The Home panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol rebellion on Tuesday requested an interview with Fox Information persona Sean Hannity, one among former President Donald Trump’s closest allies within the media, because the committee continues to widen its scope.
In a letter to Hannity, Mississippi Consultant Bennie Thompson, Democratic chairman of the panel, stated the panel desires to query him relating to his communications with former President Donald Trump, former White Home chief of employees Mark Meadows and others in Trump’s orbit within the days surrounding the rebellion.
A Fox Information spokesperson declined to touch upon the request. Jay Sekulow, Hannity’s lawyer, instructed The Related Press Tuesday night time that they’re reviewing the committee’s letter and “will reply as acceptable.”
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 specific their political views freely. For that purpose, we don’t intend to hunt info from you relating to your broadcasts on radio or tv, your public reporting or commentary, or your political beliefs relating to any candidate for workplace.”
Nonetheless, the chairman stated, the committee additionally has a duty to analyze the handfuls of textual content messages it has in its possession, from Dec. 31, 2020, to Jan. 20, 2021, between Hannity, Trump and Meadows relating to the end 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 instructed. 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 every day. Keep engaged. When he speaks individuals will hear.”
The letter to Hannity additionally highlights texts from the night time earlier than the rebellion, together with one during which Hannity stated he was “very fearful in regards to the subsequent 48 hours” and one other to Meadows during which he wrote, “Pence stress. WH counsel will go away.” The letter says it seems from different textual content messages that Hannity might have spoken immediately with Trump on January 5 relating to planning for the next day.
Hannity had beforehand criticized the violence that passed off final January 6. However he is additionally been sharply essential of the committee and its work, saying on the air December 13 after his texts had been revealed, “We have been telling you that this can be a waste of your money and time. They’ve a predetermined consequence.”
He additionally complained about Republican committee member Liz Cheney publicizing his texts. “Can we consider 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 internal circle within the time surrounding the assault.
The committee says the extraordinary trove of fabric it has collected — 35,000 pages of data to date, together with texts, emails and cellphone data from individuals near Trump — is fleshing out essential particulars of the worst assault on the Capitol in two centuries, which performed out on stay tv.
Because the Home prepares to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the assault Thursday, the panel, which commenced its work final summer time, has already interviewed round 300 individuals and issued subpoenas to greater than 40 because it seeks to create a complete document of the January 6 assault and the occasions main as much as it.
Thompson stated about 90% of the witnesses referred to as by the committee have cooperated, regardless of the defiance of high-profile Trump allies like Meadows and Steve Bannon. Lawmakers stated they’ve been efficient at gathering info from different sources partly as a result of they share a unity of function hardly ever seen in a congressional investigation.