Donald Trump “Called Committee Witness Jan. 6 After Last Hearing”

Jan. 6 committee vice chair Liz Cheney (right) said ex-President Donald Trump (left) summoned a witness who has not yet testified publicly

Jan. 6 committee vice chair Liz Cheney (right) said ex-President Donald Trump (left) called a witness who has not yet testified publicly (Images: AP/Rex).

Former President Donald Trump reportedly called a Jan. 6 committee witness after the panel’s last hearing, in a possible attempt at tampering.

Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice chair of the House inquiry into the Capitol riots, announced Tuesday afternoon that Trump has attempted to contact a witness who has not yet testified publicly.

“After our last hearing, President Trump attempted to call a witness to our investigation — a witness that you have not seen at these hearings,” Cheney said in her closing statement.

“This person declined to take or respond to President Trump’s call and instead brought the call to the attention of their attorney. Your lawyer alerted us. And that committee passed that information on to the Justice Department.’

Cheney then warned anyone who might try to disturb witnesses.

“Let me say again, we will take any effort to influence witness testimony very seriously,” she said.

The revelation came at the end of the committee’s seventh public hearing, which focused on the link between Trump and extremist groups, as rioters rallied to storm the Capitol to block Congress from confirming Joe Biden’s victory.

Jason Van Tatenhove, a former spokesman for the extremist group Oath Keepers, said it was “extremely fortunate that no more bloodshed happened”.

He added that he fears that if Trump runs for president in 2024, he will “try to use lies and deceit to start a civil war among his supporters.”

A former Trump supporter, Stephen Ayres, who has pleaded guilty in connection with the riot, testified that he stormed the Capitol over Trump’s December 2020 tweet that it was “going to be wild.”

He said he believes Trump’s false claims that his election was stolen, which made him “very upset” and felt “I needed to be down there.”

Ayers, who is not a member of extremist groups like the Oath Keepers or Proud Boys, said he has lost his job and had to sell his house since taking part in the riot.

“It definitely changed my life, not for the better,” Ayres said. ‘Definitely not for the better.’

In addition, the committee presented an unsent tweet intended for Trump’s account, which allegedly showed that the ex-president and his advisers planned to rally a crowd to the Capitol.

“The evidence confirms that this was not a spontaneous call to action, but rather a deliberate strategy decided in advance by the President,” said Rep. Stephanie Murphy.

Thursday’s hearing also included clips from former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone’s testimony, in which he agreed with other Trump officials that there was insufficient evidence of fraud in the election.

The committee’s eighth public hearing is scheduled to take place next week.

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Justin Scacco

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