OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
The Democrat-led House Committee on January 6 is set to make a major move prior to Republicans taking control of the chamber next month. Reports Thursday noted that the committee plans to release a lengthy report on its findings after spending nearly two years conducting hearings and an investigation into the alleged origins of the riot that occurred at the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021, roughly two weeks before then-President-elect Joe Biden was inaugurated.
A subsequent federal investigation has led to hundreds of arrests and convictions, with most pleading guilty to simple trespassing and similar charges after being on Capitol grounds or in the building itself without proper authority.
The Washington Examiner reported: “Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) confirmed to NBC News that the committee was eyeing Dec. 21 as its release date. Earlier, two sources told the outlet that the committee was confident that all remaining work would be wrapped up by the week of Dec. 19, with the report coming sometime that week. Those working on the committee had previously expressed confidence that the report would be finished and released soon.”
NEWS: Chairman Bennie Thompson CONFIRMS the 21st https://t.co/k4YM5r5raQ
— Haley Talbot (@haleytalbotnbc) December 8, 2022
“Very soon. I mean, we have spent a lot of time — I mean, not only our staff, but the members have spent countless hours going through the reports, editing them,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) told the network. “I think we’re very close to being finished, but we’re not quite there.”
Rep Lofgren told NBC they’re close to wrapping
“Very soon. I mean we have spent a lot of time, I mean, not only our staff, but the members have spent countless hours going through the reports, editing them”
“I think we’re very close to being finished but we’re not quite there”
— Haley Talbot (@haleytalbotnbc) December 7, 2022
Late last month, arguments about what should go into the final report surfaced publicly, with some unnamed committee staffers past and present arguing that the vice-chair, outgoing Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming), wanted the focus to overwhelmingly be on former President Donald Trump.
According to the Washington Post, at least 15 current and former staffers for the committee have said they believe the Wyoming Republican is working behind the scenes to ensure that the final report focuses primarily on former President Donald Trump at the expense of other important information.
However, the paper said that Cheney’s office has pushed back on the allegation, saying that the information that she is cutting out was replete with “liberal bias.”
The Post cited one former staffer for the committee who claimed that Cheney’s changes to the report were mostly done for political effect. Other staffers said that her overt focus on the former president, who recently declared that he is running again in 2024 for the GOP presidential nomination, comes at the cost of other vital committee research regarding militia organizations, financing, and law enforcement.
“We all came from prestigious jobs, dropping what we were doing because we were told this would be an important fact-finding investigation that would inform the public,” a former staffer told the outlet. “But when [the committee] became a Cheney 2024 campaign, many of us became discouraged.”
Jeremy Adler, a spokesman for Cheney, said the lawmaker, who was beaten in an August primary by now Rep.-elect Harriet Hageman, said his boss was merely attempting to protect the integrity of the panel’s work by eliminating “liberal bias” and narratives that otherwise tainted the investigative work done by the committee as well as a draft report.
“Donald Trump is the first president in American history to attempt to overturn an election and prevent the peaceful transfer of power,” Adler told WaPo in a statement. “So, damn right, Liz is ‘prioritizing’ understanding what he did and how he did it and ensuring it never happens again.”
“Some staff have submitted subpar material for the report that reflects long-held liberal biases about federal law enforcement, Republicans, and sociological issues outside the scope of the Select Committee’s work,” Adler continued. “She won’t sign onto any ‘narrative’ that suggests Republicans are inherently racist or smears men and women in law enforcement, or suggests every American who believes God has blessed America is a white supremacist.”
Tim Mulvey, a January 6 Committee spokesman, took Cheney’s side in a statement, saying the committee’s “historic, bipartisan fact-finding effort speaks for itself, and that won’t be changed by a handful of disgruntled staff who are uninformed about many parts of the committee’s ongoing work.”