A House committee investigating Jan. 6’s insurrection at Capitol has issued its first subpoenas. It is seeking records and testimony from four former President Donald Trump’s close advisors and associates, who were in direct contact with him prior to and during the attack.
The subpoenas were issued by Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), to former White House Chief Of Staff Mark Meadows, former White House Assistant Chief of Staff for Communications Dan Scavino and Kashyap Paltel, former Defense Department official, and former Trump adviser Steve Bannon. These four men are Trump’s most trusted aides.
Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), Chairman of the Committee, sent the four members a letter informing them that the committee is looking into “the facts and circumstances and causes” for the attack. He also asked them to produce documents so they could appear at depositions in October.
After sorting through thousands upon thousands of pages of documents that it requested from federal agencies and social media companies in August, the panel is now starting the interview phase. After sorting through thousands of pages of documents it requested in August from federal agencies and social media companies, the committee is now launching the interview phase of its investigation. It seeks to give a complete account of what happened when Trump loyalists beat police officers and broke through windows and doors to disrupt the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.
Thompson informs each witness in letters that investigators believe they possess relevant information regarding the events leading up to the insurrection. For example, Bannon’s Jan. 5 prediction that “All hell will break loose tomorrow” is cited by Democrats. Trump also received letters from Thompson one week prior to the riot, in which he asked him to keep his focus on Jan. 6.
Thompson’s letter to Meadows cites his efforts in overturning Trump’s defeat weeks before the insurrection, and his pressure on state officials for him to push his false claims of widespread voter corruption.
Thompson wrote that Thompson “you were the president’s chief staff officer and have critical information concerning many elements of our investigation.” “It appears that you were in the vicinity or with President Trump on January 6 and had communication with him and others regarding events at Capitol. You also have a witness to the day’s activities.
Thompson stated that there is “credible evidence” from the panel of Meadows’ involvement with events within the scope for the committee’s investigation. This includes Meadows’ involvement in “planning and preparation to contest the presidential elections and delay the counting electoral votes”.
This letter indicates that the committee is interested to Meadows’ requests for Justice Department officials to investigate possible election fraud. William Barr, the former Attorney General, stated that the Justice Department didn’t find any fraud that could have affected election outcome.
According to reports, Patel, a Trump loyalist, was speaking to Meadows “nonstop”, the panel mentions that the attack took place on the day Patel had been posted at the Pentagon. Thompson wrote to Patel that, based on documents obtained from the committee, there was “substantial cause to believe” that you have additional documents or information that could help you understand the role of the Defense Department (and the White House) in preparing and responding to the attack against the U.S. Capitol.
According to reports by the committee, Scavino was present with Trump Jan. 5, during a discussion on how to persuade Congress members not to approve the election of Joe Biden. According to reports cited by the committee, Scavino was with Trump on Jan. 5 during a discussion about how to persuade members of Congress not to certify the election for Joe Biden.
Thompson stated that Scavino may have been with Trump Jan. 6, and that he may have had “materials relevant” to his tweeting and videotaping messages that day. He also noted Scavino’s “long service” to Trump, which spanned more than a decade.
Republicans will be furious at the subpoenas. Most of them have been happy to move on from insurrection and remain loyal to Trump despite denouncing the attack. Only two Republicans are on the panel: Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, and Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger.
The committee held an emotional hearing in July with four police officers who fought the insurrectionists. They were verbally abused and injured as the rioters broke into their building, repeating Trump’s lies about widespread electoral fraud.
There were at least nine deaths during and after the rioting. This included a woman shot and killed trying to enter the House chamber by police and three Trump supporters who had medical emergencies. In the days following the riots, two police officers committed suicide and another officer, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick fell and died while engaging in protests. Later, a medical examiner determined that he had died from natural causes.
Two more officers from the Metropolitan Police, Officers Kyle DeFreytag (and Gunther Hashida) who responded to the insurrection died this summer by suicide.