The bipartisan committee asked Mark Meadows, Steve Bannon, Dan Scavino, and Kash Patel to testify next month about their involvement in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The Congressional committee tasked with investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol sent a round of subpoenas on Thursday evening to four of former President Donald Trump's closest allies.
Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MO) sent letters to four senior White House aides: Mark Meadows, Trump's former chief of staff; Steve Bannon, Trump's former chief strategist; Dan Scavino, Trump's former social media director; and Kash Patel, former chief of staff to Defense Secretary Chris Miller.
Thompson told the witnesses to produce materials and correspondence from Jan. 6 and the days leading up to the attack on the Capitol. The subpoenas also instructed the witnesses to appear at depositions on Oct. 14 and 15, suggesting that the committee is ramping up their investigation into the attack after holding its first public hearing in July.
"The Select Committee is investigating the facts, circumstances, and causes of the January 6th attack and issues relating to the peaceful transfer of power, to identify and evaluate lessons learned and to recommend to the House and its relevant committees corrective laws, policies, procedures rules, or regulations," Thompson wrote in the subpoena letters. "The inquiry includes examination of how various individuals and entities coordinated their activities leading up to the events of January 6, 2021."
Ever since the U.S. Capitol attack — which led to five people's deaths and hundreds of injuries — much scrutiny has been placed on the role Trump and his closest allies played in fomenting the right-wing insurrectionists in the preceding days. In the weeks leading up to the attack, Meadows emailed then-acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen five times demanding the Department of Justice investigate debunked claims of election fraud in New Mexico, along with other baseless conspiracy theories claiming the election had been "stolen" from Trump.
In June, ProPublica reported that Meadows was in touch with organizers from Stop The Steal, the group behind the Jan. 6 White House rally that preceded the Capitol attack. Amy Kremer — a former Tea Party activist and Stop The Steal organizer — knows Meadows personally and worked to get him elected to the House of Representatives in 2012. Kremer has said she did not speak with any White House staffers ahead of the Jan. 6 rally.
This isn't the first time the bipartisan committee has sought records from Meadows. In late August, Thompson sent a letter to the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration requesting White House records of Meadows' actions and communications related to the results of the 2020 election.
New information on the events leading up to Jan. 6 is almost certain to come out. The Associated Press reported Friday that the National Archives recently handed over its first tranche of documents from the Trump presidency to Presiden Joe Biden's administration and Trump himself. In turn, the White House will likely hand over those documents to Congress — barring any legal objections from Trump and his allies. While Biden and Trump can both object to the release of specific information, the White House has the ultimate authority in determining what information will be released to the public.
Scavino, the former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications, meanwhile, was reportedly with Trump in a Jan. 5 discussion of how to convince members of Congress not to certify the election for Biden, according to the committee. And Patel, who was serving as the chief of staff to Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, was allegedly involved with discussions about security at the Capitol in the days leading up to Jan. 6 and told a reporter that he had been in contact with Meadows "nonstop that day."
House Democrats view Bannon as a central figure in their investigation. He was in constant communication with Trump in the days leading up to the attack. On Jan. 5, Bannon attended a meeting to discuss how to convince members of Congress to block certification of the election. The meeting took place steps away from the White House at the Willard Hotel.
Earlier this week, Bannon admitted on his War Room podcast that he told Trump, "It's time kill the Biden presidency in the crib."
He added: "We told you from the very beginning. Just expose it. Just expose it. Never back down. Never give up. This thing will implode."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.