The House committee probing the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection will start holding public hearings Thursday, looking to draw national attention to witness testimony and evidence gathered during nearly a year of investigating.
The committee is made up of nine House members — seven Democrats and two Republicans. It formed last summer, about six months after the U.S. Capitol riot, to investigate the attack and events and communications around it.
After an attempt to form a bipartisan commission with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) failed, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) moved forward in appointing the entire committee.
Here are the members serving on the House Jan. 6 committee and some of their comments on the panel's work thus far.
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) serves as chairman of the committee. Thompson has led the committee since its inception. He has said there is “no question” that the Jan. 6 insurrection was a premeditated attack based on the evidence the committee has received.
He has called his role leading the committee “ironic” given his background as a Black man from “one of the most racist states.”
Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) serves as the vice chairwoman and is one of two Republican members on the committee. Thompson said in September that her appointment underscores the “bipartisan nature” of the committee’s work.
But Cheney has faced sharp criticism as a result of her decision to participate in the committee’s investigation and her rebukes of former President Trump’s claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential election. House Republicans voted to remove Cheney as conference chairwoman last May, and she is now facing a Trump-endorsed challenger for her primary in August.
Cheney said last month hat Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election results is a "threat we have never faced before."
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), the other Republican serving on the committee, has also faced pushback after he voted to impeach Trump for his role in inciting the Capitol insurrection and joined the Jan. 6 committee. Kinzinger announced in October that he would not seek reelection to his seat, ending a 12-year career in the House. He has remained one of the most vocal GOP critics of Trump.
Kinzinger was not originally a member of the committee, but Pelosi appointed him after McCarthy pulled his picks from consideration.
McCarthy denied blaming Trump for the insurrection immediately following the attack, but tapes later revealed that he did, which Kinzinger said showed that Republican leaders think their voters are “dumb.”
Rep. Pete Aguilar (Calif.), the vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, argued in March in favor of the Justice Department bringing contempt charges against witnesses who have refused to cooperate despite subpoenas from the committee.
The Justice Department has brought charges for contempt of Congress against former Trump strategist Stephen Bannon and former trade adviser Peter Navarro but has not charged his former chief of staff Mark Meadows or Dan Scavino, his former deputy chief of staff for communications, who have also been subpoenaed by the committee.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the House Administration Committee, said in March on PBS’s “NewsHour” that what unfolded during the riot was a more serious threat to American democracy than Watergate. In April, she said the members of the House Jan. 6 committee are “not afraid” to release any information or call any witness to testify.
The committee has issued subpoenas for a range of witnesses, including Reps. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and Scott Perry (R-Pa.) and Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr. who spoke at the Jan. 6 rally at the Ellipse near the White House. Multiple family members have voluntarily cooperated, including the former president's daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner.
The committee has not said who will testify during its upcoming slate of eight hearings.
Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) said in an interview in late March that Kushner’s interview with the committee was “really valuable” to the investigation.
Luria also called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to act on the contempt charges the committee has recommended.
“Attorney General Garland, do your job so we can do ours,” she said at a meeting where the committee forwarded its recommendation for charges against Scavino and Navarro.
Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) said in February that the committee needs to be aware of the impact its actions could have moving forward.
“The people who were involved were at all levels of government — local, state and federal — and the unprecedented nature of the event has led us to be very careful about how we proceed in the investigation because we are setting precedents,” Murphy told The Hill at the time.
“But we will be thorough in how we get all the information,” she added.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), who led the House impeachment case against Trump in January, has been vocal about the Jan. 6 committee’s findings and what the American people will learn from the public hearings.
He said Monday that the committee members have found evidence on Trump that is “a lot more than incitement.” Trump was impeached following the insurrection for incitement, but the Senate did not reach the requisite two-thirds majority vote needed to convict him.
Raskin told Washington Post Live on Tuesday that the hearing this week will “tell a story of a conspiracy to overturn the 2020 presidential election.”
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) emphasized on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that the hearing this week will be the first time there will be a “comprehensive narrative” on the events surrounding the insurrection.
He said “a number of bombshells” have already been released during the committee’s investigation but that there is more to be revealed. Schiff is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which was at the center of the investigation in Trump's first impeachment for allegedly soliciting foreign help in an election.