Rep. Liz Cheney said Sunday that the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol was pursuing an interview with Virginia “Ginni” Thomas and was willing to subpoena her for testimony.
Cheney, a Republican from Wyoming who serves as the committee’s vice chair, told CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday that the panel is in discussions with attorneys for Thomas, a conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
“We certainly hope that she will agree to come in voluntarily, but the committee is fully prepared to contemplate a subpoena if she does not,” Cheney said. “I hope it doesn’t get to that. I hope she will come voluntarily.”
In March, Cheney and other members of the committee reportedly held internal discussions that supported the idea of interviewing Thomas about a series of 29 text messages in which she urged then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to continue efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
In the text messages obtained by the committee, she urged Meadows to employ lawyer Sidney Powell as “the lead and the face” of former President Donald Trump’s legal team also referenced a conversation with her “best friend” a nickname that she and her husband have been known to publicly call each other.
Thomas’ attorney Mark R. Paoletta wrote in a letter last month that while she was willing to appear before the committee “to clear her name,” he did not “understand the need” to speak with her for the panel’s investigation.
Cheney’s comments came after the Jan. 6 committee completed its last scheduled public hearing on Thursday, examining the 187 minutes between Trump’s speech on the Ellipse the day of the riots and his video that evening telling the rioters to “go home.”
Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said the members would reconvene in September to continue laying out its findings to the American people and Cheney on Wednesday said the committee has “far more evidence to share with the American people” and will spend August “pursuing emerging information on multiple fronts.”
On Sunday, Cheney said the committee had not yet decided whether it would make criminal referrals of Trump, but said she believed Trump violated his oath of office.
“That’s something we take very seriously. And I would also say that the Department of Justice certainly is very focused based on what we see publicly on what is the largest criminal investigation in American history,” she said. “But there’s no doubt in my mind that the president of the United States is unfit for further office.”
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