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The Jan. 6 hearings happening this week


The House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol is expected to hold two more hearings this week, including one potentially in primetime. Today, the committee confirmed that in a surprising move, President Trump will allow his former campaign manager, Steve Bannon, to testify before the committee. Before that happens, though, a documentary featuring exclusive interviews with President Trump before and after the Capitol attack is set to air tonight. NPR justice correspondent Ryan Lucas joins us now with more. Hey, Ryan.

RYAN LUCAS, BYLINE: Hey there, Miles.

PARKS: So I want to start with this documentary that I just mentioned. What can you tell us about it?

LUCAS: So this is a three-part documentary series by British filmmaker Alex Holder, and it chronicles the 2020 election from the late summer, early fall of 2020, through Election Day, and then, of course, the chaos of January 6 and after. And Holder interviewed former Vice President Mike Pence for this, who's been discussed heavily in the January 6 committee hearings, but he hasn't talked to the committee itself. And Holder also got exclusive access to Trump and his children. And he interviewed Trump himself before and after the deadly events of January 6. Now, the committee subpoenaed Holder and his footage, and it also interviewed him last month. And so, of course, there's been a great deal of interest in this film and what it's going to show, and now the public's going to get a chance to see it starting tonight.

PARKS: Yeah. It should be really interesting to get another look inside Trump's mindset during that time. Committee members say that these hearings are all about building a case that Trump's attempts to overturn the presidential election directly caused the violence of January 6. And the committee interviewed former White House counsel Pat Cipollone behind closed doors on Friday. What does that mean for this investigation?

LUCAS: First, I think it's worth noting how important a witness Cipollone is for the committee's investigation. He was in the room for so many key meetings and conversations in this period as Trump was trying to overturn the election. We know that from testimony provided by earlier witnesses who spoke to the committee. But the panel was, of course, eager to hear from Cipollone himself, and his testimony could help corroborate what other witnesses have testified under oath, including former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson. Cipollone's interview was expected to be videotaped, so clips of what he had to say to the committee may turn up in hearings next week.

PARKS: Yeah. Those hearings scheduled for Tuesday and potentially Thursday - what do we know about what those are going to focus on?

LUCAS: So the first one, the Tuesday hearing, is expected to focus on the rioters who, you know, forced their way, bashed their way through police lines and stormed the Capitol on January 6. This hearing is expected to be led by Maryland Democrat Jamie Raskin. He said he's zeroing in on how the mob that day was mobilized and the role that was played by a couple of domestic extremist groups, and those are the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers.

Thursday's hearing, we're told by sources, is going to be held in primetime. But the panel's plans, it is worth saying, have been very fluid. So it is possible that the schedule there could shift a bit. For now, though, that Thursday hearing is expected to center around the roughly three hours on January 6 that Trump kind of disappeared from view, when he wasn't making any public statements or doing anything to stop the deadly violence that was going on at the Capitol.

PARKS: OK. Those are the two hearings potentially on the docket for this week. What do we know about the committee's plans after that?

LUCAS: That is a good question. This committee is still at work on this investigation. It originally said it planned seven hearings in all. Thursday's, if it happens, will be the eighth. So these things remain kind of in flux, but it's unclear at this point whether the hearings Tuesday and potentially Thursday will mark the end of the public portion of the panel's work and whether it will get to work writing its final report or whether another surprise hearing, like the one we saw last month with Cassidy Hutchinson, whether something like that lies ahead.

PARKS: All right. Well, either way, we will all be watching. NPR justice correspondent Ryan Lucas, thank you so much.

LUCAS: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Ryan Lucas covers the Justice Department for NPR.