(The Hill) – Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) expressed serious concern over the claim by the House select Jan. 6 committee that former President Trump attempted to call one of the committee’s witnesses, who had not yet appeared in its public hearings.
On Wednesday, Romney called the allegation “very serious” and dismissed speculation that Trump may have pocket-dialed the witness by accident.
“I can’t imagine why he’d have a witness on his cellphone, making a pocket-dial, so that’s not terribly credible. If in fact, he was calling a witness, that allegation is very serious,” he said.
House Jan. 6 committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) revealed the attempted contact by Trump during her closing statement at Tuesday’s hearing.
She said the committee had passed the information along to the Justice Department and warned: “We will take any effort to influence witness testimony very seriously.”
That claim prompted an angry response from Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich.
“Liz Cheney continues to traffic in innuendo and lies that go unchallenged, unconfirmed, but repeated as fact because the narrative is more important than the truth,” he said on Twitter.
A host for Newsmax, a media outlet viewed as sympathetic toward the former president, claimed that Trump may have “butt-dialed” the witness.
“Hey, maybe it was a butt-dial, huh? Tell the Justice Department that. OK, they take themselves so seriously,” Newsmax host Greg Kelly said in Trump’s defense.
Cheney also raised the issue of possible witness tampering at the committee’s June 28 hearing, noting that at least one witness had received phone calls from Trump allies interested in what they might say publicly.