WASHINGTON — Rep. Liz Cheney, vice chair of the Jan. 6 committee, said the panel could subpoena Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, for testimony.
“The committee is engaged with her counsel, we certainly hope that she will agree to come in voluntarily, but the committee is fully prepared to contemplate a subpoena,” Cheney, R-Wyo., told Jake Tapper of CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “If she does not, I hope it doesn’t get to that. I hope she will come in voluntarily.”
Ginni Thomas, a conservative activist, allegedly corresponded with former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and John Eastman, former President Donald Trump’s attorney, about manipulating the results of the 2020 presidential election. She also attended Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally on the morning of Jan. 6, 2021.
Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., the committee’s chair, said in June that Thomas would be pursued for testimony.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., also a member of the committee, backed up Cheney’s statements on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
“If she has relevant information or investigation, we hope she comes in voluntarily, but if she doesn’t then we should give that serious consideration,” Schiff said of Thomas. “And, yes, I think those that we decide have important enough information should be subpoenaed.”
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Cheney told Tapper the committee also has a number of upcoming interviews scheduled and that many potential witnesses were encouraged by the testimony of former Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson.
“We anticipate talking to additional members of the (former) president’s Cabinet. We anticipate talking to additional members of his campaign. Certainly we are very focused as well on the Secret Service and on … collecting additional information from them,” she said.
The Secret Service recently came under scrutiny after the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general launched an investigation into the agency over text messages deleted from Jan. 5-6, 2021.
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Committee member Elaine Luria, D-Va., said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that the panel has received new information from the agency.
“So, I think that’s something we’re still working through – taking in this new information, putting it on top of, laying it on top of what we’ve already presented,” Luria said. “So, I think there’ll be some information that covers the whole span, but probably more in-depth and more conclusive about maybe some things we didn’t know as much about. I mean, there’s still so much out there that we don’t fully understand yet.”
What is status of DOJ investigation?
Cheney said the committee has not decided whether to make criminal referrals to the Justice Department, but Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., the only other Republican member on the committee, told Jonathan Karl on ABC News’ “This Week” that there seems to be significantly more movement in the DOJ since the committee began presenting its evidence in June.
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“I of course have to wonder what they were doing the last year and a half,” he said. “But I’m not going to complain. You never want to get into a position as a country — what you see in failed democracies — where every last administration is prosecuted.”
Kinzinger went on to mark the difference between prosecuting the last administration for political vengeance and not prosecuting an administration “that literally attempted a failed coup.”
“If there is evidence that this happened from a judicial perspective, if there’s the ability to move forward on prosecuting and you don’t, you have basically set the floor for future behavior of any president, and I don’t think a democracy can survive that,” he said.
“So, I certainly hope they’re moving forward. I certainly think there’s evidence of crimes. And I think it goes all the way up to Donald Trump,” Kinzinger added.
Luria said Attorney General Merrick Garland has plenty of evidence to move forward with a criminal investigation into the players of the insurrection against the Capitol.
“I sure as hell hope they have a criminal investigation at this point into Donald Trump,” she said. “I have no direct knowledge of the status of their investigations, but what I’d say is I can tell the Department of Justice is watching our hearings closely.”
Reach out to Chelsey Cox on Twitter at @therealco.