House Democrat expects ‘disturbing’ new evidence at January 6 hearings
“This is our democracy. This was the greatest assault on American democracy in my lifetime. The world is watching to see how we respond to this,” the Rhode Island Democrat told CNN.
Cicilline, a former Trump impeachment manager, said the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection of the US Capitol has significantly more evidence than it did in 2021 during the second impeachment of former President Donald Trump. He said the committee has interviewed or deposed more than 1,000 witnesses and collected more than 135,000 documents.
The select committee formally announced Thursday its first public hearing will take place on June 9 at 8 p.m. ET.
“There will be, I think, substantial evidence that really demonstrates the coordination and the planning and the effort, despite the fact that they understood that Donald Trump lost the election and even once the insurrection began and the violence began, there were ongoing efforts to persuade the former President to stop the violence and call on folks to go home, and he refused to do it,” Cicilline said.
The lawmaker added: “I think the American people are going to learn facts about the planning and execution of this that will be very disturbing.”
During the interview, Cicilline also framed Trump adviser Peter Navarro’s indictment on Friday as a victory but stressed the importance of Congressional oversight authority. He said he found the Justice Department’s decision not to prosecute Mark Meadows, former chief of staff to then-President Trump, and Dan Scavino, former deputy chief of staff to Trump, “puzzling,” echoing language used in the January 6 committee statement.
He added: “I have confidence that the Attorney General (Merrick Garland), when a referral is made, the Department of Justice will make judgments that they think are appropriate.”
He praised Garland for behaving as a lawyer for the American people, not the President, adding Garland is running the Justice Department “the way it’s supposed to be run.”
The first January 6 hearing will be a broad overview of the panel’s 10-month investigation and set the stage for subsequent hearings, which are expected to cover certain topics or themes, sources previously told CNN.