The closing of the House Jan. 6 committee, which has completed a whirlwind 18-month investigation into the 2021 Capitol insurrection, is sending its work to the Justice Department along with a recommendation to prosecute former President Donald Trump .
The committee’s time will officially end on Tuesday when the new Republican-led House is sworn in. As many of the committee’s staff have left, remaining aides have released much of the committee’s material over the past two weeks, including its 814-page final report, transcripts of 200 witness interviews, and documents used to support its conclusions .
The lawmakers said they wanted to make their work public to underscore the seriousness of the attack and Trump’s multipronged effort to overturn the election.
“Accountability is now critical to deter any other future plans to overturn the election,” Democrat Chairman Benny Thompson and Wyoming Republican Vice Chairman Liz Cheney wrote in their departure messages on Monday. “We’ve made a series of criminal referrals and our justice system will take responsibility for what comes next.”
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Some of the committee’s work — such as videotaped interviews of hundreds of witnesses — will not be made public immediately. The committee is sending the videos and some other committee records to the National Archives, which, by law, will make them available for 50 years. Committee members said they are not releasing the tape now because it would be too difficult to edit it and redact sensitive information.
However, incoming Republican leaders may try to get the materials faster. One provision in a package of proposed House rules released Sunday requires the National Archives to transfer “any records pertaining to the committee” back to the House no later than Jan. 17.
It was unclear whether the Republican-led House could enforce the provision and what they would do with the material.
The committee’s conclusions follow one of the most aggressive and extensive congressional investigations in recent memory. The team interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses, formally and informally, collected more than 1 million documents and held 10 high-profile hearings. Two Republicans and seven Democrats on the panel were able to conduct the investigation with little interference after House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy declined to appoint a minority member as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected his suggested Two appointments.
Ultimately, the panel unanimously concluded that Trump coordinated a “conspiracy” at multiple levels to pressure state and federal officials and lawmakers to try to reverse his defeat and incite violent mob attacks by supporters Capitol, disrupt the Capitol. Proof of President Joe Biden’s victory. The panel recommended that the Justice Department indict Trump on four counts, including aiding insurrection.
While the so-called criminal referral has no real legal status, it is a powerful statement from the committee, adding to the political pressure already on Attorney General Merrick Garland and Special Counsel Jack Smith, who are campaigning against Trump on Jan. 6. Investigate Pu’s behaviour.
“It’s the most intense investigation I’ve ever been involved in,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., who served in the House for nearly 30 years and served as an aide to members of the House Judiciary Committee in the 1970s when Congress was gearing up for impeachment. Then-President Richard Nixon. Lofgren also served in the House during the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton and served as impeachment manager during Trump’s initial impeachment three years ago.
“I’ve never been involved in something this broad and intense,” Lofgren said.
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At the start of the investigation, she said, she felt that if she rekindled her enthusiasm for protecting democracy, she would succeed. In November’s midterm elections, 44 percent of voters said the future of democracy was their top concern when voting, according to national voter survey AP VoteCast.
Lofgren said she believed the committee made it clear that Trump was responsible for the insurrection and that “it wasn’t done at the last minute.”
“I think we proved it and sent it all to the Justice Department,” Lofgren said. “We’ll see what they do.”