A round of new subpoenas show the House select committee is investigating events that led up to the Jan. 6 insurrection and lawmakers have a pretty clear idea of which Donald Trump loyalists played the biggest role in the attack.
The panel requested records and testimony from former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former White House strategist Steve Bannon, former Trump deputy chief of staff and director of social media Dan Scavino, and former Pentagon official and Trump loyalist Kashyap Patel -- and the subpoenas show lawmakers are looking beyond the insurrection, reported Rolling Stone.
"Among other things, those requests show the committee is investigating the communications various security agencies had with the White House and with each other," wrote Hunter Walker for the magazine. "It is also examining personnel changes at some of those agencies, including the installation of Patel, a Trump loyalist who was placed at the Pentagon in the days after the election, and the firing of Homeland Security cybersecurity chief Christopher Krebs, who loudly refuted Trump's suggestion there was election fraud at play in his defeat."
The committee also wants to see records related to gathering and sharing intelligence before the attack, as well as security plans for the Capitol and any changes made to the way agencies monitor social media for threats before the "Stop the Steal" rally that preceded the attack.
"Those record requests also indicate the committee is looking beyond just the attack on January 6," Walker wrote. "The committee specifically requested records related to demonstrations against the election that were staged by Trump supporters in D.C. on November 14, 2020, December 12, 2020, and January 5 of this year. It also asked for documents related to attempts that Trump associates (including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and lawyer Sidney Powell) made to allege election fraud, as well documents related to efforts to solicit Justice Department intervention in multiple states."
The FBI's investigation has so far focused on the Trump supporters who stormed into the Capitol, while the congressional probe seems to be focusing on individuals who can describe the former president's actions on that day and what steps they took to prevent an effective response.
"In the statement announcing those subpoenas, the committee indicated it was interested in Patel both for his role in 'discussions among senior Pentagon officials prior to and on January 6th, 2021, regarding 'security at the Capitol' and to a reported effort to place him at the Central Intelligence Agency last December in the aftermath of the election," Walker wrote. "Bannon, a former White House official and on-again-off-again Trump confidant, was cited by the committee for a reported conversation he had with the former president last December 30th, where he pressed Trump 'to focus his efforts on January 6th,' and for allegedly attending 'a gathering at the Willard Hotel on January 5th, 2021, as part of an effort to persuade members of Congress to block the certification of the election the next day.'"
"Meadows, who was Trump's White House chief of staff, was cited by the committee for reportedly communicating 'with officials at the state level and in the Department of Justice as part of an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election or prevent the election's certification' and for being in touch with organizers of pro-Trump rallies in Washington on January 6," Walker added. "The subpoena announcement indicated Scavino, a former caddy at Trump's golf club who became his social media guru on the campaign trail, attracted the committee's interest due to his promotion of the January 6 rallies and because he was reportedly present 'during a discussion of how to convince Members of Congress not to certify the election for Joe Biden' with Trump the day before the Capitol attack."