Two sources familiar with the matter told CNN that the staffer, who did not have a history of regular contact with Trump, received the call shortly after former Trump administration aide Cassidy Hutchinson provided the Jan. 6 committee with a damning testimony detailing Trump’s actions before, during, and after the Capitol attack. The unidentified staffer, CNN reported, is able to corroborate Hutchinson’s testimony and was “concerned” about the motivations behind former president’s contact.
Vice Chair Liz Cheney made first mention of the call during Tuesday’s Jan. 6 committee hearing, noting that the witness “declined to answer or respond” to Trump and instead contacted their lawyer, who then relayed the information to the Department of Justice. “We will take any effort to influence witness testimony very seriously,” Cheney said. Earlier Tuesday, Newsmax host Greg Kelly suggested the phone call was nothing more than a “butt dial” and did not suggest the former president was actively engaging in witness tampering.
The report comes several weeks after the House committee revealed that Trump allies have attempted to influence or interfere in the testimonies of witnesses on numerous occasions. Examples of such witness tampering were reported to have been provided to the committee by Hutchinson, the former aide to former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, whose testimony has helped bolster the committee’s claims that Trump and his officials were aware of possible violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6. One witness, according to the committee, was told they would “stay in good graces in Trump World” if they remained a “team player,” while another witness was told Trump “knows you’re loyal, and you’re going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition.”