Jan. 6 panel ramps up discussions with Trump cabinet officials

Former Trump cabinet official Steven Mnuchin and chief of staff Mick Mulvaney have spoken with the Jan. 6 committee in recent days.

Mulvaney, who has been discussing much of the committee’s hearing as a CNN commentator, was seen walking into the building where the panel conducts its interviews.

Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) told reporters Thursday that Mnuchin had also come in for an interview, but did not specify when the former Treasury Secretary met with the panel.

He also said the committee is negotiating with former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about speaking with investigators. 

“I’m happy to see that they are, you know, coming around,” Thompson said.

The interviews come as the Jan. 6 committee is expanding its probe into cabinet members’ discussions around using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.

In a recently shared video from the committee, White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson said President Trump only agreed to do a video address on Jan. 7 over fear that cabinet officials were having that discussion.

Hutchinson said Trump was told to think “about what might happen in the final 15 days of your presidency if we don’t do this. There’s already talks about invoking the 25th Amendment. You need this as cover.”

Cabinet members appeared to make demands of Trump if they planned to keep him in office.

Then-Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia organized a meeting of Cabinet officials to “steady the ship” amid calls to use the 25th Amendment to remove Trump, ultimately issuing a memo of demands to the president.

“While president, you will no longer publicly question the election results — after Wednesday, no one can deny this is harmful,” Scalia wrote in the memo shared by the committee.

Mulvaney told reporters that he was asked by the panel to come, according to a video shared by an NBC News reporter. Asked what he planned to tell them, he said, “The truth. How about that for a start.”

Mychael Schnell contributed