Jan. 6 investigation accelerates as it turns toward Trump

Source: Politico | September 23, 2021 | Kyle Cheney and Nicholas Wu

The House panel probing the Capitol attack is readying a wave of subpoenas and already getting results from its document requests.

The march to unearth Donald Trump’s Jan. 6 secrets has shifted into a sprint.

In interviews, six members of the House panel investigating the Capitol attack made clear that they’re prepared to fly past any obstacles they encounter, mindful of Trump’s past success at stymieing congressional investigators.

The calendar makes their job tougher: Panel members know they need to show results quickly as the midterms bear down, given Democrats’ thin majority.

“The schedule has always been a challenge to accomplish what we need to accomplish in the timeframe,” said Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) “We’re committed to do it and we’ll use every available tool to get there.”

And the potential hurdles are many — from high-powered lawyers representing the former president’s inner circle to the tech companies sitting on potential witnesses’ communications to possibly even fellow lawmakers who aided Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

But they’re already getting results from some corners. A select committee aide said the panel has received responses from seven executive-branch agencies to its first, sweeping set of Trump administration document requests. The aide added that the National Archives and Records Administration, which vets the release of such material, has identified two separate tranches of Trump White House documents that it has forwarded to the former president for review, a legally required step before the committee can obtain them — or fight any objections from Trump.

Now that the panel is fully staffed, it’s hoping to build on those bureaucratic wins to shake loose the documents it needs while also readying a wave of subpoenas. Select panel Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said Wednesday that a list of subpoena targets would be released as soon as this week.

“There’s a lot that we have to unwind, and there are so many variables in the process,” Thompson said in an interview.

Thompson told POLITICO recently that he hopes to complete the committee’s inquiry this spring, an extraordinarily tight deadline for an investigation of such scope and scale. The panel is attempting to piece together Trump’s pre-Jan. 6 efforts to overturn his election loss, his attempt to mobilize the Justice Department in support of that crusade and the thinking behind his effort to call supporters to Washington on the day Congress gathers to certify presidential election results.


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