More Trump aides summoned in US Capitol riot investigation

A congressional committee has been investigating the January 6 insurrection

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn exits a vehicle as he arrives for his sentencing hearing at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., December 18, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Politicians investigating the deadly January 6 assault on the US Capitol issued 10 new subpoenas to top aides of former president Donald Trump on Tuesday, adding to six other subpoenas sent on Monday.

The US congressional committee said it had issued requests for evidence from former senior adviser Stephen Miller and former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany as well as other White House aides.

On Monday, six associates were subpoenated for reportedly plotting to overturn Mr Trump's defeat in a “war room” at a luxury Washington hotel.

“The select committee wants to learn every detail of what went on in the White House on January 6 and in the days beforehand,” said Bennie Thompson, the Democratic chairman of the panel.

“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.”

The committee said that it had issued subpoenas for Mr Miller, whom the panel said “participated in efforts to spread false information about alleged voter fraud", and Ms McEnany, who is believed to have been with Mr Trump as he watched the insurrection.

Lawyer John Eastman was among advisers summoned to explain their role in the talks at the Willard InterContinental in the days surrounding the attack when Trump supporters stormed Congress to halt certification of Democrat Joe Biden's presidential election victory.

Mr Eastman is said to have drafted a memo advising Mr Trump that his Vice President Mike Pence had the authority to simply reject the results in certain states and deny Mr Biden the victory.

He also reportedly hosted a January 2 meeting where he told around 300 state legislators it was their duty to fix “this egregious conduct and make sure that we're not putting in the White House some guy that didn't get elected”.

Crucially, Mr Eastman reportedly participated in a January 5 “war room” meeting at the Willard and spoke at a rally near the White House that preceded the attack.

He reportedly sent Mr Pence's lawyer an email during the siege, saying it had happened “because YOU and your boss did not do what was necessary to allow this to be aired in a public way.”

“Your documents and testimony are directly relevant to the select committee's investigation, as you appear to have been instrumental in advising President Trump that Vice President Pence could determine which electors were recognised on January 6, a view that many of those who attacked the Capitol apparently also shared,” the committee told Mr Eastman in its subpoena.

The other targets are largely aides or official members of Mr Trump's reelection campaign whom the panel says were involved in promoting his lie that the presidential election was stolen.

They include former New York police chief Bernard Kerik and one-time campaign adviser Jason Miller, who are both said to have attended the January 5 “war room”.

Mike Flynn, Mr Trump's disgraced former national security adviser, was also summoned alongside reelection campaign manager William Stepien and executive assistant Angela McCallum.

Others subpoenaed on Tuesday include former national security adviser Keith Kellogg, Mr Trump's personal assistant Nicholas Luna, special assistant Molly Michael, deputy assistant Ben Williamson, deputy chief of staff Christopher Lidell, personnel director John McEntee, special assistant Cassidy Hutchinson and Justice Department official Kenneth Klukowski.

These are the first round of subpoenas issued by the committee since the House asked the Department of Justice to pursue criminal contempt charges against Trump ally Steve Bannon for defying his congressional order to appear.

Updated: November 9th 2021, 8:42 PM
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