Reprinted with permission from DailyKos
Long-anticipated subpoenas for senior officials to former President Donald Trump and members of his 2020 reelection campaign were issued by investigators on the House January 6 select committee on Monday.
The subpoenas come at the same time obstruction to congressional oversight wafts in the Washington, D.C., air with former White House adviser Steve Bannon being held in contempt of Congress two weeks ago, after flatly refusing to cooperate with the probe. Former acting attorney general for the Justice Department's civil division, Jeffrey Clark, has also refused to cooperate citing claims of executive privilege.
A total of six new subpoenas were issued Monday. One went, as widely expected, to John Eastman, a senior fellow of the conservative think tank The Claremont Institute and former legal professor at Chapman University. Eastman authored a six-point memo instructing Vice President Mike Pence on how to deny Joe Biden's rightful victory, but has since waffled publicly about the memo's intent. But for lawmakers on the committee, Eastman's actions, regardless, demand answers.
In addition to Eastman's now-notorious memo, the committee also cites his participation in a briefing "for nearly 300 state legislators from several states regarding purported election fraud," during which he propped up Trump's lies about election fraud and told the group it was "'the duty of legislators to fix this, this egregious conduct and make sure that we're not putting in the White House some guy that didn't get elected," the committee's letter states.
Eastman also allegedly met with Trump and Pence on at least two occasions—mere days before the insurrection. It was then, the committee contends, that he communicated with Pence's counsel, Greg Jacob, regarding his earlier proposal to delay or block certification of the election.
And, perhaps most damning for Eastman, are his own words in a January 6 email. The committee specifically cited an email from the former law professor to Greg Jacob. Eastman allegedly told Jacob "the siege" unfolding at the Capitol that day was due to Jacobs and Pence failing to promote lies about the election certification process. Eastman blasted Jacobs, saying he and Pence "did not do what was necessary to allow this to be aired in a public way so that the American people can see for themselves what happened."
Eastman is also allegedly one of the numerous officials who met with Trump toadies in a "war room" at the Willard Hotel. It has been widely reported that in addition to Eastman, Steve Bannon and Rudy Giuliani were also regularly on hand at the war room.
Incidentally, in a new analysis published by The Bulwark on Monday, Christian Vanderbrouk unpacked a 37-page report first published by The Claremont Institute last October. The Texas Public Policy Foundation, which did not return a request for comment Monday, co-published the report.
As pointed out by Vanderbrouk, the post-election war game was dreamed up by Eastman and others and amounts to "an instruction manual for how Trump partisans at all levels of government—aided by citizen 'posses' of Proud Boys and Oath Keepers—could, quite literally, round up opposition activists, kill their leaders, and install Donald Trump for a second term in office."
When reached for comment Monday, Vanderbrouk told Daily Kos by email that he wrote and published the piece Monday because he hopes "that it puts to rest any remaining questions about whether Claremont and its supporters are good-faith players in our system."
The committee has demanded a response by Eastman by Nov. 23; his deposition is currently slated for Dec. 8.
No stranger to congressional oversight, retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn was also subpoenaed Monday and requested for deposition on December 6.
"You reportedly attended a December 18, 2020, meeting in the Oval Office, during which participants discussed seizing voting machines, declaring a national emergency, invoking certain national security emergency powers, and continuing to spread the message that the November 2020 election had been tainted by widespread fraud," the subpoena letter states.
Also cited by the committee was Flynn's appearance on Newsmax TV the day before that Oval Office meeting, where he opined openly about so-called precedents he perceived for deploying military troops or declaring martial law to "rerun" the election.
Flynn reportedly met with Trump just weeks after he was pardoned by the president on charges that he lied to the FBI. He was one of Trump's most stalwart allies, even speaking to the former president's supporters at a "MAGA March" protesting the outcome of the election on Dec. 12, 2020.
Trump reelection campaign officials like William Stepien, Jason Miller, and Angela McCallum were also subpoenaed Monday.
As a manager to the reelection campaign, Stepien oversaw "the conversion of the Trump presidential campaign to an effort focused on 'Stop the Steal' messaging and fundraising," the committee said in its subpoena.
That messaging overtly highlighted conspiracy claims about voting machines that Stepien and other Trump campaign members had long known were patently false, the committee added. A memo published in September outlines how Trump campaign staff knew of the deceit for weeks, but ran with it, anyway.
The committee also wants Stepien to provide any information he might have about the campaign's attempts to persuade states to delay or deny certification of electoral votes, or send multiple slates of electoral votes to Congress.
Stepien, if he complies will be deposed on December 13.
Jason Miller regularly spread claims of "widespread fraud" in the election, and publicly asserted Democrats would "steal the election," a committee letter to the former Trump campaign adviser states.
This message was echoed by the mob who attacked the Capitol and notably, even after the election, lawmakers claim Miller, Trump, and Trump's former personal attorney Rudy Giuliani coordinated press events to make more bogus claims about the election. Miller is also believed to have been in the war room at the Willard Hotel on Jan. 5.
Miller is scheduled to be deposed on December 10.
As for Angela McCallum, the national executive assistant to Trump's 2020 reelection campaign, investigators say she was directly involved in efforts to "encourage state legislators to alter the outcome of the 2020 election." One such example provided by the committee is a publicly available recording of a voicemail left to a Michigan state representative. McCallum wanted to know whether Trump could "count on" the representative.
"And you told the representative that he/she had authority to appoint an alternate slate of electors based on purported evidence of widespread election fraud," the subpoena states.
If she complies, like all others subpoenaed Monday, the deadline to submit documents is Nov 23. Her deposition is currently slated for Nov 30.
Also subpoenaed Monday was Bernard Kerik. The former New York Police Department Commissioner—who was convicted of tax fraud in 2001—reportedly booked hotel rooms to be used as command centers for Trump officials, and is alleged to have been at the Willard Hotel on January 5 along with Bannon, Eastman, and Giuliani.
In Kerik's subpoena, lawmakers allege the former commissioner met with Giuliani "at least as early as Nov. 5" to promote claims of election fraud.
Former White House deputy chief of staff for communications, Dan Scavino, and Kash Patel, the former chief of staff to then-acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller, were subpoenaed weeks ago. Onetime White House chief of staff Mark Meadows was also slapped with a subpoena but has been on thin ice with the committee in recent days. He has reportedly delayed providing materials as requested.
In September, rally organizers including Amy Kremer, founder and chairwoman of Women for America First, were subpoenaed. The group coordinated a rally at the Ellipse on January 6. Kremer's daughter and co-founder of Women for America First, Kylie Kremer, was also subpoenaed. Their depositions were recently put on hold, but it is unclear exactly why. A spokesperson for the committee has declined to comment on details of the investigation.
Caroline Wren and Cindy Chafian were served, too. As reported by ProPublica, Wren served as a deputy to Donald Trump, Jr.'s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, at the joint presidential fundraising committee, Trump Victory, throughout the 2020 campaign. Chafian, yet another organizer of the rally at the Ellipse, was involved with Wren in planning and budgeting for the event.
Maggie Mulvaney, listed as a "VIP lead" in a rally permit arranged by Women for America First, was also subpoenaed. Mulvaney is the niece of Trump's former acting White House chief of staff, then director of the Office of Management and Budget, then special envoy for Northern Ireland, Mick Mulvaney.
In addition, Megan Powers, of MPowers Consulting LLC, and Hannah Salem, of Salem Strategies LLC, were also listed on permits for the rally. Legislators believe the women were supervising rally scheduling and logistics. Also subpoenaed were Lyndon Brentall of RMS Protective Services—flagged on permit paperwork as an "on-site supervisor"—and Justin Caporale and Tim Unes. Both Caporale and Unes worked for Event Strategies Inc.; the committee believes they have information about project and stage management for the rally.
Katrina Pierson, Trump's campaign spokesperson in 2016, received a subpoena last month. According to the FEC, Pierson received $10,000 biweekly for her work with the Trump campaign from September 2019 to January 2020. Pierson is believed to have been in contact with Trump regularly before and on January 6.
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