January 6 committee subpoenas Trump’s main allies
The January 6 committee has started scrutinizing the Willard hotel “war room”, where Trump allies gathered to overthrow the 2020 election results. A source familiar with the matter stated that the selected committee plans to issue subpoenas to Trump’s 20 top lieutenants as soon as next week.
On Monday, the committee served notice to conservative legal scholar John Eastman, former New York Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik, Michael Flynn, and campaign staff Jason Miller, Angela McCallum, and Bill Stepien. Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson stated, “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 six witnesses are required to provide documents by November 23rd and appear for a testimony between November 30th and December 13th.
The Willard Intercontinental Hotel, a block away from the White House reportedly served as a command center, where lawyers and presidential advisers gathered to reinstate Trump for a second term. These meetings also included people like Trump’s former lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and White House strategist Steve Bannon. Giuliani is been considered a subpoena for leading the legal strategy meetings. Other people on the list included campaign staff Robert Costa and Bob Woodward.
Eastman reportedly presented Trump with a memo on January 4th, describing various strategies he could exploit to stay in power. Trump held on to that memo and pressurized Mike Pence to reject the election results during the election certification in Congress on January 6th.
As the Washington Post stated, Bernie Kerik was also present during some of the meetings, helping in the investigation of allegations of election fraud. The report also states that Kerik said his firm gave the Trump campaign more than $55,000 for several suites in the Willard Hotel for the team, with records showing he was later reimbursed.
Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, cramped with Trump in the Oval Office before January 6th, weeks after he was pardoned for lying to the FBI. He had called out the military to seize the voting machines in the following months after the election and had delivered a speech, filled with false allegations to Trump supporters in Washington the day before the Capitol attack. He said, “In some of these states we have more voters dead than voters buried on the Gettysburg Battlefields, or the Vicksburg Battlefields, or the Normandy Battlefields.” on January 5th. “Those of you who are feeling weak tonight, those of you who don’t have the moral fiber in your body, get a little bit of it tonight because tomorrow we the people will be here, and we want you to know that we will not tolerate lying”
This is where Kerik stepped in, downplaying the Capitol Attack, claiming that people were overreacting. He said, “I’m watching the coverage, and I’m kind of shocked at some of the coverage because from the looks of it to me, you know, we’re evacuating the building, we have the members putting on masks, we have this, we have that. They’re acting like it was an armed takeover of the Capitol, and that’s nonsense. You have six to 10 people that got into the building. Ok, deal with it. And they shouldn’t be there in the first place, I’m not saying they should be there. They should get them out of there.” He also tweeted saying that the police officers who testified before the committee about the attack had been “cowardly”. “They should be made redundant-not fit to work”, he tweeted.
Stepien, who was the campaign manager of Trump’s candidacy in 2020, discussed potential protests with external delegates during a post-election call, reports ABC news. He said, “At some point, we may need your help at protests in your state to make sure the president is represented and our side of the argument is visible. At any time we might need your help and support on the ground, you know, waving the flag and shouting out the president’s name and support.”
Mccallum, with the lowest profile and a 2019 college graduate, reportedly made calls to the Michigan lawmakers early in December 2020, insisting they bypass the state’s voters and appoint a set of pro-Trump electors.