In the News
Significance of Charges Laid for January 6, 2021 Assault on
U.S. Capitol in Washington DC
U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee Investigation Continues
The U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on the January 6 attack on the Capitol in Washington, DC is continuing its investigation. The committee has issued at least 50 subpoenas to people that they want to question about the events of the day. Most recently, on January 28, the committee issued subpoenas to more than a dozen people in seven states who tried to submit false slates of electors as part of an effort to overturn the 2020 election. The subpoenas went to the secretaries and chairpeople of each group of unofficial electors in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, according to the committee.
State Republican parties and the Trump campaign helped organize many of the alternate Electoral College meetings. In this manner the committee is targeting state-level authorities, a reflection of ongoing conflicts between state and federal authorities.
The committee has also conducted 300 depositions as of the end of December. Unlike the Department of Justice (DoJ), which has so far not targeted any top people, the House Committee has subpoenaed top White House and DoJ officials, including Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon, his former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former DoJ official Jeffrey Clark, numerous Trump campaign officials and organizers of the “Save America” rally on the White House Ellipse that preceded the attack. At least 19 former Trump officials have been subpoenaed, including former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino, former Acting Secretary of Defense Chief of Staff Kash Patel and former Trump 2020 campaign manager Bill Stepien. The committee also recently won a Supreme Court case requiring Trump to turn over documents related to January 6.
The House Committee cannot level criminal charges and can only refer people to the DoJ to do so. It can issue subpoenas to require people to testify, but again must rely on the DoJ to bring charges of contempt, a misdemeanor, if they refuse to comply. To date the House has made two referrals for contempt, for the failure of Bannon and Meadows to comply with their subpoenas. The DoJ has brought charges against Bannon for contempt but so far has not charged Meadows.
Despite the FBI claims that this is one of the largest investigations in history, many of those who appear to be most involved have so far not been charged and most of those charged face very minimal charges. This is so even with large amounts of video, texts and other social media showing the level of violence and threats involved. Compare this, for example, to the terrorism charges laid against many anti-war demonstrators and demonstrators against racist police violence, where there were no acts of violence involved. Nor were there the usual mass arrests, beatings and days in jail, often without charges, all common to such actions.
From start to finish the January 6 assault was left to run its course and the charges now serve to hide this fact. It is also evident that the House Committee is being used to test the waters for charges against top officials, including Trump.
(TML Daily, posted February 4, 2022)