January 6th Committee Returns With Focus On Final Weeks Before Insurrection, Extremist Groups’ Role in Capitol Attack

Two weeks after a surprise witness delivered devastating testimony about then-President Donald Trump’s conduct during the Capitol attack, the January 6th Committee returned with a hearing focused on the role of extremist groups in planning the siege.

But Tuesday’s hearing, once again carried across broadcast and cable networks, also is expected to shed some light on the closed-door testimony last week of Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel, with reports that he did not dispute what has been heard in past hearings. In an interview with NBC News, committee member Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland, said that he did not hear Cipollone contradict what Cassidy Hutchinson testified to earlier this month.

Hutchinson, former aide to Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testified that Trump and Meadows had been warned about the possibility of violence on that day. She also testified that Trump was more concerned with his crowd size at the Ellipse rally on January 6, rather than concerns over his own security given that some of the demonstrators had weapons. “They’re not hear to hurt me,” Trump said, according to her account. She also said that Cipollone warned that they would be charged with “every crime imaginable” if Trump was allowed to travel to the Capitol after his rally.

The hearing on Tuesday is expected to include clips of Cipollone’s testimony from Tuesday.

A focus of the committee also was expected to be on ties that far right groups like Oath Keepers and Proud Boys had to Trump allies.

The hearings themselves have had a noticeable uptick in the number of reporters in the room as well as visitors watching in person. A couple dozen stood off to the side of the Canon Caucus Room. The interest is a contrast to the hearings that preceded Trump’s first impeachment, with gallery seats unfilled as the sessions went on.

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