What to expect with upcoming Jan. 6 hearings and legislative actions

The congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol is scheduled to hold a hearing Tuesday focused on the role extremist groups played that day. This as the Senate gears up for a busy July. Lisa Desjardins has more on the latest developments.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    The congressional committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol is scheduled to hold a hearing tomorrow focused on the role that extremist groups played that day, this as the Senate gears up for a busy high-stakes July.

    Our political correspondent, Lisa Desjardins, has more on the latest developments.

    So, hello, Lisa. I know you have been following this.

    So, tell us, where are we in terms of these hearings? What are they going to be focusing on? Where are we overall in terms of the subject matter? And when does it look as if they're going to try to finish?

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Right. These are the good questions we are all asking.

    Tomorrow's hearing is the seventh hearing of the January 6 Select Committee. And we did at one point expect this week to be the final week for a while. However, that's changing even as we speak. I'm going to come back to that.

    First, let's talk about tomorrow, what we're going to be hearing from the committee. The focus so far has been on Trump and what he's done, his direct actions. Tomorrow, Judy, we're going to hear more about white nationalist groups and their ties to those around former President Trump when he was in the White House, in particular, a meeting in December that preceded former President Trump tweeting out that invitation to come to the rally on January 6.

    We're going to hear probably about advisers like Roger Stone and their ties that the committee will try to make to a white nationalist group like the Proud Boys, who we know were at the Capitol and have now been arrested for their role in the riot there.

    One other thing. We're waiting to see what happens with Pat Cipollone, the former attorney, the counsel for President Trump when he was in the White House. He testified behind closed doors for eight hours on Friday. Now, my reporting is that he does not want to participate in a public hearing. We do not expect to see him this week. We may hear some of his hearing tomorrow.

    But I think the committee is going to wait to have more of that hearing further ahead. And that's why we're probably — we're going to have more hearings next week. There will only be one hearing this week, tomorrow. The committee says it's getting more information. And some of my sources say that is what — why the committee is going to have another hearing next week. But we don't know exactly when these hearings will end.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    And so, Lisa, what is known about the president, former President Trump's close ally Steve Bannon?

    Do we think he's going to be testifying?

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Right.

    As you reported at the very beginning of the show, we now know that Steve Bannon is set for trial on contempt of Congress in one week. Those in Congress and on the committee say it's no coincidence that, all of a sudden, now he wants to cooperate. They think it's a last-ditch effort to try and save himself from trial.

    And, also, they believe that this is a sign that the committee is doing its work and President Trump and his allies want to respond more publicly. We don't know yet because the committee has not, frankly, decided, is my reporting, exactly how they're going to handle this.

    But here's what one of the committee members, Zoe Lofgren, said on television Sunday about the idea of questioning Steve Bannon.

  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA):

    We got the letter around midnight from his lawyer saying that he would testify. And we have wanted him to testify.

    So the committee, of course, has not yet had a chance to discuss it, but I expect that we will be hearing from him. And there are many questions that we have for him.

  • LISA DESJARDINS:

    One last thing to keep in mind, Judy. Whether he talks to committee or not, it doesn't affect the criminal trials — charges necessarily. He already rejected the original subpoena. That's something that committee might bring up.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    And so, Lisa, as all this is going on, meantime, in the Senate, they are looking at I guess you could say a couple of do-or-die weeks for their agenda.

    What does it look like there?

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    OK, roll up your sleeves. We have got a lot to talk about, but I'm going to try and make it sort of palatable.

    First, two very important senators, Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer, two top Democrats, are now negotiating fully for sort of a final or perhaps a last kind of narrowed version of the president's agenda. It used to be called Build Back Better. Well, as you know, Joe Manchin blocked that. Now they're talking about what could be left, and there is a potential outline starting to emerge for what's called a reconciliation or sort of Biden agenda deal.

    But, Judy, there are some problems here in terms of tactics and some important negotiating stances I want to talk about. There are a number of high-stakes bills. So let's look at what's happening in the next three weeks, what we should be watching. Three-high stakes bills are moving that have some bipartisan support, one on China competitiveness and the need for the U.S. to make microchips in particular and work on manufacturing and processors, those kinds of ingredients.

    Also an insulin drug pricing bill that would reduce the price of insulin, and also a bill — there is an agreement, a bipartisan agreement on reforming the Electoral Count Act. The problems with that act. Of course, were a factor in January 6. All of those bills have some kind of bipartisan momentum right now.

    The problem is, at the same time now, we have the Democrats talking about perhaps this combination reconciliation bill, the Manchin-Schumer idea, which would include drug prices and climate change, that narrow kind of Biden agenda bill. That is a partisan bill.

    So where are we? Senator McConnell, the Republican leader, has said, if that partisan reconciliation bill moves forward, then those other bills, the bipartisan efforts, especially the China bill, he would block them. So we're in this kind of standoff where all of these bills are connected to one another, Judy.

    And it's going to be very important, because each one of them has very critical implications for our country.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    No question. And we will see how these weeks — coming weeks play out.

    Lisa Desjardins watching it all very closely.

    Thank you, Lisa.

    And we will have live coverage of the January 6 Committee hearing that Lisa was just telling us about. That begins tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. Eastern here on PBS and streaming online at PBS.org/NewsHour.

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