On Wednesday, the select congressional committee investigating the January 6 breach of the United States Capitol building announced it was sending out a new round of subpoena notices to individuals associated with the planning of pro-Trump rallies in the lead up to the attack.
In total, eleven individuals were given subpoena orders to supply documents to the January 6 commission and to give testimony related to the day’s events. The commission believes these 11 individuals can provide insight on the “planning, organization, and funding” of the Capitol riot.
Rally organizers could face questions regarding what they knew in the run-up to the violence that day. Some of the groups involved in organizing the “Stop the Steal” rally, which was headlined by former President Donald Trump that morning, reportedly had concerns that the rally outside of the White House could erupt into chaos or violence, including the pro-Trump organization Women for America First.
The select committee members will likely seek to understand why these groups anticipated violence or if they had direct evidence backing up their concerns.
One of the 11 subpoenas was issued to Katrina Pierson, who served as Trump’s campaign spokesperson in 2016 and who acted as an “informal liaison” between the former president’s circle and the rally that took place that day, The Washington Post reported. Pierson had met with Trump on January 4, two days before the rally and the Capitol attack took place.
There is a possibility that some or all of these individuals may attempt to litigate their way out of having to provide testimony — and Trump himself is reportedly planning to sue the Biden White House in order to stop his administration’s documents from being shared with the commission.
The former president is also expecting that four of his former staffers who were subpoenaed last week will refuse to comply with the commission’s investigation. These individuals include Dan Scavino, who managed Trump’s social media accounts when he was president; Steve Bannon, a right-wing provocateur and former chief strategist to Trump during his first year in office; Kash Patel, who served as the acting chief of staff for the defense secretary on January 6; and Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows.
“Everyone has a legal duty to comply with the subpoenas. We have every reason to expect that they will comply,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland), a member of the commission, said this week.
In addition to subpoenas, The New York Times reports that the commission has reached out to 70 criminal defendants who have pleaded guilty to taking part in the January 6 Capitol attack. So far it is unclear how many have agreed to cooperate with the investigation.
It’s possible that the commission will also ask these 11 individuals what they felt while Trump was speaking at the “Stop the Steal” rally, directly before a mob of his loyalists attacked the Capitol. The former president made a number of errant claims about his election loss that day, riling up his base by wrongly stating that the election was “stolen” from him by “radical left Democrats” and “the fake news media.”
He also told his loyalists to never believe the results of the 2020 presidential election were legitimate — despite the fact that current President Joe Biden rightfully won.
“We will never give up. We will never concede, it doesn’t happen,” Trump said. “You don’t concede when there’s theft involved.”