Inside the Jan. 6 Committee

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from The New York Times,

Power struggles, resignations and made-for-TV moments — the untold story of the most important congressional investigation in generations.

One afternoon in early May, a lanky, bespectacled and mostly bald 53-year-old British American named James Goldston sat in a conference room in the Thomas P. O’Neill Jr. House Office Building before the expectant gazes of 25 or so men and women: the staff of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.

“So what have we got?” he asked the staff members.

Quite a lot, replied the committee’s lead investigator, Tim Heaphy, a former U.S. attorney. The idea, Heaphy said, was for every hearing to include a significant audiovisual representation of the evidence the staff had gathered.

“And, so, what have we got?” Goldston asked again, somewhat more anxiously this time.

“That’s what you’re here for,” he was told.

James Goldston’s 30-year career — covering breaking news as a BBC correspondent, creating shows, overseeing the celebrity hosts of “Good Morning America” and running a news division — made him well suited to this new challenge. Still, Goldston struggled to contain his astonishment. He asked the staff how, in past House hearings, video footage was played.

Did they use a control room? he asked. No, no such room existed. Was there a video-production staff on hand? No. Was there money in the budget to hire such a staff? Goldston was informed that the committee staff’s senior team already had vast experience running hearings. “We’ve done these things before,” one of them assured him.

“I can’t do this,” he informed them. Though Goldston stopped short of quitting that day, his first meeting with the committee staff ended on a highly pessimistic note.

Word of Goldston’s consternation soon reached Thompson and Cheney, and within days, he received permission to recruit a small staff. Knowing he needed experienced storytellers, Goldston made his first calls to four senior producers he worked with as the executive producer of ABC’s long-running news-documentary program “Nightline.”

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