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January 6 panel to release all evidence and witness transcripts alongside final report this month

Long-running investigation set to wind down before Republican leadership takes control of the House in January

Andrew Naughtie
Thursday 01 December 2022 16:09 GMT
Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney
Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney (EPA)

The January 6 select committee is set to release all its evidence – including transcripts of testimony – along with its final report by the end of this month, according to one of its members.

Appearing on CNN, Democratic Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren said that the panel is keen to make sure it does not leave its findings open to attack by the Republican leadership now poised to take control of the House.

“They’ve been pretty clear that they’d like to undermine the work that we’ve done,” she said, “but we’re going to prevent that. We’re going to release all the information we’ve collected so it cannot be selectively edited and spun.”

Confirming that “everything” would be released, Ms Lofgren declined to commit to a precise publication date, explaining that the vagaries of the official legislative printing process meant pinning one down is not possible; however, she did confirm that the report should be expected by the end of this month. She also said the committee is preparing to release the report in an “interactive” form, though what this will entail she did not say.

The committee’s summer hearings saw the panel screen video of testimony from a variety of witnesses close to Donald Trump himself, among them former attorney general Bill Barr, former White House counsel Pat Cipollone, and Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka.

Even as it wraps up its work in advance of the next Congress, which will see the House controlled by a Trump-sympathetic Republican majority, the panel has continued interviewing witnesses from the Trump orbit. Among its most recent interviewees is Kellyanne Conway, former Trump campaign manager and White House adviser, who was seen arriving to testify earlier this week.

Ms Lofgren’s interview also saw her address the question of members of Congress who have refused to co-operate with the committee’s requests to testify.

Asked whether she and her colleagues are considering criminally referring defiant members to the Department of Justice, she said that they are mindful of the separation of powers issues at play, but again did not rule out that referrals could be made.

Among the congressional Republicans who have resisted subpoenas for testimony is GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, who is widely reported to have had a screaming match on the phone with Mr Trump while the Capitol was being stormed.

Mr McCarthy originally nominated five of his members to sit on the panel, but when Speaker Nancy Pelosi turned down two of them, he withdrew the others, leaving the Democratic speaker to appoint two Republican members of her own, Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney. Both are now leaving Congress.

The Department of Justice and the committee have kept their parallel investigations in to the causes and events of the January 6 riot largely separate, with rumours of frustration on both sides about the relative pace of the investigations and the amount of information being shared.

Ms Lofgren made clear that the public will be getting first sight of the report and supporting evidence at the same time as Attorney General Merrick Garland and his department – as well as Jack Smith, the independent special prosecutor recently appointed to oversee investigations into the January 6 affair and Donald Trump’s hoarding of documents at Mar-a-Lago.

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