WASHINGTON – A House committee probing the January 6 uprising at the US Capitol has issued its first summons, seeking records and testimony from four close advisers and aides to former US President Donald Trump who preceded the attack. and was in contact with him during that time.
In a significant addition to the panel, committee chair Benny Thompson, D-Miss. announced the summons of former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former White House deputy chief of staff for communications Dan Scavino, former Defense Department official Kashyap Patel and K. Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon. The four men are among Trump’s most loyal aides.
Committee chairman Benny Thompson, D-Miss, wrote to all four that the committee was investigating the “facts, circumstances and causes” of the attack and asked them to present documents and appear in statements in mid-October.
The panel, set up over the summer, is now beginning the interview phase of its investigation after sifting through thousands of pages of documents requested in August from federal agencies and social media companies. The committee has also requested an archive of the records from the White House. The goal is to figure out what went wrong when Trump loyalists brutally beat police, smashed windows and doors and obstructed President Joe Biden’s certification of victory — and what went wrong to prevent anything like that from happening again. A complete account of this has to be provided.
Thompson states in letters to each of the witnesses that investigators believe they have pertinent information about the lead up to the rebellion. For example, in Bannon’s case, Democrats cited his January 5 prediction that “(a) hell is going to break loose tomorrow” and his communication with Trump a week before the riots in which he asked the president to shift his focus. was requested on 6 January
In a letter to Meadows, Thompson cited his efforts to reverse Trump’s defeat in the weeks before the rebellion and his pressure on state officials to advance the former president’s false claims of widespread voter fraud.
“You were the president’s chief of staff and hold important information about many elements of our investigation,” Thompson wrote. “It appears that you were with or around President Trump on January 6, communicated with the President and others regarding the events at the Capitol on January 6 and are a witness to the day’s activities. “
Thompson wrote that the panel has “credible evidence” of Meadows’ involvement in the incidents under the committee’s investigation. It also included engaging in “the planning and preparation of efforts to contest the presidential election and delay the counting of electoral votes”.
The letter also indicates that the committee is interested in Meadows’ requests to Justice Department officials to investigate possible election fraud. Former Attorney General William Barr has said the Justice Department did not find any fraud that could have affected the outcome of the election.
The panel cites reports that Patel, a Trump loyalist who was recently held at the Pentagon, was talking “nonstop” to Meadows on the day of the attack. In a letter to Patel, Thompson wrote that based on documents obtained by the committee, “there is sufficient reason to believe that you have relevant additional documents to understand the role played by the Defense Department and the White House in preparation and response.” There is information. for the attack on the US Capitol.”
According to reports cited by the committee, Scavino was with Trump on January 5 during discussions about how to persuade members of Congress not to certify the election for Joe Biden. On Twitter, he promoted Trump’s rally before the attack and encouraged supporters to “be a part of history.” In a letter to Scavino, Thompson said the panel’s records indicated that Scavino was “tweeting messages from the White House” on January 6.
Thompson wrote that it appears that Scavino was with Trump on January 6 and that there may be “content relevant to his videotaping and tweeting” messages that day. He noted Scavino’s “long service” to the former president, spanning more than a decade.
The subpoena is sure to anger Republicans, most of whom are content to move on from the rebellion and have remained loyal to Trump even after condemning the attack. There are only two Republicans on the panel, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and Illinois Rep. Adam Kizinger.
In July, the committee held an emotional first hearing with four police officers who battled rebels and were injured and verbally abused as rioters broke into the building and exposed Trump’s lies about widespread election fraud. repeated.
At least nine people present there were killed during and after the riots, including a woman who was shot dead by police as she tried to break into the House Chamber and three other Trump supporters , who had faced medical emergencies. Two police officers died by suicide in the days immediately thereafter, and a third officer, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicanik, collapsed and died after engaging with protesters. A medical examiner later determined that he died of natural causes.
The Metropolitan Police announced this summer that two more of their officers who responded to the rebellion, Officers Kyle Defretag and Gunther Hashida, had also died by suicide.