The Jan. 6 committee has a clean-up crew
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chair of the Jan. 6 select committee, on Thursday said he has created a four-member subcommittee to handle "outstanding issues" as the panel looks to wrap up its work before the end of the year.
Why it matters: The full select committee is focused on its sprawling final report, which Thompson said is expected to be released by "early December," but it still has several loose threads to tug on.
- That remaining work includes how to address several potential witnesses who have refused to comply with subpoenas from the panel, including former President Trump, former Vice President Mike Pence and several Republican members of Congress.
- "It's cleaning up every unfinished piece of work for the committee," Thompson said.
Driving the news: Thompson told reporters at the Capitol that he appointed the subcommittee "about a month ago," and that it's led by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.).
- The other members of the subcommittee, he said, are select committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
- "They're all lawyers," Thompson said of his selection criteria.
What they're saying: Raskin confirmed the existence of the subcommittee to Axios and said it is looking at potential referrals based on the committee's findings.
- "We're looking at criminal and civil referrals for people who have broken the law and who may have escaped scrutiny," he said.
- Thompson offered one example: "We need to have a decision as to what we do with the members who did not recognize their subpoenas."
- Thompson said the panel will also look at how to respond to the DOJ's request for deposition transcripts and other information.
The backdrop: The committee has in the past referred witnesses who refuse to comply with their subpoenas to the DOJ for prosecution for contempt of Congress.
- In the case of former White House strategist Steve Bannon, that has resulted in a 4-month prison sentence.
- After Trump failed to comply with his subpoena, Thompson and Cheney said the committee would "evaluate next steps in the litigation and regarding the former President’s noncompliance."
- Thompson has also floated the idea of referrals to the Federal Election Commission for potential campaign finance violations.
Worth noting: The full select committee's final report will consist of eight chapters, per Thompson.
- As for interim pre-election findings that the committee chair had teased, but which failed to materialize, he told Axios: "That was lofty ambitions."