- The Washington Times - Monday, April 4, 2022

The chairman of the House Rules Committee said Monday that the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack was a “coordinated attack,” rather than a rally that escalated into a riot.

Rep. Jim McGovern, Massachusetts Democrat, said the events of that day were likely planned, calling the facts uncovered by the Jan. 6 panel “alarming.”

“The committee has revealed that the chaos and violence of Jan. 6 was not spontaneous,” Mr. McGovern said. “It was not a normal tourist visit, or a rally that got out of hand. It was a sophisticated, coordinated attack.”

The rules committee is set to advance the contempt reports against former Trump administration officials Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino by the Jan. 6 committee last week.

The full House is expected to vote this week on whether to recommend the charges to the Justice Department.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, Mississippi Democrat who chairs the Jan. 6 panel, and Rep. Liz Cheney, Wyoming Republican, testified before the rules committee over the need for a floor vote on the contempt charges.

Mr. Thompson said the committee meeting was “regrettable” because it was “so clear cut” that the House should adopt the contempt resolution unanimously.

“The actions of these men are so blatant and brazen that no member of this body should doubt that they are in contempt of Congress,” Mr. Thompson said.

Ms. Cheney said the Jan. 6 committee is investigating the warnings given to former President Donald Trump and his team over the legality of trying to overturn the election results.

“We have learned President Trump and his team were warned in advance and repeatedly that the efforts they took to overturn the 2020 election would violate the law,” Ms. Cheney said.

Meanwhile, Rep. Tom Cole, Oklahoma Republican and top GOP member of the rules committee, defended Mr. Navarro and Mr. Scavino over their desire to protect executive privilege in their conversations with Mr. Trump.

Mr. Cole added that he thought the committee was dominated by partisan motives.

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“The majority’s select committee’s investigation has been tainted from the beginning by political considerations,” Mr. Cole said.

The committee voted to hold Mr. Navarro and Mr. Scavino in contempt last week over their refusal to fully cooperate with the panel’s probe into the riot.

Previously, the panel also offered contempt charges against former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who was indicted last year, and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, whose recommended charges are being reviewed by the Justice Department.

Mr. Bannon is awaiting a criminal trial this summer. 

The Jan. 6 committee is made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans. Along with Ms. Cheney, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois is the only other GOP member on the committee.

Both lawmakers are among the most anti-Trump members in their party’s conference.

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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