A committee investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection has issued subpoenas to five more individuals, including former U.S. president Donald Trump’s ally Roger Stone and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, as lawmakers deepened their probe of the rallies that preceded the deadly attack.
The subpoenas issued Monday include demands for documents and testimony from Mr. Stone and Mr. Jones as well as three people accused of organizing and promoting the two rallies that took place on Jan. 6.
“The select committee is seeking information about the rallies and subsequent march to the Capitol that escalated into a violent mob attacking the Capitol and threatening our democracy,” said Mississippi Representative Bennie Thompson, the Democratic chairman of the panel. “We need to know who organized, planned, paid for, and received funds related to those events, as well as what communications organizers had with officials in the White House and Congress.”
The subpoenas are the latest in a wide net the House panel has cast in an effort to investigate the deadly day when a group of Mr. Trump’s supporters, fuelled by his false claims of a stolen election, brutally assaulted police and smashed their way into the Capitol to interrupt the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory.
The committee has already interviewed more than 150 people across government, social media and law enforcement, including some former Trump aides who have been co-operative. The panel has subpoenaed more than 20 witnesses, and most of them, including several associates who helped plan the massive “Stop the Steal” rally the morning of Jan. 6, have signalled they will co-operate.
Mr. Stone was convicted in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation of lying to Congress about his efforts to gather inside information about Russia-hacked Democratic emails that were published by WikiLeaks in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. He was subsequently pardoned by Mr. Trump.
The House subpoena notes that Mr. Stone spoke at rallies on the day before the Capitol insurrection and used members of a far-right group, the Oath Keepers, as personal security guards while he was in Washington.
In a statement, Mr. Stone said he has yet to see the details of the subpoena but called any allegation of his involvement on that day as “categorically false.”
“I have said time and time again that I had no advance knowledge of the events that took place at the Capitol on that day,” the conservative provocateur said. “After the subpoena is served and after my counsel reviews the requests, I will make the determination of how I will proceed.”
The House panel also wants to hear from Mr. Jones, with Mr. Thompson saying that the conspiracy theorist and radio personality helped organize the Jan. 6 rally at the Ellipse that preceded the insurrection. The letter from Mr. Thompson says that Mr. Jones repeatedly promoted Mr. Trump’s claims of election fraud, urged his listeners to come to Washington for the rally and marched from the Ellipse to the Capitol. Mr. Thompson also wrote that Mr. Jones “made statements implying that you had knowledge about the plans of President Trump with respect to the rally.”
A lawyer who has represented Mr. Jones previously did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The other three subpoenas were issued to Dustin Stockton, Jennifer Lawrence and Taylor Budowich for their alleged involvement in the promotion and organization of the series of rallies following the 2020 presidential election that promoted false information regarding the election results, including the Ellipse rally that preceded the violent attack on the Capitol.
Mr. Stockton and Ms. Lawrence were key leaders of the “Stop the Steal” movement after the election and helped to organize the rally on Jan. 6 that preceded the attack on the Capitol. The couple said they planned to testify and would turn over documents requested by the committee.
Both have disavowed the violence. Mr. Stockton said he had previously reached out to the committee to co-operate voluntarily.
“We were shocked and horrified by what happened on the 6th,” Ms. Lawrence told the Associated Press on Monday. “We need to get to the bottom of what really happened so we can move forward as a country.”
Mr. Budowich, who now serves as Trump’s chief spokesperson, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The results of the election were confirmed by state officials and upheld by the courts. Mr. Trump’s own attorney-general, William Barr, had said the Justice Department found no evidence of widespread fraud that could have overturned the results.
The committee is seeking information from Mr. Stockton and his fiancé, Ms. Lawrence, who they say were involved in organizing some of the rallies. The committee alleges Mr. Stockton was concerned enough that the Ellipse rally would lead to “possible danger” that he escalated those concerns to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
The panel has already demanded documents and testimony from several other Trump advisers – some have co-operated and some have not. Steve Bannon, a long-time ally of Mr. Trump, was indicted on Nov. 12 on two counts of criminal contempt of Congress after he defied a subpoena from the House committee. The committee is giving Mr. Meadows more time to comply with a subpoena before the panel moves forward with a contempt vote.
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