By Patricia Zengerle
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – (This December 10 story was refiled to fix repetition of paragraph 9)
The U.S. House of Representatives committee probing the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot said on Friday it had issued six more subpoenas demanding information from witnesses, including some top aides from former President Donald Trump’s White House.
The House of Representatives Select Committee issued subpoenas to Brian Jack, who was Trump’s White House political director; Max Miller, a former special assistant to Trump now running for a House seat in Ohio with Trump’s endorsement; and Bobby Peede, former director of the White House advance staff, which prepared events for Trump’s arrival.
The committee said Peede and Miller met with Trump in a private dining room at the White House to discuss Trump’s rally on Jan. 6 – the day his supporters marched on the Capitol – and that Jack reportedly reached out to several members of Congress on Trump’s behalf to invite them to speak at the rally.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy later hired Jack to lead his congressional political operation.
“Some of the witnesses we subpoenaed today apparently worked to stage the rallies on Jan. 5th and 6th, and some appeared to have had direct communication with the former President regarding the rally at the Ellipse directly preceding the attack on the U.S. Capitol,” Representative Bennie Thompson, the committee’s chairman, said in a statement.
The committee also issued subpoenas to Bryan Lewis, a former executive at Fox News who the committee said obtained a permit for a rally outside the Capitol; Ed Martin, whom the committee described as an organizer of Trump’s “Stop the Steal” movement falsely claiming Trump did not lose the election, and Kim Fletcher, who runs a pro-Trump organization called Moms for America that organized a rally near the Capitol on Jan. 5.
The individuals sent the subpoenas could not be reached for comment or did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS
The committee has issued more than 50 subpoenas and heard from more than 275 witnesses in its investigation of the attack by supporters of the Republican ex-president as Congress met to formally certify his November 2020 presidential election defeat by Democrat Joe Biden.
Four people died the day of the riot, and one Capitol police officer died the next day of injuries sustained while defending Congress. Hundreds of police were injured during the multi-hour onslaught, and four officers have since taken their own lives.
The panel has begun contempt of Congress https://www.reuters.com/world/us/whats-stake-trump-allies-facing-contempt-congress-2021-10-14 proceedings against three Trump supporters for failure to comply with its subpoenas – former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon, and Jeffrey Clark, a former Trump Justice Department official.
Trump has urged associates not to cooperate, calling the Democratic-led investigation politically motivated and arguing that his communications are protected by executive privilege https://www.reuters.com/world/us/can-trump-use-executive-privilege-block-jan-6-attack-probe-2021-09-09. Multiple courts have rejected that argument, with the federal appeals court in Washington on Thursday saying Trump had provided “no basis https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-appeals-court-rejects-trumps-bid-withhold-records-panel-probing-jan-6-attack-2021-12-09” for his claim.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Scott Malone, Chris Reese and Daniel Wallis)