Jan. 6 hearings will feature "disturbing" new evidence, House Democrat previews

"This was the greatest assault on American democracy in my lifetime," Rep. David Cicilline told CNN

Published June 6, 2022 11:35AM (EDT)

Trump supporters gather outside the U.S. Capitol building following a "Stop the Steal" rally on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. A pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol earlier, breaking windows and clashing with police officers. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Trump supporters gather outside the U.S. Capitol building following a "Stop the Steal" rally on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. A pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol earlier, breaking windows and clashing with police officers. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., on Thursday said that he expects "disturbing" new evidence to emerge from the House's upcoming Capitol riot hearings, where dozens of witnesses will be publicly questioned over their connection to and knowledge of January 6. 

"This is our democracy," the Rhode Island Democrat told CNN. "This was the greatest assault on American democracy in my lifetime. The world is watching to see how we respond to this."

By Cicilline's account, the nine-member committee charged with investigating the Capitol riot has already taken testimony from more than 1,000 people and collected over 135,000 documents related to the insurrection. 

"There will be, I think, substantial evidence that really demonstrates the coordination and the planning and the effort, despite the fact that they understood that Donald Trump lost the election and even once the insurrection began and the violence began, there were ongoing efforts to persuade the former President to stop the violence and call on folks to go home, and he refused to do it," the lawmaker said. 

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"I think the American people are going to learn facts about the planning and execution of this that will be very disturbing," Cicilline added. 


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This week, the January 6 panel is set to hold at least half a dozen televised hearings designed to lay bare much of the evidence it has collected since the committee's inception last July. The panel has said that it will proffer "previously unseen material." Details around the committee's schedule have yet to be released. According to CNN, the committee may interview two men with ties to former Vice President Mike Pence, including former Pence chief counsel Greg Jacob and former federal Judge J. Michael Lutti. The outlet also reported that Pence chief of staff Marc Short might provide testimony. 

Thus far, the committee has issued subpoenas against numerous allies of Donald Trump, including former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino, and most recently, Peter Navarro, one of Trump's former trade advisors. 

This week would not mark the first time that the January 6 panel has held hearings in relation to the Capitol riot. 

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Last July, the committee asked for testimony from four Capitol police officers who were tasked with defending the Capitol building during the insurrection. The proceedings offered a clearer glimpse into brutality of the insurgency, which reportedly left numerous officers with physical and emotional trauma.


By Jon Skolnik

Jon Skolnik is a staff writer at Salon. His work has appeared in Current Affairs, The Baffler, and The New York Daily News.

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