The House Jan. 6 select committee investigating the riot at the U.S. Capitol has postponed its final scheduled hearing on Wednesday due to the arrival of Hurricane Ian in Florida.
“In light of Hurricane Ian bearing down on parts of Florida, we have decided to postpone tomorrow’s proceedings,” Chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said in a statement. “We’re praying for the safety of all those in the storm’s path. The Select Committee’s investigation goes forward and we will soon announce a date for the postponed proceedings.”
The postponement avoids the possibility of split-screen coverage of the hearing and Ian’s potentially catastrophic impact as it approaches Florida’s southwestern coast.
The committee had announced last week that it would hold another televised hearing of its investigation into the efforts by Trump and his allies to try to overturn the 2020 presidential election, including the riot at the Capitol, at 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Ian is expected to make landfall Wednesday evening as a Category 3 hurricane, but a massive storm surge that could reach 12 feet will begin affecting the coastline hours earlier.
The hearing on Wednesday was to be the last public meeting of the committee before it issues its final report on the events surrounding the violent attack that was meant to block the certification of Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in 2020.
“I can say that, as this may be the last hearing of this nature — that is, one that is focused on sort of the factual record — I think it’ll be potentially more sweeping than some of the other hearings,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told CNN on Sunday about what the audience could expect from the final hearing.
Last week, Thompson, the committee's chair, told reporters that the hearing would include “substantial footage of what occurred” and that testimony would be heard from witnesses “that we haven’t used in other hearings.”
But with hundreds of thousands of Floridians under mandatory evacuation orders, flash flooding and winds topping 110 miles per hour set to batter the Gulf Coast, the decision was made that a Washington hearing would also not fare well.