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Jan. 6 hearings: What witnesses and evidence revealed

The top moments, takeaways and analysis from the House select committee's eye-opening first public hearing on the Capitol riot.

The House Jan. 6 select committee kicked off its series of public hearings on the U.S. Capitol riot on Thursday. The Democratic-led panel presented findings from its roughly year-long investigation into the attack, including former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Our panel of expert contributors for this live blog featured The ReidOut Blog reporter Ja’han Jones and MSNBC Daily reporter and editor Hayes Brown, along with MSNBC Daily columnists Frank Figliuzzi, Joyce Vance and Michael A. Cohen.

470d ago / 3:00 AM UTC

Thursday's biggest takeaway should worry Trump

Earlier this week, Washington Commanders coach Jack Del Rio called the events of Jan. 6 a ”dust-up.” Tonight, Edwards slammed the door on that silliness. In harrowing detail, she spoke of being knocked unconscious, blinded by tear gas and slipping in people’s blood. She talked about trying to help Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who she said was as white as a sheet of paper after being attacked by rioters. (Sicknick would die on Jan. 7, 2021.)

Edwards' testimony, combined with the harrowing video produced by the committee, is a compelling reminder of how violent that day was and how miraculous it is that more lives weren’t lost. 

It’s been more than a year and half since the Capitol riot and it’s easy to forget what happened that day. Most Americans have not followed this story closely, but today’s testimony will perhaps remind Americans of the violence inflicted on the nation’s Capitol by Trump and his supporters. 

But the bigger takeaway from tonight’s hearing is that there is no defense for Trump’s actions — not just on Jan. 6, but in the two months before that as well. We learned tonight that practically everyone around the president — from Barr to his daughter Ivanka — refused to believe his claims of election theft. We learned that he was told repeatedly by his advisers that he’d lost the election. And we were reminded once again of his unimaginable callousness toward his vice president.

I don’t know if this will move public opinion or change people’s attitudes toward Trump and the coterie of Republicans who have enabled him. But it certainly should.

470d ago / 2:53 AM UTC

DOJ, are you watching? 

Whether we view tonight’s first hearing as an opening argument in a trial, or as a sneak preview of a made-for-television movie, this was a compelling evening that should cause concerned Americans to come back for more. We watched video of Trump’s own attorney general testifying that election fraud allegations were “bullshit.” We heard Trump’s own daughter say that she agreed with the attorney general. We heard a wounded Capitol officer remind us that Jan. 6 was akin to combat. We saw evidence that violent domestic extremist groups were inspired by the president to act out violently. 

The way forward is clearer now. Over the next days and weeks, the committee will submit evidence on two fronts. First, that Trump and those around him knew that violence was coming and did nothing to stop it. And second, that despite understanding that President Joe Biden won the election, Trump and his conspirators continued their attempts to overturn a legitimate election. DOJ, are you watching? 

470d ago / 2:53 AM UTC

Congressional hearings are much better without Congress

I agree with Michael Cohen’s take from earlier, that the lack of pro-Trump voices tonight resulted in a refreshing break from “the usual partisan food fights that break out at these hearings.” But I’d go a step further: This was one of the most effective congressional hearings in a long time, mostly because of how few members of Congress we actually heard from.

At most hearings, you’ll all too often see members wander into whatever committee or subcommittee is meeting just ahead of their allotted time to question witnesses. They’ll ask a few grandstanding, camera-ready questions in hopes of producing a good soundbite or viral moment. Sometimes what’s been asked is even a direct repeat of whatever had just been asked minutes ago. They’ll then wander back out of the room without bothering to listen to anyone else’s line of inquiry. It undercuts any belief that these hearings are a valuable use of anyone’s time. 

Instead, we saw Thompson and Cheney deliver opening statements before asking a few focused questions of the witnesses present while the rest of the committee listened intently. It will be nice if we see some more active back-and-forth questioning during some of the subsequent hearings from the full panel. There are some real bright, curious minds present in that room whose perspectives will be interesting to hear as they pull information out of witnesses. But for tonight, silence was golden.

470d ago / 2:42 AM UTC

470d ago / 2:32 AM UTC

Exposing the truth about Trump's 'willful blindness'

A lot of ink has been spilled on the topic of whether Trump knew he’d lost the election. It’s an important question — if not the most important question in the context of potential criminal culpability. 

Thursday, the committee seriously undercut the theory that Trump actually believed his “big lie.” (And one strongly suspects the committee is not done yet in this regard). Tonight we learned, for example, that Trump was told by both his data experts and his own attorney general that he’d lost.

This matters because of a legal doctrine called “willful blindness,” which says a defendant can’t continue to maintain he didn’t know something — in this case, that Trump didn’t know he’d lost the election — if they have been credibly notified of the truth. Hearing the truth from your attorney general, a man who’d gone along with virtually all of your other whims, would seem to qualify. Even Ivanka was compelled by the evidence against fraud, saying she respected and believed Barr when he said no fraud tainted the outcome of the election. Trump’s continued insistence that he’d won, despite credible evidence there wasn’t any fraud and he’d actually lost, puts prosecutors one step closer to having the evidence necessary to bring criminal charges. 

Willful blindness is especially relevant in terms of Trump’s efforts to compel Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” him 11,780 votes. (Raffensberger will reportedly testify in person later in these hearings.) 11,780, of course, was the precise number of votes Trump needed to beat Biden in the state. It seems almost too obvious to bear repeating, but if you know you’ve lost, and you ask people you think are on your side to manufacture enough ballots to let you win, then you’re engaging in criminal conduct.

470d ago / 2:24 AM UTC

Why Cheney’s moving exchange with Officer Edwards matters

 Cheney’s exchange with Officer Caroline Edwards was riveting and deeply emotional. Cheney asked Edwards to describe a video showing Edwards being overwhelmed and ultimately knocked out after rioters pushed against a barricade. 

Edwards’ head hit the concrete steps behind her as rioters stampeded through, en route to the Capitol. When she regained consciousness, Edwards said she made her way to the Senate and House’s west terraces to help officers who were fighting another group of rioters. There, Edwards said she and Officer Brian Sicknick, who died the day after the attack, were sprayed with an unknown chemical agent. Edwards testified that she was tear-gassed after that. 

Her testimony gave viewers a sense of how numerous the rioters were, and how difficult it was for officers to quell the violent revolt. And it stood in stark contrast to conservatives’ consistently dismissive descriptions of the riot. 

Georgia Republican Rep. Andrew Clyde, for example, compared the riot to a “normal tourist visit” last year. 

But the officers who were there know the real truth, and Edwards spoke for them tonight. 

“It was carnage. It was chaos,” she said. It doesn’t get clearer than that.

470d ago / 2:17 AM UTC

GOP lawmakers can't downplay Jan. 6 and claim to be pro-police

As a 25-year veteran of federal law enforcement, I was moved by Edwards’ testimony. Her experience on Jan. 6 was akin to being at war — sadly — with the very citizens whose Capitol building she protects.

In fact, Edwards noted that she was “not combat-trained” but what she went through that day was like hours of hand-to-hand combat. She was knocked out, sprayed with chemical agents and exposed to other people’s blood.

I never again want to hear GOP members of Congress, who defend the Capitol attack or attempt to minimize it, claim they are pro-law enforcement or that they “back the blue.”

470d ago / 1:50 AM UTC

Congrats to Mick Mulvaney on his new job as member of the resistance

Video the Jan. 6 committee showed of the Capitol attack and Trump’s response to it was harrowing. So harrowing, in fact, that even Mick Mulvaney — who served as the Trump White House’s budget director and its “acting” chief of staff — felt compelled to comment on Twitter.

Mulvaney has been attempting to rehabilitate and distance himself from Trump World since he resigned in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack and has joined CBS News as a political analyst. But even with the dig at the committee’s leaders, his tweet emphasized just how compelling the video of the insurrectionist’s siege that was shown might be to some former Trump fans.

470d ago / 1:45 AM UTC

Trump said jump. Proud Boys and Oath Keepers leaders asked, how high?

The committee’s investigation is now focusing on Trump’s influence over violent extremist groups, including both the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers. Specifically, investigators are seeking to link former President Donald Trump’s now infamous “Stand back and stand by” debate response to the Proud Boys’ violence on Jan. 6. 

The committee noted that Proud Boys were immediately inspired by those remarks, with one leader responding on Telegram: “Standing down and standing by, Sir.” Trump tweets were also cited as inspiring Oath Keepers and Proud Boys to action. 

The strategy here appears to be to submit evidence that Trump had a role in radicalizing and motivating these groups to take action on his behalf. We’ll likely see more of this evidence in the days ahead.

470d ago / 1:41 AM UTC

Jayapal overcome with emotion during a hearing that starts to connect many dots

NBC News' Capitol Hill correspondent Ali Vitali chatted with an emotional Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., outside the hearing minutes ago.

470d ago / 1:24 AM UTC

Capitol police officer testifies: I gave my ‘literal blood, sweat and tears’

Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards told the committee she gave her “literal blood, sweat and tears” while defending the Capitol on Jan. 6. She described being assaulted and verbally abused by the violent rioters.

“They dared to question my honor,” she testified. “They dared to question my loyalty and they dared to question my duty. I am a proud American and will gladly sacrifice everything to make sure the America my grandfather sacrificed for is here for many years to come.”

470d ago / 1:08 AM UTC

The shadow of the 25th Amendment looms very large

The 25th Amendment, which exists for scenarios where the president is deemed unable to carry out the duties of his office, has already featured prominently in Thursday’s hearing. And we can bet we will hear a lot more about the amendment during subsequent proceedings. The point here is that many senior people around former President Donald Trump thought he might be incapable of functioning in his role as the chief executive. 

“You will hear about members of the Trump cabinet discussing the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment, which provides for the replacement of the President,” said Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo, noting that everyone from family members to cabinet officials were openly worried about the president's fitness. One Cabinet official even “suggested that remaining Cabinet officers take a more active role in running the White House and the administration” as the country hurtled toward Biden's inauguration.

Cheney also pointed to a particularly telling text exchange between Fox News host Sean Hannity and then-White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. In multiple messages, Trump friend and ally Hannity wrote: “Yes, impeachment and 25th amendment are real, and many people will quit.”

“Love that," McEnany responded. "That’s the playbook."

470d ago / 1:07 AM UTC

Cheney outlines circumstantial evidence of a conspiracy

Evidence of a conspiracy? Cheney pointed to the White House meeting that included Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani and Michael Flynn meeting alone with Trump — until staff got wind of it. Cheney said they discussed “dramatic steps,” including seizing voting machines and holding new elections.

From a legal standpoint, this is interesting evidence that prosecutors could use as a springboard for investigating the existence of a conspiracy. To charge a conspiracy, you need to prove two or more people entered into an agreement to accomplish an objective and that they took an overt step towards accomplishing it. 

An hour after the meeting broke up, Trump encouraged his followers on Twitter to “be there, it will be wild.”

While that may not be the whole ball of wax needed to prove a conspiracy, it’s awfully good circumstantial evidence that an agreement was reached in the meeting and Trump was following up. It will be important to see if the committee presents more precise evidence of what the agreement entailed.

470d ago / 12:57 AM UTC

Cheney rightly defends the Capitol police from GOP conspiracy theories

Cheney took a hacksaw to right-wing conspiracy theories alleging Capitol police officers and the federal government were somehow responsible for the Jan. 6 attack. 

“As part of our investigation, we will present information about what the White House and other intelligence agencies knew and why the Capitol was not better prepared,” Cheney said. “But we will not lose sight of the fact that the Capitol police did not cause the crowd to attack.”

Trump Supporters Hold "Stop The Steal" Rally In DC Amid Ratification Of Presidential Election
Trump supporters storm the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.Samuel Corum / Getty Images

As we listen to harrowing testimony from Caroline Edwards, a Capitol police officer who was seriously injured during last year’s deadly riot, we can’t forget the absurd conspiracies Republicans tried to spread alleging the violent attack on Jan. 6 was contrived by the government.  

Republicans including ex-President Donald Trump, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie were just a few of the conservatives who falsely suggested agitators in the federal government bore responsibility. The lie has been disproven, but the fact that so many Republicans tried to run with it suggests they’re fully aware that their followers’ violence is a political liability.

470d ago / 12:56 AM UTC

Republicans sought pardons for trying to overturn the election

I’ve lost track of all the bombshells in Cheney’s opening statement, but don’t sleep on this one: Multiple members of Congress desperately sought pardons from Trump for their efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

The key part here is not that they sought pardons, but why they wanted them. It suggests consciousness of guilt from these members. Or to put in simpler terms: They knew they had done something wrong. 

But it also shows they knew the president’s claim about a stolen election were baseless. Why would they need pardons if they were merely raising questions about the election or pursuing legitimate avenues of inquiry? We still need to learn more the specifics of these requests? For example, who made the requests and when. But this is going to make a lot of folks on Capitol Hill very uncomfortable.

470d ago / 12:50 AM UTC

Lordy, there are tapes

We’re 45 minutes into this hearing and already this Jan. 6 hearing has been extremely effective at using video from its months of depositions. There have been excerpts from Barr, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Pence’s former chief of staff and several Trump campaign aides. (While these excerpts have been brief so far, it is my hope that eventually the deposition videos and their transcripts will be released in full as the hearings proceed.)

While some of the information being presented has been reported before, it’s different hearing these words coming straight from the mouths of former Trump allies. It will be hard for Republicans and conservative media to fully disavow the evidence that is even now being clipped and spreading virally across social media.

470d ago / 12:43 AM UTC

Meanwhile, on Fox News...

As Cheney gave her opening remarks, Fox News showed live video of the hearing — but did not air the audio. Instead, Tucker Carlson provided his own commentary about the hearings.

MSNBC Daily columnist Dean Obeidallah wrote earlier this week that there's an obvious reason the right-wing news network refuses to broadcast the hearings.

"Fox News is depriving its audience of the truth by design," Obeidallah wrote. "If it were to air the facts, that could very well undermine the past lies broadcast by its own anchors and people beloved by its audience, like Trump."

470d ago / 12:39 AM UTC

Rep. Liz Cheney is laying a clear foundation to take down Trump

Through Rep. Liz Cheney, we can see the committee laying a foundation to prove that President Trump knew he had lost and that all the allegations of fraud, including voting machine issues, were false. We’ve already heard that Attorney General Bill Barr testified: “I repeatedly told him in no uncertain terms that I did not see evidence of fraud…that would change the outcome of the election.”

Barr noted that the allegations against voting machine maker Dominion was ”crazy stuff” that did a “disservice to the nation.” And the committee followed that clip with one of Ivanka Trump telling the committee she had great respect for Barr and accepted his findings. This is important, because if Trump understood that he didn’t win, but pursued the overturning of the election, this can become the basis of criminal charges.

470d ago / 12:24 AM UTC

Video testimony from Bill Barr shows the AG calling Trump's election lies 'bullshit'

The committee came in hot, starting with video footage of former Attorney General Bill Barr testifying that he had three discussions with ex-President Donald Trump in which he voiced his disagreement with the plan to falsely claim the election was stolen. 

“I made it clear that I didn’t agree with the idea of saying the election was stolen and putting out this stuff, which I told the president was bullshit. I didn’t want to be a part of it, and that’s one of the reasons that went into me deciding to leave when I did,” Barr said. 

He went on to say, “You can’t live in a world where the incumbent administration stays in power based on its view, unsupported by specific evidence, that there was fraud in the election.”

470d ago / 12:20 AM UTC

A rare congressional hearing devoid of partisan sniping

This is a very odd congressional hearing in that we will not be hearing from both sides tonight. Unlike the two most recent House impeachment trials, there are no pro-Trump voices on the committee. Instead, we have two Republicans who are far from pro-MAGA voices. That means that we’re not going to have the usual partisan food fights that break out at these hearings.

The committee will have an unprecedented opportunity to present Americans an uninterrupted narrative about what took place on Jan. 6. It’s a very different dynamic than in the past and creates a unique opportunity for the committee to gets its story about Jan. 6 into the public discourse devoid of partisan sniping.

470d ago / 12:18 AM UTC

This time, the enemies to the Constitution were domestic, Chairman Thompson says

The first to speak Thursday night, Chairman Bennie Thompson noted that the current oath of office members of Congress must all swear commits them to defending the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That latter bit was only added after the Civil War, Thompson noted, when the members of the Confederacy took up arms against the Union — and the Constitution. (Today, there are members of Congress who arguably have broken that oath and are currently facing lawsuits under laws passed to prevent insurrectionists from holding office.) 

Here’s the oath members of the House and Senate take in full:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

470d ago / 12:04 AM UTC

Committee chair’s opening remarks warn against sweeping Jan. 6 ‘under the rug’

In his opening statement, committee Chair Bennie Thompson will tell the country: “We can’t sweep what happened under the rug. 

“The American people deserve answers,” Thompson will say, according to excepts of his statement released ahead of the hearing. “So I come before you this evening not as a Democrat, but as an American who swore an oath to defend the Constitution. The Constitution doesn’t protect just Democrats or just Republicans. It protects all of us: ‘We the People.’ And this scheme was an attempt to undermine the will of the people.”

The question he asks is whether we still live in a country where people can put aside party in service of country, as Republicans did during Watergate.

470d ago / 12:02 AM UTC

Officer Dunn pushes back on Washington Commanders' Jack Del Rio

Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, who has spoken openly and often about his harrowing experiences during the Capitol riot, pushed back on those who might try to downplay the Jan. 6 violence. In an interview with MSNBC tonight, Dunn specifically noted recent comments from Washington Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, who this week characterized the insurrection as a mere “dust-up at the Capitol” and opined that authorities should instead be investigating protests against police brutality.

As MSNBC Daily columnist Dave Zirin pointed out Thursday, Del Rio’s tweet was “classic disinformation — both depressingly ignorant and brazenly racist. Del Rio seems to be feeling confident enough to flex his ignorance, luxuriating in the current racist backlash against teaching history and voting rights.”

Click the story below for more on Del Rio’s comments — and his subsequent lackluster apology.

470d ago / 11:54 PM UTC

Why this Jan. 5 Proud Boys-Oath Keepers meeting is a wake-up call

The committee and other insiders have indicated that tonight's hearing will focus in large part on the role of violent extremist groups. Notably, one witness is a documentarian who recorded a meeting in a parking garage, the day before the Capitol attack, between Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio and Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes. Both men have been charged with seditious conspiracy. 

Back in 1957, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover refused to believe there was an organized mafia that posed any threat to the U.S. But, in November of 1957, local police in upstate New York discovered 60 Italian mob family leaders having a coordination meeting in one of their homes. This meeting changed the FBI’s approach to America’s organized crime threat. The Jan. 5, 2021 Proud Boys-Oath Keepers meeting should serve as that same kind of wake-up call for the domestic terror threat we’re currently facing.  

470d ago / 11:48 PM UTC

Widow of fallen D.C. police officer says she'd testify if asked

Erin Smith, the widow of D.C Metropolitan police officer Jeffrey Smith, who died after defending the Capitol on Jan. 6, told MSNBC Thursday night that she would testify during one of the upcoming hearings if invited by the committee.

“I think they need to know what an officer went through that's no longer here with us," she said. "They’ve heard from ones that are still here. And the ones that aren’t have a story as well."

Smith is meeting with a committee official tonight, her attorney said.

Jeffrey Smith died by suicide days after the Capitol riot. A metal pole rioters threw struck his helmet and face shield as he was fighting to quell the mob. His passing was declared a line-of-duty death in March.

470d ago / 11:26 PM UTC

Will any of this actually 'move the needle' for skeptics?

The committee may very well present mountains of evidence tying Trump to the Jan. 6 attack — but getting skeptical partisans to care is another story.

As Steve Benen wrote for MaddowBlog on Wednesday:

That’s a tough question to answer with confidence. In recent years, some stories that were expected to cause political earthquakes left public attitudes unchanged, while other developments that political insiders expected to be meaningless took on far greater significance.

I’m of the opinion that it’s best not to guess. The committee appears content to tell the truth, pursue accountability, and let the chips fall where they may. Investigators can bring the facts to the public, but they can’t make the public care.

470d ago / 11:11 PM UTC

The committee’s fight for America’s dwindling attention span

While it’s not known exactly how many hearings the Jan. 6 committee plans to hold after tonight’s prime-time event, the odds are slim that it winds up matching the months of live hearings during 1973’s Watergate investigation.

Beginning in May 1973, the Watergate hearings lasted roughly six months, totaling 51 sessions aired live from gavel-to-gavel. The three major networks rotated the daytime coverage with each hearing re-airing in full on PBS that night. Former White House counsel John Dean’s testimony was considered a major turning point for the committee as he was the first to specifically implicate Nixon’s involvement in the cover-up. But the five days’ worth of testimony he provided didn’t begin until the 12th hearing, over a month into the process. 

It’s unlikely that the Jan. 6 committee will have as much time to wind up towards the kind of explosive new material provided by Dean provided or that former White House adviser Alexander Butterfield doled out a month later. In contrast, it’s been just under a year since the Jan. 6 committee held its first hearing.

It’s been a long wait between then and now. With midterm campaigning getting underway, it’s unclear how much time members will be willing to dedicate to laying out their findings — and how much time Americans will be willing to spend tuning in.

470d ago / 10:50 PM UTC

Witness Nick Quested could provide deep insight on the Proud Boys

One of the most highly anticipated testimonies tonight is expected to come from documentary filmmaker Nick Quested, who spent a significant period of time embedded with the Proud Boys extremist group in the lead-up to the Jan. 6 riot. Quested and his team recorded members of the group breaking through police barriers and breaching the Capitol. They also captured on video a meeting between Proud Boys leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio and Stewart Rhodes, who founded the Oath Keepers, a right-wing militia. Both men have been charged with seditious conspiracy in connection to the Jan. 6 riot.  

Quested is a key witness who can seemingly provide insight into the extremist groups’ movements ahead of the attack. 

And, for what it’s worth, here’s some interesting trivia about Quested: He’s a prolific director with a lot of experience shooting rap videos. As my NBC colleague Ryan Reilly noted earlier this week, Quested directed the video for rapper Trick Daddy’s Florida anthem, “Take it to da House.” He also directed the video for rapper Nas’ single “Nas Is Like” and the video for New York anthem “Special Delivery,” which popularized the “Harlem Shake.” 

With respect to the artists behind those hits, Quested’s Proud Boys footage might be the most consequential thing he and his team have ever filmed. Keep close watch of what he reveals.

470d ago / 10:29 PM UTC

The man hoping to make the hearings into must-see TV

Like every presidential scandal since the 1970s has existed in the shadows of Watergate, congressional hearings often struggle to live up to those held during the investigation of President Richard Nixon. This time around, the House Jan. 6 committee brought in a ringer: former president of ABC News James Goldston.

Goldston’s role, as Axios first reported on Monday, is to try to both condense the massive amount of information the committee has collected into something digestible and fill the hearings with enough new information to keep even the most voracious political news consumers interested. It’s a pretty tough needle to thread as Democrats learned the hard way during former President Donald Trump’s two impeachment trials.

On the former front, the hope is that Goldston’s experience as a documentary filmmaker will help him produce the equivalent of a “blockbuster investigative special,” as Axios put it. Personally, as someone who has followed this whole thing intensely, it will be interesting to see what more new information Goldston has in the tank after weeks of leaks.

And, of course, House Republicans are making a stink about Goldston’s efforts to craft the narrative that will be on display tonight. Five of them — including committee person of interest Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio — send a letter to the House Administration Committee checking to see if Goldston was officially hired or if he’s doing this as a favor (which would be against House Rules). I’d like to point out, though, that given that each of them has (incorrectly) argued that the Jan. 6 committee itself is illegitimate, their complaints aren’t exactly coming from the moral high ground here.

470d ago / 10:00 PM UTC

Meet the House Jan. 6 committee members

The bipartisan committee consists of nine House members, including chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi. The six other Democrats are Reps. Adam Schiff, Zoe Lofgren and Pete Aguilar (all of California), Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida and Rep. Elaine Luria of Virginia.

Schiff was the lead impeachment manager during Trump's first impeachment and Raskin held that role during Trump's second impeachment. (So many historic firsts for that president...)

The two Republicans on the committee are Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois — both outspoken Trump critics.

470d ago / 10:00 PM UTC

At least 2 witnesses are scheduled to testify tonight

The committee hasn't revealed all of its scheduled witnesses, but live testimony from at least two witnesses is expected tonight, including from Caroline Edwards, a U.S. Capitol police officer who was seriously injured during the riot.

The other scheduled witness, Nick Quested, is a documentary filmmaker who embedded with the extremist Proud Boys group. Several of its members have been charged with seditious conspiracy charges in connection to the Jan. 6 attack.

470d ago / 10:00 PM UTC

What's at stake for the Jan. 6 committee

The committee has set high expectations that a “mountain of evidence” will contain revelations that will “blow the roof off the House.” If they don’t reach that bar, and the public response is a collective shoulder shrug, it could subtly impact the Justice Department’s willingness to pursue charges against the highest ranking players. The DOJ is driven by facts and law, but they are not an island.

470d ago / 10:00 PM UTC

5 things to watch for tonight

MSNBC Daily columnists Joyce Vance and Barbara McQuade outlined the top moments to watch for during the hearings.

1.) All the vice president's men

Expect to hear accounts at some point from former Vice President Mike Pence's aides about Trump's scheme to overturn the election.

2.) A man for all seasons

J. Michael Luttig, a former federal appellate judge, could prove to be a star witness for the committee.

"As a prominent conservative lawyer, Luttig’s testimony is likely to resonate beyond progressive households," Vance and McQuade wrote.

Click the story below for more.