“You get a real ‘a-ha’ moment when you see that the White House switchboard was connected to a rioter’s phone when [the riot] happening It’s a big, huge ‘a-ha’ moment,” Riggleman told 60 Minutes correspondent Brian Whittaker.
According to Riggleman, the call was unlikely to be an “accident.”
But, he admitted, during his time as a technical adviser on the investigation, he was only able to understand “one end” of that call.
“I don’t know the end of the White House, which I believe is more important. But the thing is, the American people need to know that there are links that need to be explored further,” Riggleman said.
Riggleman left the committee in April to take a job with a nonprofit that helps Ukraine. Notably, his announcement this weekend about Switchboard Call comes just ahead of the release of his new book, Violation of
The book is about the time of Riggleman’s January 6 investigation and is co-authored with reporter Hunter Walker.
It will be on Wednesday, September 28 at 1 PM ET. comes just a day before the committee’s public hearing. This is expected to be the last of the committee.
Members of the Jan. 6 committee responded to Riggleman’s comments this weekend, insisting they were already aware of the call.
A committee spokesman also emphasized that the former Republican congressman for Virginia had “limited knowledge” of the committee’s work after his departure and that the panel had done “much of our significant investigative work” since Riggleman left.
In an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” this Sunday, committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin addressed the switchboard call but didn’t say much else. The Maryland Democrat said the committee had already looked into it and cautioned that “there were a lot of contacts between people in the White House and various people who were clearly involved in the coup attempt and the rebellion.”
Historically, the committee has kept the details of its investigations and its plans for hearings under guard, leaving its most explosive findings during its public presentations.
The relationship between Riggleman and the committee has not been without some tension. The sources said The Washington Post That Riggleman wasn’t always clear about his book deal, reportedly telling aides on the committee that he was writing a book though he wouldn’t confirm what it was about. According to Politico, committee staff director David Buckley wrote in a staff-wide email, Riggleman’s televised press interviews and conversations about the content of the committee’s subpoenas or that it investigated. How is it divided?
While he officially dropped the investigation, Riggleman finally admitted openly to reporters that he had received a book deal. But he also said his book won’t come out until next year.
On Sunday, Riggleman told 60 Minutes that as he reviewed the correspondence Trump flew back and forth in the circle before the uprising, there were eerie similarities between the language used and the language used by extremists or religious extremists that he studied in the past.
“Honestly, the way they talked, the way they described this epic struggle, it almost seemed to me like [I was] Looking at foreign terrorist groups in the past. The way they were talking about religion. You automatically back off the throttle, sit back in your chair and think, ‘Man, that’s a dangerous line of thinking,'” he said.
He continued: “I’m finding that everything they believe, the system built in their minds based on their support for Donald Trump, is wrong.”
Riggleman added that the coup push was “a very simple thing to see,” just by reading the texts that had already been publicly released.
“If you read them, please, for the love of God, think about what these people are saying to each other; to the Chief of Staff or to the President of the United States. You come to the conclusion that, listen, even It’s not criminal, it’s stupid. And we don’t want someone like that making decisions for the United States. Either for domestic or foreign policy. That’s it,” he said.
Riggleman, who was brought onto the committee with the support of Republican Vice Chair Liz Cheney, also explained how his thinking had evolved over time around Jan. 6.
“I left there [it was a] the riots [it was] Coup-like movements,” he said of his initial assessments. “At this point, I think it’s pretty clear that this was a coup attempt.”
This opinion is common among all the members of the committee. As the trial unfolded this summer, investigators regularly used that description.
But committee member Rep. According to Adam Schiff, the “big a-ha” moment Riggleman described wasn’t exactly that.
Schiff told CNN’s Jake Tapper during Sunday’s hearing that the committee has been careful not to overstate or understate matters.
Riggleman’s latest comments “pose a real risk,” Schiff said.
Rep. Lofgren also elaborated, telling CNN that every lead generated by Riggleman was investigated.
“Everything he was able to relay before he left has been followed up and in some cases Peter didn’t actually get out (sic), or there might have been a decision that suggested that a number and There was a correlation between an e. -Mail and a person who didn’t pan out. So we follow everything, and, you know, I don’t know what Mr. Riggleman is really doing,” she said.
From the White House to the Jan. 6 phone call to the rioters, details in the public domain so far have been limited. After Riggleman’s interview on 60 Minutes, however, CNN confirmed the identity of the owner of the cell phone.
The phone allegedly belongs to Anton Lunik, a resident of Brooklyn, New York and a Trump supporter.
The call from the White House landline to Lunick’s phone lasted just nine seconds, beginning at 4:34 p.m. on January 6.
The timing is interesting: It came less than 30 minutes after Trump released a video telling the rioters to go home as he simultaneously praised them for being “very special.”
Lunick pleaded guilty this April to illegally parading inside the Capitol with two friends: Francis Connor and Antonio Ferrigno. The men originally faced several charges including entering and remaining in a restricted area, trespassing, disorderly conduct, and parading or demonstrating within the Capitol.
He reportedly has no recollection of receiving the call and does not know anyone who works in the Trump White House.
Currently, there is no known contact between Lunick and anyone working in the Trump White House. And as pointed out by CNN, Lunik’s car was spotted in New York City at 8:28 p.m. On January 6. This could mean that by the time Lunick’s phone was called, he was likely already in transit from the Capitol to New York.
Lunick, Connor or Ferrigno do not appear to have any direct ties to extremist groups such as the Proud Boys or Oath Keepers or their members.
But court records show that in Instagram group chats from November 2020 where Lunick, Connor and Ferrigno discussed how the election was “stolen” from Trump, Ferrigno named one of the group chats “The Proud Boys” and then Named “The Proud Boys”. and friends” a month later. In January, the name was changed once more to “The Oath Keepers,” CNN reported.
After the capital attack, the viral messages continued to flow.
For example, Connor sent a message to Lunyk on Instagram on January 8, 2021.
“Our work yesterday was not done. Our ultimate goal was brutal murder [then Vice President Mike] Pence and [Speaker of the House Nancy] Pelosi, and sadly, they are still breathing today, so we must come back stronger and stronger next time,” Connor wrote.
On January 12, 2021, Lunick boasted that he was “going to shoot Pelosi.” Other chats include the New York rapper. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was threatened with rape.
An attorney for Lunik did not immediately return a request for comment to The Daily Kos.