WASHINGTON (AP) — The Home panel investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol revolt on Tuesday requested an interview with Fox Information persona Sean Hannity, certainly one of former President Donald Trump’s closest allies within the media, because the committee continues to widen its scope.
In a letter to Hannity, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, Democratic chairman of the panel, stated the panel desires to query him concerning his communications with former President Donald Trump, former White Home chief of workers Mark Meadows and others in Trump’s orbit within the days surrounding the revolt.
A Fox Information spokesperson declined to touch upon the request. Jay Sekulow, Hannity’s lawyer, advised Axios, “If true, any such request would elevate severe constitutional points together with First Modification considerations concerning freedom of the press.”
Sekulow later advised The Related Press he had not seen Thompson’s letter.
WATCH: How Fox Information personalities amplified divisions, disinformation round Jan. 6
In his letter, Thompson stated: “The Choose Committee has immense respect for the First Modification to our Structure, freedom of the press, and the rights of People to precise their political views freely. For that motive, we don’t intend to hunt info from you concerning your broadcasts on radio or tv, your public reporting or commentary, or your political beliefs concerning any candidate for workplace.”
Nevertheless, the chairman stated, the committee has a duty to research the handfuls of textual content messages it has in its possession, from Dec. 31, 2020, to Jan. 20, 2021, between Hannity, Trump and Meadows concerning the result of the 2020 presidential election and Trump’s failed efforts to contest it.
One particular December 2020 textual content from Hannity to Meadows highlighted within the letter reads: “I do NOT see January 6 occurring the way in which he’s being advised. After the 6 th. (sic) He ought to announce will lead the nationwide effort to reform voting integrity. Go to Fl and watch Joe mess up day by day. Keep engaged. When he speaks individuals will hear.”
Hannity criticized the violence final Jan. 6. However he’s additionally sharply criticized the committee, saying on the air Dec. 13 after his textual content to Trump was revealed: “We’ve been telling you that this can be a waste of your money and time. They’ve a predetermined final result.”
He additionally complained about committee member Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., publicizing his textual content. “Can we imagine in privateness on this nation? Apparently not.”
The request is the primary by the nine-member panel to a member of the media and opens a brand new door for the investigation because it widens its scope to any and all individuals who had been in touch with the previous president and his inside circle within the time surrounding the assault.
AP Media Author David Bauder in New York contributed to this report.