WASHINGTON– The final report of the House Special Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack is scheduled to be released Wednesday, ushering in a new era for detectives, politicians and members of the public eager to see the underpinnings of its work.
In addition to the report, the committee will begin the much-anticipated ongoing release of thousands of pages of witness transcripts, the behind-the-scenes building blocks of its investigation that the Justice Department, Republican lawmakers and witnesses themselves have requested.
Committee chair Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, told CNN the panel expects to release “hundreds” of transcripts, but there are some witnesses with sensitive material the panel is prepared to protect.
The committee on Monday presented an overview of its findings, including evidence of a number of criminal laws it believes were violated in plans to stave off former President Donald Trump’s defeat.
Here’s what to watch out for on Wednesday:
Details of possible obstruction of the investigation
In the summary of its report, released earlier this week, the panel said it was “aware of multiple efforts by President Trump to contact Special Committee witnesses,” adding that the DOJ was aware of “at least one of those circumstances.” known.
The summary released Monday also claimed the panel had “a body of evidence pointing to specific efforts to obstruct the panel’s investigation.” These include concerns that attorneys paid by Trump’s political committee or allied groups “have special incentives to defend President Trump rather than zealously representing their own clients.”
CNN previously reported that Cassidy Hutchinson, a former Trump White House adviser, told the select committee that she was contacted by someone who attempted to influence her testimony.
“The Special Committee also has concerns regarding certain other Witnesses, including those who still rely on their income or employment from organizations associated with President Trump, such as the America First Policy Institute,” the panel wrote in Monday’s summary.
“Certain witnesses and attorneys were unnecessarily argumentative, answered hundreds of questions with variants of ‘I don’t remember’ in circumstances where that answer seemed implausible, seemed to be speaking from attorney-written talking points rather than their own memories, provided highly questionable rationalizations or has otherwise resisted telling the truth,” the panel added.
“The public can ultimately judge these issues for themselves by reviewing the committee’s minutes and by comparing the accounts of various witnesses and the behavior of the attorneys,” the summary reads.
The summary also highlighted Ivanka Trump and then-White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany as less cooperative than others.
Details on Trump’s efforts to visit the Capitol
The synopsis shows the panel was ultimately unable to get former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Tony Ornato to confirm a bombastic moment during the public hearings in which Hutchinson recalled that Ornato was Trump’s altercation described with the head of his security detail when told he would not be taken to the Capitol after his speech on the Ellipse.
The committee summary said that both Hutchinson and a White House aide testified before the panel about the Ornato talk. But “Ornato stated that he can’t remember either communication and that he was completely unaware of the President’s anger.”
The committee wrote that it had “significant concerns about the credibility of this testimony” and vowed to release its transcript publicly. Ornato did not recall providing the information to Hutchinson or any White House official with national security responsibilities, the report said. “The committee is skeptical of Ornato’s account.”
The transcripts could help explain any inconsistencies in the statements.
Regarding funding following the 2020 presidential election and through the Jan. 6 rallies, the committee has collected evidence that suggests Trump “raised approximately a quarter billion dollars in funds between the election and Jan. 6.”
“These calls persistently alleged and referred to voter fraud that did not exist,” the panel wrote.
“For example, the Trump campaign, along with the Republican National Committee, has sent millions of emails to its supporters claiming the election was ‘rigged’ and their donations could stop Democrats from ‘stealing the election.’ , and that Vice President Biden would be an ‘illegitimate President’ if he took office,'” the abstract reads.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat, said the panel had evidence that members of the Trump family and inner circle — including Kimberly Guilfoyle — personally benefited from money raised based on the former president’s false election claims, but the panel has never gone so far as to say that a financial crime has been committed.
The evidence presented in the final report and the information emerging from the panel’s trove of transcripts will give the DOJ a real look at what the panel has for the first time and could provide more information to the DOJ’s Jan. 6 criminal investigation formed as the criminal referral selection committee.
According to two sources familiar with the matter, the committee has begun turning evidence and transcripts over to the Justice Department.
Special Counsel Jack Smith sent a letter to the special committee on Dec. 5 requesting all information from the panel’s investigation, a source told CNN.
The select committee began sending out documents and transcripts last week, the source added, with the production specifically focusing on former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump’s former campaign attorney John Eastman.
The body has also begun circulating transcripts of witness interviews relating to the former president’s and his allies’ false election lists and pressure campaign on certain states to overturn the 2020 election results. The DOJ also received all of Meadows’ text messages from the committee.
The DOJ initially asked the panel for all of its transcripts in May, but panel members, particularly Thompson, firmly believed the statements were panel property.
“It’s our work product,” Thompson said in May.
The former president’s legal team will be interested in reviewing the committee’s minutes, which will be released in the coming days, to see if the panel has failed to publicly present information because it contradicted itself, a source said. who is familiar with Trump’s Jan. 6 legal team, told CNN.
Aides and advisers to the former president also hope that the release of the panel’s transcripts will provide new information about the DOJ’s Jan. 6 criminal investigation.
Members of Trump’s Orbit will be looking for transcripts from people who have spoken with both the committee and the Justice Department to get some insight into some of what prosecutors have.
Trump’s team has been keeping tabs on those testifying before the grand jury, even paying the legal bills for a number of Trump’s aides who have appeared. Some believe the transcripts could shed additional light on the Special Counsel’s investigation.
At various points during the committee’s hearings, Trump’s allies and advisers were surprised by statements unknown to them prior to the public hearing, including that of Ivanka Trump.
GOP Legislators Response
The committee’s final report and related transcripts will inform how Republicans, particularly in the House of Representatives, will seek to fulfill their promise to investigate Biden and his administration on multiple fronts, including in part the January 6 re-impeachment when they take control of the house next month.
Various Republican lawmakers have attempted to discredit the special committee’s work since its inception, arguing that the committee failed to address the security flaws that led to the U.S. Capitol break-in. Five House Republicans were subpoenaed by the committee, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and did not cooperate with the investigation. The panel took the unprecedented step of referring the four returning members of Congress to the House Ethics Committee.
The House GOP formulated its own report Jan. 6, to be released when the Special Committee releases its final report.
McCarthy has vowed to hold hearings next year into the security flaws that led to the Capitol break-in and has urged the select committee to keep all of its records and transcripts.
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https://abc7.com/jan-6-committee-report-donald-trump-january-capitol-riot/12597026/ Committee report of January 6: The panel publishes an overview of its findings on the Capitol riots and details of Donald Trump’s actions on the day