Jan 6 committee releases testimony transcripts from 34 Trump supporters who pleaded the Fifth

The House select committee investigating the January 6 riot at the US Capitol has released a trove of interview transcripts from several Donald Trump supporters and allies, showcasing their rampant refusal to cooperate with the probe.

On Wednesday, the panel published testimony from 34 witnesses who had been called to testify as part of the 17-month-long investigation into the violent insurrection that culminated in five deaths and left dozens of law enforcement officers injured.

All 34 of the witnesses pleaded the Fifth during all or at least part of their interviews with the House panel, the transcripts reveal.

Among them was longtime Mr Trump ally Roger Stone, right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, white supremacist Nick Fuentes, and the leaders of far-right groups the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys.

Several Republican Party officials were also among them, including Nevada GOP chair Michael McDonald and Michigan Republican National Committeewoman Kathy Berden.

Mr Stone – who was previously convicted of lying to Congress – pleaded the Fifth Amendment for every single question he was asked during his interview with the panel, the transcript shows.

He even refused to answer basic questions such as where he lives, how old he is and whether he understand his right to invoke the Fifth.

During the 51-minute interview, he was asked about a group chat on encrypted messaging app Signal about January 6 which he was in along with Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes. Mr Rhodes has now been convicted of seditious conspiracy.

The transcript from Mr Fuentes’ testimony shows that he also pleaded the Fifth to questions around him being on a no-fly list and him livestreaming from January 6.

Mr Fuentes hit headlines last month after the white supremacist held a meeting with Mr Trump and antisemitic rapper Kanye West at Mar-a-Lago.

While Mr Jones also followed the pattern of his right-wing allies in pleading the Fifth, the far-right extremist and Sandy Hook shooting denier broke rank to launch into an outburst about Rep Adam Schiff at one point.

When the Infowars host was asked if he was going to continue pleading the Fifth Amendment, he fired back with the false claim that he was doing it because “Adam Schiff forges documents”.

Alex Jones and Roger Stone were among those pleading the Fifth. They are pictured together in Washington DC in 2018 (Getty Images)
Alex Jones and Roger Stone were among those pleading the Fifth. They are pictured together in Washington DC in 2018 (Getty Images)

Mr Jones’ lawyer Norm Pattis tried to silence his client to no avail with the conspiracy theorist continuing: “I don’t trust Congressman Schiff. He’ll forge documents…. I want to tell you guys everything, but I don’t trust Congressman Schiff.”

The 34 witnesses are: Christopher Barcenas, Kathy Berden, Alexander Bruesewitz, Patrick Casey, Dion Cini, Jeffrey Clark, Jim DeGraffenreid, Enrique De La Torre, John Eastman, Jenna Ellis, Kimberly Fletcher, Michael Flynn, Nick Fuentes, Julie Fancelli, Bianca Gracia, Alex Jones, Ryan Kelley, Charlie Kirk, David Scott Kuntz, Antonio LaMotta, Philip Luelsdorff, Robert Patrick Lewis, Joshua Macias, Shawna Martin, John Matze, Michael McDonald, Stewart Rhodes, Mayra Rodriguez, Michael Roman, Roger Stone, Enrique Tarrio, Phil Waldron, Kelli Ward and Garrett Ziegler.

The transcripts are the first of hundreds of interviews gathered throughout the months-long investigation to be released to the public, coming ahead of the release of the full report on Thursday.

The report had been slated for release on Wednesday but was delayed a day due to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s surprise visit to Washington DC.

The panel held its final public hearing earlier this week, where it announced it was making criminal referrals to the DOJ.

Among the referrals, the committee said that Donald Trump should potentially face four criminal charges for his alleged role in the insurrection.

The report – based on more than 1,000 interviews and documents such as texts, emails, and phone records – will detail the reasons behind these recommendations.

In a report summary released earlier this week, the committee said it had found knowledge of “multiple efforts by President Donald Trump to contact Select Committee witnesses” and “evidence suggesting specific efforts to obstruct the Committee’s investigation”.