The House Select Committee investigating January 6 is seeking former officials from Trump’s Cabinet for testimony and is particularly interested in learning more about conversations between officials about having can invoke 25th Amendment after the US Capitol attack.
The panel interviewed President Donald Trump’s former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, sources told CNN.
Sources told CNN that the committee is negotiating terms for a potential interview with former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe. Given the top-secret nature of Ratcliffe’s former role, there are separate issues the two sides must deal with.
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Several former Cabinet officials are known to have met with the committee, including Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller and Acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen.
The committee also met with former Attorney General Bill Barr, but he left the administration before the January 6 event.
The committee also previously interviewed Ken Cuccinelli and contacted Chad Wolf, two top officials in the Trump-era Department of Homeland Security, CNN reported last year.
Concern about the 25th Amendment and the activities after the Capitol attack came after former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified last month of “great concern” that the Cabinet and the Vice President, when that Mike Pence may seek to remove the President from office.
“There is great concern about the possibility of the 25th Amendment being invoked, and there are concerns about what would happen in the Senate if it did,” Hutchinson testified.
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But Mark Short, former chief of staff to former Vice President Mike Pence, said on CNN on Thursday that he “doesn’t recall having any serious conversations” about invoking the 25th Amendment, saying that its use would be impractical.
“The reality is there are only 10 days left in the administration,” Short said. “This is a political ploy. And, further, you know, when they designed the 25th Amendment, it had higher standards, more barriers than impeachment. While impeachment requires a simple majority in the House and a supermajority in the Senate, this requires approval from the Cabinet, plus a majority in the House, plus a majority in the Senate. ”
Short added: “That hasn’t happened in 10 days in the administration… This is really just a political ploy by Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in Congress to try to put pressure on them to put pressure on them. out this and it’s never going to get anywhere in our White House.”
A spokesman for the selection committee declined to comment.
CNN has reached out to Mnuchin for comment.
ABC News was the first to report the Mnuchin interview.
The Justice Department’s criminal investigation into plots to subvert the 2020 election is also heating up.
CNN previously reported that Hutchinson was cooperating with the DOJ’s criminal investigation, a source with knowledge of the discussions confirmed to CNN. The extent of that cooperation is unclear. Hutchinson was a prominent witness for the committee.
The DOJ also received a second subpoena to search right-wing attorney John Eastman’s cell phone as part of its criminal investigation, prosecutors said in a court filing Wednesday.
Investigators seized Eastman’s phone earlier this month in New Mexico after receiving orders to retrieve the device. Dealers need a second warrant to search the contents of the phone they received on July 12.
The order is a key step in the Justice Department’s intensified investigation on January 6, where investigators appear to have overlooked the conduct of Trump and his close allies in an effort to overturn the election. election 2020.
Eastman was a key figure in the committee’s investigation into a plot to subvert the election results. A federal judge previously said Eastman and Trump were “more likely than not” to have planned a crime as they sought to circumvent congressional certification on January 6 on the presidential election. .
This story has been updated with additional details.