The Washington Post's editorial board is urging Democrats on the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 rioting at the U.S. Capitol to subpoena former President TrumpDonald TrumpCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Netanyahu suggests Biden fell asleep in meeting with Israeli PM Aides try to keep Biden away from unscripted events or long interviews, book claims MORE's daughter Ivanka TrumpIvanka TrumpHouse panel tees up Trump executive privilege fight in Jan. 6 probe Mary Trump doesn't see her cousins connecting with GOP Rubio: Biden's new child allowance is 'first step toward a universal basic income' MORE, his former chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsAllies see rising prospect of Trump 2024 White House bid The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US prepares vaccine booster plan House panel probing Jan. 6 attack seeks Trump records MORE and another top adviser.
"Top of the list is precisely what then-President Donald Trump did before, during and after the attack. How did he prepare his speech preceding the insurrection, in which he told the crowd to fight? What did he anticipate his audience’s reaction would be? When did he know the pro-Trump mob was threatening the Capitol? Why did he offer only mild statements long after the danger was clear? Did Trump-affiliated rally organizers coordinate with extremist groups?" the Post wrote in an editorial published on Tuesday.
"Answering such questions calls for subpoenaing former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows; Mr. Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband, White House senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerHouse panel tees up Trump executive privilege fight in Jan. 6 probe The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US prepares vaccine booster plan House panel probing Jan. 6 attack seeks Trump records MORE; and other White House aides with useful information."
The committee is slated to begin its hearings on Tuesday, with members on the panel set to hear from several police officers who were there when the attack began.
Five people died as a result of the violence carried out at the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot, including one Capitol Police officer. A woman who had entered the Capitol during the chaos was shot and killed by a security officer as the pro-Trump mob worked to break into the Speaker's Gallery just off the House floor.
The crowd overwhelmed Capitol Police, with multiple videos showing people using various items as weapons on law enforcement to get past barriers and break into the Capitol.
Some Republicans, and Trump himself, have attempted to characterize the incident as less than violent. The former president at one point called a rally during which he addressed supporters before the rioting a "lovefest."
Federal law enforcement has said they believe far-right extremist groups were involved in the planning of the attack, and the House panel will aim to find out what that planning entailed and if any elected officials or members of Trump's administration were aware of those reported plans.
"Investigators should hear from extremist-group leaders at the center of the violence. How did they prepare? What was their goal? The committee should hear also from Justice Department and Capitol Police officials who failed to anticipate the riot," the Post wrote. "Why did intelligence officials across the government seem unaware of warnings that were all over social media? To what extent did law enforcement discount or ignore warning signs about right-wing extremists because federal and local officers did not want to cross Mr. Trump and other Republicans? Why did the National Guard take so long to arrive?"
A successful investigation, the newspaper's editors wrote, would lay the ground for a plan to prevent a future attack.
"Finally, the investigation should lead to recommendations to forestall a repeat of such political violence, with a particular focus on how the government monitors domestic extremism," the editorial concludes. "As they conduct their work, the lawmakers on the largely Democratic panel must suppress the urge to make it the partisan exercise that Republicans claim it will be — behaving instead like the fact-finders the nation needs."