William Barr
William Barr Reuters

Former Trump administration Attorney General Bill Barr is in talks to cooperate with the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, an individual close to Barr said on Thursday, according to CBS News.

Committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson told CBS in January that the select committee "had conversations with the former attorney general already," and an individual close to the Barr confirmed the panel contacted him for what was described as an informal conversation to see whether he had information related to the Capitol attack or the actions of former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark.

Clark, a key figure in raising doubts about the integrity of the election with Trump, attempted to use Justice Department resources to delay certification of the 2020 election results, according to a report from the Senate Judiciary Committee. Clark was in contact with Trump in the days leading up to January 6, according to the Senate Judiciary committee's report.

The select committee issued a subpoena for his testimony in October. The committee had moved to hold Clark in contempt late last year when he failed to appear but granted him a reprieve after he indicated he would appear for a deposition and invoke the Fifth Amendment, according to CBS.

While Barr was considered a defender of Trump while he led the Justice Department, their relationship soured in the wake of the 2020 presidential election after Barr told the Associated Press that federal investigators had not found evidence of widespread voter fraud, as Trump claimed.

The US House of Representatives passed a bill last May to form a commission to probe the January 6 attack on the Capitol. The bill was approved in a 252-175 vote, with 35 Republicans joining all Democrats in support.

Two days later, however, Senate Republicans blocked the legislation. Senators voted 54-35 on the House-passed bill, falling short of the 10 GOP votes needed to get it over an initial hurdle.

Without any pathway forward in the Senate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she would use her power to pursue a select committee in the House that will be controlled by Democrats, leading to the formation of the current panel.

The committee has already spoken to several figures in Trump's inner circle, including his daughter Ivanka, her husband and top Trump aide Jared Kushner, the President’s son, Donald Trump Jr., and Trump Jr.'s fiancée Kimberly Guilfoyle.

The select committee has so far subpoenaed a host of Trump allies, including his former lawyers Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis and Sidney Powell.

The House has already voted to hold four Trump associates in contempt of Congress for noncompliance with the subpoena. They are former White House senior advisor Steve Bannon, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Peter Navarro and Daniel Scavino.