John Wood, a senior investigator for the Jan. 6 House select committee, plans to depart in order to pursue a seat on the U.S. Senate in Missouri as an independent. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo
June 22 (UPI) -- A senior investigator for the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the U.S. Capitol plans to leave the committee, according to reports Wednesday.
John Wood, a former federal prosecutor who worked closely with committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., began informing committee members of his plans to depart from the committee and explore a run for a seat on the U.S. Senate in Missouri, The Washington Post reported.
Wood confirmed his plans to depart at the end of the week to CNN, but did not provide further comment.
He ran the committee's "gold team," which examined former President Donald Trump's potential involvement in the insurrection and appeared along with House committee members on the panel that questioned witnesses during a hearing focusing on efforts to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.
The committee is scheduled to hold its fifth public hearing on Thursday and had said earlier this month that it plans to hold meetings through September.
Wood is being encouraged to run for Senate in Missouri as an independent after former Republican Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens released an ad for his own Senate campaign in which he said he was going "RINO hunting," a phrase meaning "Republicans in Name Only, consultant Steve Crim said.
A campaign committee launched a website and started fundraising on Monday, prompting a 10-day window to formally file with the Federal Election Commission, Crim said.
Wood's campaign must file 10,000 signatures by Aug. 1 to get on the ballot as an independent candidate.
Former Sen. John Danforth, R-Mo., who is raising money for a super PAC to back an independent candidate, said his group polled Missouri voters in February and found dissatisfaction with both parties.
"If John Wood enters the race, he will be head and shoulders better qualified to be a U.S. senator than anybody else," Danforth told The Washington Post.