- The House Jan. 6 committee announced around 4 p.m. ET that it will no longer release its report today. Instead, the panel is expected to release it tomorrow.
- The nine-member panel voted Monday to approve criminal referrals to the Justice Department for former President Donald Trump and lawyer John Eastman.
- The report's executive summary, released Monday, revealed new details about Rudy Giuliani’s and Hope Hicks’ testimony to the committee.
No report but plenty of material to review still
The committee very likely knows their report is dropping at a less than ideal time. The deeper into the week we go, the more likely Americans' attention will turn to the holiday season rather than politics. (Who can blame them?)
But the panel doesn't have much of a choice: When the new Congress is sworn in next month, there will be a Republican majority in the House and a very high chance the Democratic-led Jan. 6 committee will be forced to disband. So it must make every day count.
And though the report is delayed another day, we already know so much about the investigation: Trump's efforts to subvert democracy have been detailed by so many witnesses, lawmakers and election workers.
The most interesting portions of the full report, as committee member Adam Schiff told MSNBC last night, will likely be the full transcripts of witness testimony. Alas, the committee's summary of the report, released Monday, will have to hold us over one more day.
Why is the Jan. 6 committee no longer releasing its report today?
The Jan. 6 committee announced shortly before 4 p.m. ET that it now expects its final report to be released tomorrow. It's "possible" some additional records will still be released today, the panel said.
So what happened?
As NBC News' Ali Vitali reported on MSNBC minutes ago:
"One of the explanations that we've been given potentially is that this could just be the effect of the printer printing. That may be a difficult reason to accept or explain but that could be one of the reasons. ... Look, this is a report that they were writing up until the minute they had to stop writing and send it to the government printer in the first place."
It very well may be as simple as a printer issue. Who among us hasn't had a frustrating episode caused by a printer delay? The report's summary is more than 150 pages, so surely the full report has many, many pages to print.
It's also hard not to look at Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's high-profile visit to Washington today and his speech scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET and wonder whether that could have affected the committee's timeline.
Not much upside for the GOP in Jan. 6 committee report’s delay
Well, House Republicans managed to get their “counter-report” out the door today while the Jan. 6 committee didn’t. In most situations, that would count as a tactical win. It would mean that evening news, headlines, the Online Discourse — all would have more bandwidth to focus on the contents of the GOP’s release.
Except this is a wildly crowded news cycle, especially considering the holidays. Instead of getting a clear lane, there’s still Zelenskyy’s visit and the looming passage of an omnibus spending bill to keep Washington reporters occupied.
And let’s be real: Fox News’ prime-time coverage was going to focus on the GOP report versus a deep dive on the Jan. 6 committee report anyway, so I’d call this one a wash.
The Republicans’ Jan. 6 report is … a frustrating document
Republicans have just released their own report, designed as a response to the House Jan. 6 report, and it’s focused on one thing: security failures at the U.S. Capitol on the day of the riot.
Some expert observers say that some of the information gathered in the report is new and should help shed light on the massive security failures that took place that day. And based on early impressions, the report appears to refrain from the most far-fetched, evidence-free conspiracy theories about antifa or the FBI covertly engineering the insurrection.
But it’s also clearly a partisan exercise that intends to cast the majority of the blame on Democrats, rather than Donald Trump, for the events that day. It takes aim at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, even though the security of the Capitol was not her responsibility. It talks about security as inadequate in part because of “optics” concerns tied to the Black Lives Matter protests. And it scrubs Trump’s encouragement of a violent mob from the timeline of Jan. 6 — such as his encouragement of the mob to “fight like hell” — and instead depicts him as calling for a “peaceful” protest.
The clear partisan agenda is a shame because it undermines the credibility of a report that could serve a genuinely useful purpose. There were huge security failures that day, as a bipartisan Senate report documented earlier this year. We need to know more about them without an agenda of partisan point-scoring tainting the analysis.
Just in: Report no longer being released today
Good news for those who want the anticipation to keep building: The Jan. 6 committee is no longer planning to release its full report today, NBC News' Ali Vitali confirmed on MSNBC moments ago.
The committee is now expecting the report to be released tomorrow.
What we’re watching out for on Ornato and the SUV incident
One of the most shocking moments of testimony before the committee this summer came when former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson said former White House deputy chief of staff Tony Ornato had told her that Trump had cursed at a Secret Service agent on Jan. 6 when the agent refused to take him to the Capitol in a presidential SUV. The most jarring detail, according to Hutchinson, was that Ornato had said Trump had lunged at the steering wheel in a fit of desperation.
The committee’s executive summary of its final report, which was released Monday, has said that it has confirmed the story of a “furious interaction” with several sources, and also indicated that Ornato’s claims to the committee that he doesn’t recall any such interaction lack credibility. Now, with the release of the final report, new details and transcripts might provide insight into why they think that’s the case and help bolster one of the most damning pieces of testimony from the hearings.
More evidence of Trump being irate over not being able to travel to the Capitol will only make his aspirations to lead the insurrection even clearer.
What’s next for each member of the Jan. 6 committee
With the final meeting wrapped and the full report due for release later today, the members of the Jan. 6 committee have just a few other official duties to take care of (including a visit from Ukraine’s president and a vote on a federal spending bill) before the 117th Congress comes to an end. Here’s what each of the members will likely be up to when the new Congress starts in January.
Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.: Thompson will likely remain on the Homeland Security Committee, where he’s currently chair, as ranking member.
Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.: Lofgren will no longer hold the gavel on the House Administration Committee, but is looking to become the ranking member of the Science, Space and Technology Committee in the new year.
Pete Aguilar, D-Calif.: A rising star in the party, Aguilar was recently elected to join the House Democratic Caucus’ leadership. He’ll be serving as House Democratic Caucus Chair, replacing Hakeem Jeffries of New York, who will be the new party leader.
Adam Schiff, D-Calif.: Schiff had considered trying to become leader of the House Democrats but waved off in the face of Jeffries’ rise. Instead, he’s eyeing a Senate run in 2024 — and will most likely see Republicans block him being ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee.
Jamie Raskin, D-Md.: Raskin, a breakout figure in both the Jan. 6 committee’s work and Trump’s second impeachment, is set to leapfrog seniority and become ranking member on the House Oversight Committee.
Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla.: This will be Murphy’s last term in Congress. She announced last December that she would not run for re-election after serving for six years.
Elaine Luria, D-Va.: Luria, a Navy veteran, lost a close race to serve a third term, falling to Republican Jen Kiggans in this year’s midterms. She was one of the few Democrats to highlight Jan. 6 in her campaign, declaring in her closing TV ad: “If standing up for what’s right means losing an election, so be it.”
Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.: A target was on Cheney’s back since she was one of 10 Republicans (including fellow committee member Adam Kinzinger) to vote for impeaching Trump after the Jan. 6 attack. She lost her primary bid in August but could have big plans for the next few years as an anti-Trump voice in the GOP.
Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.: Kinzinger chose not to run in 2022 after his district was merged with another Republican’s last year. He’s still sorting through what he could do moving forward. The Chicago Sun-Times interviewed him recently: “He’s not that interested in lobbying. Perhaps a TV gig. ‘I enjoy TV because I think it’s a way to be able to stay kind of out there.' Maybe a mix. Maybe something in academia, corporate boards, TV and perhaps even paid speaking engagements.”
Report will strengthen Ku Klux Klan Act lawsuit against Trump
The Jan. 6 committee’s report is only going to strengthen the lawsuit filed by the NAACP and several lawmakers against Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani and the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers extremist groups.
In February 2021, before the committee was formed, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and the NAACP filed a federal lawsuit against that band of anti-democratic misfits for their roles in the violent Capitol riot on Jan. 6.
The lawsuit cites the Ku Klux Klan Act, a post-Civil War law that prohibits using violence and intimidation to deny civil rights and prevent the enforcement of U.S. laws. (The law was meant to protect emancipated Black people and the officials who passed laws empowering them.)
Several other lawmakers have since joined the lawsuit, though Thompson withdrew from the suit shortly after he was named chair of the committee, to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.
The committee’s executive summary points to Trump’s culpability in fomenting insurrection on Jan. 6, and it highlights his refusal to do anything to stop the carnage as his supporters tried to stop the certification of Trump’s 2020 election loss.
That’s why the committee ultimately referred Trump for multiple criminal charges, including inciting or assisting those in an insurrection and obstruction of an official proceeding.
The full report will only provide more detail to support those findings. That and the committee’s referrals only boost the KKK Act suit against Trump and others in his orbit who acquiesced to his fascistic wishes.
Zelenskyy visit reminds us of Trump’s democracy subversion
It’s fitting that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to Washington today coincides with the Jan. 6 committee’s full report release.
Both remind us of attacks on democracy — the Russian attack against which Zelenskyy is fighting and the Trumpian attack on American democracy laid out by the committee.
Indeed, recall that Trump’s first impeachment centered on his 2019 attempt to pressure Ukraine to investigate Democrat Joe Biden, who would go on to defeat Trump in 2020. On the other end of that apparent quid pro quo, of course, was an invitation to Washington and military aid for Ukraine. Today, Zelenskyy will visit the Capitol that Trump supporters attacked on Jan. 6, 2021.
Things have come full circle, in a sense, with Biden having defeated Russia’s preferred candidate in 2020, putting the president in a position to help deliver aid for Ukraine.
NBC News: FBI informant warned Trump tweet was a ‘call to arms’
Ahead of today’s release of the Jan. 6 report, we have exclusive NBC News reporting shedding further light on law enforcement failures surrounding the attack on the Capitol and the committee’s failure, thus far, to call out those failures.
“On Dec. 19, 2020, the day that then-President Donald Trump sent a tweet summoning his supporters to a ‘wild’ protest in the nation’s capital on Jan. 6, one of the FBI’s own confidential sources warned the bureau that the far-right considered Trump’s message ‘a call to arms,’ according to an email reviewed by NBC News.
“That tip to the FBI, from a source who is still used by the bureau and spoke on the condition of anonymity, warned there was a ‘big’ threat of violence on Jan. 6. It was among hundreds of pages of reports viewed by NBC News that this source sent to the FBI in the weeks before the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol. The email, which has not been previously reported, warned that the Trump tweet was ‘gaining hold’ on social media.”
This new reporting adds to the questions surrounding law enforcement’s response and, in turn, the committee’s delicate treatment of that response. According to NBC News, when the source learned the committee had avoided criticizing law enforcement in its final summary, the source’s reaction was: “What the f---?”
Hopefully, the committee’s full report will help to answer that question.
How McDaniel’s testimony could come back to haunt Trump
In February, the Republican National Committee censured the Jan. 6 committee’s two GOP members, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. At the time, RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel claimed the pair “crossed a line” with their work on the panel.
The committee went on to use the RNC chair’s own words to show how Trump crossed a line.
As Ja’han Jones wrote for The ReidOut Blog yesterday, McDaniel is “is far from what you would consider a ‘Never Trumper.’ In fact, she has shown more fealty to the former president than just about anyone you can imagine.
“But when all is said and done, she also may have played one of the larger roles than just about anyone if former President Donald Trump ultimately faces criminal charges.”
Read Ja’han’s full story below.
Report's executive summary dropped Monday. Read it here.
It's more than 150 pages, and contains juicy new details about testimony the committee received — and more. Read it in full below.
No spoilers: Publishers hope you’ll buy hard copy of Jan. 6 report
Yes, the Jan. 6 committee’s final report will be available for free on Al Gore’s internet. But publishers are still betting that people will want to own a copy of it — even if they have no idea what it will contain.
At least six publishers have announced plans to publish a printed copy of the final report, according to NPR. They’re banking on the previous success that came with publishing other blockbuster investigations like the 9/11 Commission Report, the Senate Torture Report and the Mueller Report. (I’ll confess to having a copy of at least two of those on my bookshelf, so they may be on to something there.)
House should have done in 1974 what it did in 2022, historian says
Michael Beschloss, presidential historian for NBC News, was quick to place Monday’s House proceedings in perspective.
Speaking with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, he described privately telling Gerald Ford in 1994 that Ford had gone too far in pardoning Richard Nixon, because “that’s a message to later presidents and later Congresses and later groups of Americans that presidents can live in sort of a free-fire zone and do all sorts of things and not ultimately pay for it.”
He also faulted the Nixon-era House for what it did not do.
“If the House had referred Nixon for possible criminal charges ... that would have sent a message to later presidents like Donald Trump that you cannot run roughshod against the law for four years and expect to get away with it,” Beschloss told Mitchell.
“So the House of 2022 is doing what the House of 1974, I think, should have done, which is to say, ‘This is what you did, and we consider it so serious that you may have to face criminal prosecution.’”
Watch Beschloss’ remarks below.
Donald Trump is not having a great week — and it might get worse
Trump has had better weeks — and we’re not even halfway through.
On Tuesday, the committee reportedly provided evidence to the DOJ to help prove the charges it referred to the department.
And that wasn’t even the only group of lawmakers making Trump-related news yesterday. The House Ways and Means Committee got in on the action, too, voting to release the former president’s tax returns and issuing its own report on those returns and the IRS presidential audit program.
With the full Jan. 6 report and accompanying materials expected today, we’ll see how much worse this week gets for Trump and his cohorts.
Jan. 6 committee's transfer of records to DOJ has begun
The Jan. 6 committee has begun handing over records and transcripts to the Justice Department, as federal prosecutors consider whether to charge Trump and some of his allies as recommended by the committee on Monday.
“We’ve actually given some transcripts already to the Department of Justice during the last month," committee member Zoe Lofgren told CNN this week.
Special counsel Jack Smith, appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland last month to oversee two Trump probes, sent a letter to the committee earlier this month requesting all their materials, NBC News reported, citing a source familiar with the letter.
Schiff previews what public may find 'most interesting' in report
Rep. Adam Schiff, a member of the Jan. 6 committee, said Tuesday that the panel's final report will include "more than enough material" to keep readers "on the edge of their seat."
"I think what will be most interesting to the public is, we'll begin rolling out the transcripts," Schiff told MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell. "So you'll see what Tony Ornato had to say, you'll see what Cassidy Hutchinson had to say, you'll see what a great many other witnesses had to say in much greater detail than what you heard during the hearings."
The report will also include testimony "from witnesses that we weren't able to present merely because of the lack of time," Schiff added. "And some of that testimony I think is going to be very new to the public."