Nine US lawmakers - seven Democrats and two Republicans - are planning televised hearings and reports that will bring their findings out into the open nearly a year after worst attack on the Capitol in two centuries.
US House committee, investigating Capitol siege on January 6 last year, is preparing to go public.
The committee has interviewed more than 300 witnesses, collected tens of thousands of documents and traveled around the country to talk to election officials who were pressured by Donald Trump.
In the coming months, members of the panel will start to reveal their findings against the backdrop of the former president and his allies’ persistent efforts to whitewash the riots and reject suggestions that he helped instigate them.
The committee also faces the burden of trying to persuade the American public that their conclusions are fact-based and credible.
But the nine lawmakers - seven Democrats and two Republicans - are united in their commitment to tell the full story of Jan. 6, and they are planning televised hearings and reports that will bring their findings out into the open.
Their goal is not only to show the severity of the riot, but also to make a clear connection between the attack and Trump’s brazen pressure on the states and Congress to overturn Joe Biden’s legitimate election as president.
“The full picture is coming to light, despite President Trump’s ongoing efforts to hide the picture,” said Wyoming Republican Liz Cheney, the committee’s vice chairwoman and one of its two Republican members.
Worst attack in two centuries
While the fundamental facts of Jan. 6 are known, the committee says the extraordinary trove of material they have collected - 35,000 pages of records so far, including texts, emails and phone records from people close to Trump - is fleshing out critical details of the worst attack on the Capitol in two centuries, which played out on live television.
They hope to fill in the blanks about the preparations before the attack, the financing behind the Jan. 6 rally that preceded it and the extensive White House campaign to overturn the 2020 election.
They are also investigating what Trump himself was doing as his supporters fought their way into the Capitol.
'Attacks on democracy continuing'
Even as the committee works, Trump and his allies continue to push lies about election fraud while working to place similarly minded officials at all levels of state and local government.
“I think that the challenge that we face is that the attacks on our democracy are continuing - they didn’t come to an end on Jan. 6,” said another panel member, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., also chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
Still, the lawmakers hope they can present the public with a thorough accounting that captures what could have been “an even more serious and deeper constitutional crisis,” as Cheney put it.
“I think this is one of the single most important congressional investigations in history,” Cheney said.
The committee is up against the clock.
Republicans could disband the investigation if they win the House majority in the November 2022 elections.
The committee's final report is expected before then, with a possible interim report coming in the spring or summer.