The House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection on Wednesday issued its second round of subpoenas, focusing on 11 individuals who helped organize a Stop the Steal rally in Washington at which President Trump incited his followers to storm the U.S. Capitol.
Committee Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., sent the subpoenas that he said “compels” each individual to produce relevant documents by Oct.13 and to appear on Capitol Hill for a deposition later that month.
The individuals sent subpoenas late Wednesday were Amy Kremer, Caroline Wren, Cynthia Lee Chafian, Hannah Salem Stone, Justin Caporale, Katrina Pierson, Kylie Jane Kremer, Lyndon Brentnall, Maggie Mulvaney, Megan Powers and Tim Unes.
Wren, a top campaign fundraiser for Trump, and Pierson, the national spokesperson for Trump’s 2016 reelection campaign, are seen as key witnesses in helping to determine how much of Trump’s reelection campaign funds and personnel were involved in the planning for the Jan. 6 rally. Wren was listed as “VIP Adviser” to event organizers on the permit application. Pierson was a liaison between event organizers and the White House, according to the New York Times.
Amy Kremer and her daughter, Kylie Jane Kremer, were the main organizers of the rally. Their organization, Women for America First, was listed on the permit that was granted by U.S. Park Police for the event.
The committee noted that Kremer’s group organized rallies in D.C. on Nov. 14 and Dec. 12 as well, “and two ‘March for Trump’ nationwide bus tours that generated interest and attendance at the Washington rallies.” The Nov. 14 and Dec. 12 events resulted in violent clashes in the streets of Washington between Trump supporters and counterprotesters.
“The subpoenas seek a range of records that include materials dealing with the planning, funding, and participation in the events and bus tours; social media activity of associated entities; and communications with or involvement of Trump Administration officials and lawmakers,” the committee said in a press release.
The main goal of these subpoenas is likely to help the committee understand how much Trump himself and those around him knew about the rally, and what their intent was in holding it.
Last week the bipartisan panel sent subpoenas to four top aides to Trump: former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former White House adviser Steve Bannon, former deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino, and former Pentagon chief of staff Kashyap Patel. In addition to testimony, the committee is seeking documents and electronic records from all four.
A press release from the committee said that it is seeking more information on how Meadows was “part of an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election or prevent the election’s certification.”
Politico reported this week that the committee is mulling several strategies to compel or cajole testimony from hostile witnesses, including holding them in criminal contempt. Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., told Politico that “we have a number of individuals who have reached out to us who are coming in without subpoenas coming in to talk to us.”
A month ago, the committee sent letters to eight different federal agencies with sweeping requests for information and records on the roles that Trump administration officials might have played in the attack on the American democratic process.
The committee also sent subpoenas to private telecom companies seeking phone records for those who may have been involved in the Jan. 6 insurrection, potentially including some Republican members of Congress.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has publicly threatened the telecom companies that comply with the subpoenas.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., formed the Select Committee after Republicans rejected an investigation that would have used the bipartisan 9/11 Commission as a template and would have allotted five positions to Democrats and five to Republicans. In late May, GOP senators voted down that option.
Pelosi subsequently formed the select committee, which Republicans decried as partisan, even though the speaker named two Republicans who have been critical of Trump to the panel: Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.
Before the insurrection, Trump spent months repeating false and unsupported claims of a rigged and stolen election. He deceived millions of supporters into believing this alternative reality. At least 25,000 people came to Washington on Jan. 6 to attend Trump’s rally in front of the White House, and the majority of those headed to the Capitol afterward, according to internal Secret Service documents.
Thousands of Trump supporters violently assaulted police officers outside the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying the 2020 election results. Over 1,600 individuals entered the Capitol building, according to Sedition Hunters, a website devoted to cataloguing the names and faces of the insurrectionists who went in through doors and windows.
The insurrection resulted in the deaths of four people that day, and one Capitol Police officer who died the next day of a stroke. About 140 police officers were injured during the attack, and four additional police officers who responded to the assault have since died by suicide.
Now, after a brief period following the insurrection in which GOP leaders denounced Trump’s role in fomenting the attack, the former president’s lies about the election have been picked up and promoted again by many in his party. A Yahoo News/YouGov poll in August indicated that just 18 percent of Republicans believe that Joe Biden won the election “fair and square,” while 66 percent believe it was “rigged and stolen” from Trump.
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