Committee of January 6: Proud Boys and Oath Keepers among the subpoenas

Subpoenas given to Proud Boys and its leader Enrique Tarrio, as well as the Oath Keepers and frontman Stewart Rhodes. Dozens of members of both groups have been charged in the attack on the US Capitol, and prosecutors say they conspired ahead of time to circumvent Electoral College proceedings. (Tario and Rhodes have not been charged.)

The panel also subpoenaed Robert Patrick Lewis, chairman of the First Amendment Magistrate, a group the committee said provided security at “multiple protests that lasted until January 6.”

“We believe that the individuals and organizations that we are subpoenaing today have relevant information about how violence broke out on the Capitol and the preparation that led to this violent attack,” Rep. Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat who chairs the committee, said in a statement.

Several dozen subpoenas was issued as part of the investigation, with mixed success. Investigators said they spoke to more than 200 witnesses, but several key witnesses in former President Donald Trump’s world obstructed the investigation and refused to testify or produce documents.

Right-wing extremists played a major role in the January 6 attack on the Capitol. Proud Boys leaders were involved in some of the initial clashes that overwhelmed the police lines and broke into the building. Members of the Keepers of the Oath were seen making their way through the crowd in military formations and into Rotunda. They were also charged with hiding weapons at a hotel in Virginia prior to the riot.

Dozens of members of these far-right groups are now facing serious criminal charges in connection with the January 6 riots, and judges have deemed many of them too dangerous to release. pending trial.

But so far, Democrats have not been able to directly connect Trump to the violence these groups perpetuate on Capitol Hill. There are numerous connections between Trump associates and members of these groups, but there is little evidence that Trump is aware of any plans to grossly disrupt Congress.

The Justice Department has said Rhodes the directing members of the Oath-Keepers on January 6 while they stormed the Capitol and allegedly destroyed government property. He has not been charged with any crime, even as prosecutors cracked down on his followers. CNN reported in July that Rhodes voluntarily interviewed the FBI and that investigators seized his cell phone. He has deny any wrongdoing.
Tarrio is currently in prison after pleading guilty burned a church’s Black Lives Matter banner and brought high-capacity rifle magazines into DC shortly before the January 6 uprising. Those allegations led to his removal from DC on January 6. But he remained defiant about the role his organization played in the attack, saying the incident was worth celebrating, while nominally condemning the violence.
The commission has issued subpoenas to dozens of people involved in the January 6 attacks, including Trump’s White House Advisor, Trump Campaign officials, few the main organizers of political rallies took place before the riot and the pro-Trump provocateurs were linked to “Prevent Theft” groups.
The commission was formed in July and has done most of its work in private. Representative Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat on the committee, told CNN on Saturday that the panel interviewed more than 200 witnesses, many of whom were “part of the Trump administration”.

But other Trump allies followed Trump’s directive to ignore the investigation.

Trump ally Steve Bannon has been charged with contempt of Congress after defying a panel subpoena for records and testimony. (He pleaded not guilty.) Former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, who played a key role in the Trump coup plot, appeared to be ousted earlier this month but prompted the committee to protest by declined to answer questions, claiming that the material is privileged.

Proud Boys’ lawyer replied

An attorney affiliated with Proud Boys International LLC said Tuesday he plans to provide some already-publicized documents about the formation of the group and the statutes to the House of Representatives. But he may not have the Proud Boys records that say some of the things the committee wants, such as documentation of their activities late last year and around January 6. The attorney and former chairman. Proud Boys, Jason Van Dyke, said some of the material he has about the group, he will also try to defend under attorney-client privilege.

Van Dyke received a subpoena from the commission, he said, but has had no ties to the group since November 2018.

“It’s become a defunct entity since then. They’re wasting their time,” Van Dyke told CNN. “They’ll have to get it from Tarrio.”

The committee acknowledged that Proud Boys International had dissolved earlier this year.

Attorneys for Tarrio and Rhodes did not respond to requests for comment.

A spokesman for the DC Department of Corrections, where Tarrio is still incarcerated, did not respond to several requests from CNN about whether the prison would allow detainees to speak to the House Select Committee. . Tarrio will be in jail in the new year.

This story was updated with additional developments on Tuesday.

CNN’s Katelyn Polantz contributed to this report.


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