Committee News is a weekly newsletter that provides the latest information about congressional committees. The newsletter covers all committees, including select committees, foreign affairs committees and other policy-making panels in the House of Representatives and the Senate. It is a useful tool for journalists and anyone interested in Congress.
Committees are formed to consider matters that are sent to them by a deliberative assembly. They typically explore those matters more fully than would be possible if the assembly itself were considering them. The committees’ results are then provided in a report to the assembly.
The House Intelligence Committee has issued a summary of its work that details how the Trump administration attempted to interfere with the election and mislead the public. The document highlights several issues that will likely become central to the investigation moving forward.
It also raises questions about whether Trump campaign officials or other administration appointees acted unethically. The document points to the fact that the administration drafted a letter for state election officials urging them to use Justice Department resources to essentially overturn the election. The letter was drafted by the acting assistant attorney general for civil rights, Eric Clark. The panel believes that Clark abused his position to try to weaponize the Justice Department for political ends.
The report also says that aides to the president attempted to contact witnesses ahead of their committee testimony. The committee notes that White House counsel Pat Cipollone refused to answer questions about his direct conversations with Trump on the subject, arguing that doing so would violate his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. The committee concludes that the Trump administration’s attempts to disrupt the electoral process were premeditated.
In the aftermath of the riots at the Capitol on January 6, the committee report recounts how members of both parties downplayed the incident or defended Trump’s actions. It also reveals that White House aides sought pardons for people involved in the riots, which is consistent with the public testimony of former Deputy Press Secretary Cassidy Hutchinson.
The report also raises concerns about a number of Republican lawmakers’ refusal to comply with subpoenas from the committee, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Andy Biggs of Arizona. The report suggests that these lawmakers could face sanctions if they continue to resist the committee’s efforts. The panel’s chair, Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wisconsin, said he expects the committee to issue its final report in late February. Gallagher is looking for the committee to shepherd several bills through the chamber in the next two years and to recommend long-term policies. He has the support of his fellow Republicans on the committee.