Jan. 6 panel has no plans to call Trump
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol has no current plans to call former President Trump before the panel, Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) told reporters Tuesday.
“We’ve looked at talking to a lot of people. We’ve not canceled out anything, but there’s no feeling among the committee to call him as a witness at this point,” Thompson said of Trump.
“We’re not sure that the evidence that we received can be any more validated with his presence … I think the concern is whether or not he would add any more value with his testimony,” he said in response to whether Trump might lie to the committee.
Thompson’s comments come as the committee is gearing up for a spate of eight hearings held through the month of June, as it also continues with private interviews and depositions.
Last week, the panel subpoenaed five Republican lawmakers, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who had declined invitations to voluntarily appear before committee investigators.
While the move raises questions about how aggressively the committee might pursue interviews with other high-ranking Republicans, the chair said nothing has been finalized on the top tier of the executive branch, including former Vice President Mike Pence.
“We’ve been talking to his lawyers trying to engage them and that conversation is still going on,” he said.
That effort could also include calling additional lawmakers.
“As we prepare for our hearings, things come up. We address them as they come up. There’s no cut off for issuing subpoenas, there’s no cut off for talking to witnesses,” he added.
Thompson acknowledged that the committee does still have gaps in its knowledge of Trump’s activities that day, pointing the 187 minutes it took for Trump to call off his supporters during the attack.
“We’re still rapidly trying to fill it and with the information we get from our [National Archives] request, from interviews we’re having with various employees of the White House and what have you. So we’re doing our due diligence to fill it in,” he said.
Emily Brooks and Mychael Schnell contributed