Giuliani backs out of appearance before House January 6 committee
Rudy Giuliani has backed out of his scheduled transcribed interview before the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, a spokesperson for the committee said Thursday night.
"Mr. Giuliani had agreed to participate in a transcribed interview with the Select Committee," said Tim Mulvey. "Today, he informed committee investigators that he wouldn't show up unless he was permitted to record the interview, which was never an agreed-upon condition."
Mulvey continued that Giuliani is an "important witness to overthrow the government and he remains under subpoena." Mulvey said that if Giuliani refuses to comply, "the committee will consider all enforcement options."
Giuliani was subpoenaed by the committee in January 2022, along with Jenna Ellis and Sidney Powell, two lawyers who worked to promote former President Trump's false claims about the election, and Boris Epshteyn, a former Trump White House aide.
The four figures participated in a November 19, 2020, press conference that featured baseless claims the election had been stolen and that Trump had won in a "landslide."
The committee chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson, said at the time of the subpoena that all four "advanced unsupported theories about election fraud, pushed efforts to overturn the election results, or were in direct contact with the former President about attempts to stop the counting of electoral votes."
The January 6 committee sent a letter to Giuliani in January 2022 that indicated the committee believes from witness testimony that the former New York City mayor urged Trump in December 2020 to direct the seizure of voting machines across the country, even after being told the Department of Homeland Security lacked that authority.
Since then, Giuliani's law license has been suspended in New York and Washington, D.C.
Giuliani's refusal to appear comes the same week that the former president's son, Donald Trump Jr., met with the committee. A source told CBS News the interview lasted about three hours, Trump Jr. did not plead the Fifth and described the interview as "very cordial."
The House January 6 committee, which was created last year by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is winding down its investigative phase. Hearings are set to begin June 9, with Thompson saying last week there would be eight hearings.
So far, the committee has issued dozens of subpoenas, including to Trump's allies, former White House officials, campaign aides and individuals involved in the planning of the rally outside the White House before the Capitol building came under siege. Four top Trump allies — Steve Bannon, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, trade adviser Peter Navarro and former communications official Dan Scavino — have been held in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with subpoenas, and the Justice Department has charged Bannon. All have said they are following instructions from Trump, who has claimed executive privilege.
The committee, comprised of seven Democrats and two Republicans, is tasked with investigating the January 6 attack, when thousands of Trump supporters descended on the Capitol as Congress counted the electoral votes, a largely ceremonial final step affirming President Biden's victory. Lawmakers were sent fleeing amid the riot, which led to the deaths of five people and the arrests of hundreds more. Trump, who encouraged his supporters to "walk down" to the Capitol during the rally at the Ellipse before the electoral vote count, was impeached by the House one week later for inciting the riot but was later acquitted by the Senate.
Rebecca Kaplan and Ellis Kim contributed to this report.
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