Jan. 6 panel wants testimony from GOP lawmakers Brooks, Biggs, Jackson
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol is seeking voluntary testimony from three additional members of Congress who appeared to have some coordination with rioters and efforts to block President Biden’s electoral victory both before and after the attack.
The letter to Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) notes that former President Trump asked him to help keep him in office even after Jan. 6.
A letter to Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) references his involvement in discussions to secure presidential pardons in connection with efforts to unwind the 2020 election. It also focuses on his involvement in planning for Jan. 6, both in meetings at the White House and with “Stop the Steal” organizers, and his coordination with state legislators.
And a letter to Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), Trump’s former White House doctor, points to exchanges between members of the far-right Oath Keepers militia group citing the need to protect the lawmaker.
“The Select Committee has learned that several of our colleagues have information relevant to our investigation into the facts, circumstances, and causes of January 6th. As we work to provide answers to the American people about that day, we consider it a patriotic duty for all witnesses to cooperate,” Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said in a joint statement.
“We urge our colleagues to join the hundreds of individuals who have shared information with the Select Committee to get to the bottom of what happened on Jan. 6.”
Brooks immediately responded to request for comment.
The committee has already asked three other Republican lawmakers to appear before the panel — Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and Reps. Jim Jordan (Ohio) and Scott Perry (Pa.) — but all have rebuffed the committee.
The interest in Biggs follows a series of reporting that has identified him as being involved at nearly every level in efforts to keep Trump in office. Ali Alexander, a Stop the Steal organizer who has already spoken with the panel, identified Biggs as well as Brooks and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) as being among those who “schemed up [the idea] of putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting.”
But the letter points to new testimony in seeking out the Arizona lawmaker.
“Recent information from former White House personnel has identified an effort by certain House Republicans after Jan. 6 to seek a presidential pardon for activities taken in connection with President Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Your name was identified as a potential participant in that effort,” the committee wrote in its letter to Biggs.
“We would like to understand all the details of the request for a pardon, more specific reasons why a pardon was sought, and the scope of the proposed pardon.”
Texts former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows provided to the committee as well as the testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, a former special assistant to the president and Meadows, also broke down involvement from Biggs at a number of meetings to discuss Trump campaign efforts, including legal theories like blocking the certification of votes.
Biggs also texted Meadows about the idea of having states send alternate electors.
While the committee doesn’t specify its line of questioning for Biggs, it notably points to a recent court decision in which a judge determined such methods were likely illegal and ordered the Trump campaign attorney who drafted the strategy to release his communications to the committee.
In a statement Monday, Biggs said he would not cooperate with the committee’s request.
“I will not be participating in the illegitimate and Democrat-sympathizing House Jan. 6 committee panel. The committee has been a sham since its origins. Its entire purpose is to destroy President Trump and his supporters, intimidate members of Congress, and distract Americans from real issues that are destroying this country,” Biggs tweeted, later comparing the committee to the Salem Witch Trials.
“How the media received this letter and had their stories written before it was shared with me is concerning and reveals foul play.”
Meanwhile, the scrutiny of Jackson comes after a court filing in a case against a member of the Oath Keepers, which highlighted evidence showing members of the militia group were texting as the riot was unfolding, with one member alarmed that Jackson needed protection.
One of those messages said that Jackson had “critical data to protect.”
“It is evident from the exchange above that the individuals believed the violence in the Capitol would threaten the lives and safety of Members of Congress. And the exchanges above raise several specific questions for you: Why would these individuals have an interest in your specific location? Why would they believe you ‘have critical data to protect?’ Why would they direct their members to protect your personal safety? With whom did you speak by cell phone that day?” the committee asks.
Several members of the Oath Keepers have since been charged with seditious conspiracy in connection with the attack. Other information in the filing went into further detail about the extent they also sought roles as personal protection staff for various speakers at the rally that preceded it.
The committee notes that Jackson attended the rally near the White House before the march to the Capitol.
“We would like to discuss how and when you returned from the Ellipse to the Capitol, and the contacts you had with participants in the rally or the subsequent march from the Ellipse to the Capitol,” the panel wrote.
Jackson said Monday he would not cooperate with the panel.
“Yet again, the illegitimate January 6 Committee proves its agenda is malicious and not substantive. It speaks volumes that the Committee would choose to share its letter with the media before it was shared with me. I do not know, nor did I have contact with, those who exchanged text messages about me on January 6. In fact, I was proud to help defend the House Floor from those who posed a threat to my colleagues,” Jackson said in a statement calling the committee “a political tool against conservatives they do not like.”
“For these reasons, I will not participate in the illegitimate Committee’s ruthless crusade against President Trump and his allies.”
Brooks, in conversations with reporters, has not ruled out speaking with the panel after losing an endorsement from Trump in his Alabama Senate race.
The revelation from Brooks that Trump continued to pressure lawmakers to block Biden from taking office even after the events of Jan. 6 came in March, shortly after the dis-endorsement.
“President Trump asked me to rescind the 2020 elections, immediately remove Joe Biden from the White House, immediately put President Trump back in the White House, and hold a new special election for the presidency. As a lawyer, I’ve repeatedly advised President Trump that January 6 was the final election contest verdict and neither the U.S. Constitution nor the U.S. Code permit what President Trump asks. Period,” Brooks said in a statement.
The committee’s letter focuses narrowly on that exchange.
“The exchange you have disclosed with the former President is directly relevant to the subject of our inquiry, and it appears to provide additional evidence of President Trump’s intent to restore himself to power through unlawful means,” they wrote.
Updated: 6:03 p.m.
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