WASHINGTON – The House select committee investigating the January 6 assault on the United States Capitol instigated by former President Donald Trump has issued subpoenas to another half-dozen of his associates, including the main contributors to the Trump campaign and the author of the now infamous memo then advising – Vice President Mike Pence will simply declare Trump the winner in the 2020 election.
John Eastman, who wrote that Pence had the unilateral power to grant Trump a second term despite the loss of Trump, former campaign manager Bill Stepien and former campaign strategist Jason Miller have all been subpoenaed, as did former national security adviser and pardoned criminal Michael Flynn, who advised Trump to declare martial law and force states to resume their elections.
“In the days leading up to the January 6 attack, the former president’s closest allies and advisers waged a campaign of disinformation about the elections and planned ways to stop the Electoral College’s vote counting.” , said committee chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.). âThe select committee needs to know all the details of their efforts to overturn the election, including who they were talking to in the White House and Congress, what ties they had to the rallies that turned into a riot and who paid for it all. “
Trump campaign staffer Angela McCallum and Bernard Kerik, former New York City police commissioner and another criminal pardoned by Trump, have also been subpoenaed.
All six were ordered to deliver the relevant documents to the committee by November 23 and to sit for affidavits at the end of that month and for the first two weeks of December.
The January 6 committee has already assigned some 20 Trump aides and allies. Most comply, although former Trump White House aide Steve Bannon has been charged with contempt of Congress for refusing, and former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark has refused to answer numerous questions, invoking executive privilege that the committee does not recognize.
Stepien, who led Trump’s campaign in his final months, “oversaw the conversion of Trump’s presidential campaign into an effort focused on the ‘Stop the Steal’ message and related fundraising,” according to the subpoena, which says the campaign urged states to âdelay or deny certification of electoral votesâ and send âmultiple electoral vote lists to the United States Congress.â Stepien did not respond to HuffPost’s request.
Miller, another senior Trump campaign official for most of 2020, repeatedly propagated Trump’s lies about the election in media interviews and on the Bannon podcast in the weeks leading up to January 6. He also wrote a statement from Trump saying that the President and Vice President were in full agreement on Pence’s ability to give Trump a second term, when in fact Pence has been telling Trump the opposite since. weeks. Miller also did not respond to a query from HuffPost.
McCallum, according to his subpoena, was part of the effort to persuade Republican state lawmakers to nominate another voters list due to “widespread voter fraud,” which, in fact, did not exist. She could not be reached for comment.
Eastman, then a law professor at Chapman University in Southern California, publicly and in private meetings with Trump and Pence pushed the idea that upon certification of the election by Congress, the vice president could declare unilaterally some invalid electoral votes and thus give Trump a second term. He spoke at the January 6 rally and repeated Trump’s lies about fraud to piss off the crowd. He did not respond to a request from HuffPost.
Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during the Russia investigation but was later pardoned by Trump, publicly and privately advised Trump to seize voting machines in states narrowly won by Democrat Joe Biden, to declare martial law and then force these states to reorganize their elections. He could not be reached for comment.
Kerik, who pleaded guilty to tax evasion and other charges but was also pardoned by Trump, took part in the post-election campaign to falsely claim massive election fraud. He also helped organize and participated in a January 6 “war room” at the Willard Hotel near the White House as a last-ditch effort to coerce Pence into overturning the election on Trump’s behalf. Kerik could not be reached either.
Trump’s spokespersons, who have continued to repeat his lies that the election was “stolen,” did not respond to HuffPost’s question about the new subpoenas.
Trump became the first president in 232 years of U.S. elections to refuse to hand over power peacefully to his successor.
He spent weeks attacking the legitimacy of the November 3 contest which he lost, starting his pre-dawn lies on November 4 that he had truly won in a “landslide” and that his victory was “stolen” from him. . These lies have continued through a long line of unsuccessful lawsuits challenging the results in a handful of states.
Trump, Flynn and other advisers have even discussed the use of the US military by invoking insurgency law or declaring martial law to retain power despite the loss of the election, including seizing the machines. voting and ordering “new votes” in states Biden narrowly won.
But military leaders had previously made it clear that they would not get involved in the political process. So after the Electoral College finally voted on December 14, formalizing Biden’s victory, Trump instead turned to an ultimate ploy to pressure his own vice president. overturning the ballots of millions of voters in multiple states that Biden won and declaring Trump the winner in pro forma certification of election results by Congress on Jan.6.
Trump asked his supporters to come to Washington that day, then told the tens of thousands of people who showed up to walk on Capitol Hill to intimidate Pence into doing what Trump wanted. âWhen you catch someone in a scam, you are allowed to follow very different rules,â Trump said.
The crowd of supporters he instigated tried to make his offer by storming the building. They even chanted “Hang Mike Pence” after Pence refused to comply with Trump’s demands.
One policeman died after being assaulted during the insurgency, and four others committed suicide in the days and weeks that followed. One of the rioters was shot and killed as she climbed through a broken window into an anteroom containing members of the House still evacuating, and three other people in the crowd died in the melee.
While the House impeached Trump for inciting the attack, all but seven Senate Republicans, led by their leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, chose not to condemn him – leaving Trump to continue his political career even as he ‘he faces several inquiries into his post-election actions.
Trump and his allies are now engaged in a campaign to portray the shot-dead rioter, Ashli ââBabbitt, as a martyr and the hundreds of others who have been arrested as victims of political persecution. Trump himself continues to suggest that he will run for the 2024 GOP nomination and use his Save America committee money to continue spreading the same lies that resulted in the January 6 violence.