The White House called a rioter on Jan. 6 for 9 seconds. The reason why remains a mystery
A former Jan. 6. committee member doesn’t think the call was just an innocent mistake
On the afternoon of Jan. 6, 2021, the White House landline connected to the phone of a rioter at the U.S. Capitol building. The call lasted for nine seconds, according to former Rep. Denver Riggleman, R-Va., a former Jan. 6 committee member who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, per CBS’ “60 Minutes.”
The news: To this date, it is unknown who made the call, or what was talked about, but CNN states this is the only phone call from the White House that connected to the phone of a rioter that day.
- However, the identity of the rioter who received the call has been revealed. Anton Lunyk is a 26-year-old Trump supporter from Brooklyn, New York, who had traveled to Washington, D.C., with some friends for the riot.
- CNN says that Lunyk does not remember getting this phone call, and states that he didn’t know anyone working in the White House at the time.
- Lunyk and two of his friends have been sentenced for their participation in the riot. However, the phone call was not mentioned in Lunyk’s sentencing or any related court documents.
Is the call significant? Could the phone call from the White House be an accident? Is it just a crazy coincidence that someone just happened to misdial a number connecting to a rioter? Riggleman says, “Probably not.”
- “I only know one end of that call. I don’t know the White House end, which I believe is more important. ... The American people need to know that there are link connections that need to be explored more,” Riggleman told “60 Minutes.”
What others are saying: Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., a current member of the Jan. 6 committee, told CNN that Riggleman’s suggestions could come with risks.
- Since Riggleman’s departure from the committee in April, Schiff states that there is information he doesn’t know about the investigations into Jan. 6.
- “Without the advantage of the additional information we have gathered since he left the committee, it ... poses real risks to be suggesting things,” Schiff said.
- Schiff continued to note that the committee is aware of the phone call, and other various issues that it will be expanding on in a hearing soon, according to Axios.