White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday that President Joe Biden would not “get involved” in the House Jan. 6 committee hearings later this week.
Instead, the president will merely follow the proceedings from a distance.
“Of course, he will be keeping up on the committee’s work, as he has been,” said Jean-Pierre, while noting Biden’s upcoming trip to California for the Summit of Americas. “And I’m sure he’ll be following the news from the hearing as well.”
The Jan. 6 select committee hearings will be broadcast in prime time, starting at 8 p.m. Eastern time Thursday. The group has been tasked with investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol.
The panel is made up of seven Democrats and just two Republicans — Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, both of whom have been critics of Donald Trump, who was president at the time of the Jan. 6 unrest.
Nevertheless, the panel is being packaged as a bipartisan effort, even though the committee has no formal judicial power, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., who chairs the Jan. 6 panel, recently told The Washington Post.
President Biden ”supports the bipartisan effort, but we’re not going to get involved,” Jean-Pierre said. “That is something that is independent and needs to stay independent.”
According to The Hill, the select House panel plans to “present previously unseen material documenting January 6th, receive witness testimony, preview additional hearings, and provide the American people a summary of its findings about the coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and prevent the transfer of power.”
The panel has also scheduled a second hearing for Monday. According to Thompson, as many as eight public hearings could be held in June.
The committee has reportedly conducted hundreds of interviews with witnesses, including former “high-level Trump White House officials” such as the former president’s eldest children, and pored over official documents provided by the National Archives.
What might the Jan. 6 hearings show the American public?
For starters, there’s video evidence of then-President Trump encouraging his followers to “peacefully and patriotically” rally outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
There is also video footage of D.C. police willingly removing barricades, thus allowing rallygoers to enter the Capitol building that day.
And Peter Navarro — a former trade adviser to former President Trump — told Newsmax on Tuesday that the Jan. 6 committee’s primary purpose isn’t to investigate the events leading up to the Capitol unrest.
Instead, he said, their “No. 1 job is to stop Trump from running” for president in 2024.