House January 6 select committee hears testimony behind closed doors

The House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has begun hearing from witnesses and expects to continue doing so in the days ahead, a committee aide confirmed to CBS News. The aide would not disclose the identities of those who are being questioned by the committee. 

The transcribed witness interviews were first reported by Politico

The committee said on September 22 that it had subpoenaed close allies of former President Trump: former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, senior counselor Steve Bannon, communications director Dan Scavino and Pentagon chief of staff Kashyap Patel. Depositions are scheduled for October 14 and 15. 

They face a deadline of October 7 to turn over related documents.

The committee last week also issued subpoenas to the organizers of former President Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally, which was held shortly before the Capitol was stormed by a mob of the former president’s supporters.

House Select Committee Investigating January 6 Attack On US Capitol Holds First Hearing
Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-MS, speaks during a hearing by the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on July 27, 2021 at the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C. Oliver Contreras / Getty Images

Select committee chair Bennie Thompson said in a statement that the panel members are “investigating the facts, circumstances, and causes of the January 6th attack and issues relating to the peaceful transfer of power, in order to identify and evaluate lessons learned and to recommend to the House and its relevant committees corrective laws, policies, procedures rules, or regulations. The inquiry includes examination of how various individuals and entities coordinated their activities leading up to the events of January 6, 2021.”

In July, Thompson sent letters to the National Archives and Records Administration and seven other agencies, asking for information on the gathering and dissemination of intelligence before the attack, security preparations around the Capitol, how various agencies responded, the planning of events in Washington that day and how the attack relates to attempts to overturn the results of the election.  

in June, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the creation of nine-member select committee to “investigate and report on the facts and the causes of the attack.” She said it would also write a report with “recommendations for the prevention of any future attack.” Earlier in the year, Senate Republicans blocked the creation of an independent commission, similar to the one created to investigate the September 11 terrorist attacks. 

Only two Republicans sit on the Committee: Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, both of whom voted to impeach Mr. Trump in February. Cheney, who is the vice chair, told “60 Minutes” in September that she had no hesitation about joining the committee after Pelosi called her “because it’s so important. And  and because I also know that — that my participation in the committee makes that committee bipartisan.”

Thousands of Trump supporters overran Capitol on January 6 to stop the count of electoral college votes affirming President Biden’s victory. Lawmakers, who were counting the Electoral College votes, were forced to flee from the floor, and Vice President Mike Pence was evacuated from the Senate chamber. Five people died either during the riot or in the aftermath, including a Capitol Police officer.

Security footage that has been released showed the attackers in pursuit of high-profile lawmakers, including Vice President Pence, Pelosi and GOP Utah Senator Mitt Romney. Video shown at Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial showed attackers menacingly yelling “Nancy! Oh Nancy” as they wandered the halls, and one man has been arrested after being photographed with his feet up on her desk.   

Zak Hudak and Caroline Linton contributed to this report.