First Select Panel Hearing Will Focus On Proud Boys' Capitol Riot Role
The Proud Boys, a national group of violent neo-fascists, will feature prominently in the much-anticipated public hearing set for Thursday — the first in a series — by the bipartisan House Select Committee looking into the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack, the Guardian reported on Wednesday.
To kick-start Thursday evening's hearing, the select committee will detail the activities of the pro-Trump Proud Boys before and during the insurrection, with live testimony from two witnesses who directly interacted with the group, according to the Guardian.
The select committee is expected to call on Nick Quested, a British documentarian who accompanied and filmed the Proud Boys in the weeks leading up to January 6, and Caroline Edwards, a law enforcement officer at the Capitol who was seriously injured as the pro-Trump mob, including the Proud Boys, forced their way through barricades erected outside the Capitol.
Quested, whose appearance was compelled by subpoena, confirmed to CNN that he will testify. Quested also said he had been deposed by the select committee and the Department of Justice and had given them the footage filmed for his documentary.
The select committee considers Quested, who spent a lot of time with the Proud Boys, a firsthand fact witness, and he’s expected to testify in detail how the Proud Boys had planned their January 6 operation in the weeks before the Capitol riot, using the footage he recorded as a guide and for analysis.
Five members of the Proud Boys, including its former national chairman, Enrique Tarrio, were charged with seditious conspiracy by the Justice Department, whose exhaustive investigation into the events before, during, and after January 6 has led to the arrest of over 800 individuals.
Tim Heaphy, chief investigative counsel for the select committee, will examine key stages that led to the pro-Trump mob’s first breach of the Capitol, including the moment where Proud Boy member Joseph Biggs, who was also charged with seditious conspiracy on Monday, briefly spoke to a man right before the march transformed into a riot.
The man in question, Ryan Samuel, who has long since been arrested, walked up alone to a barricade, entered into an altercation with Capitol police officers, and eventually pushed the barricade over — an event believed to precipitate the riot.
Heaphy is also expected to have Edwards recount her assault at the hands of another man who had also spoken to a Proud Boy member before engaging officers guarding the Capitol.
Edwards was the first officer injured in the attack, and her testimony is expected to be harrowing. TheNew York Times reported that the pro-Trump mob pushed Edwards into concrete steps, and a bike rack-like barricade was dropped on her.
Quested will be asked to analyze other key moments he filmed, as the Proud Boys led the mob up the inaugural platform prepared for Biden’s swearing-in, which was still weeks away, and “smashed a window to enter the Capitol,” the Guardian noted in its report.
Most of the major U.S. cable news networks, including CNN, CBS, ABC, and MSNBC, will air the January 6 hearings -- but not Fox News.
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