The chairman of the House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol says the body of the final report is nearly complete and should be released before Christmas.
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) told reporters that the committee’s report will not be completed before Congress is scheduled to leave for the month on Dec. 16, but that there is a “good possibility” it will be out before Christmas.
Interviews for the more than yearlong investigation wrapped up this week after the panel heard from Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos; Kellyanne Conway, senior advisor to then-President Trump; and Tony Ornato, the former Secret Service agent who served as White House deputy chief of staff.
It has not been decided whether the committee will hold another full hearing with witnesses and video presentations, but the committee does have to meet publicly to approve the report, which could be a vehicle for a discussion of the findings.
The committee dissolves at the end of this year and is not expected to be reconstituted when Republicans take control of the House in January. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) refused to participate after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) denied his recommendations for Republican committee members.
The report will be eight chapters long and the panel could release hundreds of depositions — namely those for which the committee didn’t promise privacy — along with other raw information, Thompson said. The committee collected more than 1,000 depositions and hundreds of thousands of other documents, including emails, text messages and cellphone records.
In an interview with Politico, Thompson said he expects a large dump of evidence all at once, rather than a slow rollout.
The committee hasn’t indicated whether text or video from the depositions will be made available, or whether it will make public the reams of footage collected during the investigation and used during the hearings.
The depositions and video could provide a wealth of information for the FBI’s investigations into the actions of Trump and the people around him on Jan. 6, 2021, and into the more than 1,000 additional rioters the agency has predicted it will charge. Despite requests for access, the committee refused to share information with the Justice Department while conducting its investigation.
Citizen sleuths helping to identify people who illegally entered the Capitol and journalists attempting to provide context for the attack are also eager to comb through the raw materials.
Thompson said the final report will include topics that go beyond Trump’s role in the attack on the Capitol, including information that has not been previously made public. Thompson’s comments seem to contradict a Washington Post article about staff frustrations that the final report would focus largely on Trump.
“The body of the report is complete, and there is general agreement on that,” Thompson said.
Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank) told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday that committee members are deliberating over the contents of the report and “what is beyond the scope of our investigation.”
“I would like to see our report be as broad and inclusive as possible,” he said.
A subcommittee made up of lawyers serving on the panel is expected to decide this week whether to recommend criminal charges to the Justice Department, including for witness tampering, contempt of Congress and perjury for those accused of lying to the committee. Any referrals will be made separately from issuing the final report, Thompson said.