Jan. 6 Panel Subpoenas Former Trump Officials, Including Mark Meadows, Steve Bannon
Updated September 23, 2021 at 9:40 PM ET
The Democratic-led House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has issued subpoenas to four former Trump administration officials, including former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and strategist Steve Bannon.
The panel also issued subpoenas Thursday to former Trump White House deputy chief of staff for communications Dan Scavino and Kashyap Patel, who served as chief of staff to then-acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller.
The subpoenas — the first issued by the select committee — compel the four to produce sought-after documents relevant to the deadly attack by Oct. 7, and then sit for a deposition the following week, on either Oct. 14 or 15.
Congressional subpoenas cannot be dismissed outright, but their issuance could lead to extended legal fights if the four former Trump officials decide to fight the effort.
The panel says the four have knowledge of important details related to the siege.
"The Select Committee is investigating the facts, circumstances, and causes of the January 6th 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," Committee Chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said in a statement.
In individually addressed letters, Thompson details further why the recipients are believed to have key information for the panel.
Thompson tells Meadows, for instance: "You were the President's Chief of Staff and have critical information regarding many elements of our inquiry. It appears you were with or in the vicinity of President [Donald] Trump on January 6, had communications with the President and others on January 6 regarding events at the Capitol, and are a witness regarding activities of that day."
The letter says Meadows also engaged in multiple attempts to contest the presidential election that Trump lost. It says that according to documents obtained from the Justice Department, Meadows was in direct communications with top officials at the agency to probe election fraud in several states weeks after the election. It also says the panel understands that Meadows was directly in contact with state officials to urge such probes as well.
In Thompson's letter to Bannon, he raises details regarding his conversations with Trump in the weeks leading up to Jan. 6 and a meeting with Trump allies the night before at the Willard Hotel, which is located about a block from the White House.
Thompson says in additional letters that the panel is seeking information from Patel regarding his knowledge of security preparations ahead of the attack, and from Scavino about his efforts to amplify the Jan. 6 event with Trump.
Republicans have painted the committee, which is mostly made up of Democrats, as nothing more than a partisan exercise.
In a statement, Trump called the panel the "'Unselect Committee' of highly partisan politicians," and added: 'We will fight the Subpoenas on Executive Privilege and other grounds, for the good of our Country, while we wait to find out whether or not Subpoenas will be sent out to Antifa and BLM for the death and destruction they have caused in tearing apart our Democrat-run cities throughout America."
The requests come about three weeks after the committee issued orders to 35 social media and communications companies to preserve records tied to Trump officials and Jan. 6. Before that, the panel asked eight federal agencies to turn over relevant documents, while also seeking details on disinformation spread ahead of Jan. 6 from 15 social media companies.
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