January 6 committee adviser says White House called rioter during Capitol insurrection

·2 min read

The White House switchboard connected a phone call to a Capitol rioter while the attack on Congress was underway, a former adviser to the January 6 committee claims.

"I only know one end of that call," Denver Riggleman, a technical adviser who worked with the congressional, told 60 Minutes. "I don’t know the White House end, which I believe is more important. But the thing is the American people need to know that there are link connections that need to be explored more."

Mr Riggleman, a former military intelligence officer and Republican congressman from Virginia, is the author of a forthcoming book which argues the January 6 committee needed to further investigate communication records like the alleged White House call.

"From my perspective…being in counterterrorism. If the White House, even if it’s a short call, and it’s a connected call, who is actually making that phone call?" he added in the 60 Minutes interview. "Is there a simple, innocent explanation for that?"

A spokesperson for the January 6 select committee told CBS News it had followed through on all the key elements of its investigation, whose findings will be released at the end of 2022.

"In his role on the Select Committee staff, Mr Riggleman had limited knowledge of the committee’s investigation,” the spokesperson said. “He departed from the staff in April prior to our hearings and much of our most important investigative work…Since his departure, the Committee has run down all the leads and digested and analyzed all the information that arose from his work.

Communications records have formed a key part of the January 6 committee—as well as the areas where some see further need to investigate.

Speculation ran rampant when it was revealed numerous Secret Service text records from the moments before and during the Capitol riots were deleted in an agency-wide reset of phones, which took place after Congress requested the messages

After January 6, the communications records of top Defence Department officials were also wiped.

Meanwhile, the numerous messages from conservative activist Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, urging top Republicans and Trump associates to challenge the 2020 election results have also become fodder for the January 6 investigation.

This week, Ms Thomas agreed to a voluntary interview with the January 6 committee.