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Forensic News Roundup: Jan. 6 Committee investigating members of Congress

August 30, 2021 7:38 am By

Subpoenas

The Select Committee investigating the insurrection issued its first (publicly available) subpoenas last week, demanding information from eight federal agencies (docs):

  • National Archives and Records Administration: All documents and communications within the White House on January 6 relating “in any way” to Trump, Trump’s tweets, reactions to Trump’s rally speech, Pence, Hope Hicks, Mark Meadows, Pat Cipollone, Stephan Miller, Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, Lara Trump, Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, Melania Trump, Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn, Rudy Giuliani, Roger Stone, Sidney Powell, Brad Parscale, Ali Alexander, Alex Jones, Scott Presler, Jack Posobiec, Enrique Tarrio, and any member of Congress, among others. All documents and communications related to efforts and plans to contest the 2020 Presidential election results. All documents and communications between White House officials and officials of State governments, including Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
  • Department of Defense: All documents and communications relating to potential or actual changes in Department of Defense personnel, instructions to delay the transition of administrations, the potential use of military power to impede the transfer of power, the possibility of invoking the Insurrection Act, and any preparations for Jan. 6, among other events.
  • Department of Homeland Security: All documents and communications relating to potential or actual changes in DHS personnel, instructions to delay the transition of administrations, procedures for evaluating social media posts, records of intelligence obtained and shared on Jan. 6, threat analysis, concerns of alleged voter fraud for the 2020 Presidential cycle, and the firing of CISA Director Chris Krebs, among other aspects.
  • Department of the Interior: All documents and communications relating to National Park Service permits for all events in D.C. relating to the 2020 election, the deployment of law enforcement personnel or military assets to the U.S. Capitol, and conversations between any Department of the Interior official and President Trump and/or any White House official on January 5–6, 2021, relating to the January 5th rally, the January 6th rally, and/or the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol.
  • Department of Justice: All documents and communications relating to potential or actual changes in DOJ personnel, instructions to delay the transition of administrations, investigations of alleged voter fraud, the possibility of invoking the Insurrection Act, the use of law enforcement or military personnel during voting in the 2020 Presidential election, and any actual or attempted conversations between any DOJ official and President Trump or any other White House official on January 5–6. The subpoena specifically names Mark Meadows, Kurt Olsen, Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis, Joseph diGenova, and Victoria Toensing as persons of interest.
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation: All documents and communications relating to potential or actual changes in FBI personnel, instructions to delay the transition of administrations, procedures for evaluating social media posts, records of intelligence obtained and shared on Jan. 6, investigations into election fraud, and actual or attempted conversations between any FBI official and any White House official on January 5–6, 2021.
  • National Counterterrorism Center and Office of the Director of National Intelligence: Similar to FBI subpoena

The Select Committee also released subpoenas to 15 social media companies seeking records related to the spread of misinformation, efforts to interfere with the 2020 election or the certification of electoral college results, domestic violent extremists, and foreign influence in the election. Investigators are also interested in how the company’s algorithms contributed to extremism and the insurrection. Social media giants Facebook, Snapchat, Google, Twitter, Twitch, Reddit, YouTube, and Tik-Tok were targeted, as well as 4chan, 8kun, Gab, Parler, Telegram, and Zello.


Phone Records

The Select Committee is reportedly preparing to issue subpoenas to various telecommunications companies regarding records around Jan. 6. Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) confirmed the Committee is about planning to send notices requesting the major telecom firms preserve the “phone records of several people, including members of Congress,” according to CNN.

Other sources report that targets of the records request will include Reps. Lauren Boebert (CO), Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA), Jim Jordan (OH), Andy Biggs (AZ), Paul Gosar (AZ), Mo Brooks (AL), Madison Cawthorn (NC), Matt Gaetz (FL), Louie Gohmert (TX), Jody Hice (GA), and Scott Perry (PA).

Rep. Jim Jordan has repeatedly dodged answering questions regarding his conversations with Trump on Jan. 6, but we now have more information. Jordan confirmed to Politico that he spoke to the former president “more than once” on the 6th, which reportedly includes one call made with Rep. Matt Gaetz begging Trump to call off his supporters.


Capitol Officer

Seven U.S. Capitol Police officers sued former president Donald Trump, Stop the Steal rally participants, and rightwing extremists on Thursday for their roles in the Jan. 6 insurrection. The lawsuit (PDF) is filed against:

  • Donald Trump in his personal capacity and Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign
  • Stop the Steal participants Roger Stone, Ali Alexander, and Brandon Straka
  • Proud Boys corporation and members Enrique Tarrio, Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl, Charles Donohue, and Dominic Pezzola. All except Tarrio – the leader of the Proud Boys – breached the Capitol on Jan. 6.
  • Oath Keepers corporation and members Stewart Rhodes, Thomas Caldwell, Jessica Watkins, and Kelly Meggs. All except Rhodes – the President and Director of Oath Keepers – breached the Capitol.
  • Six residents of California, five of whom are members of the Three Percenters: Alan Hostetter, Erik Warner, Felipe Antonio Martinez, Derek Kinnison, and Ronald Mele. All breached the Capitol.

The complaint alleges Trump “conspired with” the other defendants “to prevent Congress from certifying the election results through the use of force, intimidation, and threats.”

The attack on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021 (the “Capitol Attack” or “Attack”), was caused by Defendants. After Defendant DONALD J. TRUMP lost the November 2020 Presidential election, he and the other Defendants in this case conspired with each other and others to prevent Congress from certifying the election results through the use of force, intimidation, and threats. TRUMP and other Defendants propagated false claims of election fraud, encouraged the use of force, intimidation, and threats, and incited violence against members of Congress and the law enforcement officers whose job it was to protect them. Defendants’ unlawful efforts culminated in the January 6 mass attack on the United States Capitol and the brutal, physical assault of hundreds of law enforcement officers. Many Defendants in this case planned, aided, and actively participated in that attack. All Defendants are responsible for it.

Similar to other lawsuits brought against Trump, the officers accuse the former president and Jan. 6 participants of violating the Ku Klux Klan Act by using force and intimidation to prevent members of Congress from discharging their official duties. They further add claims of engaging in criminal acts based on political affiliation, battery, assault, and negligence.

All Defendants aided and abetted the assaults of Plaintiffs. Through their actions as related above in this Complaint, including their encouragement and facilitation of the assaults, each Defendant knowingly and substantially assisted the assaults. Each Defendant was aware of their role as part of an overall illegal or tortious activity and of their involvement in creating a violent atmosphere in which others might be physically injured.



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