Then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows with Donald Trump (File)
UPDATE, DEC 1:
Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has agreed to cooperate with the House select committee on the Capitol Attack.
Committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi said, “Mr. Meadows has been engaging with the select committee through his attorney. He has produced records to the committee and will soon appear for an initial deposition.”
Meadows is the highest-level White House official to agree to cooperation with the panel.
Donald Trump has commanded all of his former staff to refuse any provision of testimony or documents. The House has voted for criminal proceedings against former chief strategist Steve Bannon, for contempt of Congress over his refusal. On Monday, the House committee warned that it is close to voting on contempt charges for Jeffrey Clark, the Justice Department whom Trump tried to install as Attorney General in an effort to overturn the November 2020 election.
Meadows’ lawyer George Terwilliger indicated that his client may continue to limit the extent of his testimony.
As we have from the beginning, we continue to work with the select committee and its staff to see if we can reach an accommodation that does not require Mr. Meadows to waive executive privilege or to forfeit the longstanding position that senior White House aides cannot be compelled to testify before Congress. We appreciate the select committee’s openness to receiving voluntary responses on nonprivileged topics.
Legal experts say it may be difficult for Trump to assert executive privilege as a former President, and President Joe Biden has declined to invoke any restriction on the investigation.
Thompson said of Meadows, “The committee will continue to assess his degree of compliance with our subpoena after the deposition.”
Meadows was alongside Trump for much of January 6 as Trump called on supporters to march on the Capitol to block the Congressional certification of President-elect Biden. The Chief of Staff reportedly called on Ivanka Trump to reason with her father as hundreds of supporters invaded the building, attacked security personnel, and threatened Vice President Mike Pence and legislators with execution.
Meadows also supported Trump’s effort to reverse the election. He pressed the Justice Department to investigate unsupported conspiracy theories, and he contacted state officials seeking investigations into Trump’s lies of election fraud. In late December, he attended a meeting with Republican legislators who led the effort to block Biden’s victory and certification, and he communicated with the organizers of the “Stop The Steal” rally addressed by Trump on January 6.
UPDATE, NOV 24:
The House select committee on the Capitol Attack has issued five subpoenas to leaders of far-right militias such as the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, over their role in the assault.
Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio is in jail in Washington DC over illegal activity at a rally for Donald Trump rally in December. He did not participate in the Capitol Attack but was involved in preparations for the assault, according to the committee.
Subpoenas were also issued for Elmer Stewart Rhodes of Oath Keepers and Robert Patrick Lewis of 1st Amendment Praetorian.
We believe the individuals and organizations we subpoenaed today have relevant information about how violence erupted at the Capitol and the preparation leading up to this violent attack.
The Select Committee is moving swiftly to uncover the facts of what happened on that day and we expect every witness to comply with the law and cooperate so we can get answers to the American people.
The subpoenas were announced as jurors found that the organizers of the far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 are liable for injuries to counter-protesters. They awarded more than $25 million in damages.
Heather Heyer was killed when she was struck by a car driven by one of the defendants.
ORIGINAL ENTRY, NOV 23: The House select committee on the Capitol Attack has issued subpoenas to Donald Trump’s long time “dirty trickster” Roger Stone and far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
Committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi said, “We need to know who organized, planned, paid for and received funds related to those events, as well as what communications organizers had with officials in the White House and Congress.”
The committee has interviewed more than 200 witnesses, but Trump has ordered former staff not to testify or provide documents. The advisors include Steve Bannon, who was arraigned in federal court on charges of contempt of Congress last week.
Stone promoted his attendance at the Trumpist “Stop The Steal” rallies on January 5 and 6. He sought funds for “security” through the rally’s site, and used members of the far-right Oath Keepers as personal security guards. At least one of them has been indicted for involvement in the Capitol attack.
Jones helped organize the rally near the White House in which Trump told the crowd to march on the Capitol, where Congress was certifying the victory of President-elect Joe Biden. He arranged a donation from Julie Jenkins Fancelli, the heiress to the Publix Supermarkets fortune, for what he called “80%” of the funding.
Both Stone and Jones were among advisors meeting in and near the Willard Intercontinental Hotel, the unofficial headquarters for the “Stop the Steal” effort, near the White House. On January 5, Jones “interviewed” Michael Flynn, Trump’s former National Security Advisor, to promote disinformation about a stolen election.
On January 7, Jones said, “The White House told me three days before [the Capitol attack], ‘We’re going to have you led the march.’ Trump will tell people, ‘Go, and I’m going to meet you at the Capitol.’”
Jones was among the Trumpist crowd on January 6, loudly promoting falsehoods, but also calling for peaceful protest.
In February, the Justice Department opened an investigation into both Stone and Jones, as well as “Stop the Steal” organizer Ali Alexander.
Stone has worked with Trump since the 1990s. During the 2016 Presidential campaign, as an informal advisor, he liaised with WikiLeaks over the release of e-mails, stolen by Russian operatives, to damage Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
He was convicted and given a 40-month sentence over witness tampering, obstructing an official proceeding, and lying to Congress. However, days before he was to report to prison in July 2020, Trump pardoned him.
Jones began pushing far-right conspiracy theories and disinformation on a Texas radio station, including the insistence that the 9-11 attacks were carried out by the US Government. His Infowars program was propelled by the Internet. On that platform, Jones declared that the December 2012 mass killing at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut, in which 26 children and staff were slain, was a “false flag” operation. Courts recently ruled he must pay damages in lawsuits filed by the families of eight victims.
The committee’s latest subpoenas also include Dustin Stockton and Jennifer Lawrence, allies of Steve Bannon who helped organize rallies promoting Trump’s falsehoods, and Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich.
The subpoenas require production of documents and testimony by mid-December.