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Donald Trump suspected of witness tampering in Jan. 6 probe
So far, the congressional investigation into the Capitol insurrection of Jan. 6 has focused on whether former President Donald Trump and his allies tried to obstruct Congress from certifying votes. However, a new report suggests that the former president may also be suspected of tampering with witnesses.
A report by the Washington Post revealed that in a letter by the House Select Committee requesting House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to testify before the panel, the letter noted the change in McCarthy’s tone regarding Trump’s culpability in the insurrection.
McCarthy, on Jan. 6, condemned Trump for his response towards the insurrection and even called for a possible censure. However, months since the riots, McCarthy appeared to walk back his comments, shifting to a stance that was more favorable to the twice-impeached, former president.
The letter to McCarthy also suggested that this change in tone happened following the House Republican leader’s visit to Trump in Mar-a-Lago weeks after the insurrection before asking if his visit influenced his present comments.
“Your public statements regarding Jan. 6 have changed markedly since you met with Trump,” wrote the committee’s chair, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, in the letter to McCarthy. “At that meeting, or at any other time, did President Trump or his representatives discuss or suggest what you should say publicly during the impeachment trial (if called as a witness) or in any later investigation about your conversations with him on Jan. 6?”
Back in April, McCarthy denied that such a conversation with Trump took place. The House Republican Leader, however, noted that should there has been such a conversation with Trump, then it would mean witness tampering.
Rep. Liz Cheney, who is the committee’s vice-chair, also confirmed that McCarthy’s meeting with Trump in Mar-a-Lago raised concerns of possible witness tampering. The news outlet noted that McCarthy is not the only Republican to revise his views on Jan. 6 to be more favorable to the former president.
Despite the investigations being conducted against Trump, the former president appears to maintain a hold on the Republican Party and is the possible nominee for the 2024 races. A report by the New York Times revealed that the GOP sent a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates Thursday saying that it is working to make sure that if Trump does not want to do a presidential debate, he does not need to.