January 6 committee subpoenas Trump lawyer, 5 other advisers
WASHINGTON – The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol subpoenaed one of former President Donald Trump’s lawyers, who wrote a memo to former Vice President Mike Pence about how to challenge the results of the 2020 election.
John Eastman’s two-page memo outlined a six-point plan for Pence, in his role as president of the Senate, to set aside Electoral College votes in seven states. Certification of the election would have then moved to the House of Representatives, where a majority of state delegations controlled by Republicans could have handed the victory to Trump, according to the memo.
Pence considered intervening in the certification to be unconstitutional, but Eastman’s memo tried to convince him otherwise. The memo’s reasoning has been widely dismissed by legal experts.
“In the days before the Jan. 6th attack, the former president’s closest allies and advisors drove a campaign of misinformation about the election and planned ways to stop the count of Electoral College votes," said Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., who heads the committee investigating the attack. "The select committee needs to know every detail about their efforts to overturn the election, including who they were talking to in the White House and in Congress, what connections they had with rallies that escalated into a riot, and who paid for it all."
The committee subpoenaed five other Trump advisers, too:
• William Stepien, who served as manager of the Trump 2020 reelection campaign. The campaign reportedly urged state and party officials to affect the outcome of the November 2020 election by asking states to delay or deny certification of electoral votes and by sending multiple slates of electoral votes to Congress, according to the committee.
• Jason Miller, a senior advisor to former President Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign. Miller participated in a meeting on Jan. 5 at the Willard Hotel where Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, Stephen Bannon and others discussed options for overturning the results of the November 2020 election, according to the committee, which cited public reports.
• Angela McCallum, who was national executive assistant to former President Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign. In publicly available voicemail recording, McCallum left a message for an unknown Michigan state representative asking whether the Trump campaign could “count on” the representative and said that the individual had the authority to appoint an alternate slate of electors based on purported evidence of widespread election fraud, according to the committee.
• Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, who reportedly attended a Dec. 18 meeting in the Oval Office during which participants discussed seizing voting machines, declaring a national emergency and invoking certain national security emergency powers, according to the committee.
• Bernard Kerik, who reportedly participated in the Jan. 5 meeting at the Willard Hotel, according to the committee. Kerik reportedly paid for rooms and suites in Washington hotels that served as election-related command centers and also worked with Giuliani to investigate allegations of voter fraud and promote baseless litigation and “Stop the Steal” efforts, according to the committee.
Rioters swarmed the Capitol during the counting of Electoral College votes on Jan. 6, with some calling for Pence to be hanged. Trump tweeted an attack on Pence’s “courage.”
The House committee is investigating what led to riot and what unfolded that day, aiming to prevent a recurrence.
The committee has already subpoenaed Trump aides such as political strategist Steve Bannon, who is defying the subpoena. The House has voted to hold Bannon in contempt and asked the Justice Department to criminally prosecute him.
Trump sued to prevent the National Archives and Records Administration from releasing documents about Jan. 6. He also urged aides such as Bannon to defy their subpoenas.
Others who were subpoenaed include Amy and Kylie Jane Kremer, the mother-daughter team who organized the Women for America First rally near the White House the morning of Jan. 6.