A congressional panel investigating last year’s Capitol riot is expected to say that Donald Trump did nothing to contain the crowd of his supporters for 187 perilous minutes.
Thursday’s televised public hearing is the eighth in a series aimed at investigating the riot and determining his guilt.
Two former Trump White House insiders — deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews and deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger — are expected to testify.
Additionally, the panel is expected to show videotaped testimony from other officials in Mr. Trump’s administration to detail what the ex-president was doing during the riot and argue that he refused to take any action. decisive measures to stop it.
Mr Trump denied any wrongdoing and called the committee’s investigation a political witch hunt.
The BBC website will have live updates from the hearing, which starts at 8:00 p.m. local time (00:00 GMT).
What is likely to happen?
The hearing will largely focus on a period of just over three hours from when Mr. Trump finished speaking at a “Stop the Steal” rally around 1:00 p.m. local time until that he posts a video message to his supporters at 4:17 p.m. in which he asks them to leave the Capitol.
Members of the committee have publicly accused Mr Trump of doing nothing to stop the riot, potentially putting lawmakers – and his own vice president, Mike Pence – at risk.
“We have testimonies from people who watched it,” said one of the panel members, Virginia Democrat Elaine Luria, as quoted in The New York Times. “There was no worry, anger, distress. He wasn’t upset about it.”
Although the committee has not commented on tonight’s witnesses, they plan to include both Mr. Pottinger and Ms. Matthews. Both resigned immediately after the riot.
In addition to hearing from witnesses, the panel also plans to show excerpts from a video Trump recorded Jan. 7 in which he appeared to struggle to condemn the riot.
What has the committee revealed so far?
In seven hearings over the summer, the panel sought to connect Mr. Trump’s repeated – and baseless – claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him with the events of Jan. 6. They accused him of attempting a coup to stay in power.
To do so, the panel has relied heavily on members of Mr. Trump’s own administration and political allies, who so far range from former White House attorney Pat Cipollone to his daughter Ivanka Trump, who told the panel that she agreed with the conclusion that there was no evidence of fraud.
One witness, former attorney general Bill Barr, said he feared at one point that Mr Trump was “detached from reality”.
The panel also sought to frame Mr. Trump’s tweets to supporters as a “siren call” to rioters ahead of Jan. 6.
What did Donald Trump say about the January 6 hearings?
The former president has previously dismissed the proceedings of the January 6 hearings, writing in June that the committee was “illegally constituted” and “a puppet court”.
Ahead of the committee’s final hearing on July 12, Mr Trump accused the committee of unfairly targeting him and dismissed prior testimony as “false and made up stories”.
He also repeated his allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 election, saying that “there is massive, incontrovertible proof and evidence.”
When is the next hearing scheduled?
At this time, no further hearings of the commission are scheduled.
Panel members, however, said they plan to continue their investigation. Further hearings are likely in the future.
“This investigation does not end,” committee member Adam Kinzinger told CBS earlier this week. “We may be nearing the end of this audience segment, [but] we may have further hearings in the future and the investigation is still ongoing.”