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(Reuters) - A police officer hurt by Donald Trump supporters trying to overturn his election defeat and a filmmaker who recorded some leaders of the U.S. Capitol riot will be among the first witnesses when hearings into the coup attempt begin on Thursday, organizers said.

The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee will attempt to reverse Republican efforts to downplay or deny the violence on January 6, 2021, with five months to go until November 8 midterm elections that will determine which party controls Congress for the next two years.

The committee's first public hearing will begin on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, a prime time spot intended to capture the attention of as many Americans as possible, to be shown live on major networks including NBC, ABC, and CBS.

U.S. Capitol Officer Caroline Edwards, who sustained a traumatic brain injury that has so far prevented her from returning to her previous duties, and Nick Quested, a filmmaker who has captured footage of the right-wing group Proud Boys and documented events that morning, are due to appear.

Five further hearings are expected in the next two weeks.

Four people died the day of the attack, one fatally shot by police and the others of natural causes. Four police officers later took their own lives and more than 100 were injured.

(Reporting by Costas Pitas in Los Angeles; Editing by Scott Malone and Michael Perry)

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Chief Justice John Roberts

The House Select Committee hearings are swaying political independents and centrists to reject the power-grabbing tactics used by Donald Trump and his Republican enablers to overturn the 2020 presidential election, according to several polls and surveys of battleground state voters released on Thursday, June 30.

“Vast majorities of the American people are paying attention, and they are deeply concerned,” said Leslie Dach, co-chair of Defend Democracy Project, an advocacy group dedicated to the principle that voters determine the outcome of elections. “They believe that a crime has been committed. They want accountability in the courts and at the ballot box. And they hold not just President Trump responsible, but they hold his allies and Republicans responsible for what happened.”

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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