WASHINGTON – After a series of eight blockbuster hearings in June and July, House Committee Investigating January 6, 2021 Capitol Attackwill continue to work in August until interview more witnessesdraft legislative recommendations and start writing a report on what happened that day and why.
The committee is investigating how Members of Former President Donald Trump’s Cabinet Have Considered Invoking the 25th Amendmentto possibly remove him from office during the last two weeks of his term in office.
The panel should also discuss legislative recommendations based on its findings, such as how to revise the Electoral Count Act, outlining how electoral college votes should be counted in presidential elections, and whether to establish a congressional body as an option for the cabinet. for invoking the 25th Amendment.
As the panel continues to interview witnesses, members must also deal with missing evidence, such as: Secret Service texts of January 6 that have been deleted.
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“In a way, we have more work to do in August as we continue an aggressive investigation into the facts of the uprising and we now also need to investigate some questions about disappearing evidence, such as with the text messages,” said a committee member. , Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., as he stood on the steps of the Capitol on Friday. “We also really need to focus on a report and what our consensus recommendations will be on how America can equip itself against uprisings, coups, political violence and attempts to usurp the will of the people.”
More hearings are expected in September, although the committee has not yet revealed the topics. But the commission has overcome Trump’s claims to executive privilege and immunity in federal lawsuits, as more witnesses continue to step forward.
“Doors have been opened, new subpoenas have been issued and the dam has begun to break,” said Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., at the commission’s most recent hearing on July 21.
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Former Trump Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who resigned as Trump’s special envoy to Northern Ireland after the riots, made a taped statement on Thursday, according to NBC News.
Former Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin recently made a statement, according to ABC News.
Gene. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified about phone calls in the wake of the riots, such as when Pompeo called Mark Meadows, then White House chief of staff, to ask how Trump was doing. “Meadows would say, ‘Well, he’s in a very dark place,'” Milley said in a videotaped testimony at the July 21 hearing.
Cassidy Hutchinson, A Meadows aide, Pompeo testified, warned Meadows that cabinet secretaries were discussing whether to invoke the 25th Amendment, which allows an unfit president to be removed from office by the vice president and a majority of the cabinet or a congressional panel.
“You’re technically the boss of all cabinet secretaries,” Hutchinson quoted Pompeo as telling Meadows. “And you know that as the talks progress, you need to be ready to take action on this.”
Pompeo has denied that the conversation took place.
“Cabinet members are clearly integrally involved in various aspects of the events,” Raskin said.
The committee has not yet made a decision on whether to subpoena Trump or former Vice President Mike Pence. Another potential witness is: Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who wrote Meadows lyrics about fighting the election results. Ginni Thomas has not been subpoenaed.
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Legislators in the Senate and House are drafting legislation to 1887 Electoral Count Act, a statute written in archaic language at the heart of Trump’s bid to undo the 2020 election.
Trump attorney John Eastman suggested that Pence single-handedly turn down voters from seven states Biden won, according to a reading of the bill that a federal judge called illegal.
A bipartisan Senate proposal led by Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine and Joe Manchin, DW.Va., wants to make it clear in the statute that the vice president is only ceremonial in overseeing the electoral college vote count. The bill would raise the barrier to challenge voters from one legislature in each chamber to 20% of legislators in each chamber. And the bill calls on governors to certify state voters to Congress, rather than potentially multiple state officials, to avoid alternate slates of false voters.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., a member of the commission of inquiry, said on Thursday that her version of the legislation could be introduced in weeks but would need to be reconciled with the Senate version. She developed legislation as head of the House Administration Committee, who oversees the federal elections.
“We have also been working on a bill that is not quite ready yet, but should be introduced in the coming weeks,” Lofgren said. “We will discuss with our Senate members how to reach consensus. I am sure we will come to a meeting of the spirits very cordially.”
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Some in Congress wanted to remove Trump using the 25th Amendment. What role does it have?
The 25th Amendment, ratified in 1967, allowed the vice president to work with a majority of the cabinet of the president or the majority of a panel of lawmakers to remove an unfit president from office. But Congress has never established such a panel, and when the subject comes up, it is criticized as political.
“I think we need to act to set that body up and make it a permanent, permanent body,” Raskin said.
The vice-chair of the committee, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said Fox News host Sean Hannity texted Meadows at 8:42 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2021 with a link to a tweet that said, “Cabinet secretaries considered appealing to the 25th Amendment. to remove President Trump from office.”
“President Trump’s supporters were concerned,” Cheney said during the June 28 hearing.
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Eugene Scalia, Trump’s Labor Secretary, testified to the committee that he wanted Trump to call a cabinet meeting. Scalia, the son of the late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, advised Trump to “no longer publicly question the election results” because “no one can deny that this is harmful.”
Others stop. In the chaotic days following the riots, cabinet members like Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos resigned, along with other board officials, within a day of the riots.
days after the attack, House Republicans blocked consideration of a resolution calling on Pence to work with the cabinet to remove Trump. The House then accused Trump for a second time of inciting the insurgency. The Senate acquitted him.
“Of course there were serious concerns within Donald Trump’s cabinet, but they were unable to pull it together because there were so many acting people and so many people being compromised in different ways,” Raskin said. “People just started resigning.”
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Meanwhile, the Ministry of Justice continues with the investigation
The Department of Justice has requested transcripts of interviews the commission has collected to form part of the Jan 6 criminal investigation. Department has charged more than 800 defendantsbut Democratic lawmakers and some nongovernmental advocates have pushed for charges against Trump.
The commission shared 20 transcripts of unnamed witnesses with the department.
“Donald Trump was not an innocent bystander of these events. He was at the center of a lot of the action,” Raskin said. “I imagine if you’re the Justice Department and you’re investigating criminal offenses against the United States, his name would pop up.”
The January 6 commission insists on missing secret service texts
The commission continues to insist that Secret Service texts be collected and sent to them on the day of the riots. Texts for 24 employees were deleted as part of a phone transfer — after four House committees wrote to departments and agencies to remind them to keep the data from that date.
Two important legislators — Representatives Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chief of the Investigation and Homeland Security Committee, and Carolyn Maloney, DN.Y., chief of the Oversight and Reform Committee — have urged the removal of the Department of Homeland’s Inspector- General of Security for not investigating the Secret Service aggressively enough.
“I just don’t know why everyone’s text messages and emails are suddenly disappearing everywhere,” Raskin said. “I assume it’s not just a technology issue. But we’re going to get to the bottom of it.”
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: The committee of January 6 turns to 25th amendment, election count in August