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If the committee’s previous eight public hearings since Jan. 6 are any indication, then this week’s potentially final session could turn out to be a true finale.
Committee Chairman Benny Thompson said last week this Wednesday afternoon public session is the last time the House committee investigates the deadly attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021. gifts its findings before issuing its long-awaited report later this year. (Over the weekend, panel members made conflicting statements about whether an additional fall hearing might be held.) The panel also remains undecided on whether that report could include a criminal referral to the Justice Department for the actions of President Donald Trump and those in his orbit this day. But, as has been the case all along, the commission could reconvene at some point if more information comes out — and it seems every week the investigators a find new evidence which cuts to Trump and his team.
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So far the panel has done a masterful job of crafting a a story which links Trump and his allies to violence uprising who tried to pressure Congress to ignore the 2020 election results I keep Trump in power. Trump-fueled mobs really rocked the city, storming the Capitol, sending lawmakers into hiding, and ravaging some sanctuaries of American democracy. As a result, temporary security improvements went up around Capitol Hill, some eventually do constantincluding another layer at checkpoints in front of the doors of the House. Perhaps more lasting, however, is the damage the committee has done to Trump himself, often using the words of his own team against him.
We know that a vast number of people in Trump’s orbit have spoken to investigators since January 6, and that many of those interviews have yet to come under the spotlight as part of the panel’s elaborate video accounts. We have yet to see a full accounting of the real threats made against Vice President Mike Pence, or a full discussion of the simmering cabinet mutiny from that day. Virginia Thomas, the conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has agree to meet with investigators, though the timing remains unclear. And on constant expelling the criminal probes in Trump’s processing of potentially classified documents and the New York Civil case against Trump’s businesses continue to provide possible threads for House members to pull.
In other words, there are still many obstacles in this unfinished scenario.
Still, the panel is struggling with time. The committee is working to complete its final report this year and is set to close 30 days after his release. Democrats did not rule out the possibility of extending the committee’s work until the next Congress, which begins in January. If Republicans are in charge of the House at this point, work will surely grind to a halt. Republican leaders refused to take the panel seriously, Trump said apologists to sit on it and as a result were fully loaded. Instead, Speaker Nancy Pelosi exercised her authority and placed two Trump-skeptic Republicans on the panel; both will leave Congress at the end of this term.
The committee’s express purpose is to report on the causes and consequences of the attempted subversion of democracy and what Congress and the government can do to prevent its continuation. But the implicit impact was to disqualify Trump from returning to power — so much so that the top Republican on the panel, Congresswoman Liz Cheney, said in July: “Can a president who is willing to make the choices that Donald Trump made during the violence of 6 January ever again be trusted in any position of power in our great nation?” If the panel’s months of behind-the-scenes work and public hearings are any indication, and they can stick the landing, there may be enough traditional Republicans and independents to make that judgment undeniable no.
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