5 Arizona-related things to watch for as Jan. 6 committee hearings start

By Ronald J. Hansen Arizona Republic

Arizona was the closest state in the country in the 2020 presidential election and the state seemed to have an outsized share of high-profile figures involved in the runup to the unprecedented riot at the U.S. Capitol and the attack itself.

Beginning Thursday, the select committee investigating the cause of the Jan. 6, 2021, riot begins sharing what it uncovered in the 17 months since the siege. 

Heading into the hearings, major questions remain about how extensively Arizona figured in the insurrection.

The hearings are expected to take more than a week, followed by a written report expected later this summer. 

Arizona resident Jake Angeli, the “QAnon shaman” who is serving a 41-month prison term for his role in the insurrection, became a national symbol of the frenzied mob that sought to block Congress from certifying Biden’s win over former President Donald Trump. 

Video evidence from U.S. District Court shows Jake Angeli among the people who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Others, like Arizona Republican Reps. Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs were involved in official and unofficial efforts to change the election’s outcome before Jan. 6, 2021, and they have remained central to the GOP’s efforts to recast the riot as mostly peaceful protest. 

Both Gosar and Biggs are of interest to the committee, along with Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward and state Rep. Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley, who is running for secretary of state.

There are other threads connecting Arizona to the historic assault on the Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump. Here are five things to watch for as the hearings get underway.

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