Chairman Bennie Thompson revealed on Sunday that former Attorney General Bill Barr met with the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot on January 6.
In an interview with CBS News’ Face The Nation, Mississippi Democrat Greg Abbott confirmed that Donald Trump was presented with an executive order for the military to seize voting machines in battleground states during the last full month of his presidency.
‘Do you intend to go to the Attorney General, Bill Barr, to ask him about this? I mean, how do you follow up on this kind of allegation and the paperwork to back it up?’ questioned Margaret Brennan.
Thompson said they already had a conversation, but did not give any more details.
‘To be honest with you, we’ve had conversations with the former attorney general already,’ he said, adding: ‘We have talked to Department of Defense individuals. We are concerned that our military was part of this big lie on promoting that the election was false.’
‘So, if you are using the military to potentially seize voting machines, even though it’s a discussion, the public needs to know, we’ve never had that before.
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) January 23, 2022
‘And so any of these individuals who are participating and trying to stop the election, the duly election of a president, and if we can document it, we will share it with the public.’
During the public hearings, he did not confirm whether Barr would be called to testify again, only saying that the panel would ‘continue to engage’ with people related to the inquiry into what led to the January 6-related insurrection.’
The former attorney general resigned from his position as attorney general in December 2020. He has since publicly dismissed Trump’s election fraud claims.
Politico published a draft executive order late last week that would have required the Secretary of Defense to ‘seize, collect, retain and analyze’ voting machines in states that narrowly went to President Biden in 2020.
As part of the order, dated December 16, 2020, Homeland Security would also be directed to assist the military effort, and a special counsel would be appointed to look into allegations that the election was rigged.
A draft of such a plan was known to Thompson’s committee on Sunday.
‘We have information that between the Department of Justice, a plan was put forward to potentially seize voting machines in the country and utilize Department of Defense assets to make that happen,’ he said.
According to the legislator, the next step will be finding out ‘how far’ the defunct plan made it before it was canceled.
‘We do know that a potential person was identified to become the attorney general of the United States, who would communicate with certain states that election on their situation had been fraudulent and not to produce certified documents,’ Thompson explained.
‘Well, we understand that. So, we will move forward on that investigation, and we will look and see specifically how far that plan went.’
In response to a question about whether Barr or members of the Defense Department would have to appear at future hearings of the committee, he gave an indirect answer.
‘Well, part of our plan is to continue to engage all those individuals that we deem necessary and important to our investigation,’ Thompson said.
‘Some will talk to some we will do in deposition under oath. Others we will offer hearing opportunities. But I can assure you, as we develop this information, we will clearly present it to the public.’
Hearings are expected to take place by early spring, he said.
Earlier in the week, the committee had taken aim at Trump’s inner circle, signaling that even members of the former president’s family were fair game.
On Thursday, Ivanka Trump received an 11-page letter from the partisan panel, asking for information about her father’s actions before and after the Capitol riot.
Specifically, they are seeking details regarding the morning meeting on January 6, 2021 during which then-Vice President Mike Pence told then-President Trump that Biden would be certified as the winner of the White House.
As her father watched the riot on television from the West Wing, Ivanka reportedly pleaded with him several times in order to stop the violence.
As part of the investigation, the panel also sent subpoenas to former Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis, Sidney Powell, and Boris Epshteyn.