Jan. 6 committee counsel leaving to explore run for Senate in Missouri

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Lead Investigating Counsel for the House Select Committee Investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Uprising Leaves the Committee to are considering running as an independent for the U.S. Senate seat in Missouri, according to four people familiar with his plans.

John Wood, a former federal prosecutor who worked closely with Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), began briefing committee staff this week on his plans to explore an election race, according to these people.

Wood led the committee’s ‘golden team’, which examined former President Donald Trump’s possible involvement in the U.S. Capitol siege, and appeared alongside lawmakers on the panel last week to interview witnesses at the hearing focused on the pressure campaign targeting the then vice president. Mike Pence. Those involved in the investigation say Wood is leaving his post with encouragement from his team and is on good terms with committee staff.

News of his departure comes after former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens released an ad for his US Senate campaign showing him claiming to stalk members of his own party.

“Today we’re going to hunt RINO,” Greitens announces in the video, using the derisive phrase “Republicans in name only.”

A campaign committee for Wood launched a website and began fundraising Monday, triggering a 10-day window to formally file with the Federal Election Commission, consultant Steven Crim said. The committee treasurer is Mark Eggert, former associate vice chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis.

The campaign decided to launch Monday because of Greitens’ “RINO hunt ad,” Crim said. He said he expected a formal decision from Wood on whether to run within a week.

The campaign must file 10,000 signatures by Aug. 1 for Wood to be on the ballot as an independent candidate, Crim said. Wood is reportedly backed by former Sen. John Danforth (R-Mo.), who is raising money for a super PAC to back an independent candidate.

Danforth said his group surveyed Missouri voters in February and found widespread dissatisfaction with bipartisanship and political polarization.

“If John Wood enters the race, he will be head and shoulders better qualified to be a United States senator than anyone else,” Danforth said in an interview. “What’s happened now is that politics is so, to a lot of people, so disgusting that people would love to go to the polls and vote ‘none of the above’. But that doesn’t matter. What matters , is to vote for this independent.

The campaign website presented Wood as a sixth-generation Missourian who served as a federal prosecutor and an official with the Department of Homeland Security. Wood was a legal aide to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and former appellate judge J. Michael Luttig, whom Wood took turns interviewing when he appeared as a witness at a court hearing. committee on January 6 this month.

The Republican primary for the Missouri Senate seat on August 2 features former state governor Eric Greitens, who resigned in 2018 amid allegations of abuse and blackmail in an affair with a former hairdresser. Other GOP candidates include Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Representatives Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long. Mark McCloskey, a St. Louis attorney who was charged and later pardoned for waving a gun at passing protesters in 2020, is also in the running. On the Democratic side, the leading candidates are beer heiress Trudy Busch Valentine and war veteran Lucas Kunce.

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