Panel sends a letter requesting Hannity to voluntarily answer questions about communication with Trump and others in days surrounding the January 6, 2021 attack.
The U.S. House of Representatives panel investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol has asked Fox News host Sean Hannity to provide information about his text messages to former President Donald Trump, his assistants and attorneys.
The investigators sent on Tuesday a letter requested that Hannity voluntarily answer questions on matters including his communication with Trump, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and others in the days surrounding the attack, in which thousands of Trump supporters stormed the seat of American democracy in Washington, DC in an attempt to legislate avoids the certification of President Joe Biden’s election victory.
“I’m very worried about the next 48 hours,” Hannity wrote in one of those text messages on the eve of the attack, according to lawmakers’ letter to Hannity. In another text to Meadows, Hannity wrote: “Pence pressure. WH lawyer will leave.”
“Why were you worried about the next 48 hours?” Representative Bennie Thompson, the committee’s chairman, and Liz Cheney, its vice-chairman, asked Hannity. The letter added that Hannity’s communication suggested that he was “aware of concerns raised by President Trump’s White House law firm about the legality of the former president’s plans for January 6”.
The committee is seeking information from Sean Hannity.
Chair @BennieGThompson and Vice-Chairman @RepLizCheney requested that Hannity answer questions on matters including communication between Hannity and former President Mark Meadows and others in the days surrounding January 6th. pic.twitter.com/wXtOGSsneg
– January 6 Committee (@ January6thCmte) 4 January 2022
Lawmakers said they had dozens of text messages between Hannity, Meadows and others “related to the 2020 election and President Trump’s efforts to challenge the outcome of the vote.”
“At this time, we are specifically focused on a series of your communications with President Trump, White House staff and President Trump’s legal team between December 31, 2020 and January 20, 2021,” Cheney and Thompson wrote to Hannity.
Hannity’s journalism not inquired
Legislators said Hannity’s communication was not subject to any form of privilege and related to the issues being investigated by the committee.
In the letter, Thompson and Cheney said: “The Select Committee has great respect for the First Amendment to our Constitution, freedom of the press and the right of Americans to express their political opinions freely. For that reason, we do not intend to seek information from you regarding your radio or television broadcasts, your public reporting or commentary, or your political views on any candidate for office. ”
Jay Sekulow, Hannity’s lawyer, told The Associated Press news agency that they were reviewing the committee’s letter and “will respond as appropriate”.
Five people, including a Capitol police officer, were killed and dozens of people were injured during or in the aftermath of the incident.
More than 700 people have been arrested in connection with the multi-hour rating at the Capitol by Trump supporters who tried to overthrow his defeat in the presidential election, which the former president falsely claimed was the result of widespread fraud.
Hannity has previously criticized the violence that took place on January 6th. However, he was also sharply critical of the committee and his work and said on the air on December 13 after his texts were revealed: “We told you that this is a waste of your time and money. They have a predetermined outcome. ”
He also complained about committee member Cheney disclosing his texts. “Do we believe in privacy in this country? Apparently not. ”