January 6 Committee Releases Final Report; Nearly 850 Pages

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Alex Brandon/AP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol released its final report on Thursday evening. The document, nearly 850 pages long, is the work of dozens of authors.

The document is available here — at least until it is likely removed by the new, Republican-led Congress that takes office in January, just as the Biden administration removed the 1776 Commission Report on its first day.

The report is likely to be ignored, regardless, because it was prepared in such an overtly partisan manner, with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) rejecting Republican nominees and hand-picking her own.

That led to a number of anomalies that, critics say, invalidated the validity of the committee’s subpoenas. For example, the committee’s enabling resolution requires subpoenas to be issued in consultation with the “ranking member”; however, without an officially sanctioned member of the minority party, there is none. (Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) claimed to be the ranking member but Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) said she was not.)

Thousands of depositions were conducted — as in the 2019 impeachment investigation — behind closed doors, and only those whose testimony was helpful to the Democrats were invited to testify in public. Moreover, the public hearings were carefully scripted in consultation with a former television executive; members of the committee read from teleprompters and presented carefully (and at times misleadingly) edited visuals.

The full record of the committee’s proceedings, including transcripts of depositions, may not be made available for decades, thanks to special laws and rules. Witnesses who say their rights were abused have little recourse.

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