January 6 panel: More people come forward with evidence against Trump

Other witnesses are providing new details about the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot following former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s devastating testimony last week against former President Donald Trump, a member says. of a House committee investigating the insurrection.

The panel has already subpoenaed former White House attorney Pat Cipollone, who investigators hope will appear for a deposition on Wednesday, and said it would also welcome Secret Service members’ follow-up details with Trump. That day.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., cited Hutchinson’s testimony that Trump wanted to join an angry mob that marched to the Capitol on Jan. 6 where they rioted as particularly valuable in “inspiring” more people to come forward as the committee prepares for at least two public hearings this month.

“Every day we get new people who come forward and say, ‘Hey, I didn’t think that part of the story that I knew was important,’ he said Sunday. information and stay tuned. ”

The committee has stepped up its year-long investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack and Trump’s efforts to nullify the 2020 election. Upcoming hearings will focus on showing how Trump unlawfully directed a violent mob toward the Capitol on Jan. 6. , then failed to take quick action to stop the attack once it started. Over the weekend, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., vice chair of the committee, made it clear that criminal referrals to the Justice Department, including against Trump, could follow.

The committee also reviewed new documentary film footage from Trump’s final months in office, including interviews with Trump and members of his family.

Kinzinger, in a television interview, declined to disclose the new information he was referring to and did not say who provided it. He said nothing had changed the committee’s confidence in his credibility.

“There is information that I cannot say yet,” he said. “We would certainly say that Cassidy Hutchinson testified under oath, we find her credible, and anyone who wants to disparage this, who was there firsthand, should also testify under oath and not through anonymous sources.”

In a separate interview, fellow committee member Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, said, “We are following up on additional leads. I think these leads will lead to new testimonies.”

During Hutchinson’s appearance before the committee, she portrayed Trump as an angry and defiant president who tried to let armed supporters avoid security checks at a January 6 morning rally to protest his election defeat of 2020 against Democrat Joe Biden.

According to Hutchinson, Cipollone feared Trump would face criminal charges if he joined his supporters in marching to the Capitol.

Legal experts said Cassidy’s testimony was potentially problematic for Trump as federal prosecutors investigate possible foul play.

Cheney said in an interview that aired Sunday that the committee was still considering whether to issue recommendations to the Justice Department, indicating “there could be more than one criminal referral.”

Committee members said they hoped Cipollone would come forward.

“He clearly has information about concerns about criminal violations, concerns about the president going to the Capitol that day, concerns about the chief of staff having blood on his hands if they don’t more to stop this violent attack on the Capitol,” Schiff said. “It’s hard to imagine anyone more at the center of things.”

In her testimony, Cassidy recounted a conversation with Tony Ornato, Trump’s deputy chief of staff for operations, who she testified said Trump later grabbed the wheel of the presidential SUV when the Secret Service refused to let him go to the Capitol after the rally.

This account has, however, been disputed. Bobby Engel, the Secret Service agent who drove Trump, and Ornato are prepared to testify under oath that no agent was assaulted and that Trump never rushed the wheel, a person familiar with the matter has said. . The person did not discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

“We had interviewed Mr. Ornato on several occasions,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-California, and a panel member. “His memory doesn’t seem as accurate as his. We would certainly welcome them back if they want to.”

The committee also worked on setting up an interview with Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. She was asked to speak to the committee after her communications with Trump’s team were leaked on the eve and day of the Capitol uprising.

Kinzinger appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Schiff was on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Cheney appeared on ABC’s “This Week,” and Lofgren spoke on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

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For full coverage of the January 6 hearings, visit https://www.apnews.com/capitol-siege

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