House January 6 committee aiming to publish interim report this June, panel's chair says
The House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol is aiming to release an interim report of its findings this June, according to the panel's chairman. Meanwhile, former Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro did not show up for his scheduled deposition, he confirmed to CBS News.
Committee chair Congressman Bennie Thompson told reporters Wednesday that investigators' goal was to wrap up depositions with witnesses by the beginning of April. The committee would then hold public hearings that month, which would be followed by an interim report in June, he said.
The committee's timeline could be pushed back, however, if investigators find out new information or seek testimony and records from additional witnesses.
So far, investigators have spoken to over 650 witnesses, according to a panel aide. The committee has publicly issued more than 90 subpoenas, targeting witnesses that span members of former President Donald Trump's inner circle to January 6 rally organizers and rightwing extremists.
On Wednesday, the committee heard from Patrick Casey, who the panel has identified as a leader of "America First" or "Groypers", a far-right group. The committee first issued a subpoena to Casey in January, after Casey declined to voluntarily cooperate through his attorney.
Navarro was also slated to testify Wednesday, but refused to appear. In a statement to CBS News, he said his hands were "tied" because he could not waive an executive privilege assertion he said was made by the former president.
"The Committee has a firm legal obligation to negotiate this matter directly with Trump and his attorneys before attempting to coerce and bully me into cooperating with its highly partisan effort. If the president waives privilege, I will appear," the statement said.
Thompson on Wednesday did not rule out the possibility of pursuing criminal contempt against Navarro, saying it's "always an option" for witnesses who refuse to cooperate.
Navarro's no-show came a day after a lawyer in the White House Counsel's office notified Navarro that President Biden would not assert executive privilege to shield him from testifying before the committee.
The committee subpoenaed Navarro's records and testimony in early February, citing his role in a plan to delay the congressional certification of the 2020 election results, and ultimately overturn President Biden's victory.
Navarro is the latest no-show for the House January 6 committee. Two top Trump allies, Steve Bannon and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, have been held in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with subpoenas, and the Justice Department has charged Bannon. Both said they are following instructions from Trump, who has claimed executive privilege.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi created the House select committee last year to investigate the January 6 attack, when thousands of Trump supporters descended on the Capitol as Congress counted the electoral votes, a largely ceremonial final step affirming Mr. Biden's victory. Lawmakers were sent fleeing amid the riot, which led to the deaths of five people and the arrests of hundreds more. Trump, who encouraged his supporters to "walk over" to the Capitol during the rally at the Ellipse before the electoral vote count, was impeached by the House one week later for inciting the riot but was later acquitted by the Senate.
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