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The House January 6 Commission will be holding its first public hearing Thursday, televised live and in primetime, with a special adviser on board to get the maximum impact.
The commission brought on former ABC News President James Goldston to help lawmakers go through video footage, documents, photos, taped depositions, and live witness interviews, and craft a “TV friendly” presentation for the viewing audience, Fox News has learned.
According to Axios, which first reported the news, Goldston is producing the hearing like “a blockbuster investigative special.” Fox News has been told that it will feature live interviews with interspersed clips from taped depositions and various other audio and video including never-before-seen footage from inside the Capitol on the day of the riot.
Most congressional hearings take place during the day, beginning in the morning or mid-afternoon. Indeed, most of the commission’s hearings are expected to go the same way, but House Democrats are looking to kick off the proceedings at a time that will yield the most eyeballs on their product.
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Earlier in his television career, Goldston produced prime-time specials and investigative reports for ABC News, The Wrap reported. He eventually became president in 2014, and stayed in that role until 2021, when he left and started his own production company.
Several House Republicans voiced concern over Goldston’s involvement. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., ranking member of the Committee on House Administration, along with Reps. Jim Banks, R-Ind., Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., and Troy Nehls, R-Texas, sent a letter to House Administration Chair Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., and Jan. 6 Commission Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., asking if Goldston is a hired paid employee of the commission or working in an “unofficial capacity.”
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The Republicans noted that for any hired consultant, committee chairs need to submit a written request along with a signed contract and the candidate’s resume.
“To our knowledge, the Committee has not received or considered such a request,” they wrote in a letter published by CBS News.
Fox News reached out to the offices of Lofgren and Thompson for comment, but neither immediately responded.
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The Republican letter also warned against bringing on Goldston or anyone else for free.
“Such an arrangement would violate House Rules and the House Ethics Manual regulations which clearly states that ‘no logical distinction can be drawn between the private contribution of in-kind services and the private contribution of money, and that both perpetuate the very kind of unofficial office accounts and practices that are prohibited’ by the rule,” the letter said.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.