US Capitol riot hearings open
Washington, Jun 10: The US House committee dedicated to investigating the January 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol building will release new video and audio material on the event during a prime-time public hearing on Thursday.
What happened during the hearing?
Opening the hearing, committee chairman Bennie Thompson, a Democrat, said democracy "remains in danger" from the "conspiracy" which incited the riot.
Republican Representative Liz Cheney presented footage of former Attorney General Bill Barr, who pushed back on President Donald Trump's election fraud claims.
The committee will attempt to show the "harrowing story" of how the violence spiraled out of control on that day. A police officer assaulted during the riot is due to share his testimony, along with a documentary filmmaker tracking the far-right Proud Boys group.
The panel is expected to release new evidence linking former Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election to the attack. Trump, who lost to then-Democratic nominee Joe Biden, falsely claimed the election was tainted by voter fraud.
The panel will present accounts from Trump's family members and aides, promising new revelations.
Trump has derided the probe as a "witch hunt." Some Republicans in Congress have downplayed the investigation and the riot ahead of critical midterm elections this fall.
Biden says riot flagrantly violated Constitution
President Joe Biden, who was attending the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, said viewers of the hearing "are going to be seeing for the first time a lot of the detail that occurred."
"I think it was a clear, flagrant violation of the Constitution," Biden said.
The investigation also faces a challenge in convincing the American public that its findings still matter amid soaring inflation, high gas prices and an unwaning global pandemic.