On Monday and Tuesday, Mississippi Democrat Bennie Thompson, chairman of the January 6 House Select Committee charged with investigating former president Donald Trump’s attempted coup, announced that the committee had issued 16 subpoenas, nearly doubling the amount the committee has issued so far, to senior advisors of the would-be dictator.
In his statement Monday announcing the first six subpoenas, Thompson wrote, “In the days before the January 6th attack, the former President’s closest allies and advisors drove a campaign of misinformation about the election and planned ways to stop the count of Electoral College votes.” Subpoenaed individuals have been requested by the committee to provide documents by November 23 and appear for closed-doors depositions before the committee either later this month or in early December.
Two of the individuals targeted Monday by the committee include legal scholar and author of the “coup memo” John Eastman and former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, both of whom were identified as participants in a “command center” that Trump had commissioned at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel, following his electoral defeat last November.
The “command center” at the Willard, which operated from November 5 up until the inauguration of president Joe Biden, served as an extension of the White House and Trump’s extra-legal attempts to stay in power. In the months following Trump’s defeat leading up the Electoral College certification of the election, Republican operatives, lawmakers, lawyers and fascist militia commanders developed a definite political strategy to overturn Biden’s victory. This culminated in the storming and hours-long occupation of the Capitol on January 6, for which neither Trump, nor any of those subpoenaed so far, have been charged for, over 10 months later.
In response to the subpoena, Kerik struck a defiant tone, publishing a statement Monday which demanded “that the Committee either retract this defamatory press release and apologize or admit this is a purely partisan stunt.” Kerik, emulating Trump and other fascist Republicans who have been implicated in the coup attempt, such as Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene and Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, claimed the committee is “targeting patriots and members of the President’s legal team that wanted nothing more than to investigate and expose” alleged election fraud.
On Tuesday, Thompson and the committee announced 10 more subpoenas, bringing the total to 35 so far, targeting some of Trump’s closest aides, such as former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany and fascist Senior Advisor to Trump, Stephen Miller. Other top officials subpoenaed on Tuesday include retired Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg, the national security advisor to Vice President Mike Pence, and John McEntee, former White House Personnel Director, charged with hiring and firing roughly 4,000 political appointees in the executive branch.
Trump’s personal assistant Nicholas Luna; Special Assistant to the President and Oval Office Operations Coordinator, Molly Michael; Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor to Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Benjamin Williamson; former White House Deputy Chief of Staff, Christopher Liddell; Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, Cassidy Hutchinson; and Kenneth Klukowski, former Senior Counsel to Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark were also subpoenaed by the committee.
In his Tuesday statement announcing the subpoenas, Thompson wrote, “The Select Committee wants to learn every detail of what went on in the White House on January 6th and in the days beforehand. We need to know precisely what role the former President and his aides played in efforts to stop the counting of the electoral votes and if they were in touch with anyone outside the White House attempting to overturn the outcome of the election.”
In addition to the above named individuals, subpoenas were issued to several Trump advisors. These include:
*William Stepien: Stepien was the manager of the Trump 2020 re-election campaign. In his letter to Stepien requesting his testimony, Thompson wrote the he “supervised the conversion of the Trump presidential campaign to an effort focused on ‘Stop the Steal’ messaging and related fundraising. That messaging included the promotion of certain false claims related to voting machines despite an internal campaign memo in which campaign staff determined that such claims were false.” Thompson drew attention to the fact that the Trump campaign, “urged state and party officials to affect the outcome of the November 2020 election by, among other things, asking states to delay or deny certification of electoral votes and by sending multiple slates of electoral votes to the United States Congress.”
*Jason Miller: Miller served as senior communications advisor on the Trump 2016 campaign, and in October 2019 Miller, along with fascist Stephen Bannon, began co-hosting the War Room: Impeachment podcast. On the podcast and in joint appearances, Bannon and Miller advised Trump on legal and political strategy while promoting fascistic lies, such as the “Wuhan Lab Leak” theory. In June 2020, Miller was hired by the Trump campaign as a senior advisor. The Washington Post has reported that Miller was “in touch with Trump on January 6 at least twice ... helping him draft a statement that evening. He was the spokesman for Trump during several key periods: Before November 3, through much of the transition, and then again after January 6, during the impeachment.”
In his letter requesting Miller’s appearance before the committee, Thompson wrote that Miller “regularly spread the claim that the November 2020 [election] had been tainted by widespread fraud. Even before the election, you publicly claimed that Democrats would ‘steal’ the election, a message that individuals who attacked the US capitol echoed on January 6.” Thompson also pointed to Miller’s participation at the Willard, writing, “you [Miller] participated in a meeting on January 5, 2021, at the Willard Hotel...in which Mr. [Rudy] Giuliani, Stephen Bannon, and others met to discuss overturning the results of the November 2020 election by, among other things, pressuring Vice President Pence to not certify the electoral college results.”
*Angela McCallum: McCallum was the national executive assistant to Trump’s 2020 campaign. Like Miller, McCallum helped propagate Trump’s lying claims that the election was fraudulent. McCallum directly appealed to at least one Michigan Republican state legislator to pick a new slate of pro-Trump electors in a December, 1, 2020 phone recording. “You do have the power to reclaim your authority and elect a new slate of electors that will support President Trump and Vice President Pence,” said McCallum.
*Michael Flynn: Retired Lieutenant General Flynn was briefly Trump’s National Security Advisor, before stepping down in February 2017 after it became known he had lied to Vice President Pence about his contacts with the Russian ambassador. Flynn, who publicly pledged an oath to the fascistic QAnon conspiracy theory last June, was heavily involved in the “Stop the Steal” rallies leading up to the attack on the Capitol, frequently giving fascistic speeches to Trump’s paramilitary supporters. Flynn was photographed at both the Willard and Trump’s Intercontinental Hotel in the days leading up to the attack on the Capitol. Following Trump’s attempted coup, Flynn has continued to promote the QAnon conspiracy theory, appearing at a convention in Dallas this past June. During the convention, Flynn voiced his support for a “Burma-style” military coup to overturn the election of Biden.
Flynn’s subpoena notes that he “reportedly attended” an Oval Office meeting on December 18, 2020 during which “participants discussed seizing voting machines, declaring a national emergency, invoking certain national security emergency powers, and continuing to spread the message that the November 2020 election had been tainted by widespread fraud.”
It continues: “The day before, you [Flynn] did an interview on Newsmax TV during which you talked about seizing voting machines, foreign influence in the election, and the purported precedent for deploying military troops and declaring martial law to ‘rerun’ the election.”
Michael’s younger brother, Charles Flynn, is also a Lieutenant General and the current commander of the US Army Pacific. The younger Flynn, along with Lieutenant General Walter Piatt, took the frantic call from Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and DC and Capitol police officials on January 6, requesting authorization for DC National Guard commander William Walker to deploy his troops to the besieged Capitol. This request would not be granted by the Department of Defense for over 3 hours and 19 minutes.
While the Select Committee has subpoenaed dozens of individuals who were intimately involved in Trump’s coup, several senior officials, such as former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and White House Special Advisor Stephen Bannon, who were subpoenaed in September, have yet to appear before the committee. In the case of Bannon, even after Congress voted to hold him in contempt two weeks ago, the Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice have failed to act on the congressional referral.
The committee has also failed to subpoena any members of congress, including those, such as the fascist Gosar, whose ties to white supremacists and the Oath Keeper militia group have been a matter of public record for years.
This is because the true purpose of the committee is not a “fact-finding” expedition meant to uncover “the truth” of January 6, but in fact a cover-up of the widespread involvement of the Republican Party, and elements within the state and financial oligarchy in Trump’s coup attempt. As part of the ongoing campaign to chloroform the working class to the true extent of the fascist rot at the heart of American democracy, despite the prodigious evidence that has been unearthed in the months following Trump’s coup, the select committee, after holding one public hearing featuring the testimony of police, has scheduled “no upcoming hearings” or “business meetings.”
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