The House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol announced is set to hold its next hearing on Thursday, the panel's first since July.
Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., told CNN that “unless something else develops,” the scheduled hearing will be the committee’s last before it issues a complete report on its investigation.
“We have substantial footage of what occurred that we haven’t used,” Thompson said of the hearing, adding that lawmakers have decided on a topic but not elaborating on what it might be. “We’ve had significant witness testimony that we haven’t used in other hearings. So this is an opportunity to use some of that material.”
To date, the committee has held eight public hearings, where it featured witness testimony both from individuals who participated in the violent assault on the Capitol as well as from numerous administration officials who advised former President Donald Trump in the days and weeks leading up to the insurrection.
Here's what to expect from the possible final hearing and a look back at previous hearings:
While lawmakers have not revealed any specifics ahead of Thursday hearing, one member of the Jan. 6 panel said that the proceedings will reveal some "pretty surprising" new material.
California Rep. Zoe Lofgren told CNN on Tuesday that the hearing will feature information about "close ties" between far-right extremist groups and those in the former president's orbit, but "that’s not the only thing the hearing will be about."
"We’re going to be going through, really, some of what we’ve already found, but augmenting with new material that we’ve discovered through our work throughout this summer," Lofgren said, specifically referring to "what the president's intentions were, what he knew what he did, what others did."
“I do think that it will be worth watching,” she added. “There’s some new material that I found as we got into it, pretty surprising.”
The panel is expected to focus, in part, on Trump's continued efforts to cast the results of the 2020 as fraudulent and back election deniers in November's midterm elections.
“There remains a clear and present danger to our electoral system and to democratic institutions," Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin told CNN. "That is something that will come through in our final hearing. This is not ancient history we’re talking about, this is a continuing threat."
“I think the single most urgent question is 'What is the continuing clear and present danger we face now from the forces that Donald Trump unleashed?'" Raskin added.
Committee member Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said in a recent interview that the hearing will “be potentially more sweeping than some of the other hearings.”
"But it, too, will be very thematic," Schiff said of the hearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” recently. "It will tell the story about a key element of Donald Trump's plot to overturn the election. And the public will certainly learn things it hasn't seen before, but it will also understand information it already has in a different context by seeing how it relates to other elements of this plot.”
Raskin was asked during a recent appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” if the hearing would feature testimony from either Thomas or Gingrich, though Raskin thought both were unlikely.
“I doubt that. But I think that there is an agreement in place with Ginni Thomas to come and talk, and I know the committee is very interested,” Raskin said, adding that testimony would likely be included in the committee’s final report, set to be published before the end of the year.
The committee has also recently spoken to several of Trump's Cabinet secretaries, including former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in July and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in August.
Additionally, lawmakers hope to get to the bottom of missing Secret Service texts from Jan. 5-6, which could shed further light on Trump’s actions during the insurrection, particularly after earlier testimony about his confrontation with security as he tried to join supporters at the Capitol. Thompson recently said the committee had obtained “thousands” of documents from the Secret Service.
“We are still investigating how [the deleted messages] came about and why that came about,” Schiff said during his interview with CNN. "But we do have a mountain of information that we need to go through. But I think it's fair to say that it won't be a complete substitute for some of the most important evidence, which would have been on those phones."
Another bit of unfinished business is the committee’s subpoenas to five House Republicans, including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
In May the panel subpoenaed McCarthy, R-Calif., and Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Mo Brooks of Alabama. The panel has investigated McCarthy’s conversations with Trump the day of the attack and meetings the four other lawmakers had with the White House beforehand as Trump and some of his allies worked to overturn his election defeat.
The five Republicans, all of whom have repeatedly downplayed the investigation’s legitimacy, have simply ignored the requests to testify. But the Jan. 6 committee seems unlikely to meet their defiance with contempt charges, as they have with other witnesses, in the weeks before the November elections. Not only would it be a politically risky move, but it is unclear what eventual recourse the panel would have against its own colleagues.
Members of the committee are also still debating how aggressively to pursue testimony from Trump and Pence.
Some have questioned whether the committee needs to call Pence, who resisted Trump’s pressure to try to block Joe Biden’s certification on Jan. 6. Many of his closest aides have already testified, including Greg Jacob, his top lawyer at the White House who was with him during the insurrection as they hid from rioters who were threatening the vice president’s life. Jacobs characterized much of Pence’s thought process during the time when Trump was pressuring him.
The panel has been in discussions with Pence’s lawyers for months, without any discernible progress. Still, the committee could invite Pence for closed-door testimony or ask him to answer written questions.
The calculation is different for the former president. Members have debated whether they should call Trump, who is the focus of their probe but also a witness who has fought against the investigation in court, denied much of the evidence and floated the idea of presidential pardons for Jan. 6 rioters. Trump is also facing scrutiny in several other investigations, including at the Justice Department over classified documents he took to his private club after his presidency.
The committee held its first public hearing June 9, and the prime-time broadcast gave the panel of seven Democrats and two Republicans its first opportunity to present evidence of its wide-ranging probe into the insurrection – the worst attack on the Capitol since the Civil War – directly to the American people.
The first hearing featured both video and in-person testimony from U.S. Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards and Nick Quested, a British documentary filmmaker who was embedded with the far-right group the Proud Boys on Jan. 6 and the night before.
Edwards, who was one of the first law enforcement officers injured that day, described falling behind a line of Metropolitan Police Department officers, when she first saw the scale of the chaos unfolding around her.
“I can just remember my breath catching in my throat because what I saw was just a war scene. It was something like I'd seen out of the movies. I couldn't believe my eyes,” she said. “There were officers on the ground. You know, they were bleeding. They were throwing up. ... I saw friends with blood all over their faces. I was slipping in people's blood.”
Subsequent hearings, while perhaps not offering the same gut-wrenching detail as the testimony provided by Edwards, have sought to better tie Trump’s actions – and failure to act – to the violence seen at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
The second hearing, held June 13, focused on Trump’s claims of voter fraud following the 2020 presidential election.
Despite his inner circle testifying that they pushed back against his false claims of a stolen election, Trump continued to promote the so-called “big lie,” which the panel has sought to connect to the mob of his supporters that stormed the U.S. Capitol in order to overturn the results of the election.
“President Trump rejected the advice of his campaign experts on election night, and instead followed the course recommended by an apparently inebriated Rudy Giuliani to just claim he won and insist the vote-counting stop, to falsely claim everything was fraudulent,” Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the panel’s vice chair, said at the hearing.
In its third public hearing, the House Select Committee focused on efforts to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 election.
The panel made its case that then-President Donald Trump knew that the effort to get Pence to reject the results of the election was unlawful, but he went through with it anyway – and when Pence refused, the president whipped up his supporters into a frenzy, putting the vice president in danger.
“Mike Pence said no,” Thompson said. “He resisted the pressure. He knew it was illegal. He knew it was wrong. We were fortunate for Mr. Pence’s courage. On Jan. 6, our democracy came dangerously close to catastrophe.”
Its fourth public hearing centered on Trump's efforts to pressure state officials to overturn the 2020 election, either by pressuring election officials in battleground states to reject ballots or submit slates of fake electors to Congress.
Rusty Bowers, speaker of the Arizona state House of Representatives, said he was asked multiple times by Trump and his allies to engage in efforts to overturn the election results in his state but resisted.
Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss, a former Georgia elections worker targeted by Trump and his allies in the wake of the election, recalled the ways in which Trump’s lies still impact her day-to-day life.
Moss had worked elections in Georgia for over a decade alongside her mother, Ruby Freeman, and told the committee she was taught by her grandmother “how important it is to vote and how people before me – a lot of people, older people, my family did not have that.”
In the weeks after the election, Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, shared a video of Moss and Freeman counting ballots on One America News Network, falsely alleging they tampered with the ballots. Giuliani and other allies mentioned both Moss and Freeman by name.
The fifth hearing focused on former Justice Department officials who faced down a relentless pressure campaign from Trump over the election results while suppressing a bizarre challenge from within their own ranks.
Witnesses included Jeffrey Rosen, who was acting attorney general on Jan. 6, 2021. Three days earlier, Rosen was part of a tense Oval Office showdown in which Trump contemplated replacing him with a lower-level official, Jeffrey Clark, who wanted to champion Trump’s bogus election fraud claims.
The sixth hearing heard explosive testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, who worked as a special assistant and aide to Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows.
Hutchinson testified that both Trump and Meadows were warned on the morning of Jan. 6 that supporters gathered on the National Mall brought weapons with them, yet they failed to take action to stop the ensuing violence. She also revealed that Meadows and Giuliani sought pardons from the former president before he left office.
The seventh hearing highlighted the way violent far-right extremists answered Trump’s “siren call” to come to Washington for a big rally on Jan. 6, particularly in how the former president utilized social media to address his supporters.
A former Twitter employee – whose identity was kept anonymous by the House committee – testified feeling growing dread that Trump was using the social media platform to galvanize dangerous extremists.
“My concern was that the former president, for seemingly the first time, was speaking directly to extremist organizations in giving them directives,” the employee said, referring specifically to Trump’s comments at a September 2020 presidential debate where he told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”
The eighth and most recent hearing focused on the president’s time inside the White House as the mob raided the U.S. Capitol — where he was, what he was doing and his decision not to stop the violent mob and answer pleas from members of Congress.
When the committee held its last hearing in July, Thompson said lawmakers would “reconvene in September to continue laying out our findings to the American people,” adding that the committee was still receiving “new information every day.”
And continue they did.
In early September, Thompson announced the committee was seeking information from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich about his communications with senior advisers to Trump in the days leading up to the attack on the Capitol.
In a letter, Thompson wrote that the panel had obtained emails Gingrich exchanged with Trump's associates about television advertisements that "repeated and relied upon false claims about fraud in the 2020 election" and were designed to cast doubt on the voting after it had already taken place.
Several weeks later, a lawyer for conservative activist Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, said her client had agreed to participate in a voluntary interview with the House panel.
Attorney Mark Paoletta said Thomas is “eager to answer the committee’s questions to clear up any misconceptions about her work relating to the 2020 election.”
The committee had for months sought an interview with Thomas in an effort to know more about her role in trying to help Trump overturn his election defeat. She texted with Meadows and contacted lawmakers in Arizona and Wisconsin in the weeks after the election.
And just this weekend, the committee subpoenaed Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos over an alleged phone call he had with Trump in July 2022, in which Trump allegedly asked Vos to “take measures to change the result of the 2020 presidential election in Wisconsin.”
Because the Jan. 6 panel is a temporary, or “select,” committee, it expires at the end of the current Congress. If Republicans take the majority in November’s elections, as they are favored to do, they are expected to dissolve the committee in January.
So the panel is planning to issue a final report by the end of December.
The committee must shut down within a month after issuing a final report, per its rules. But lawmakers could issue some smaller reports before then, perhaps even before the November elections. Thompson said earlier this summer that there may be an interim report in the fall.
The release of the final report will likely come close to the end of the year so the panel can maximize its time. While much of the findings will already be known, the report is expected to thread the story together in a definitive way that lays out the committee’s conclusions for history.
The committee is expected to weigh in on possible legislative changes to the Electoral Count Act, which governs how a presidential election is certified by Congress.
A bipartisan group of senators released proposed changes over the summer that would clarify the way states submit electors and the vice president tallies the votes. Trump and his allies tried to find loopholes in that law ahead of Jan. 6 as the former president worked to overturn his defeat to Biden and unsuccessfully pressured Pence to go along.
The Jan. 6 panel’s final report is expected to include a larger swath of legislative recommendations.