Capitol riot panel issues new subpoenas, including ex-Trump aides

December 10, 2021
FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, the face of President Donald Trump appears on large screens as supporters participate in a rally in Washington. The House committee investigating the violent Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, with its latest round of subpoenas in September 2021, may uncover the degree to which former President Donald Trump, his campaign and White House were involved in planning the rally that preceded the riot, which had been billed as a grassroots demonstration.
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The special House panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack issued six new subpoenas Friday, targeting organizers and planners involved in the rally that preceded the deadly siege.

Among the newly-designated witnesses is Brian Jack, former President Donald Trump’s director of political affairs, and Max Miller, a former Trump White House adviser who is now running for a congressional seat in Ohio.

Miller, according to the House committee, met with Trump in the president’s private dining room two days before the rally to discuss a lineup of speakers for the event.

More:House Jan. 6 panel has interviewed 250 people and is planning weeks of public hearings next year

More:OnPolitics: Meadows will not participate in Jan. 6 hearings

The committee said Jack sought out “several members of Congress on the president’s behalf” for speaking roles at the event staged at the Ellipse where Trump later urged the crowd to move to the Capitol.

“Some of the witnesses we subpoenaed today apparently worked to stage the rallies on January 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,” said committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.

“The Select Committee expects these witnesses to join the hundreds of individuals who have already cooperated with our investigation as we work to provide the American people with answers about what happened on January 6th and ensure nothing like that day ever happens again.”

The new batch of subpoenas caps a busy week for the committee, which announced Thursday it will move to hold former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress for refusing to fully cooperate with investigators. 

More:Appeals court rules against Trump in documents fight with House Jan. 6 committee

The panel is expected to meet Monday to weigh the contempt case against the former White House chief.

Lawmakers also notched an important victory Thursday when a federal appeals court ruled that the investigating committee should be granted access to Trump’s presidential records.

Trump fought the subpoena to the National Archives and Records Administration by arguing under executive privilege that releasing confidential documents would deprive future presidents of candid advice from aides.

But President Joe Biden waived executive privilege governing the documents. The case focused on whether Biden’s opinion as the sitting president outweighed Trump’s, as previous cases ruled.

More:What documents does Trump not want the Jan. 6 House panel to see? Appointments, call logs and handwritten notes

“Former President Trump has provided no basis for this court to override President Biden’s judgment and the agreement and accommodations worked out between the Political Branches over these documents,” Judge Patricia Millett wrote for the three-judge panel. “Both Branches agree that there is a unique legislative need for these documents and that they are directly relevant to the Committee’s inquiry into an attack on the Legislative Branch and its constitutional role in the peaceful transfer of power.”

 Contributing: Bart Jansen

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