DECLARATION: How the Legislature Is Investigating the January 6th Insurrection | Washington, DC news


By FARNOUSH AMIRI, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – The House of Representatives committee tasked with investigating the deadly January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol has stepped up efforts over the past few weeks, issuing subpoenas to nearly 20 people, including four of former President Donald’s advisors and staff Trump.

The members of the committee have made it clear that they want to act quickly to obtain testimony and documents related to the attack. A witness summoned to testify that former Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon is faced with opposing the panel’s subpoena.

Here’s a deeper look at the committee, its mission, and how it works:


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Unlike some previous Trump-era investigations – including the Russia investigation and impeachment investigation into Trump’s interactions with Ukraine – the key facts of the January 6 uprising are known. A group of Trump supporters, fueled by his false claims of a stolen election, brutally attacked police and entered the Capitol to interrupt President Joe Biden’s confirmation of the victory.

But there are still unanswered questions about the Capitol attack, and lawmakers say it has a duty to provide a full record to ensure that something like this never happens again.

The committee is investigating every aspect of the insurrection, including what Trump himself did during its unfolding and any links between the White House and the rioters who broke into the building.

The panel also examines how the protests before and during the uprising were funded, including the pre-uprising rally on the Ellipse on January 6th.

“But the biggest black box is the role of the president? What role did the people play in the White House? What did the president know about who was coming to that rally? “House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff, who sits on the board, said in an interview with C-SPAN.” And what did he do when he found out? “

The California Democrat added, “There are many important unanswered questions.”

Trump’s allegations of widespread electoral fraud have been firmly dismissed by a number of judges, state election officials, and Trump’s own Attorney General William Barr. In no case were irregularities found to an extent that changed the result.

Another goal of the committee is to investigate why the U.S. Capitol Police – as well as federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies – were so poorly prepared for the rally that became the insurrection and whether their response was inadequate when it began. The factors that contributed to the attack, including the role of tech companies and online platforms like Facebook and Twitter, are also being reviewed.

Last week, committee members broadened the scope of their investigation when they summoned Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department attorney who positioned himself to be an ally of Donald Trump. Demands for documents and testimony from Clark, who supported Trump’s efforts to challenge the 2020 election results, reflect the committee’s interest in the mess that erupted in the Justice Department when Trump and his allies relied on government attorneys to come up with his false election allegations enforce.

The committee’s investigation plans to build on the results of other investigations conducted, including the US Department of Justice’s widespread criminal prosecution of more than 600 rioters from almost every state. But ultimately, the final report that the committee will produce will be separate from the efforts of the DOJ.


Right now the panel is conducting closed interviews rather than open hearings, trying to get a full picture of everything that happened that day and who is behind it.

But that is not always easy – especially with helpers and confidants of the ex-president, who learned during his presidency that a rejection of the congress has little consequence.

The committee chairman has the power to make subpoenas and may bring charges of disregard against any witness who refuses to obey the summons. On Wednesday the committee will begin this process with a vote to recommend charges of criminal contempt against Bannon, who defied a subpoena last week.

The entire House would then vote to send this recommendation to the Justice Department, which would then decide on the prosecution. Biden has said he would like the Justice Department to be prosecuted, but Attorney General Merrick Garland has failed to state what he would do.

The January 6th panel has issued 19 subpoenas so far as thousands of pages of documents flow to the panel and its staff.

In addition to Bannon, lawmakers have said they are “engaged” to two other Trump officials – former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and former Defense Department official Kashyap Patel. It remains unclear whether Dan Scavino, Trump’s longtime social media director and one of his most loyal employees, will cooperate.

Of the summons issued, 13 were addressed to officials who helped plan rallies in support of Trump prior to the attack, including the massive siege day event where the president told his supporters to “fight like hell” .

These people have been instructed to appear at separate interrogations that the committee has scheduled from late October to early November.

In addition, the committee is supported by the Biden administration in the search for information and documents. Biden rejected Trump’s claim to executive privilege over documents requested from Trump’s time at the White House. The establishment of their possible publication before Congress is expected in mid-November.

It is currently unclear when the committee will conclude its investigation and publish a final report.

Associate press writers Mary Clare Jalonick and Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.

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