A reminder of some of the unfinished business awaiting the January 6 committee as the end of the year – and the end of its mandate – approach:

First, there’s the matter of Donald Trump. At what was likely its final public hearing last month, the lawmakers publicly voted to subpoena the former president’s testimony and documents. While Trump reportedly was open to the idea of appearing publicly before a panel he has no love for, he ultimately decided to challenge the subpoena in court. According to Politico, the panel could as soon as today file its response to his legal challenge.

As is typical for congressional select committees, the panel is expected to release a report detailing how the insurrection happened. It will probably be the most anticipated such document since the 9/11 Commission Report released in 2004.

The committee also has to decide whether to make criminal referrals to the justice department. Several members have hinted that Trump’s actions during the insurrection amounted to criminal acts, and referring him to the justice department would be a consequential step. They could also refer some of his former officials to face charges, while Politico reports that the members are also looking into whether Trump and his allies tampered with witnesses.

Key events

Further complicating attempts to hold Donald Trump accountable is his return to the campaign trail. Chris McGreal looks at just how much of a factor his decision might play:

The law is clear. The politics less so.

If Donald Trump’s third run for the White House is propelled by large doses of narcissism and revenge, the former US president must also be hoping that a high-profile political campaign may help keep his myriad legal problems at bay before they bury him.

Prosecutors from New York to Georgia and Washington DC have spent months digging into an array of alleged crimes before, during and after Trump was president. Some of those investigations are coming to fruition with indictments expected to follow within months, possibly weeks, on charges that potentially could see Trump become the first former US president to go to prison.

His declaration that he is once again a candidate changes nothing under the law. Legal minds broadly agree that while a sitting president is protected from prosecution in office, that immunity disappears when they leave the White House.

But then there is the politics of a prosecution against a presidential candidate who has already dismissed the investigations of his attempts to overturn the 2020 election, the hoarding of top secret documents, and allegedly fraudulent business practices, as “politically motivated” and a Democratic “witch-hunt”.

Here’s more from The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell on the issue of the January 6 committee’s criminal referrals, which might be its most consequential piece of unfinished business:

The House January 6 select committee has created a subcommittee to examine the scope of potential criminal referrals it might make to the justice department over the Capitol attack as well as what materials to share with federal prosecutors, its chairman and other members said on Thursday.

The special subcommittee – led by Congressman Jamie Raskin, overseeing a four-person group that also involves Liz Cheney, Adam Schiff and Zoe Lofgren – has been chiefly focused on whether they have uncovered sufficient evidence that former US president Donald Trump violated civil and criminal statutes.

The subcommittee has also been tasked with resolving several other outstanding issues, the panel’s chairman Bennie Thompson said. They include what materials to share with the justice department before the end of December, and its response to Trump and Republican lawmakers who have not complied with subpoenas.

A reminder of some of the unfinished business awaiting the January 6 committee as the end of the year – and the end of its mandate – approach:

First, there’s the matter of Donald Trump. At what was likely its final public hearing last month, the lawmakers publicly voted to subpoena the former president’s testimony and documents. While Trump reportedly was open to the idea of appearing publicly before a panel he has no love for, he ultimately decided to challenge the subpoena in court. According to Politico, the panel could as soon as today file its response to his legal challenge.

As is typical for congressional select committees, the panel is expected to release a report detailing how the insurrection happened. It will probably be the most anticipated such document since the 9/11 Commission Report released in 2004.

The committee also has to decide whether to make criminal referrals to the justice department. Several members have hinted that Trump’s actions during the insurrection amounted to criminal acts, and referring him to the justice department would be a consequential step. They could also refer some of his former officials to face charges, while Politico reports that the members are also looking into whether Trump and his allies tampered with witnesses.

With Republican takeover only weeks away, January 6 committee looks to wrap up unfinished business

Good morning, US politics blog readers. It’s official: Republicans will take control of the House of Representatives when the new Congress starts on 3 January, which means the January 6 committee has only a few weeks left to finish up its investigation into the attack on the Capitol. The bipartisan panel is still interviewing witnesses with knowledge of Donald Trump’s actions and is expected to release a report before the year is finished. Meanwhile, Politico reports that they may as soon as today respond to the former president’s attempt to quash their subpoena compelling his testimony.

Here’s what else we can expect today:

  • Trump and Florida governor Ron DeSantis will both address the Republican Jewish Coalition National Leadership Meeting along with a host of other conservatives. However, since the former president is appearing virtually, it does not appear he’ll be in the same room as the Florida governor, who has lately emerged as his rival.

  • Joe Biden has returned to Washington from a long trip to Egypt and Asia, and will hold a public event with labor and business leaders at 1 pm eastern time.

  • Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell released a statement of congratulations to Nancy Pelosi late yesterday evening after she announced she’d leave Democratic leadership. Kevin McCarthy, the incoming House Republican leader, has yet to do so.

You May Also Like

Experts solve mystery of Royal Society’s baffling medieval manuscript – but can YOU crack the code? 

For centuries a medieval almanac has baffled historians with its confusing array…

IAN BIRRELL: UN experts say lab leak was the ‘most likely’ cause of Covid-19

The authors of two United Nations reports into the origins of the…

Trump says he is ‘more angry’ than ever as he tries to revive White House bid | Donald Trump

Donald Trump, the former US president, tried to get his spluttering White…

Inside the brutal world of slap fighting: Stars lift the lid on vicious sport taking US by storm

These are the men and women in the business of making viewers…

The week in theatre: Othello; The Unfriend; On the Ropes – review | Theatre

Frantic Assembly’s roughed-up, seized-by-the-scruff-of-its-neck version of Othello keeps shining new lights on…

Tom Verlaine dead at 73: Punk guitarist for band Television dies

Tom Verlaine dead at 73: Legendary punk guitarist for band Television dies,…

Watch as driver tells police ‘I hope I killed someone’ after causing fatal collision

A van driver was caught on camera telling police ‘I hope I…

Why Alan Sugar’s Apprentice contestants are £150,000 out of pocket… despite a £250,000 prize

Contestants on hit TV show The Apprentice are billed as Britain’s brightest…