The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Some Trump allies are cooperating with the Jan. 6 committee. Here’s what we know.

Then-President Donald Trump and Attorney General William P. Barr arrive to participate in a Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor presentation in 2019. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
Placeholder while article actions load

For all the allies of former president Donald Trump who are refusing to testify to the Jan. 6 committee, fighting its subpoenas and invoking the Fifth Amendment, it can be easy to gloss over the evidence the committee has apparently gotten from those around Trump.

In recent days, the committee detailed some key testimony from Keith Kellogg, a Trump loyalist and aide to then-Vice President Mike Pence who was in the room with Trump that day. And on Sunday, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the Jan. 6 committee, said former attorney general William P. Barr has been cooperating with its inquiry. Shortly after that development, Politico’s Betsy Woodruff Swan reported Trump ally Bernard Kerik had shed light on where the idea to have Trump write an executive order seizing voting machines came from.

As The Washington Post’s Amy B Wang and Tom Hamburger noted about Barr’s participation, it’s “a further indication that several former Trump administration officials are cooperating with the panel even as others are fighting efforts to compel their testimony.”

Below is a look at who from Trump’s orbit has cooperated with or spoken to the committee, along with what we know about it and what else they might have insights into.

William P. Barr

What we know about it: Not much, except that he has worked with the committee, and thus far conversations have reportedly been informal. “We’ve had conversations with the former attorney general already,” Thompson said on CBS News on Sunday morning. Thompson was asked whether the committee would ask Barr about a draft plan to seize voting machines, and he said it would.

What he might know: Barr announced his resignation Dec. 14 and officially exited on Dec. 23, meaning he was absent for many of the key late developments in the Jan. 6 timeline. But before he left, he did publicly rebut Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud and took part in meetings about them with Trump and the White House, including in early December. And there is plenty of evidence that Trump sought to lean on the Justice Department to legitimize his claims. A U.S. attorney who resigned under pressure said Barr told him at one point in early December to make looking into the voter-fraud claims pushed by Rudolph W. Giuliani a “top priority.”

Keith Kellogg

What we know about it: Some of Kellogg’s testimony was detailed Friday in a letter the committee sent seeking testimony from Ivanka Trump. Kellogg, a retired Army lieutenant general, confirmed that Trump told Pence something to the effect of “you don’t have the courage to make a hard decision” — about Pence refusing to help overturn the election in Congress on Jan. 6. Kellogg confirmed reporting that Ivanka Trump had responded to the call by saying, “Mike Pence is a good man.” Kellogg’s testimony also reinforced that Trump was reluctant to act to quell the violence; he said Ivanka Trump was enlisted in the effort because others like him, chief of staff Mark Meadows and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany weren’t getting through. “She went back in, because Ivanka can be pretty tenacious,” Kellogg testified.

What he might know: Unlike some others on this list, Kellogg remains very much enmeshed in Trump world, notably serving at the Trump-allied America First Policy Institute. But he was also in the room with Trump that day, and he apparently testified in detail on some key elements at the heart of the inquiry, including Trump’s pressure on Pence and Trump’s delayed response. The committee has also said it has evidence that the White House Counsel’s Office might have determined that what Trump wanted Pence to do was illegal — which is key to a potential criminal charge — although it’s not clear what that’s based upon.

On Jan. 19, the Supreme Court rejected former president Donald Trump’s request to withhold records from the House committee investigating the Capitol attack. (Video: Reuters, Photo: Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

Bernard Kerik

What we know about it: Kerik reportedly provided documents to the committee last month, while withholding documents he deemed to be privileged. And Politico has now reported that Kerik told the committee that Phil Waldron, a retired Army colonel, was the one who came up with the idea of an executive order to seize voting machines.

What he might know: Kerik was deeply involved in efforts to overturn the election, having set up shop at the Willard hotel near the White House with others leading the effort. Other leaders of the Willard “war room” have defied a subpoena (Stephen K. Bannon) or invoked Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination (John Eastman).

Jeffrey Rosen

What we know about it: Barr’s successor as acting attorney general answered the committee’s questions in October. He also previously testified publicly to the Senate last summer about Trump’s pressure campaign on the Justice Department.

What he might know: Rosen was in charge of the DOJ for the final weeks of Trump’s effort to overturn the election, and Trump spoke with him frequently. Rosen would seemingly have insight on things such as the effort to seize voting machines.

Kayleigh McEnany

What we know about it: Not much, beyond that she appeared virtually before the committee earlier this month. Interestingly, the committee last week shared texts between McEnany and Fox News host Sean Hannity that it had obtained. In those Jan. 7 texts, Hannity shared a plan for Trump moving forward that included “No more stolen election talk.” McEnany responded to the five-point plan by saying, “Love that. Thank you. That is the playbook. I will help reinforce.” She added later of Hannity’s suggestion that “crazy people” should not have access to Trump, “Yes 100%.” The committee previously shared texts that Meadows had shared, including with Hannity and others. It’s not clear these new texts came from McEnany.

What she might know: McEnany, like Kellogg, would appear to have firsthand insights into the White House’s response in real time. In addition, she was part of the effort to push bogus fraud allegations. She was among those Kellogg described as having sought to intervene unsuccessfully before Ivanka Trump was called in.

Mark Meadows

What we know about it: Meadows shared documents while momentarily cooperating with the committee. Those documents showed, among other things, Fox News hosts and even Trump’s own son, Donald Trump Jr., pleading for a more proactive response from Trump on Jan. 6.

What Meadows might know: Meadows is fighting further cooperation and has been held in contempt of Congress — facing the prospect of the kind of criminal charges that Bannon now faces. But what he has provided — and could provide if he were compelled to testify — could give the committee unique insight into both what was happening around Trump on Jan. 6 and the preceding efforts to overturn the election. It has been disclosed that Meadows was heavily involved in pleading with the Justice Department to legitimize Trump’s claims, passing along a number of debunked conspiracy theories, including one about Italian satellites.

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol issued subpoenas on Jan. 18 to Rudolph W. Giuliani and three other Trump allies. (Video: Reuters)

The others

What we know about it: A trio of key figures submitted to questioning on one day in early December, though their degrees of cooperation are largely a mystery. Two of them — Jan. 6 rally organizer Ali Alexander and former top Pentagon aide Kash Patel — seem to have cooperated to some degree. (Alexander reportedly detailed his ties to extreme House Republicans, while Patel said in a statement, “I have always been willing and able to share with the Committee, and the American people, the truth about the events of January 6.” Another, Trump lawyer John Eastman, sought Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination.

What they might know: Alexander would seem able to speak to any ties between the White House and the organizing of the Jan. 6 rally, at which Trump spoke — with other organizers suggesting there was concern about pushing people toward the Capitol, as Trump did. Patel is a Trump loyalist who has been a key figure in other Trump controversies. He formerly served as an aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who resigned from Congress earlier this month.

This post has been updated with the Kerik news.

Loading...