'This is huge': Legal experts blown away by revelation that Donald Trump called January 6th witness

'This is huge': Legal experts blown away by revelation that Donald Trump called January 6th witness
President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive at Joint Base Andrews Air Force Base Friday July 5, 2019, in Maryland, and depart on Air Force One en route New Jersey. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead).

Legal experts were stunned on Tuesday when GOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming once again dropped a bombshell on witness tampering during her closing statement as vice-chair of the House Select Committee Investigating the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol.

"After our last hearing, President Trump tried to call a witness in our investigation," she said.

"A witness you have not yet seen in these hearings," Cheney continued. "That person declined to answer or respond to President Trump's call and, instead, alerted their lawyer to the call. Their lawyer alerted us and this committee has supplied that information to the Department of Justice."

"Let me say one more time, we will take any effort to influence witness testimony very seriously," she added.

After the hearing, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) revealed the select committee has known about the call for a couple of days.

He said, “this has been an ongoing pattern, and we're trying to send the message that witness tampering is a crime in the United States of America."

Prof. Laurence Tribe of Harvard Law, who has argued three dozen cases before the Supreme Court, posted "WOW" on Twitter.

"This is HUGE," Tribe argued.

Former White House ethics czar Norm Eisen wrote, "We already knew of multiple apparent incidents of witness intimidation. We just learned that President Trump may have attempted a 3rd."'

"18 USC 1512 punishes witness intimidation with fines, imprisonment for not more than 20 years, or both," Eisen noted.

"Liz Cheney is smart to put down a marker by publicly calling out Trump for reaching out to one of the Committee’s witnesses," former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti said.

Former prosecutor Katie Phang suggested that "Trump wasn’t calling to talk about the weather."

"So, Trump tried to call a witness," former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance noted. "The witness passed it on to their lawyer & the committee forwarded the information to DOJ. Former presidents are no more entitled to break the law by witness tampering than any other citizen."

She added that "only the guilty try to tamper with witnesses."

NBC News Chief Washington Correspondent said, "Witness tampering, attempted or otherwise, is a felony. Ask Roger Stone who was convicted of obstruction, impeding a congressional inquiry. Trump commuted his 40 month sentence before leaving office."

"Wait, did Liz Cheney say Trump *called a witness* and that it's been referred to the DOJ. Did this fool commit witness tampering THIS WEEK???" asked The Nation justice correspondent Elie Mystal.

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