Schiff says Jan 6 committee still investigating links between Trump and extremist groups

Washington— Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, a member of the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, said Sunday that the panel was still examining possible links between former President Donald Trump and far-right extremist groups, including the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, members of whom were blamed for their roles in the offense.

“This remains an ongoing part of our investigation,” Schiff said in an interview with “Face the Nation.” “We certainly showed some links between the president, top advisers like Roger Stone and Mike Flynn and elements of these white nationalist groups, but that component of our investigation continues.”

More than a dozen members of the Keepers of the Oath and proud boys, including their respective leaders Stewart Rhodes and Enrique Tarrio, were charged with seditious conspiracy for their alleged roles in the January 6 attack. Federal prosecutors allege members conspired to storm Capitol Hill to oppose the legal transfer of presidential power, forcibly delaying the required count of state electoral votes.

The select committee has examined the role of far-right extremist groups on January 6th and on the last Thursday held your eighth audience mapping what investigators have described as a multifaceted campaign by Trump to prevent the transfer of presidential power. The audience focused on the 187-minute period on Jan. 6, from when the former president closed his speech at an Ellipse rally to when he posted a tweet telling the crowd of his supporters to leave the Capitol, during which committee members they said Trump did nothing to quell the violence that unfolded.

The hearings have increased pressure on the Justice Department to prosecute Trump, and Schiff said he hopes the department is “watching carefully, and I hope they understand the implications” of what the panel is presenting.

“I think we really need to think about what we’ve already demonstrated, about the president’s knowledge that the election was not stolen, and his response and his intent, and to me that’s more graphically demonstrated, when he told the Justice Department basically to say the election was stolen or just say it was corrupt and he would take care of the rest,” he said. “That kind of testimony, they’re directly in the knowledge and intent of the president.”

The California Democrat said he believed Trump engaged in the “most supreme dereliction of duty ever” with his inaction to stop the violence on Capitol Hill, and the former president’s multiple attempts to reverse the election result “invoke several laws.” criminal acts, and their conduct must be investigated.”

While Thursday’s hearing was the last in this series, committee leaders stressed that the investigation remains ongoing, with more evidence being collected and witnesses interviewed. In addition to thinking about asking Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence voluntarily attend, the committee is prepared to consider issuing a subpoena to Ginni Thomas, a conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Representative Liz Cheney, the committee’s vice chair. , told CNN’s “State of Union” on Sunday.

Ginni Thomas corresponded with Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and John Eastman, a conservative lawyer who was behind a legal strategy to overturn the election results, about efforts to keep Trump in power.

The committee asked Ginni Thomas to speak to members voluntarily, but her lawyer told the panel that wants a “better justification” why your testimony is relevant.

Schiff said that if Ginni Thomas has information relevant to the committee’s investigation, he expects her to come out on her own. But if she doesn’t, he said members should give “serious consideration” to issuing a subpoena.

The California Democrat also criticized Clarence Thomas for crossing a line when he participated in the consideration of an emergency Trump request that the Supreme Court block the release of his White House records to the select committee. the high court refused to stop the National Archives turned over the documents, and Clarence Thomas was the only judge to disagree with the decision.

“There are lines that shouldn’t be crossed, but those lines involve Supreme Court justices not presiding over or appearing or taking action in cases where your spouse may be implicated,” Schiff said. “And in this case, for Clarence Thomas to issue a ruling, in a dissenting case, in a case where Congress is trying to get documents, and those documents might involve his own wife, that’s the line that’s been crossed.”

The committee’s investigation also sparked scrutiny by the US Secret Service, particularly after it was revealed that the January 5 and 6 text messages requested by the panel were erased as part of a device replacement program.

Secret Service members, including Tony Ornato, who served as Trump’s deputy chief of staff for operations, also hired private attorneys, Cheney revealed Thursday. Ornato was a key figure in the testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, former chief adviser to Meadows, who described a fight between Trump and members of his team on January 6 that she said was relayed to her by Ornato.

Schiff said the hiring of criminal defense attorneys indicates Ornato may have a concern about “potential criminal liability.”

“We want to hear from these witnesses. Some we want to hear again,” he said. “We want to put them under oath if they weren’t under oath previously, so we can understand exactly what was happening on January 5th and 6th. And we have deep concerns about what’s going on in the Secret Service.”

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