Rep. Adam Schiff appeared on CBS’ “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” Wednesday night prior to Thursday’s first prime-time congressional hearing exploring the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riots. Schiff is one of seven Democrats and two Republicans on the House committee that has reviewed more than 100,000 documents and conducted upwards of 1,000 interviews throughout the investigation. As CBS, NBC, and ABC all prepare to preempt regularly scheduled programming to air the first hearing tonight, Schiff promises that new details about the Capitol incident will be made public.
“You will certainly learn a great many things that are not in the public arena already,” the Congressman told Colbert.
The challenge, as Schiff sees it, is that the public already knows a great deal about the Jan. 6 attacks. Compounding matters is how accustomed he feels the American public has become to incidents, comments, and strategies that seemingly run counter to standard governmental practice.
“What is so challenging, and has been since the beginning of this Trumpist era, is that the public is exposed to one shock after another,” he said. “One incredible and tragic breakdown of our democratic system after another. And you get numb with it. I think the challenge for our committee is to break through that. To grab people by the lapels and say, ‘We came close to losing our democracy.’”
Thursday’s prime-time hearing will be followed by several subsequent hearings across daytime and prime-time throughout June. In addition to the three broadcast networks, Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN are also planning special coverage, though it is unclear if live prime-time focus will be given for the duration of the hearings.
In an unprecedented move, former ABC News president James Goldston is advising the House committee on how to best dramatize the prime-time hearings as an opportunity to maximize its public impact. The former head of “Good Morning America” and “Nightline” will utilize previously unseen footage of the attack, pre-produced packages, live interviews, and more to lay out the findings of the committee’s 11-month investigation.