Former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne arrives to be interviewed by the House committee investigating the Capitol riot on July 15, 2022.
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- Patrick Byrne testified before the House Jan. 6 committee on Friday.
- The former Overstock CEO testified behind closed doors for nearly eight hours, CNN reported.
- The panel is interested in a Dec. 2020 meeting Byrne had with Trump’s inner circle.
Former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne testified before the House committee investigating the Capitol riot for nearly eight hours on Friday, CNN reported.
The ally of former President Donald Trump entered the committee conference room just before 10 a.m. ET and left before 7 p.m. ET, taking an hour-long break for lunch, CNN reported.
Byrne took short breaks from giving testimony behind closed doors to speak to his lawyer, CNN said. The testimony was recorded and transcribed, CNN reported.
The committee met with Byrne to ask him about a meeting he had with Trump’s inner circle on December 18, 2020, Time reported.
The meeting saw Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former national security advisor under Trump, and Sidney Powell, one of Trump’s personal attorneys at the time, discussing seizing voting machines and naming Powell as a special counsel to work on overturning the 2020 election, The New York Times reported.
Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat on the January 6 panel, said the meeting got so heated that aides could later hear screaming down the hallway. Cassidy Hutchinson, the White House aide who has since publicly testified against Trump, had described the six-hour meeting as “unhinged” at the time.
According to CNN, the committee is interested in the meeting because of a tweet Trump sent the following day: “Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election. Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”
Byrne, who launched the furniture retailer Overstock in 1999, resigned as CEO in August 2019 after releasing a statement referencing the “Deep State” conspiracy theory. He also revealed that he had been in a relationship with Maria Butina, the Russian woman who was charged in 2018 with acting as an unregistered foreign agent.
Throughout 2020 and 2021, Byrne repeatedly pushed false claims that Trump won the 2020 election due to voter fraud. According to a blog post he published after the December meeting, he urged Trump to “find” adequate evidence of foreign interference in the election to give him the authority to direct a federal force to recount votes.