The House Select Committee on Oversight and Investigations has sifted through massive amounts of information, interviewing more than 300 witnesses, announcing over 50 subpoenas and receiving hundreds of tips from its Jan. 6 tip line. It has now grouped all that material into five teams, each of which is focused on a different aspect of the riot and its aftermath. One team, dubbed “follow the money,” is looking into funding for protests against electoral college certification. Another is examining online misinformation and extremist activity. A fourth team is investigating the pressure campaigns that were launched in Washington and state capitols to overturn election results or delay the process of counting electoral votes.
Another team, dubbed “inside the fence,” is examining how federal and local law enforcement prepared for and responded to the riot on January 6. The committee also wants to understand why it took so long for Trump to call on his supporters to stand down, which panel members say could have criminal implications under the law.
Finally, the “Trump aides” team is focused on those who worked with and for Trump as he attempted to circumvent electoral rules in his attempt to win the presidency. It has already made headlines by highlighting the fact that Ivanka Trump’s former chief of staff, Hope Hicks, texted White House spokesman Hogan Gidley multiple times on January 4 and 5 that she thought it was important for Trump to make a preemptive public statement calling for peaceful demonstrations at the Capitol that day.
In a new piece of committee news, the committee summary released Monday says it has evidence to prosecute Trump on multiple counts related to his interference in congressional elections and an alleged conspiracy to defraud the United States. The panel outlines evidence that Trump latched onto conservative attorney John Eastman’s theories about how Vice President Mike Pence could theoretically overturn the 2020 presidential election and began to launch a pressure campaign against the vice president in the days before Congress certified the electoral vote on January 6.
The committee notes that it has also obtained emails between Eastman and a White House employee with national security responsibilities, who said he told them that Trump was attempting to get the Secret Service to allow his supporters into the Capitol building to participate in a protest. The committee also notes that the official who allegedly relayed this information to the White House resigned shortly after the riot and has been disciplined.
In its summary, the committee also highlights evidence that Eastman’s outside legal advisor, Kenneth Chesebro, was involved in creating a plan to put forward fake slates of electors who would support Trump over Joe Biden in the event of a tie in the Electoral College. That effort, the committee writes, was an attempt to “create or exacerbate a constitutional crisis” by using the Electoral College system as a weapon in the fight against Biden’s victory. The committee is awaiting the outcome of a court case that could see the Trump administration block release of thousands of pages of White House records in the case.