Jan. 6 committee winds down with the release of its full report
JUANA SUMMERS, HOST:
At the Capitol today, the House is racing to approve a $1.7 trillion spending bill ahead of a government shutdown deadline on Friday. Earlier today, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer celebrated the passage of the measure in his chamber despite the bill's difficult journey.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
CHUCK SCHUMER: A lot of sturm und drang, a lot of ups and downs - but at the end, a great result that really helped the American people.
SUMMERS: But that is not the only thing members are racing to wrap up. A House committee investigating the January 6 attack is set to release its full report by week's end. NPR congressional correspondent Claudia Grisales joins us now with more. Hi there.
CLAUDIA GRISALES, BYLINE: Hey, Juana.
SUMMERS: All right, so let's start with this spending bill. This is up against a Friday deadline that comes with the threat of a government shutdown if it is not passed in time. Will the House make it?
GRISALES: It could, but it will be tight. The plan stalled in the Senate overnight, but picked up steam this morning to gain final passage. But this is a bill that is more than 4,000 pages long, so it will certainly face some challenges moving through the House quickly. That said, the House is reconvening tomorrow, and members there are hoping to get it done in time before this deadline. Overall, it directs $858 billion to defense spending and $773 billion to discretionary programs. It funds the military, government agencies. It includes pay raises for service members and government workers and $40 billion in emergency aid to areas struck by public disasters and more than $44 billion in aid for Ukraine.
SUMMERS: All right - so a lot riding on that bill. But like the end of most years up on Capitol Hill, this is not the only deadline that Congress is up against. The House select January 6 committee could release its final report as early as today, right?
GRISALES: Right. Could is the operative word there. We have been expecting this report for days. Initially, Chairman Bennie Thompson teased to reporters last week it could be released as early as Monday. Then, estimates turned to Wednesday. And here we are now, still waiting for the report. So that's another massive document. It could be hundreds of pages long. And obviously, the panel is facing its own challenges getting that out in time, but they do have time. They sunset at the end of this year, on the 31. Now, with the House potentially wrapping up their work tomorrow, it's possible we do see it by week's end.
SUMMERS: Remind us quickly, if you can, a sense of what's in this report.
GRISALES: Right. It's going to be a comprehensive historical record of the panel's findings, including evidence and details tied to the four criminal referrals against former President Trump. This is critical information if the Justice Department does decide to move on these criminal charges.
SUMMERS: Now, the committee has released a first collection of witness transcripts. What can you tell us about what we've seen so far?
GRISALES: Right. Just moments ago, they released another tranche of transcripts, including for former Defense Secretary Esper. And so this is tied to the more than 1,000 witnesses interviewed. And today they released transcripts also tied to former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who delivered explosive public testimony this year. Her testimony documents show how she was initially represented by a Trump-connected lawyer who pushed Hutchison not to share everything she knew. Eventually, she changed attorneys, which led to her decision to testify publicly and share much more extensive details before the panel.
SUMMERS: Before we let you go, do you expect that more transcripts like the one you were talking about are going to be released soon?
GRISALES: Yes. So much more could be coming in the coming days. We are expecting hundreds tied to the more than 1,000 witnesses' interviews, including members of Trump's family who testified and other high-profile former Trump administration officials.
SUMMERS: NPR's Claudia Grisales. Claudia, thank you.
GRISALES: Thank you much. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.