Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s partisan January 6 committee has issued its first subpoenas for communications from Donald Trump’s inner circle. The Washington Times reported the news on Thursday night:
The special committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot reportedly issued its first subpoenas Thursday.
The Democrat-dominated panel targeted close aides and allies of then-President Donald Trump, according to a report on CNN.
The four targeted aides are former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows; Kash Patel, a former chief of staff to the defense secretary; former political adviser Steve Bannon; and former deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino.
The January 6 committee earlier issued sweeping demands for former President Donald Trump’s communications with his presidential staff and members of the press in an assault on freedom of the press and executive privilege.
The House committee’s ultimatum came less than one week after FBI agents confirmed Donald Trump was not a part of any planning or coordination of the Capitol siege, which was carried out by a small minority of extremists.
In a letter issued on August 25, the committee makes clear the extraordinary information it is seeking:
The Select Committee reiterates the requests made in the March 25, 2021, correspondence from multiple committees of the House of Representatives, which the Select Committee subsequently joined, for documents and communications received, prepared, or sent between December 1, 2020, and January 20, 2021, relating to the counting of the electoral college vote on January 6, 2021, the potential for demonstrations, violence, or attacks in the National Capital Region on or around January 6, 2021, and the events or aftermath of January 6, 2021.
Those March 25, 2021, requests include but are not limited to:
1. All documents and communications relating in any way to remarks made by Donald Trump or any other persons on January 6, including Donald Trump’s and other speakers’ public remarks at the rally on the morning of January 6, and Donald Trump’s Twitter messages throughout the day.
2. All calendars, schedules, and movement logs regarding meetings or events attended by President Trump, including the identity of any individuals in attendance, whether virtual or in-person, on January 6, 2021.
3. All documents and communications regarding the movements and protection of Vice President Pence on January 6, 2021.
4. All video communications recorded of the President speaking on January 6, 2021, and all documents and communications related thereto, including communications involving the President or any other officials or employees in the Executive Office of the President or the Office of the Vice President. This request specifically includes videos of communications released to the public and communications recorded but not released to the public, any documents or other communications identifying or discussing the content of those videos.
5. All photographs, videos, or other media, including any digital time stamps for such media, taken or recorded within the White House on January 6, 2021, or taken of the crowd assembled for the rally on the morning of January 6, and all communications or other documents related to that media.
The Jan. 6 committee gave its rationale for its unprecedented demands:
The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol is examining the facts, circumstances, and causes of the January 6th attack. Our Constitution provides for a peaceful transfer of power, and this investigation seeks to evaluate threats to that process, identify lessons learned, and recommend laws, policies, procedures, rules, or regulations necessary to protect our Republic in the future. Pursuant to the Presidential Records Act (44 U.S.C. § 2205(2)(C)), and House Resolution 503, the Select Committee requests that you produce the documents described in the attached schedule from the Executive Office of the President (EOP) and the Office of the Vice President (OVP) in your custody, control, or possession.
The list of members of the press who are instructed to turn over Trump-related communications to the Jan.6 committee is truly breathtaking in scope:
The committee is requesting records of communications between the White House and a whole list of people, including “Stop the Steal” organizer Ali Alexander, InfoWars hosts Alex Jones and Owen Shroyer, and conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec. Link: https://t.co/sG5YaNCwpZ pic.twitter.com/YSUO62yoFG
— Jordan Fischer (@JordanOnRecord) August 25, 2021
Donald Trump, however, has already stated he will not comply.
“Executive privilege will be defended, not just on behalf of my Administration and the Patriots who worked beside me, but on behalf of the Office of the President of the United States and the future of our Nation,” Trump said in a statement.
The 45th president also has choice words for the Pelosi-led effort to publicly reveal his presidential and personal communications, which have long been considered legally protected under executive privilege.
“The Leftist ‘select committee’ has further exposed itself as a partisan sham and waste of taxpayer dollars with a request that’s timed to distract Americans from historic and global catastrophes brought on by the failures of Joe Biden and the Democrats,” Trump also said in the statement. “Unfortunately, this partisan exercise is being performed at the expense of long-standing legal principles of privilege.”
“These Democrats only have one tired trick—political theater—and their latest request only reinforces that pathetic reality,” he added.