The Jan. 6 committee launches its public hearings tonight. For the first hearing—a total of six are currently slated—the panel is expected to present its findings to the American public about former President Donald Trump’s role in a scheme to overturn the 2020 election and more specifically, how extremist elements were involved in efforts to stop the peaceful transfer of power.
Daily Kos will post live updates from tonight’s hearing starting at 8 PM ET.
For in-depth information about the committee’s investigation so far, check out the related story links below. There’s a BIG Guide to help you stay on top of who’s who plus Daily Kos interviews with one of the committee’s first witnesses as well as members of law enforcement who fought off the mob on Jan. 6.
The next hearing is scheduled for June 13 at 10 PM ET. Additional hearings are expected on June 15 at 10 PM ET. and June 16 at 1 PM ET. A time for the June 21 hearing has not yet been confirmed. A final presentation is anticipated on June 23 and that hearing will be in primetime, like tonight, at 8 PM.
Witnesses on Thursday night are filmmaker Nick Quested, who embedded with the Proud Boys in the lead-up to Jan. 6, and U.S. Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards, who suffered a traumatic brain injury after being assaulted by members of the mob.
New video footage from Jan. 6 is expected to be released during tonight’s hearing, putting the extremist elements that were at play that day in sharp relief. Heavy attention will likely be paid to the speech that Trump delivered from the Ellipse as well. It was those remarks that earned him his second impeachment for incitement of insurrection.
Next week, witnesses reportedly in the mix include Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who once fielded a call from Trump to “find” 11,000 votes so he could beat now-President Joe Biden’s victory in that state. Members of former Vice President Mike Pence’s office, including onetime chief of staff Marc Short and former chief counsel Greg Jacob, have been invited to testify. Other witnesses reportedly invited include officials who worked at the Department of Justice under Trump, including Jeffrey Rosen and Richard Donoghue. More details to come on that in the days ahead.
Chairman Bennie Thompson begins tonights hearing by thanking everyone for their attention.
“I’m Bennie Thompson, chairman of the Jan. 6 Committee, I was born raised and still lived in Bolton, Mississippi,” he says, explaining his background, a part of the country where people justify the actions of slavery, the KKK and lynching.
“I'm reminded of that dark history as I hear voices today try to justify the actions of the insurrectionists on Jan. 6, 2021,” Thompson says.
In his opening remarks this evening, Chairman Thompson outlines how in 1862, after citizens took up arms against the country, Congress adopted a new oath that no person who supported a rebellion could hold an office of public trust. Members swear an oath to protect the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic.
He praises the officers who defended the Capitol on Jan. 6.
They did this to defend “your vote,” Thompson said, to protect the peaceful transfer of power.
Chairman Thompson says the truth must be confronted with resolve and determination and delivers a barn-burner of a speech. He has made it plain what the committee believes it has uncovered: overwhelming evidence that the 45th president attempted to overthrow the election. We move now to remarks from Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice chair of the committee. She is just one of two Republicans, including Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger.
In her opening remarks, vicechair Liz Cheney says that the public will hear extensive evidence tonight and in the coming weeks about the overarching conspiracy by Trump to overturn the 2020 election
Cheney: "Jan. 6 was not a spontaneous incident." Intelligence has revealed that this was a well-orchestrated plan. The committee will identify elements of those plans and will show how Proud Boys led a mob into the Capitol on Jan. 6”
She continued: “On the morning of Jan. 6, President Donald Trump's intention was to remain POTUS despite the lawful outcome of the 2020 election and in violation of his constitutional obligation to relinquish power.”
Over multiple months, Donald Trump oversaw and coordinated a sophisticated 7-part plan to overturn the election and prevent a presidential transfer of power.
In the 2nd hearing, evidence will be shown demonstrating how Trump knew he lost the election but he perpetrated fraud, they argue, by promoting the lie that he won.
Recorded deposition from Attorney General Bill Barr:
WATCH: Attorney General Barr declares that Donald Trump lost the Presidential election in 2020. There is no doubt that the American people voted Trump out of office and the Select Committee has found no evidence of election fraud. pic.twitter.com/qa5qNyMXqS
In an excerpt of his opening statement for tonight's @January6thCmte hearings, chair Bennie Thompson says what happened cannot be swept under the rug and that he appears tonight as an American first and one who swore to protect the Constitution. pic.twitter.com/pGX4BxScg1
The Jan. 6 committee has obtained huge amounts of information from sources high and low to piece together a clearer understanding of what happened when the U.S. Capitol came under siege by a mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters and members of neofascist extremist groups.
This week when the committee resumes its public hearings—the debut hearing was held in July 2021—investigators are expected to unveil their findings and argue that the evidence obtained through more than 1,000 interviews and sourced from more than 125,000 pages of records, indicates that the twice-impeached former president possibly broke the law when he deployed a scheme aimed at overturning the results of the 2020 election.
During the 11-month investigation, subpoenas from the probe have flowed steadily. The public hearings will lay out the story and the key individuals at focus. The committee will issue its final report in September. In the meantime, to guide those following the probe, the following is a comprehensive guide to who’s who at the center of the Jan. 6 investigation.
The next hearing is scheduled for June 13 at 10 a.m. Additional hearings are expected on June 15 at 10 a.m. and June 16 at 1 p.m. A time for the June 21 hearing has not yet been confirmed as of Thursday, June 9. A final presentation is anticipated on June 23 and that hearing will be in primetime at 8 PM.
Daily Kos will offer up-to-the-minute coverage of each hearing on its front page, as well as on Twitter. The hearings will be broadcast and carried live on most major networks except for Fox News. The select committee is also expected to stream the hearings on its website, here.
The following guide includes a variety of Trump White House and administration officials, strategists, advisers and lawyers and others, including those in Vice President Mike Pence’s office. They orbited Trump or figured prominently in the select committe’s investigation. Each section provides some context behind subpoenas and requests. Links embedded throughout will take you to related reporting here at Daily Kos and elsewhere.
Mark Meadows,former White House chief of staff to former President Donald Trump
Just a week before the select committee begins its hearings in Washington, the Department of Justice announced it would not pursue criminal contempt charges against Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows.
Meadows was first subpoenaed by the committee on Sept. 23. He refused to cooperate initially and would not provide information relevant to the former president’s push to appoint bogus electors nor would he share correspondence related to engagement with Trump’s attorneys leading those efforts in the public eye.
Meadows did an about face, however, and began cooperating in part before he then stopped again. This prompted the committee to hold him in contempt of Congress. That vote was unanimous and when passed to the full House, the House found him in contempt 222-208. The referral went to the DOJ and after several months of quiet from Attorney General Merrick Garland, the department announced it declined to pursue charges in June 2022.
Meadows remitted 9,000 pages of records, mainly emails, and texts, according to Jan. 6 committee chair Bennie Thompson. As chief of staff, he was in Trump’s vicinity on Jan. 6 and bore witness to Trump’s conduct before, during, and after the attack. Testimony obtained by the committee has indicated Meadows was also privy to meetings or conversations where the impending rally was discussed.
Text messages revealed Meadows spoke to Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham on Jan. 6. He fielded a battery of incoming messages where the commentators begged him to get Trump on television and ask people to leave.
Among those records were non-privileged texts illuminating Meadows’ correspondence with lawmakers like Rep. Jim Jordan who, among others, pushed for the appointment of unsanctioned electors for Trump. Jordan said the messages were forwards of information from the former inspector general of the Pentagon Joseph Schmitz.
Other messages sent to Meadows came from Ginni Thomas, the right-wing activist wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. She pushed wild conspiracies about the election, shared her disdain and distrust of Pence after he wouldn’t go along with the plot to overthrow the federal government and called for Trump’s “Kraken” attorney Sidney Powell to lead the fraud charges in court.
2021 campaign finance reports note that Trump’s onetime political action committee, Save America PAC, has poured $1 million into the Conservative Partnership Institute, a right-wing nonprofit group that lists Meadows as a senior partner. The Federal Election Commission report notes the donation was made on July 26, just a few weeks after the Jan. 6 committee was officially approved by the full House of Representatives.
The former congressman is also under investigation for voter fraud in the State of North Carolina. He was removed from voter rolls in there in April after reports emerged suggesting he did not live at the North Carolina residence where he was registered to vote.
John Eastman, attorney, adviser to former President Donald Trump
John Eastman was first subpoenaed by the committee on Oct. 8 after a memo he authored emerged laying out a six-point plan to have then-Vice President Mike Pence stop or delay the outcome of the 2020 election. Eastman met with Trump repeatedly before Jan. 6 and delivered an address from the Ellipse just before the riots exploded. He was joined on stage by Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
Eastman began prolifically sharing Trump’s bogus election fraud claims mere days from the 2020 election. He shared the disinformation with Georgia state senators and even went so far as to urge them to directly appoint electors. He was at the Willard Hotel “war room” on Jan. 6 with Steve Bannon and was in contact with Pence’s counsel, Greg Jacob, about his strategies to manipulate the election.
A tug-of-war in court between Eastman and the committe has resulted in thousands of pages of his communications from his tenure at Chapman University being remitted to investigators, fleshing out previously unknown details about Trump’s overt role in the events around Jan. 6. It started in February, the Trump stalwart was ordered to produce those university records specific to Jan. 4 through Jan. 7, 2021. He was directed to provide detailed explanations for his privilege assertions and disclose the nature of any attorney-client relationship he might cite to mask those documents.
The former New York City mayor, personal attorney to Trump and leader of Trump’s “alternate elector” gambit, Rudy Giuliani first received a subpoena from the committee on Jan. 18. Investigators premised their demands on Giuliani’s very public promotion of Trump’s disinformation campaign about election fraud in 2020 and his insistence that Dominion Voting Systems machines were rigged.
He finally testified before the committee in May and spent a reported nine hours under questioning. Court records produced by Trump’s adviser John Eastman in a separate legal matter also exposed a memo sent to Giuliani by Kenneth Chesebro, another member of Trump’s legal team and purveyor of bunk election fraud claims.
Per protocols excellently explained by CBS News, Chesebro essentially pitched what he believed was a loophole in procedural rules that would allow for disruption or delay. This memo also went to John Eastman before Jan. 6 though Eastman has denied being involved with its drafting.
As for Giuliani, he focused on officials in key battleground states and was present at all if not most meetings where administration officials and fellow attorneys and advisers discussed the seizure of voting machines. He even went so far as to ask the Department of Homeland Security if he could legally seize machines. The official dismissed the request promptly.
An aide to Trump, Cassidy Hutchinson, testified to members of the select committee that she told both Giuliani and Meadows their alternate elector bid wouldn’t work.
Nonetheless, on the day of what would be the insurrection, Giuliani told a mob of Trump’s supporters gathered at the Ellipse they would have “trial by combat” if necessary to determine the election results.
Jeffrey Clark, former assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice Civil Division appointed by Trump
The committee subpoenaed Clark on Oct. 13 and in short order, entered into a battle with the former Trump official over claims to executive privilege. Lawmakers rejected that argument as spurious since Trump earlier this year declined to assert privilege over materials requested by the committee from Clark.
A Senate Judiciary Committee report released last year revealed emails and other correspondence from Clark to fellow Department of Justice officials where he angled to have then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen removed so Trump could install him in Rosen’s place.
The push was part of a larger scheme that began when Clark pushed Rosen and Rosen’s deputy, Richard Donoghue, to inform swing state legislatures they should appoint new electors and reject certified votes. That plot unfolded well after courts had rejected Trump’s claims of election fraud almost 60 times.
Clark appeared for a closed-door deposition with the committee on Nov. 5 but was uncooperative and eventually walked out without returning. He was held on contempt by the panel in December but a full vote by the House wasn’t held. Clark eventually announced he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right and then sat for deposition for a swift one hour and 40 minutes. He refused to answer over 100 questions posed to him. Committee member Rep. Zoe Lofgren called the exchange with Clark “very disappointing.”
Daniel Scavino, former White House deputy chief of staff for communications
Scavino was subpoenaed by the committee in September. His failure to cooperate with the probe earned him a criminal contempt of congress referral from the committee in March and by April, the full House of Representatives voted in favor of sending the referral to the DOJ. The DOJ declined to prosecute in June. Scavino’s attorney maintained that that the former Trump administration official worked with the committee in good faith.
Scavino’s relationship stretches back nearly a decade with the former president and he is among Trump’s chief allies. Scavino served him at various points over the years including as a digital strategy director and overseer of Trump’s presence on social media platforms like Twitter.
The committee sought materials from Scavino relevant to Trump’s “videotaping and tweeting message on Jan. 6.” They argue he was intimately familiar with what occurred during meetings where the president and other administration officials hashed out ways to stop the certification of the election.
White House call logs obtained by the probe show that Trump tried to call Scavino the night of the attack. Scavino reportedly kept at least two phones during his time at the White House. The National Archives confirmed in February that Trump destroyed numerous presidential records while in office, often leaving it to staff to tape some of the records back together.
Scavino, as Trump’s aide and with an office just near the Oval, was often a reported workaround for Trump to avoid using official White House telephones, relying instead on Scavino’s mobile among others.
He sued Verizon on Jan. 5, 2022 to stop a transfer of phone records to the committee. He did this under some subterfuge initially filing the request as an anonymous plaintiff. While it was his right to do so, such shrouding can only be done with a judge’s approval. The judge denied the request and unmasked Scavino weeks later, ordering him to file his request to block the committee from his phone records publicly.
Stephen Miller, former senior adviser to Trump
Stephen Miller, Trump’s senior adviser and architect of the Trump administration's inhumane immigration policies, received a subpoena from the committee on Nov. 9. He finally testified before the committee virtually in April and for more than eight hours.
Miller’s public statements first piqued the committee’s interest. He vowed “alternate electors” would keep Trump in power in an interview with Fox News in late 2020. Those alternate electors sent bogus slates from battleground states to the National Archives for certification on Dec. 14, 2020. The Archives rejected them because those who had signed were not recognized by their respective state officials as certified electors.
Miller also helped write the speech that would be delivered from the Ellipse on Jan. 6. He was at the White House on the morning of Jan. 6 and accompanied Trump on their short trip to ‘Stop the Steal’ rally.
During his deposition in April, it was widely reported that Miller fielded questions about the language in the speech, namely how Trump often referred to “we” in his remarks, including those times when he told the crowd gathered at the Ellipse that “we are going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue” and “we are going to the Capitol.” Miller allegedly defended the language by saying it was political rhetoric.
Stephen Miller says Trump electors will be voting and sending results to Congress. (They'll be worthless because they won't have the seals of the state Secretaries of State, though) pic.twitter.com/B9pKXqYGIa
Jason Miller, former senior adviser to Trump’s 2020 campaign
Jason Miller, a longtime Trump confidante, was subpoenaed by the committee on Nov. 8 and along with Bannon and others, was reportedly at the meeting at the Willard Hotel on Jan. 5.. Much of those activities, the committee has learned, were overseen by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.
Long before that November, however, Miller routinely crowed about Democrats stealing the election, lawmakers wrote in their notice to Miller. That message, they added, was of course directly echoed by the mob that breached the Capitol in its attempt to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power. Prior to the attack, Miller also took frequent opportunities to hold press conferences propagating Trump’s lies about the election, and legislators on the committee believe the campaign adviser was a facilitator of the pressure strategy on then-Vice President Pence or was, at the very least, attuned to the scheme’s details.
The committee postponed his deposition on Dec. 9 after he finally began cooperating with investigators. He also appeared to lose favor with Trump ally Roger Stone following his cooperation with the investigation. In a message on the right-wing social media platform Gab posted on Jan. 22, Stone lashed out at Miller.
“You can always tell when Jason Miller of Gettr is lying—his lips are moving. in the 40 years, I have been in American politics I have never met a bigger more despicable piece of shit. I got him his job with Donald Trump in 2016,” Stone said.
According to court records, in testimony this February, Miller disclosed to investigators that he and other aides, like Matt Oczkowski told Trump in “blunt” terms he lost the election. That nevertheless stopped Trump from seeking “to use the Vice President to manipulate the results in his favor,” Miller said.
Other text messages obtained by the committee in June showed Miller trying to shape the narrative for Meadows and Scavino as the mob was raging, however:
”Call me crazy, but ideas for two tweets from POTUS: 1) Bad apples, likely ANTIFA or other crazed leftists, infiltrated today's peaceful protest over the fraudulent vote count. Violence is never acceptable! MAGA supporters embrace our police and the rule of law and should leave the Capitol now! 2) The fake news media who encouraged this summer's violent and radical riots are now trying to blame peaceful and innocent MAGA supporters for violent actions. This isn't who we are! Our people should head home and let the criminals suffer the consequences!
Just after 10 p.m. that night, Miller gave Meadows, Scavino and Jared Kushner an approved statement from Trump that would be released as soon as Congress finished counting the votes.
In the text, Miller wrote: “Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. Nevertheless, there will be an orderly transition on January 20th. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it's only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again.”
A special assistantto Trump for legislative affairs and onetime aide to chief of staff Mark Meadows, was first subpoeaned in November. Hutchinson is expected to testify during the select committee’s public hearings. Hutchinson was in the White House with Trump on Jan. 6 and traveled with him to the Ellipse for the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally.
She also joined Meadows for a Dec. 30 trip to Georgia for an election audit there.
Before the hearings went public, Hutchinson told members of the committee that she raised concerns about the propriety of the former president’s bid to submit “alternate electors” to Congress on Jan. 6. Hutchinson also told lawmakers that Trumps’ chief of staff was alerted to threats of violence looming over the Capitol before Congress was slated to meet. And disturbingly, Hutchinson also testified that she watched as Meadows burned papers in his possession following a meeting with Rep. Scott Perry, a Pennsylvania Republican who was actively promoting Trump's baseless election fraud theories.
And perhaps most critically, Hutchinson also revealed to investigators that she heard Trump “complain” that Vice President Mike Pence “was being whisked to safety” as the president’s supporters mobbed the Capitol and clashed with outnumbered police.
From The New York Times:
Mr. Meadows, according to an account provided to the House committee investigating Jan. 6, then told the colleagues that Mr. Trump had said something to the effect of, maybe Mr. Pence should be hanged.
Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence
Once the national security adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence, now-retired U.S. Army General Keith Kellogg was subpoenaed by on Nov. 23. Lawmakers sought information from Kellogg regarding his participation in at least one meeting with Trump and Trump’s attorney Pat Cipollone as the attack was unfolding. He was also reportedly part of multiple conversations where Trump insisted Pence not certify the election.
Kellogg met with Trump before the president delivered his remarks at the Ellipse. When the violence began to erupt at the Capitol while they were in the White House, Kellogg told investigators during his closed-door deposition in December that he urged Trump to deliver a message to his supporters that would end the chaos.
Kellogg may end up testifying during the public hearings.
Marc Short, senior aide to former Vice President Mike Pence
Thetop aide to Pence expected to testify during public hearings spent most of Jan. 6 at the former vice president’s side. He cooperated with the committee after a subpoena was issued in December. The former Pence staffer has been forthcoming with investigators and has providing several key records. Last year, it was confirmed that it was Short who gave investigators a copy of a memo written by John McEntee offering a bunk legal strategy for Pence to stop the certification. Short was also in the Oval Office on Jan. 4 during a meeting with John Eastman and Trump where Trump discussed how to get Pence on board with overturning the election. According to AP, “As Pence’s top aide, Short was also present for several White House meetings ahead of the insurrection. At one point, Trump banned Short from the White House grounds because he objected to the pressure on Pence to reject the legitimate election results.” Short has said publicly that it was “bad advisers who were basically snake-oil salesman” that gave Trump the idea to have Pence intervene. “But our office researched that and recognized that was never an option,” he said. Short also warned a Secret Service agent on Jan. 5 that he was concerned about Pence’s safety.
John McEntee, former bag man turned White House personnel director
The committee issued its subpoena to John McEntee on Nov. 9. McEntee’s ascent into Trump’s world happened fast. He started out as Trump’s bag man, but his dogged defense of the president was quickly parlayed into an opportunity where he would serve in a far more powerful role.
McEntee was tapped by Trump to serve as the director of the White House personnel office, making him a key arbiter in deciding who was hired or fired across the administration.
A memo made public in November illuminated the role McEntee played in having Defense Secretary Mark Esper removed, a maneuver that ultimately opened the door for Clark to try his power grab at the Department of Justice. That memo was turned over to the committee by Marc Short, Pence’s former chief of staff when Short testified before the committee for several hours.
McEntee was reportedly in the room with Trump, Pence, Giuliani, and Trump campaign lawyer Justin Clark when the men hashed out a plan to conduct an audit of votes in Georgia. He was also with Trump when Trump traveled to the Ellipse and while he delivered his inflammatory speech at the ‘Stop the Steal ‘rally that day.
Extremists, allies and ‘friends’
Steve Bannon, former White House strategist
Steve Bannon, a right-wing extremist and conspiracy peddler, is currently awaiting trial after pleading not guilty to two counts of contempt of Congress filed against him in November.
Investigators hit Bannon with a subpoena on Sept. 23, and the Trump stalwart stonewalled the committee on both its record request and a request for deposition. He surrendered himself to authorities in Washington, D.C. after the Department of Justice indicted him.
Bannon was not officially in Trump’s employ at the time of the assault; he left the administration in 2017. Bannon was, however, at Trump’s alleged “command center” on Jan. 5.
A “war room” at the Willard Hotel—just a block from the White House—was often populated by Trump’s lawyers and advisers. Investigators say plans to subvert the election were hatched there and that Bannon was present on Jan. 5 when guests discussed a strategy to have members of Congress block the certification of election results the next day.
Bannon was often in Trump’s ear, allegedly urging the president as early as Nov. 30 “to plan for and focus his efforts on Jan. 6,” his subpoena noted.
Bannon has since spent time boasting on his podcast about Trump’s non-existent victory. He’s railed against the Jan. 6 probe. continues to promote election fraud allegations and threatened to take over the nation’s election apparatus.
Just a few days before the first anniversary of the attack, Bannon lashed out at GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy on his podcast. McCarthy, Bannon said, refused to “counterprogram” events on Capitol Hill that solemnly commemorated the anniversary. He suggested Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Matt Gaetz of Florida ought to take up the mantle for Trump where McCarthy would not.
McCarthy, Bannon said, is “controlled opposition” and when the “right leadership” is in place, Bannon suggested the GOP’s ‘Make America Great Again’ wing could rule for “100 years.”
Roger Stone, longtime Trump ally and GOP operative
A long-time operative for the Republican Party and self-described “dirty trickster,” Roger Stone was hit with a subpoena from the select committee on Nov. 22. Prior to the Capitol attack, Stone spoke publicly in support of Trump’s claims of election fraud and funneled cash for “private security” at events in Washington held on Jan. 5 and 6. Though he once solicited donations on a ‘Stop the Steal’ official website, he removed the link after the attack, according to Mother Jones.
A month before the insurrection, Stone appeared at various events including one rally in D.C. heavily attended by Proud Boys and Oath Keepers on Dec. 12. He urged the president’s supporters to “fight until the bitter end” to stop Biden from taking office. For his remarks at an event in D.C. on Jan. 5, he had a security detail comprised of Oath Keepers. One of the men in his detail, Robert Minuta, has been indicted on charges related to the breach.
Stone has said that he was invited to lead a march to the Capitol on Jan. 6 but told press he declined the opportunity. He was also slated to speak at an event at the Ellipse that day hosted by Women for America First.
Upon receipt of a subpoena, Stone informed the committee on Dec. 7 that he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right. Through attorney Grant Smith, he wrote: “Given that the Select Committee's demand for documents is overbroad, overreaching, and far too wide-ranging to be deemed anything other than a fishing expedition, Mr. Stone has a constitutional right to decline to respond.”
Stone’ eventually appeared for deposition on Dec. 17 and as planned, invoked his Fifth Amendment to all questions. He also denied, despite the existence of widespread reporting and video footage, that he was in Washington before and on Jan. 6.
Stone insists Pence and his advisors undermined Trump from the very beginning of his time in office.
Meanwhile, reports on Stone’s recent stream of income have revealed that he has been accepting tens of thousands of dollars around the same time he has thrown endorsements behind pro-Trump anti-Jan. 6 committee Republicans like Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz.
In May, the New York Times reported that it obtained access to a chat log entitled “Friends of Stone,” or Friends of Roger Stone, with Stone’s picture affixed at the top of the chat. Many members in the group chat are also facing charges tied to Jan. 6 attack including Elmer Rhodes, leader of the Oath Keepers now facing seditious conspiracy charges and Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, the leader of the Proud Boys, also facing obstruction and conspiracy charges.
Other members in the group chat were identified as individuals who organized anti-vaccine rallies to be held at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Jason Sullivan, a former aide to Stone, was also a member of the group chat. Just before the insurrection, on Dec. 30, Sullivan hosted a conference call where he encouraged supporters to “descend on the Capitol” and vowed that Trump would impose some form of martial law.
Investigator Jamie Raskin has described Stone as the “nexus” between Trump and his “street fighters.”
The committee was particularly keen to learn more about events that extremists attended in 2020 including Covid lockdown protests or racial justice protests. For right-wing extremists, those events may have served as “proving grounds” for the insurrection.
One Oath Keeper who was with Rhodes on Jan. 6 and ultimately charged alongside him, entered a guilty plea this year, telling prosecutors he was committed to protecting Trump by force on Jan. 6 and that he was part of a quick force reaction team that was equipped with weapons and stationed at a nearby hotel in northern Virginia.
The Oath Keepers defendant Joshua James said he and others were prepared to:
Similar scenarios have played out for Tarrio and his Proud Boys. The Miami, Florida resident entered a not guilty plea, maintaining he was not involved in any effort to overturn the election or obstruct congressional proceedings.
Tarrio once proclaimed on social media, “Make no mistake" and "We did this," when the events of Jan. 6 were active. In the document found after his arrest, one section dubbed "Storm the Winter Palace" described plans to gather recruiters and use hypemen to get inside restricted government buildings. The plans would use ‘covert sleepers’ would could arrange appointments with government or officials in advance of an occupation or attack so they could spend a day gathering reconnaissance.
Both Rhodes and Tarrio are detained and expected to go to trial this summer and early fall.
Others targeted by the committee for records and deposition included Nick Fuentes, described by the Anti-Defamation League as a white supremacist and leader of the xenophobic America First/Groyper movement. Hereceived a subpoena on Jan. 19. The committee pointed to his many public statements urging the destruction of the GOP if the election results were not overturned. He also reportedly accepted $250,000 in Bitcoin for funds from a French computer programmer that may have been used to support the ‘Stop the Steal’ movement. The FBI is scrutinizing that funding.
Patrick Casey, another leader in the America First/Groyper movement, was also subpoenaed on Jan. 19 and like Fuentes, he was vocal about his support of movements to overturn the election for several weeks before Jan. 6. On Jan. 5 he shared logistics for how to get into D.C. on social media and as the attack kicked off, he posted to Telegram “It’s happening.” He also reportedly received $25,000 in Bitcoin from the same programmer that may have sent funding to Fuentes. Casey and Fuentes used to be close but have reportedly fallen out with each other in the wake of the insurrection. Casey told investigators he would not cooperate voluntarily before the subpoena was issued.
Ali Alexander’s Stop the Steal LLC, was also hit with an subpoena independent of the one he received personally.
Michael Flynn, former national security adviser, and Trump’s personal assistant
Subpoenaed on Nov. 8, Flynn came under the committee’s purview after it was reported that he attended a Dec. 18 meeting in the Oval Office where discussions of how to seize voting machines abounded. That same meeting also featured suggestions to Trump that he declare a national emergency or invoke emergency powers, like martial law, to “rerun” the election.
In February, leaked emails went public showing how Flynn and retired Army Colonel Phil Waldron—days before that meeting with Trump—workshopped a draft executive order aimed at seizing voting machines.
Flynn was pardoned by Trump last December after being charged with lying to federal investigators about his contact with Russian officials. He was scheduled for deposition with the committee in early December and was granted a brief delay. A spokesperson said Flynn had agreed to “engage” with investigators but talks temporarily fell apart. He finally appeared in March for a closed-door deposition but invoked his Fifth Amendment.
This June, the Los Angeles Times obtained a draft letter and series of leaked emails that appeared to be the “first iteration” of the draft order to seize voting machines. In this draft, it was recommended that armed private contractors be used to seize voting machines. it granted authority to three third-party companies to seize the data at will and with the assistance of U.S. Marshals if needed, since “hostile conditions” were expected.
That letter was sent via email by Jim Penrose and Doug Logan of Cyber Ninjas, the same company that conducted the audit for Trump in Maricopa County, Arizona. The email exchange also featured correspondence with Lin Wood, the conservative trial lawyer who failed to successfully challenge election results in Georgia. Wood often had Flynn over at his Tomotely Plantation estate along with Sidney Powell, former CEO for Overstock Patrick Byrne, Logan and Penrose. Penrose reportedly met with John Eastman and Trump on Jan. 5 to finalize details of the overthrow strategy.
A federal judge on Dec. 21 scrapped a lawsuit against the committee from Flynn. The ex-national security official sought a temporary restraining order against investigators but a judge found that because he was unable to prove that even so much as attempted to comply with the probe, he could not prove he was being injured by the demand.
Bernard Kerik, former New York Police Department police commissioner
The former commissioner for the New York Police Department and longtime ally of Rudy Giuliani, Bernard Kerik, was subpoenaed by the select committee on Nov. 8. Kerik, who served three years in prison for tax fraud and was sentenced in 2010, was pardoned by Trump for those crimes. According to investigators, Kerik was a close associate of the former president and attended meetings at the Willard Hotel, including on Jan. 5, where the committee says the election subversion scheme was coordinated. Investigators claim Kerrik paid for and reserved the “war room” at the Willard and other hotels where the Trump allies could meet.
The committee claims Kerik was in cahoots with Giuliani since Nov. 5, 2020, to promote bogus election fraud theories though Kerik has publicly denied the allegations. In November, after word of the subpoena broke, he issued a letter to the committee saying he would cooperate with the probe but he also demanded an apology in the same breath.
In Dec. 31, as noted in this interview, Kerik finally handed over a privilege log to the committee. It featured a list of documents that the former police commissioner was unwilling to provide freely. He said the records were to be protected under executive privilege.
One of those documents was entitled, “Draft letter from POTUS to seize evidence in the interest of national security for the 2020 election.”
Kerik’s attorney told reporters that the document was created one day before Trump met with former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Giuliani. The group discussed how to seize voting machines and election equipment in states Trump was losing to Biden.
Kerik, upon sitting for deposition in January, told the committee it was onetime U.S. Army Colonel Phil Waldron who dreamed up the idea to seize voting machines. The draft executive order would have permitted 60 days for the Defense Secretary to assess so-called irregularities in the 2020 election. Its deadline would have fallen after President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, however.
Waldron previously told The Washington Post that he met with Trump up to 10 times to discuss ways to replace electors in “states where fraud occurred” and that he circulated proposals that outlined ways the National Guard or U.S. marshals could be used to “secure” ballots.
Ali Alexander, right-wing extremist activist, ‘Stop the Steal’ rally organizer
Ali Alexander is a walking, talking ball of contradictions and conflations. The select committee issued a subpoena to Ali Alexander on Oct. 7 and laid out a litany of requests it had for him regarding records related to his role in organizing “Stop the Steal” rallies, including the one outside of the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Alexander once openly stated on Periscope that Rep. Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican, helped him organize the insurrection. He also fingered Reps. Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs of Arizona for their involvement in those December 2020 clips and has said that he had contact with the lawmakers in a lawsuit he filed against the committee.
“We four schemed up of putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting so that who we couldn’t lobby, we could change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body, hearing our loud roar from outside,” Alexander said in a now-deleted livestream.
But when Alexander finally sat for deposition with the committee on Dec. 9, he denied the lawmakers’ involvement. According to CNN, following his closed-door deposition, he said: “There's this conspiracy theory ... that me and members of Congress worked to jeopardize the safety of their colleagues. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
Alexander also said that the evidence he has provided thus far “actually exonerates those members” and himself.
This March, Rep. Mo Brooks attempted to memory hole his promotion of Trump’s election fraud lies, and Alexander came out swinging against the congressman.
“You betrayed our election integrity movement. We’re done here. You’ve been rejected by #StopTheSteal and now Trump. Tell your staff never to come for me again,” Alexander wrote on Gab.
When 2022 first got underway, CNN uncovered more Periscope videos including one livestream from Dec. 23, 2020, dubbed “JAN6” where Alexander said he called on the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers to provide security for the rally at the Ellipse. Less than a week later, on Dec. 29, 2020, in another livestream Alexander said it again.
“My team will find you a room. I talked tonight to the Proud Boys to make sure that they were all covered,” Alexander said.
Alexander’s attorney defended the remarks in the videos, saying that the 'Stop the Steal’ rally organizer was just making “colorful remarks” and “exaggerations during playful livestreams contextualizing his intentions.”
Nonetheless, Alexander’s attorney conceded that his client helped members of the extremist groups find “new housing, and the Oath Keepers did provide security for several clients,” CNN reported.
Alexander appeared for his deposition on Capitol Hill with his lawyer Joseph McBride and conspiracy theorist Jacob Wohl.
Alexander led a rally 24 hours before the Capitol attack at Freedom Plaza with the Eighty Percent Coalition. He whipped people into a chant of “victory or death.”
Alexander sued the committee in mid-December in an attempt to block telephone carrier Verizon from providing his call logs to investigators. Alexander also named Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in the lawsuit. An online stream he posted this January featured Alexander delivering a minutes-long rant expressing how he worked “behind the scenes” for weeks on something that could “help over 100 million people” when cooperating with investigators.
Alexander received a subpoena from a federal grand jury this April and said that he was taking a “cooperative posture” with the DOJ’s probe into Jan. 6. Alexander has said that he was in frequent contact with Roger Stone and that the two discussed logistics around Jan. 6 often.
Alex Jones, right-wing personality and conspiracy theorist
Conspiracy theory and smut peddler Alex Jones was subpoenaed by the committee on Nov. 22. Investigators say Jones worked closely with members of Women for America First to organize rallies on Jan. 6. The right-wing talk show host reportedly told those same organizers that he was responsible for facilitating contributions for the rally from Publix supermarket heiress Julie Fancelli. The committee said that Jones helped secure $650,000 from Fancelli.
Jones allegedly tried to nab a speaking spot with Trump on Jan. 6 but was denied by fellow organizers. When that happened, he instead spoke on Jan. 5 at Freedom Plaza at the invitation of the Eighty Percent Coalition and its head sponsor Cindy Chafian. Though he never had his moment at the Ellipse with Trump on Jan. 6, Jones did march alongside right-wing extremists and ‘Stop the Steal’ founder Ali Alexander.
Before the attack, Jones spent hours broadcasting Trump’s election fraud claims and made statements implying he knew what might be coming when Congress met to certify the electoral votes.
“This is the most important call to action on domestic soil since Paul Revere and his ride in 1776,” Jones told listeners of his podcast, InfoWars, on Dec. 19.
The committee noted in its subpoena to Jones that when he arrived at the Capitol, he told people to gather on the east side of the complex to hear Trump speak. That location directly coincided with a site that Ali Alexander’s ‘Stop the Steal’ organization had reserved with its permit for a rally using the name “One Nation Under God.”
Jones sued the committee on Dec. 20 claiming it did not have authority to subpoena his correspondence with the White House, lawmakers, or other campaign officials. He insisted many of the records sought after by the committee were protected under the First Amendment because he deems himself a journalist. Jones indicated in that lawsuit he intended to invoke his Fifth Amendment right if forced to testify at deposition and that was exactly what he did during his appearance on Jan. 25.
While he would not answer questions in the formal setting, Jones took to his podcast right after to breathlessly describe the experience, a decision that could have negative repercussions according to experts. Then in April, Jones’ attorney, Norm Pattis, announced that the bombast was trying to negotiate an immunity deal with the Justice Department to discuss Jan. 6. Jones denied any criminal wrongdoing.
Sean Hannity, Fox Newshost
The commentator was not officially subpoenaed by the committee, but members did request that he voluntarily comply. The committee argued Hannity had factual information that could illuminate Trump’s thinking and conduct before, during, and after the attack on the Capitol.
Text messages shared with former chief of staff Mark Meadows and lawmakers like Rep. Jim Jordan suggest Hannity felt Trump’s subversion efforts were practically doomed. Nevertheless, the committee was careful to narrow its request to Hannity for messages that were only sent over a period of roughly a month. That maneuver anticipated a First Amendment challenge in response from the Fox host.
After the request, Hannity hosted Trump on his show. In January he allowed the former president to continue making baseless election fraud claims without fact check. He sat back as Trump said, more than a year since the attack, that those in the crowd offered “a lot of love there” and that they were “great people.”
Hannity, according to a mid-riot text message sent to Mark Meadows on Jan. 6 once wrote: “Can he make a statement? Ask people to leave the Capitol.”
In another text message sent to Meadows on Jan. 19, 2021, Hannity sent a link to the following video of then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying from the floor that the mob on Jan. 6 was provoked by Trump and “other powerful people.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Capitol insurrectionists were "provoked by the president and other powerful people." pic.twitter.com/6kqSlAJHky
“Well, this is as bad as it can get,” Hannity wrote.
The Trump family
The former president’s daughter and senior adviser was requested to comply voluntarily with the investigation into the Capitol attack on Jan. 20. She appeared in April. The letter first came after Pence’s ex-national security adviser Keith Kellogg testified behind closed doors that it was he and Ivanka Trump who witnessed her father’s phone call to Pence on Jan. 6.
As Trump reportedly leaned on Pence to go along with the subversion strategy, Kellogg’s deposition transcript shows Ivanka turned to Kellogg and remarked: “Mike Pence is a good man.”
The committee reportedly asked Ivanka to testify about any actions Trump may have taken to direct Pence to violate the Constitution. Pleading from Kellogg and other officials to Trump that he make an announcement calling for peace went ignored. Kellogg felt she was one of the only people who could garner a response from the president. Kellogg testified that Ivanka made multiple attempts to soothe her father.
During public hearings, the committee is expected to play portions of Ivanka Trump's recorded testimony before the committee.
Her husband and Donald Trump’s onetime adviser, Jared Kushner, also cooperated with the select committee. He was deposed for six hours.
Donald Trump Jr. met with the committee in May voluntarily. He did not invoke his Fifth Amendment. Text messages secured by the committee showed a panicked Trump Jr. on Jan. 6. Details and more inside his interview linked below:
Eric Trump was not subpoenaed by the committee, but investigators did pursue his phone records successfully. Before the public hearings, it was never clearly established whether or not Eric Trump met with investigators.
Kevin McCarthy, U.S. House GOP Leader
The leader of the House GOP, Kevin McCarthy spoke to Trump on Jan. 6 according to his own statements. But when the committee submitted a voluntary request for his records and deposition, the lawmaker refused to cooperate. When they issued a subpoena, he met them with the same reply.
In stark contrast to his public acknowledgment of conversations, there have been questions raised over omissions in the White House call logs. While the Capitol was under siege, McCarthy said he spoke to Trump and Trump rebuffed his pleas for help. Trump told McCarthy it was “antifa” that had breached the building. McCarthy pushed back, saying it was the president’s supporters.
McCarthy said last year that Trump responded: “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.”
This May, an audio recording of McCarthy emerged where the House leader weighed whether to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office two days after the Capitol assault. Another recording featured McCarthy calling for Trump’s resignation. On Jan. 13, the House voted 232-197 to approve a resolution to activate the amendment.
McCarthy, instead, called for censure instead of impeachment through the 25th Amendment. Then, from the floor of the House, McCarthy denounced Trump:
“The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding,” McCarthy said on Jan. 13, 2021.
The audio recordings were only made public after reports without them first surfaced and McCarthy denied their existence. It did nothing to slow down the former president’s support of McCarthy; Trump endorsed him for his upcoming run at Speaker of the House in the coming midterms.
Today, McCarthy maintains the committee is purely politically motivated and illegitimate. When he rejected the subpoena in May, he, like Rep. Jim Jordan, made a list of demands and argued at length that the committee fails to have the authority to conduct its review.
Multiple federal courts have rejected this premise and historically, McCarthy has dodged questions from reporters, even running away from one during an exchange in February after the Republican National Committee agreed to censure the probe’s only Republican members: Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger.
I tried to ask @GOPLeader about the RNC’s resolution describing Jan. 6 as “legitimate political discourse” He told me to make an appointment with his office… insisting it’s “not good” to answer questions in hallways. pic.twitter.com/yaL8opl6Pf
McCarthy defended the RNC’s language in the censure, saying that the “legitimate political discourse” was a reference to those RNC officials subpoenaed by the committee for information about alternate elector activities.
“Anybody who broke in and caused damage, that was not called for. Those people, we've said from the very beginning, should be in jail,” McCarthy once told CNN.
The RNC tried to walk back its statement, saying that the “legitimate political discourse” was a reference to all those legislators who objected to certification on Jan. 6.
Jordan is one of several Republican lawmakers who took meetings with the president in December 2020 to discuss election fraud allegations and other plans to object to the election certification on Jan. 6.
On Dec. 21, a full week after the Electoral College had certified the election for Joe Biden, Hice announced the impending meeting on Twitter.
Big meeting today with @realDonaldTrump, @VP, the President's legal team, @freedomcaucus and other Members of Congress. I will lead an objection to Georgia's electors on Jan 6. The courts refuse to hear the President's legal case. We're going to make sure the People can!
Lawmakers attending those meetings included Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, and Jody Hice of Georgia.
As for Jordan, after he received the “friendly subpoena” from the committee, he appeared on Fox News and suggested investigators were in cahoots against him after a portion of a text message he sent to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows went public.
Jordan sent a message to Meadows stating: “On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all the electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all.”
The full text continued: “In accordance with guidance from founding father Alexander Hamilton and judicial precedence. ‘No legislative act,’ wrote Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 78, ‘contrary to the Constitution, can be valid.’ The court in Hubbard v. Lowe reinforced this truth: ‘That an unconstitutional statute is not a law at all is a proposition no longer open to discussion.’ 226 F. 135, 137 (SDNY 1915), appeal dismissed, 242 U.S. 654 (1916).”
As for the Ohio lawmaker, Jordan’s dodging has continued unabated since July whenhe was first asked whether he would answer questions about his communications with Trump if ever called upon.
Jim Jordan in July when I asked if he'd be willing to talk to the select committee if they asked him to testify about his conversations with Trump. "Yeah, I've got nothing to hide." pic.twitter.com/oyvCgGrcQ2
Other text messages provided to the committee by Meadows before he abruptly stopped cooperation also showed Fox News host Sean Hannity writing to Jordan and Meadows about concerns over Trump’s strategy and state of mind before the Capitol assault.
Jordan was a huge proponent of Trump’s election lies and Hannity, at one point, felt the need to tell Jordan on Jan. 10 nearly a week after the attack:
“Guys, we have a clear path to land the plane in 9 days. He can’t mention the election again. Ever. I did not have a good call with him today. And worse, I’m not sure what is left to do or say and I don’t like not knowing if it's truly understood. Ideas?”
White House call logs obtained by the committee in February confirmed what Jordan has been unable or unwilling to confirm for months: He did speak to Trump on Jan. 6.
Rep. Scott Perry, a U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania
Rep. Scott Perry received a letter on Dec. 20 requesting his “voluntary cooperation” with the committee. Perry was the first lawmaker to come into the select committee’s purview though the request was not part of a formal subpoena.
On Dec. 21, Perry said that he would not cooperate with the voluntary request.
(1/2) I stand with immense respect for our Constitution, the Rule of Law, and the Americans I represent who know that this entity is illegitimate, and not duly constituted under the rules of the US House of Representatives.
An official subpoena was issued to Perry and four other Republican lawmakers in May. Perry again refused to cooperate. A former aide to Trump, Cassidy Hutchinson, told members of the Jan. 6 committee that Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows allegedly burned papers in his office after a meeting with Perry just after the 2020 election.
Court records also revealed a text message from Perry to Meadows that appeared to show Perry taking efforts to hide his communication with Meadows by moving it over to an encrypted chat app known as Signal. Perry also serves as head of the staunchly pro-Trump House Freedom Caucus.
Rep. Mo Brooks, U.S. Representative for Alabama
Brooks was subpoenaed by the committee in May after repeated requests for his voluntary cooperation. Investigators wanted to question Brooks about a number of issues given his outsized presence in the events leading up to and on Jan. 6. The Alabama Republican took the stage at the rally on Jan. 6, before the Capitol was totally overwhelmed.
He called on the crowd to “fight like hell.”
Brooks effectively earned that spot on stage after making no fewer than five speeches from the House floor promoting Trump’s baseless claims. He scapegoated “illegal aliens” as perpetrators of fraud and objected when it was time for Congress to certify the Electoral College results on Jan. 6. His social media presence was littered with election disinformation, as this field guide written up by Daily Kos shows.
Biggs was subpoenaed by the committee in May and rejected the demand swiftly. The former leader of the House Freedom Caucus was a vocal opponent to the select committee’s formation; an unsurprising development given his devotion to Trump since before Trump’s first impeachment. In the run-up to the November election, Biggs blasted dog whistles and echoed Trump’s claims of election fraud spurred by Democrats or by way of immigrants he regularly demonized.
Investigators wished to interview Biggs about reported meetings the held with ‘Stop the Steal’ organizer Ali Alexander and others. Notably, Alexander gave Biggs credit for the success of the movement, per The Washington Post.
There are also questions for Biggs about alleged pardons that he sought for “activities taken in connection” with Trump’s effort to overturn the election.
Rep. Ronny Jackson, U.S. Representative for Texas
Rep. Jackson’s cooperation was requested in May. The select committee was particularly interested in Jackson’s possible ties to members of the extremist Oath Keepers group, including its leader, Elmer Rhodes. Rhodes mentioned Jackson in one of his encrypted chats and said that Jackson had “critical data to protect” in the run-up to Jan. 6.
Critically, the @January6thCmte also calls on Rep. Ronny Jackson to answer questions about why the extremist Oath Keepers, including leader Elmer Rhodes, discussed him in their encrypted chat and their efforts to protect him because he had "critical data to protect" pic.twitter.com/xqMuzD4Xj9
The @January6thCmte asks Rep. Ronny Jackson: - Why would Oath Keepers have an interest in his location? - Why would they want to provide a security detail? - Who did Jackson speak to by phone? Cmte notes OKers & Proud Boys had contact w/a # of people Jackson also had contact with pic.twitter.com/NlXUZvZLT6
Rep. Barry Loudermilk, U.S. Representative for Georgia
The Georgia Republican was not asked to appear under the force of subpoena, but investigators on the committee did request that he voluntarily cooperate and provide information about alleged tours he provided of the U.S. Capitol on the eve of the insurrection.
Loudermilk has denied any wrongdoing but his accounting of reported tours in the Capitol has shifted over time. Where first he claimed that no tours were given, he later shifted to saying that he gave a tour to a constituent family with children. This was despite the active Covid-19 restrictions in place barring visitors and tourists at that time. He’s also denied that anyone on a tour with him was wearing a red baseball cap but he back-pedaled once the committee came calling. Now there were a few people “wearing red baseball caps.”
Loudermilk voted to overturn the results of the 2020 election and he offered a fierce defense of Trump during his first impeachment for obstruction of congress and abuse of power. This reporter covered Loudermilk’s remarks during the impeachment in 2019 for Courthouse News Service:
Sidney Powell secured her place in history over the course of the 2020 election as one of Trump’s most vocal proponents pushing election disinformation. The former federal prosecutor was slapped with a subpoena on Jan. 18. The committee pointed to Powell’s promotion of disinformation about the election and her repeated urging to Trump that he seize voting machines as a basis for the demand.
Powell asked to meet with Pence while he was in Colorado in late December so she could discuss her baseless allegations about rigged machines. It never happened, according to The New York Times.
Powell’s full-throated support of election fraud prompted Dominion Voting Systems and voting machine maker Smartmatic to sue her for defamation. She’s faced professional sanctions as well. But for all of her blowhard rhetoric during the election about a “Kraken” case that would upend America’s world as it knew it, Powell’s defense in the defamation case was that “reasonable people would not accept such statements [about dysfunctional machines] as fact” but they would take her rhetoric to mean that it was up to courts to decide. Powell further justified her conduct with another argument: Even if election fraud did not occur, the very appearance of it would absolve any legal contentions against her.
Powell’s fundraising efforts for the 2020 election through her group Defending the Republic are currently under investigation in a separate probe led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C. That probe is over a year old. She has been producing records for that investigation on a “rolling basis” as well according to her lawyer Howard Kleinhendler. Powell, to be clear, has not been charged with a crime in that case,
Powell cooperated with the Jan. 6 committee and has emphasized through her attorney that she thinks her conversations with Trump are protected under attorney-client privilege, though the ex-president never paid her for her legal services. Her attorney told CNN in January Powell “never worked as a lawyer for the former president personally or for the Trump campaign.”
Jenna Ellis was plucked from the sidelines to serve as Trump’s senior legal adviser after the former president saw her on television promoting baseless conspiracy theories about the outcome of the 2020 election. Ellis was subpoenaed by the committee on Jan. 18.
Investigators are interested in two memos Ellis circulated in December 2020 and Jan. 2021 advancing the thin legal argument that Pence could simply refuse to consider electors during the count on Jan. 6. The Dec. 31 memo went to Trump's office and proposed that Pence could simply decline to open state certificates on Jan. 6 if he believed there was cause to think they were bogus. The second memo from Jan. 5, 2021, delved slightly deeper. This went to Trump attorney Jay Sekulow.
States would have to stop or delay certification, the memo suggested, because the first state to object on Jan. 6, Arizona, had not met the criteria for state electors. Further, Ellis argued that the Electoral Count Act is unconstitutional. Ellis has defended the documents saying they were mere explorations of legal theory and that she “at no time” advocated for Pence to stop or delay the results of the 2020 election.
In March, the committee announced that it issued six subpoenas to a handful of the former president’s most loyal attorneys. Their loyalty, of course, hinged on their promotion in court—and in the press—of his false claims of fraud in the 2020 election. The panel wants each witness to produce records and depositions about their efforts to promote those claims and in some cases, more information about how they interacted with state officials to advance Trump's agenda.
In the group, there was a subpoena for Cleta Mitchell, the prominent conservative attorney and activist who mostly worked in the background of Trump’s bid to retake the White House. She made some media appearances, however, and in them, claimed to have come to Trump’s campaign as a “volunteer” to litigate his claims of election fraud. She could not escape attention when The Washington Post published Trump’s call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Jan. 3, 2021.
Mitchell insisted there was fraud and that voting machines were rigged. Her exposure led to a public resignation from her partnership at a D.C. law firm. The firm said it was her political closeness to Trump that concerned them despite her claims of being canceled “by leftist groups.”
Mitchell now sits on the advisory board for the Election Assistance Commission, the only agency in the federal government that has authority over elections. Emails revealed in court records this May showed Mitchell engaging with John Eastman on multiple occasions. Eastman, the emails showed, was not even privately convinced of the fraud he purported publicly. But he continued to pump the false statements anyway.
Attorney Kurt Olsen’s correspondence with officials at the Department of Justice about “last-minute changes” to election laws ahead of Jan. 6 raised the panel’s curiosity. He was the driving force, allegedly, behind an effort to oust uncooperative DOJ officials at Trump’s behest and evidence already collected by the committee has pointed to his role in writing a draft executive order directing the DOJ to “take voter action” to alter the 2020 election outcome.
Olsen allegedly had multiple calls with Trump on Jan. 6, too. He sued the committee in March, arguing that the subpoena was invalid and that it unfairly prejudiced Trump
Boston-based attorney Kenneth Chesebro’s promotion of the “alternate electors” scheme led by Giuliani and his hand in writing a memo that proposed alternative deadlines for electoral certification were the focus of his subpoena. That memo was sent to James Troupis, Trump’s lead campaign attorney in Wisconsin. They brought their claims of fraud to the Supreme Court and the high court denied the lawsuit.
Former Kansas Attorney General Phillip Kline—whose law license is indefinitely suspended— was subpoenaed in March. Kline promoted Trump’s election fraud scheme in several states and organized a conference call with over 300 state legislators to discuss the ‘Stop the Steal’ movement. Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and then-trade adviser Peter Navarro were on the call as well.
Lawyer and lobbyist Katherine Friesswas subpoenaed too. Politico detailed her role in the drafting of an executive order that would have directed federal agencies to seize voting machines from local election officials by citing Trump’s specious fraud claims. Bernie Kerik told reporters that Friess arranged interviews, prepared documents, reviewed affidavits, and was instrumental in coordinating meetings between core advisers and the president.
The electors affixed their signatures to electoral certificates for Trump though they were unrecognized under state law when they met to draw up the documents on the same day the Electoral College convened to ratify Biden’s victory.
So-called “alternate electors” held meetings and often broadcast them on social media. They elected chairpersons, and appointed secretaries. These efforts were reportedly led or overseen by Rudy Giuliani.
The rival slates were a key component of the Trump White House’s push to stop or delay the certification on Jan. 6. The strategy was to have the Trump certifications ready and waiting should courts rule in favor of lawsuits brought by the former president alleging widespread fraud. Notably, there was an attempt by some who breached the Capitol to locate the authentic electoral ballot boxes on Jan. 6 with the real certificates inside. If those boxes were unable to be located, an opening would have almost certainly been created for Trump’s allies to cry fraud and use the alternate slates.
By the time the “alternate electors” met in December, Trump had lost dozens of lawsuits. They sent their certificates to the National Archives but the records were rejected. Since the electors were unsanctioned, the Archives deemed the certificates “unofficial.” Under the Electoral Count Act, such submissions are forbidden.
Ward’s T-Mobile phone records were subpoenaed by investigators along with records from Mole Medical Services, a company owned by Ward and her husband. Both are osteopaths and in a lawsuit attempting to bar the committee’s review, they argued that disclosing metadata would violate the privacy rights of “an unknown but quantifiable number of individuals.”
As for Mastriano: the Pennsylvania State Senator was at the Capitol on Jan. 6 but never inside the building. He witnessed police and “agitators” scrapping, he has said. He also took photos with pro-Trump former state legislator Rick Saccone. Saccone spent Jan. 6 celebrating the storming of the Capitol on social media. Campaign finance records show Mastriano’s campaign made three payments over six days for buses headed into D.C. on Jan. 6.
Mastriano has not been charged with any wrongdoing and he’s been insistent that he was against the rioting. Investigators want Mastriano to testify about the alternate elector scheme as well as the role he played in allegedly arranging an event in Phoenix with Trump’s lawyers on Nov. 30, 2021.
Witnesses overheard Mastriano say that voter systems had been “hacked” as he left that meeting.
Arizona legislator Mark Finchem, who said he came to Washington on Jan. 6 so he could give Pence an “evidence book and letter” about fraud in his state and call for a delay of the certification, was in reported talks with leaders of the ‘Stop the Steal’ movement about the rally at the Ellipse. The former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party, Laura Cox, was subpoenaed in February. Cox hosted an online live event on Zoom and Facebook in December 2020 where Trump’s attorney and alleged ringleader of the alternate elector scheme Rudy Giuliani was featured. Cox has denied any wrongdoing.
In late May, a federal grand jury issued subpoenas to individuals who led the alternate elector scheme like Giuliani, Eastman, and others.
Additional key White House, administration, and campaign officials
Several others in Trump’s administration and campaign were called up by the committee either through a formal subpoena or through a request to comply voluntarily. Some of the key targets included:
Guilfoyle helped fundraise and organize the rally at the Ellipse and initially sat for a voluntary interview with the committee but chaos ensued. Guilfoyle bowed out when realizing she would have to offer testimony to the committee with members present, not just panel attorneys. She eventually sat again, but this time under force of subpoena. Lawmakers sought her records and testimony related to the alleged raising of $3 million for the Jan. 6 rally at the Ellipse.
Kayleigh McEnany, former White House press secretary
The White House press secretary who promoted Trump’s lies about the 2020 election routinely from the White House press briefing room, accompanied Trump to the Ellipse on Jan. 6. She allegedly watched the attack unfold with him or nearby. McEnany’s sat for questioning by the committee on Jan. 12. By Feb. 1, it was reported that it was McEnany who was responsible for turning over a series of text messages to investigators showing Fox News host Sean Hannity peppering the press secretary with advice. “No more stolen election talk,” and “Yes, impeachment and the 25th Amendment are real and many people will quit,” he wrote to McEnany. She responded, “Love that. Thank you. That is the playbook. I will help reinforce...”
Days before the select committee’s hearing, emails obtained by The Washington Post showed how on Dec. 13, 2021, one day before the Electoral College safe harbor deadline, Trump’s electors in Georgia were told to keep their plans to submit their bunk slates veiled in total secrecy. A Justice Department inquiry into alternate electors has named Epshteyn and others in its quest for records.
Nicholas Luna, personal assistant to Trump
Trump’s personal assistant or ”body man” was reportedly in the Oval Office on Jan. 6 when Trump was on a call with Pence, in which he pressured Pence not to certify the results of the 2020 election. Luna reportedly entered the Oval on Jan. 6 before his speech, handing Trump a note letting him know he was ready to go on. Luna reportedly heard Trump yell at Pence, “You’re going to wimp out!” Luna was deposed on March 21 after a brief delay and has reportedly been cooperating with the committee and submitting to document requests. Notably, Luna was not an official White House staffer on Jan. 6 but when he was at a meeting in December with Trump and Pence, investigators allege that he was privy to talks between his superiors about seizing voting machines by way of declaring a national emergency.
Kashyap Patel, former chief of staff to then-acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller
Kash Patel was subpoenaed by the committee on Sept. 23. Patel slid into the Defense Department role after Trump canned Defense Secretary Mark Esper and put Chris Miller in Esper’s place. Patel made for a good yes-man and rose quickly to the White House as a result. Once a senior congressional aide to Trump ally Rep. Devin Nunes, Patel joined the Trump administration in 2019 as a staffer on the National Security Council.
The Washington Post reported in April that Patel was the subject of an inquiry by the Department of Justice due to a complaint filed earlier in the year by an unidentified intelligence agency suggesting Patel “repeatedly pressed intelligence agencies to release secrets that, in his view, showed that the president was being persecuted unfairly by critics.”
Patel has records that investigators believe show how the White House prepared for and responded to the Capitol attack with Defense Department and White House officials. There are also documents sought relating to Patel’s “personal involvement” in disrupting the peaceful transfer of power, the committee says.
Kash met with the committee on Dec. 9, according to CNN reporters who were staked out in the Capitol. He appeared with his attorney and was carrying a bevy of documents. In a statement on Dec. 9, Patel said he was answering the committee’s questions to the best of his ability.
Patel appeared on the Fox News podcast The Kitchen Table shortly after his appearance and spoke with hosts about “fighting the deep state.”
Robert “Bobby” Peede Jr., the former deputy assistantto Trump, was subpoenaed on Dec. 9. Investigators say Peede met with Trump in his private dining room just off the Oval Office on Jan. 4 to discuss the impending rally on Jan. 6 and its speakers. Katrina Pierson was also reportedly at this meeting.
Max Miller, another aidefor Trump was with Peede and Trump during a Jan. 4 meeting where the Jan. 6 ‘Stop the Steal’ rally was discussed with Katrina Pierson. Miller was subpoenaed on Dec. 9. Miller received Trump’s full-throated endorsement for his congressional run in December.
Brian Jack, director of political affairs for Trump reportedly contacted several members of Congress on Trump’s behalf, asking them to speak at the Ellipse about so-called fraud in the 2020 election. One of those lawmakers, according to the committee, was Rep. Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican who told reporters he was wearing body armor to the rally on Jan. 6 at the Ellipse because he was warned that violence was imminent.
Christopher Liddell, White House deputy chief of staff in the White House on Jan. 6; investigators believe his role as Meadows’ deputy meant he was privy to conversations involving state officials in Georgia, discussions of election fraud lawsuits, and correspondence with Jan. 6 rally organizers, the Department of Justice, and others. Investigators say Liddell tried to resign during the attack but was coaxed out of that decision. On Feb. 11, Liddell did not comment on reports that the transition process from Trump to Biden was particularly arduous.
Ben Williamson, a deputy assistant to Trump and senior adviser to Meadows, has records similar to that of Liddell’s. Williamson was also allegedly contacted by White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah during the siege, who urged him, to no avail, to have Trump issue a statement condemning the violence.
Molly Michael, a special assistantto Trump and Oval Office operations coordinator, forwarded emails on Dec. 14 to then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, with the subject line including “FROM POTUS,” that laid out talking points on bogus forensic information alleging fraud in Michigan. Similar emails went out on Dec. 29 to the U.S. solicitor general, urging the Department of Justice to file a lawsuit at the Supreme Court that requested the election be overturned.
Taylor Budowich, Trump’s current primary political spokesperson and communications director for Trump’s Save America PAC, allegedly solicited and then directed a nonprofit organization to donate $200,000 from an undisclosed source to pay for its ad campaign promoting election falsehoods. Budowich sued the Committee in late December in a bid to stop investigators from reviewing his financial records. But on Jan. 20, a judge ruled against Budowich, saying his financial records should not be returned to him after JP Morgan Chase handed them off to the committee.
Katrina Pierson, a former Trump campaign official that helped organize the Women for American First rally at the Ellipse and on Jan. 6 urged the crowd before the attack started to “fight much harder” to “stop the steal.” She also reportedly participated in a Jan. 4 meeting with Trump in the Oval Office where she assured him there would be another rally on Jan. 5 where “people like Ali Alexander and Roger Stone could speak.” Stone has said Pierson was “deeply involved” in the attack.
William Stepien, Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign manager, promoted false claims about voting machines despite internal campaign memos determining those claims were false. Stepien has since signed onto advise Ohio Republican Mike Gibbon’s senate campaign.
Angela McCallum, the national executive assistant to Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign, spread false information about voter fraud on Trump’s behalf and encouraged, unconstitutionally, state electors to appoint alternate slates and send competing votes to Congress; she also left a voicemail for an election official in Michigan saying Trump was counting on the unidentified representative.
Kenneth Klukowski, senior counselto Jeffrey Clark. Investigators say he and Clark worked on the letter for Georgia state and election officials and that he met with Clark before a meeting where Clark proposed Jeffrey Rosen’s removal at Trump’s behest.
Andy Surabian, a Republican strategist and adviser to Donald Trump Jr., the committee contends that Surabian was privy to planning or coordination efforts for the rally on Jan. 6 and that he had contact with multiple people who led the organization of the rally including Donald Trump Jr., Kimberly Guilfoyle, fundraiser Caroline Wren and Julie Fancelli who flooded the Trump reelection campaign with cash.
Arthur Schwartz, like Surabian, is a Republican strategist and adviser to Donald Trump Jr. and the committee subpoenaed Schwartz for information related to the planning of the rally.
Ross Worthington, former White House and campaign aide, helped former President Donald Trump write the speech that he delivered from the Ellipse on Jan. 6. Investigators want Worthington to provide further information about Trump’s state of mind and conduct ahead of the speech and have inquired about why Trump littered his remarks with claims of election fraud.
Christina Bobb, an anchor at the pro-Trump right-wing propaganda network One America News Network, was subpoenaed in March as investigators sought more information about her role in advancing the “alternate elector scheme” and specifically, how she assisted Giuliani. Bobb was also in the “war room” at the Willard Hotel on Jan. 6.
Jan. 6 rally organizers
A lengthy list of rally organizers has come under scrutiny. They include but are not limited to:
Dustin Stockton, a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally organizer who investigators say raised the alarm to Mark Meadows that the Jan. 6 event could be unsafe. Stockton was revealed in mid-December as the source for an October Rolling Stone piece where it was alleged that several members of congress were intimately involved in a scheme to overturn the election results. Stockton and his fiancee Jennifer Lynn Lawrence said in an interview with Rolling Stone published Dec. 13 that they were going to cooperate with the committee in full and begin naming names.
Jennifer Lynn Lawrence, along with her fiance Dustin Stockton, assisted Women for America First with its rallies after the November election and right through to the rally on Jan. 6.
Caroline Wren, described as “VIP Adviser” on the WFAF permit for Jan. 6; believed to be in regular contact with Mark Meadows about election certification, allegedly parked dark money funds with the Republican Attorneys General Association, the young Republican hub Turning Point, and the Tea Party Express
Cynthia Chafian, who submitted the first permit application for WFAF'’s Jan. 6 rally, founder of the Eighty Percent Coalition
Nathan Martinwas listed on a permit for the “One Nation Under God” rally on Jan. 6; Martin allegedly failed to disclose that he was also associated with the ‘Stop the Steal’ event and reportedly told U.S Capitol Police that he was not associated with ‘Stop the Steal’
Tim Unesof Event Strategies, Inc., was listed as a “Stage Manager” on permit paperwork filed by WFAF for Jan. 6.
Megan Powers of MPowers Consulting LLC was listed on permit paperwork for WFAF as “Operations Manager for Scheduling and Guidance”
Hannah Salem of Salem Strategies LLC was listed on permit paperwork for WFAF as “Operations Manager for Logistics and Communications”
Bryan Lewis, records have shown, obtained a permit for a rally on Jan. 6 that expressly urged Congress to nullify electoral votes and make illegal changes to voting rules during the election
Ed Martin helped organize the ‘Stop the Steal’ movement and was directly involved in coordinating the “Wild Protest” event planned for Jan. 6. Investigators say he also paid for vendors associated with that event.
Kimberly Fletcher, head of Moms for America, a pro-Trump group, coordinated a Jan. 5 rally at Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C. The group was also identified as a participant in the rally on Jan. 6. Documents obtained by the committee reportedly show Fletcher’s group was in contact with ‘Stop the Steal’ leader Ali Alexander
Though he has not been publicly subpoenaed by the committee, Chris Krebs, once a senior Trump administration official for cybersecurity, reportedly sat down for questions on Dec. 9. Trump fired Krebs after the election and after Krebs stood vehemently against Trump’s claims of election fraud. The committee requested information about Krebs’ termination this August when it sent a request to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Stephanie Grisham, former White House press secretary and chief of staff to former First Lady Melania Trump, voluntarily sat for a deposition in early January and informed that committee that Trump had “secret meetings” in the White House residence in the days just before the Capitol attack. Grisham reportedly told investigators that Mark Meadows helped coordinate the clandestine gatherings.
Big tech requests and demands
Over a dozen social media/technology companies received informal demands for information last summer. The committee was primarily interested in learning how misinformation, like claims of widespread fraud in 2020, was allowed to spread on the respective sites.
There was voluntary compliance from several of the companies noticed in August but the biggest hitters like Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Reddit failed to respond “adequately,” according to Jan. 6 committee chair Bennie Thompson. That prompted formal subpoenas to be submitted to those four entities this January.
Beyond Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Reddit, informal demands initially went to:
In court, the committee aggressively pursued the phone records of more than 100 figures related to the Jan. 6. attack. The requests started to flow last August when telecommunications companies like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and U.S. Celluar were asked to preserve phone records from a host of Republican lawmakers like Kevin McCarthy as well as Trump administration officials and Jan. 6 rally organizers. The data requested would not reveal the content of calls or text messages but would help investigators piece together the dates and times that calls were made and for how long calls lasted.
Many sued to stop the review. Rally organizers Unes, Mulvaney, Powers, and Caporalesued the Jan. 6th Committee in federal court arguing the request for their cell phone data was a breach of their constitutional right to privacy and private communications. They sat for lengthy depositions and otherwise cooperated with the committee in November, however.
Alex Jonessued investigators in December, trying to keep the probe away from his phone data. He amended the complaint to include Timothy Enlow, the security operations manager for Free Speech Systems, a media entity owned by Jones, in February after it was revealed to Jones that the committee had served Enlow’s provider.
Mark Meadows and John Eastman sued to keep phone records hidden as did onetime Trump White House adviser Sebastian Gorka. The committee demanded Verizon hand over his records in December. Election disinformation purveyor and Trump ally My Pillow CEO Mike Lindellsued the committee in January to stop a subpoena served on his telephone provider.
Cleta Mitchell, a right-wing activist and longtime conservative attorney who once represented the National Rifle Association, has sued the committee to stop the review of her phone records. Mitchell was on the call with Trump when he pressured Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to alter election results in 2020. Notably, McClatchy reported that Mitchell expressed concern in 2018 that the NRA and Russia coordinated to funnel cash into Trump’s first presidential bid. Mitchell denied the allegations but cooperated with legislators. The committee subpoenaed her in March.
Stephen Miller sued the committee in March in hopes of stopping investigators from reviewing his phone’s metadata. The reason for his request? It would violate his mother’s privacy since he remains on her family cell phone plan.
For a minute-by-minute breakdown of Jan. 6, 2021, check out the tick-tock outline available here.
A comprehensive guide to social media posts from legislators about Jan. 6 before, during, and after the attack was first compiled by Rep. Zoe Lofgren last year. A digestible recap with source documents is available here.