Jan 6 committee angles for Fox News coverage with timing of its next public hearing

The House select committee investigating January 6 will hold a public hearing next Thursday afternoon, rescheduling a meeting that was called off due to the landfall of Hurricane Ian in one member’s home state.

Committee members announced on their website that the hearing would be held on 13 October at 1pm EST. It could be the last time the members meet for a public hearing, as they have not indicated any more plans to do so in 2022.

It’s therefore a crucial appearance for lawmakers to make a serious case for action regarding their most damning revelations of Donald Trump’s conduct during and before the January 6 attack, while also an opportunity to lay out new evidence in a public setting for likely the last time before the next major election cycle begins.

The committee’s chosen hearing time of 1pm is, according to Jan 6 panel member Zoe Lofgren, a bid for coverage of the hearing on Fox News, simultaneously the network most friendly to Donald Trump out of the big three cable news channels as well as the most-watched of the trio. Fox News has been hesitant to alter primetime show programming for the hearings but has put some of the testimony on its afternoon shows in the past.

“In the past, Fox News does play our hearings if the hearing is in the daytime,” she told CNN.

Reaching Republicans and Trump voters has long been an explicit priority of the panel’s members. For that reason, most hearings have centred around testimony from GOP-aligned witnesses, including numerous former Trump White House officials, campaign staffers and more.

The ex-president’s approval ratings with Republicans and right-leaning independents remains high, but some evidence has indicated that the hearings have chipped away slightly at his dominance on the right while reinforcing the left and center’s opposition to his return to power.

The latest hearing will be the first to occur since the shocking FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago, Mr Trump’s Florida resort and estate. It is now known that the ex-president is in a legal battle with the National Archives over thousands of presidential documents including classified records that the Justice Department believes were likely illegally kept at the residence.