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Thursday, March 23, 2023

House Jan. 6 Panel Subpoenas 10 Former Trump Aides

House investigators have issued subpoenas to ten former Trump administration employees in an effort to learn more about what the president was doing and saying when his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in an attempt to reverse his defeat.

The subpoenas released Tuesday, which included requests for papers and testimony from former senior advisor Stephen Miller and former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, brought the House panel probing the insurgency even closer to Trump’s inner circle — and to Trump himself. They come a day after the committee subpoenaed six other former president’s aides for spreading false information about massive election fraud and plotting ways to sabotage President Joe Biden’s victory.

“The Select Committee wants to know every detail of what happened in the White House on January 6th and in the days leading up to it,” said Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, the panel’s chairman. “We need to know exactly what role the former president and his advisers had in seeking to halt the counting of electoral votes, and if they were in contact with anyone outside the White House who was attempting to change the election’s outcome.”

A federal judge denied Trump’s plea to prevent the National Archives from revealing White House papers related to the Jan. 6 insurgency to a House committee later Tuesday. Trump has filed notice of his intent to appeal the decision, which is likely to end up before the United States Supreme Court.

It’s still unclear if the panel would subpoena Trump on Jan. 6, while the panel’s leaders have stated that nothing has been ruled out. More than 30 subpoenas have been issued by the panel, including those to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, longstanding supporter Steve Bannon, and others close to the former president.

After Bannon refused to cooperate, the House decided to hold him in contempt, and the Justice Department is now evaluating whether to pursue the matter. According to legislators, Meadows and others have “engaged” with the committee, but they might still be placed in contempt if they do not completely cooperate.

The panel has already heard from more than 150 witnesses, and lawmakers have stated that they want to look into not only the attack but also its origins, specifically Trump’s lies about massive voter fraud despite the fact that all 50 states had certified Biden’s victory and courts across the country had rejected his claims. As they rushed past police, smashed through windows and doors, and attacked politicians who were certifying the result that day, Trump’s supporters echoed those fraudulent accusations.

In a statement in response to the subpoenas, Trump maintained the false narrative, stating the committee “is researching the PROTEST when it should be studying the Fraudulent Election that led to the protest.”

The ten former officials who were subpoenaed on Tuesday either did not reply to demands for comment or could not be reached.

Thompson claimed Miller “participated in efforts to circulate false information about purported voting fraud,” and McEnany “was present at times with Trump as he watched the results and spoke at a rally that morning,” according to the committee.

The panel also wants to hear from Keith Kellogg, former Vice President Mike Pence’s national security adviser, because “you were with President Trump as the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol unfolded and have direct information about the former president’s statements about, and reactions to, the Capitol insurgency,” according to the subpoena. According to numerous sources, Kellogg asked Trump to publish a tweet to assist manage the throng, according to his subpoena.

Personal assistant Nicholas Luna, who the committee said may have witnessed a phone call from Trump to Pence pressuring him not to certify Biden’s victory; special assistant Molly Michael, who the committee said sent information about election fraud to “various individuals at the direction of President Trump”; and other former Trump White House aides were subpoenaed Tuesday.

Meadows’ senior adviser, deputy assistant Ben Williamson; Meadows’ deputy chief of staff Christopher Liddell, who was in the White House on Jan. 6 and considered resigning, according to reports; and Meadows’ personnel director John McEntee and special assistant Cassidy Hutchinson, who were also in the White House that day and at the rally, according to the committee.

Former Justice Department official Kenneth Klukowski was also subpoenaed by the panel, according to Thompson, for communicating with Jeffrey Clark, a former assistant attorney general, about a letter Clark had drafted urging officials in Georgia to delay certification of voting results due to alleged fraud.

According to the letter, Clark and Klukowski met before a White House meeting on Jan. 3 during which Trump openly discussed replacing interim Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with Clark. The phony fraud charges had been rebuffed by Rosen and other department heads.

The committee has also subpoenaed Clark, who appeared for a deposition last week but declined to testify, citing Trump’s assertion that materials sought from the National Archives are privileged. Trump has filed a lawsuit to keep the records from the panel, but Biden has stated that he will allow the majority of them to be released.

Bill Stepien, Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign manager; Jason Miller, a senior adviser to the campaign; Angela McCallum, national executive assistant to the campaign; John Eastman, a lawyer who advised the former president; Michael Flynn, a former national security adviser to Trump who spoke with Trump ahead of the insurgency; and Bernard Kerik, who the committee claims paid for hotel rooms that served as command centers ahead of the insurgency

Cedric Blackwater
Cedric Blackwater
Cedric is a journalist with over a decade of experience reporting on local US news, and touching on many global topics. He is currently the lead writer for Bulletin News.

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