The House Select Committee on Jan. 6 wants to turn its final report on what the panel has deemed the worst day in American democracy, on par with Pearl Harbor and 9/11, into a veritable video game.
On CNN Thursday morning, California Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat on the probe, said lawmakers are planning to release an “interactive version” of the committee’s findings to complement the written report published by the end of the month.
“When we’re done, we’ve got to send it over to the government printing office and they’ll produce the written report. We’ll have a digital version as well,” Lofgren said. “We’re actually compiling an interactive version. You can’t do interactive on print.”
The creation of an interactive report would further set the committee apart from how congressional probes traditionally conclude their investigations. The committee has by no means been traditional, having barred panel appointments from the minority party for the first time in the lower chamber’s history.
After a series of public proceedings ran from June to October in a midterm year — hearings saturated with parallels to Moscow’s Soviet-era show trials — the Jan. 6 Committee had already planned to release its report with a book deal. “The January 6th Report,” a book packaging the committee’s final product in partnership with The New Yorker, was initially scheduled to be published prior to Election Day before it was delayed four times. The nearly 900-page book is now expected to be out on Dec. 20.
In July, The Washington Post visualized the third-hand testimony of former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, whose hearsay was later contradicted by actual eye-witnesses, with an online comic book.
On Wednesday, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy sent a letter to Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., the chair of the select committee, demanding that the probe preserve all documents. The directive followed committee staffers telling The Washington Post that much of the panel’s work would be omitted from the final report, which was instead dictated by narratives driven by Vice Chair Liz Cheney.
“Fifteen former and current staffers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, expressed concerns that important findings unrelated to Trump will not become available to the American public,” the Post reported. “Several committee staff members were floored earlier this month when they were told that a draft report would focus almost entirely on Trump and the work of the committee’s Gold Team, excluding reams of other investigative work.”
McCarthy, who has also pledged to shut down the select committee when Republicans take over control of the House in January, reminded Thompson that the documents and transcripts are the property of the lower chamber.
“It is clear based on recent news reports that even your own members and staff of the Committee have no visibility into the totality of the investigation,” McCarthy wrote on Wednesday. “It is imperative that all information collected be preserved not just for institutional prerogatives but for transparency to the American people.”
Asked about McCarthy’s letter on CNN Thursday morning, Lofgren promised that the committee’s work would be published in totality.
“We’re going to release all the information we’ve collected so it cannot be selectively edited and spun,” Lofgren said.
“So everything can be released?” asked Kaitlan Collins.
“That’s correct,” Lofgren said.