- The Washington Times
Tuesday, June 14, 2022

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol announced Tuesday that it is postponing Wednesday’s hearing.

The next hearing, which will be the third public meeting scheduled for this month, will take place on Thursday.

The committee offered no details for the postponement.

The panel’s aim for the hearings is to present its findings after a nearly yearlong probe determining that former President Donald Trump was responsible for the riot.

Witnesses for Wednesday’s hearing were expected to include several former acting attorneys general.

Committee Vice Chairwoman Liz Cheney, Wyoming Republican, said last week that the hearing would focus on Mr. Trump’s plan to replace former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with Jeffrey Clark, a Department of Justice official, in the days following the election.

The committee delayed the start of Monday’s hearing after its star witness, former Trump campaign manager William Stepien, withdrew at the last minute for a family emergency.

In the follow-up hearing to Thursday’s prime-time debut, committee members on Monday built the case that Mr. Trump knowingly peddled false claims that the 2020 election was stolen against the advice of several campaign advisers and administration officials.

Several former administration officials, campaign insiders and election experts testified to the committee that they attempted to dissuade Mr. Trump from further pursuing the claims.

The committee also honed in on Mr. Trump’s massive political war chest, saying he duped donors into handing over millions in campaign contributions based on his false claims that the election was stolen. 

Later Monday, committee members split over the endgame for the hearings after committee Chairman Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, Mississippi Democrat, told reporters that the panel will not refer Mr. Trump or anyone else to the Justice Department for criminal charges. 

He said the sole aim of the committee’s investigation is to “tell the facts,” not to solicit criminal prosecutions. 

“If the Department of Justice looks at it, and assume that there’s something that needs further review, I’m sure they’ll do it,” Mr. Thompson said.

Other panel members disagreed.

Ms. Cheney tweeted that the committee had yet to vote on criminal referrals.

“The January 6th Select Committee has not issued a conclusion regarding potential criminal referrals. We will announce a decision on that at an appropriate time,” she tweeted.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the committee’s hearing reschedule. The committee originally planned three hearings for the week of Jun. 12.

• Joseph Clark can be reached at jclark@washingtontimes.com.

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