A committee is a group of people assigned to consider a matter before a deliberative assembly. Matters are sent to committees so that the assembly can explore them more fully than would be possible if the whole group considered the matter at one time. When a committee completes its work, it provides its findings in a report to the assembly.
A select committee is a temporary, bipartisan panel charged with investigating an important issue that requires close scrutiny, such as terrorism or national security threats. The committee will typically be created and disbanded within weeks, or less, depending on the urgency of the issue.
The committee will then report its findings to the House and the public. The report will include legislative recommendations and criminal referrals, and if the committee recommends any members be punished, those decisions will also be made by the full House. The House’s Ethics Committee will determine whether any of the committee’s recommendations are carried out.
In a series of blockbuster hearings, the committee has gathered evidence tying Trump to the mobilization of his supporters for the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, including in-person testimony from witnesses, never-before-seen video and other documents. It has interviewed dozens of people, including members of the Trump administration, his campaign, aides to then-Vice President Mike Pence and local and state elections officials, as well as a former spokesperson for the Oath Keepers militia group.
The panel has concluded that it has gathered sufficient evidence to make criminal referrals for both Trump and his lawyer, John Eastman. The committee voted unanimously to make the referrals. Referrals by Congress do not mean that federal prosecutors will bring charges, but they could place political pressure on the Justice Department to act.
As the committee’s work winds to a close, Thompson said that they will be filing the rest of the non-sensitive transcripts and documents with the clerk of the House this week. The entire report will be available to the public by the end of the year, he added.
This page includes links to Senate Committees, and it offers a searchable database of committee schedules, membership, process, video and audio archives from previous public hearings, and more. You can find additional information about committees on the Texas Legislature Online’s committee portal, where you can also view committee hearings online.