Trump’s former chief of staff and his top aides called to testify in Capitol riot investigation
The Select Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives investigating the deadly January 6 riot on Capitol Hill has subpoenaed four former members of the Donald Trump administration, including Mark Meadows and Steve Bannon, the panel chairman said Thursday.
Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino and former Defense Department official Kash Patel were also summoned and instructed to produce materials and appear at depositions, committee chair Bennie Thompson said in a release.
Meadows, a former congressman, served as Trump’s chief of staff in the White House. Bannon was Trump’s adviser in the White House.
A representative for Meadows said it declined to comment. Bannon and Scavino could not be reached for immediate comment.
Patel said in a statement that he was “disappointed, but not surprised” that the committee issued a subpoena before seeking his voluntary cooperation.
A crowd of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6 as Congress met to certify the election victory of Democrat Joe Biden, delaying that process for several hours as then-Vice President Mike Pence, members of Congress, staff and journalists fled. of the rioters.
About 600 people have been arrested on charges related to the attack. It was the worst violence at the seat of the United States government since the British invasion during the War of 1812.
Thompson said Meadows contacted state and federal officials as part of an effort to overturn the 2020 election or avoid Biden’s certification. Meadows was also reportedly in communication with organizers of the Jan.6 rally, Thompson said.
‘All hell is going to break loose’
In a letter to Bannon, Thompson noted that he had been involved in multiple conversations about how to persuade members of Congress to block certification of Trump’s electoral defeat.
“He is quoted as saying, on January 5, 2021, that ‘tomorrow all hell will break loose,'” Thompson wrote. “Consequently, the select committee seeks both the documents and his deposition testimony.”
Bannon was fired by Trump in August 2017, but they later repaired fences and kept in touch. Trump pardoned Bannon after he was accused of defrauding the president’s own supporters in an effort to raise private funds to build a border wall.
Meadows and Scavino were instructed to appear for depositions on October 15 and for Bannon and Patel on October 14.
Thompson said in his letter to Scavino that he witnessed Trump’s activities on the day of the riots. “You may also have materials relevant to (Trump) videotape and tweet messages on January 6,” Thompson said.
Patel, who served as acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller’s chief of staff, spoke repeatedly with Meadows on the day of the riots.
House Democrats formed the committee over objections from Trump’s fellow Republicans in the House. Two Republicans are on the committee, Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger.
They are among 10 House Republicans who voted to accuse Trump of inciting violence in a fiery speech that repeats his false claims that his defeat was the result of widespread fraud. Later, the Senate acquitted him.
“We will fight subpoenas for executive privilege and other reasons,” Trump said in a statement.