Members of Congress interacted with Jan. 6 rioters, Rep. Thompson says

By | January 2, 2022

Rep. Bennie Thompson, chair of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, said his panel has evidence of interactions between members of the House and the rioters that day but not necessarily of a significant nature.

“We have a lot of information about communication with individuals who came,“ Thompson (D-Miss.) told host Jonathan Karl on NBC’s “Meet the Press” in an interview that aired Sunday.

Thompson clarified that there was not evidence of House members participating in a conspiracy with rioters or offering substantial assistance — at least not yet.

“Now, ‘assisted’ means different things,“ he said. “Some took pictures with people who came to the ‘Stop the Steal‘ rally. Some, you know, allowed them to come and associate in their offices and other things during that whole rally week. So, there’s some participation. We don’t have any real knowledge that I’m aware of of people giving tours. We heard a lot of that, but we’re still, to be honest with you, reviewing a lot of the film that the House administration and others have provided the committee.“

Thompson, who said some members of Congress had provided information to his panel, said the committee wanted to hear from Reps. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) about their activities, though he said it was not clear if his panel would or even could subpoena them.

The Mississippi Democrat said that the committee is trying to learn more about the time that day in which President Donald Trump was in the White House before he released a public statement urging for an end to the attacks on the Capitol.

“It’s about 187 minutes,” he told Karl. “We have now determined he was in the White House. We’ve determined that a number of people made attempts to contact him through his chief of staff.“

Thompson added: “The president was told, ‘You need to say directly to your people to go home, leave the Capitol.‘ And so it took over 187 minutes to make that simple statement. Something’s wrong with that.“