(Trends Wide) — The select commission investigating the Jan.6 riots in the U.S. Capitol issued its first round of subpoenas on Thursday, targeting close aides and allies of former President Donald Trump.
The subpoenas come as the select commission seeks to investigate the efforts the Trump White House took to potentially overturn the 2020 presidential election and how the spread of misinformation fueled the anger and violence that led to the uprising on Capitol Hill.
All four subpoenas are directed at former Trump White House Secretary General Mark Meadows; former White House Deputy Secretary General Dan Scavino; former adviser Steve Bannon and Kash Patel, a former secretary general to then acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, who had also been an adviser to Republican Rep. Devin Nunes.
Former Trump officials are receiving subpoenas for private records and statements. All document requests must be submitted by October 7.
The commission requests that Patel and Bannon appear on October 14, while Scavino and Meadows have been summoned to appear on October 15.
Trends Wide has reached out to Meadows, Scavino and Bannon for comment on the subpoenas.
Patel said in a statement late Thursday that he was “disappointed, but not surprised” that the commission had subpoenaed him “before looking for [su] voluntary cooperation, “and added,” I will continue to tell the truth to the American people about the events of January 6. “
An investigation that advances
The decision to call a group of Trump loyalists before the commission at this early stage shows the direction of its investigative process. Members of the commission have said they are keen to know what information was known within Trump’s orbit about pre-insurrection planning and decisions made that day.
A select committee adviser told Trends Wide on Thursday that the panel expects “all witnesses to cooperate with the select committee’s investigation. Congress has broad investigative authority and we will not allow our investigation to be hindered.”
Select commission chairman Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, said in a statement that “the select commission is investigating the facts, circumstances and causes of the January 6 attack and issues related to the peaceful transfer of power. , in order to identify and evaluate the lessons learned and recommend to the Chamber [de Representantes] and to its pertinent commissions laws, policies, procedures, norms or corrective regulations “.
The four former Trump officials were part of a larger request for records that the select commission had sent to government agencies last month when it asked for the records of hundreds of former Trump officials, campaign employees and supporters who played a role. either in spreading misinformation around the 2020 election results or in planning the “Stop the Steal” rally, which served as a prelude to the Capitol riots, as well as those who played a role in the security response that day.
The National Archives, which act as custodians of the Trump administration’s White House records, told Trends Wide earlier this Thursday that they had no comment on whether they had been contacted by members of Trump’s orbit or of the White House regarding executive privilege.
“We do not have any comments, as we consider that the entire notification process […] it is deliberative until a final decision is made, “a spokesperson told Trends Wide.
The subpoenas to the four Trump loyalists underscore an effort by the commission to understand what the former president knew in the run-up to January 6, and in its direct consequences, from those who were closest to him in that time period. The information the commission is seeking also points to a clear interest in learning more about what Trump and those around him tried to do to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
In the letter to Bannon, the commission cites communications it had with Trump on December 30, 2020, “and potentially other times” in which Bannon would have urged the former president “to plan and focus his efforts on January 6. “The commission also refers to Bannon’s inflammatory comments made on his January 5 podcast, in which he said” all hell is going to break loose tomorrow. “
To Meadows, the commission wrote: “The investigation has revealed credible evidence of his involvement in events within the scope of the select commission’s investigation,” citing his proximity to Trump on the day of the attack.
The commission also said it is pushing to learn more about Meadows’ efforts to help overturn the 2020 presidential election, noting that it has evidence showing that Meadows contacted “the highest Justice Department officials requesting investigations into matters. of voter fraud in various states, “citing documents he has received from the Justice Department.
The commission, citing documents it has obtained, told Patel that “there is substantial reason to believe” that it has significant insights and information about how the Department of Defense and the White House prepared for and responded to the attack on the US Capitol. The commission also said it wants to know more about the direct communication Patel had with Meadows on the day of the uprising.
In its letter to Scavino, the commission said it “has reason to believe that you have information relevant to understanding the important activities that led and reported on the events on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021, and relevant to the activities and communications of the Former President Trump in the run-up to January 6. “
The select commission also cites Scavino’s long history working for Trump as key to providing important insight into how the former president handled the Jan.6 insurrection and efforts to overturn the election. The commission also cited an example of Scavino’s tweets indicating that he encouraged participants to “be a part of history” on the day of the revolt.
Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, one of two Republicans on the commission, tweeted after the subpoenas were served that he is looking forward to “getting a full accounting of everything that happened in the Trump White House on January, before and after “.
“And we are only beginning,” he added.
Everything that happened before January 6
The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, said Thursday night that he expects the select committee to move quickly to enforce the subpoenas in case any of the witnesses challenge them and that “the The Department of Justice will be open to considering possible criminal contempt charges against anyone who ignores the law. “
Speaking to Trends Wide’s Chris Cuomo on “Prime Time,” Schiff said that “unlike the past four years, these witnesses are not going to be able to count on the former president to protect them if they essentially frustrate the law.”
The subpoenas, he said, show the commission “is moving with great alacrity.”
“And essentially, no one is off the table. We are going to determine what went wrong in the run-up to January 6. We are going to find out who was involved, who was informed, what roles they played in planning, what expectation of violence they had, what was the former president doing, “added the California Democrat.
“Among the biggest unknowns is what was happening inside the White House, on January 5 and 6, at that critical moment in which our democracy was threatened by a violent insurrection. So we are not wasting time,” he said .
Trends Wide’s Zachary Cohen, Manu Raju and Paul LeBlanc contributed to this report.