Jan 6 Committee Chair Bennie Thompson to miss prime time hearing, tested positive for COVID-19
WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, hit the gavel, and controlled the January 6 Committee, but Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Molly Reynolds says Thompson set a tone preventing any one lawmaker from hogging the spotlight.
“Mr. Thompson, has spoken at every hearing,” Reynolds said. “He is the chair, but he’s been very willing to defer to his colleagues on both sides of the aisle when he feels like that’s the right thing to do.”
Thompson will not be present at the July 21 prime time hearing after testing positive for COVID-19. The Congressman released a statement saying in part “I tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday, and I am experiencing mild symptoms. Gratefully I am fully vaccinated and boosted.”
Reynolds believes Thompson accomplished his goal of the committee gathering as much information as possible, and then revealing it to the world in a series of high profile hearings.
“We really have learned a lot of new material from these hearings, and I think the committee has very effectively used video evidence as part of what they’ve done. That’s a real, kind of departure from what Congress has done in the past.”
The Committee showed never-before-seen testimony from people in former President Donald Trump’s circle, and committee members tried to convince the public Trump was responsible for the violent mob.
Reynold’s said, despite being absent for the primetime hearing, Thompson has cemented his legacy as chair.
“Many more people will know who Mr. Thompson is as a result of his participation in this committee, his leadership of it,” Reynolds said. “And I think history will look well on his willingness to, again, kind of not hoard the spotlight.”
Thompson said in a statement Tuesday: “I tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday, and I am experiencing mild symptoms. Gratefully I am fully vaccinated and boosted.”
Thursday was initially going to be the last January 6 Committee hearing, but committee members have recently left the door open for more hearings.
Copyright 2022 Gray DC. All rights reserved.