The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol has issued dozens of summonses as it intensively seeks information on the origins of the attack and the actions, or inactions, of former President Donald Trump to stop it.
The commission is working in several directions simultaneously, seeking the testimony of people in Mr. Trump’s inner circle, about his actions that day, of the foreign advisers who organized the rally, where he spoke on January 6, and of the allies. , who devised the strategy of overthrowing President Joe Biden’s victory. The commission is also examining the circle of people close to former Vice President Mike Pence and is questioning witnesses about attempts to pressure him to stop counting ballots in Congress.
The commission is expected to issue further summonses, while some witnesses, particularly those closest to Mr. Trump, have signaled that they will not cooperate, or that they will refuse to answer questions. However, lawmakers have already spoken to more than 150 people, most of them volunteering, about the circumstances that led to the violent attack by Mr. Trump supporters.
Although the commission has no authority to prosecute or punish anyone for the actions taken, the commission’s seven Democrat and two Republican lawmakers say they hope to compile the most comprehensive data to date on what happened when hundreds of Trump supporters backed. clashed with police and stormed the Capitol, disrupting Mr. Biden’s certification of victory.
Following is a summary of the persons for whom the commission has issued a summons, as well as the next steps of the investigation.
INTERNAL DISTRICT OF LORD TRUMP
The commission’s first summonses were sent in late September to four people who were among Trump’s most loyal allies: former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former White House adviser Steve Bannon, early aides to communication Daniel Scavino and Kashyap Patel, as well as a White House aide to national security, who passed at the Pentagon in the weeks after Mr. Trump lost the election.
Mr. Bannon immediately told the commission he would not cooperate, citing a letter from Mr. Trump’s lawyer, claiming that his conversations enjoyed immunity and could not be made public. The committee objected to this reasoning, and the House of Representatives voted to find Mr. Bannon guilty of contempt of Congress, and referred the matter to the Department of Justice. A decision has not yet been made by prosecutors whether to file criminal charges.
Mr Meadows could also be found guilty of contempt of Congress after his lawyer signaled Thursday that he would not testify, saying in a statement that this should be decided by the courts after the White House announced that President Biden would be stripped of his privilege. executive immunity for evidence, which former President Trump claims is still valid.
Since then, the House of Representatives has sent numerous summonses to other well-known members of Mr. Trump’s inner circle, including former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and top aides Stephen Miller and Jason Miller. The commission says the three men took part in efforts to spread misinformation and that they may have been with Mr Trump during the attack. This moment constitutes a key aspect of the investigation, as it is still little known if the president did anything to stop the attack.
PERSONS IN THE INTERNAL ORBIT OF THE FORMER PRESIDENT PENCE
The commission is also trying to learn more about efforts to put pressure on former Vice President Mike Pence, who chaired the congressional certification session and who resisted aggressive efforts by Mr. Trump and many of his allies to forced to try to overthrow the formal process, in favor of Mr. Trump.
The commission sent a summons to Keith Kellogg, a former national security adviser to former Vice President Pence, stating that he was with former President Trump during the attack and that “there may be direct information about the statements, or reactions of the former president against the attack on the Capitol “. Based on several accounts, the commission believes Mr. Kellogg called on former President Trump to send a Twitter message to bring the crowd under control.
Mr. Pence’s former spokeswoman, Alyssa Farah, spoke with Republican members of the commission, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, and provided documents, said a person familiar with the talks and who asked to remain anonymous. for these confidential conversations. Through several Twitter messages on January 6, Ms. Farah called on former President Trump to condemn the riots as they were taking place and to call on his supporters to withdraw. “Condemn this now, @realDonaldTrump,” she wrote on Twitter. “You are the only one they would listen to. For our country! ”
The commission seems to be interested in talking to other aides to former Vice President Pence, many of whom were outraged by the way the vice president was treated by Mr. Trump, whom he publicly appealed to as the riots began. , to overthrow the result, an authority which the vice-president did not enjoy. Some of the attackers shouted Mr. Pence’s name as they stormed into the Capitol and called for his hanging.
The commission on Monday issued summonses to some of Trump’s aides who were closely involved in his efforts to overthrow the election and who had gathered in a so-called “war headquarters” room before the attack.
Among Mr. Trump’s allies are: lawyer John Eastman; former national security adviser Michael Flynn; Bernard Kerik, whom the commission says paid for the hotel rooms that served as command centers before the Jan. 6 attack; Bill Stepien, manager of the 2020 Mr. Trump re-election campaign; as well as Angela McCallum, national executive aide for the Trump campaign.
In a letter to Mr Flynn, who twice claimed to have lied to the FBI and was later pardoned by former President Trump, the commission cited a December 2020 meeting where Mr Flynn and other participants “discussed the seizure”. of ballot counting machines, of declaring a national emergency, of activating some powers for national security emergency situations, and of continuing to spread the message that the November 2020 elections were tainted by widespread manipulation ”.
Attorney Eastman is also thought to have been involved in drafting strategies to reverse Biden’s legitimate victory and to have contacted US authorities.
OTHER WHITE HOUSE ASSISTANTS
On Tuesday, the commission sent out summonses for some White House aides. Some of them were top-level aides and others belonged to low- and middle-level staff who may have seen Mr. Trump’s activity as the unrest escalated.
The White House aides called by the commission are: his personal assistant Nicholas Luna, who the commission says may have been present during a phone call from former President Trump to former Vice President Pence urging him not to certify Mr. Biden’s victory; Special Assistant Molly Michael, whom the commission says sent information about election manipulation to “various individuals under the direction of President Trump”; as well as Deputy Assistant Ben Williamson, a senior adviser to the Meadows Chief of Staff.
Further summonses were sent to Deputy Chief of Staff Christopher Liddell, who was at the White House on Jan. 6 and reportedly considered resigning; as well as Personnel Director John McEntee and Special Assistant Cassidy Hutchinson, who the commission says were also present at the White House, as well as at the rally held that day.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
The commission sent a summons this week to former Justice Department official Kenneth Klukowski, who is thought to have communicated with Jeffrey Clark, a former deputy attorney general, for a letter Clark had drafted urging Georgia officials to delay certification of voting results in that state due to alleged manipulation.
The commission says Mr. Clark and Mr. Klukowski spoke before a Jan. 3 meeting at the White House, during which former President Trump openly raised the possibility of replacing Attorney General Jeffrey Rose with Mr. Clark. Mr. Rosen and other executives in the department had dropped false allegations of manipulation.
The committee summoned Mr. Clark in October and he appeared for a testimony last week but refused to testify, in part based on former President Trump claims of executive privilege.
As part of his investigation into the origins of the Jan. 6 riots, a focus of the panel has been Mr. Trump’s mass rally that morning, which continued even after the start of the Capitol attack.
Included in a list of 11 invitations in September were Amy and Kylie Kremer, founders of Women for America First, a group that helped organize the rally; Cynthia Chafian, an organizer who submitted the first request for permission for the rally; Caroline Wren, who the commission says was listed in the permit documents for the Jan. 6 rally as a “VIP Advisor”; and Maggie Mulvaney, whom the panel says was listed in the permit application as a “VIP Manager.”
Some of the people associated with the rally have cooperated. / VO