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Jan. 6 Committee Targets Roger Stone and Alex Jones With Latest Subpoenas

Jan. 6 Committee Targets Roger Stone and Alex Jones With Latest Subpoenas

The House special committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol issued a new round of subpoenas on Monday, requesting documents and testimony from former Trump adviser Roger Stone, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and three others the committee believes “helped or had knowledge of the planning and financing of the rallies in D.C. and the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol.”

“Stop the Steal” organizers Dustin Stockton and Jennifer Lawrence, along with Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich, were also subpoenaed.

“The Select Committee is seeking information about the rallies and subsequent march to the Capitol that escalated into a violent mob attacking the Capitol and threatening our democracy,” Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said in a statement. “We need to know who organized, planned, paid for, and received funds related to those events, as well as what communications organizers had with officials in the White House and Congress.”

The committee has already issued a slew of subpoenas to prominent figures in Trump’s orbit who are believed to have knowledge of the administration’s efforts to overthrow the 2020 election. The most recent wave came over the course of two days earlier this month when the committee requested documents and testimony from 18 notable figures, including former national security adviser and current conspiracy theorist Michael Flynn; former senior Trump adviser Stephen Miller; John Eastman, a conservative legal scholar who wrote an infamous memo arguing for how the Trump administration could stop the certification of Joe Biden’s election win; former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany; and former Trump political adviser Bill Stepien.

The Jan. 6 committee — which features two Republican members and seven Democrats — has interviewed more than 200 people since it began its work this summer. The committee has divided up its work into three areas of focus: the money behind the events of Jan. 6, Trumpworld’s preparations and planning ahead of time, and any evidence that Trump or his associates knew of imminent violence on Jan. 6. There was already ample evidence in the public domain for each of those lines of inquiry — Steve Bannon, the former White House adviser, said on podcast the day before the insurrection that “all hell is going to break loose tomorrow” — and committee members say they intend to add to that growing body of evidence through their investigation.

But the committee has met staunch resistance from people close to Trump in its attempts to subpoena documents and compel interviews. The committee subpoenaed Bannon in late September, seeking documents and a deposition. But Bannon refused to comply with the subpoena, and a grand jury recently returned a two-count indictment against him for contempt of Congress for refusing to produce records and appear for a deposition. Bannon isn’t the only former Trump loyalist stonewalling the select committee. Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows also refused to appear before Congress for a scheduled deposition.

The committee is also locked in a legal battle with former President Trump himself. Trump filed suit to block the National Archives and Records Administration from turning over Trump administration records from the period leading up to and on Jan. 6, as requested by the committee. A federal judge rejected the argument from Trump’s lawyers that the committee’s request was too broad and invalid. But an appeals court temporarily stayed that decision, delaying the release of any documents. Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for next week before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The battle over access to those documents could wind up before the Supreme Court.

Sensing the urgency of its work, the committee recently urged the court to act as quickly as possible to reach a decision on whether the documents will be released. “Delay itself would inflict a serious constitutional injury on the Select Committee by interfering with its legislative duty,” the committee’s lawyers wrote. “The Select Committee needs the documents now because they will shape the direction of the investigation.”

Trump’s legal team argued in response that granting the committee’s request will erode the integrity of the executive branch and become a partisan weapon in the hands of future Congresses. “In these hyper-partisan times, Congress will increasingly and inevitably use this new weapon to perpetually harass its political rival,” Trump’s lawyers wrote.

Published at Mon, 22 Nov 2021 22:41:30 +0000