Members of the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 insurrection are in active discussions about what to include in the panel’s final report but expect it will focus on issues beyond how former President Donald Trump’s efforts to prevent the peaceful transfer of power fueled the violence that day.
The report, which is slated for release by the end of the year, will effectively serve as the committee’s closing statement but with less than two months left before the panel expires, members are still deliberating over what it will contain and how those findings will be presented.
“I would like to see our report be as broad and inclusive as possible. We are discussing as a committee among the members what belongs in the body of the report, what belongs in the appendices of the report, what is beyond the scope of our investigation, and we’ll reach those decisions in a collaborative manner,” committee member Rep. Adam Schiff told CNN on Sunday.
Schiff’s comments come after The Washington Post reported that staffers leaving the committee were frustrated with vice chair GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, suggesting that she is pushing to focus on Trump at the expense of leaving out other key findings not related to the former president.
CNN has not independently reported that dynamic.
It is unclear what the committee will do with the thousands of pages of documents and transcribed interviews it has compiled throughout its investigation. Sources say there could even be a digital component to accompany the final written report.
But some staffers have voiced concerns about how their work would factor into the committee’s presentation plans dating back to earlier this summer when the panel opted to focus its series of public hearings solely on Trump and his culpability in the attack, multiple sources have told CNN.
On Sunday, Schiff was asked about the recently reported tension surrounding Cheney, including a quote in the Post story citing one former staffer who said people working for the committee became “discouraged” when they felt the investigation had become a “Cheney 2024 campaign affair.”
“I’ve never viewed it that way,” Schiff said, defending Cheney. “And I think her role on the committee has been indispensable. I have tremendous respect for her and for Adam Kinzinger. They’ve shown a lot of courage and backbone, something in very short supply in the GOP these days. So the committee would not have been the same without both of their participation and I have nothing but respect for both of them.”
When asked about a statement from Cheney’s spokesperson accusing staffers of trying to slip “liberal biases” into the report, Schiff defended the committee.
“I don’t think the back and forth is particularly helpful to the committee and I don’t want to engage in it. We’re gonna get to consensus on the report. We’re very close to that now. We’re close to the putting down the pen,” Schiff said.
As part of that process, the committee has been reviewing the work of its five investigative teams, each with their own color designation and area of expertise.
The “green” team, for example, was tasked with tracking money, including the funding behind the rallies, as well as untangling the complex web of financial ties between rally organizers and entities affiliated with Trump or his campaign, CNN previously reported.
Some of the other teams, such as the “red” “blue” and “gold” teams, examined everything from the motivation of participants, whether there was coordination between groups, and whether Trump used his executive authority to pressure lawmakers, former Vice President Mike Pence and the Justice Department, according to the sources familiar with the committee’s work.
But after more than a year of investigative work, which included approximately 1,000 witness interviews and analyzing tens of thousands of documents obtained from various entities, it became clear that the committee’s final product may not reflect the totality of its findings.
Still, Cheney has previously said that the panel’s upcoming report will include information uncovered about members of Congress who ultimately refused to comply with the subpoenas issued to them.
“I think that the report will certainly indicate information that the committee has gathered with respect to the conduct of a number of those members,” Cheney said during an interview with Washington Post Live. “And ultimately, you know, the American people get to decide, you know, who represents them. And we want to make sure the American people have all the information.”
Pressed on whether that information will be damning for some of her colleagues, Cheney responded: “The information will be in the report.”
Earlier this year, the select committee took the extraordinary step of sending subpoenas to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and four other Republican lawmakers who rejected the panel’s requests to voluntarily cooperate.
In addition to McCarthy, the Democrat-led panel subpoenaed Republican Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania.
The committee was ultimately unsuccessful in securing cooperation from any of the five GOP lawmakers but did present significant evidence about their involvement in efforts to overturn the 2020 election during public hearings this summer.
When asked if he would comply with a GOP subpoena in the new Congress, Schiff said: “We’ll have to consider the validity of the subpoena.
He added: “But I would certainly view my obligation, the administration’s obligation, to follow the law. And the fact that they have disrespected the law is not a precedent I would hope that would be broadly followed, but we’ll have to look at the legitimacy or lack of legitimacy in what they do.”
The final report will also include information about security failures around the January 6 attack at the US Captiol, Cheney said previously.
“There’s been some assertion that the committee is not going to, you know, produce information about the security failures. That’s just simply not true,” she said at the time.
“It’ll be a comprehensive report. And in terms of sort of the disposition of the documents and the records, obviously, we’ll be bound by House rules in that regard. There have been a number of materials that have been shared with the committee that include law enforcement-sensitive information that, you know, obviously those will have to be very cautious about our responsibility with respect to those,” Cheney added.