Congress investigators are preparing to open a new public phase of their investigation into the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, according to the Wall Street Journal, which said this stage will be while investigators try to prove that former President Donald Trump and the people involved in His election campaign motivate some rioters who took part in the violence.
The House Select Committee that investigated the attack focused on two separate, but intertwined, series of events: the planning and execution of the rally by Trump supporters in an attempt to overturn the outcome of the presidential election, and the storming of the building itself.
Tightening the ties between the two could determine whether the investigation implies figures from the White House, including Trump, in an effort to thwart Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College.
Such a result could prompt the commission to consider criminal referrals to the Ministry of Justice, which will then have to decide whether to proceed.
The Democratic-led panel plans to hold public hearings in June, some at the best of times, with a full report on the investigation expected in the fall.
Committee member Jimmy Raskin called the attack an “attempted coup” orchestrated by Trump, and said in a lecture at Georgetown University in Washington in April that the hearings “would tell a story that really covers the roof of the House of Representatives. will inflate. ” Other members of the committee adopted a more cautious tone, and lawmakers said little about what new findings they would disclose.
Pressure is mounting on the committee to act quickly amid expectations that Republicans could take over the House after this year’s midterm elections.
The committee said it conducted nearly 970 testimonies and interviews, with more planned, and received more than 118 thousand documents, and followed up on 470 information received through a hotline for communication.
Recently, several people close to Trump testified before the committee, including Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner.
Donald Trump jr., The former president’s eldest son, testified last week, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke to the newspaper.
Several Republicans called the commission a “biased exercise,” Trump described the investigation as a sham, and described the commission as an “unapproved commission.”
Some committee members are concerned that a number of leaks, such as text messages from the phone of Mark Meadows, Trump’s last chief of staff, could reduce the impact of the hearings, according to a person familiar with the committee.
The Justice Department’s January 6 investigation was largely aimed at individuals who entered the Capitol that day and assaulted police officers. About 800 people involved in the assault have been charged with crimes ranging from disrupting government action to a provocative conspiracy in what the justice department describes as the largest investigation in its history.
Federal prosecutors also issued subpoenas for information on the planning of the “Stop the Robbery” march that preceded the attack.
The Justice Department has given no indication that it is targeting White House officials or Trump.
Sending any criminal references related to the Justice Department on Jan. 6 remains a thorny issue for the commission, according to a source who spoke to the newspaper.
The January 6 commission said in a lawsuit in March that Trump and some of his allies may have committed crimes by trying to nullify the election results.
In March, U.S. District Judge David Carter of Central California, in a case over attorney John Eastman’s efforts to block the release of emails to the committee, found that Trump and Eastman had “probably committed federal crimes” in their efforts. to be believed the results of the 2020 election of.
The commission’s investigation, as part of its efforts to forcibly link the White House rally in the Capitol, focuses on a group of individuals with long-standing ties to Trump, including Trump adviser Roger Stone and Infos anchor Alex Jones, who both had. links to the far-right “Outkeepers” militia and the Broad Boys.
An attorney representing Jones did not respond to a request for comment.
In January, prosecutors charged 11 people, including Stuart Rhodes, founder of Outkeepers, with inciting conspiracy in connection with the January 6 attack.
Enrique Tarrio, leader of Proud Boys, has been charged with conspiracy and other charges related to the collapse of the Capitol on January 6, and both said they were innocent.
The House voted in December to indict Meadows in criminal contempt of Congress after he refused to comply with a subpoena to testify in the Jan. 6 investigation.
The case was referred to the Department of Justice, which did not say whether it would sue Meadows.
The Department of Justice last November continued a charge by former Trump adviser Steve Bannon for challenging a subpoena by the committee through the House.