What has the January 6 committee done so far?

House panel investigating the US Capitol insurrection isn't afraid to farm out subpoenas - or to act when they are ignored

US Capitol police prevent rioters from breaking into the House chamber at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. AP

Before US vice president Mike Pence could certify the Electoral College votes on January 6, 2021 — the last ceremonial step before president-elect Joe Biden was to be sworn in — rioters breached the US Capitol.

Outside the chamber doors, a rioter was shot and police officers were beaten and bloodied. Chants of “Hang Mike Pence” rang through the halls.

Earlier that day, then-president Donald Trump chastised Mr Pence for not going along with his pleas to stop the certification.

“You can’t do this. I don’t want to be your friend any more. I made you. Your career is over,” Mr Trump said, as documented in Bob Woodward’s book Peril.

Now the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, the US House of Representatives panel investigating the events surrounding the insurrection, wants to hear from the former vice president.

Mr Pence's former chief of staff, Marc Short, is already co-operating with investigators, who have called more than 340 witnesses.

The committee's work is ongoing, with its investigative teams focused on funding, motivations, organisational coalitions and how Mr Trump threatened politicians and election officials, such as Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

Although they cannot arrest or bring charges against people, their discovery may be used to shape new legislation. For example, in October 2021, committee members began drafting a bill designed to clarify the procedures for certifying presidential elections.

The committee's findings may also be used in arguments to hold people legally accountable.

Who are the committee members?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed seven Democrats and two Republicans, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, with Bennie Thompson serving as committee chairman.

Adam Schiff of California and Jamie Raskin of Maryland are two of the better-known Democrats on the committee.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy warned Mr Kinzinger and Ms Cheney they would be stripped of all other committee assignments if they accepted membership on the panel.

Mr Kinzinger told Forbes: “When you've got people who say crazy stuff and you're not going to make that threat, but you make that threat to truth-tellers, you've lost any credibility.”

What have they done?

July 2021

The committee hears evidence from four police officers who were on the front line as rioters attacked the Capitol.

They include Daniel Hodges, an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, who was crushed in a doorway between rioters and a police line.

Michael Fanone, a Metropolitan Police Department officer, says rioters pulled him into the crowd, beat him with a flagpole, stole his badge, repeatedly shocked him with his Taser and went for his gun.

Mr Fanone says he supports the creation of the January 6 commission and criticises those who played down the attack.

August 2021

Committee investigators say they will seek phone records of members of Congress, the records of at least 30 members of Mr Trump's inner circle from seven government agencies and the White House communication records held by the National Archives.

Records from social media companies such as Twitter, Parler, Facebook and TikTok are also sought.

September 2021

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino, former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale, chief adviser Steve Bannon and Kash Patel, Pentagon official and aide to former House intelligence committee chairman Devin Nunes, receive subpoenas from the committee.

October 2021

The committee issues subpoenas to Stop the Steal LLC organiser Ali Alexander and assistant attorney general Jeffrey Clark.

Mr Trump says he will defy requests for information from the committee by asserting executive privilege and files a lawsuit against the National Archives, stating that the records request was “illegal, unfounded, and overbroad” and amounted to a “fishing expedition”.

Documents requested include phone logs, communications with Mr Meadows and others as well as White House visitor records.

The same month, Mr Bannon claims that Mr Trump’s executive privilege also protects him from being compelled to appear as the former president instructed him to defy the subpoena.

The committee announces that it will hold Mr Bannon in contempt.

Former Trump director of strategic communications Alyssa Farah, who told CNN that Mr Trump had lied about the election results, complies with the committee’s interview request, as does former acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen.

November 2021

Mr Clark claims attorney-client privilege and refuses to appear.

Meanwhile, the committee wants to know what happened at Washington’s historic Willard Hotel, known as the “war room”, where Trump associates reportedly met to formulate plans to stop the January 6 certification.

Subpoenas are issued for InfoWars host Alex Jones, long-time Republican operative Roger Stone, former senior adviser for policy Stephen Miller, Mike Pence's national security adviser Keith Kellogg, former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, lawyer John Eastman, and Bernard Kerik, a Trump ally who took part in the Willard Hotel meetings.

 A 'war room' reportedly set up in a luxury Washington hotel by advisers of former president Donald Trump has become the focus of the congressional investigation into the violent January 6 attack on the US Capitol. AFP

Warrants are issued for the leaders of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, along with Robert Patrick Lewis, chairman of the 1st Amendment Praetorian.

Federal judge Tanya Chutkan denies Mr Trump's October request to seal archived documents, writing in a 39-page ruling that he “appears to be premised on the notion that his executive power 'exists in perpetuity'".

“But presidents are not kings, and plaintiff is not president.”

Mr Trump appeals against the ruling and, after he is again denied, he takes his case to the Supreme Court.

Mr Bannon surrenders to the FBI.

December 2021

The committee votes unanimously to hold Mr Clark in contempt of Congress.

Mr Meadows stops co-operating and sues Ms Pelosi and the committee. The House votes in favour of holding him in contempt.

A committee report reveals that Mr Meadows sent an email on January 5 promising that the National Guard would “protect pro-Trump people”.

Ms Cheney reads aloud texts Mr Meadows traded with the former president and others on and around January 6, indicating that Mr Trump may have committed a felony by obstructing the electoral certification proceedings.

Mr Stone pleads his Fifth Amendment rights and refuses to answer questions.

January 2022

The committee says they have all emails exchanged between Mr Meadows and Fox News host Sean Hannity and have also asked Hannity to comply with requests to speak.

One notable January 6 insurrectionist co-operating with the committee is former Olympic gold medallist, swimmer Klete Keller, who pleaded guilty to obstruction.

Keller’s plea deal includes a co-operation agreement and prosecutors say that he is already providing useful information.

He was in the Capitol building at a “crucial hour”, said assistant US attorney Troy Edwards.

“Apart from his co-operating with the government investigation, he potentially has an opportunity to aid the government in a trial that has been set [about people] around him that day.”

Updated: January 20th 2022, 7:18 PM