By JILL COLVIN, MICHELLE R. SMITH, ERIC TUCKER and MARY CLARE JALONICK
WASHINGTON (AP) – The House committee investigating the January 6 riot at the United States Capitol on Wednesday issued a subpoena to a former Justice Department lawyer who has positioned himself as an ally of the President Donald Trump and aided Trump in his efforts to challenge the presidential election results.
The committee said Wednesday it had demanded documents and testimony from Jeffrey Clark, a former deputy attorney general who has listened sympathetically to the president’s baseless claims that the election results were fraudulent. Clark has clashed with his superiors over the tumultuous past weeks of the Trump administration, including in a dramatic White House meeting.
The subpoena comes a week after the release of a report by the Senate Judiciary Committee that documented extraordinary tensions within senior ranks of the Justice Department in December and January as Trump and his allies incited the forces of the order to contribute to efforts to overturn the election won by the Democrats. Joe Biden.
Trump’s own attorney general William Barr had said the Justice Department found no evidence of widespread fraud that could have overturned the results. Unfounded allegations of fraud have been repeatedly dismissed by judge after judge, including those appointed by Trump, and by election officials across the country.
Meanwhile, at least three of the officials involved in organizing and running the rally that preceded the violent storming of the Capitol are handing over documents in response to subpoenas.
The 11 organizers and staff were given a deadline on Wednesday to turn in documents and files as part of the committee’s investigation into the deadly insurgency that marked the most serious breach of the Capitol building since the War of 1812. Organizers were also invited to appear for separate depositions, the committee scheduled to begin later this month.
Other subpoenas have also been served on senior White House officials and Trump advisers, including former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and advisor Steve Bannon, who has so far refused to cooperate, putting him at risk of being charged with contempt.
Among those responding to Wednesday’s deadline was Lyndon Brentnall, whose company was hired to provide security for the event that day. “All documents and communications requested by the summons have been handed over,” he told The Associated Press.
Two longtime members of the Trump campaign and the White House, Megan Powers and Hannah Salem, who were on the Jan.6 rally permit as “operations manager for planning and guidance” and “responsible for operations. operations for logistics and communications ”, have also provided documents or are considering doing so.
Powers, who also served as director of operations for Trump’s re-election campaign, intends to provide the committee with requested documentation and meet with them – although it is unclear what form these meetings will take, according to a familiar person. with his response which spoke on condition of anonymity.
Brentnall had previously said his company had “every intention” to comply with the select committee. “As far as we are concerned, we provided security at a legally authorized event in collaboration with the US secret service and the park police,” he said.
The committee said the subpoenas are part of its efforts to gather information “on the planning, organization and financing” of the January 6 rally as well as other events planned to support Trump’s baseless allegations. of electoral fraud in the weeks between his November electoral defeat and the January bombing.
A spokesperson for the committee declined to comment Wednesday on the responses it received and the number of 11 complying.
It is still unclear whether the other people subpoenaed intend to cooperate.
Among them, Amy Kremer, founder and president of Women for America First, a pro-Trump group that was the main organizer of the event; Cynthia Chafian, an organizer who filed the first permit for the rally; and Caroline Wren, a GOP fundraising veteran who appeared on permit documents for the Jan. 6 rally as a “VIP advisor.”
Also on the list are Maggie Mulvaney, a niece of former Trump chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who worked as director of financial operations for the Trump campaign and is now a member of Congress; former Trump campaign official Katrina Pierson, who the committee said was “apparently involved in organizing” the January 6 rally and a smaller one the day before; and Justin Caporale and Tim Unes of Event Strategies Inc., who were on the Jan.6 permit documents list as project manager and rally steward, according to the committee.
None responded to multiple requests for comment.
Two other organizers, Ali Alexander and Nathan Martin, along with their “Stop the Steal” organization, have also been subpoenaed over documents, which are due on October 21.
Alexander wrote in a Telegram article on Monday that the committee was “subpoenaing people of bad faith.”
“So maybe this select committee is a fake?” ” he added. “Everyone is waiting to see what I’m going to do.
The committee said two senior Trump officials – Meadows and former Defense Department official Kashyap Patel – are “engaging” with the committee, although it is unclear exactly what that entails. It’s also unclear whether Dan Scavino, Trump’s longtime social media director and one of his staunchest aides, will cooperate.
Committee members said they were ready to fight for the testimony and would use the courts to do so if necessary.
Many rioters who stormed the Capitol on January 6, trying to stop President Joe Biden’s certification of victory, marched through the National Mall after attending at least part of Trump’s rally, where he repeated his baseless claims of electoral fraud and implored the crowd to “fight like hell”.
The election results were confirmed by state officials and confirmed by the courts.
At least nine people died during and after the attack, including a Trump supporter who was shot dead by police as they attempted to break into the House bedroom.
Colvin reported from New York and Smith from Providence, Rhode Island.