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It has been months since the last Jan. 6 congressional committee hearing grabbed headlines in July, capping off a summer run of proceedings that revealed how far former President Donald Trump went to hold onto power.
On Wednesday at 1 p.m. EDT – after an eventful break – those hearings return with a ninth public accounting of details around the attack on the Capitol and efforts by Trump to overturn his 2020 election loss.
The hearing is set just about six weeks before crucial midterm elections and after a summer of building legal problems for Trump. Once these hearings wrap, the committee is expected to release a report outlining its findings.
Here's a refresher on some key points from earlier hearings.
'It was carnage. It was chaos.' Officers with the U.S. Capitol Police and D.C. Metropolitan Police forces, as well as widows of those who died after the riot on Jan. 6, 2021, were frequent attendees of the hearings. Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards testified to a violent and bloody scene. In a separate hearing, a rioter said he no longer believes Trump's election fraud claims. After the hearing, Stephen Ayres apologized to the officers who defended the Capitol.
Trump told supporters to travel to Washington, knew violence was likely. Trump's tweet urging travel to the capital on Jan. 6 led extremist groups like the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, whose members have been charged with seditious conspiracy in the attack, to join forces to protest the election's results, according to evidence presented by the committee. Trump also tried to pressure the Justice Department into advancing false election fraud claims.
Trump failed to act for 187 minutes. The committee, led in part by its vice chair, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., described a "sprawling, multistep conspiracy" overseen by Trump to prevent the transfer of presidential power, and it detailed Trump's choice not to act for more than three hours between his speech near the White House and his video telling supporters to go home. Instead, he was glued to the television, ignored pleas to issue a strong statement condemning the attack, and, according to testimony, wanted to go to the Capitol himself.
Trump pressured Vice President Mike Pence, who turned into a target. Despite knowing it was unconstitutional, Trump and his allies wanted to use a slate of fake electors in battleground states to overturn the election but needed Pence to toss out official electors. When Pence refused, Trump called him a "wimp" and incited his supporters against his vice president, according to testimony. Rioters sought out Pence on Jan. 6, and the vice president's Secret Service detail feared for their lives.
Lawmakers and Trump advisers tried to help overturn the election. Republican lawmakers in Arizona and Wisconsin tried to undermine the use of official electors so that they would not be awarded to Democrat Joe Biden as scheduled. A number of Republican lawmakers also asked for preemptive presidential pardons from the White House after the Capitol riot. Two outside Trump advisers and others drafted an executive order in December 2020 to have the Defense Department seize voting machines, which they said contributed to fraud, the committee said. It was never implemented.
"It’s affected my life in a major way. Every way. All because of lies." State officials faced heat from Trump and his supporters to help overturn the election results in their states to favor the former president. Officials in Georgia, Arizona, Michigan and Pennsylvania recounted the pressure campaign that included calls from thousands of supporters at their homes, a break-in to the home of a family member, social media attacks and death threats.
"Not only was there the big lie, there was the big rip-off." Trump knew he lost the election but used the opportunity to raise money from campaign donors to fight the results, according to testimony. He and his allies raked in millions for an “Official Election Defense Fund” that the committee said didn’t exist. About a week after the election, Trump created the Save America PAC, which would become a key spender of some of this money and would rake in more than $100 million. The PAC gave more than $200,000 to the Trump Hotel Collection.
A busy summer since the last hearing
The hearings took place amid somewhat less complex legal terrain for Trump, whose Mar-a-Lago home was searched by FBI agents Aug. 8. The court-approved search warrant found a set of about 100 documents or roughly 700 pages of classified material the Justice Department said was improperly stored and kept despite repeated efforts to return the material.
Trump, his company and three of his adult children, among others, were named in a civil lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James last week accusing them of widespread fraud, including falsifying financial statements and inflating Trump's net worth. Meanwhile, an investigation into election interference continued in Georgia, where prosecutors are pushing for Trump allies like his former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, to testify.
Cheney will help head up Wednesday's congressional hearing alongside the committee's chair Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., but her efforts to win a tough Republican primary battle in her home state of Wyoming fell short. Her pro-Trump rival bested her by more than 30 percentage points.
With Cheney's loss, Trump's efforts to defeat the 10 House Republicans who voted for his impeachment in January 2021 reaped another reward.
Contributing: Erin Mansfield
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: When is the next Jan. 6 committee hearing? Here's everything to know