Jan 6 committee to investigate Trump calls with allies at Willard hotel before Capitol riot

The House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol will probe former President Donald Trump’s phone calls to allies stationed there. Willard Hotel in Washington hours before the attack, Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., told Guardians.

Thompson told the outlet that the panel could not ask the National Archives for records of specific calls but plans to review White House phone records surrounding the time of the attack. public in an effort to investigate specific calls Trump made with many allies sought to block President Biden’s election victory certificate.

“If we say we want all the White House calls to be made on January 5 and 6, if he does it on the White House phone, then we would obviously look at it at the White House. there,” Thompson said.

Trump filed a lawsuit seeking to block the National Archives from turning over the records, but was denied denied by every court that heard his unequivocal argument that a former president could claim executive privilege. However, he appealed the case to the conservative Supreme Court.

“If we get the information we’re asking for, those calls are likely to be reflected to the Willard hotel and whoever it is,” Thompson said.

RELATED: The January 6 committee does not participate in the GOP . MPs

Guardians last month’s report that in the late hours of January 5, the then president made several calls to a group led by Trump’s attorneys Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman and Boris Ephsteyn, as well as former White House strategist Steve Bannon, to discuss how to delay the certification of Biden’s victory.

Trump complained that Vice President Mike Pence was reluctant to use his ceremonial role at a joint session of Congress called for certifying electoral votes to change or delay the final outcome. Trump also pressed allies over whether they could delay certification through a plan in which Republican-led legislatures would send alternative sets of electors to Congress, with the aim of Reversing Biden’s wins in key states or not, according to the report.

The commission issued subpoenas to Eastman and Bannon but both men refused to comply with the investigation. Eastman vowed to invoke the Fifth Amendment and sued the panel in an attempt to block the subpoena. The Justice Department charged Bannon with two counts of contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with the panel’s requests. The commission is expected to issue a subpoena against Giuliani soon, according to the Guardian.

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Trump separately called attorneys and non-attorneys on his team at Willard because Giuliani “didn’t want non-attorneys to engage in sensitive calls and jeopardize specificity requests.” attorney-client rights,” according to the report.

It is unclear whether Giuliani, who is leading Trump’s legal efforts, plans to claim attorney-client privilege in the investigation. Representative Jamie Raskin, D-Md., a member of the committee and a former constitutional law professor, told the Guardian that privilege does not give Giuliani immunity.

“Attorney-client privilege does not work to protect offenders from criminal investigation,” he said. “If it happens, then all you have to do to rob a bank is bring an attorney and ask for advice throughout the process.”

Trump and his allies have sought to suspend the investigation, although some have cooperated with the investigation. It is unclear whether the commission is capable of gleaning useful information from phone records alone. Although Trump made many calls from the White House before the Capitol riots, it is not clear where he was when he called his allies in Willard, or what phones he may have used. . For example, phone calls made from the White House residence are not automatically kept on file with the National Archives, the Guardian report notes. Even if the commission obtained records showing that the calls to Willard occurred within the relevant timeframe, investigators would still need testimony from people with knowledge of the calls to find out what. be told about them.

Calls came a day after Eastman held a meeting with Trump, Pence and Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short to detail his plan to get Pence to delay certifying the results. Pence rejected the plan, which infuriated Trump, according to the report.

Pence earlier this month declined to commit to cooperating with the commission’s investigation, but Short is complying with a subpoena from the panel, according to a statement. CNN. A source with knowledge of the situation told the newspaper that the committee is receiving “substantial cooperation from Team Pence.”

Read more about the January 6 investigation: Jan 6 committee to investigate Trump calls with allies at Willard hotel before Capitol riot

Huynh Nguyen

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