The U.S. House Select Committee Investigation of the January 6 Attack on the Capitol: Part 7
Social Justice Policy Brief #31 | By: Erika Shannon | January 27, 2022
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The one-year anniversary of the attack on our nation’s Capitol may have passed, but one thing is clear: the House Select Committee is no longer playing games with their investigation. Their quest for answers has been long, full of obstacles, yet they continue to try and delve through all the information they can possibly get their hands on. They have faced people trying to stonewall the investigation, as well as a severe lack of cooperation from the former President himself.
Most recently, the House Select Committee issued subpoenas to four more Trump allies who publicly promoted unsupported claims about the election and participated in attempts to disrupt/delay the certification of the election results. This includes Jenna Ellis, Sidney Powell, Boris Epshtein, and Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani himself actively promoted election fraud claims and tried to convince state legislators to take steps to overturn the 2020 election results.
The day after issuing those four subpoenas, the House Select Committee issued subpoenas to Nicholas J. Fuentes and Patrick Casey. These two are leaders of the “America First” or “Groyper” movement and were present on the Capitol grounds on January 6, 2021. They also participated in events prior to that day, where unsupported claims about election fraud were promoted. The two are also being investigated for the tens of thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoin they were wired from a French computer programmer. The FBI is trying to assess whether these funds were linked to the Capitol attack or otherwise used to fund illegal activity.
While he was not formally subpoenaed, talk show host Sean Hannity was sent a letter by the House Select Committee; in the letter, they are asking for his cooperation to voluntarily answer questions about matters including communications between himself, the former President, Mark Meadows, and others in question regarding the events of January 6. The committee already has communications between Hannity and those listed, and at this point they are looking for clarification from him.
The daughter of the former President has also been issued a request for information from the panel, though not a subpoena. The House Select Committee sent her a letter similar to Sean Hannity’s, where they are asking her to voluntarily come forth and give information relevant to January 6’s events. There is evidence that Ivanka Trump was in direct contact with Donald Trump at key moments on January 6, 2021 which means she likely has key information that would help the panel figure out how the day’s events truly unfolded, and who is to blame.
Individuals are not the only ones facing subpoenas and scrutiny from the House Select Committee. The committee has received inadequate responses to prior requests for information from several social media companies. In response, the panel issued four subpoenas to social media companies as apart of its investigation — Alphabet, Meta, Reddit, and Twitter. There are suspicions that the platforms were used to not only spread misinformation and hate, but to plan domestic violent extremism and harbor efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The House Select Committee wants to ensure that events such as the ones that unfolded on January 6th at the nation’s Capitol cannot be planned so easily on social media, and they are requiring the cooperation of these four companies to make that happen.
Several of Trump’s former allies have already come forth and provided testimony, likely against the former President’s wishes. There is hope that those trying to hold out for as long as they can will end up coming in to give depositions; until then, several key players from Trump’s inner circle have already come forth. This includes William Barr, Keith Kellogg, Jeffrey Rosen, Kayleigh McEnany, Ali Alexander, and Kash Patel.
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It is obvious that the House Select Committee has a plethora of information to wade through at this point, even though there are some who are not cooperating. What does the committee do with the information they receive, though? As it turns out, the committee has put together five teams made up of their staff members to help sort through information. The “Inside the Fence” team is dedicated to understanding the preparation and response to the event by federal and local law enforcement. The “follow the money” team examines the funding for demonstrations against the election results. A third team investigates online information and extremist activity. A fourth team is looking at the pressure campaigns in Washington DC and in state capitols to overturn election results or delay certification of electors. The fifth team keeps their focus on organizers of the demonstrations on the National Mall at the Capitol.
Moving forward, the panel is focusing much of its energy on the task of recording and listening to a slate of public hearings to be able to tell the story of January 6 from start to finish, along with one or more written reports. The reports will detail the events of that day and also make recommendations on how to prevent similar situations from occurring again.
This Brief is part of an ongoing series in the Select Committee’s investigation; further updates will be provided as the investigation continues.
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