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The committee investigating the insurrection could present new testimony


We're joined now by former Republican Congressman Denver Riggleman of Virginia. He's a former military intelligence officer who served for eight months as a senior adviser to the January 6 committee. And he's written about that in his book, "The Breach: The Untold Story Of The Investigation Into January 6th." Congressman, what new evidence do you think the committee could show us today?

DENVER RIGGLEMAN: Well, you talked about the service texts, which I think are going to be very important. You know, some individual the other day told me, well, they don't have the texts on the fifth or sixth. But even before that or after that, it could be very important with what the Secret Service was talking about. But I also think it's going to be a summation from the first hearings to these hearings. And I do believe, with everything else you heard, you know, in the prior newscast, when you're talking about some of the things they're going to be looking at, new testimony, I also don't want people to forget about Roger Stone in the Danish documentary and what he was saying about violence that day. So I expect to see also more links between the White House or people around Trump and the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.

MARTINEZ: And those texts, that's where we could find out a lot more about Ginni Thomas' role?

RIGGLEMAN: Well, let me tell you, Ginni Thomas - one of the things that really interests me about Ginni Thomas is we talked about - and I heard, you know, about her contacts with John Eastman. But I think it's even more important that - of her direct contact with Mark Meadows and the fact that she was working with congressional offices and also mentioned that she was in contact with Jared Kushner. So you're talking about an individual married to a Supreme Court justice who had incredible access to every part of government. And I think her texts, I believe, were the most important in the Meadows text messages because they indicated the saturation of conspiracy theories and really QAnon throughout the entire GOP of, quote-unquote, "elite" - right? - and how they were using that to direct policy and to direct a strategy to overturn the election.

MARTINEZ: And Ginni Thomas did wind up being interviewed by the committee about those text messages with the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows. What could they have learned from her?

RIGGLEMAN: Well, I hope that they ask some pretty probing questions about how often she talked with Jared. Did she work with Louie Gohmert's office, which was indicated in the text messages? Did she believe what she was actually saying when it came to putting, you know, Biden's family in Gitmo or the fact that she thought there was a, you know, sort of this presence of military - right? - to enforce these watermarked ballots - ridiculousness. I hope they asked her all those questions, and I hope it was taped so they can show the American public because the issue that you have right now with people at these levels is that they seem to be treated in a - with a different standard. And I think the data is the data, and we need to follow that, regardless of who the individuals are. And again, I think it's more important - yes, Eastman, Meadows, but also her connection directly, you know, next to Trump, like Jared and things of that nature.

MARTINEZ: And you said there was a nine-second call from one of the general numbers inside the Trump White House to one of the rioters while the attack was happening. Nine seconds doesn't sound like a lot, but it is once you count it off. You'd be surprised how long it does feel. What could a nine-second call possibly tell us?

RIGGLEMAN: Nine seconds is a lifetime to a counterterrorism analyst. And when you look at what happened on the text messages, you could have a short text messages, say, from Scott Perry to Mark Meadows, that say, go to signal. You can say, get out of there. You can say, where you at? You can say, hey, we need not to talk anymore or we need to go encrypted, go dark. Let's go to somewhere else. So, you know, anybody who says that nine seconds isn't a long time has never done counterterrorism analysis, and they're just not quite aware of how data works. And we have to know all those White House phone numbers.

But here's really where I want to hit even harder. How about Bianca Gracia? And how about what we learned because of my book "The Breach" that Kellye SoRelle, an Oath Keeper, was texting with Andrew Giuliani while he was in the White House? You know, we shake that data tree, and Andrew Giuliani falls out. So, A, I mean, that's part of the issue that I have here is, you know, we need to find out who all those White House numbers were calling. And it could be just a technical glitch or they can't get those numbers at the time. But those phone numbers will indicate which people, at what desk and what - and connected to what cellphones were actually talking to people that were involved in January 6.

MARTINEZ: Now, you opposed the committee sending a criminal referral to the Justice Department. You want the DOJ to make that call. What kind of evidence would you have to hear to change your mind on that?

RIGGLEMAN: Well, the thing is is that they've done such a great job. The committee has done a great job in the public trust sphere. I'm really not opposed to it if they do it or not. I just don't think it's really necessary. And right now, if there is data-sharing going on between the committee and the DOJ, which I hope there is, right? I hope there's a bit of a tiger team that's sharing data. My guess is that some of that metadata that's come from call detail records or from text messages or even from open source intelligence research and the thousands of interviews they conducted can be blended to show not only who was actually directing what was going on on January 6 with his words and actions, like Donald Trump, but all this - but all the second- and third-tier actors who are also involved. And I think the DOJ is looking at that pretty hard.

MARTINEZ: That's Denver Riggleman, former Republican congressman and former adviser to the January 6 committee. Thank you very much.

RIGGLEMAN: Thank you, sir. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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