Surprise last-minute hearing on US capitol riots announced to present new evidence

US

A surprise last-minute hearing has been announced by the committee investigating the storming of the US Capitol building on 6 January 2021.

The live hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday afternoon “to present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony”.

Just days ago, the committee had said its public hearings would be adjourned until next month.

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It is not known who will be appearing as a witness, but the development follows a series of public hearings through June which alleged a direct link between the riot and former President Donald Trump’s attempts to hold on to power.

A series of witnesses, including Trump White House staff, members of Mr Trump’s administration, lawyers for the former president and Republican officials from states across the country, appeared before the committee to reveal details of what they knew about an orchestrated attempt to block the handover of power to Joe Biden.

Just last week, the committee’s chairman Bennie Thompson, a Democratic Party representative from Mississippi said the panel needed more time to go through new documentary footage it had obtained from a British filmmaker Alex Holder.

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Mr Holder was subpoenaed by the committee to hand over never-before-seen footage from inside the Trump White House which forms part of an unreleased fly-on-the-wall documentary on the former president and his family.

The committee has also revealed that its public hearings have resulted in new evidence coming to light via the panel’s tip hotline.

The first five public hearings presented evidence suggesting that former President Trump knew he had lost the 2020 election but pressured his vice president Mike Pence as well as state officials and Department of Justice staff to find ways to keep him in the White House.

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The inquiry into the January 6 riots heard how Department of Justice figures were pushed to investigate claims that satellites had changed votes against Donald Trump

With witness evidence, the committee laid out how Mr Trump had encouraged the mob to storm the Capitol building by consistently peddling the stolen election lie.

The central claim by the committee is that Donald Trump presents a continued threat to American democracy. He has left open the question of whether he will run again in the 2024 Presidential elections, but his loyalists, who back his rigged election claims, are already vying for key positions in states around the country.

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If they win, they will be in powerful positions to interfere with the outcome of future elections or to block election certification including the 2024 presidential race.

Mr Trump has consistently dismissed the ‘January 6th Committee’ as a Democratic Party witch-hunt despite most of the witnesses being Republican Party members.

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