Capitol attack panel closes in on Trump with three new subpoenas
The House select committee investigating the Capitol attack is rapidly closing in on the former president's inner circle.
Former US President Donald Trump's appeal to keep records related to the January 6 capitol storming was denied.
The House select committee investigating the Capitol attack closed in on Donald Trump’s inner circle on Tuesday, issuing subpoenas to three new White House officials involved in planning the former president’s appearance at the rally that preceded the 6 January insurrection.
The chairman of the select committee, Congressman Bennie Thompson, issued subpoenas to former White House strategists Andy Surabian and Arthur Schwartz, alleging they helped coordinate Trump's appearance by communicating with rally organizers and speakers.
The chairman also authorized a subpoena for Ross Worthington, the former White House official who drafted Trump's rally speech, in which the former president lied about the 2020 election results and urged supporters to march to the Capitol.
Click here: The Capitol riots, one year later
“The select committee is seeking information from individuals who were involved with the rally,” Thompson said. “Protests that day escalated into an attack on our democracy. Protesters became rioters who carried out a violent attempt to derail the peaceful transfer of power.”
The Ellipse rally has grown in importance for the select committee in recent weeks, as it investigates whether Trump obstructed a congressional proceeding by inciting his supporters to storm the Capitol and prevent the certification of Joe Biden's election victory.
Trump's criminal involvement
According to The Guardian, the panel is also looking into whether Trump oversaw a criminal conspiracy that linked his plan to have then-Vice President Mike Pence refuse to certify Biden's victory with the extremist groups that attacked the Capitol.
Thompson stated in the subpoena letters to Surabian and Schwartz that they were targeted because they appeared to have had repeated contact with some of the rally's top organizers and speakers, including Trump's eldest son Don Jr. and his fiance Kimberly Guilfoyle.
The chairman also stated that they had contacts regarding securing the participation of far-right activists such as Ali Alexander and Alex Jones at the rally, as well as discussing media coverage of the rally and appearance fees for others who did speak at the rally.
Thompson stated in the subpoena letter to Worthington that he was targeted because he assisted in the writing of Trump's rally speech, in which the former president urged his supporters to "fight much harder" and "stop the steal" – before promising to march with them to the Capitol.
The committee gave the three former Trump aides until January 24 to release the documents requested in the subpoenas, with depositions scheduled from the end of the month to the first week of February.