- The report is expected to include eight chapters tracking hearings in June and July.
- The report comes after the panel recommended the Justice Department charge Trump with insurrection.
- The committee also recommended Ethics Committee inquiries for four Republican lawmakers.
WASHINGTON – The waiting game resumes Thursday for the final report of the House committee that investigated the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021, after a delay from Wednesday for the visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and unspecified logistical hurdles.
The report culminates an 18-month inquiry into the worst attack on the Capitol since 1814, with recommendations for legislation to prevent another attack. Republicans who will take control of the chamber in January labeled the panel partisan and illegitimate, so the report will be the panel’s final pitch in the court of public opinion.
Here is what we know so far:
- The report will have at least eight chapters, which track the blockbuster hearings the committee held earlier this year.
- The 160-page executive summary released Monday broke little new ground, but yielded 17 findings that former President Donald Trump was at the center of the plot to overturn results of the 2020 election and spurred an angry, armed mob to the Capitol.
- The committee recommended the Justice Department charge Trump with four crimes: inciting the insurrection, obstruction of Congress, conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy to make false statements.
- The committee also recommended Ethics Committee investigations of four House Republicans for defying subpoenas: Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania.
- Legislative recommendations are expected to aim at preventing another attack. The committee already endorsed an overhaul of the 1887 Electoral Count Act, which Congress will be voting on this week as part of a spending package.
- Five House Republicans including Jordan released a rival report Wednesday blaming Democratic congressional leaders and law enforcement for failing to protect the Capitol.
- Thompson said the committee interviewed witnesses such as fake electors the Justice Department couldn’t find and is providing the transcripts to the department.
- The committee posted files Wednesday on 34 witnesses interviewed, but new information was scant because 13 were sealed and others refused to answer substantive questions.
The latest on the report:
The chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., told MSNBC’s Symone Sanders-Townsend on Wednesday the committee secured interviews with witnesses such as fake electors from contested states the Justice Department couldn’t find.
Thompson expressed confidence in the special counsel, Jack Smith, to investigate who organized and financed the Capitol attack beyond the hundreds of rioters who have already been charged. But the committee interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses and is in the midst of sharing those transcripts with the department.
“There were people that we deposed that Justice had not deposed,” Thompson said. “There were electors in various states that Justice couldn’t find. We found them.”
– Bart Jansen
Jan. 6 committee posts files on 34 witnesses who were interviewed
The committee posted files Wednesday on 34 witnesses interviewed during the investigation, an initial signal of how much information the panel will be passing along to the Justice Department for its criminal investigation.
But the release was scant so far. Thirteen of the files, dealing with people such as Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis and broadcaster Alex Jones, remain sealed.
Witnesses in the rest, such as Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, Trump lawyer John Eastman and former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, refused to answer substantive questions by invoking their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
– Bart Jansen
Among the unanswered questions observers hope are resolved in the report due out Thursday: Just who tampered with witnesses, how and which ones?
Trump tried to contact a witness after a June hearing, committee members have said. Some of Trump’s fundraising proceeds went to pay lawyers for witnesses, one witness was offered a job but it was rescinded.
“The witness believed this was an effort to prevent her testimony,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., said Monday.
Still, witness tampering was not among the charges the committee recommended to prosecutors but full details remain elusive.
– Donovan Slack
Five House Republicans released a report Wednesday arguing congressional leaders and law enforcement left the campus vulnerable to attack on Jan. 6, but that the Democratic-led investigation disregarded those failings.
Findings accused Democratic leaders of seeking to avoid “optics” of a large police presence at the Capitol after Black Lives Matter protests the previous year. Capitol Police lacked training and equipment to deal with a riotous mob, according to the report, which echoed findings of an earlier Senate report.
The GOP lawmakers who wrote the rebuttal are Jordan and Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana, Rodney Davis of Illinois, Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota and Troy Nehls of Texas. The five were nominated to serve on the committee, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Calif., rejected Banks and Jordan, and the others withdrew.
– Bart Jansen
Jan. 6 committee members list: Who is on the House panel?
- Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.
- Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.
- Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.
- Rep. Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va.
- Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md.
- Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla.
- Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif.
- Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.
- Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.