Jul 18, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Jan. 6 committee to make case for Trump crimes

This proposed executive order was shown at last week's hearing.

This proposed executive order was shown at last week's hearing. Exhibit: House Select Committee via AP

The House Jan. 6 committee's prime-time hearing later this week will include none-too-subtle signals to the Justice Department about possible illegal activity by former President Trump, congressional sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: The committee is continuing its laser focus on Trump and anything he may have done to encourage or prolong the attack on the Capitol. It has assembled a mountain of transcripts and other evidence that could be used in federal prosecutions.

Hearing 8 — Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, and possibly the summer finale — is aimed at showing Trump was derelict in his duty as commander-in-chief by not calling off the mob during the attack, and even fanning the flames.

  • The committee will try to make the case that Trump wanted to overturn the election by any means necessary.
  • Committee members previewed the theme on Sunday shows.

The big picture: The Justice Department recently expanded its investigation into the Jan. 6 attack, targeting some of Trump’s allies in Washington and around the country, AP reports.

  • But prosecutors haven't indicated whether they'll bring a case against Trump.

What we're hearing: Look for the committee to continue its strategy of detailing events through the testimony of people who are or were Trump allies.

What we're watching: This is the committee's last scheduled hearing. A final report is aimed for this fall. But committee members say evidence continues to come in and say future hearings are possible.

What's next: In one emerging line of inquiry, the committee on Friday announced a subpoena for United States Secret Service records.

  • "The Select Committee has been informed that the USSS erased text messages from January 5 and 6, 2021 as part of a 'device-replacement program,'" Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) wrote to Secret Service director James Murray (who announced July 7 that he'll be retiring July 30).
  • The letter quotes a Secret Service statement saying it "began to reset its mobile phones to factory settings as part of a pre-planned, three-month system migration. In that process, data resident on some phones was lost."

In a statement Thursday in response to a finding by the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General, the Secret Service said: "The insinuation that the Secret Service maliciously deleted text messages following a request is false."

Go deeper: See the committee's 2-page letter to the Secret Service

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