The committee monitors the transparency of NGO funding within the EU. It is concerned about a lack of transparency and accountability, a trend that can affect NGO work in a variety of ways. A new study commissioned by the committee advocates for better data, electronic systems and more transparency for the NGO sector.
House select committee probes Trump’s Jan 6 insurrection
As the investigative arm of Congress, Congressional committees are responsible for reviewing and overseeing laws, budget proposals, rules and regulations, among other things. Committees are also charged with gathering facts about current events and conducting research in preparation for legislation.
Whether the committee is looking into the welfare of laying hens, the cost of healthcare or the scope of regulation-making powers after a natural disaster, each one is tasked with fulfilling its constitutional duties and functions in a way that is most beneficial to the public. The panel that’s focused on investigating the alleged conspiracy to interfere with the 2020 election, however, is taking a slightly different approach to its work.
Its 17-month probe has already amassed a massive amount of information, with investigators interviewing more than 300 witnesses, issuing more than 50 subpoenas and obtaining 35,000 pages of documents. The committee has also launched five teams of staffers to examine the evidence and determine whether a criminal referral is warranted.
One team is examining whether Trump and his aides tried to contact the committee’s witnesses before they testified, including Ivanka Trump and her staff, according to the summary. Another team is looking at the efforts to mislead and confuse voters, while a third team is focusing on money laundering and extremist activity.
The investigation has uncovered plenty of roadblocks, including instances where Trump’s allies sought to derail the committee’s work. One example of that is a memo drafted by Jeff Clark, then a Justice Department attorney, which claimed the department had found evidence of voter fraud in battleground states and sought to weaponize the department for Trump’s purposes. Another issue is that Trump’s lawyers, including Rudy Giuliani, Kenneth Chesebro and Mark Meadows, may have violated federal law in their efforts to shield the president from any criminal charges.
Schiff’s committee report outlines evidence that could justify making criminal referrals, including that Trump knew the fraud allegations he was pushing were false but continued to amplify them. But the chairman is still waiting on a key piece of evidence: the full 800 pages of White House records and communications related to Trump’s actions during the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, a period known as the 187 minutes. The Supreme Court is currently considering whether the committee has the right to see those records. If the committee does have that authority, it would be able to determine whether criminal conspiracy or sabotage charges are warranted. If they are, it could set the stage for the first-ever criminal prosecution of a former president. The full committee will meet again on Monday, Dec. 24 to consider those recommendations.