The January 6th Committee set off a flurry of media and public interest tonight when it announced out of nowhere that it’s holding a public hearing tomorrow with a surprise witness, after having previously stated that the next public hearing wouldn’t be for weeks. If this gambit pays off in the form of a hearing tomorrow that meets or exceeds the hype, then it’ll be one of the savviest moves in modern political history. But just who is the witness?
The names of John Eastman, Ali Alexander, Mark Meadows, Pat Cipollone, Hope Hicks, and others are trending on social media, as observers place guesses about who the witness might be. We can probably rule Eastman out, given that he took frivolous legal action against the DOJ today for having seized his cellphone with a warrant five days ago. Alexander is so unstable, the committee would seemingly be taking a great risk by letting him testify in public. And if it’s Meadows, it would raise questions about whether he’s also cut a deal with the DOJ.
But most of the (admittedly scant) signs still point to the surprise witness being documentary maker Alex Holder. The committee did say that tomorrow’s hearing will center around recently obtained evidence, and the committee has been making a big deal about the evidence it just obtained from Holder. Escalating details keep leaking about Holder’s video footage of the Trump campaign, including reports that it could potentially incriminate his kids.
We’d guess the odds are 60% that Alex Holder is the surprise witness. He’s also the lowest profile name of all the potential witnesses. So if it’s him, it’ll lead to some degree of disappointment among observers – unless Holder’s video footage ends up being the smoking gun that truly destroys Donald Trump and his ilk.
So if it is Holder, we’re guessing that his Trump footage really is going to bring the house down, or else the committee wouldn’t be building up so much hype for such a no-name witness. And if it’s someone other than Holder, we could be truly sailing into the unknown.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report