- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 7, 2022

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol has hired a former ABC News executive to advise on its upcoming prime-time hearing.

James Goldston, who previously led ABC’s “Good Morning America” and “Nightline” and served as president of ABC News from 2014 to 2021, was quietly tapped by the committee to help shape its rollout of evidence into a captivating television experience.

Mr. Goldston’s work for the committee was first disclosed by Axios, which reported that Mr. Goldston is tasked with shaping Thursday’s 8 p.m. hearing into a “blockbuster investigative special” designed to grab the attention of journalists and the American public.

The committee has promised to present “previously unseen material documenting January 6th” and receive public witness testimony on the events leading up to the riot during the hearing.

Thursday’s hearing will also feature a pre-produced video and clips of witness depositions presented by the committee throughout its probe.

Most major news networks, except for Fox News, are expected to carry at least portions of Thursday’s hearing. ABC and CBS have announced they will interrupt their prime-time schedule for live coverage of the hearing.

Fox News’ sister channel, Fox Business Network, will carry special coverage of the hearing beginning at 8 p.m., and coverage of the hearing will be offered across Fox broadcast affiliates and on Fox News Digital. 

Fox News Channel’s primetime programs will not provide gavel to gavel coverage but will provide updates on the hearing throughout the evening “as news warrants,” according to the network. 

The channel also will host a two-hour news analysis special focused on the hearing beginning at 11 p.m.

Despite the fanfare, a former top adviser to the committee, Denver Riggleman, told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that the committee has no “smoking gun” indicating that then-President Donald Trump planned for the Capitol to be overrun by his supporters or that the riot was premeditated.

Nonetheless, Mr. Riggleman said he expects the committee to paint a troubling picture of Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

“I think when you look at the totality of the evidence — and some of these are my personal opinions — it is pretty apparent that at some points, President Trump knew what was going on,” Mr. Riggleman said.

After a lull in headlines, the events of Jan. 6 are once again dominating news coverage in anticipation of the hearing.

Thursday’s hearing will mark the first of a series of public appearances in which the panel will begin unpacking its findings from its nearly yearlong probe.

The Democrat-led committee held one hearing in July, less than a month after it was formed, in which the lawmakers heard from four police officers — Pfc. Harry Dunn and Sgt. Aquilino Gonell of the U.S. Capitol Police, and Officers Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges of the Metropolitan Police Department — all of whom were at the Capitol during the riot.

The committee also has appeared in brief public proceedings in which the members voted to hold witnesses in contempt for failing to comply with the investigation.

• Haris Alic contributed to this story.

• Joseph Clark can be reached at jclark@washingtontimes.com.

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