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January 6 committee unexpectedly adds new hearing for Tuesday


CNN

By Annie Grayer, CNN

The committee investigating the Capitol Hill insurrection on January 6, 2021, has added an unexpected public hearing for Tuesday afternoon, the committee announced Monday.

Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and a witness to many critical events and conversations, is expected to testify publicly on Tuesday, according to two sources familiar with the matter on Monday evening.

Her planned appearance was first reported by Punchbowl News.

The panel has not revealed the topic of the hearing, which will start at 1 p.m. ET and will mark the panel’s sixth hearing this month.

The announcement of this week’s hearing came as a surprise to many as the committee had said it was not going to resume its hearings until mid-July. Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the committee’s chairman, told reporters last week that the panel needed more time to go through the new documentary footage it received from documentarian Alex Holder, who possesses never-before-seen footage of former President Donald Trump and his family, new information from the National Archives and new tips coming in through the panel’s tip line.

The committee did not reveal the witness list or topic but said it would “present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony.”

Hutchinson has already been interviewed by the committee behind closed doors and video clips from her deposition have been featured by the panel during earlier hearings. But her live testimony would mark a significant moment in the committee’s series of hearings as she has long been considered one of its most consequential witnesses due to her proximity to Meadows.

A source familiar with the panel’s plans had told CNN earlier Monday that the committee was concerned about the security of a potential witness ahead of Tuesday’s hearing. The safety of the witness and the proceedings in general is in part why the committee has been so secretive about who will appear on Tuesday and what topics will be discussed.

The security concerns have also led to new precautions being taken inside the hearing room. Another source told CNN that some of the people who had regular front row seats for hearings were told they likely will not get them on Tuesday for security reasons.

A spokesperson for the committee declined to comment on its preparations for Tuesday’s hearing, which were first reported on by The Washington Post.

In its first five hearings, the committee laid out how Trump knew he lost the 2020 presidential election but pressured then-Vice President Mike Pence, state officials, and the Department of Justice to work to keep him in office anyway. Members of the committee previously laid out that its final two hearings would focus on the role domestic extremist groups played in attacking the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, and would fill in the gaps of what Trump was doing as the violence at the Capitol unfolded.

Holder’s “Unprecedented” three-part docuseries about the 2020 election will be released on Discovery Plus, which is owned by CNN’s parent company, later this summer. The documentary includes never-before-seen footage of the Trump family on the campaign trail and their reactions to the outcome of the election.

This story has been updated with additional developments Monday.

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CNN’s Ryan Nobles and Zachary Cohen contributed to this report.

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