A committee can be a group of people who help decide on issues or make decisions. A steering committee, for example, is a group of individuals who work together to guide a project and ensure that the correct decisions are made. Similarly, the term can also refer to an official body that makes decisions and sets standards. It can be a body that regulates the activities of a profession, or a body that approves products.
A congressional committee is a group of lawmakers that examines and investigates issues. The committee can issue subpoenas, order hearings and hold public meetings. It is also empowered to investigate and report on any matter relating to the lawful conduct of any individual or entity. The members of a congressional committee are appointed by the House or Senate. Members are subject to the provisions of the Official Secrets Act and routinely have access to highly confidential information in carrying out their duties.
The panel’s new reams of investigative material shed light on how the Trump campaign used false claims of election fraud to raise money in the days leading up to January 6. Investigators found that campaign officials vetted several possible messages for fundraising pitches that would be sent after the election, but settled on one that incorrectly claimed Democrats were trying to steal the presidency from Republicans. The message was then incorporated into emails sent to supporters to ask for donations.
In the end, investigators say, even Rudy Giuliani — then President Trump’s personal attorney — acknowledged that he had no definitive evidence that voting machines had been tampered with to change the outcome of the presidential race. But he urged donors to give generously anyway.
The committee’s new summary of its findings reveals that the panel has found evidence to prosecute members of the Trump campaign for conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, false statements, and assisting or aiding insurrection or sedition. It identifies the outside legal advisor to the campaign, John Eastman, and associate Kenneth Chesebro as leaders of a conspiracy that violated numerous laws aimed at obstructing Congress and defrauding the government. The committee’s reams of investigative material suggest that the panel is close to finalizing its report. A copy of the full committee report is expected to be released in March. A version that has been approved by the committee is known as a “Committee Report,” and will have a number that indicates the Congress (currently 107). More information about bills considered by the Committee can be found in How Our Laws Are Made.