Jan. 6 committee subpoenas Stephen Miller, Kayleigh McEnany

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol released its sixth batch of subpoenas Tuesday targeting some of former President Trump’s highest-ranking staff, including White House adviser Stephen Miller and press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

The subpoenas to Miller and McEnany focus on the false statements they made promoting baseless claims of voter fraud.

“As a White House Press Secretary you made multiple public statements from the White House and elsewhere about purported fraud in the November 2020 election, which individuals who attacked the U.S. Capitol echoed on Jan. 6,” the committee wrote in its subpoena to McEnany.

The committee appeared to peg Miller as being at the center of an effort to craft voter fraud conspiracies and Trump’s messaging ahead of the Jan. 6 rally where the then-president encouraged his supporters to “fight like hell.”

“You and your team prepared former President Trump’s remarks for the rally on the Ellipse on Jan. 6, you were at the White House that day, and you were with Trump when he spoke at the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally,” the committee wrote. 

Other aides subpoenaed show an effort by the panel to gain information about the activities of former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who has also been sought for testimony by the committee.

The latest subpoenas include former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Christopher Liddell and Ben Williamson, a right hand man to Meadows. 

“The Select Committee wants to learn every detail of what went on in the White House on January 6th and in the days beforehand. We need to know precisely what role the former President and his aides played in efforts to stop the counting of the electoral votes and if they were in touch with anyone outside the White House attempting to overturn the outcome of the election,” Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said in a statement.

“We believe the witnesses subpoenaed today have relevant information and we expect them to comply fully with the Select Committee’s investigation as we work to get answers for the American people, make recommendations on changes to the law to protect our democracy, and help ensure that nothing like January 6th ever happens again.”

The subpoenas come just a day after the committee demanded testimony from former Trump campaign aides and John Eastman, who crafted the strategy used to contest the election both at the state level and during Congress’s certification of the vote. The panel also subpoenaed Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security advisor who sat in on a White House meeting about seizing voting machines.

Eastman’s memos became a blueprint for the Trump team in seeking avenues to unwind the election, likely igniting Trump’s focus on having former Vice President Mike Pence buck the largely ceremonial duty of certifying the 2020 election results.

To that end the committee has questions for Nicholas Luna, who served as Trump’s personal assistant and was reportedly in the Oval Office the morning of Jan. 6 when the former President was on a phone call to Pence pressuring him not to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Miller, a powerful aid throughout Trump administration, especially in the immigration sphere, is also set to be asked about Eastman’s plans, including an effort to get states to encourage states to select alternate electors. Eastman held a meeting with some 300 state legislators in a bid to carry out this plan.

The subpoenas also show an increasing interest in the activities of Meadows, who appears to have been involved in multiple aspects of Trump’s plan to push back on the election results.

Cassidy Hutchinson, a special assistant, has been asked to testify about her work arranging a trip for Meadows to travel to Georgia to attend an election audit. Her letter suggests she is “potentially in a position” to inform the committee about Meadows’s contact with election officials there; his efforts to contact Department of Justice officials as Trump sought to pressure DOJ to involve itself in the election; and his contacts with Jan. 6 rally organizers.

Liddell and Williamson are asked about similar themes, though Williamson’s subpoena also asks about a report indicating he and Meadows were contacted by former White House communications director Alyssa Farah and asked to persuade Trump to issue a statement condemning the attack at the Capitol as it was playing out. 

The committee is also seeking testimony from those with more knowledge about Trump’s efforts at DOJ.

A letter to Molly Michael, special assistant to Trump and Oval Office Operations Coordinator, asks about her role in sending election fraud claims to various officials on behalf of the president, including sending an email to former acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen “from POTUS” discussing unfounded election irregularities in Michigan. 

Another letter to Kenneth Klukowski seeks more information about the activities of Jeffrey Clark, a mid-level DOJ official that Trump weighed installing as attorney general after he proposed DOJ send a letter to Georgia and other states encouraging them to delay certification of their election results due to alleged fraud.

“You communicated with Mr. Clark about that letter, and Mr. Clark contacted you before he attended a meeting at the White House during which he tried to oust Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and assume the role of acting United State attorney general,” the subpoena states. 

Also subpoenaed is John McEntee, the White House personnel director.

The committee said McEntee would likely be familiar with Oval Office conversations as Trump, Pence and Rudy Giuliani discussed the audit process in Georgia and “listened as Giuliani suggested seizing Dominion voting machines because of fraud.”

The committee has sought testimony from top DHS officials Chad Wolf and Ken Cucchinelli about the potential for seeing voting machines and on Monday subpoenaed Michael Flynn after he likewise attended a meeting on the topic.

But McEntee is also sought for his efforts in seeking to halt the transition process. 

“You were also involved in communications with officials in various federal agencies regarding loyalty to former President Trump and you specifically discouraged a number of individuals from seeking employment after the election as it would appear to be a concession of President Trump’s defeat,” the committee wrote.

Lastly the committee subpoenaed Keith Kellogg, Pence’s National Security Advisor, including sitting in on a meeting where Trump said Pence “need[ed] to send the votes back.” 

It also seeks his insight on Trump’s reaction to the rally throughout the day, noting that he reportedly “urged Mr. Trump to send out a tweet to his supporters at the U.S. Capitol to help control the crowd.”

The slew of subpoenas is likely to raise more executive privilege objections from Trump.

Trump has already encouraged Meadows, his former communications guru Dan Scavino, Kash Patel, chief of staff to the then-defense secretary and Steve Bannon, who was not a White House employee at the time of the attack, to defy the committee and refuse to testify.

While three are reportedly in negotiations with the committee, Bannon has since been censured by the committee and referred to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution. DOJ has not yet acted on the matter.

Trump is also seeking to block release of his presidential records to the committee, claiming it would violate his executive privilege and that the committee lacks a valid legislative aim.

The committee has steadfastly rejected those arguments, saying only the sitting president has the authority to exert executive privilege, and President Biden has already agreed to release the records. 

Lawmakers on the committee have also pledged to introduce legislation to prevent another similar attack.

Updated 4:35 p.m.

Tags Bennie Thompson Capitol riot Chad Wolf Christopher Liddell Donald Trump Jan. 6 panel Joe Biden John McEntee Mark Meadows Mike Pence Rudy Giuliani Stephen Miller Steve Bannon
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