The committee asked Hannity for his voluntary cooperation with their investigation, noting it had received “dozens” of his text messages sent to and from former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows that indicate that he had “advance knowledge regarding President Trump’s and his legal team’s planning for January 6th.” It sought Hannity’s communications with Trump, White House staff and his legal team between December 31, 2020, and January 20, 2021, when President Joe Biden was inaugurated.
The committee said it has text messages from Hannity pushing back on the plan to urge Congress to challenge the certification of the election on January 6 and urging Trump to prepare for his departure from office.
“We can’t lose the entire WH counsel’s office,” wrote Hannity to Meadows on December 31, according to the committee’s letter. “I do not see January 6 happening the way he is being told. After the 6th. [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 committee said it appeared that Hannity might have talked directly with Trump on January 5 and on January 10, when Hannity wrote to Meadows and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan: “Guys, we have a clear path to land the plane in 9 days. He can’t mention the election again. Ever. I did not have a good call with him today. And worse, I’m not sure what is left to do or say, and I don’t like not knowing if it’s truly understood. Ideas?”
On January 5, Hannity wrote that he was “very worried about the next 48 hours” and referred to then-Vice President Mike Pence, who oversaw the certification of the 2020 election, saying: “Pence Pressure. WH counsel will leave.”
And on January 6, Hannity urged Meadows to tell Trump he should “ask people to peacefully leave the [C]apit[o]l.”
CNN has reached out to Hannity’s attorney Jay Sekulow for comment on the committee’s letter.
Before Meadows stopped cooperating with the panel, he turned over 6,000 documents, including a text message with Hannity on January 6 discussing how Trump needed to act.
According to the text the panel revealed, Hannity said to Meadows: “Can he make a statement? Ask people to leave the Capitol?’
Hannity was not the only Fox News host urging Meadows to get Trump to take action.
According to documents on file, the committee has a message from Laura Ingraham to Meadows saying, ” ‘Mark, the President needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy.”
Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade texted Meadows stating, “‘Please get him on TV. Destroying everything you have accomplished.”
GOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who serves as vice chairwoman of the panel, revealed these text messages last month when the committee was going through its process of holding Meadows for a possible charge of criminal contempt of Congress.
“Indeed, according to the records, multiple Fox News hosts knew the President needed to act immediately,” Cheney said then. “They texted Mr. Meadows, and he has turned over those texts.”
This story has been updated with additional developments Tuesday.