Jan. 6 ties cost former aide spot on Dole funeral planning team: report
An event planner working on former Sen. Bob Dole’s (R-Kan.) funeral has been let go after he received a subpoena by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Tim Unes allegedly had a hand in organizing the rally on the White House Ellipse, which occurred just hours before the attack, that featured a speech from former President Trump in which he encouraged his supporters to stop the certification of the 2020 election results.
A spokesman for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation told The New York Times that Unes had volunteered with the team organizing the memorial events in Washington scheduled for this week, including when Dole lies in state at the Capitol Thursday and the funeral service at the National Cathedral on Friday.
“Tim Unes served as an advance staffer for the late Senator Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign,” Steve Schwab, a Dole family spokesperson, said in a statement obtained by The Hill. “Along with a large network of former staff, Mr. Unes volunteered his time to serve on the advance team for this week’s memorial events honoring Senator Dole. Yesterday, I made Senator Elizabeth Dole aware of Mr. Unes’ alleged involvement in the events of January 6, 2021. Senator Dole was previously unaware of his participation and terminated his volunteer role.”
A number of Republicans and staff members aware of Unes’s ties to the Jan. 6 attack raised the issue earlier this week, concerned that Unes would take attention away memorializing Dole.
Representatives for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) brought the concern to a contact for the Dole family, who agreed that Unes would have a limited role in planning the memorial events and that he would not attend the service at the Capitol, the Times reported.
The Hill has reached out to Unes, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and the Jan. 6 select committee for comment.
Unes is the founder and president of Event Strategies Inc., a Washington-based event planning company whose clients include HBO, IBM, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, AARP and the Washington Nationals. The company also lists Trump for President and Dole for President as former clients.
A spokesperson for AARP said in a statement to The Hill that Unes worked on one project for the organization, 20 years ago.
“The firm has not done any work since and does not currently work for us. AARP has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Event Strategies to remove our name from their website,” the spokesperson said.
The Jan. 6 committee sent a letter to Unes on Sept. 29, writing that documents filed for a rally permit noted that he was the event’s “stage manager,” the Times reported.
“The investigation has revealed credible evidence of your involvement in events within the scope of the select committee’s inquiry,” the committee said, according to the Times. “According to documents provided to the select committee, press reports, and statements by Women for America First (WFAF), you assisted in organizing the rally held on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021, in support of then-President Trump and his allegations of election fraud.”
Dole, the 1996 Republican presidential nominee who served more than 25 years in the Senate and eight in the House, died Sunday.
Updated at 6:26 p.m.