Jan. 6 committee promises more hearings this fall. What we know (and don't) about what happens next
The House Jan. 6 committee wrapped its eighth hearing Thursday with the promise of more hearings in September.In his opening remarks, the committee's chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said more hearings are coming in September. The panel's vice chair, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., signaled the committee hasn't hit its end point.
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol has “formalized” a process for sharing information with the Department of Justice (DOJ) as the department ramps up its own probe into the deadly riot.
Chair Bennie Thomspon (D-Miss.) said the Justice Department will now be able to obtain copies of depositions from the committee, abandoning an earlier demand that they conduct an “in camera” review rather than take possession of any interviews.
“We just got the process ostensibly in writing and agreed on,” Thompson said Thursday.
“It’s not a catch-all. You know if they have some people you want to look at a transcript [for] you just need to let us know,” he said.
Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger says the Jan. 6 committee has 'proven' a criminal case against Trump
The committee wouldn't be able to legally prosecute Trump, but it can send a criminal referral to the Justice Department."I think, taken in totality, this represents the greatest effort to overturn the will of the people, to conspire against the will of the people, and to conspire against American democracy that we've ever had, frankly since the Civil War," he said Friday during an interview with CNN. "I think we've proven that.
The process represents a compromise on both sides.
Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), a member of the committee, told reporters Wednesday that “the last request was, you know, all 1,000 interviews” they’ve done.
While the committee will get more specificity from DOJ, Justice was able to convince lawmakers it would be more expeditious to simply share the documents.
“We’re just trying to avoid any duplication of work,” Thompson said, noting that DOJ would eventually need documents during any prosecutions.
Video: DOJ investigating Trump’s actions leading up to Jan. 6 (NBC News)
“It’s not like, ‘Here it is, come look at everything,’ and ‘we have.’ It’s a process we have to manage.”
The breakthrough in the negotiations comes as the Justice Department is reportedly more specifically eyeing the actions of former President Trump in its investigation into the attack.
Trump's tweet calling out Mike Pence is 'not quite attempted murder' but incendiary messages like it can be used as evidence in charges, criminal law scholar says
Trump's messaging to rioters outside the Capitol shows intent for a particular outcome, a Stanford criminal law expert told Insider.On July 22, the January 6 panel revealed how Trump carefully formulated his messages to the public on the day of the riot. From the outtakes of two public statements showing the former president going off script and avoiding the phrase "the election is over" to his tweets, in which Trump accused former Vice President Mike Pence of not having "the courage" to overturn the election.
In recent days, they’ve brought former aides to then-Vice President Mike Pence to testify before a grand jury, and prosecutors are reportedly in discussion with White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.
“I think we’ve made a significant case that there are some problems there. And if that is the direction the Department of Justice has taken, then you know, we are a nation of laws, and they are the prosecutorial body to look at it,” Thompson said.
The Jan. 6 panel likewise continues to reach out to new witnesses.
Former Trump chief of staff Mick Mulvaney sat with the committee’s investigators Thursday while former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has also recently met with the panel.
Thompson said Thursday the committee remains in discussion with former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
And as recently as two days ago it received another batch of documents from the Secret Service as the panel evaluates whether or how any text messages from agents on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 were erased.
It’s also eyeing releasing a report as early as August that would review the National Guard action on Jan. 6 and why they were delayed in getting approval to respond to the danger at the Capitol.
“We’ve done an analysis of the guard. And the question is, is there enough there on a national security perspective to generate a hearing or is it just something that we could release the findings and the report to the public,” Thompson said.
—Mychael Schnell contributed.
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DHS watchdog knew about deleted Secret Service texts long before alerting the January 6 committee and delayed an investigation into the lost data, reports say .
The Homeland Security watchdog knew about the missing Secret Service texts from around the Capitol riot as early as last year, reports say.The Secret Service and DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari, clashed earlier this month after Cuffari wrote a letter to lawmakers saying the Secret Service had deleted text messages from the day of and before the Capitol riot in 2021. The Secret Service said the deleted text messages were due to a pre-planned system migration.