Former senior technical adviser to the Jan. 6 commission, Denver Riggleman, said the White House switchboard made a phone call to a Capitol rioter on Jan. 6, 2021.
“You get a real ‘a-ha’ moment when you see that the White House switchboard had connected to a rioter’s phone while it was going on,” Riggleman told 60 Minutes correspondent Bill Whitaker. “That’s a big, pretty big ‘a-ha’ moment.”
Riggleman, an ex-military intelligence officer and former Republican congressman from Virginia, oversaw a data-driven operation for the Jan. 6 commission, pursuing phone records and other digital clues linked to the Capitol attack. In April, he stopped working for the committee.
“I only know one side of that conversation,” Riggleman said. “I don’t know the end of the White House, which I think is more important. But the point is that the American people need to know that there are connections that need to be explored more.”
Specific White House phone numbers are kept secret to protect any records. In a book to be published soon, Riggleman writes that he begged the Jan. 6 committee to work harder to identify the numbers.
Riggleman told Whitaker that he expressed his concern to the committee: “I was one of those individuals, unfortunately, in the beginning, you know, where I was very, very aggressive about these linked connections, getting those White House phone numbers. .”
In a statement to 60 Minutes, a Jan. 6 committee spokesperson said in part: “In his role on the staff of the Select Committee, Mr. Riggleman had limited knowledge of the committee’s investigation. He left in April ahead of our hearings of the staff and much of our most important investigative work…Since he left, the commission has been collecting all clues and processing and analyzing all the information derived from his work…and a thorough report will be published by the end of the year. published.”
Riggleman said, “From my perspective… in counter-terrorism. If the White House, even if it’s a short call, and it’s a connected call, who’s actually calling?”
“Is there a simple, harmless explanation for that?” asked Whitaker.
“Was it a chance call?” Rigman responded. “When the White House happened to call numbers that someone had dialed a rioter wrong that day, January 6? Probably not.”
The call was discovered after Riggleman assembled a small team of data miners and analysts for the commission to comb through 20 million lines of data—emails, social media posts, phone records, and texts—to find out who was doing what in the leading up to and on January 6th.
“We were able to do things, I think, in a way that had never been done before with millions of lines of data,” Riggleman said. “And to actually create a graph that shows how these groups actually mixed.”
Those groups, according to Riggleman, include: “Trump team, Trump family, rally-goers, unaffiliated DOJ-charged defendants, Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, and others, who are state legislators, deputy voters, that sort of thing.”
Watch Bill Whitaker’s report on Denver Riggleman, Sunday on 60 Minutes.