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The special House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 assault on the U.S. Capitol postponed its scheduled hearing for Wednesday, citing the rapid approach of Hurricane Ian.
“In light of Hurricane Ian bearing down on parts of Florida, we have decided to postpone tomorrow’s proceedings,” the panel led by Chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said in a statement. “We’re praying for the safety of all those in the storm’s path. The Select Committee will soon announce a date for the postponed proceedings.”
Hurricane Ian is expected to batter the coast of Florida later this week including the district of Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy — one of the panel’s key members.
The decision to postpone the hearing also comes as most media outlets are expected to provide wall-to-wall coverage of the hurricane, likely diminishing the impact of the hearing.
The committee, compromised largely of Democrats and two anti-Trump Republicans, was set to hold one of its final hearings before the midterm elections this week. Set for noon Wednesday, the hearing was expected to see lawmakers unveil new evidence in their quest to prove former President Donald Trump sought to overturn the 2020 election.
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“This hearing, at this point, is the final hearing,” said Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., last week. “But it’s not in stone because things happen.”
No public testimony was expected from the hearing. Lawmakers instead were poised to summarize the findings of their nearly 15-month long investigation.
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Missing from the committee’s hearings, however, have been testimony from Trump and other key players that were in the White House or Congress on Jan. 6. Not only has Trump refused to cooperate with the panel, but so have the former president’s top congressional allies.
Although the committee still could hold further hearings in preparation for the release of its final report later this year, the panel is quickly approaching its end date.
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The committee is set to disband at the end of this Congress unless lawmakers vote to reauthorize it next year. That likelihood is slim given that Republicans, who have refused to take part in the panel’s deliberations, are expected to win control of the House.