Politics

Jan. 6 panel wants answers from GOP’s Brooks, Biggs, Jackson

WASHINGTON – Three extra House Republicans won requests Monday to voluntarily seem sooner than the congressional committee investigating the U.S. Capitol revolt and solution questions on their involvement within the effort to overturn Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss.

The committee despatched letters to GOP Reps. Mo Brooks of Alabama, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Ronny Jackson of Texas — 3 contributors of the ultra-right House Freedom Caucus that experience lately aligned themselves with Trump. Jackson temporarily dominated out cooperating.

The nine-member panel is looking for the contributors of Congress to testify about their involvement in conferences on the White House, direct conversations with then-President Trump as he sought to problem his loss within the 2020 presidential election, and the making plans and coordination of rallies on and sooner than Jan. 6, 2021.

“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,” committee chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and vice-chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said in a 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 January 6th.“

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Since launching its investigation last summer, the Jan. 6 panel has been slowly gaining new details about what lawmakers said and did in the weeks before the insurrection. Members have already asked three GOP lawmakers — Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California — to testify voluntarily. All have refused.

So far, the Jan. 6 committee has refrained from issuing subpoenas to lawmakers, fearing the repercussions of such an extraordinary step. But in recent days, Thompson and other committee members have hinted that subpoenaing their colleagues may not be completely off the table.

The decision to ask for Brooks’ cooperation comes weeks after the Alabama Republican accused Trump of dropping an endorsement for him for a Senate seat after he rebuffed the former president’s entreaties to help overturn the 2020 election.

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Trump “wanted the election rescinded and a do-over,” Brooks informed journalists in March. “But there’s no legal way to do it.”

Brooks spoke on the rally that day sooner than Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, telling them, “Today is the day that American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.” He has since transform extra important of the previous president, and the committee believes his perception into Trump’s effort to contain contributors of Congress might be useful to their investigation.

The committee’s passion in Biggs is at the heels of an April 22 court docket submitting through which lawmakers accused him of being an energetic player in White House conferences after the 2020 election, the place he and different Republicans brainstormed techniques to stay Trump in energy. Biggs may be accused of encouraging protesters to come back to Washington on Jan. 6 in addition to persuading state legislators and officers that the election used to be stolen.

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The panel additionally mentioned it has “recent information from former White House personnel” that recognized an effort via positive House GOP lawmakers to hunt a presidential pardon for actions associated with Trump’s efforts to overturn the election. “Your name was identified as a potential participant in that effort,” the committee wrote to Biggs.

In an interview remaining week, Biggs didn’t deny his public efforts to problem the election effects however referred to as the new reviews about his deep involvement unfaithful. “I’ve seen my name. There were three articles today, and they were filled with untruths,” he informed The Associated Press.

The panel additionally desires to query Jackson about his efforts, at the side of different GOP lawmakers, to barricade the doorways of the House as rioters attempted to step forward.

“The Committee has video evidence of how close the rioters came to breaching the House Chamber at that point in time,” Thompson and Cheney wrote. “We wish to record your firsthand observations of that period, including the reactions and statements of other members of Congress to the violence at that moment.”

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Additionally, Jackson, a former White House doctor to 2 presidents, used to be discussed in texts, retrieved via the committee, between contributors of the Oath Keepers as they and the remainder of the violent mob descended at the Capitol development.

In one textual content, a member of the far-right military crew texted their chief, Stewart Rhodes, pronouncing Jackson required their coverage as a result of “he has critical data to protect.”

“The exchanges above raise several specific questions for you,” the committee wrote to Jackson. “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?”

In a observation Monday, Jackson mentioned, “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.”

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He added that he’s going to no longer cooperate with what he referred to as the committee’s “ruthless crusade against President Trump and his allies.”

Rhodes and 10 different contributors or mates tied to the gang have since been charged with seditious conspiracy within the Justice Department’s investigation of the assault.

During the Trump administration, Jackson had emerged as a vocal ally, but his nomination as Veterans Affairs secretary was withdrawn amid allegations that he created a hostile work environment and improperly distributed prescription drugs. Jackson strenuously denied those claims, and went on to run for Congress from Texas.

Requests for comment Monday from Biggs and Brooks were not immediately returned.

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This story has been corrected to show that Biggs is a lawmaker from Arizona, not Wisconsin.

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Associated Press author Lisa Mascaro contributed to this document.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This subject material will not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed with out permission.



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