Four of the men most loyal to Donald Trump have been called to testify before the legislative committee investigating the Jan.6 assault on the Capitol. They are Mark Meadows, Chief of Staff; White House digital strategist Daniel Scavino; influential adviser Steve Bannon and Kashyap Patel, Defense Minister Christopher Miller’s chief adviser. The special committee, made up of eleven Democrats and two Republicans in the House of Representatives, has demanded a series of documents and asks former officials to prepare to testify before legislators in mid-October on a date yet to be defined.
The committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol asks about the role of Donald Trump
Visual reconstruction of the assault on the Capitol
“You saw policemen, but nobody knew what to do. They were as confused as we are “
Bennie Thompson, the congressman who chairs the commission, sent the four former advisers a letter in which he indicates that they seek to get to the “facts, circumstances and causes” of the revolt. The document assures that his testimony will help to form the puzzle of what happened that morning. Thompson believes that witnesses can provide critical information for investigators.
Democrats want to delve into Bannon’s role in the events. The radical adviser was present on January 5 at a meeting at the Willard Hotel, a few meters from the White House. The meeting planned a strategy to derail Joe Biden’s confirmation as president. “Hell is going to break loose tomorrow,” Bannon said according to some witnesses. The founder of Breitbart, a media outlet critical to Trump’s momentum, was forced to leave the administration in August 2017, but he never stopped influencing the former president. Proof of this, the Democrats consider, are his communications with the president a week before the events of January 6. Donald Trump, on the other hand, pardoned Bannon on the last day of his presidency for alleged fraud.
Meadows, who became Chief of Staff in March 2020, received the subpoena for the pressure he exerted on the Department of Justice and some local authorities, such as those in New Mexico, to investigate unsubstantiated accusations of alleged electoral fraud that would have given the victory of the Democratic candidate in the November 2020 elections. Democratic lawmakers say they have “credible evidence” that he communicated “non-stop” with Kashyap Patel, who had barely arrived at the Pentagon in November, throughout the course of the events of January 6.
Scavino, on the other hand, was with Trump on January 5 in a meeting where some options were considered to prevent the recognition of Biden’s triumph. The official, one of the very few survivors within the Cabinet after four years of layoffs and replacements, was in charge of the White House’s social media and digital strategy. On January 6, the committee’s Democrats claim, he was tweeting messages from the headquarters of the presidency. Some of the information cited by the committee is included in the most recent book by journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costas.
The subpoenas, which were sent Thursday, are part of a more aggressive strategy by the committee to explain how the violent act originated in one of the most sacred sites in Washington. Democratic legislators have already asked the White House for information and have even asked telephone companies and technology giants for telephone and social media activity by members of the mob that left five dead. These inquiries have been repudiated by Republicans.
Former President Trump has warned that he will fight against these subpoenas arguing a privilege of the head of the Executive to keep secret the communications and discussions he had as president with some of his close advisers.