The Jan 6. House panel is currently seeking cooperation from Fox News Host Sean Hannity, one of Trump’s closest allies. The Chair of the Committee, Congressman Bennie Thompson and Vice-Chair Liz Cheney, has requested Hannity
to answer questions regarding his and Trump’s communications and also with former President’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, during the days leading upto to the riot and even after the riot. There were dozens of messages which indicated that Hannity had prior knowledge of what Trump was planning for January 6th. The House panel is specifically focusing on the communications between December 31st, 2020 upto January 20st, 2021.
A letter to Hannity from both the Chair and Vice-Chair said, “The Select Committee now has information in its possession, as outlined in part below, indicating that you had advance knowledge regarding President Trump’s and his legal team’s planning for January 6th. It also appears that you were expressing concerns and providing advice to the President and certain White House staff regarding that planning. You also had relevant communications while the riot was underway, and in the days thereafter. These communications make you a fact witness in our investigation.”
It was revealed last month that some of the Fox News hosts, including Hannity, had messaged Meadows during the riot. Hannity texted the following to Meadows, “Can he make a statement? Ask people to leave the Capitol?” The text messages also indicate Hannity trying to push back the plan of urging Congress to challenge the certification and also insisting Trump to give up his position. How do we know that he had prior knowledge? It’s because on January 5th, Hannity wrote to Meadows that he was “very worried for the next 48 hours’. And also, on December 31st, Hannity wrote to Meadows, “We can’t lose the entire WH counsel’s office. I do not see January 6 happening the way he is being told. After the 6th. [sic] He should announce will lead the nationwide effort to reform voting integrity. Go to Fl and watch Joe mess up daily. Stay engaged. When he speaks people will listen.” He also referred to the former vice president Mike Pence in another text message to Meadows, which said, “Pence pressure. WH counsel will leave.”
In the letter, the panel also asked, “With the counting of the electoral votes scheduled for January 6th at 1 p.m, why were you concerned about the next 48 hours?”
The House also referred to another text message from Hannity sent to Meadows and Republican Jim Jordan, which said, “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?”
Not only Hannity, but Brian Kilmeade from Fox News texted Meadows saying, “Please get him on TV. Destroying everything you have accomplished.” There was also a text message from Laura Ingraham to Meadows saying, “Mark, the President needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy.”
This is the first request from the House panel to a member of the media. Till now, the panel has collected 35,000 pages of records, which includes texts, emails and personal records of people close to Trump. They have already interviewed more than 300 people and issued 40 subpoenas to have a more comprehensive understanding of how and what led to the attack. Thompson said, despite the blunt defiance from Meadows and Steve Bannon to cooperate, 90% of the witnesses called by the panel cooperated accordingly. Fox News spokesperson has declined to comment and Hannity’s lawyer Jay Sekulow, told the Associated Press on Tuesday night that they “will respond as appropriate.”