January 6 Committee Announces New Fall Season
The House January 6 Select Committee is gearing up for the new fall season, and it looks to be a rager. This week Chair Bennie Thompson announced that the committee intends to hold its next public hearing on September 28. They're clearly going to run this thing through the tape, acknowledging the very real possibility that Rep. Kevin McCarthy is going to take back the speaker's gavel and devote all congressional hearings going forward to investigating Hunter Biden's laptop. The committee plans to issue a final report, likely in December, summarizing its work.
The big news today is that the Secret Service handed over a big tranche of documents in response to a subpoena issued in July. Multiple congressional committees are investigating the wholesale deletion of texts from Secret Service agents' phones just weeks after January 6, 2021, destroying evidence of what happened the day a mob of Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol. Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told Bloomberg that, “while no additional text messages were recovered, we have provided a significant level of detail from emails, radio transmissions, Microsoft Teams chat messages and exhibits that address aspects of planning, operations and communications surrounding January 6th."
With limited time left on the clock, the committee members will have to make some decisions about what they want to prioritize.
“Each member of the committee has things that he or she really wants to continue to pursue over the next few weeks, based on the work that we did before the recess,” Rep. Jamie Raskin told Politico.
They don't have time for a protracted legal battle to force Mike Pence and Donald Trump to testify. Frankly speaking, four months is probably insufficient to get a final court order to bring in Ginni Thomas, who professed herself eager to tell the committee what she knew, before her lawyer said NFW, or Newt Gingrich, who was invited to come in and 'splain, among other things, WTF he meant when he texted Mark Meadows at 10:42 p.m. on January 6 wondering whether there were "letters from state legislators about decertifying electors.”
Our Newt, always so helpful and curious!
Meanwhile, the committee is tying up loose ends with John Eastman, Trump's hapless coup lawyer. Last night it petitioned the court to review a final tranche of Eastman's emails currently residing on Chapman University's server, since the former law professor couldn't be bothered to set up a protonmail account for his coup plots. US District Judge David Carter has previously examined documents for privilege, and found that at least some messages were not subject to attorney-client privilege under the crime-fraud exception, and the committee would like him to look at 576 remaining documents and make a ruling before the end of this Congress.
And finally, the committee is going to have to make a decision about when and whether to hand off the mountain of evidence collected to the Justice Department. In the past, it's rebuffed DOJ requests to share transcripts and evidence. But over the past month, it's become very clear that there are parallel grand jury investigations running in multiple jurisdictions. It's clear that they're running serious investigations into the fake electors scheme and the coup plot inside the Justice Department. Hell, they even seized the Pillow Weirdo's phone in conjunction with the plot to ratfuck voting machines in Mesa County, Colorado. (Boys, wear gloves! And for the love of God, make sure your virus protection is up to date!)
“I think now that the Department of Justice is being proactive in issuing subpoenas and other things, I think it’s time for the committee to determine whether or not the information we’ve gathered can be beneficial to their investigation," Committee Chair Thompson told Politico, acknowledging that the DOJ seems ready and willing to take up the baton as the January 6 Committee sunsets.
Meanwhile, Republican Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger are leaving Congress for good. Whatever you may think of their politics, they did set their careers on fire for their principles, and it's not nothing. But it seems like going quietly is not remotely in the cards, so ...
Be there. Will be wild.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.