By Paula Reid and Katelyn Polantz, CNN
Bernard Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner, has agreed to a voluntary interview with the House select committee investigating January 6 and provided some documents.
Kerik was subpoenaed by the committee in November.
Timothy Parlatore, Kerik’s attorney, sent a letter Friday to the committee, obtained by CNN, which includes a Dropbox link to various documents, including press releases as well as presentations and emails about election fraud claims.
Kerik worked alongside his longtime friend Rudy Giuliani, a former attorney for ex-President Donald Trump and New York City mayor, in the weeks after the 2020 presidential election to find any evidence of voter fraud that would swing it for Trump. There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the election.
Kerik also has agreed to a voluntary interview, as opposed to a deposition, but took issue with the terms proposed by the committee. The interview could take place on January 13, according to the letter.
The documents don’t appear to reveal much that those around Trump haven’t already made known and don’t reveal any sensitive conversations about what Trump or the White House wanted from outside lawyers who were suspicious of election fraud and strategizing last-ditch court cases to overturn the election.
The relatively small number of records appears to mostly be messages and other records largely from after the election collected by Kerik, which Parlatore said could support investigations into voter fraud — a tactic Trump’s advisers used after the 2020 election to spread conspiracies and that Kerik’s team continues to push now.
There is also a memo outlining a communications plan for the 10 days leading up to January 6 to support overturning the election for Trump. In it, the Giuliani legal team lays out a plan that includes identifying social media influencers. It also says the far-right House Freedom Caucus lawmakers are key team members, and that the team hopes to use “presidential tweets” for messaging.
Kerik also made public emails that show him cutting off payments for a suite of rooms at the Willard Hotel in Washington, DC, where Trump’s post-election “war room” operated, and directing Giuliani to pick up some of the tab. The committee has previously expressed significant interest in learning more about what was happening at the hotel.
Kerik previously said he would provide documents that are not privileged to the committee via a public website, despite the committee’s request to have them delivered via a secure electronic attachment.
Parlatore said he objects to the fact that the interview cannot be recorded and promptly released to the public but added that will not prevent the interview from taking place.
“As I have previously outlined, I do not believe that your committee possesses the requisite makeup to be able to comply with the required deposition procedures but I am happy to agree to a voluntary interview to avoid having to litigate the issue,” Parlatore wrote in the letter to the committee.
Parlatore wrote in the letter that “Mr. Kerik was hired by former-President Donald Trump’s legal team, to act as an investigator tasked to look into claims of election fraud. In this role, Mr. Kerik received, reviewed, and processed claims of fraud from around the country. Some were clearly baseless and needed little follow up, while others warranted further investigation.”
Parlatore argued that “since Mr. Kerik’s work was done at the behest of attorneys in anticipation of litigation, a large percentage of the documents Mr. Kerik has that would be responsive to your subpoena is shielded from disclosure by the work-product doctrine.”
Kerik also released a list of records he was not turning over, citing attorney confidentiality. That includes what’s labeled as a “draft letter” from Trump “to seize evidence in the interest of national security for the 2020 elections.” A note Kerik’s team made about the document said it was drafted or edited by an attorney.
At least one other lawyer around Trump in December 2020, Sidney Powell, was asking for the then-President to allow them to seize voting machines so they could investigate their suspicions of voter fraud.
This story has been updated with additional information.
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