Capitol riot committee holds first hearing

By Melissa Macaya, Veronica Rocha, Mike Hayes, Meg Wagner, Maureen Chowdhury and Melissa Mahtani, CNN

Updated 7:48 p.m. ET, July 27, 2021
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8:38 a.m. ET, July 27, 2021

New Capitol riot video footage expected to be featured in today's hearing

From CNN’s Lauren Fox

Jon Cherry/Getty Images
Jon Cherry/Getty Images

One source familiar with the planning for Tuesday’s first House select committee hearing investigating the attack on the US Capitol tells CNN the hearing will include new video footage from the perspective of police officers who were engaged with the mob on Jan. 6.

The footage is expected to give viewers new perspectives into what first responders experienced and further underscore to the public the horrors of the day.

The four officers testifying – DC Metropolitan Police officers Daniel Hodges and Michael Fanone, plus Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn and Sgt. Aquilino Gonell – have shared their stories publicly before and include accounts of being beaten with a flagpole, the target of racist slurs, crushed in a door and tased by the rioters. 

Preparation continued over the weekend for members and staff who were just getting settled in the new jobs. The select committee members were expected to meet Monday afternoon for a preparation session.

The session came just a day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi officially named GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger to the committee.

8:41 a.m. ET, July 27, 2021

Republicans are plotting plans for counter programming today and beyond

From CNN's Lauren Fox

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaks at a news conference on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to reject two of McCarthy’s selected members from serving on the committee investigating the January 6th riots on July 21, 2021 in Washington, DC.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaks at a news conference on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to reject two of McCarthy’s selected members from serving on the committee investigating the January 6th riots on July 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Republicans will hold a news conference featuring the five members that Kevin McCarthy wanted to appoint to the select committee before that official panel kicks off its first official hearing today, two sources familiar with the planning told CNN.

The presser is the beginning of what could become a sustained effort by Republicans to provide a counter narrative to Democrats’ select committee, which includes two Republicans: Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney.

After tomorrow, one source familiar with the planning told CNN the plan is then to use the seven-week recess to begin charting a course on how to most effectively challenge the select committee’s investigation.

One of the biggest challenges for Republicans is the fact that they won’t have the subpoena power nor the resources the select committee will have to engage in a sweeping investigation. Not to mention their argument that the panel is not bipartisan is undermined by the fact Cheney and Kinzinger are both serving on it.

In the meantime, as CNN's Ryan Nobles and Melanie Zanona reported there is growing angst over whether GOP leadership should take swift steps to oust Kinzinger and Cheney from their committees. However, a source familiar with those talks says one factor in holding off on that kind of punishment is the belief that Cheney and Kinzinger will face plenty of backlash back home that could be far more damaging to their political futures than action by the Republican conference in Washington could ever be. Kicking them off committees, the source warned would be “more symbolic” than anything. 

The prevailing wisdom right now is it would be better to let Cheney and Kinzinger’s voters decide in 2022. Does that change when members return, we will see.

9:23 a.m. ET, July 27, 2021

What to expect in today's hearing, according to a Jan. 6 committee member

From CNN's Manu Raju and Lauren Fox 

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Rep. Adam Schiff, a member of the Jan. 6 select committee, said on a conference call with reporters Monday that the five-minute rule for member questioning "won't be vigorously adhered to" and he expected each member to go for about 10 minutes.

He said he predicts the hearing will last about two and a half hours.

There will be one round of questioning among the members, with never-before-seen videos depicting the violence on Jan. 6. The videos will contain profane language, an aide said.

The goal, Schiff said, is to portray "what is what is like to be on the frontlines for the brave police officers" and to push back on efforts to whitewash the events of that day. 

Schiff also briefly spoke about what it’s been like to work with two Republican members in preparation for the hearing complimenting both Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger who he said were committed to getting to the truth. He added that the members were “very constructive” and “it’s not a partisan investigation and when we meet, we meet as a group."

What he thinks will happen next: Schiff said he expects lawmakers on the panel will be "outlining the scope of our investigation" once they are done with Tuesday's hearing with a "strong emphasis to get documents."

The Democrat said the committee will determine which witnesses they will pursue and when — and he said the committee still needs to decide the sequencing of their probe related to the planning and execution of the Jan. 6 attack. He also outlined the committee will need to decide which documents need to be subpoenaed. 

Schiff said he wanted to look at several aspects of Jan. 6 including initial intelligence, breakdowns in intel, how White nationalist groups organized and what people in the Trump administration knew.

7:59 a.m. ET, July 27, 2021

A look back at how the Jan. 6 House select committee was established

From CNN's Jedd Rosche and Christopher Hickey

The House Jan. 6 select committee will hold its first hearing this morning and it will include testimony from law enforcement officers who responded to the insurrection.

The US House of Representatives voted last month to create the new select committee following failed efforts in Congress to pass legislation to create an independent 9/11-style bipartisan commission to investigate the riot.

In the months since the storming of the Capitol, supporters of former President Trump have sought to downplay the events of Jan. 6, which left several dead, dozens of officers wounded and halted the certification of President Biden’s victory.

Earlier this month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed eight members — seven Democrats and one Republican, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming — to serve on the panel.

As part of the legislation creating the committee, Republicans were supposed to get five slots on the committee, though Pelosi had the ability to reject the GOP choices.

That’s exactly what she did when on July 21 she announced she would veto two of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s choices.

Following Pelosi’s announcement, McCarthy withdrew all five of his selections. On July 25, Pelosi invited GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois to join the committee, making him the second GOP lawmaker to sit on the panel.

Read more about the committee and its members here.