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Broadcast Networks Will Cover Surprise Jan. 6 Hearing

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Demonstrators breeched security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification.
(Image credit: Brent Stirton/Getty Images)

The broadcast networks were shifting gears into committee coverage mode after the House Jan. 6 select committee investigating the attack on the Capitol announced a surprise June 28 hearing, reportedly due to some new evidence that has turned up.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m., but the committee did not say who, if anyone, will be testifying.

The committee had not planned to hold any new hearings until next month and the House is on recess, so a number of legislators have probably already headed to their home districts.

Fox said John Roberts and Sandra Smith will anchor its special hearing coverage.

Also: Broadcast Nets Keep Pedal to Metal on Jan. 6 Hearings

According to someone speaking on background, NBC News will air a special report from D.C., anchored by Nightly News anchor Lester Holt.

CBS Evening News Anchor/Managing Editor Norah O’Donnell will anchor a CBS News Special Report both on the network and streaming service starting at approximately 1 p.m. Also weighing in from the CBS News team will be John Dickerson, Bob Costa, Jeff Pegues, Scott MacFarlane and Caitlin Huey-Burns.

The special committee investigating the attack has made it clear from the day-one hearing Thursday (June 9) that it holds Donald Trump responsible for both fanning the flames of the the violence and not doing enough -- anything? -- to stop it.

Trump has been firing off messages from his social media semi-exile branding the hearings a witch hunt.

Postscript: The surprise witness turned out to be Cassidy Hutchinson, principal aide to Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows.

Hutchinson dropped a number of potential bombshells on the proceedings, clearly calculated by the committee to make an impression on the TV audience.

Those included that the President tried to force the Secret Service to take him to the Capitol to join the mob/marchers/insurrectionists and that he and his staff knew that the group was violent and armed but did not try to stop them. ■

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.