Months into the Jan. 6 Select Committee’s investigation, Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) gave a preview of what the public can expect when the panel reveals its findings, some of which she described as “shocking” in an interview published in New York Magazine on Monday.
As the panel prepares to present its findings in televised hearings sometime this spring, Luria, who sits on the panel, signaled the committee is ready to to paint a picture of the events of Jan. 6 for the public now that the panel has heard testimony from about 800 people.
“We can’t continue that indefinitely, just each witness leading to more people,” Luria told New York Magazine. “So we really are sensitive to the timeframe that the American people want to hear the body of our work and want to understand the facts surrounding January 6th. It’s our focus now to get to that point where we’re ready to present the information that has been collected through the course of the investigation.”
Luria anticipates the committee’s hearings will open the public’s minds about the scheme by former President Trump and his allies to subvert the 2020 presidential election results. According to Luria, the committee will present the details of the election-stealing plot to the public “in its entirety, and understood how much of a concerted, deliberate effort there was and how many people at high levels of government were involved in trying to implement a plot that was going to change the outcome of the election.”
In her words, Luria said if the committee outlines its findings to the public, she expects it “will have a very far reach,” much like the effect of congressional hearings surrounding Watergate.
Although she declined to go into details about the panel’s findings thus far, Luria made clear that the panel was floored to learn how close insurrectionists were to success.
“The most concerning part to me is to know how close we were to a different outcome,” Luria said. “If a few people had not been in the right place and done the right thing, like the former vice-president, for example.”
Luria cited one layer of the committee’s probe as particularly concerning — an unsuccessful plot by former President Trump’s allies to submit fake slates of Electoral College votes from states across the country. Last January, the committee issued subpoenas to fourteen people who sought to act as supposed alternate electors for Trump in 2020.
“There are things that are shocking, sort of the extent to which people went to carry out this plan, although good judgment and logic would tell any average person that there was no legal basis to overturn the election,” Luria said.
Luria’s remarks come as some of the committee’s most damning findings have become public in news reports. Earlier this month, the Washington Post and CBS News reported on a seven-hour gap in Trump’s Jan. 6 call records in records turned over to the Jan. 6 Select Committee by the National Archives.
The committee also heard testimony in recent weeks from two figures in Trump’s inner circle, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. Kushner, who served as Trump’s senior adviser at the time, was traveling back from Saudi Arabia on the day of the insurrection. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, was among several of her father’s aides who unsuccessfully tried to persuade the then-President to call off the violence that ensued when a mob of his supporters breached the Capitol on the day of the insurrection.
Additionally, it was revealed last month that Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, repeatedly urged then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to push efforts to overturn results weeks after the 2020 election. The messages the Washington Post and CBS News obtained between Thomas and Meadows were among the 2,320 that the former Trump official provided to the Jan. 6 Select Committee during his short-lived cooperation with the panel.