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The U.S. House Select Committee Investigates the January 6 Attack on the Capitol: Part 2

Social Justice Policy Brief #28 | By: Erika Shannon | October 5, 2021

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Policy Summary

The case that is being built against those who participated in the January 6 Capitol riots is a slow one due to the sheer number of videos, pictures, and evidence related to the events. The House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack is doing their best to piece together the truth in the most non-partisan way possible. The most recent development from the Select Committee is their move to subpoena four people from former president Donald Trump’s administration. These are the first subpoenas that the committee members have issued. The panel is attempting to piece together what Trump was doing in the days leading up to the attack, and whether or not he played a direct role in the events that transpired.

Those subpoenaed include former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and his deputy chief of staff, Dan Scavino Jr., as well as Trump’s former adviser Stephen K. Bannon and former Pentagon chief of staff, Kash Patel. The four men have until October 7 to turn over any relevant documents, and they must appear at depositions the following week. These individuals are being chosen, in part, due to their close ties with the former President. The Committee also believes these individuals had communications with the White House on or in the days leading up to the January 6 insurrection that took place.

Policy Analysis

There is evidence that Mark Meadows was in communication with organizers of the January 6 rally, including Amy Kremer of the group Women for American First. He also allegedly communicated with officials at both the state level and in the Justice Department as part of an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election. It is important to note that this is not the first time that the Select Committee has sought out White House records relating to Mark Meadows.

Daniel Scavino Jr. was subpoenaed related to a discussion he was involved in with former President Trump; they were allegedly trying to discuss how they could convince members of Congress not to certify the election for Joe Biden. There is also evidence that Scavino promoted the January 6 March for Trump on Twitter, encouraging people to “be a part of history.” He was also tweeting messages from the White House on January 6, 2021.

A key reason Kash Patel is being subpoenaed is due to the fact that he was involved with discussions among senior Pentagon officials prior to and on January 6, 2021, regarding security at the Capitol. Kash Patel has also spoke on the fact that he was talking to Mark Meadows “nonstop that day.” Just like in the case of Meadows, this is not the first time the Select Committee has sought information about the steps taken at the Pentagon regarding national security both on and after January 6, including Patel’s role and his communications with other Pentagon officials.

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As for Stephen Bannon, he reportedly communicated with former President Trump on December 30, 2020, urging him to focus his efforts on January 6. Bannon also allegedly attended a gathering at the Willard Hotel on January 5, 2021, where he was part of an effort to persuade members of Congress into blocking the certification of the election results the next day. Bannon also had a podcast titled “War Room,” and on his January 5 episode he stated, “all Hell is going to break loose tomorrow.”

The reasons that these four individuals have been subpoenaed are clear, and it is likely that the Select Committee will subpoena other individuals close to Trump in the future. According to chairman Bennie Thompson, it is the committee’s job to “identify and evaluate lessons learned and to recommend corrective laws, policies, procedures rules, or regulations.”

This Brief is part of an ongoing series on the Select Committee’s investigation; further updates will be provided as the investigation continues.

Engagement Resources​

Click or tap on image to visit resource website.

To read the official press release regarding the subpoenas, click here.

Click here to submit tips directly to the House Select Committee.

 

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