The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection and former President Donald Trump’s failed effort to overturn his 2020 election loss is expected to end its work this week by issuing an extensive report of its findings and a series of criminal referrals — potentially against Trump himself.
The House panel plans to meet Monday to vote on criminal referrals and, possibly, present new evidence. It also plans to issue its findings in a report and release transcripts from the hundreds of interviews they conducted with Trump aides, allies, family members and others.
The lawmakers are wrapping up 18 months of work with just weeks left until Republicans take control of the House and end the historic probe.
“We looked at the schedule, and it appears we can complete our work a little bit before that. So why not get it to the public as quick as we can?” committee Chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said last week. Politico reported Friday that the committee plans to vote to urge the Justice Department to pursue at least three criminal charges against Trump.
Through the past summer, the panel wove a compelling tale in a tightly produced series of hearings that showed that Trump had been told repeatedly by his own aides and family that he lost his reelection bid and needed to accept reality. The testimony and evidence presented at the hearing also showed that Trump, with the help of top lieutenants Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, pressured state officials to send fake electors to Washington, browbeat former Vice President Mike Pence — even instigating rioters to call for his hanging with a terse tweet — and remained walled away in the White House, glued to the television as thousands of his supporters and right-wing militia members sacked the Capitol.
Even amid the sweep of the congressional and federal investigations, new details surrounding the attack continue to emerge.
Yahoo News reported last week on one Department of Homeland Security analyst’s extensive efforts to warn federal intelligence of a highly coordinated plan to attack the Capitol that had been brewing online weeks before the actual Jan. 6 attack. The analyst’s pleas hit a wall inside DHS and were essentially ignored, possibly contributing to the security failures that allowed rioters to overrun Capitol police.
Federal cases against the rioters and militia members continue to work their way through the courts — a federal judge recently found Stewart Rhodes, head of the Oath Keepers militia group, and one of his colleagues guilty of seditious conspiracy and other felonies.
And the Justice Department recently appointed a special counsel, Jack Smith, to oversee the ongoing investigations into the attack and Trump’s culpability for repeatedly lobbying others from the White House to throw out the election results.
But even with its subpoena powers heavily curbed — efforts to force five of Trump’s top deputies to testify resulted in only one conviction, against former adviser Steve Bannon, and subpoenas of top House Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, went unanswered — the lawmakers managed to unearth stunning information about Trump’s efforts.
Lawmakers obtained thousands of text messages from Trump’s then-chief of staff Mark Meadows that showed his supporters urging him to suspend the Constitution to prevent the transfer of power to Joe Biden and Trump’s own family and allies pleading with him on Jan. 6 to call off the rioters.
The panel also featured stunning testimony from Meadows’s former aide Cassidy Hutchinson, detailing Trump’s efforts to join the rioters at the Capitol and his insistence that security magnetometers at the White House be taken down so supporters sporting military-style armor and guns could join the crowd. “‘They’re not here to hurt me,’” Hutchinson testified Trump said of the armed protesters.
Published at Sun, 18 Dec 2022 10:00:19 +0000