Donald Trump Jr. speaks with the January 6 committee

WASHINGTON (AP) — The eldest son of former President Donald Trump met with the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, uprising on the U.S. Capitol, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Tuesday’s interview with Donald Trump Jr. comes as the bipartisan House committee closes in on the former president’s inner circle of family members and political advisers.

Young Trump is likely of interest to the committee because of his closeness to his father on the day of the riot. Donald Trump Jr. was seen backstage at the White House Ellipse rally that took place shortly before supporters of the then-president marched to the Capitol and entered the building.

In multiple social media videos posted at the time of the Jan. 6 attack, Trump Jr. was seen with Kimberly Guilfoyle — then his girlfriend, now his fiancee — and other family members as his father preparing to make a speech that investigators believed. supporters rallied to act violently that day.

The House committee also released Jan. 6 text messages in which Trump Jr. pleaded with the White House to get his father to strongly condemn the riot.

“We need an oval address. He must lead now. This has gone too far and gotten out of hand,” Trump Jr. wrote to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

Trump Jr. is one of nearly 1,000 witnesses the committee has interviewed as it strives to compile a dossier of the worst attack on the Capitol in more than two centuries. He is the second of known Trump children to speak to the committee; sister Ivanka Trump sat with lawmakers for eight hours in early April. Her husband, Jared Kushner, was also interviewed by the committee.

Other allies of the former president have defied committee subpoenas and been referred to the Justice Department for possible contempt of Congress charges. One of them, Stephen Bannon, was charged last year after refusing to cooperate. This case is pending.

The committee of seven Democrats and two Republicans is seeking to wrap up its nearly 11-month investigation and move into the public hearing phase. Hearings are due to begin June 9 and last four weeks. Lawmakers expect to call witnesses and present evidence in a bid to educate the public about the full extent of the attack and Donald Trump’s role in it.

Trump Jr. is no stranger to congressional investigations, having testified at least three times in House and Senate investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The two people who confirmed Trump Jr.’s interview with the Jan. 6 committee were granted anonymity to discuss the private session, which was not announced by the committee.


Associated Press writer Farnoush Amiri contributed to this report.