House Republicans question former news exec’s work for Jan. 6 committee

House Republicans question former news exec’s work for Jan. 6 committee

January 6 panel prepares for public hearings

January 6 committee prepares for public hearings 03: 05

A group of House Republicans questioned Wednesday whether the committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol violated rules when it hired a former news executive.

The five representatives wrote in a letter to the committee’s Democratic leadership that they are seeking confirmation that former ABC News president James Goldston is working for the committee. Axios first reported Monday that Goldston is an “unannounced advisor” to the committee, which is holding the first of at least six public hearings in a rare prime-time session Thursday.

The Republicans wrote that they are unaware of whether a required letter requesting approval of Goldston’s hiring has been submitted to the Committee on House Administration.

“To our knowledge, the Committee has not received or considered such a request,” wrote the representatives, who include Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Rodney Davis, and four others who in July 2021 were recommended by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to join the Jan. 6 committee. Those recommendations were later rescinded by McCarthy after Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected two of the five, Rep. Jim Jordan and Rep. Jim Banks.

The Republicans noted in their letter that Goldston would be barred from working for the Jan. 6 committee for free.

James Goldston
James Goldston, then president of ABC News, speaks ahead of the Democratic presidential candidates’ debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Dec. 19, 2015. Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

“Such an arrangement would violate House Rules and the House Ethics Manual regulations which clearly states that “no logical distinction can be drawn between the private contribution of in-kind services and the private contribution of money,” they wrote.

The Offices of Jan. 6 committee Chair Bennie Thompson and Committee on House Administration Chairperson Zoe Lofgren did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

Committee chair Bennie Thompson said last week that the hearing will feature a “combination of witnesses, exhibits, things that we have through the tens of thousands of exhibits we’ve […] looked at, as well as the hundreds of witnesses we deposed or just talked to in general. “

The committee, which has interviewed some of former President Donald Trump’s closest advisers — including his children Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., and son-in-law Jared Kushner — has promised to show “previously unseen material” from its nearly yearlong investigation.

The select committee plans to call two witnesses on Thursday: Nick Quested, a filmmaker who followed the Proud Boys on Jan. 6, and Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards, the first law enforcement officer injured by rioters storming the Capitol grounds. According to the committee, Edwards sustained a traumatic brain injury that prevented him from returning to work.

Read the full letter here:

Catherine Herridge

Catherine Herridge

Catherine Herridge is a senior investigative correspondent for CBS News covering national security and intelligence based in Washington, D.C.

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