Recent revelations of the national security risks feared by members of Trump’s inner circle in the days leading up to January 6 have emerged separately from details of the attack on Capitol Hill. But they painted a more complete picture of the motivations behind the insurgency of the Democrats who head the select committee.
And as the panel prepares for its first hearing next week, these Democrats foreshadow an effort to dig deep into Trump’s chaotic White House endgame. The final days of Trump’s reign, they say, laid the groundwork for the Capitol Riot and were made worse by a national security paralysis unleashed by the former president.
“It is a matter of democratic survival and national security to define these events and their causes, then prepare for change and prepare for security in the future,” Raskin added.
According to a new book by Washington Post reporters, General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, feared the then president was attempting a coup and trying to use the military to achieve it. Milley, the authors of the book write, discussed ways to stop Trump from taking such a dangerous move.
“It’s a Reichstag moment,” Milley reportedly told his staff. “The Gospel of the Führer.
It came as Trump was repeating false allegations about fraud in the 2020 election and increasingly pressuring lawmakers to oppose Jan.6’s certification of the loss of his constituency. – even pushing his own vice president who was overseeing the joint session of Congress that day. .
“If there were different potential ways to quash the elections and maintain power against the will of the people, this would be relevant to our investigation,” said House Intelligence chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Member of ‘a select committee, said in a brief interview.
Representative Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), Whom President Nancy Pelosi asked to chair the select committee, told POLITICO on Tuesday that he would prosecute “all the circumstances and all the facts around January 6”.
“If, in fact, the investigation takes us in that direction, then obviously we will be looking at it,” Thompson said of the comments reported by Milley.
Schiff said the investigation would also likely examine intelligence cracks that led security officials and Capitol Hill police to be unprepared and overrun with rioters. Federal law enforcement officials have come under scrutiny for failing to share information suggesting that far-right groups were planning violence on January 6.
“There is a larger issue that is a holdover from the past four years of an inadequate focus on domestic violent extremism – what role has this played in the lack of preparedness?” added Schiff.
In addition to the Jan.6 select committee, House and Senate Democrats are investigating Trump’s Justice Department secret subpoenas targeting Democratic lawmakers. With these notable exceptions, Democrats have greatly reduced their surveillance machine now that Trump is no longer president, making the restricted panel the focal point of Congressional surveillance.
Trump was impeached for inciting insurgency, but acquitted at the Senate trial after Raskin and his fellow impeachment officials failed to influence enough Republicans to meet the two-thirds threshold required for sentencing. GOP senators then filibustered the law to establish a 9/11-style commission to investigate the events of January 6, prompting Democratic House leaders to set up the select committee.
The creation of the small group was passed by the House with the support of all Democrats and two Republicans – Liz Cheney of Wyoming, whom Pelosi later appointed to serve on it, and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.
The committee’s first hearing next week will feature testimony from police officers who were assaulted by rioters.
“We will approach it with a very serious eye on how these things happened, what are the breakdowns that led to this, misinformation, breakdowns in intelligence reporting, collection, dissemination and operation, calling the National Guard – all these things, “said representative Elaine Luria (D-Va.), member of the select committee. “I think it’s a very important job, and it’s the vehicle we use.”
Republicans, meanwhile, are bracing for the possibility that the committee’s next steps include seeking testimony from Trump allies within the House GOP, many of whom were in constant communication with the then president in the days. and the weeks following the November elections. Some had also spoken with Trump on January 6, including parliamentary minority leader Kevin McCarthy.
McCarthy named one of those staunch Trump allies, Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), to the GOP side of the select committee. Jordan indicated on Tuesday that he would be prepared to testify about his conversations with Trump, adding: “If they call me, I have nothing to hide.”
And the Democrats may well give it a try. Some of them remain keenly interested in uncovering details of Trump’s private behavior before he left office and the extent to which aides, advisers and other officials around him encouraged or prevented catastrophic results before, during and. after the riots of January 6.
“Jan. 6 was the culmination of a series of legal violations and breaches of standards. I hope we haven’t seen the last time to hold former Trump officials accountable,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) in a brief interview. “I think there are serious questions raised by the danger that Trump has posed in recent days.”
Olivia Beavers contributed to this report.