Jan. 6 committee set to interview rioter who breached the Capitol

By | October 29, 2021

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol on Friday will interview one of the 650 defendants charged with breaching the Capitol, part of an attempt to collect evidence about the rioters’ motivations, contacts and travel arrangements.

Heather Shaner, an attorney who represents multiple defendants in Jan. 6 cases, confirmed that one of her clients will be remotely interviewed Friday afternoon.

Shaner also revealed that she helped connect the committee with another source — not one of her clients — who claimed to have information related to associates of Alex Jones, the far right broadcaster who helped promote pro-Trump election conspiracy theories.

“This individual has met with the committee,” Shaner said.

POLITICO agreed not to identify Shaner’s client who will be interviewed Friday. However, the Jan. 6 committee has been reaching out to multiple defense attorneys for those charged in the attack to solicit voluntary interviews. Until Friday, it was unclear if any had accepted their invitation.

Many of those charged have expressed remorse about their actions and suggested their presence at the Capitol was driven by Donald Trump’s call to march on Congress. Dozens of those who participated in pro-Trump rallies on Jan. 6 — which later morphed into the attack on the Capitol — traveled in groups and may be able to aid investigators as they inquire about the organizers of the Jan. 6 demonstrations that preceded the insurrection.

Shaner, during a Thursday sentencing hearing for another Jan. 6 defendant, Jack Griffith, indicated that he, too, would be willing to cooperate with the committee.

And at a sentencing hearing Friday for defendant Leonard Gruppo, his attorney Daniel Lindsey indicated Gruppo had cooperated with the Jan. 6 committee’s investigation and was betrayed by Trump.

“He followed the recommendation of a president who is amoral and cannot tell the truth — a former president,” Lindsey said.

The committee has been interviewing and collecting documents from those involved in planning the rallies, though it’s unclear if all of the depositions have gone forward. A deposition set for Friday with a former Justice Department official who aided Trump’s effort to overturn the election was postponed after he switched attorneys.

The committee is also set to hold a closed-door interview Friday with Amy and Kylie Kremer, a mother-daughter duo whom committee investigators believed were part of organizing Trump’s rally at the Ellipse. Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) confirmed Thursday their interviews were still scheduled.

Nicholas Wu contributed to this report.