Before the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, Sean Hannity texted that he was “very worried about the next 48 hours,” the House committee investigating the insurrection revealed Tuesday.
In a letter asking Hannity to agree to an interview, the panel said it has “dozens of text messages you sent to and received from former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and others related to the 2020 election and President Trump’s efforts to contest the outcome of the vote.”
According to the panel, those include a December 31 message in which Hannity suggested he knew that the White House Counsel’s office had legal concerns about Trump’s plans to try to overturn his reelection defeat and remain in office.
“We can’t lose the entire WH counsels office,” Hannity told Meadows. “I do NOT see January 6 happening the way he is being told. After the 6 th. [sic] He should announce will lead the nationwide effort to reform voting integrity. Go to Fl and watch Joe mess up daily. Stay engaged. When he speaks people will listen.” The identity of whomever Hannity was referring to as egging on Trump’s plans is unclear.
The Committee is seeking information from Sean Hannity.
Chair @BennieGThompson and Vice Chair @RepLizCheney request Hannity answer questions about matters including communications between Hannity and the former President, Mark Meadows, and others in the days surrounding Jan 6th. pic.twitter.com/wXtOGSsneg
— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) January 4, 2022
On January 5th, according to the letter, Hannity also texted Meadows: “Pence pressure. WH counsel will leave.” The committee said that other messages indicate that Hannity had spoke directly with Trump on the evening of January 5th about Trump’s plans for the next day.
The committee previously revealed that Hannity on January 6 was among various Fox News hosts and Trump confidants, including Ivanka Trump, who tried for hours to get Trump to issue a statement asking the rioters to stop their attack and leave the Capitol. Trump did not do so until 4:17 p.m. that day, hours after the mayhem and violence began. The committee’s letter indicates, however, that Hannity had more extensive contacts with Trump and his inner circle before and after the attack than previously known. Hannity said in a January 10 message to Meadow and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) that he had spoken to Trump that day and urged him not to “mention the election,” the panel noted.
Hannity has said he is “not a journalist.” Still, the the committee, anticipating complaints from the political right about focusing on a member of the media, emphasized that they were not questioning Hannity about his politics or his broadcasts, but instead wanted to seek from him “factual information directly relevant to the events of January 6th and the attack on the institutions of our democracy.”