UPDATE: (June 28, 2022, 7:55 a.m. ET): Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, is scheduled to testify during the House Jan. 6 select committee hearing on Tuesday.
The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack had a plan. After a series of televised hearings, in which the bipartisan panel presented devastating information, members planned to be outside of the public eye this week.
And by all appearances, the schedule made sense: The House isn’t conducting any legislative business this week; lawmakers are scattered across the country; and investigators need time to process the information it continues to receive ahead of the next hearings.
It was against this backdrop, however, that the committee raised a few eyebrows this afternoon. NBC News reported:
The Jan. 6 committee will hold a last-minute public hearing Tuesday to present new evidence and hear witness testimony, after having previously said it would take a break until mid-July. The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET, according to an advisory the committee sent out Monday. In an unusual move, the committee has not identified the witness, as it did for previous hearings.
A source familiar with the plans told NBC News these developments are “unplanned,” adding, “You can deduce from that that there will be a lot of significance to the hearing.”
I can appreciate why news like this may seem deeply unsatisfying. We know there will be a hearing tomorrow, but we don’t know why, or who’ll appear, how many witnesses might testify, or what any of them might say. The press statement this afternoon said the committee intends to “present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony.”
This isn’t a situation in which I know a little more, but can’t say due to an embargo or an off-the-record commitment. Rather, I honestly don’t know any more details than this.
That said, the fact that investigators made this abrupt announcement raises some provocative possibilities.
Maybe, for example, the committee has highly dramatic news that might leak if the panel tried sitting on it for a couple of weeks. It’s also possible that the committee has an important witness — or witnesses — and members quickly scheduled a hearing in the hopes that he/she/they would have less of an opportunity to change his/her/their mind.
But a New York Times report added that the panel also expressed concern “for the security of its witnesses,” which would also force a more expedited schedule.
Whatever the motivation, today’s announcement has piqued the political world’s interest. The hearing will be aired live on MSNBC, and Rachel will anchor our coverage of the revelations tomorrow night.
The House Jan. 6 committee is holding its sixth public hearing on Tuesday, June 28 at 1 p.m. ET. Get expert analysis in real-time on our liveblog at msnbc.com/jan6hearings.