Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson didn’t give many details on the interview Thursday but said that Thomas told the panel she still believes the 2020 election was stolen.
NBC News cameras outside the O’Neill House building captured Thomas as she arrived at the Capitol for the 9:30 a.m. interview and as she left the committee room at 1:59 p.m. after speaking with the committee for around three and a half hours, including some breaks. NBC News saw her car leaving shortly after the interview.
Thomas declined to answer any questions from the press gathered outside the committee room.
A source close to the panel told NBC News last week that the committee had reached an agreement with Thomas to be interviewed.
Her attorney, Mark Paoletta, said in a statement that Thomas was “happy to cooperate with the Committee to clear up the misconceptions about her activities surrounding the 2020 elections” and noted that she had previously condemned the violence of Jan. 6.
However, Paoletta acknowledged that Thomas was worried about fraud in 2020. “Her minimal and mainstream activity focused on ensuring that reports of fraud and irregularities were investigated,” he said. “Beyond that, she played no role in any events after the 2020 election results.”
Both Thompson and Rep. Jamie Raskin, another committee member, told reporters Thursday they were pleased that Thomas agreed to speak with the panel.
“At this point, we’re glad she came,” Thompson said.
When asked whether any of her testimony will be included in the committee’s next hearing, he replied that it would if it were “something of merit.”
Emails, records and reporting indicate that Thomas was involved in some aspects of a scheme involving “fake electors” after the 2020 election and was also in touch with Trump lawyer John Eastman about his strategies to overturn the election results. Eastman wrote memos pushing for then-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the election.
Thomas first came under scrutiny for messages she sent to Mark Meadows, who was White House chief of staff on Jan. 6, telling him to encourage then-President Donald Trump not to concede the election to Joe Biden.
Thomas’ lawyer, Mark R. Paoletta, defended her messages to Meadows, arguing that she “never claimed to have first-hand knowledge about election fraud” and was “just passing along information that she had heard from others.”
Thomas “expressed concern about the future of our country” under Biden, Paoletta said, “but none of it was unethical, much less illegal, and none of it suggests that Mrs. Thomas had even the slightest role in the January 6th attack on the Capitol, or even has any information about the attack.”
The Jan. 6 committee delayed a public hearing that had been scheduled for Wednesday because of Hurricane Ian. Its members did not immediately provide a new date for the hearing.
Liz Brown-Kaiser, Victoria Ebner and Kyle Stewart contributed.