Late this afternoon, the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol asked Fox News Channel personality Sean Hannity voluntarily to answer questions about his communications with former president Donald Trump and Trump’s White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in the days around the January 6 insurrection.
In their letter requesting the conversation, committee chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and vice chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) revealed evidence that Hannity was deeply involved with White House matters, acting not as a member of the press but as an advisor. In fairness, by his own account Hannity has always been a political operative. In August 2016, he told Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times, “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States.” After all, he said, “I never claimed to be a journalist.”
Treading carefully to reassure Americans that the members of the committee are not interested in undermining the independence of the press, the January 6th committee asked Hannity to comment on “a specific and narrow range of factual questions.” The committee made it clear that “our goal is not to seek information regarding any of your broadcasts, or your political views or commentary.” They reiterated their desire only to understand the facts at issue, and they appealed to Hannity’s love of country and respect for our Constitution to ask him to “step forward and serve the interests of your country.”
The committee’s letter specified that they had seen a number of Hannity’s texts, all of which were eye-popping and which revealed that Hannity was acting as an inside member of Trump’s team. On December 31, 2020, he texted Meadows: “We can’t lose the entire WH counsels office. I do NOT see January 6 happening the way he is being told. After the 6 th. [sic] He should announce will lead the nationwide effort to reform voting integrity. Go to Fl[orida] and watch Joe mess up daily. Stay engaged. When he speaks people will listen.”
On January 5, the night before the insurrection, Hannity “sent and received a stream of texts,” including the message: “Im very worried about the next 48 hours.” The committee noted that the counting of the certified ballots was scheduled for 1:00 on January 6, so why was Hannity worried about the next 48 hours?
Hannity appears to have talked with Trump on January 10 and was concerned with what he heard. He texted Meadows and Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH), saying, “Guys, we have a clear path to land the plane in 9 days. He can’t mention the election again. Ever. I did not have a good call with him today. And worse, I’m not sure what is left to do or say, and I don’t like not knowing if it’s truly understood. Ideas?”
The texts reveal that Hannity saw his role not as a news reader, but rather as a member of the White House team, protecting the president, and Hannity’s participation in the conversations means that none of them can be considered privileged.
Hannity is apparently being represented in this matter by Jay Sekulow, a lawyer on Trump’s legal team, rather than lawyers from the Fox News Channel. While Sekulow has indicated he will object to the committee’s invitation on First Amendment grounds, the fact that the Fox News Channel seems to be standing back suggests that the corporation does not see the committee’s invitation as a First Amendment case involving freedom of the press and in fact might well be concerned that one of its lead personalities is connected to an event that should have been reported to the FBI.
Blaming the “total bias and dishonesty” of the select committee, Trump today canceled his press conference planned for January 6.
Representative Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland) and member of the January 6th committee was on Rachel Maddow's show last night to highlight his "Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy".
It has been just one year since the worst thing that can ever happen to a parent happened to his family - the loss of a child. His beloved 25 year old son, Tommy, committed suicide on New Year's Eve. The funeral was January 5th. That alone was an unimaginable and tragic situation. On January 6th he, one of his daughters, and his son-in-law were in the Capitol building. His description of the moments when the building was breeched and they all were being moved was gut and heart wrenching on all levels.
Raskin was appointed lead House manager of the 2nd impeachment of trump on January 12th and he is a member of the January 6th investigative committee. This man's strength, fortitude, conviction, and physical/mental ability to get up every day to fight on a personal level and for this country is simply awe inspiring. I, as so many others are, am so grateful for who he is, what he stands for, and that which he has accomplished. IMO, Representative Jamie Raskin stands out as an American hero.
I want to know more about right wing religious extremist activist Ginni (Mrs. Justice Clarence) Thomas' role as a Trump advisor. From the beginning, she met regularly with Trump, to draw up an 'enemies list' of Executive Branch officials serving in positions she wanted filled by like minded Trump loyalists. And at the end she was on social media promoting the Jan 6 rally. In between, the Thomases dined at the White House. The phrase 'Thick as Thieves' comes to mind.