The House committee investigating the assault on the Capitol and what led to it is employing techniques more common in criminal cases than in congressional inquiries.
The House select committee scrutinizing the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol is borrowing techniques from federal prosecutions, employing aggressive tactics typically used against mobsters
and terrorists as it seeks to break through stonewalling from former President Donald J. Trump and his allies and develop evidence that could prompt a criminal case.
In what its members see as the best opportunity to hold Mr. Trump and his team accountable, the committee — which has no authority to pursue criminal charges — is using what powers it
has in expansive ways in hopes of pressuring Attorney General Merrick B. Garland to use the Justice Department to investigate and prosecute them.
The panel’s investigation is being run by a former U.S. attorney, and the top investigator brought in to focus on Mr. Trump’s inner circle is also a former U.S. attorney.
The panel has hired more than a dozen other former federal prosecutors.
The committee has interviewed more than 475 witnesses and issued more than 100 subpoenas, including broad ones to banks as well as telecommunications and social media companies.
Some of the subpoenas have swept up the personal data of Trump family members and allies, local politicians and at least one member of Congress,
Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio.
Though no subpoena has been issued for Mr. Jordan, his text messages and calls have shown up in communications with Mark Meadows, the former White House chief of staff,
and in a call with Mr. Trump on the morning of Jan. 6, 2021.
Armed with reams of telephone records and metadata, the committee has used link analysis, a data mapping technique that former F.B.I. agents say was key to identifying terrorist
networks in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks.
The F.B.I. said it used a similar tactic last month to identify the seller of a gun to a man in Texas who took hostages at a synagogue.
Faced with at least 16 Trump allies who have signaled they will not fully cooperate with the committee, investigators have taken a page out of organized crime prosecutions and quietly
turned at least six lower-level Trump staff members into witnesses who have provided information about their bosses’ activities.
The committee is also considering granting immunity to key members of Mr. Trump’s inner circle who have invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination
as a way of pressuring them to testify.
“Having lived through and being a part of every major congressional investigation over the past 50 years from Iran-contra to Whitewater to everything else,
this is the mother of all investigations and a quantum leap for Congress in a way I’ve never seen before,” said Stanley Brand, a Democrat and the former top lawyer for the House
who is now representing Dan Scavino, one of Mr. Trump’s closest aides, in the investigation.
It is a development, Mr. Brand suggested, that Democrats might one day come to regret.
“When a frontier is pushed back, it doesn’t recede,” he said.
“They think they’re fighting for the survival of the democracy and the ends justify the means. Just wait if the Republicans take over.”
The committee’s aggressive approach carries with it another obvious risk: that it could fail to turn up compelling new information about Mr. Trump’s efforts to hold onto power after his
defeat or to make a persuasive case for a Justice Department prosecution.
Mr. Trump survived years of scrutiny by the special counsel in the Russia investigation, Robert S. Mueller III, and two impeachments.
Despite a swirl of new investigations since he left office, the former president remains the dominant force in Republican politics.
….. this is the space I reserve for myself …#ReservedParking …. to come back to … which often occurs …not yet
…. is it warm? … is anyone warm? … Oh well …..