January 6th Capital Riot Investigation Update # 4
Social Justice Policy Brief #29 | By: Erika Shannon | November 12, 2021
Header photo taken from: The New York Times
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The House Select Committee on the January 6 riot has been making a lot of headway into their investigation. They have been issuing subpoenas, looking over documents and tips, questioning people, and trying to work around those who are unwilling to help with their investigation. The Committee is doing their best to piece together the day’s events in the hopes that situations like this can be avoided in the future.
This past week, the House Select Committee issued several subpoenas, bringing their grand total to 35 people subpoenaed. On November 8, six people were subpoenaed because they were close to former President Trump; the Committee would like to know what connections these people had with the rallies that turned into a riot, who they were talking to in Congress and the White House regarding overturning the election, and who actually paid for it all. William Stepien, manager of the Trump 2020 reelection campaign, has been subpoenaed to discuss matters of the campaign. This includes whether or not the campaign urged state and party officials to affect the outcome of the 2020 election by attempting to delay or deny certification of electoral votes.
The five others subpoenaed were also very close to Trump’s inner circle. They include Jason Miller (senior advisor to Trump’s reelection campaign), Angela McCallum (national executive assistant to Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign), and John Eastman, Michael Flynn, and Bernard Kerik. Many of the individuals subpoenaed this past week were gathered at the Willard Hotel in the hours and days prior to the Capitol Riots. All of these individuals potentially played an important role in the events of January 6, and their testimony would help the Committee move forward.
On November 9, the House Select Committee issued subpoenas for several more people, in the hopes their testimony will be of help. Those subpoenaed include Nicholas Luna, who was reportedly in the Oval Office on January 6, 2021 when former President Trump was on the phone with Mike Pence pressuring him not to certify the election results, and Keith Kellogg, who was Pence’s National Security Advisor and reportedly participated in at least one meeting where former President Trump urged Pence to not certify the election. Kellogg was also reportedly in the White House with Trump as he watched the January 6 attack unfold. Stephen Miller, former Senior Advisor to Trump, was subpoenaed for participating in efforts to spread false information about alleged voter fraud in the 2020 election.
Others who were subpoenaed include Molly Michael, Benjamin Williamson, Christopher Liddell, John McEntee, Kayleigh McEnany, Cassidy Hutchinson, and Kenneth Klukowski. The Select Committee wants to learn every detail of what was going on in the White House on January 6 and in the days leading up to it. It is imperative they learn what role former President Trump played in efforts to stop the counting of electoral votes. These ten individuals who were subpoenaed are believed to have relevant information and details to aid in the investigation.
As far the former President goes, his efforts to block the Committee from accessing his White House records are failing. Just this past week, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan (in D.C.) rejected an argument by Trump’s lawyers that visitor logs, telephone records, and other White House documents should be hidden from the committee. Chutkan ruled that while the requests of the committee are broad, none of the requests made by the Committee violate its legislative powers. While Trump tried to argue executive privilege, current President Joe Biden had already determined that the Committee could access the requested materials.Judge Chutkan’s ruling is being appealed by Trump and could make its way to the Supreme Court. It is apparent that former President Trump thinks he is above the law and untouchable; a fact that is simply not true.
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Chairman of the Housd Committee, Bennie Thompson, commended Judge Chutkan’s swift ruling in a statement issued on November 9. Thompson touched on the fact that the former President is merely trying to delay and obstruct their investigation in order to hide the truth. There is a strong public interest in finding out exactly what happened, and the House Select Committee is attempting to get those answers on the American people’s behalf. The Committee is eagerly awaiting the requested records from the National Archives so that they continue to piece together exactly what happened leading up to, and on, January 6, 2021.
The House Select Committee has gotten so many tips, documents, and statements that they are grateful for. Now, the hard part is piecing it all together while continuing to obtain new and relevant information. The Committee has already interviewed over 150 people; many of which have come forth voluntarily to share their side of the events that unfolded. There is still work to be done, but there is significant headway being made by the Committee.
This brief is part of an ongoing series on the Select Committee’s investigation; further updates will be provided as the investigation continues.