Political Scientist: January 6 Committee Accomplished More than Anticipated

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After weeks of live hearings, the House Committee investigating the January sixth U.S. Capitol attack is pausing their hearings for a while but their work is far from over. Political scientists weigh in on what the committee has accomplished and which high profile politician they should hear from next. 

Playing back new recordings from January 6, 2021 and revealing new evidence and witness testimony, in several hearings from the House Select Committee investigating the U.S. Capitol attack, Todd belt, the political management director at George Washington University says the committee investigating has accomplished more than they anticipated.  

“And a lot of that is predicated on the testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson,” said Belt. “Just the existence of her testimony and her courage allowed people like Pat Cipollone to come forward and to provide corroborating evidence so it’s not just hearsay, not just her story against some else’s we’re getting more and more people coming forward.” 

Belt said Hutchinson, who is a former aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, helped reveal the role of the secret service and their potential knowledge of an alleged violent outburst the former president had during that day. 

“Mr. Engel grabbed his arm, said ‘sir, you need to take your hand off the steering wheel. We’re going back to the West Wing. We’re not going to the Capitol,’” Hutchinson said during a hearing. “Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel.” 

There’s one person Belt said the Committee could call on to get more information: Former Vice President Mike Pence.  

“Now they said they’re not likely to call President Trump because they think it would turn into a bit of a media circus and they wouldn’t get anything out of him but Vice President Pence especially seeing how he was portrayed in the committee on Thursday night’s reports that they put forward, he may have some more information to bring forward and the committee might be very interested to include,” said Belt. 

The Committee is pausing their hearings for now through the August recess but during that break, they will continue their investigation. They plan on having more hearings in September. 

If the Republicans take control of the House following the November elections, Belt said they’re almost guaranteed to shut down this committee. He said these hearings have made some high-profile Republicans, like House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R- CA), look bad and Republican members have no interest with moving this committee forward.