Money and texts fuel new wave of Jan. 6 accountability: The Note

It’s becoming clear how much is already known.

December 15, 2021, 6:00 AM

The TAKE with Rick Klein

The judicial process is well underway for more than 700 people who participated in the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol -- including more than 100 who have already entered guilty pleas on federal charges.

But a few new developments suggest that the multiple and sometimes overlapping investigations are nowhere close to finished when it comes to who might be implicated.

The lawsuit brought by the D.C. attorney general against the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers marks an attempt to penetrate the shady financing of groups involved in the events of Jan. 6. That financing, the suit alleges, helped bring together a conspiracy that involved the organizations in addition to "their leadership, and certain of their members and affiliates."

And for all that's being made of the cooperation that former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows isn't providing to the Jan. 6 committee, with the House voting to hold him in criminal contempt Tuesday night, what Meadows has already handed over could prove to be more than enough.

PHOTO: Vice Chair Liz Cheney of the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, Dec. 14, 2021.
Vice Chair Liz Cheney of the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, listens as Chairman Bennie Thompson makes his case before the House Rules Committee seeking contempt of Congress charges against former President Donald Trump's White House chief of staff Mark Meadows at the Capitol, Dec. 14, 2021.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

When it comes to individuals who were in touch with Meadows in real time, the committee has already begun to name names. And Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., quoted but didn't name Republican members of Congress who were texting Meadows things including, "The president needs to stop this ASAP," and "Fix this now."

The quoted members presumably know who they are, and the public will learn that at some point, too. Beyond that, the lawyer for one of the lead organizers behind the Jan. 6 rally said Tuesday that, with his client cooperating with the committee, lawmakers and "very senior" people in former President Donald Trump's orbit "have good reason to be quivering in their boots."

Between prosecutions, lawsuits, committee-acquired data and the cooperation of more than 300 witnesses, it's becoming clear how much is already known and how much is still to be revealed.

The RUNDOWN with Averi Harper

The U.S. marked twin milestones Tuesday: 800,000 COVID deaths and one year since vaccinations began outside of clinical trials.

With a surge in cases and spread of the omicron variant, the only thing that is certain about the pandemic is continued uncertainty.

PHOTO: Lawmakers participate in a moment of silence for the 800,000 American lives lost to COVID-19 on Dec. 14, 2021, in Washington.
Lawmakers participate in a moment of silence for the 800,000 American lives lost to COVID-19 on Dec. 14, 2021, in Washington.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

It remains a challenge to the White House's economic agenda. While 2020-style shutdowns aren't a part of President Joe Biden's plan to combat the surge, the threat of the pandemic to normalcy remains. Cornell University has canceled in-person activities and moved exams online, citing hundreds positive cases including a "significant number" from the omicron variant.

Biden administration officials are still pushing vaccination and testing as the main methods of addressing the pandemic.

"Everybody talks about freedom and not to have a shot or have a test. Well, guess what? How about patriotism? How about making sure that you're vaccinated so you do not spread the disease to anybody else? What about that? What's the big deal?" Biden told a local television station in Dayton, Ohio.

The TIP with Alisa Wiersema

As workers across the country continue to advocate for labor reform, progressive Democrats appear to be increasingly using the issue as a battle cry for the 2022 midterm elections. In particular, Kellogg's recent plans to hire permanent workers to replace striking workers who declined a proposed contract last week is putting a renewed spotlight on two of the nation's top political battlegrounds -- Michigan and Pennsylvania.

A recent email to supporters from a Bernie Sanders-aligned PAC called Kellogg's a "New Poster Child for Corporate Greed." Sanders is slated to attend a rally with striking Kellogg's workers in Battle Creek, Michigan, on Friday. Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, Democratic Senate candidate Lt. Gov. John Fetterman fundraised for Kellogg's workers in Lancaster County, saying "the Union Way of Life is sacred to me."

PHOTO: Demonstrators hold signs during a union workers strike outside the Kellogg plant in Battle Creek, Mich., Oct. 22, 2021.
Demonstrators hold signs during a union workers strike outside the Kellogg plant in Battle Creek, Mich., Oct. 22, 2021.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Both counties are places where former President Donald Trump handily beat Biden in 2020, despite Biden having won each state overall. The political dissonance heightens the importance of how labor battles translate on the campaign trail.

Last week, Biden expressed concern about Kellogg's decision to hire replacement workers. In March, the House approved a bill that aimed to outlaw the replacement of striking workers -- among other labor protections -- but the legislation has not yet been passed in the Senate.

THE PLAYLIST

ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast. Wednesday morning's Start Here features ABC's Jonathan Karl breaking down the new Jan. 6 evidence. Plus ABC's Steve Osunsami explains how one man's brain damage from playing football may have led to the death of six people. And ABC's Katie Kindelan speaks with children whose families have been devastated by the pandemic. http://apple.co/2HPocUL

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

  • President Joe Biden visits Kentucky to see the extent of the tornado damage. At 12:25 p.m., he receives a briefing on the situation from Mayfield leaders, before heading out for a ground-level tour of a damaged neighborhood. Then, he continues on to Dawson Springs. At 3:30 p.m., he tours the damage in Dawson Springs and delivers remarks at 4:00. He later heads back to Washington, D.C.
  • The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation holds a hearing examining the airline industry at 2:30 p.m.
  • The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights holds a hearing to examine the impact of consolidation and monopoly power on American innovation at 2:30 p.m.
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