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Jan. 6 Committee holds first public hearing investigating attack on the US Capitol

Lawmakers on the Jan. 6 committee Thursday night plan to present information and testimony to the American people in an effort to show the country, during a primetime congressional hearing, that former President Donald Trump was the key to a plot to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

During Thursday’s hearing, lawmakers are expected to present videos of interviews with former top Trump officials and potentially family members created with the assistance of former ABC News president James Goldston.

JAN. 6 COMMITTEE AIMS TO SHOW ‘TRUMP WAS AT THE CENTER’ OF PLOT TO OVERTURN ELECTION WITH PRIMETIME HEARING

The hearing will also feature testimony from two live witnesses — Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards and filmmaker Nick Quested.

But a select committee aide said Wednesday the hearing in general will emphasize “ongoing threats to our democracy” related to Trump and Jan. 6.

“The vast majority of the material you will see … is previously unseen,” a select committee aide said Wednesday. “Whether it is recording video or audio of witnesses we’ve interviewed, whether it is records that we’ve obtained over the course of our investigation.

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“We will be revealing new details showing that the mob on Jan. 6 was the result of a coordinated, multistep effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election and stop the transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden. Trump was at the center of that effort.” 

Republicans are largely not involved in the committee hearings, as just two sit on the panel: Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger.

Republicans have argued that the committee is not legitimate because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., did not seat Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s chosen Republicans on the committee.

Republicans have also argued that the committee is ignoring the physical security of the Capitol to focus on the Trump-related storyline. 

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo insurrections loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. U.S. Capitol Police officers who were attacked and beaten during the Capitol riot filed a lawsuit Thursday, Aug. 26, against former President Donald Trump, his allies and members of far-right extremist groups, accusing them of intentionally sending insurrectionists to disrupt the congressional certification of the election in January. 

“We should study the events that led up to it. Why the Capitol was left unsecured on Jan. 6 when there was intelligence dating back before Jan. 6 something was going to happen,” GOP Rep. Jim Banks said in an interview with Fox News Digital. 

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But those supportive of the committee say it is taking Capitol security into account. It has a separate investigative team dedicated to security failures. Republicans are just using that point to deflect from Trump’s false claims the election was stolen and alleged culpability in the attack, committee supporters say. 

“The Capitol did not attack itself,” a spokesman for Jan. 6 Committee Ranking Member Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., told Fox News Digital. 

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 1: (L-R) Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), chair of the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, speaks as Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), vice-chair of the select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol,  Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)  and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) listen during a committee meeting on Capitol Hill on December 1, 2021 in Washington, D.C.

Thursday’s hearing is expected to be just one of several televised hearings from the Jan. 6 committee, with the next already announced for Monday and Wednesday next week. 

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The committee is expected to use their series of hearings to attempt to capture Americans’ attention before the November midterm elections—as they compete with inflation, rising gas prices, shortages in baby formula and more for political attention.

US President Donald Trump speaks to supporters from The Ellipse near the White House on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. - Thousands of Trump supporters, fueled by his spurious claims of voter fraud, are flooding the nation's capital protesting the expected certification of Joe Biden's White House victory by the US Congress. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

A select committee aide said the Thursday event will serve as an “opening statement” to grab Americans’ attention and to preview subsequent hearings. 

Thursday’s hearing comes after months of interviews, depositions and the committee subpoenaing more than 1,000 people and gathering more than 140,000 documents.

Among those reported to have been interviewed by the committee are Donald Trump Jr., former Attorney General Bill Barr, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Ratffensperger and more.

Former President Trump on Thursday, hours before the hearing, posted on his own TRUTH Social, slamming the “corrupt politicians” on the panel, and blasting them as “political thugs.” 

Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report.

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