Capitol riot committee interviewed 250 people so far | Power and politics of the Palestinian Authority
WASHINGTON (AP) – The House committee investigating the Capitol Hill insurgency has interviewed around 250 people so far, its chairman said Thursday, a staggering rate in just five months as lawmakers scramble compile the most comprehensive account to date of the violent attack and hold public hearings. Next year.
Members and staff conducted the interviews in private and most witnesses appeared voluntarily. The committee has subpoenaed more than 40 people, and lawmakers say only two have defied their demands outright. The investigation began at the end of July.
Representative Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., Revealed the number of private talks as he tried to argue the case at a House hearing for contempt of Jeffrey Clark, a former ministry official Justice who defended President Donald Trump’s efforts to overthrow the 2020 election that Joe Biden won.
Thompson’s committee has scheduled a second deposition with Clark for Saturday and says it will then determine whether to proceed with the contempt charges.
Looking ahead to next year, Republican Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, vice-chair, said the committee expected it would hold “several weeks of public hearings, exposing the American people in vivid colors to exactly what s took place every minute of the day on January 6, here on the Capitol and the White House, and what led to this violent attack.
Lawmakers are set to wrap up ahead of the 2022 election, seeing their work as a crucial fix to the growing tendency by Republicans and others to downplay the seat of Trump supporters. The violent crowd echoed Trump’s false claims he won the election, beating police as they barged in and sending lawmakers running for their lives when they disrupted Biden’s certification of victory,
The seven Democrats and two Republicans on the committee argue that nothing less than democracy is at stake as Trump contemplates a second candidacy and many Americans still believe his bogus claims of widespread election fraud, even though they were rejected by the courts. and election officials across the country.
“History is watching,” Cheney said during the hearing.
Thompson and Cheney presented their case in anticipation of a floor vote on contempt if Clark did not answer questions on Saturday. Clark appeared for a deposition last month but declined to be interviewed, citing Trump’s legal efforts to block the committee’s investigation.
Clark’s attorney now says he wants to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Thompson said the lawyer had offered “no specific basis for this claim.” Thompson said he saw the move as a “last-ditch attempt to delay the work of the select committee,” but said members would hear it. The committee wants Clark to argue the Fifth Amendment question by question, unlike his first testimony. when he and his lawyer abruptly left.
If the committee decides after the deposition that Clark is still in contempt of the summons, the House could vote on the contempt charges as early as next week. The Ministry of Justice would then decide to prosecute.
The department has made it clear that it is prepared to pursue the committee’s contempt charges, indicting longtime Trump ally Steve Bannon last month with two counts of criminal contempt.
According to an October report from the Senate Judiciary Committee, which interviewed several of Clark’s colleagues, Trump’s pressure on the Justice Department resulted in a dramatic meeting at the White House in which the president ruminated on Clark’s elevation to Attorney General. Trump did not do so after several aides threatened to resign.
The Senate report says Clark personally met with Trump and unsuccessfully pressured his then supervisors, Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and his deputy, Richard Donoghue, to publicly announce that the department was investigating voter fraud and ordering it is up to some state legislatures to appoint new voters. Rosen and Donoghue were also interviewed by the January 6 committee.
Trump, who told his supporters to “fight like hell” on the morning of the riot, filed a lawsuit to block the committee’s work and attempted to assert executive privilege over documents and documents. interviews, arguing that his private conversations and actions at the time should be protected. out of public view.
In a transcript released this week of Clark’s abortive interview on November 5, committee members and staff attempted to persuade Clark to answer questions. But Clark’s attorney, Harry MacDougald, said in the interview that Clark was protected not only by Trump’s claims about executive privilege, but also by several other privileges MacDougald said Clark should be granted.
The committee rejected these arguments, and MacDougald and Clark left the interview after about 90 minutes of discussion.
Associated Press writer Eric Tucker contributed to this report.
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