In May, Senate Republicans blocked the creation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the violence in and around the US Capitol on January 6.
A GOP filibuster attempted to crush an investigation into the attack, which was fueled by persistent lies that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump, a baseless narrative of electoral fraud and manipulation while drumming up support for his brand. continues to increase. rallies and in Twitter-style statements issued by his colleagues on his behalf.
Mr Trump was impeached for the second time by House lawmakers for inciting a riot. The Senate voted to acquit him. And without bipartisan consent to formally investigate the failed attempt to reverse the election results during violence in the halls of Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi proposed a selection committee to be created. That resolution passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 222 to 190, with only two Republicans – Adam Kizinger and Liz Cheney – joining all Democrats in support. Sixteen Republican members did not vote.
The committee is made up of Democrats Zoe Lofgren, Adam Schiff, Pete Aguilar, Stephanie Murphy, Jamie Ruskin and Ellen Luria along with US Reps Cheney and Kinzinger. US Representative Benny Thompson is the chairman of the committee.
Attempts to collect documents and testimony from dozens of people have turned into a legal battle between Trump aides and an unbroken committee backed by the summons power. Here’s what we know so far.
The committee is demanding hundreds of documents
On August 25, the committee issued the first round of demands for comprehensive records from several White House offices, agencies and federal law enforcement groups. Those records include communications between more than 30 Trump-era White House staff and cabinet officials and aides — including call logs, phone records, meeting memos and White House visitor records.
A request was also sent to the National Archives and Records Administration, which preserves White House communications.
The next day, the committee requested records from 15 social media companies for documents “related to the spread of misinformation, attempts to reverse the 2020 election or prevent authentication of results, domestic violent extremism and foreign influence in the 2020 election”. did. their platform.
Summons were also sent to Ali Alexander and Nathan Martin, the organizers behind Stop the Steel, the rally and movement before the attack on the Capitol. These have been scheduled for statement on October 28-29.
Former Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark is also scheduled for a statement on October 29.
Donald Trump, ‘executive privilege’ and a new lawsuit
The former president has repeatedly insisted that his “executive privilege” would prevent the release of summoned records – although he is no longer president – by invoking the executive office’s authority to prevent the public release of confidential communications, if they The work of the government is found to compromise.
White House counsel Dana Remus informed United States Archivist David Ferreiro on October 8 that President Joe Biden would not support Mr. Trump’s request to use his executive privilege to block the release of documents requested by the committee. .
According to the letter, the president has “determined that a claim to executive privilege is not in the best interest of the United States”.
“Congress is investigating the attack on our Constitution and the democratic institutions that they have been sworn to protect, and the conduct under investigation comes from specific deliberations relating to the proper discharge of the President’s constitutional responsibilities,” the letter said. far more.”
That day, Mr Trump dropped out in a series of statements issued by his spokesman.
“Democrats are drunk with power, but this dangerous attack on our Constitution and important legal precedent will not work,” he said.
He accused the committee of using “the power of the government to silence Trump and our Make America Great Again movement, the greatest achievement ever” to lead a “fake investigation.”
In his own letter to the National Archives on October 8, Mr Trump said whether the committee would continue to seek records from the Trump administration, “I will take all necessary and reasonable steps to protect the office of the presidency.”
On 18 October, he filed suit against Chairman Thompson and the committee, as well as the National Archives and Mr. Ferreiro, in an attempt to block the committee from obtaining those records.
In a statement, Trump spokeswoman Taylor Budovich said Mr Trump sued “in defense of the Constitution, the office of the president, and the future of our country, all of which the fake unelected committee is trying to destroy”.
Legal experts told Granthshala According to Norm Eisen, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, the lawsuit is “doomed to fail.”
“It suffers from a central flaw from the first page to the last, which is that it’s constant reference to ‘President’ forgets that the person’s name is now Joe Biden, not Donald Trump,” he said. .
Steve Bannon and charges of criminal contempt
On September 23, the committee issued summons to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, social media director Dan Scavino and Kash Patel, a former legislative aide to US Rep. Devin Nunes.
The committee also summoned Steve Bannon, a former adviser to Mr. Trump.
But Mr Bannon has blocked the former president’s claims of executive privilege from complying with the subpoena, although Mr Bannon has not worked for the White House since 2017.
Mr Bannon’s lawyer said Mr Bannon “will not present documents or testify” but if Mr Trump…
Credit: www.independent.co.uk / Capitol riot