WASHINGTON: Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), a member of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack, said Tuesday that the messages shown by Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) at the end of the hearing on Tuesday constitute witness tampering.
Aguilar was responding to a question asked by CNN’s John Berman on “New Day” about the significance of the messages.
According to the California Democrat, the possibility of witness tampering is something that should be looked at by both the committee and “potentially” by the Department of Justice.
Aguilar added that the committee takes the safety and security of those individuals who have testified “incredibly seriously.”
He reiterated Cheney’s comments and added that “like the Vice Chair said, we asked witnesses routinely whether they have had outreach from other members of the former administration.”
Cheney on Tuesday displayed messages sent to an unidentified witness that said: “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.”
We commonly ask witnesses connected to Trump whether they have been contacted by anyone attempting to impact testimony.
Below are examples of answers we have received to this question. pic.twitter.com/pwxyJBf7Kl
— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) June 28, 2022
Aguilar also told Berman that “it wasn’t lost on anyone that former President Trump has behavior like we heard yesterday”, referencing witness Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony that Trump has an explosive temper.
Aguilar refused to comment on the the investigative steps taken by the Jan. 6 committee but added that he believes “that those statements speak for themselves.”
He also noted that the committee is aware of the messages and that it is “dangerous behavior.”
Aguilar refused to elaborate on whether there are other messages to Jan. 6 witnesses in addition to the ones that were shared by the committee on Tuesday.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) on Tuesday didn’t answer questions from reporters when asked if the committee has any more evidence of witness tampering.
He added that the evidence of witness tampering that the committee has released are the two instances that the vice chair cited anonymously, “for obvious reasons.”
“It’s a crime to tamper with witnesses, it’s a form of obstructing justice. The committee won’t tolerate it, and we haven’t had the chance to fully investigate it or fully discuss it, but it’s something on our agenda,” he said.