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Cheney says Trump called a Jan. 6 committee witness after its last hearing

The witness has not been featured in the committee's hearings yet, Cheney said. The person didn't answer the call and the committee has alerted the Justice Department.
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WASHINGTON — Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., revealed Tuesday during the Jan. 6 committee's seventh hearing that former President Donald Trump called a witness in the probe after the previous hearing on June 28.

"After our last hearing, President Trump tried to call a witness in our investigation — a witness you have not yet seen in these hearings," Cheney said in her closing statement. "That person declined to answer or respond to President Trump’s call, and instead alerted their lawyer to the call. Their lawyer alerted us."

Cheney said the committee supplied that information to the Department of Justice. She then issued a stark warning to anyone who might be interfering with witnesses.

"Let me say one more time: We will take any efforts to influence witness testimony very seriously," she said.

When asked about Cheney's assertion, Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich referred NBC News to a statement posted on his Twitter account Tuesday criticizing both Cheney and the media.

Cheney had previously said that the committee had received evidence of witness tampering in its investigation. During the sixth hearing on June 28 when former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified, the committee showed excerpts of statements from witnesses alleging that they had been contacted by someone who tried to influence their testimony.

Hutchinson was the recipient of one of those messages, two sources with knowledge told NBC News.

Cheney said next week the committee will present a minute-by-minute breakdown of what occurred on Jan. 6.

"You will hear that Donald Trump never picked up the phone that day to order his administration to help. This is not ambiguous. He did not call the military. His secretary of defense received no order. He did not call his attorney general. He did not talk to the Department of Homeland Security," Cheney said.

For multiple hours, Trump "refused to intervene to stop" the Capitol attack, Cheney said, adding that the president "would not instruct the mob to leave or condemn the violence" and "would not order them to evacuate the Capitol and disperse."

She said that throughout all of the different elements, investigated by the committee, that led to Jan. 6, "They all have one other thing in common: Donald Trump participated in each substantially, and personally, he oversaw or directed the activity of those involved."