Jan. 6 panel requests interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity | WGN 720 radio

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The TheHouse panel investigating the Jan.6 U.S. Capitol uprising on Tuesday requested an interview with Fox News personality Sean Hannity, one of former President Donald Trump’s closest allies in the media, while the committee continues to broaden its scope.

In a letter to Hannity, Mississippi Representative Bennie Thompson, Democratic panel chairman, said the panel wanted to question him about his communications with former President Donald Trump, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and others in Trump’s orbit at the time. surrounding the insurgency.

A Fox News spokesperson declined to comment on the request. Jay Sekulow, Hannity’s attorney, told The Associated Press on Tuesday night that they were reviewing the committee’s letter and “would respond as appropriate.”

In his letter, Thompson said, “The select committee has immense respect for the First Amendment to our Constitution, freedom of the press, and the right of Americans to freely express their political views. For this reason, we do not intend to ask you for information regarding your radio or television broadcasts, your public reporting or comments, or your political opinions regarding a candidate for office.

However, the president said, the committee also has a responsibility to investigate the dozens of text messages it has in its possession, from Dec.31, 2020 to Jan.20, 2021, between Hannity, Trump and Meadows regarding the outcome of The 2020 presidential election and Trump’s unsuccessful efforts to challenge it.

A specific December 2020 text from Hannity to Meadows highlighted in the letter reads: “I do NOT see January 6 unfolding as it is told. After the 6th. (sic) He is expected to announce that he will lead the national effort to reform voting integrity. Go to Fl and watch Joe mess up every day. Stay engaged. When he speaks, people will listen.

The letter to Hannity also highlights texts from the day before the uprising, including one in which Hannity says he is “very worried for the next 48 hours” and another to Meadows in which he writes: “Pence pressure. WH attorney will be leaving. The letter says other text messages emerge that Hannity may have spoken directly with Trump on Jan. 5 regarding planning for the next day.

Hannity had already criticized the violence that took place on January 6. But he also sharply criticized the committee and its work, telling the air on December 13 after its texts were revealed: “We told you this is a waste of time and money. They have a predetermined result. .

He also complained about committee member Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., Advertising his lyrics. “Do we believe in privacy in this country? Apparently not.”

The request is the first of the nine-member panel to be a member of the media and opens a new door to the investigation as it expands its scope to all those who have been in contact with the former president and his relatives in the era surrounding the attack.

The committee says the extraordinary treasure trove of documents it has collected – 35,000 pages of documents to date, including texts, emails and phone records from people close to Trump – flesh out critical details of the worst attack against the Capitol in two centuries, which played broadcast live on television.

As the House prepares to commemorate the first anniversary of the attack on Thursday, the panel, which began its work last summer, has already interviewed around 300 people and issued subpoenas to more than 40 as it seeks to create a complete record of the Jan 6 attack and the events leading up to it.

Thompson said about 90% of the witnesses called by the committee cooperated despite the challenge from prominent Trump allies like Meadows and Steve Bannon. Lawmakers said they were successful in collecting information from other sources in part because they shared a unity of purpose rarely seen in a congressional investigation.

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AP Media writer David Bauder in New York and Mary Clare Jalonick in Washington contributed to this report.


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