Capitol riot committee demands massive trove of records from eight government agencies

House committee seeks wide range of Trump-era White House documents, including phone records, visitor logs, and discussion of election conspiracy theories and attempts to subvert results

Alex Woodward
New York
Wednesday 25 August 2021 17:49
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Related video: Capitol officer describes racial abuse during riot

The House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot on 6 January has requested extensive records from several executive-level agencies and federal law enforcement groups, signalling the committee’s wide-ranging probe into the events surrounding the attack on Congress fuelled by Donald Trump’s baseless stolen election narrative.

A first wave of requests to eight government agencies includes White House offices, the departments of Defense and Homeland Security as well as the Justice Department, FBI and intelligence agencies.

The letter to the National Archives and Records Administration calls for White House records from the Trump administration, as well as former vice president Mike Pence, to be submitted to the committee no later than 9 September.

Those records include communications among more than 30 Trump-era White House staff and cabinet officials and associates – including call logs, phone records, meeting memos and White House visitor records.

The committee also is requesting information related to Mr Trump’s attempts to undermine or disrupt the Electoral College count, and potential efforts to invoke the Insurrection Act, martial law or the 25th amendment to subvert the election and invalidate millions of Americans’ votes.

It also asks for communication and planning documents related to election-related protests and rallies and Mr Trump’s discussion of election conspiracy theories and attempts to challenge the outcome – among a list of dozens of requests to White House officials.

Other demands call for information on intelligence gathering, security preparation, and how federal agencies planned for the event in the days leading up to and during the assault.

The House Select Committee, chaired by US Rep Bennie Thompson, formed in the wake of congressional Republicans’ near-universal opposition to a bipartisan committee to investigate the attack. Two Republicans – Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, both prominent critics of Mr Trump and his allies – serve on the committee.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tapped both Republicans for the committee after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had initially selected, among others, GOP Reps Jim Jordan and Jim Banks, whom Ms Pelosi rejected following their repeated comments to undermine the attack and deflect attention from Republican liability.

The request follows the committee’s featuring testimony from Capitol Police officers who recounted the violence and racist abuse they experienced on 6 January.

“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,” Mr Thompson said in a statement on 25 August.

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