The select committee probing the January 6 Capitol riot issued subpoenas to four former advisers of President Trump on Thursday, escalating the inquiry into the individuals believed to be involved in the incident.
Those requested to submit documents and depositions regarding the events of that day include Mark Meadows, the former White House chief of staff; Dan Scavino Jr., who served as deputy chief of staff; Stephen K. Bannon, Trump’s former adviser; and Kash Patel, the former Pentagon chief of staff.
“The select committee is investigating the facts, circumstances and causes of the Jan. 6 attack, and issues relating to the peaceful transfer of power, in order to identify and evaluate lessons learned and to recommend to the House and its relevant committees corrective laws, policies, procedures, rules or regulations,” Democratic representative Bennie Thompson, the committee’s chairman, wrote in a statement obtained by the New York Times.
The panel’s members have signaled they will demand documents from potential collaborators who exchanged communication with Trump leading up to the attack on the Capitol. Democratic panel member Adam Schiff suggested that the committee is preparing for obstruction attempts by those from whom records have been solicited.
“. . . We have additional tools that we didn’t before, including a Justice Department that may be willing to pursue criminal contempt when people deliberately flout the compulsory process,” Schiff told reporters Thursday.
The men have a deadline of October 7 to present the documents and submit to depositions the following week.
Meadows, the committee has alleged, helped coordinate the effort to contest the 2016 presidential election outcome, encouraging Trump to consider claims of a Democratic plot of widespread election fraud as an explanation for the November loss. The committee also said that Meadows was in contact with the organizers of the protest that preceded the unrest that erupted on the Capitol steps, including Amy Kremer of Women for America First, the Times reported.
Scavino also allegedly supported the effort to prevent the certification of the election results for President Biden, the committee has claimed. During the day of the rally, Scavino used his Twitter handle to promote the gathering, which the committee believes served as the breeding ground for what they contend was a violent coup against the seat of government.
Despite no longer being a formal adviser to Trump, Bannon had conversations with the sitting president in December before the election certification in Congress, in which he emphasized January 6 specifically, the committee has stated.
Formerly affiliated with the Trump National Security Council before joining the Pentagon, Patel is a subject of the committee’s interest because he was involved in security discussions for Capitol Hill before and after the riot transpired, the committee said, citing records acquired from the Defense Department.
Since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected two prominent Republican selections for the original bipartisan commission created to investigate January 6, House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy has criticized the select committee as a predominantly partisan exercise. The members Pelosi appointed to represent the GOP on the panel, Representatives Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney, both voted to impeach Trump in the wake of the Capitol riot.
Last month, McCarthy threatened to leverage a future Republican-controlled Congress to penalize tech companies that yielded to the January 6 committee’s requests for private user data, such as phone and email records.