Recent revelations about national security risks that members of Trump’s inner circle feared in the days leading up to January 6 have emerged separately from details of the Capitol attack. But they have painted a more complete picture of the motivation behind the uprising for Democrats leading the elected committee.
And as the panel prepares for its first hearing next week, these Democrats anticipate an attempt to dig deep into the chaotic playoffs in Trump’s White House. The waning days of Trump’s reign, they say, laid the groundwork for the Capitol uprising and were exacerbated by a paralysis of national security set in motion by the former president.
“This is a matter of democratic survival and national security to define these events and their causes and then prepare for change and prepare for security in the future,” Raskin added.
According to a new book by journalists from the Washington Post, General Mark Milley, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, worried that the then president might try a coup and try to use the military to achieve it. Milley, the book’s authors write, discussed ways to prevent Trump from initiating such a dangerous move.
“This is a Tuesday,” Milley reportedly told her aides. “Führers evangelium.”
It came as Trump reiterated false allegations of fraud in the 2020 election and increasingly pressured lawmakers to oppose the Jan. 6 certification of his Electoral College loss – even encouraging his own vice president, who oversaw Congress’s joint session that day.
“If there were a variety of potential ways to overthrow the election and maintain power against the will of the people, it would be relevant to our investigation,” said House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), An elected member of the committee, said in a short interview.
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), As chairman Nancy Pelosi tapped to chair the elected committee, told POLITICO Tuesday that he would pursue “all the facts and facts around Jan. 6.”
“If the investigation actually leads us in that direction, then of course we’re looking at it,” Thompson said of Milley’s reported comments.
Schiff said the investigation would likely also examine the intelligence breakdowns that led to security officers and police officers at the Capitol being unprepared and overrun by rebels. Federal law enforcement officials have been under control for not sharing intelligence, suggesting right-wing extremist groups planned violence on Jan. 6.
“There’s a broader topic that is a holdover from the last four years with an inadequate focus on domestic violent extremism – what role did it play in the lack of preparedness?” Added Schiff.
In addition to the select committee on Jan. 6, Democrats in the House and Senate are spearheading an investigation into the Trump Justice Department’s secret subpoenas directed at Democratic lawmakers. With these notable exceptions, Democrats have largely broken down their oversight machine now that Trump is no longer president, making the elected panel the focal point of congressional oversight.
Trump was accused of inciting the uprising, but was acquitted in the Senate trial after Raskin and his colleagues on charges could not sway enough Republicans to reach the two-thirds threshold required for conviction. GOP senators then filibustered legislation to set up a 9/11-style commission to investigate the events of Jan. 6, prompting House Democratic leaders to set up the elected committee.
The creation of the election panel passed the House with the support of all Democrats and two Republicans – Liz Cheney of Wyoming, whom Pelosi later appointed to serve on it, and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.
The committee’s first hearing next week contains testimony from police officers who were attacked by the rebels.
“We will approach it with a very serious eye on how these things happened, what were the breakdowns that led to this, disinformation, breakdowns in intelligence reporting and collection and dissemination and operation, convening of the National Guard – all these things,” said rep . Elaine Luria (D-Va.), A member of the elected committee. “I think it’s very important work, and it’s the vehicle we use.”
Meanwhile, Republicans are considering the possibility that the committee’s next step may include seeking testimony from Trump allies in the House GOP, many of whom were in constant communication with the then president in the days and weeks following the November election. Some had also spoken to Trump on Jan. 6, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
McCarthy appointed one of these strong Trump allies, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), to the GOP side of the selected committee. Jordan said on Tuesday he would be willing to testify about his talks with Trump, adding, “If they call me, I have nothing to hide.”
And Democrats can try. Some of them remain keenly interested in finding details about Trump’s private behavior before leaving office, and the extent to which aides, advisers and other officials around him encouraged or prevented catastrophic results before, during and after the January 6 riots.
“Jan. 6 was the culmination of a pattern of legal violations and violations of norms. I hope we have not seen the last thing by holding former Trump officials accountable, “Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) Said in a brief interview. “I think there are some serious issues raised by the danger that Trump posed in the last few days.”
Olivia Beavers contributed to this report.