Jan. 6 panel interviews Wisconsin GOP Assembly speaker

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol interviewed Republican Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos on Wednesday, moving to wrap up depositions ahead of preparing a final report.

Vos had filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block a subpoena demanding his testimony about a phone call with Donald Trump in July 2021 during which the former president asked him to overturn Wisconsin’s results for the 2020 election.

Both sides agreed to postpone oral arguments in the lawsuit that were originally scheduled for Oct. 24, and Vos confirmed Wednesday that he had met with the committee.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, the panel’s chairman, told reporters the committee wanted to see “if there’s any more information that we can glean” from Trump’s call to Vos.

The committee has spent parts of the past year and a half questioning several state and local lawmakers in seven swing states that Democrat Joe Biden won in 2020. In the days and weeks after the presidential election, Trump and his allies sought to overturn the results in those states to favor the Republican.

Vos, in a brief statement, said that his meeting with the committee “was brief, and I answered their questions regarding Wisconsin’s 2020 presidential election.”

Trump repeatedly pressured Vos to overturn Biden’s narrow win in Wisconsin, but Vos says he rejected those efforts citing attorneys who said such a move would be illegal and unconstitutional. Vos did hire former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman to conduct a review of the election, but fired him three days after Vos won his reelection primary over a Republican opponent Gableman endorsed. Trump also endorsed Vos’s opponent.

In July, Trump called Vos to discuss a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling that the use of absentee drop boxes was illegal. The ruling applied only to future elections, not the 2020 election conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic when absentee voting and the use of drop boxes soared.

Trump argued that the ruling meant absentee ballots delivered in drop boxes in Wisconsin in 2020 should be invalidated, Vos said.

“It’s very consistent,” Vos told WISN-TV. “He makes his case, which I respect. He would like us to do something different in Wisconsin. I explained it’s not allowed under the Constitution. He has a different opinion.”

The nine-member U.S. House committee indicated Wednesday that its interview with Vos was the last scheduled deposition before turning all of its attention to its report, which is expected to be released by the end of the year.

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Bauer reported from Madison, Wisconsin.

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