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US Capitol Riot Panel Hints at Criminal References for Witness Tampering

Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 28, 2022.

Lawmakers investigating the Jan. 6 riots at the US Capitol last year are signaling they could send referrals to the Justice Department for prosecution for unlawful tampering with witnesses who testified before the panel.

Rep. Liz Cheney, vice chair of the House investigative panel, showed Tuesday two memo messages sent to hearing witnesses that said former President Donald Trump was closely monitoring the hearings and counted on continued loyalty. The senders of the notes were not identified.

The panel is investigating how the insurrection unfolded and Trump’s role in trying to reverse his 2020 re-election loss.

Cheney’s release of the notes came after two hours of explosive testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Mark Meadows, who was Trump’s last White House chief of staff.

Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 28, 2022.

Hutchinson described in detail how Trump became angry and volatile in the final weeks of his presidency as the reality of his loss to Democrat Joe Biden dawned on him and his own associates pushed back against his repeated claims that he had been duped into not going. re-elected.

cited unidentified sources Thursday as saying that Hutchinson was one of the witnesses who had been contacted by someone trying to influence his testimony.

In an interview on the show “Good Morning America” of ABC on Thursday, Cheney called the attempt to influence witnesses “very serious.” It really goes to the heart of our legal system. And it’s something that the committee will certainly review.”

He added: “It gives us a real sense of how the people around the former president are operating, to what extent they think they can affect witness testimony before the committee. And it’s something that we take very seriously, and it’s something that the people should be aware of. It’s a very serious issue, and I imagine the Justice Department would be very interested in it, and would take it very seriously as well.”

At Tuesday’s hearing, Cheney did not say which of the committee’s witnesses had been contacted, but he showed two text messages on a large television screen.

One said: “What they told me is as long as I’m still a team player, they know I’m on the team, I’m doing the right thing, I’m protecting who I need to protect, you know.” I will continue to stay in good graces at Trump World.”

“And I have been reminded a couple of times that Trump reads the transcripts and to keep that in mind as I proceed with my statements and interviews with the committee,” that witness continued.

Panel Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming, gives her opening remarks as the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol holds its first public hearing to reveal the findings of an investigation into a year, on Capitol Hill in Washington.  , Thursday, June 9, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Panel Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming, gives her opening remarks as the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol holds its first public hearing to reveal the findings of an investigation into a year, on Capitol Hill in Washington. , Thursday, June 9, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

In another example, a second witness said: “[Una persona] let me know you have your statement tomorrow. She wants me to let you know that she is thinking of you. He knows that you are loyal and that you are going to do the right thing when you go to testify.”

Representative Zoe Lofgren, another member of the investigative panel, told : “It is a concern, and anyone who is trying to deter or tamper with witnesses needs to know that that is a crime, and we are perfectly prepared to provide whatever evidence we have. to the proper authorities.”

A third committee member, Rep. Jamie Raskin, said after the hearing: “It is a crime to tamper with witnesses. It is a way of obstructing justice. The committee will not tolerate it. And we haven’t had a chance to fully investigate it or fully discuss it, but it’s something we want to look into.”

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Written by Editor TLN

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