Fox News opinion host Sean Hannity.
Jason Kempin/Getty Images
- The Jan. 6 committee is planning to ask Sean Hannity to cooperate with its investigation.
- Hannity’s lawyer told Axios that any such cooperation would “raise serious constitutional issues.”
- Hannity was texting with Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows while the insurrection was unfolding.
The January 6 committee is planning to ask Fox News host Sean Hannity to voluntarily cooperate with its investigation into the Capitol riot, Rep. Adam Schiff, who serves on the panel, told MSNBC.
“I think you’ll see an announcement about that very soon,” Schiff told host Hallie Jackson. Axios first reported the news.
But the terms of any such agreement have not yet been finalized.
The panel’s anticipated move comes after it released texts exchanged during the insurrection between Hannity and Mark Meadows, who was then the White House chief of staff.
“Can he make a statement? Ask people to leave the Capitol,” Hannity wrote to Meadows as the violence unfolded on January 6, according to the texts which were unearthed by the committee last month.
Meanwhile, although Hannity condemned the riot, he also floated the bogus conspiracy theory that left-wing groups like antifa may have infiltrated the crowd of Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol, and that “bad actors” could have been responsible for the chaos.
The Fox News host’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow, appears opposed to allowing his client to get involved in the select committee’s investigation.
“If true, any such request would raise serious constitutional issues including First Amendment concerns regarding freedom of the press,” Sekulow told Axios.
A Fox News spokesperson declined to comment on the news.
Hannity is among several Trump loyalists whose cooperation the committee wants, but few have voluntarily cooperated, and several have defied subpoenas compelling their testimony, including Meadows and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.
A federal grand jury in November charged Bannon with two counts of contempt of Congress, to which he pleaded not guilty. The department is also weighing a contempt referral for Meadows, but its decision-making in that case is complicated by the fact that Meadows filed a lawsuit asking a court to invalidate the two subpoenas he was served by the committee.