US Capitol riot panel subpoenas Trump’s national security adviser

The congressional committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol has issued subpoenas to six allies of Donald Trump, including his erstwhile national security adviser Michael Flynn and Jason Miller, one of the former president’s closest aides.

In the latest sign that the panel is escalating its investigation into the former president and his allies, the House select committee investigating the attack said on Monday that it was demanding records and testimony from several people associated with Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign.

The violent riot interrupted the certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College win and left five people dead. At least two police officers who responded to the attacks died by suicide later that month.

Those subpoenaed on Monday included Bill Stepien, Trump’s campaign manager, in addition to Flynn, who admitted to lying about contacts with a Russian diplomat and was charged as part of the Robert Mueller investigation before being pardoned by the ex-president last November.

Bernard Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner and close ally of Rudy Giuliani, a former New York mayor and Trump’s personal lawyer, was also subpoenaed.

Others who were sent subpoenas included John Eastman, a conservative lawyer who advised Trump that then vice-president Mike Pence could single-handedly overturn the results of November’s election, and Angela McCallum, a campaign staffer who reportedly encouraged state officials to reject the presidential election results.

“In the days before the January 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,” said Bennie Thompson, the Democratic congressman chairing the committee.

Thompson said lawmakers “need 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”.

Letters sent to the individuals requested they provide documents by November 23, and appear before the committee for depositions scheduled for later this month and early December.

The subpoenas are the latest in a series of demands made by the congressional committee as it expands its probe into the former president, his allies and his supporters.

Last month, the House of Representatives voted to hold Steve Bannon, another Trump confidante, in contempt of Congress for his refusal to comply with a subpoena for him to co-operate with the committee. The case has been referred to the US Department of Justice.

Trump has pushed back against the committee’s work, filing a lawsuit last month in a federal court in an effort to block the release of his presidential records. He sued the committee and the US National Archives, claiming nearly 50 documents relating to his presidency could be withheld under “executive privilege”, a legal standard that allows the president and other executive branch officials to keep certain communications confidential.

On the morning of January 6, Trump encouraged crowds of his supporters at a “Stop the Steal” rally on the National Mall to march towards the Capitol. He added: “We fight like hell and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country any more.”

Trump was impeached in January on one charge of “incitement to insurrection” for his role in stirring up the mob, but was later exonerated in a Senate trial after just seven Republican lawmakers voted to convict him.

The House committee, which was formed after the impeachment trial, has seven Democratic members. Just two Republicans who have publicly broken with their party over its allegiance to Trump — Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois — sit on the panel.

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