The select committee investigating the January 6 breach of the United States Capitol building has subpoenaed six more individuals, including a lawyer for Trump who helped craft a scheme to upend the Electoral College and the former president’s first National Security Advisor.
The January 6 commission believes these six individuals — all of whom were associated with Trump’s campaign and his so-called “Stop the Steal” movement — can provide insight into Trump’s motivations in the days leading up to a mob of his loyalists attacking the Capitol.
The January 6 commission requests documents from these six people and asks them to give closed-door testimony before investigators at the commission. This will be done between the end of November and mid-December.
These six individuals are key to understanding how the attack on Capitol occurred, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D.Mississippi), commission vice chair, stated.
“In the days before the Jan. 6 attack, the former president’s closest allies and advisers drove a campaign of misinformation about the election and planned ways to stop the count of Electoral College votes,” Thompson said in a statement. “The select committee needs to know every detail about their efforts to overturn the election, including who they were talking to in the White House and in Congress, what connections they had with rallies that escalated into a riot and who paid for it all.”
The latest round of subpoenas brings to 25 the total number of subpoenas. However, investigators have heard from more than 150 witnesses so far without the need for such orders. The subpoenas to six people on Monday indicate that the commission is focusing its attention on strategy sessions held at Trump’s inner circle to reverse the election results.
“They are really honing in on this strategy at the Willard Hotel,” Barbara McQuade, a former U.S. attorney and current law professor at the University of Michigan, said to The New York Times. “If it’s a campaign war room, that’s one thing. But the question is: To what extent are they looking at blocking the certification of the election?”
Eastman’s testimony about His plan to help Trump overturn the Electoral College resultsMcQuade said that this will be a major concern.
“The Eastman memo is a real smoking gun. It really appears to be a concerted effort here,” she said.
It’s likely that the subpoenas will be challenged, either by Trump himself or by those receiving them, as the subpoenaed individuals represent some of Trump’s most loyal confidantes. Flynn was one example. He refused to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation, even though he could be sentenced to a lengthy prison term.
The matter will likely be tied up in the courts, as Trump has already sued to have other former aides’ testimonies blocked by making Executive privilege claims that are dubious — a right conferred to presidents that many legal experts believe Trump no longer has as a former chief executive.
Although the lawsuits may not rest on sound legal ground, many say that isn’t the point. Rather, the lawsuits are challenging Trump associates’ testimonies It is possible to delay the tactic meant to “run out the clock” on the January 6 commission’s work up to the 2022 midterm elections, when Republicans may take control of Congress.
Trump is using the courts “to delay, try to prevent the country from learning about his corruption,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D.California), is a member of the commission. He stated last month. “Donald Trump will lose this litigation, and he knows he’ll lose the litigation. The point isn’t winning, the point is delaying.”