In advance of today's first hearing of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, Just Security has compiled a detailed list of questions the panel should ask, documents it should obtain, and witnesses it should question as the panel tries to determine "how our nation's defenses failed and how we can prevent similar attacks from occurring again."
"In an era when alternative facts have all too often substituted for the truth, it is important for Americans to have a definitive, reliable understanding of what happened," the website devoted to analysis of national and international security reports. "That will be a difficult challenge in today's hyper-politicized environment, so it is critical that the committee function as a neutral collector of the evidence, acquiring relevant information and following it wherever it leads, without any predetermined outcome."
The select committee's investigation is different from the hundreds of ongoing criminal prosecutions of Capitol insurrection suspects, Just Security notes, and will instead focus on the failure by government agencies to properly assess and act on the threat. The panel should also examine the risk of domestic terror from anti-government and white supremacist groups, and how they use social media and disinformation.
"One issue the select committee will have to consider is whether they will call President Trump to testify," according to Just Security, adding that he is certainly a "material witness."
"Committee members will have to weigh whether there is unique value in his potential testimony and if so, whether it is worth the spectacle Trump would undoubtedly create if he testified."