Even if the prosecutors wanted to give a panoramic view of January 6, they wouldn’t have a great chance, said Rozenshtein. Many, if not most, of the Capitol accused are likely to plead guilty in the coming weeks and avoid a trial in which their stories are fully told.
“With so many plea agreements,” said Rozenshtein, “there will never be a full investigation into the facts and problems with witnesses and evidence.”
Congress is investigating, but only narrowly
When Republican senators say Congress is already in college on Jan. 6, they usually have one particular investigation in mind: a joint investigation by the Senate Homeland Security and Rules Committees.
This investigation is no small undertaking. It is non-partisan – a rarity in Congress today – and together the two committees are responsible for examining the Capitol Police, the Department of Defense, and the government’s broad response to the violence. They plan to release a humble report on their findings and recommendations for securing Congress in early June.
However, the scope of their work focuses heavily on security and policing issues rather than what fueled the mob in the first place, what role Mr Trump may have played, and how the government coordinated their actions. Congressional investigators also only took about four months, which means they will necessarily leave valuable information behind, and about a dozen people involved in the investigation are also responsible for maintaining the committees’ regular work.
“There’s still a lot to be done, and the more people get involved, the better,” said Michigan Democrat Senator Gary Peters and a committee chair who led the investigation. “You will have more time, more human resources and a commitment to take a really deep dive.”
Throughout the Capitol, House committees have taken a more dispersive approach, looking at domestic terrorism, Capitol police, and intelligence failures separately. Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi has signaled that she could authorize a broader investigation, including the formation of a select committee, in the event of calls for the independent commission to collapse.