The Jan. 6 select committee will hold its ninth and what may be its final hearing next Thursday, Oct. 13, at 1 p.m. ET. (It was rescheduled from its Sept. 28 date following news Hurricane Ian would make landfall on the Southeast.)
Over the course of eight hearings held throughout the summer, the committee unveiled new details about the months-long effort by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 presidential election culminating in the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Unlike previous hearings, the committee has shared very little ahead of time about the topic of next Thursday’s hearing or who is leading the questioning.
And there is some discussion about whether this will be the last hearing or not. While committee Chair Bennie Thompson has said that this hearing will likely be the last, Vice Chair Liz Cheney has suggested there could be more.
But we do know that all nine members of the panel are expected to speak at the next hearing, that a final report is expected to be released before the end of the year when the Democrats could lose control of the House, and that the committee sifted through a wealth of new information over the summer.
Among some of the new material Americans may well see next Thursday is footage from a documentary film crew following Roger Stone, Trump’s longtime confidant and a Republican operative with the so-called Stop the Steal movement.
At the end of September, CNN shared footage from that film, “A Storm Foretold,” in which Roger Stone, a day before the election, says he doesn’t care about the election results; he wants violence.
“Fuck the voting, let’s get right to the violence,” Stone says.
In another clip, Stone says that if the election is up in the air, as he suspects, Trump and everyone need to declare victory.
“I really do suspect it’ll still be up in the air. When that happens, the key thing to do is to claim victory. Possession is nine tenths of the law. ‘No, we won. Fuck you,’” Stone said on Nov. 1, 2020, according to the footage.
In a statement to CNN, Stone challenged the accuracy of the film, asking viewers to not believe their own eyes.
Stone’s call to declare victory despite evidence to the contrary echoes statements made by Steve Bannon, Trump’s former White House adviser and ally, who said that Trump would claim victory on the Election Day whether he was winning or not.
“What Trump’s gonna do is just declare victory, right?” Bannon told associates in that Oct. 31, 2020, speech. “He’s gonna declare victory. But that doesn’t mean he’s a winner. He’s just gonna say he’s a winner.”
Audio from that speech, which was unveiled by Mother Jones, was played at the last hearing.
At the end of the eighth hearing, Cheney said the dam had broken and more witnesses had come forward. Since then, the committee secured interviews with members of Trump’s former cabinet to discuss what happened between Jan. 6 and Jan. 20 when Biden took office, as well as Ginni Thomas, a Republican activist and the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Thomas—who had supported the Stop the Steal campaign, communicated with Trump lawyer John Eastman, and urged former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to overturn the election results in text messages—told the committee that she still believes the 2020 election was stolen and claimed that she did not speak to her husband about her activism regarding the 2020 election.
The Secret Service has also shared more than 1 million pages’ worth of records with the select committee since the eighth hearing. It had only done so after the agency came under fire for revelations that it had deleted texts sent by agents on and around Jan. 6. The agency claimed the deletion was unintentional and that it was part of an agency-wide software update.
We may well see more from these testimonies and records at the Oct. 13 hearing.
Already, the committee’s power of the subpoena has painted a much more detailed picture of the plot conducted at all levels of government by the former president and his allies to hang onto power.
While we knew that Trump had put Vice President Mike Pence in danger; what the committee unveiled was that Trump told his aides that, after hearing the rioters were chanting “Hang Mike Pence,” he thought Pence deserved it. Shortly after that, he sent out another tweet criticizing Pence, one that his aides described as pouring gasoline on fire. Meanwhile, in the Capitol, Secret Service officers guarding the former vice president believed they were in their last minutes; viewers of the hearing heard radio calls from the officers as they sent messages to loved ones.
Viewers learned that Trump knew that Jan. 6 rallygoers were armed and that he ordered them to the Capitol anyways.
Viewers learned that Trump instructed Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen to “just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen.”
And those watching the hearings learned that Republican Reps. Mo Brooks, Matt Gaetz, Rep. Andy Biggs, Louie Gohmert, Scott Perry, and Marjorie Taylor Greene sought preemptive pardons—and that Jim Jordan discussed it.
Lastly, we learned that team Trump is attempting to influence witness testimony. At the end of the last hearing, Cheney announced that Trump himself had contacted a witness. The select committee, she said, had referred the incident to the Department of Justice.
In addition to publishing a final report, the select committee is expected to make criminal referrals to the Justice Department before the end of the year.
The select committee’s ninth hearing will take place as election-deniers across the country are seeking office and trying to gain control of elections in their state. These hearings make one thing clear: Democracy is on the ballot this November.
Update 10/13/22: This post has been updated to reflect that Secret Service records were handed over to the select committee.
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