Jan. 6 hearings: What’s missing are key White House witnesses

The House Committee charged with investigating the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol is set to hold the first of several hearings on Thursday, hearings that will present evidence and propose reforms designed to strengthen the U.S. democracy.

Doug Kriner and Steve Israel, professors of government at Cornell University, recently conducted a poll designed to measure public opinion of election reforms like those proposed by the Jan. 6 commission. Kriner and Israel, the latter a former Congressman, found that one important reform enjoying broad bipartisan support is forcing executive branch compliance with congressional subpoenas.

Kriner says: “As the primetime hearings begin, the most important witnesses are almost certainly the ones who will not be there – former Trump administration officials with direct knowledge of the role President Trump and his close advisors played as the events of Jan. 6 unfolded. These officials use almost blanket claims of executive privilege to avoid testifying, representing an unparalleled challenge to Congress’ oversight powers.

“Our research indicates that 62% of Americans, including 55% of Republicans, strongly support reforms that would require officials who work in the White House and government agencies to comply with congressional subpoenas. Bolstering Congress’ oversight capacity is not always the most exciting thing, but it is incredibly important and enjoys broad bipartisan support.”

For interviews contact Rachel Rhodes: cell (585) 732-1877; rer252@cornell.edu. 

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