As senators intensified their investigation into the rallies that preceded the deadly assault on the US Capitol on Jan. 6, they issued subpoenas to five additional people, including former President Donald Trump’s associate Roger Stone and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
Stone and Jones, as well as three persons suspected of planning and promoting the two events on Jan. 6, were served with subpoenas on Monday, demanding records and testimony.
“The Select Committee is collecting evidence regarding the demonstrations and following march to the Capitol that devolved into a violent mob attacking the Capitol and endangering our democracy,” said Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, the panel’s Democratic chairman. “We need to know who planned, paid for, and received cash for those events, as well as what conversations organizers had with White House and congressional officials.”
The subpoenas are the latest in a wide-ranging investigation by the House panel into the deadly day when a group of Trump supporters, fueled by his false claims of a stolen election, brutally assaulted police and smashed their way into the Capitol to prevent Democrat Joe Biden’s victory from being certified.
More than 150 people from government, social media, and law enforcement have already been interviewed by the committee, including several former Trump advisors who have cooperated. More than 20 witnesses have been summoned by the panel, and the vast majority of them, including numerous colleagues who assisted in the planning of the big “Stop the Steal” event on Jan. 6, have indicated that they will cooperate.
Stone was found guilty of lying to Congress about his efforts to collect inside knowledge about Russia-hacked Democratic emails disclosed by Wikileaks in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. Trump later granted him clemency.
Stone spoke at rallies the day before the Capitol insurgency and utilized members of a far-right group, the Oath Keepers, as personal security guards while in Washington, according to the House subpoena.
Stone stated in a statement that he has yet to examine the subpoena’s specifics, but that any claim of his involvement on that day is “categorically untrue.”
“I have often stated that I had no prior knowledge of the events that occurred in the Capitol on that day,” the conservative provocateur stated. “I’ll decide how I’m going to act when the subpoena is issued and my attorney has reviewed the demands.”
The House subcommittee also wants to hear from Jones, according to Thompson, who claims that the conspiracy theorist and radio personality assisted in organizing the Ellipse gathering that preceded the insurgency on Jan. 6. Jones regularly pushed Trump’s accusations of election fraud, invited his listeners to travel to Washington for the demonstration, and marched from the Ellipse to the Capitol, according to Thompson’s letter. Jones “made remarks indicating that you had knowledge of President Trump’s plans with relation to the event,” Thompson wrote.
A lawyer who has previously defended Jones did not reply to a request for comment.
The other three subpoenas were issued to Dustin Stockton, Jennifer Lawrence, and Taylor Budowich for their alleged roles in the promotion and planning of a series of protests following the 2020 presidential election, including the Ellipse rally that followed the violent attack on the Capitol.
After the election, Stockton and Lawrence were important organizers of the “Stop the Steal” movement, helping to arrange the gathering on Jan. 6 that followed the Capitol attack. The pair stated that they planned to testify and that they would provide the committee with the materials it sought.
Both have apologized for their actions. Stockton stated that he had previously approached the committee to offer his cooperation.
“What occurred on the 6th surprised and frightened us,” Lawrence told The Associated Press on Monday. “We need to figure out what happened so that we can go ahead as a country.”
Budowich, who is now Trump’s main spokeswoman, did not reply to demands for comment right away.
Officials from the state certified the election results, and the courts affirmed them. The Justice Department, with the help of Trump’s own attorney general, William Barr, discovered no evidence of widespread fraud that might have reversed the results.
The committee is looking for information from Stockton and his fiancee, Lawrence, who are accused of orchestrating some of the rallies. Stockton was concerned enough about the Ellipse gathering being a “potential hazard,” according to the committee, that he raised his concerns with then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
Several additional Trump aides have previously been asked to provide papers and testimony to the inquiry; some have complied, while others have not. After defying a subpoena from a House committee, Steve Bannon, a longstanding Trump friend, was arrested on two charges of criminal contempt of Congress on Nov. 12. Meadows will have additional time to comply with a subpoena before a contempt vote is taken by the committee.