Takeaways From What Could Be the Last Jan. 6 Hearing

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(Newser)

The ninth and probably last public hearing from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack ended Thursday with a vote to subpoena former President Trump. Earlier, the panel presented more evidence that advisers had urged Trump to declare victory on Election Day in 2020 whether he had won or not, and that Trump privately acknowledged he had lost, despite his public claims that the election had been “stolen.” Some takeaways:

  • Powerful case” might not be enough. The committee presented a “powerful case full of damning testimony mainly from the defendant’s own advisers, allies, and even relatives,” Peter Baker writes at the New York Times. But it’s far from clear whether it will change the minds of many Trump supporters, he notes. The evidence may “have lit a fire at the Justice Department … as federal prosecutors appeared to ratchet up their own investigation in recent months,” Baker writes.
  • Subpoena was big step. The Hill calls the 9-0 vote in favor of the Trump subpoena a “remarkable step” after “months of wavering on whether to compel cooperation” from the former president. It “marks a major escalation” in the effort to hold Trump accountable for the Jan. 6 attack, though he is almost certain to challenge it in the courts, meaning the panel is unlikely to be able to obtain his testimony before its final report at the end of the year.
  • Footage showed leaders calling for help. In what the AP calls “one of its most riveting exhibits,” the panel showed previously unseen video of congressional leaders calling for help during the Capitol attack. “They’re breaking the law in many different ways,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says at one point. “And quite frankly, much of it at the instigation of the president of the United States.” (More on that here.)
  • New Secret Service evidence. Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said newly obtained documents show that Secret Service members expressed concerns about armed rallygoers and possible violence more than a week before Trump’s Jan. 6 rally, the Washington Post reports. He said the evidence “strongly suggests” that previous testimony from Secret Service members and White House witnesses, who said they hadn’t received information that officials could be in danger, was “not credible.”
  • Criminal referral question is still up in the air. The New York Times notes that the question of whether the committee will recommend criminal charges against Trump or anybody else was left unresolved, though Republican Rep. Liz Cheney said near the end of Wednesday’s hearing that there was “sufficient information to consider criminal referrals for multiple individuals.” The committee is expected to produce its final report in December and it will be dissolved 30 days later, before the new Congress in January, the AP reports.

(Read more Jan. 6 hearings stories.)

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