(The Hill) – Former President Trump tried to call a witness expected to appear at a future hearing for the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said Tuesday, raising further questions about potential witness tampering.
“After our last hearing, President Trump tried to call a witness in our investigation. A witness you have not yet seen in these hearings,” Cheney said at the conclusion of Tuesday’s hearing. “That person declined to answer or respond to President Trump’s call, and instead alerted their lawyer to the call. Their lawyer alerted us, and this committee has supplied that information to the Department of Justice.”
“We will take any effort to influence witness testimony very seriously,” Cheney added.
At a hearing late last month with former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, Cheney displayed a text message sent to one undisclosed witness that read: “[A person] let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. 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 also showed a statement at the previous hearing from a witness in which the person recalled being told that as long as they remained loyal to Trump and his team, “I’ll continue to stay in good graces in Trump World. 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.”
One of the witnesses involved in the previous messages is reportedly Hutchinson.
But Cheney’s comments on Tuesday are the first public confirmation that Trump had personally reached out to those who are communicating with the committee.
The committee has kept the identity of witnesses at future hearings under wraps, partly due to increased security concerns.