Donald Trump capitol
President Donald Trump is seen on the screen as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a primetime hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday, July 21, 2022 in Washington, DC. Image Credit: Washington Post

Washington: The congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol by Donald Trump’s supporters promised to present new evidence on Thursday during what could be its last chance to convince Americans the former president played a central role in the attempt to overturn his election defeat.

There will be no live witness testimony at the panel’s ninth public hearing this year, but the US House of Representatives Select Committee plans to present video evidence from witnesses who have not been seen at its prior hearings, and information from thousands of documents obtained from the Secret Service.

“We’re going to be looking at that entire plan, the entire multi-part plan to overturn the election. We’ll be looking at it in a broader context, and in a broader timeline as well,” a committee aide told journalists, speaking on condition of anonymity to preview the hearing.

The hearing follows eight others the Democratic-led House committee held in June and July, as well as one in July 2021.

It could be the last before the panel releases its final report, expected before the Nov. 8 midterm elections that will determine whether President Joe Biden’s fellow Democrats or Trump’s Republicans control Congress.

The panel’s chairperson, Democratic Representative Bennie Thompson, and vice chairperson, Republican Liz Cheney, will speak, as will its six other Democrats and one additional Republican, the aide said.

The select committee has been investigating the attack on the Capitol for more than a year, interviewing more than 1,000 witnesses. Its investigation is continuing.

The hearings held this year may have convinced some Republicans that Trump bears some responsibility for the riot. A Reuters/Ipsos poll showed that in early June, about a third of Republicans said Trump was at least partly responsible for the deadly attack. By late July, the share of Republicans with that view had risen to two in five.

A two-day Reuters/Ipsos poll concluded on Wednesday showed two in five Republicans still view Trump as at least partly responsible for the mayhem.

'Threats to our democracy'

The committee has used the hearings to build a case that Trump’s efforts to overturn his November 2020 presidential election defeat constitute illegal conduct, far beyond normal politics.

Previous hearings focused on Trump’s inaction before and during the riot, the former president’s pressure on Vice President Mike Pence to deny Biden’s victory, militant groups whose members participated in the attack and Trump’s interactions with close advisers questioning his false allegations of massive voter fraud.

The timeline for events to be discussed on Thursday will be extended from before Election Day 2020 to after Jan. 6, 2021, the committee aide said.

“There are ongoing threats to our democracy that persist to this day,” the aide said.

Committee members said Trump incited the riot by refusing to admit he lost the election and through comments including a December tweet calling on supporters to flock to Washington on Jan. 6, saying, “Be there, will be wild.” The one-time reality television star denies wrongdoing, hinting he will seek the White House again in 2024. He regularly holds rallies where he continues to claim falsely that he lost because of widespread fraud.

Trump and his supporters — including many Republicans in Congress — dismiss the Jan. 6 panel as a political witch hunt, but the panel’s backers say it is a necessary probe into a violent threat against democracy.

The attack on the Capitol injured more than 140 police officers and led to several deaths. More than 880 people have been arrested in connection with the riot, with more than 400 guilty pleas so far.