Jan. 6 Committee Goes After ‘Fox News’ Host Sean Hannity

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According to information including a new report from Axios, the House committee investigating the Capitol riot is going after Fox News host Sean Hannity for his voluntary cooperation (making it sound like they’re not planning on a subpoena at this time). Hannity is a longtime ally of former President Trump, and he even appeared on-stage with the then-president at a rally leading up to the 2018 midterm elections, among other shows of his support. Hannity was also among the prominent conservatives who texted then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows as the violence of January 6 unfolded; like others, Hannity pushed the prospect of Trump making an effort to quell the chaos.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), a member of the riot panel, confirmed on Tuesday that they were pursuing cooperation from Hannity. Axios characterizes Hannity as “a close adviser to Donald Trump throughout his presidency” — so it clearly seems as though a lot could be gleaned from potentially hearing from the Fox host. Hannity was often in touch with Trump during his presidency, apparently. Although Tim Mulvey, a spokesperson for the riot investigation committee, declined to offer any comments to Axios when asked about the matter, Hannity’s attorney Jay Sekulow had some thoughts. As Sekulow put it, “any such request would raise serious constitutional issues including First Amendment concerns regarding freedom of the press”… so it sounds like Hannity might not be willing to cooperate with the committee.

Axios notes that Hannity has spoken out against what happened on January 6 — saying, for instance, that the “perpetrators must be arrested and prosecuted” — but, like so many other high-profile Republicans, he has stayed away from criticizing Trump in connection to the violence, even though it’s the former president’s lie that the election was stolen that mainly inspired it. Other noteworthy names among those who texted Meadows as the violence played out and called for action on the part of the White House to stop it include fellow Fox hosts Laura Ingraham and Brian Kilmeade, alongside none other than Donald Trump Jr., the ex-president’s own son. For all of these people, it was a real “we’re all trying to find the guy who did this” moment — it’s their own vitriol that drove what happened, and then they wanted to make a show of distancing themselves.

The riot investigation committee has also taken the approach of requesting voluntary cooperation from two Trump-allied members of Congress, Reps. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). No matter the best efforts of the ex-president’s allies to stall the probe, the investigation is moving forward — the panel has already heard from over 300 witnesses, and rounds of public hearings are under development for coming weeks/ months.