Congressional committee investigates Jan. 6 Capitol riot

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The congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol will hold prime-time televised hearings starting this Thursday. For a preview and a look at some of the Arizona angles, we talk to Ronald Hansen, who has been following the story for the Arizona Republic.

What is the goal of these hearings?

The Jan. 6th committee was created to “investigate and report upon the facts, circumstances, and causes relating to” the Jan. 6th insurrection, as well as “to investigate and report upon the facts, circumstances, and causes relating to the January 6, 2021, domestic terrorist attack upon the United States Capitol Complex,” according to the bill establishing the committee. The evidence suggests a “coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and prevent the transfer of power,” according to a committee release Tuesday. “They really want this one to make a mark with the public,” Hansen said.

What is the importance of the hearings being aired prime-time, if at all?

The committee is launching the first in a series of public hearings in the hopes of drawing a major prime-time national television audience. “My guess is that they are going to try to make the case that the president and his allies in the White House were trying to direct this violence, the effort to try to reverse the election that we lost and resulted in violence and kind of spun out of control,” Hansen said.

What are the Arizona angles to look out for in these hearings?

The panel has subpoenaed so-called fake electors from seven states — Arizona, Wisconsin, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Arizona Congressman Andy Biggs, State Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward and State Representative Finchem, who is running for Secretary of State, were all subpoenaed by the committee.

Hansen says they will likely not be cooperating. “They think this is a witch hunt,” he said. “They will not be cooperating.”

Programming Note

The congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol will hold prime-time televised hearings – starting this Thursday at 5 p.m. Arizona time. Arizona PBS will carry the hearings on our channels.

Ronald Hansen, Arizona Republic

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