What’s Next for Jan. 6 Committee As It Plans Final Hearings
WThe Jan.6 committee had wrapped up its eight hearing on July 21. It was planned for the committee’s August breakthrough while the investigators continue their investigation. Following the congressional recess the members were scheduled to return for the final hearings. These hearings would conclude the investigation prior to publication of the report by the panel.
“Our committee will spend August pursuing emerging information on multiple fronts,” Rep. Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming and vice chair of the panel, said during the last hearing. At the end of the session, she added, “See you in September.”
Now, September has arrived and the House Committee investigating Jan. 6th 2021’s attack on the U.S. Capitol, is still deciding its next steps, such as how many hearings it will hold and when.
“I don’t think we know for sure yet,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland and a member of the panel, tells TIME. “My guess would be that it’s in the neighborhood of two or three.”
Although it appeared that all the public hearings would be held in September this summer, there is uncertainty about the timing and deliberations regarding how to account for new information. The final hearings may extend into October while Congress will focus on the campaign for the midterm election.
The final hearings, which will be the first since Cheney lost her primary bid for reelection, will follow the same style of the previous eight in the summer, in which the members reveal to the public selected portions of the committee’s findings and take public testimony from key witnesses. They will contain significant revelations, according to members. “We will complete the investigative hearings to try to fill in some gaps that have been left even though the basic storylines are well understood,” Raskin says.
One hearing, the former constitutional law professor adds, will focus on the committee’s recommendations for how to prevent anything like the Jan. 6 Capitol assault from ever happening again—and to block any attempts to overturn a presidential election.
“I would expect at least one hearing on the continuing threats to democracy in America and what needs to be done legislatively at the federal level and at other levels of government in order to fortify ourselves against coups, insurrections, political violence, and attempts to sabotage elections,” Raskin says. “I would hope that we have as thorough a discussion about these structural problems as we have heard about the individual dangers created by Donald Trump and his movement.”
Continue reading: The Jan. 6 Hearings May Be Exposing Trump’s ‘Glass Jaw’
The members will meet on Tuesday to discuss the plan for the upcoming hearings and to hear an update from the committee’s staff investigators about the progress of their probe, according to sources familiar with the matter. The meeting will discuss whether Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of House, and Ginni Thomas (a conservative activist, and the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas) will be present before the committee finishes its work.
Gingrich was asked by the Jan.6 panel to participate in a free interview about his attempts to overthrow Trump’s 2020 campaign. In a letter to the Georgia Republican, the committee said it had obtained evidence that he had been in contact with senior White House officials both before and after Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol, and that he pressed them to block the transfer of power to Joe Biden. The committee received text messages last spring from Thomas, which were sent to high-ranking Trump officials including Mark Meadows (then Chief of Staff), in which Thomas pushed tirelessly for the overturning of the election. So far she has not responded to a request for evidence. Therefore, the panel considered issuing her a subpoena.
Another key issue at play in the committee’s final months is how it intends to release its full findings. In July 2013, members of the committee suggested that the preliminary report be released in September and then that the final report would be issued at the close of the year. But according to multiple sources familiar with the matter, it’s not clear that the panel will unveil a preliminary report this month.
The final report will lay out the committee’s investigative findings in narrative detail, incorporating details that never made it into the public hearings. This report is the result of nearly a year worth of investigative work. It is expected to draw interest akin to the Mueller report, which summarized special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether former President Donald Trump had tried to meddle with the federal government’s investigation into it. However, the committee stated that its report should be more lively and engaging than the 9/11 Commission Report. This was a huge success.
The upcoming hearings follow a series of breakthrough public hearings this summer, when the Jan. 6 committee painted a devastating picture of Trump’s attempts to hold onto to power, leading multiple former federal prosecutors to assert that the former President was at greater risk of criminal prosecution. The federal grand jury investigating the events surrounding the riot has begun. According to to reports, William Russell was recently subpoenaed by the FBI. The New York Times.
Continue reading: Trump’s FBI Saga May Crowd Out Jan. 6 News
With November’s midterm election, the panel still has time to conduct its investigation and publish its report. Republicans will likely regain control of Congress according to all projections. They are almost certain that the committee will be closed if Republicans control the Senate when the new Congress is sworn. (The House resolution establishing the select committee says it’s to be terminated 30 days after issuing its final report.)
“Obviously, if the Republicans win the midterms, the committee is going to be folded up,” Andrew McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor, tells TIME. “They’re under some time pressure to get that out. It’s obvious that there’s a Democratic strategy to make Trump front and center because that’s politically helpful.” He adds, “If this had been a normal investigation, rather than one that had been on a compressed time frame, then I think they would have done a lot of things differently. The pace would be different.”
The committee members say that their goal is to not present a case against former President. Rather, the House panel’s job is to tell the full story of what happened on Jan. 6, 2021, and the days and weeks leading up to it, and identify steps that should be taken to prevent such an event from happening again.
The committee’s members feel they have already accomplished a major feat with its summer hearings, which captivated millions of Americans and revived discussion of the Capitol riot and the ways in which Trump and his allies helped bring it about. An NBC survey last month, for instance, found that “threats to democracy” had overtaken inflation or the economy as the top concern of respondents.
“I think our major breakthrough has been that the country now understands with striking detail how these extraordinary events took place,” Raskin says.
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