NATIONAL NEWS

Jan. 6 panel wants answers from GOP’s Brooks, Biggs, Jackson

May 2, 2022, 11:20 AM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 11:02 am
FILE: Pro-Trump supporters storm the US Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on Ja...
FILE: Pro-Trump supporters storm the US Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
(Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Three more House Republicans received requests Monday to voluntarily appear before the congressional committee investigating the U.S. Capitol insurrection and answer questions about their involvement in the effort to overturn Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss.

The committee sent letters to GOP Reps. Mo Brooks of Alabama, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Ronny Jackson of Texas — three members of the ultra-right House Freedom Caucus that have in recent years aligned themselves with Trump.

The nine-member panel is asking for the members of Congress to testify about their involvement in meetings at the White House, direct conversations with then-President Trump as he sought to challenge his loss in the 2020 presidential election, and the planning and coordination of rallies on and before Jan. 6, 2021.

“The Select Committee has learned that several of our colleagues have information relevant to our investigation into the facts, circumstances, and causes of January 6th,” committee chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and vice-chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said in a statement. “We urge our colleagues to join the hundreds of individuals who have shared information with the Select Committee to get to the bottom of what happened on January 6th.“

Since launching its investigation last summer, the Jan. 6 panel has been slowly gaining new details about what lawmakers said and did in the weeks before the insurrection. Members have already asked three GOP lawmakers — Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California — to testify voluntarily. All have refused.

So far, the Jan. 6 committee has refrained from issuing subpoenas to lawmakers, fearing the repercussions of such an extraordinary step. But in recent days, Thompson and other committee members have hinted that subpoenaing their colleagues may not be completely off the table.

The decision to ask for Brooks’ cooperation comes weeks after the Alabama Republican accused Trump of dropping an endorsement for him for a Senate seat after he rebuffed the former president’s entreaties to help overturn the 2020 election.

Trump “wanted the election rescinded and a do-over,” Brooks told reporters in March. “But there’s no legal way to do it.”

Brooks spoke at the rally that day before Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, telling them, “Today is the day that American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.” He has since become more critical of the former president, and the committee believes his insight into Trump’s effort to involve members of Congress will be helpful to their investigation.

The committee’s interest in Biggs is on the heels of an April 22 court filing in which lawmakers accused him of being an active participant in White House meetings after the 2020 election, where he and other Republicans brainstormed ways to keep Trump in power. Biggs is also accused of encouraging protesters to come to Washington on Jan. 6 as well as persuading state legislators and officials that the election was stolen.

The panel also said it has “recent information from former White House personnel” that identified an effort by certain House GOP lawmakers to seek a presidential pardon for activities related to Trump’s efforts to overturn the election. “Your name was identified as a potential participant in that effort,” the committee wrote to Biggs.

In an interview last week, Biggs didn’t deny his public efforts to challenge the election results but called the recent reports about his deep involvement untrue. “I’ve seen my name. There were three articles today, and they were filled with untruths,” he told The Associated Press.

The panel also wants to question Jackson about his efforts, along with other GOP lawmakers, to barricade the doors of the House as rioters tried to breakthrough.

“The Committee has video evidence of how close the rioters came to breaching the House Chamber at that point in time,” Thompson and Cheney wrote. “We wish to record your firsthand observations of that period, including the reactions and statements of other members of Congress to the violence at that moment.”

Additionally, Jackson, a former White House physician to two presidents, was mentioned in texts, retrieved by the committee, between members of the Oath Keepers as they and the rest of the violent mob descended on the Capitol building.

In one text, a member of the far-right militia group texted their leader, Stewart Rhodes, saying Jackson required their protection because “he has critical data to protect.”

“The exchanges above raise several specific questions for you,” the committee wrote to Jackson. “Why would these individuals have an interest in your specific location? Why would they believe you ‘have critical data to protect?’ Why would they direct their members to protect your personal safety?”

In a statement Monday, Jackson said, “I do not know, nor did I have contact with, those who exchanged text messages about me on January 6. In fact, I was proud to help defend the House Floor from those who posed a threat to my colleagues.”

He added that he will not cooperate with what he called the committee’s “ruthless crusade against President Trump and his allies.”

Rhodes and 10 other members or associates tied to the group have since been charged with seditious conspiracy in the Justice Department’s investigation of the attack.

During the Trump administration, Jackson had emerged as a vocal ally, but his nomination as Veterans Affairs secretary was withdrawn amid allegations that he created a hostile work environment and improperly distributed prescription drugs. Jackson strenuously denied those claims, and went on to run for Congress from Texas.

Requests for comment Monday from Biggs and Brooks were not immediately returned.

___

This story has been corrected to show that Biggs is a lawmaker from Arizona, not Wisconsin.

___

Associated Press writer Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

UNSPECIFIED, GEORGIA - SEPTEMBER 28: Russians and Armenians seen with their luggage after crossing ...
BECKY BOHRER, Associated Press

2 Russians seek asylum after reaching remote Alaska island

Two Russians who said they fled the country to avoid military service have requested asylum in the U.S. after landing on a remote Alaska island.
21 hours ago
The US military conducted a raid in northeast Syria targeting a senior ISIS official on October 5, ...
Oren Liebermann and Ellie Kaufman

US kills two top ISIS leaders in Syria airstrike

US forces killed two top ISIS leaders in an airstrike in northern Syria on Thursday, according to two defense officials, one day after a US raid killed an ISIS smuggler.
21 hours ago
MIDDLETOWN, MD- OCTOBER: 20
Stephen Ferrone (left) and his son Stevie Ferrone, 16  carry Herman bac...
AJ Willingham, CNN

How a 12-foot skeleton became the hottest Halloween decoration around

There are two kinds of people: those who understand the allure of a 12-foot skeleton decoration, and those who have yet to understand the allure of a 12-foot skeleton decoration.
21 hours ago
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS APRIL 25:  In this photo illustration,  The Twitter profile of Elon Musk with mor...
Associated Press

Musk lawyers say Twitter refusing new $44B bid for company

Elon Musk’s lawyers say Twitter is refusing the Tesla billionaire’s renewed $44 billion bid for the social media company.
21 hours ago
(Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)...
Associated Press

Police: 1 dead, 5 injured in stabbings along Las Vegas Strip

One person was killed and at least five others injured in a stabbing attack along the Las Vegas Strip on Thursday, and police said a suspect was in custody.
21 hours ago
FILE - The Orlando Free Fall drop tower in ICON Park in Orlando is pictured on Monday, March 28, 20...
Associated Press

Florida drop tower will be taken down after teen’s death

A towering amusement ride in central Florida where a Missouri teen fell to his death will be taken down because of the accident.
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Jan. 6 panel wants answers from GOP’s Brooks, Biggs, Jackson