The House committee investigating the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 subpoenaed four close allies of former President Donald Trump on Thursday.
Letters sent to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former White House deputy chief of staff for communications Daniel Scavino, former Pentagon and National Security Council official Kashyap Patel, and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon instructed them to produce materials and participate in depositions in the coming weeks, according to a press release.
The subpoenas are the first of their kind for the committee and constitute a significant development in the investigation, which Trump and most Republicans have attacked as politically motivated.
The committee told Meadows it requested his participation based on his relationship to Trump and reports that he was "engaged in multiple elements of the planning and preparation of efforts to contest the presidential election and the counting of electoral votes."
Scavino was subpoenaed because the committee believes he has "knowledge regarding the communications strategy of the former president and his supporters leading up to the events on January 6," according to a letter addressed to him, while Patel — who was chief of staff to former acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller at the time — was asked to cooperate so committee members could learn about the Pentagon's response to the riot.
As for Bannon, who was not serving in the Trump administration when the riot occurred, the committee pointed to his advocacy for members of Congress to reject electoral votes and his saying on Jan. 5 that "all hell is going to break loose tomorrow." Bannon has said the quote was about predicting former Vice President Mike Pence would reject the election results, not foreshadowing the riot.
Trump slammed the committee for issuing "harassment subpoenas" and accused Democrats of persecuting and prosecuting Republicans.
"We will fight the Subpoenas on Executive Privilege and other grounds, for the good of our Country, while we wait to find out whether or not Subpoenas will be sent out to Antifa and BLM for the death and destruction they have caused in tearing apart our Democrat-run cities throughout America," he added in a statement.
Patel issued his own rebuke of the committee, saying he will "continue to tell the truth to the American people about the events of January 6th."
"I am disappointed, but not surprised, that the Committee tried to subpoena me through the press and violated longstanding protocol — which I upheld as a congressional staffer — by resorting to compulsory process before seeking my voluntary cooperation," he said in a statement obtained by the Washington Examiner.
The letters come days after Rep. Adam Schiff — a California Democrat who sits on the Jan. 6 committee and frequently clashed with Trump and his allies as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee — declared the panel would skip “time-consuming steps" and go “straight to subpoenas where we think we’re dealing with recalcitrant parties."
Before the subpoenas, the Democratic-led panel asked telecommunications companies to preserve records from several Republican lawmakers involved in the “Stop the Steal” rally ahead of the Capitol riot, which Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy decried as "strong-arm[ing] private companies."
"If these companies comply with the Democrat order to turn over private information, they are in violation of federal law and subject to losing their ability to operate in the United States," McCarthy said. "If they pursue this path, a Republican majority will not forget and will be ready to hold them fully accountable under the law."
The committee scheduled depositions for Patel and Bannon on Oct. 14, and depositions for Meadows and Scavino are scheduled for Oct. 15.
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Original Author: Jeremy Beaman
Original Location: Jan. 6 committee subpoenas former top Trump aides