January 6 hearings: who are the key players on the House committee?

The House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack is scheduled on Thursday to hold its first of six public hearings where it will unveil new evidence collected against Donald Trump and a range of other operatives over the course of its 10-month inquiry.

The congressional investigation into the events of January 6, when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s election win, has said it has evidence to suggest Trump violated the law to overturn the 2020 election results.

Presenting the evidence will be the seven Democrats and two Republicans on the select committee, as well as a team of committee counsel who have interviewed more than 1,000 people with knowledge of events connected to January 6, and reviewed more than 125,000 documents.

Chairman Bennie Thompson (Democrat)

As the chairman of the select committee, Thompson has led its members and investigators since the panel’s inception in June 2021. Thompson was appointed chairman by the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, after Senate Republicans, fearful of what the investigation might uncover about Trump and his allies in Congress, voted to block the creation of a 9/11-style commission into the Capitol attack.

Vice-chair Liz Cheney (Republican)

The vice-chair of the select committee – and daughter of the Republican former vice-president Dick Cheney – was appointed to the panel after she was ousted from her position in the House Republican leadership last year for repeatedly criticising Trump and blaming him for inciting the Capitol attack. Behind the scenes, Cheney has been among the most vocal members on the panel seeking to more aggressively investigate Trump’s actions surrounding January 6.

Congressman Jamie Raskin (Democrat)

Jamie Raskin, a one-time constitutional law professor, is a former House impeachment manager who made the case for Trump to be convicted in his second Senate trial for inciting the Capitol attack. Raskin has previously said he has been focusing on whether Trump oversaw a criminal conspiracy on January 6 that connected Trump’s political plan to stop Biden’s certification with the insurrection perpetrated by the militia groups that stormed the Capitol.

David Buckley

As the staff director for the select committee, Buckley, a former CIA inspector general, has led the overall direction of the investigation since the panel started its evidence-gathering work in earnest last September. According to sources familiar with the matter, Buckley has directed the contours of the inquiry and advised Thompson on the major decisions, including about whether to subpoena Republican members of Congress.

Tim Heaphy

As the chief investigative counsel for the select committee, Heaphy, a former assistant US attorney for the western district of Virginia, has directed the legal and investigative work since his appointment in August last year. Heaphy has played a key role in connecting the evidence gathered by the investigative counsels on each of the panel’s numerous color-coded teams. For instance, the gold team is examining Trump and his inner circle, the purple team is examining militia groups, the red team is investigating January 6 rally organizers.

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