Saturday, December 9

Trump tried to contact member of White House staff about Jan. 6 testimony, source says

The person who former President Donald Trump allegedly tried to contact who was referenced by the House Jan. 6 committee is a member of the White House staff, a source close to the committee investigation told CBS News. 

The person did not take the call and then contacted their attorney, who contacted the House Jan. 6 committee, committee vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney said Tuesday.

The call came soon after Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Trump White House chief of staff, testified at the June 28 public hearing, the committee said. Hutchinson’s bombshell testimony included that Trump wanted to join the crowd going to the Capitol on Jan. 6 and that the former president threw his lunch against the wall in Dec. 2020 after then-Attorney General Bill Barr gave an interview to the Associated Press saying there was no widespread evidence of voter fraud.

The person Trump contacted was potentially prepared to corroborate parts of Hutchinson’s blockbuster testimony, the source said.

This is not the first time the Jan. 6 committee has alleged there has been potential witness tampering. At the June 28 public hearing, Cheney said some of the witnesses who have appeared before the committee have received messages from some inner members of Trump’s circle. She read some of the texts, including one that said “he wants me to let you know he’s thinking about you. He knows you’re loyal.”

Capitol Riot Investigation
Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., listens as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

“Most Americans know that attempting to influence witnesses to testify untruthfully presents very serious concerns,” Cheney said in closing, noting the committee will be discussing how to proceed.

Committee member Rep. Adam Schiff told CBS News on Thursday that they are “absolutely concerned” about the safety of some of the witnesses. 

“So we’re going to do everything we can to protect them,” Schiff said. “We’re going to refer to the Justice Department any information we have about anyone trying to influence or intimidate a witness.”

The Jan. 6 committee is planning on holding the last of this summer’s public hearings next week. The primetime hearing will focus on what Trump was doing during the height of the riot at the Capitol, Cheney said last week. 

The prior public hearings have shown never-before-seen footage from the Capitol on Jan. 6 and included testimony from a Capitol police officer, a documentary filmmaker who was with the Proud Boys and a former Trump supporter who pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct for his conduct that day. 

The public hearings have also focused on Trump’s behavior between Election Day 2020 and Jan. 6, 2021 – specifically, a scheme by Trump’s allies to put forward alternate electors in battleground states and Trump’s pressure campaigns on former Vice President Mike Pence, the Justice Department, state lawmakers and local elections officials. 

Source link