James Goldston is a documentary filmmaker who formerly ran the operations at Good Morning America and Nightline. He’s now reportedly helping the Democrat-led Capitol riot committee shape its evidence in the upcoming hearings
A former news executive has been recruited by the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol to produce the Democrat-led panel’s upcoming primetime hearing, a Monday report claims.
James Goldston is a former president of ABC News. Before that he ran the mammoth-sized operations at Good Morning America and Nightline as executive producer.
And he’s now an adviser to the group of lawmakers who are set to present their case that Donald Trump‘s efforts to undermine democracy culminated in the deadly events of January 6, according to Axios.
The first of six hearings will be held on Thursday at 8pm ET, and will reportedly focus mainly on the day-to-day events of the riot and contextualize it in Trump and his allies’ wider efforts to overturn the election.
Goldston, a documentary filmmaker who now runs his own production company Aquitania Films, is shaping the explosive event to be ‘a blockbuster investigative special,’ Monday’s report states.
He’s aiming for a ‘raw’ presentation of evidence in an effort to give it a longer life in the news cycle and ‘so that skeptical journalists will find the material fresh.’
The former executive is also reportedly hoping to attract viewers outside of those who had already been following the committee’s investigation.
Among the tranche of evidence Goldston is working with are apparently never-before-seen White House photographs from the day of the riot as well as videotaped depositions with key witnesses.
That includes footage from Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s hours-long testimonies in front of the committee which insiders told the Washington Post will make for ‘gripping television.’
Footage from inside the Capitol that day, reportedly only a fraction of which has been made public so far, will also be shown.
The panel, made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans, is beginning the first in a series of six hearings at 8pm on Thursday
Multiple reports also signal that Republicans are mounting a heavy counteroffensive to the primetime presentation.
It’s not clear if Trump will weigh in yet but both CNN and Axios have signaled that House GOP leadership including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and GOP Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik will play large roles in coordinating the response.
Meanwhile Rep. Jim Banks, chair of the Republican Study Committee, has been leading a separate investigation into the Capitol riot to address security failings that led to the violence that day.
Inside the committee room, however, reporting suggests that lawmakers are divided on what their own next steps should be.
After focusing for months on gathering and shaping evidence for the primetime hearings, the bipartisan panel is reportedly having trouble agreeing on what to do to ensure January 6 cannot happen again.
Among the ideas floated are expanding voter access via same-day registration and tightening the Insurrection Act.
Democrat Rep. Jamie Raskin has reportedly been an enthusiastic supporter of abolishing the Electoral College.
Part of the evidence includes never-before-seen footage from inside the Capitol on January 6 as well as new images from the White House on that day
On the other end is committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney, one of its two Republicans, and who was described to Axios as being ‘conservative’ about the reforms she would want in place.
The committee has sought to present a unified public front, though these issues are likely to surface as they get closer to releasing a final report complete with recommendations for change.
Rep. Adam Schiff, another Democrat on the panel, said Sunday that there is ‘a great deal’ the American public has not seen that will come out in the hearings.
‘Our goal is to present the narrative of what happened in this country, how close we came to losing our democracy, what led to that violent attack on the 6th? The American people, I think, know a great deal already,’ Schiff said on CBS News’ Face The Nation.
‘They’ve seen a number of bombshells already. There’s a great deal they haven’t seen.’
He added, ‘But perhaps most important is the public hasn’t seen it woven together, how one thing led to another, how one line of effort to overturn the election led to another and ultimately led to terrible violence, the first non peaceful transfer of power in our history.’