House

Jan. 6 committee releases final report

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol released its highly anticipated final report Thursday night, capping off the panel’s year-and-a-half-long probe.

The report, which spans 845 pages, was made public three days after the committee held its final meeting and unveiled several criminal referrals targeting former President Trump. During that presentation, members voted unanimously to adopt the expansive body of work.

The final document includes eight chapters, an executive summary and a list of 11 legislative recommendations, all of which are part of the committee’s responsibility of investigating the events surrounding Jan. 6 and putting forward suggestions to prevent a similar event from happening in the future.

“This report will provide greater detail about the multistep effort devised and driven by Donald Trump to overturn the 2020 election and block the transfer of power,” Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chairman of the committee, wrote in a foreword in the report.

“Building on the information presented in our hearings earlier this year, we will present new findings about Trump’s pressure campaign on officials from the local level all the way up to his Vice President, orchestrated and designed solely to throw out the will of the voters and keep him in office past the end of his elected term,” he added.

The report was initially set to publish on Wednesday, but the committee punted the release to Thursday. The panel did not give a reason for the delay, but the announcement came a few hours before Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered an address to a joint meeting of Congress.

The body of work largely details arguments and evidence the committee laid out during its series of public hearings this year. But for the first time, the panel outlined its full slate of legislative recommendations, including one that seeks to bar Trump from holding office in the future under the 14th Amendment.

The panel argued that Trump should not be allowed to serve in government office because the constitutional amendment prohibits people who “engaged in insurrection” from holding such posts. The committee pointed to Trump’s impeachment by the House on incitement of insurrection, cited the 57 senators who voted to convict him and referenced its criminal referral to the Justice Department on a similar charge.

The committee also recommended increased subpoena enforcement for Congress and more aggressive oversight of the Capitol Police, among other suggestions.

The release of the final report marks the final act of the committee’s sprawling investigation, which has been ongoing since the panel was created in the summer of 2021.

The group held 11 public presentations, interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses and poured over thousands of documents during the past 18 months to understand the events before, on and after Jan. 6.

As a precursor to the publication of the report, the panel made its final public presentation on Monday, during which members voted on criminal referrals to the Justice Department that target Trump.

The panel recommended that the agency investigate Trump for inciting, assisting or aiding and comforting an insurrection; obstructing an official proceeding; conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy to make a false statement.

The referrals, while symbolic, do not have any legal heft because the Justice Department is not required to investigate recommendations from congressional committees.

But they nonetheless marked a significant moment in the committee’s quest to make its case to the American people that Trump was at the heart of a conspiracy to keep himself in the White House.

“In the Committee’s hearings, we presented evidence of what ultimately became a multi-part plan to overturn the 2020 Presidential election,” the report reads. “That evidence has led to an overriding and straight forward conclusion: the central cause of January 6th was one man, former President Donald Trump, whom many others followed.”

“None of the events of January 6th would have happened without him,” the report added.

Ahead of the release of the final report, the committee published the transcripts of a number of witness testimonies — including two conversations the panel had with Cassidy Hutchinson.

During those discussions, the former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows detailed an effort by what she referred to as “Trump World” to lessen the effect of her testimony and hold back information from investigators.

The referrals and release of the report and transcripts come at a particularly tenuous moment for Trump, whose third bid for the White House is struggling to pick up steam amid poor polls and mockery over a new business venture involving digital trading cards.

Updated Dec. 23 at 12:41 a.m.

Tags Bennie Thompson Capitol attack Donald Trump Jan. 6 Capitol riot Volodymyr Zelensky

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