Panel closed Jan. 6 after Trump was expelled for crimes
WASHINGTON — The January 6 House of Representatives committee will adjourn after completing a whirlwind 18-month investigation into the 2021 Capitol riot and sending its work to the Department of -Justice together with a recommendation to try former President Donald Trump.
The committee’s term officially ends Tuesday when the new Republican-led House of Representatives is sworn in. With many committee staff members already gone, remaining aides have spent the past two weeks releasing much of the panel’s materials, including the 814-page final report, 200 interview transcripts of ‘ witnesses, and documents used to support her conclusions.
Lawmakers said they want to make their work public to emphasize the seriousness of the attack and Trump’s multifaceted efforts to subvert the election.
“Accountability is critical now to thwart any other future plans to nullify an election,” wrote Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Vice Chairman Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., in a farewell message. on Monday. “We have made a number of criminal referrals and our justice system is responsible for what comes next.”
Some of the committee’s work — such as footage of hundreds of witness interviews — will not be released immediately. The committee is sending these videos and some other records of the committee to the National Archives, which by law will make them available within 50 years. The members of the Committee said that they did not release this videotape now because it would have been too difficult to edit and redact sensitive information.
However, incoming Republican leaders may try to obtain these materials much earlier. A provision in a package of proposed House rules released on Sunday asks the National Archives to return “all records related to the committee” to the House by January 17 at the latest.
It is unclear whether the GOP-led House can enforce the regulation and what it will do with the materials.
The committee’s conclusion comes after one of the most aggressive and widespread congressional probes in recent memory. The panel formally or informally interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses, collected more than a million documents and held 10 well-observed hearings. The two Republicans and seven Democrats on the panel were able to conduct the inquiry with little interference after Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy refused to nominate members of the minority because he was upset that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had his two proposed appointments.
In the end, the panel unanimously concluded that Trump was coordinating a “conspiracy” on multiple levels, pressuring states, federal officials and lawmakers to try to reverse his defeat, and inspires a violent crowd of supporters to attack the Capitol and interrupt the confirmation of President Joe Biden’s victory The panel recommended that the Department of Justice prosecute Trump for four crimes including aiding and abetting a riot[atal-PresidentJoeBidenIl-panelirrakkomandalid-Dipartimenttal-ĠustizzjajipprosegwixxililTrumpgħalerba’reatiinklużligħenukomplietirvell
While the so-called criminal reference has no real legal title, it is a strong statement from the committee and is already increasing political pressure on Attorney General Merrick Garland and Special Counsel Jack Smith, who are conducting an investigation into January 6 and Trump’s actions.
“This is the most intense investigation I’ve been a part of,” said California Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who has been in the House for nearly three decades and served in Congress in the 1970s as an assistant to a member of the Judiciary of the Chamber. A committee that prepared an impeachment case against then President Richard Nixon. Lofgren was also in the House of Representatives for the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton and served as impeachment manager during Trump’s first impeachment three years ago.
“I’ve never been involved in anything so broad and intense,” Lofgren said.
She says that at the beginning of the inquiry, she felt that if there is a renewed enthusiasm for the protection of democracy, it will be a success. According to AP VoteCast, a national poll of voters, 44% of voters in the November midterm elections said the future of democracy was their biggest electoral concern.
Lofgren says she believes the committee made it clear that Trump was responsible for the riot and “it didn’t happen at the last minute.”
“I think we’ve tried that and sent everything to the Department of Justice,” Lofgren said. “We’ll see what they do.”
Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press