U.S. House committee demands records over Jan. 6 attack on U.S. Capitol

By Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The congressional committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol demanded a range of documents on Wednesday from American agencies, including communications records from former President Donald Trump’s White House.

The House of Representatives Select Committee asked for White House communications records on and leading up to Jan. 6. The panel also requested documents from the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Interior and Justice, the FBI, the National Counterterrorism Center and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The committee’s Democratic chairman, Representative Bennie Thompson, gave the agencies two weeks to produce the materials.

“Our Constitution provides for a peaceful transfer of power, and this investigation seeks to evaluate threats to that process, identify lessons learned and recommend laws, policies, procedures, rules, or regulations necessary to protect our republic in the future,” Thompson wrote in a letter to the National Archives and Records Administration, and the seven other agencies.

The attack occurred as Congress was meeting to certify Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential election victory over Trump, and delayed that process.

The committee said it wanted information on the attack itself and the run-up to the events of the day, including the gathering and dissemination of intelligence, security preparations and the role agencies played in defending the Capitol.

Four people died on the day of the violence, one shot dead by police and the other three of natural causes. A Capitol Police officer who had been attacked by protesters died the following day. Four police officers who took part in the defense of the Capitol later took their own lives. More than a hundred police officers were injured.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; editing by Franklin Paul and Jonathan Oatis)