Jan. 6 Panel Questions Trump Cabinet Members on 25th Amendment Talks

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WASHINGTON — The House select committee scrutinizing the Jan. 6 attack has used the August congressional recess to gather more evidence as it prepares to resume public hearings next month, dispatching investigators to Europe and digging deeper into discussions by former President Donald J. Trump’s cabinet after the riot about removing him from office.

The panel has been holding closed-door interviews with senior Trump administration officials in an effort to uncover more about the period between Jan. 6, 2021, when a mob of Mr. Trump’s supporters attacked Congress, and Jan. 20, when President Biden was sworn in, including talks about invoking the 25th Amendment.

On Tuesday, the panel interviewed Robert O’Brien, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, for several hours, according to two people familiar with the committee’s work.

Investigators asked Mr. O’Brien about discussions inside the cabinet about whether to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office; about whether he considered resigning; and about the access that Mike Lindell, the MyPillow CEO and election conspiracy theorist, had to Mr. Trump, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Mr. O’Brien’s former deputy, Matthew Pottinger, testified before the committee publicly last month and described how he felt compelled to resign after the events of that day.

Key Revelations From the Jan. 6 Hearings

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Key Revelations From the Jan. 6 Hearings

Making a case against Trump. The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack is laying out a comprehensive narrative of President Donald J. Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Here are the main themes that have emerged so far from eight public hearings:

Key Revelations From the Jan. 6 Hearings

Pressuring Pence. Mr. Trump continued pressuring Vice President Mike Pence to go along with a plan to overturn his loss even after he was told it was illegal, according to testimony laid out by the panel during the third hearing. The committee showed how Mr. Trump’s actions led his supporters to storm the Capitol, sending Mr. Pence fleeing for his life.

Mr. O’Brien’s participation with the committee was reported earlier by NBC News. He is the latest in a series of senior Trump officials to testify in recent weeks.

The panel interviewed Elaine Chao, the former transportation secretary, earlier this month. Ms. Chao, who is married to Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the minority leader, also resigned after the violence of Jan. 6.

The committee’s investigators have also taken testimony privately from Mike Pompeo, the former secretary of state, about the former president’s state of mind around the time of the attack and his fitness for office. They also questioned him about discussions that he reportedly had with Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, about the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment after the attack.

Mr. Pompeo was evasive in response to the committee’s questioning, according to a person familiar with his interview.

Mr. Pompeo, who had previously strenuously denied any such discussions, offered a more muted recounting this week. He told Fox News recently that the panel was “chasing witches.”

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The panel also has sought information from Betsy DeVos, Mr. Trump’s education secretary, who has said she raised with Vice President Mike Pence whether the cabinet should consider the 25th Amendment.

“We can anticipate a few more hearings, specifically on the time period after Jan. 6,” Representative Pete Aguilar, Democrat of California and a member of the committee, told CapRadio in Sacramento in a recent interview, adding that conversations about the 25th Amendment were of interest.

The committee has also taken its investigation overseas. Committee staff investigators traveled to Copenhagen last week to review documentary footage of the political operative and Trump confidant Roger J. Stone Jr., according to a person familiar with the matter.

Politico earlier reported the trip.

The committee’s investigators viewed video footage recorded as Danish filmmakers tracked Mr. Stone after the 2020 election, including the day of Jan. 6, according to a person familiar with their work. The filmmakers have a 170-hour cache of footage of Mr. Stone’s activities.

Mr. Stone appeared before the committee for a deposition in December and invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in response to each of the panel’s questions.

“While the committee investigators may find the documentary film footage entertaining, they will find no evidence of wrongdoing,” Mr. Stone said in a statement on Tuesday.

Mr. Stone promoted his attendance at the rallies on Jan. 5 and 6, solicited support to pay for security through the website stopthesteal.org and used members of the Oath Keepers militia group as personal security guards while he was in Washington. At least two of those members have been indicted on charges that they were involved in the Capitol attack.

He has denied involvement in the violence on Jan. 6.

Lawmakers are also using August to prepare a preliminary report of their findings, tentatively scheduled to be released in the fall.

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