Allies of former President Donald Trump have tried to intimidate people with knowledge of what was going on inside the White House around the time of the Capitol attack, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) revealed Tuesday at the conclusion of a shocking congressional hearing.
Cheney, who serves as vice chair of the House committee investigating the attack, said the panel commonly asks its witnesses whether anyone has contacted them for the purpose of influencing their testimony.
At least two said yes. Cheney shared their experiences while shielding their identities.
“What they said to me is, ‘As long as I continue to be a team player, they know that I’m on the team, I’m doing the right thing, I’m protecting who I need to protect, you know, I’ll continue to stay in good graces in Trump World,’” she said one witness told the committee. “And they have reminded me a couple of times that Trump does read transcripts and just to keep that in mind as I proceeded through my depositions and interviews with the committee.”
Another witness received a veiled threat over the phone.
“[A person] let me know you have your deposition tomorrow,” the unknown caller told the witness, according to Cheney. “He wants me to let you know that he’s thinking about you. He knows you’re loyal, and you’re going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition.”
Cheney said the committee is still mulling how to respond to the apparent intimidation.
“I think most Americans know that attempting to influence witnesses to testify untruthfully presents very serious concerns,” she said at the hearing. “We’ll be discussing these issues as a committee, carefully considering our next steps.”
The panel has spoken to more than 1,000 people in the course of its investigation so far, mainly behind closed doors. Its members have been holding a series of public hearings in recent weeks to share what it has learned.
Tuesday’s session featured testimony from just one witness: Cassidy Hutchinson, who was a top aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows at the time. She had a front-row seat to much of the chaos before, during and after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack and delivered a number of bombshell revelations about Trump’s alleged actions that day, including how he tried to go to the Capitol himself ― going so far as to assault his Secret Service detail.
Hutchinson has “obtained security” amid concerns for her safety, according to CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins. The House committee did not immediately return HuffPost’s request for comment.
The committee chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), encouraged anyone who might have more information ― perhaps because they were inspired by Hutchinson’s courage ― to reach out.
“Our doors remain open,” Thompson said.