Jan. 6 committee Chairman Bennie Thompson has COVID-19, is likely to miss Thursday hearing

Rep. Bennie Thompson
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chair of the Jan. 6 committee, is likely to miss Thursday’s prime-time hearing after testing positive for the coronavirus.
(Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the House Jan. 6 committee, is likely to miss the panel’s Thursday hearing after contracting COVID-19.

Thompson tested positive for the coronavirus Monday and has mild symptoms, he said in a statement. He plans to isolate for several days in accordance with federal guidelines. Committee staff said Thompson has instructed them to proceed with Thursday’s prime-time hearing, scheduled for 5 p.m. Pacific.

The hearing will examine in detail what former President Trump was doing in the 187 minutes between when the attack on the Capitol began and when Trump released a video urging rioters to go home. It will be led by Reps. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) The chairman and Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) have given opening and closing statements at each hearing, even when other committee members lead the presentation and question witnesses.

Sarah Matthews and Matthew Pottinger, two former White House aides who resigned immediately after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, are expected to testify. The committee has spent nearly a year collecting depositions and documents detailing moment by moment what the president was doing behind closed doors in the White House as the Capitol was stormed.