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

U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Chair of the House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 ...

WASHINGTON — 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 virus 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., as scheduled.

The hearing will examine in detail what former President Donald 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.