Byron York's Daily Memo: The Jan. 6 messaging committee

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Welcome to Byron York's Daily Memo newsletter.

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THE JAN. 6 MESSAGING COMMITTEE. What is known as the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol will hold its first hearing today. Don't look for much investigating to take place. It appears the House Democratic leadership's plan for the committee's debut is mostly show.

Democrats plan to give a featured role to Republican Rep. Liz Cheney. The Washington Post reports that Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, who spent years promoting the Trump-Russia collusion theory and who also orchestrated former President Donald Trump's first impeachment, reportedly told colleagues that having Cheney speak immediately after Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee chairman, would provide a "strong visual." Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, who orchestrated the second Trump impeachment, reportedly agreed. So look for Cheney to be given a starring role, with a co-starring appearance by the committee's recently added second Republican, Rep. Adam Kinzinger.

What will Cheney say? Look for her to reprise the points she made in a Washington Post op-ed in May, headlined "The GOP is at a turning point. History is watching us." Democrats will no doubt look on with satisfaction as Cheney targets her own party.

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On the topic of visuals, some Democrats are talking up a video they will show that they say contains new footage from the riot. But according to a report in Axios, the video will be "similar to the chilling 13-minute video Democrats aired during Donald Trump's second impeachment trial." So look for today's video to have some new shots but be roughly the same as what has aired earlier.

The witnesses at the hearing will be four police officers, two from Capitol Police and two from Washington's Metropolitan Police. All have told their stories in public before, some at great length. Members will have just one chance to question them, which will keep the hearing to a couple of hours. That's to make sure it doesn't drag on and on, losing viewers and energy as it goes.

The bottom line is that this hearing is not about investigating. It is about messaging. Democrats want to create a TV program that will push back on the contention by Trump and some of his supporters that the riot was a largely peaceful affair. In fact, the riot had long periods of intense, angry violence, and that will be the focus of the hearing. That, of course, will not be news.

This is a hurried beginning. Committee members did not get to work and then wait until they uncovered new evidence before holding a hearing to present their findings. Instead, they are essentially holding a hearing to introduce themselves.

Finally, while this is the first hearing for the select committee, it is not the first hearing on the Capitol riot. Fox News's Chad Pergram notes that there have been 14 hearings in the House so far focusing on the riot. So today's session will be No. 15. This is not an unexamined subject.

For a deeper dive into many of the topics covered in the Daily Memo, please listen to my podcast, The Byron York Show — available on the Ricochet Audio Network and everywhere else podcasts can be found. You can use this link to subscribe.

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Original Author: Byron York

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