By Paul LeBlanc and Sarah Fortinsky, CNN
Rep. Liz Cheney, one of just two Republicans on the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, has asserted that the attack was part of an “extremely well-organized” conspiracy.
The Wyoming lawmaker’s comments to CBS “Sunday Morning” come before the panel is set to hold its first public hearing on June 9 at 8 p.m. ET. The prime-time presentation will be an overview of the committee’s 10-month investigation and set the stage for subsequent hearings, which are expected to cover certain topics or themes, sources previously told CNN.
“It is extremely broad. It’s extremely well organized. It’s really chilling,” Cheney told the outlet when asked if the attack amounted to a conspiracy, adding: “I have not learned anything that has made me less concerned.”
Committee members have teased that the hearings could be focused on former President Donald Trump’s direct role in undermining the election results. Broadly, the panel has been working toward a thesis that Trump’s obsession with the election loss and his peddling of false claims about the results is what laid the groundwork for the violent and deadly riot at the US Capitol.
While the setup of the hearings has been a work in progress and evolving, sources previously told CNN, the presentations will likely feature video clips from January 6, as well as some of the roughly 1,000 interviews the committee has conducted behind closed doors.
Cheney said Sunday that she’s confident new evidence from the investigation will compel viewers’ attention, as she charged that Trump’s threat to democracy is ongoing.
“We are not in a situation where former President Trump has expressed any sense of remorse about what happened. We are, in fact, in a situation where he continues to use even more extreme language, frankly, than the language that caused the attack,” she said in the interview. “And so, people must pay attention. People must watch, and they must understand how easily our democratic system can unravel if we don’t defend it.”
Ahead of the hearings, Trump’s team has communicated to some of his most loyal acolytes on Capitol Hill that the former President wants people vigorously defending him and pushing back on the select committee while the public hearings play out, according to GOP sources familiar with the request.
In Congress, the targeted response to the hearings will be overseen by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, who has been coordinating the response effort with GOP members.
“We are thankfully not at a moment of civil war, but we are certainly at a time of testing,” Cheney said. “We are absolutely in a moment where we have to make a decision about whether we’re going to put our love of this country above partisanship. And to me, there’s just, there’s no gray area in that question.”
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CNN’s Zachary Cohen and Ryan Nobles contributed to this report.