- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 25, 2021

The head of the House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 attack issued a sweeping round of demands for information from the executive branch related to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and former President Donald Trump’s push to discredit the results of the 2020 election.

The committee chairman, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, sent letters to the National Archives and Records Administration and seven other executive branch agencies requesting information and giving them a two-week deadline to comply with the request for documents.

“The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol is examining the facts, circumstances, and causes of the January 6th attack,” said Mr. Thompson, Mississippi Democrat. “Our Constitution provides for a peaceful transfer of power, and this investigation seeks to evaluate threats to that process, identify lessons learned and recommend laws, policies, procedures, rules, or regulations necessary to protect our republic in the future.”

The request is the latest move by the polarizing probe into how a pro-Trump mob was able to overcome police and storm into the Capitol to delay the certification of President Biden’s victory.

“This is our first request for materials, and we anticipate additional requests as our investigation continues,” Mr. Thompson said in a request.

Mr. Thompson also announced Wednesday that the committee was seeking a cache of documents from federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

The request includes White House records from the Trump administration, as well as information on the role various agencies played in defending the Capitol, the events held in Washington ahead of the mayhem. Mr. Thompson said the requested information focused on “how the January 6th events fit in the continuum of efforts to subvert the rule of law, overturn the results of the November 3, 2020 election, or otherwise impede the peaceful transfer of power.”

The committee is also seeking documents “related to the mental stability of Donald Trump or his fitness for office,” the White House visitor logs from Jan. 6, and “all call logs and telephone records” from members of Mr. Trump’s family, inner circle, and advisors.

The letter urges David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, to use his legal authority to expedite the request.

The committee’s work has been low-key since a public hearing last month in which members of the Capitol Police and D.C. Metropolitan Police gave gripping testimony about fighting against the pro-Trump mob.

Mr. Trump does not have any allies on the select committee.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, California Republican, decided to pull his picks from the panel after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi broke with tradition by blocking two of his choices: Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana.

The committee plans to request telecommunications and social media companies preserve communication records, including from members of Congress, as lawmakers seek, among other things, to nail down which members of Congress spoke to Mr. Trump on Jan. 6, CNN reported.

With the requests announced Wednesday, the committee is seeking information from the: National Archives and Records AdministrationDepartment of DefenseDepartment of Homeland SecurityDepartment of the InteriorDepartment of JusticeFederal Bureau of InvestigationNational Counterterrorism Center; and Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The committee is composed of seven Democrats and two Republicans. It has yet to schedule its second public hearing.

Most Republicans on Capitol Hill have argued there was no need for an investigation, and have accused Democrats of playing politics with the events of Jan. 6.

Mr. Trump, meanwhile, continues to insist the election was stolen.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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