U.S. House select committee announces first hearing to probe Jan. 6 attack

FILE PHOTO: People gather on a lawn at the U.S. Capitol in Washington
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By Jan Wolfe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The special congressional panel investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump said on Wednesday it would hold its first hearing on July 27.

Members of the Democratic-led panel, known as the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, said in a statement the hearing would include testimony from U.S. Capitol Police officers.

Congressional Democrats establish the special committee after Senate Republicans blocked the creation of an independent commission House Speaker Nancy Pelosi originally sought.

Hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the building that day in an unsuccessful attempt to stop Congress from certifying Democratic President Joe Biden's election win. The violence left five dead, including a Capitol Police officer.

Republicans have argued that existing committee probes as well as prosecutors' investigations make an outside commission or a select committee unnecessary. More than 500 people have been charged with taking part in the violence.

Pelosi on July 1 announced eight members of the committee, including Republican Representative Liz Cheney, an outspoken Trump critic.

Chairing the panel is Democratic Representative Bennie Thompson, who also heads the House Homeland Security Committee that has been looking into the Jan. 6 events.

Other members of the new panel include Representative Adam Schiff, who took the lead in the December 2019 impeachment of Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, and Representative Jamie Raskin, the lead prosecutor in last January's second impeachment of Trump on a charge of inciting an insurrection.

In both cases, the Senate did not convict Trump.

The special committee, which will have subpoena power, could keep questions alive about Trump's activities on Jan. 6 and possibly complicate Republicans' efforts to win majority control of the House in the 2022 congressional elections.

(Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Scott Malone and Alistair Bell)

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