Trump Press Secretary Caves & Testifies Again To Jan. 6 Committee

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Former Trump administration press secretary Stephanie Grisham was set to testify to the House committee investigating the Capitol riot a second time on Wednesday, according to journalist Hugo Lowell. Per Lowell’s reporting, the “panel has started reaching back out to a number of top witnesses to confirm evidence and details, sources say.”

Grisham has, it seems, been at least somewhat forthcoming with investigators — according a January dispatch from Lowell, an earlier sit-down between Grisham and the panel “was more significant than expected, [certain] sources said.” Grisham apparently provided the riot committee with details of secretive meetings Trump held in the White House residence in the lead-up to last year’s Capitol riot, although she was apparently unable to provide the committee with a complete list of who participated in these get-togethers. The existence of such meetings would be significant for determining the level of planning by Trump and his allies for ways to try and stop Biden from taking office. Grisham has also publicly shared condemning details of Trump’s conduct around the Capitol riot. “[Trump] was in the dining room gleefully watching on his TV as he often did. ‘Look at all those people fighting for me.’ Hitting rewind. Watching it again,” she said on CNN describing when the riot unfolded.

Grisham resigned from the Trump administration, where she was serving as chief of staff to then-First Lady Melania Trump, following the Capitol riot — “I’ve been watching this past year, as the [ex-]president continues to manipulate people and divide our country because he has a fragile ego… And that’s all there is to it,” Grisham added on CNN back in January. These details suggest, of course, that she was prepared to provide significant information to the House panel investigating the Capitol riot. At this point, that committee — which is preparing for additional public hearings slated for next month — has heard from hundreds upon hundreds of people, including other individuals who worked on the Trump team. Such people include Cassidy Hutchinson and Ben Williamson, both of whom worked with then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and whose cooperation has helped the committee obtain valuable details without needing to hear more fully from Meadows himself. Investigators are planning on issuing a final report going over their findings.

The committee is not, in contrast, planning on pursuing testimony from Trump himself, since chairperson Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) noted that members didn’t feel as though hearing from the former president would necessarily be substantively valuable to their investigation. But Thompson sounded more inclined towards potentially hearing from Mike Pence, who, of course, served as vice president alongside Trump. “Former President Trump made a significant effort to get [Pence] to join his side, so I’m convinced that his testimony, beyond what’s already in the public record, would enhance the public’s knowledge of what went on,” Thompson explained. The committee has been in conversation with Pence’s lawyers. In the meantime, the committee subpoenaed five Republican members of Congress, including House GOP leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (Calif.).