The January 6th, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol is coming back in a revealing light. The ex-president’s role, the role of those who planned the rally that led to the attack on Capitol police, and the rioters who charged into the halls of Congress… it is insurrection investigation time
Today, August 25th, 2021, is auspicious. The U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol is underway and expanding its request for documents. The former U.S. president is claiming “executive privilege” to block the committee from obtaining ‘a massive tranche of documents’ from U.S. agencies. The Biden administration has approved agencies turning over documents and Donald Trump’s case will proceed. All will see how this legal battle turns out.
Apart from the ex-president’s point of view on the legalities, the investigation of the January 6th riot, insurrection, ‘tourist visit’… call it what you will, is proceeding apace.
Historian Heather Cox Richardson writes on August 25th of the current status of Congressional inquiry:
Today the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol asked eight federal agencies for records. The chair of the committee, Representative Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), gave the agencies two weeks to produce a sweeping range of material that showed the committee is conducting a thorough investigation of the last days of the Trump administration.
Thompson sent letters to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), which keeps the records for the government; the Defense Department; the Department of Homeland Security; the Interior Department; the Department of Justice; the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); the National Counterterrorism Center; and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
While the House had previously asked the National Archives for all the records it had covering the events and federal actors involved in the events of January 6 itself, the select committee is using a much wider lens. It has asked the departments not just for records covering January 6, but also for those reaching back as far as April 1, 2020, to see if the Trump administration had plans to contest and ultimately, should he lose, overturn the election.
The committee has asked the departments for any records about plans to derail the electoral count, organize violent rallies, declare martial law, or use the government positions to overturn the election results. It has also asked for any “documents and communications” about foreign influence in the 2020 election through social media and misinformation.
And then there was this tidbit. The last items the committee asked NARA to produce were: “All documents and communications related to the January 3, 2021, letter from 10 former Defense Secretaries warning of use of the military in election disputes.”
That letter, which was published in the Washington Post and signed by all ten of the living former defense secretaries, warned that “[e]fforts to involve the U.S. armed forces in resolving election disputes would take us into dangerous, unlawful and unconstitutional territory. Civilian and military officials who direct or carry out such measures would be accountable, including potentially facing criminal penalties, for the grave consequences of their actions on our republic.” The letter reminded then–acting defense secretary Christopher C. Miller and his subordinates that they were “each bound by oath, law and precedent to facilitate the entry into office of the incoming administration, and to do so wholeheartedly. They must also refrain from any political actions that undermine the results of the election or hinder the success of the new team.”
The attack on the Capitol as members of Congress, in session, were approving the results of the election….
The Congressional chair of the current investigating committee goes on record:
Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) writes in a letter on Wednesday (Aug. 25), “The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol is examining the facts, circumstances, and causes of the January 6th attack. Our Constitution provides for a peaceful transfer of power, and this investigation seeks to evaluate threats to that process, identify lessons learned and recommend laws, policies, procedures, rules, or regulations necessary to protect our republic in the future.”
Read the initial testimony to the insurrection investigating committee:
The House Select Committee held its first hearing to investigate the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on July 27, 2021. Read the transcript of the full first day of testimony here. https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts — https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/january-6-house-select-committee-hearing-investigation-day-1-full-transcript
Politico writes of documents requested by the investigating committee:
The committee also asked for documents and communications that involves “a host of Trump World denizens, including Hope Hicks, former national security adviser Robert O’Brien, Trump adviser Peter Navarro, Kayleigh McEnany, Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn, Melania Trump, all Trump’s adult children except Tiffany Trump, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Rudy Giuliani and Roger Stone.”