“Either the 21st or 22nd of July, we will have our first [hearing],” Thompson said. “We take our work serious. We want to hear from any and all individuals who think they might have something to contribute to the investigation.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) moved to form the committee after Senate Republicans blocked an effort to create an independent, bipartisan commission.
Last month, Pelosi tapped Thompson to chair the 13-member panel and announced her other appointments, including one Republican, Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.).
According to Republican aides who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, McCarthy is expected to name GOP members to the panel, but it’s unclear when he’ll make that decision public.
McCarthy opposed the creation of the committee and has repeatedly declined to say whether he plans to appoint members; at a news conference last month, he dodged questions on the subject.
Cheney was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former president Donald Trump for “incitement of insurrection” in the attack that resulted in five deaths, injured some 140 members of law enforcement and was the worst assault on the Capitol in more than two centuries.
In addition to Thompson and Cheney, Pelosi has appointed six other members to the panel: Democratic Reps. Zoe Lofgren (Calif.), Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), Pete Aguilar (Calif.), Stephanie Murphy (Fla.), Jamie B. Raskin (Md.) and Elaine Luria (Va.).
Schiff and Raskin were the lead impeachment managers during Trump’s first and second impeachment trials, respectively; Lofgren also was an impeachment manager.
Pelosi designed the Jan. 6 select committee to have 13 members, five of whom would be appointed “after consultation with” McCarthy. That means she will maintain the power to overrule any McCarthy pick whom Democrats consider objectionable.
Addressing reporters after the group held its first meeting last month, Thompson said that the selected lawmakers plan to begin by inviting police officers who defended the Capitol on Jan. 6 to testify at a hearing.
On Friday, Thompson said that at its first hearing, the committee aims to “talk to the rank and file of the Capitol Police, to talk to the support staff who had to hide in closets and other things, and then had to be tasked with cleaning up the mess after the riot occurred.”
“Some of these people just want to come to work and go home,” Thompson said. “They should not have been threatened to the extent of losing their life just to come to work. So, we think it’s important that our committee hear from individuals like that, because we want to set the tone as to exactly why we’re in business.”
He also said the hearing will proceed regardless of whether McCarthy appoints members.
“Based on the legislation passed, we have a quorum of the committee, and the committee is committed to doing our job, as I said, with hope that Kevin McCarthy gives us his five recommendations so that we can fully populate the committee,” Thompson said on MSNBC. “But if he chooses not to, we will still do our work.”