One of two Republicans on the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol said Sunday he’s “not convinced” that the panel has obtained all relevant material it has requested from Mark Meadows, former President Donald Trump’s chief of staff.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican of Illinois, told “Face the Nation” that he is “not confident that Meadows has handed over everything at all.”
“He was cooperating with us for a little bit, and then, in an attempt to make Donald Trump happy, he stops cooperating,” Kinzinger said. “We gave him plenty of space to come back and resume that. He has not.”
Kinzinger’s comments come days after the emergence of a series of text messages between Meadows and Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. The messages show Thomas repeatedly urging Meadows and the White House to fight to overturn the election results in the weeks before President Biden’s inauguration.
In December, the committee voted to recommend contempt charges against Meadows for failing to comply with its subpoena. The case is now in the hands of the Department of Justice.
Last Thursday, CBS News chief election and campaign correspondent Robert Costa and Bob Woodward of The Washington Post obtained multiple text messages between Meadows and Ginni Thomas, a conservative activist who aggressively lobbied the Trump administration to try to overturn President Biden’s election win in 2020.
The stunning messages, which were among more than 2,000 that Meadows provided to the January 6 panel, reveal a pipeline between Thomas and then-President Donald Trump’s top aide at a time when Trump was vowing to take his claims of election fraud to the Supreme Court.
“Almost unbelievable”: Woodward and Costa on Ginni Thomas’ texts
Kinzinger said he could not confirm or deny the existence of the texts because of his role as a member of the committee. He also would not say whether the panel plans to subpoena Thomas. Sources close to the investigation told CBS News last week that several members of the committee do want talk to her and could issue a subpoena if necessary.
“I’ll tell you that we have thousands of text messages from lots of people,” Kinzinger said. “We have a lot of documents, and we are going to, in a methodical, fact-driven way, get to the answers here. We’ll call in whoever we need to call in. We want to make sure that this isn’t driven by a political motivation — it is driven by facts. So when it comes to any potential future calling in of Ms. Thomas, we’ll take a look at what the evidence is and we’ll make a decision.”
Costa and Woodward, who discussed their reporting on “Face the Nation” Sunday, said some members of the committee are frustrated that the text messages between Meadow and Thomas that they have end in late November.
“Where are the text messages, if any, from December or around January 6?” Costa said.
However, the messages the committee has obtained so far do provide “a road map of sorts” for some of Meadows’ actions after the election, Costa said. The panel has also done hundreds of interviews and obtained thousands of pages of documents from different people who are cooperating with the investigation.
“But they still feel in many ways they do not have enough,” Costa said.
Woodward, who helped uncover the Watergate scandal, said it was “almost unbelievable” that the wife of a sitting Supreme Court justice was urging the White House chief of staff not to concede a legitimate election. The text messages also show Thomas describing Biden’s win as “the greatest Heist of our History.”
Kinzinger, a vocal Trump critic, said the January 6 panel is committed to uncovering the truth and presenting it to the American people.
“We are not, as a committee, out to throw people in jail,” he said, though he noted that there could be more criminal referrals.
“The bottom line for the committee is this: Was there an effort to overturn the legitimate election of the United States, what was January 6 in relation to that, and what is the rot in our system that led to that and does it still exist today?” he said.