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The Jan. 6 select House committee investigating the Capitol attack hasn’t had a high-profile witness hearing since the summer, but the panel has been conducting scores of witness interviews in private and collecting troves of documents.
Most recently, the committee met privately Wednesday evening with former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham as the panel tries to learn more information on what former President Trump was doing as rioters breached the Capitol. Their goal is to paint a broader picture of why the Jan. 6 attack happened, who was responsible and what can be done to prevent such an attack from happening again.
“The Select Committee will continue to ask questions and gather facts,” a Select Committee aide told Fox News. “When we’re ready to do so, we’ll begin providing the account to the American people through a series of hearings that lay out our findings in a compelling, understandable way.”
The committee itself has been marred in politics from the start.
Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson and Rep. Liz Cheney, joined by fellow committee members, speak to the media following a hearing of the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on July 27, 2021, at the Cannon House Office Building in Washington. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., authorized the committee last year after Republicans rejected the creation of an independent non-partisan commission. She tapped Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., to lead the select committee. Pelosi vetoed two of GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy’s Republican appointments to the committee, which prompted him to boycott the panel altogether.
The two Republicans on the committee are backed by Pelosi: Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., who have been highly critical of former President Trump’s role in inciting the attack. They have been working collaboratively with the seven Democrats to collect all the information possible about the attack and wage legal battles and contempt of congress charges for those who fail to cooperate.
“The committee is really working in a non-partisan fashion because everyone on the committee wants the same thing,” a second person familiar with the committee told Fox News. “They want to find the truth about what unfolded. They want to know what President Trump was doing in the 187 minutes from when he told people to go to the Capitol and when they put out the video saying leave the Capitol.”
The committee voted unanimously to recommend contempt of Congress charges for former Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark for defying his subpoena by refusing to answer questions and failing to hand over documents to the committee. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Public hearings aren’t expected until the spring. So here’s a look at what the committee has been up to so far behind the scenes.
340 witnesses: Since the House voted to form the committee on June 30, the body has gathered information from more than 340 witnesses. The witnesses include current and former government officials, individuals involved in planning events that preceded the Jan. 6 Capitol breach and individuals who participated in the attack on the Capitol, according to a committee aide.
Dozens more interviews and depositions are scheduled. The interviews are conducted privately, but among the witnesses who have acknowledged they have spoken to the committee are Grisham, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Taylor Budowich, a spokesman for former President Trump.
50 subpoenas: The Select Committee has authorized more than 50 subpoenas to compel testimony and documents from Trump associates, including former White House staffers Stephen Miller and Kayleigh McEnany, as well as William Stepien, Trump’s 2020 campaign manager and Jason Miller, a senior adviser to the reelection campaign.
U.S. Representatives Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Liz Cheney (R-WY), co-chairs of the January 6th Select Committee, testify before the House Committee on Rules at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 2, 2021. (REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)
Some in Trump’s circle have taken legal action to fight subpoenas, including former Trump aide Sebastian Gorka, who filed a lawsuit this week against the committee to prevent the release of his phone records, Politico first reported.
45,000 documents: In six months, the committee has received more than 45,000 documents to review. Some of the contents have been text messages from former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
Among the exchanges Cheney made public was a text message Fox News host Sean Hannity sent to Meadows encouraging Trump to take stronger action to quell the Capitol riot. Hannity called the release a weak “smear” attempt and said the message reflected what he had been saying publicly on TV and radio.
350 tips: The committee is following up on nearly 350 tips received through its tip line, according to an aide.
Two contempt of Congress referrals to the Justice Department: The House voted to hold former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and former Trump adviser Steven Bannon in contempt of Congress for refusing to talk to the committee. Bannon has since been indicted by a federal grand jury on two contempt of Congress charges.
Fox News’ Yael Halon contributed to this report.