WASHINGTON — The House hearing investigating the catalysts behind the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol will continue Thursday and is expected to explore then-President Trump’s efforts to pressure the Justice Department in the days after the election.
The hearing will examine Trump’s “attempt to corrupt the country’s top law enforcement body, the Justice Department, to support his attempt to overturn election,” House select committee Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, said during his closing remarks at Tuesday’s hearing.
“Just as we heard today that Donald Trump was deeply involved in the scheme to pressure state officials to overturn the election results, we will hear on Thursday that Donald Trump was also the driving force behind the effort to corrupt the Justice Department,” Thompson said.
Thursday’s hearing will be led by Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Illinois, and will feature testimony from Richard Donoghue, who served as the acting U.S. deputy attorney general from December 2020 to January 2021.
Former Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark is alleged to have repeatedly pushed his colleagues in the Justice Department to investigate new theories about election fraud and asked the department to instruct some states to “decertify” the results. Trump considered installing Clark as attorney general over acting Attorney Gen. Jeff Rosen, who said there was no evidence of fraud that could sway the election. Donoghue, in a deposition clip shown at the end of Tuesday’s hearing, said he would have instantly resigned if Trump did so.
The Jan. 6 committee hearings, which had been scheduled to wrap up Thursday, may stretch well into the summer.
“The original hearings would have wrapped up in June, but we are picking up new evidence on a daily basis with enormous velocity, and so we’re constantly incorporating and including the new information that’s coming out,” committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Maryland, told reporters after Tuesday’s hearing. “Certainly the hearings will conclude before the end of the summer, but I don’t know that we’re going to make it by the end of June.”
For the schedule of further hearings, the committee will “have to figure it out” and make an announcement accordingly, Raskin said.
“There is evidence coming in from diverse sources now,” he said, “and I think that people have seen that we’re running a serious investigation that is bipartisan in nature, that is focused just on getting the facts of what happened, and a lot of people are coming forward now with information.”
Story by Anumita Kaur, Los Angeles Times.