Jan. 6 inquest continues as Cheney sheds light on ‘real work’ ahead

At a private event with staff the day before the election, Cheney specifically thanked his team members for all they did to help him with the work of the committee and underscored how important that work is. was important for the future of the country, a source familiar told CNN.

Cheney had played a central role in ensuring that the committee’s summer hearings focused specifically on Donald Trump, multiple sources told CNN, and his concession speech on Tuesday reaffirmed his intention to be a fierce criticism of the government. former president and his electoral lies while remaining unfazed. political consequences.

“This primary election is over,” Cheney said. “But now the real work begins.”

Cheney spokesman Jeremy Adler told CNN, “Politics will play no role in the work of the Committee.”

The committee now becomes Cheney’s biggest platform for carrying out his message in his remaining days in Congress. She referenced the committee hearings in her concession speech and how “dozens of Republicans,” including top White House, Justice Department, and Trump campaign officials, testified that they told the former president that the election had not been stolen or rigged.

“That’s why President Trump and others make up excuses, pretexts for people not to watch the hearings at all,” Cheney said. “But no citizen of this Republic is a bystander. We all have an obligation to understand what really happened.”

Cheney was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, only two of whom are still in the running to return to Congress the next term. The others lost their main challenges or chose to retire. Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, the other Republican on the Jan. 6 committee, decided not to run for re-election.

Since its last hearing in July, the commission has continued to work behind closed doors and plans to resume hearings in September. The committee is still gathering evidence and has resumed negotiations with some witnesses who previously resisted giving evidence, sources told CNN. The committee may also recall witnesses it has interviewed previously, to corroborate new details, sources added.

Former Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday he would “consider” a formal invitation to testify before the committee, an invitation committee members have long considered, but hinted at possible executive privilege issues. A person with knowledge of the former vice president’s thinking, however, cautioned against overreading his remarks on Wednesday and a spokesperson for the committee declined to comment on Pence’s statement. And there’s a question of how much committee members think Pence’s direct testimony is necessary given that Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, and Pence’s aide, Greg Jacob, have already testified. before the committee.

The panel also focused on former Trump cabinet officials to testify this month, having recently met with former Trump secretary of state Mike Pompeo and former Trump treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, revealing his particular interest in learning more about conversations between officials about possibly invoking the 25th Amendment after the attack on the US Capitol.

At the same time, the expert group is also working on its final report, which should be published this fall.

“During these hearings, we received new evidence and new witnesses bravely came forward,” Cheney said during the committee’s final hearing. “Efforts to litigate and overcome claims of immunity and executive privilege have been successful, and those continue. Doors have opened, new subpoenas have been issued and the roadblock has begun to unravel. to break up.”

Timeline: Liz Cheney's political career, from Republican descent to champion of democracy

The committee has conducted more than a thousand interviews and depositions, received nearly 150,000 documents and, since hearings began, has received more than 4,000 submissions to its whistleblower line, a source told CNN. .

But many questions about the committee’s investigation remain. Several investigations have been ongoing into the missing Secret Service text messages since around January 6. Committee members believe they have only scratched the surface in terms of uncovering what is behind the missing text messages. The panel subpoenaed agency records and received thousands of pages of documents, including radio traffic details from then-Vice President Mike Pence on how to move him to a safe place on January 6, which was used in a hearing. But since last week, the committee had only received one text message.

And while there appears to be a growing number of previously reluctant witnesses who now wish to engage with the committee, there are still a considerable number of people who are uncooperative, namely five House Republicans whom the committee has subpoenas, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Robert M. Larson