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Political Notebook

Jan. 6 panel schedules prime-time public hearings

Representative Bennie Thompson, chairman of the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, said prime-time hearings will "give the public the benefit of what more than a year’s worth of investigation has borne to the committee.”Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot has tentatively scheduled public hearings for prime-time slots from June 9 through the end of that month, according to three people familiar with the committee’s plans, The Washington Post’s Jacqueline Alemany and Josh Dawsey report.

The June 9 hearing is set for a prime-time evening start, according to preliminary planning.

The precise format of the hearings and featured witnesses have yet to be announced, but the Post previously reported that committee members and staffers are seeking to televise blockbuster hearings that actually garner public interest.

On Thursday, committee chairman Bennie G. Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi, told reporters on the Hill that the committee will “tell the story about what happened.


“We will use a combination of witnesses, exhibits, and things that we have,” Thompson said. “We have tens of thousands of exhibits … as well as hundreds of witnesses we’ve deposed or talked to in general. It will give the public the benefit of what more than a year’s worth of investigation has borne to the committee.”

Washington Post

Candidate’s bid to add anti-Biden phrase to name on ballot rejected

Colorado politician David Williams has a nickname — Dave — that’s uncontroversial.

Then there’s the other one.

Williams sued the Colorado secretary of state last week after she denied his request to appear as “Dave ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ Williams” on the ballot in the Republican primary for Colorado’s Fifth Congressional District. Williams is running to unseat eight-term incumbent Representative Doug Lamborn in the June primary.

On Wednesday, Denver District Judge Andrew McCallin agreed that Williams had proved he went by the nickname “Let’s Go Brandon,” which emerged last fall in conservative circles as code for a profane expression against President Biden. But the judge also ruled that Secretary of State Jena Griswold used proper authority in blocking it from the primary ballot.


Williams told the Post he plans to appeal the ruling to the state’s highest court.

“The Colorado Supreme Court should do its job and hear this appeal because the corrupt [secretary of state] shouldn’t be allowed to violate the rule of law,” he said, adding that if the high court’s judges don’t hear his case, “they are derelict in their duty and lawmakers should remove their salaries or move to term them out of office without delay.”

Williams, who has served in the Colorado House of Representatives since 2016, is not the only Republican trying to get a catchphrase onto voters’ ballots.

Earlier this week, an Oklahoma Republican running for state labor commissioner lost his bid to appear on the ballot as “Sean ‘The Patriot’ Roberts,” the Associated Press reported. His opponent had objected, contending there was no evidence Roberts is known by or does business using that nickname, the standard set by Oklahoma election law.

Williams, in his lawsuit, pointed out that a candidate running for a Colorado school board last year appeared on the ballot as “Blake ‘No Mandates’ Law,” despite the local election official opposing such nicknames and calling for tightened laws to prevent them.

Law, who opposed mask mandates in schools, lost his race.

Griswold, Colorado’s secretary of state, lauded McCallin’s Wednesday ruling, saying she struck “Let’s Go Brandon” from the ballot because her job is to be “fair and transparent” with voters. “The Court’s decision today affirms that the content of the ballot is not a place for political gamesmanship,” Griswold said in an e-mail to the Post.


Griswold is up for reelection later this year in what the New Republic described as “The Most Important Election in 2022 That You’ve Never Heard Of,” since her office oversees elections and voter registration files.

Griswold’s counterparts have been targeted by conservatives aiming to take control of states’ voting systems in the name of so-called election integrity. After the 2020 presidential election, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, rebuffed then-President Donald Trump’s pressure to “find” the votes needed to overturn his loss in that state, the Post reported. Raffensperger, who maintained that Joe Biden had rightly won the state’s 16 electoral votes, now faces a primary challenger endorsed by the former president.

“Let’s go, Brandon” grew out of a misunderstanding after an Oct. 2 NASCAR race at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. During an interview with winning driver Brandon Brown, a reporter mistakenly thought the crowd was chanting “Let’s go, Brandon” when the spectators were actually bashing the president.

Washington Post

Billboards in California tell McCarthy to ‘stop lying’

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has drawn little fire from his Republican colleagues since audio recordings revealed that he blamed then-President Donald Trump for the Capitol riot.

On Wednesday, McCarthy got a standing ovation after defending himself in a meeting with House Republicans.

But now, new billboards erected in McCarthy’s district are sending the California Republican a different message — and it’s coming from within his own party.

“WE’VE HEARD THE TAPES, KEVIN,” the billboards say. “Stop lying about January 6th.”


The billboards were paid for by the Republican Accountability Project, a conservative group critical of members of the GOP who have supported Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was rigged.

“We’re just trying to at least inform the people that vote for him that he lies and continues to lie,” Barry Rubin, a spokesman for the group, said of McCarthy. “When he goes back home, there are going to be some people that question him about it.”

McCarthy’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Placed at six locations around Bakersfield, about 100 miles north of Los Angeles, the billboards will stay up for at least two weeks, Rubin said. “Most people aren’t aware of what’s going on in politics,” he said, adding that he hoped the billboards would prompt some scrutiny of McCarthy. He could not immediately provide the Post with the total cost.

Last week, The New York Times published audio recordings of a Jan. 10, 2021, call among House Republican leaders in which McCarthy said he planned to urge Trump to resign. The audio contradicted his claim denying that he had wanted Trump to step down.

Washington Post