Thursday, December 2, 2021

Jan 6 panel summons six more Trump aides in investigation

WASHINGTON — Expanding its investigation further, the US House Committee probing the January 6 Capitol uprising has issued summons to six additional aides of former President Donald Trump, who were involved in their efforts to reverse his defeat in the 2020 election. were involved.

The committee chair, Mississippi Representative Benny Thompson, said in a statement Monday that the panel is seeking testimony and documents from former Trump campaign officials and others who attended the “war room” before the siege and how to withhold certification. Let’s make a strategy about this. Joe Biden’s victory.

Thompson said the committee has issued new subpoenas to Trump’s 2020 election campaign manager Bill Stepian; Campaign Senior Advisor Jason Miller; National Executive Assistant for the Campaign Angela McCallum; John Eastman, a lawyer who advised the former president; Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, who spoke with Trump before the rebellion; and Bernard Kerrick, who the committee says paid for hotel rooms that served as command centers before January 6.

“In the days before the January 6 attack, the former president’s closest aides and advisers campaigned for misinformation about the election and planned ways to block the counting of the Electoral College votes,” Thompson said. “The selection committee needs to know every detail about their attempts to reverse the election, including who they were talking to in the White House and Congress, their relationship to the rallies that turned into riots, and who led it to.” paid to. “

The subpoenas come after the panel has already solicited documents and testimony from several other Trump advisers – some who have cooperated and some who have not. The House voted last month to hold Trump aide Steve Bannon in contempt after he refused to comply with his subpoena. Trump himself is fighting the investigation in court.

Rioters violently pushed back police to barge into the Capitol and disrupt the election count, repeat Trump’s false claims of widespread fraud, and the committee says six new summons witnesses falsely stated in the days before the attack. Helped to increase the information. Trump’s false claims came after election officials and courts across the country verified Biden’s victory, and as his own attorney general said there was no evidence of significant fraud.

Thompson, in letters to Trump aides, said the panel had uncovered “credible evidence” of his involvement in the former president’s efforts to reverse the election and cited ways he had personally taken his cause forward. Tried to increase

In Stepien’s summons, Thompson cited the testimony of an unnamed witness to say he saw the “conversion” of Trump’s presidential campaign into a “stop the stale” effort. In letters to Miller and McCallum, Thompson cited specific attempts to spread false claims, with McCallum calling an unnamed Michigan state legislator to ask if the Trump campaign could “count” on them and asking in person. May insist for the appointment. New voters of the state.

Thompson detailed several attempts by a lawyer and professor, Eastman, to persuade Vice President Mike Pence to try to reverse the election as he presided over Congressional certification—a power Pence did not legally possess. Thompson also cites Eastman’s outreach to the states, including a briefing to state legislators and his participation in the so-called “war room” at the Willard Hotel, where he, Bannon, Kerrick and others strategized ahead of the siege. How to reverse Trump’s defeat. .

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Former New York City Police Commissioner Kerrick, who was pardoned by Trump after serving time in prison for tax fraud and other charges, responded to his summons on Monday evening with a lengthy statement. He said he was hired “not to reverse the will of the people, only to see to the integrity of the process” and that after the election his focus was on “looking for evidence”, not public relations.

“As far as the events of January 6 are concerned, I was not involved,” he said.

Others contacted by the Associated Press did not respond to requests for comment.

In the letter to Flynn — the former national security adviser, who twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and was also pardoned by Trump — Thompson referred to a December Oval Office meeting with the then-president. Citing media reports, Thompson said that Flynn and other participants “continued to confiscate voting machines, declare a national emergency, invoke certain national security emergency powers, and spread the message that the November 2020 election will have broader There was fraud.”

The panel is working with other close Trump advisers to garner testimony, including former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and administration aides Kashyap Patel and Dan Scavino. Committee members said they have “engaged” with those witnesses, but if they do not comply soon, they could proceed to hold them in contempt.

His opposition to Trump has prompted some of his advisers, including Bannon, to say they cannot speak publicly about their roles. The former president’s lawsuit argues that he may claim executive privilege, or the president’s claim to keep certain information private, in an effort to prevent the government from releasing a tranche of internal White House documents to the panel. The committee has argued that the privilege does not apply.

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