Federal Hearings To Investigate Insurrection Announced In Congress

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After Senate Republicans filibustered a bill that would have created an independent commission to investigate the January riot at the Capitol, Democratic leaders are continuing their own efforts to uncover the truth of what unfolded. The House Oversight Committee, led by chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), has now announced a second hearing examining questions related to the Capitol violence. The hearing is set for next Tuesday, June 15, and is slated to feature witnesses including FBI Director Christopher Wray and General Charles A. Flynn. It seems more than safe to assume that this hearing will not be the end of the Oversight Committee’s probe.

Flynn is the brother of Michael Flynn, a conspiratorially minded Trump ally who served as then-President Trump’s first national security adviser. Currently, Charles serves as commanding general of a Pacific branch of the U.S. Army, but at the time of the insurrection, he was a Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Plans, and Training at the Army. Besides Wray and Flynn, the upcoming hearing is also slated to include Lieutenant General Walter E. Piatt, who serves as Director of the Army Staff. Acting Capitol Police chief Yogananda Pittman has also been invited.

The first hearing that the House Oversight Committee held to examine the Capitol insurrection unearthed troubling facts. In their announcement of the new hearing, the panel notes that at the first one, former Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller and former Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen both “admitted that President Trump never contacted them on January 6 to urge swift action to protect the Capitol.” Trump was the president of the United States, and the country’s Capitol building was under attack as top government leaders including the vice president fled for their lives — and he didn’t even bother encouraging “swift action” by the Defense Secretary to respond to the violence.

At one point before the violence unfolded, Miller prohibited Maj. Gen. William Walker, who serves as commander of the D.C. National Guard, from deploying personnel who had helmets, body armor, and the like without the then-acting Defense Secretary’s approval. Ordinarily, Walker has explained, “military commanders… have immediate response authority to protect property, life, and in my case, federal functions — federal property and life.” The removal of that authority from Walker was one of a slew of problems that defined the circumstances surrounding the Capitol riot, and Democrats are continuing their investigation.