Jan. 6 committee subpoenas leaders of ‘America First’ movement
The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol on Wednesday subpoenaed the two leaders of the alt-right “America First” or “Groyper” movement.
Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said in a statement the panel believes Nicholas Fuentes and Patrick Casey have information relevant to the planning, coordination and funding of events that were held in the lead-up to the January attack.
“The Select Committee is seeking facts about the planning, coordination, and funding of events that preceded the violent attack on our democracy. We believe the individuals we have subpoenaed today have information relevant to those questions, and we expect them to cooperate with the committee,” Thompson said in a statement.
“The committee will continue to push forward to get answers for the American people and help ensure nothing like January 6th ever happens again,” he added.
Fuentes and Casey are both prominent far-right figures who in the past have touted false claims regarding the 2020 presidential election and called for the destruction of the GOP once it failed to overturn the vote tally. The Anti-Defamation League has labeled Fuentes as a white supremacist leader, and the FBI has referred to Casey as a white supremacist.
Both men were on Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, 2021, according to the select committee. The panel said it does not appear that Fuentes entered the building, but did not provide additional information on Casey’s movements.
The committee is now asking that the pair produce documents by Feb. 2 and appear for depositions by Feb. 9. Thompson noted in the subpoenas that both individuals previously declined requests from the panel to voluntarily participate in the investigation.
In its subpoena, the panel outlined a number of instances when Fuentes “advanced efforts to challenge the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election.”
On Nov. 11, 2020 the committee said Fuentes organized a “Stop the Steal” rally at the Michigan State Capitol, where he said conservatives should be “more feral” in their efforts to reverse the election results.
On Nov. 14, 2020, Fuentes reportedly attended a rally with his supporters where he encouraged them to “storm every state capitol until January 20, 2021, until President Trump is inaugurated for four more years.”
The day after the riot, Fuentes reportedly wrote on Twitter “The Capitol Siege was f—ing awesome and I’m not going to pretend it wasn’t.”
Thompson also detailed past comments made by Casey, including on Nov. 14, 2020, when he reportedly pushed “Stop the Steal” election fraud theories and called for then-President Trump to rule for life. While the riot was taking place at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2020, Casey reportedly wrote on Twitter “It’s happening.”
The committee also appears to be following the money involved with the Jan. 6, 2021 attack. Thompson said Fuentes reportedly received a Bitcoin donation worth more than $250,000 that the FBI is looking into “to assess whether the money was linked to the Capitol attack or otherwise used to fund illegal acts.”
In his subpoena to Casey, Thompson said the “America First” leader reportedly received roughly $25,000 worth of Bitcoin from a French computer programmer, the same donor who funneled funds to Fuentes.
Casey made headlines in June when news broke that he was set to hold a fundraiser with Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.)
The requests for documents and a deposition come one day after the investigative committee subpoenaed former President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and three other campaign attorneys connected to efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
The new wave of subpoenas comes nearly two weeks after the one-year anniversary of the deadly attack. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) earlier this month said if the panel stopped its investigation that day it would be able to publish a “powerful and substantive narrative.” Kinzinger is one of two GOP lawmakers serving on the panel.
The committee has interviewed more than 300 people and issued upwards of 60 subpoenas, according to CNN. Kinzinger earlier this month, however, said “We still have more information, obviously, we want to get.”
Updated at 8:02 p.m.
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