Jan. 6 hearings land at tense moment at Capitol and beyond: The Note

The committee is seeking to make a splash.

June 9, 2022, 6:05 AM

The TAKE with Rick Klein

The events of Jan. 6 were somehow both maddeningly complex and outrageously simple.

Now comes the task of making it make sense -- all while fears of political violence are being felt anew in the hallways of the Capitol.

The House Jan. 6 committee hits primetime Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, with a 90-minute opening statement of sorts that blends video elements, limited witness testimony and a "connecting the dots" overview of what's been learned about the attacks and what was behind them, according to committee aides.

The committee is seeking to make a splash. Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards and documentary filmmaker Nick Quested will provide firsthand perspective and, via Quested, video never seen before by the public. (A first glimpse of that material will be in Jonathan Karl's report Thursday on ABC's "Good Morning America.")

The challenge will be to distill a sprawling case -- a chaotic, hourslong siege and violent clashes with law enforcement, all fomented by extremists and a scattered team surrounding former President Donald Trump that communicated intermittently and sometimes haphazardly -- into something tangible and potentially useful for voters.

PHOTO: Rioters loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021.
Rioters loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021.
Jose Luis Magana/AP, FILE

That's not the same as expecting the hearings themselves to change political dynamics or how voters prioritize issues. Democrats from the White House on down have argued against allowing the committee to be judged that way -- recognizing that its work probably won't be central to how voters live their lives.

But if there was any question about the relevance of the subject matter, recent headlines only make the topics at hand more urgent. Political extremism is clearly a relevant threat -- and the fictions that drove rioters to the Capitol last January have lasted well into primary voting season.

The RUNDOWN with Averi Harper

A Black woman has never served as governor of a U.S. state, but Tuesday's primary in South Carolina marks a chance for state lawmaker Mia McLeod to get a step closer to breaking that barrier.

Mcleod, a Democrat, has hinged her campaign on increasing the minimum wage across the state. She and former Rep. Joe Cunningham are considered frontrunners in a crowded Democratic primary. The pair, along with the other Democratic candidates, are slated to debate for the first time on Friday even though early voting is already underway.

Should McCleod win the primary she would face an uphill battle in a general election where her likeliest opponent would be incumbent Republican Gov. Henry McMaster. A Democratic governor hasn't helmed the state since Jim Hodges, who was elected in 1999.

PHOTO: State Sen. Mia McLeod stands outside Shiloh Baptist, her family's church, June 1, 2021, in Bennettsville, S.C.
State Sen. Mia McLeod stands outside Shiloh Baptist, her family's church, June 1, 2021, in Bennettsville, S.C.
Meg Kinnard/AP

Mcleod's primary follows Iowa's June 7 primary in which business owner and political organizer Deidre Dejear, who is Black, officially became the Democratic nominee who will challenge incumbent Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds in November. She is the first Black Iowan to be nominated by any major party for governor. Dejear, too, faces a difficult path to victory. Reynold's fundraising haul dwarfs the amount in her coffers.

Georgia's Stacey Abrams, of course, is the most prominent and best financed of the Black women vying to lead their respective states, but each has an opportunity to crack that glass ceiling.

The TIP with Brittany Shepherd

Only 10 House Republicans voted for former President Donald Trump's second impeachment for inciting the Jan. 6 riot -- and all 10 are up for reelection.

Lawmakers like Anthony Gonzales of Ohio, who decided to retire instead of vying for reelection in part due to "​​the current state of our politics, especially many of the toxic dynamics inside our own party." Four of the 10 have opted to retire, leaving those seats open to be filled by more Trump-friendly candidates. And for the ones who remain, their votes on impeachment have complicated their chances at success in the primaries.

PHOTO: Rep. David Valadao speaks during the news conference on the Invest to Protect Act outside the Capitol, May 12, 2022, in Washington, D.C.
Rep. David Valadao speaks during the news conference on the Invest to Protect Act outside the Capitol, May 12, 2022, in Washington, D.C.
Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images, FILE

David Valadao, who represents a swing district and is the lone California Republican to vote for Trump's impeachment, is in a tightening race to secure his seat. While the race is still too close to call, Valadao leads among Republican candidates with 26% of the vote. His support has been siphoned by Chris Mathys, who sued the California secretary of state in an attempt to get himself listed as a "Trump Conservative" on Tuesday night's ballot.

Even Republicans who were a "nay" on impeachment but voted in favor of a bipartisan commission investigating the Capitol insurrection, face tough primary odds. Michael Guest of Mississippi's third district has been pinched into a runoff with former Navy pilot Michael Cassidy, who has embraced the party's fringe, going so far as promising, if elected, to pursue the impeachment of President Joe Biden.

NUMBER OF THE DAY, powered by FiveThirtyEight

19. That's the number of percentage points that gun violence or crime jumped in the latest FiveThirtyEight/Ipsos poll, when Americans were asked what they thought the most important issues facing the country were. In our first survey conducted in May, 23% of Americans ranked crime and/or gun violence as a top issue, but now 42% of Americans name it one of the most important issues facing the country. Only inflation ranked higher in our survey. But as FiveThirtyEight's Geoffrey Skelley and Holly Fuong write, this massive spike comes in the immediate wake of two high-profile mass shootings, so it's possible this uptick could soon fade.


ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast. Start Here begins Thursday morning with the latest on a Justice Department review into the Uvalde Police Department's handling of the school shooting. ABC's Alex Mallin leads us off. Then, ABC's Arielle Mitropoulos breaks down new data from Moderna on an updated COVID-19 vaccine booster. And, Liz Kreutz from ABC station KGO-TV reports on a successful recall effort of a San Francisco DA. http://apple.co/2HPocUL


  • At 2 p.m. ET, President Joe Biden will deliver remarks at the IV CEO Summit of the Americas.
  • The president will then meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at 2:45 p.m, ET, followed by meetings with leaders of Caribbean nations at 4:30 p.m. ET
  • AT 5 p.m. ET, the president will deliver remarks at the Opening Plenary of the Summit of the Americas at 5pm ET, followed by a bilateral meeting with the Brazilian president at 6:30 p.m. ET.
  • At 10:45 p.m. ET, the president and the first lady will welcome heads of state and government and their spouses for a dinner as part of the Ninth Summit of the Americas at the Getty Villa.
  • The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis holds a hearing on the role the ocean plays in the climate crisis at 9 a.m.
  • The House Select Committee Investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol holds a hearing at 8 p.m. ABC News presents special coverage led by "World News Tonight" anchor David Muir at 8 p.m. alongside ABC News' powerhouse political team, including chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl, chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz, chief justice correspondent Pierre Thomas and congressional correspondent Rachel Scott.
  • Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann hosts a reception with Sens. Tim Scott and Joni Ernst in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, starting at 7:15 p.m.

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