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Chris Miller speaks with a National Guard member at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 17. Photo: Graeme Sloan/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former President Trump's acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller has been called to testify this Wednesday on "unanswered questions" about the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, Democrats on the House Oversight Committee said Monday.

Why it matters: Miller, who Trump appointed to lead the Pentagon after firing Mark Esper following the 2020 election, has said he believes Trump incited the mob on Jan. 6 with his speech before the deadly riot.

Details: Miller is scheduled to testify alongside Trump's former Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen.

  • The hearing will also address the creation of a "9/11-style" commission to investigate events surrounding the attack. The idea has received bipartisan support from lawmakers.

Go deeper

Aug 10, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Federal judge questions $1.5M Capitol riot restitution cap

Beryl Howell, chief U.S. District judge for the District of Columbia, in 2018. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A federal judge asked prosecutors Monday to explain why restitution in Capitol riot cases was limited to $1.5 million for repairs to the building when the total cost to taxpayers was $500 million, per Politico.

Of note: D.C. Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell's comments come about two weeks after she questioned whether it's appropriate for prosecutors to offer defendants misdemeanor plea deals in cases that saw insurrectionists "terrorizing members of Congress."

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.