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House Panel Subpoenas Trump Associates 09/24 06:21

   A House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol 
has issued its first subpoenas, demanding records and testimony from four of 
former President Donald Trump's close advisers and associates who were in 
contact with him before and during the attack.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- A House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection 
at the U.S. Capitol has issued its first subpoenas, demanding records and 
testimony from four of former President Donald Trump's close advisers and 
associates who were in contact with him before and during the attack.

   In a significant escalation for the panel, Committee Chairman Bennie 
Thompson, D-Miss., announced the subpoenas of former White House Chief of Staff 
Mark Meadows, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Dan 
Scavino, former Defense Department official Kashyap Patel and former Trump 
adviser Steve Bannon. The four men are among Trump's most loyal aides.

   Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., wrote to the four that the 
committee is investigating "the facts, circumstances, and causes" of the attack 
and asked them to produce documents and appear at depositions in mid-October.

   The panel, formed over the summer, is now launching the interview phase of 
its investigation after sorting through thousands of pages of documents it had 
requested in August from federal agencies and social media companies. The 
committee has also requested a trove of records from the White House. The goal 
is to provide a complete accounting of what went wrong when the Trump loyalists 
brutally beat police, broke through windows and doors and interrupted the 
certification of President Joe Biden's victory -- and to prevent anything like 
it from ever happening again.

   Thompson says in letters to each of the witnesses that investigators believe 
they have relevant information about the lead-up to the insurrection. In the 
case of Bannon, for instance, Democrats cite his Jan. 5 prediction that "(a)ll 
hell is going to break loose tomorrow" and his communications with Trump one 
week before the riot in which he urged the president to focus his attention on 
Jan. 6.

   In the letter to Meadows, Thompson cites his efforts to overturn Trump's 
defeat in the weeks prior to the insurrection and his pressure on state 
officials to push the former president's false claims of widespread voter fraud.

   "You were the president's chief of staff and have critical information 
regarding many elements of our inquiry," Thompson wrote. "It appears you were 
with or in the vicinity of President Trump on January 6, had communication with 
the president and others on January 6 regarding events at the Capitol and are a 
witness regarding the activities of the day."

   Thompson wrote that the panel has "credible evidence" of Meadows' 
involvement in events within the scope of the committee's investigation. That 
also includes involvement in the "planning and preparation of efforts to 
contest the presidential election and delay the counting of electoral votes."

   The letter also signals that the committee is interested in Meadows' 
requests to Justice Department officials for investigations into potential 
election fraud. Former Attorney General William Barr has said the Justice 
Department did not find fraud that could have affected the election's outcome.

   The panel cites reports that Patel, a Trump loyalist who had recently been 
placed at the Pentagon, was talking to Meadows "nonstop" the day the attack 
unfolded. In the letter to Patel, Thompson wrote that based on documents 
obtained by the committee, there is "substantial reason to believe that you 
have additional documents and information relevant to understanding the role 
played by the Defense Department and the White House in preparing for and 
responding to the attack on the U.S. Capitol."

   Scavino was with Trump on Jan. 5 during a discussion about how to persuade 
members of Congress not to certify the election for Joe Biden, according to 
reports cited by the committee. On Twitter, he promoted Trump's rally ahead of 
the attack and encouraged supporters to "be a part of history." In the letter 
to Scavino, Thompson said the panel's records indicate that Scavino was 
"tweeting messages from the White House" on Jan. 6.

   Thompson wrote that it appears Scavino was with Trump on Jan. 6 and may have 
"materials relevant to his videotaping and tweeting" messages that day. He 
noted Scavino's "long service" to the former president, spanning more than a 

   The subpoenas are certain to anger Republicans, most of whom have been 
content to move on from the insurrection and have remained loyal to Trump even 
after denouncing the attack. Only two Republicans sit on the panel, Wyoming 
Rep. Liz Cheney and Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger.

   In July, the committee held an emotional first hearing with four police 
officers who battled the insurrectionists and were injured and verbally abused 
as the rioters broke into the building and repeated Trump's lies about 
widespread election fraud.

   At least nine people who were there died during and after the rioting, 
including a woman who was shot and killed by police as she tried to break into 
the House chamber and three other Trump supporters who suffered medical 
emergencies. Two police officers died by suicide in the days that immediately 
followed, and a third officer, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, collapsed 
and died after engaging with the protesters. A medical examiner later 
determined he died of natural causes.

   The Metropolitan Police announced this summer that two more of their 
officers who had responded to the insurrection, Officers Kyle DeFreytag and 
Gunther Hashida, had also died by suicide.

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