertify the state's electors and replace them with Trump-friendly ones. No evidence of voter fraud was ever provided to him.

Public threats issued by Mr Trump put their lives in danger, the officials said, with one testifying to having received thousands of text messages after Mr Trump published the official's phone number online, while Mr Bowers and another person said that protesters had gathered outside their homes.

A heated meeting inside the Oval Office

As January 6 grew closer, Mr Trump grew increasingly desperate to cling to power. The committee received evidence from various Trump-era Justice and White House officials who recounted a scene inside the Oval Office on the Sunday before the insurrection, during which the former president mused about replacing the acting attorney general.

Jeffrey Rosen, who served in the role at the time, said he received calls from the former president almost every day since taking the position in December 2020, but dismissed each demand to pursue the fraud allegations.

The president had considered replacing him with Jeffrey Clark, a mid-level Justice Department official. As part of this plan, Mr Clark drafted a letter that would compel Georgia officials to appoint new electors and announce Mr Trump as the state's winner.

Mr Rosen, Justice Department officials and White House counsel Pat Cipollone threatened to resign en masse if Mr Trump went through with his plan.

“You're going to lose your entire department leadership,” Richard Donoghue, the acting deputy attorney general, recalled telling the former president.

Mr Cipollone later testified before the committee in a closed-door session. Committee member Zoe Lofgren said his evidence did “not contradict the testimony of other witnesses”.

The altercation inside 'The Beast'

The former president tried to join his supporters outside the Capitol after his “Stop the Steal” rally, former White House staffer Cassidy Hutchinson said in her testimony on June 28.

When he learnt that he would be taken to the White House, an irate Mr Trump tried to grab the steering wheel of the presidential armoured Cadillac, known as “The Beast”.

“I'm the [expletive] president. Take me up to the Capitol now,” Ms Hutchinson recalled Mr Trump telling the agent inside the vehicle.

Ms Hutchinson said the president then lunged at the Secret Service agent, who would not relinquish control of the wheel.

Trump and aides were aware of possibility of violence

The evidence provided by Ms Hutchinson, a former aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, also included evidence that the president and others inside the White House were aware that the rally on January 6 could turn violent.

The evidence from Ms Hutchinson debunked previous notions that the insurrection was spontaneous.

The former staffer recalled a conversation she had with Mr Meadows in which he said on January 2 that “things might get real, real, real bad on January 6”.

Mr Trump also insisted that his supporters entering the area where he would deliver speech on the morning of January 6 did not need to pass through metal detectors.

“They're not here to hurt me,” Ms Hutchinson recalled Mr Trump saying.

A dereliction of duty

The investigatory committee detailed a timeline that showed Mr Trump chose not to act for 187 minutes while scores of police officers were being overrun and physically assaulted by the Republican president's supporters.

Instead of addressing the violence or calling on additional forces to protect the Capitol, Mr Trump watched the scene unfold on television and called US senators to try to get them to object Mr Biden's electoral certification.

As protesters outside the Capitol chanted “Hang Mike Pence”, Mr Trump's closest advisers inside the White House tried to persuade him to call off the riot.

It was only after it became clear that the insurrection would not succeed that Mr Trump would record the message denouncing the violence.

Even on January 7, Mr Trump still refused to acknowledge that he had lost the election, a video aired by the committee showed.

Watch: Footage shows Mr Trump refusing to accept election result after January 6 attacks

Updated: September 27, 2022, 7:47 PM
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