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Republicans say Jan 6 probe is redundant, but here's what we still don't know

First Read is your briefing from "Meet the Press" and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.
Increased Security Remains Around Capitol Hill In Washington, DC
A temporary security fence topped with razor wire surrounds the U.S. Capitol on February 17, 2021.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images file

WASHINGTON — Despite all of the previous congressional hearings, the reporting and the impeachment proceedings regarding the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, there’s always been a crucial missing piece from that day.

That missing part? An official accounting of Donald Trump’s actions on Jan. 6, especially once he returned to the White House after addressing his rallied supporters.

We know what the former president tweeted. (“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution. ... These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”)

We know what he told House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, at least according to colleague Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash. (“Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.”)

And we know what anonymous aides were telling news outlets about Trump’s behavior that day. (“A close Trump adviser has said that rather than appearing appalled by the unfolding violence, Trump was transfixed by the spectacle on television and was buoyed to see his supporters fighting for him,” the Washington Post reported.)

But we have no sworn testimony from top White House aides recounting Trump’s actions on that day. No sworn testimony from McCarthy. And no sworn testimony from the former president.

So for all of the talk and GOP criticism that a bipartisan commission looking into Jan. 6 is duplicative or redundant, we still don’t have an official accounting of what Trump did and how he acted on that day.

As Herrera Beutler said back in February: “To the patriots who were standing next to the former president as these conversations were happening, or even to the former vice president: If you have something to add here, now would be the time.”

Tweet of the day

Seems Like Old Times

As for where Republicans stand on creating a bipartisan commission to investigate what happened on Jan. 6 with the House voting on it today, McCarthy has said he opposes it, and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise has said he’ll whip against it.

What’s more, NBC’s Leigh Ann Caldwell reports that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has concerns “with the scope of the commission, the role of commission staff, the deadline imposed on the commission (which is Dec 31, 2021) and that it would interfere with the FBI investigation, the sources say.”

But Caldwell also reports that the Problem Solvers Caucus backs the commission, which means that up to more than two dozen House Republicans support it.

There are three groups of Republicans — the Trump true believers, the much smaller group of anti-Trump House Republicans and the squishy middle.

That squishy middle is the group to watch here regarding today’s House vote.

Data Download: The numbers you need to know today

1 in 4: The share of working women who are considering leaving the workforce altogether, according to a new Deloitte study

62: The number of House members, all Republicans, who voted against an anti-Asian hate crimes bill yesterday, which now heads to the president’s desk.

About 600,000: The number of children aged 12-15 who have received their first vaccine dose.

33,160,735: The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, per the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 27,548 more than yesterday morning.)

591,306: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far, per the most recent data from NBC News.

275,535,207: The number of vaccine doses administered in the U.S

34.6 percent: The share of Americans who are fully vaccinated.

ICYMI: What else is happening in the world

The New York attorney general's office is pursuing a criminal investigation into the Trump Organization, in addition to an ongoing civil probe.

Worries about the crisis in the Middle East overshadowed Biden’s trip to Michigan.

Biden is at odds with many Democrats in his party who want to see him take a tougher stance against Israel.

Mark McCloskey is running for Senate in Missouri.

The Arizona audit is continuing despite angry objections from Maricopa county officials.