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Kerik to testify before Jan. 6 committee, demands apology

Violent rioters storm the Capitol on Jan. 6. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

NEW YORK CITY (The Hill) — Bernard Kerik, a former New York City police commissioner who helped coordinate space for the Trump team’s “war room” at the Willard Hotel, plans to comply with a subpoena from the Jan. 6 committee but is demanding an apology from the panel.

At issue for Kerik is the committee’s assertion that he attended a Jan. 5 meeting at the hotel where participants reportedly discussed different strategies for overturning the election results.

At the meeting was longtime friend Rudy Giuliani as well as John Eastman, who crafted a memo outlining former President Trump‘s options for alleged pathways to contest the election.

But Kerik never attended the meeting in Washington, his attorney wrote the panel in a letter first reported by Politico and obtained by The Hill, because he was in New York dealing with a family emergency.

“For these reasons, Mr. Kerik demands that both the letter and press release be withdrawn or corrected and an apology issued. Whether intentional or negligent, allowing these false statements to stand on the website of this committee is improper and should be corrected,” Timothy Parlatore, Kerik’s attorney, wrote Tuesday.

Kerik is sought by the committee not only because of the meeting but also because of comments he made to The Washington Post detailing that his firm billed the Trump campaign more than $55,000 for rooms for the legal team and another $10,000 in other travel expenses. He also reportedly led efforts to investigate claims of voter fraud. 

While Kerik signals a willingness to cooperate with the committee, he, like others, alludes to executive privilege claims from Trump in asking for a delay, including so Trump’s legal team has time to review them first. Kerik was asked to turn in documents today, with a deposition scheduled for Dec. 3.

“Notwithstanding the significant issues outlined above, Mr. Kerik still intends to comply with the subpoena. However, we will need additional time to comply due to the volume of documents and privilege issues,” Parlatore wrote, asking for a 30-day extension.

“Mr. Kerik very much wants to cooperate and provide these documents to the committee, so that the American people can witness first-hand what he and others on the president’s legal team saw for themselves. We therefore need additional time after compiling and organizing the documents to provide them to counsel for President Trump so that they can decide what portions, if any, they wish to exert privilege over,” he added.

Kerik’s attorney also gripes about multiple questions from a committee attorney seeking to determine whether he would comply with the subpoena.

“This happened at least three times during the call, despite my clear assertions that we did intend to comply. When someone continuously invites non-compliance in this manner, it gives the distinct impression that the goal was never to have him comply, but rather to cause him to not comply and face indictment,” Parlatore wrote.

A spokesperson for the Jan. 6 committee declined to comment.

Kerik was subpoenaed by the committee the same day as former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn. Like Flynn, Kerik was pardoned by Trump in his last year in office after he pleaded guilty to tax fraud and lying to the government. 

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