National Security

Jan. 6 panel subpoenas Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell

The House Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol subpoenaed former President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Tuesday along with three other campaign attorneys linked with efforts to overturn the 2020 election results: Jenna Ellis, Sidney Powell and Boris Epshteyn.
 
The subpoena goes after the core of Trump’s legal team after the Nov. 3 election, a group that prepared legal arguments following his loss and pushed his baseless claims of election fraud alongside campaign efforts focused on the congressional certification on Jan. 6. 

“The Select Committee is looking into the causes that contributed to the violence on January 6th, including attempts to promote unsupported claims of election fraud and pressure campaigns to overturn the 2020 election results. The four individuals we’ve subpoenaed today advanced unsupported theories about election fraud, pushed efforts to overturn the election results, or were in direct contact with the former President about attempts to stop the counting of electoral votes,” Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said in a statement.

The subpoena to Giuliani, a former New York City mayor and close Trump adviser throughout his presidency, focuses both on his ability to offer insight into the former president state of mind in the days surrounding Jan. 6 as well as his work pushing claims of election fraud in appearances on television and in court rooms across the country.

“You actively promoted claims of election fraud on behalf of former President Trump and sought to convince state legislators to take steps to overturn the election results,” the committee wrote in its subpoena to Giuliani. 

The subpoena also notes that he “urged President Trump to direct the seizure of voting machines around the country after being told that the Department of Homeland Security had no lawful authority to do so.”

Giuliani was often considered a liability to the campaign, staging a press conference at the oddly-chosen Four Seasons Total Landscaping while at another press conference observers were distracted as some hair-darkening agent dripped down the side of his face.

His law license was temporarily suspended in New York in June as a result of making false claims about the election at those press conferences as to judges as he sought to challenge election results. 

Giuliani’s attorney did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Ellis and Powell were also members of what Ellis called an “elite strike force team” assembled in November to combat Biden’s electoral victory.

Much like with Giuliani, the subpoenas to the two women focus on false statements they made. 

The committee has already subpoenaed another attorney who helped craft the memos, John Eastman.

Ellis’s, however, references her work in formulating the strategy used on Jan. 6, writing that she “prepared and circulated two memos purporting to analyze the constitutional authority for the Vice President to reject or delay counting electoral votes from states that had submitted alternate slates of electors.”

She was also involved in efforts in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Georgia to pressure state lawmakers there to overturn election results.

The subpoena to Powell, who also represented former Trump National Security advisor Michael Flynn, details how she spread conspiracy theories surrounding voting machines.

At an Oval Office meeting in December of 2020 she encouraged Trump to seize voting machines and “find evidence that foreign adversaries had hacked those machines and altered the results of the election.”

The Trump campaign ultimately distanced itself from Powell, who continued to independently file election lawsuits, ultimately losing legal battles in four states.

In Michigan, a judge dismissed the case as frivolous and ordered Powell to attend classes on the ethical and legal requirements for filing a lawsuit.

Powell and Ellis did not immediately respond to request for comment.

With Epshteyn, a strategic advisor to the campaign, the committee seeks to discuss his time at the Willard Hotel, where the campaign staged a “war room” as well as a phone call to Trump before the rally and riot.

“You are reported to have participated in a call with former President Trump on the morning of January 6, during which options were discussed to delay the certification of election results in light of Vice President Pence’s unwillingness to deny or delay certification,” the committee wrote.

In a statement on Twitter, Epshteyn repeated false claims about “overwhelming fraud” in the 2020 election and borrowed a Trump taunt for the committee.

“It is no surprise whatsoever that the illegitimate Jan. 6 unselect committee would attempt to subpoena attorneys as it continues its Stalinist witch hunt against President Trump and his supporters,” he wrote.

Updated 7:37 p.m.

Tags Bennie Thompson Donald Trump Rudy Giuliani

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