The House Select Committee on Jan. 6 has issued another six subpoenas for allies of former President Donald Trump as the panel continues its Democrat-led investigation into the Capitol riot.
Among them are top aides to the former president as well as the man who drafted memos encouraging the 2020 campaign to hone in on Congress’ certification of the election results and others who sought to raise questions about the outcome.
One of the six is John Eastman, a one-time law professor who recommended focusing on vice presidential rejection of certain electoral votes as well as having Trump campaign officials attempt to convince GOP legislatures in key battleground states to reject their electors and thus deny Joe Biden the presidency.
“Those memos became a blueprint for the Trump team in eyeing Congress and the states as avenues for unwinding the election, likely igniting Trump’s focus on having former Vice President Mike Pence buck the largely ceremonial duty of certifying the 2020 election results,” The Hill reported Monday evening.
At the center of that strategy, however, was the contention by Eastman and others that the vice president’s role in counting electoral votes is not merely “ceremonial” but one of the checks the founders wrote into the Constitution to ensure election integrity. In any event, Pence rejected the recommendation and counted all electoral votes submitted by the 50 states as-is.
Eastman held a meeting Jan. 2 with more than 300 state legislators, instructing that it was “the duty of the state legislatures to fix this, this egregious conduct and make sure that we’re not putting in the White House some guy that didn’t get elected.”
He met with Trump and Pence on Jan. 3 to discuss his six-step memo to include what he described as a vice president’s authority to not count certain election results. Then on Jan. 5, he was present for a “war room” session at the Willard Hotel; former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon, who has also been subpoenaed, and campaign lawyer Rudy Giuliani met there as well.
On Jan. 6, he attended Trump’s rally and spoke there, later emailing Pence’s lawyer to argue that the Capitol breach “is because YOU and your boss did not do what was necessary.”
“You appear to have been instrumental in advising President Trump that Vice President Pence could determine which electors were recognized on January 6, a view that many of those who attacked the Capitol apparently also shared,” says the committee’s subpoena.
Also targeted: One of Trump’s 2020 campaign managers, Bill Stepien; Jason Miller, now with the GETTR social media site and a senior adviser to the former president; and Angele McCallum, a campaign assistant.
Mike Flynn, who briefly served as Trump’s first national security adviser, has also been subpoenaed. He reportedly attended a meeting in December at the White House, according to the committee, during a discussion about having Trump declare a national emergency so he could seize voting machines. He also reportedly suggested Trump declare martial law after the election.
Stepien, who is a longtime Republican operative, replaced Brad Parscale as Trump’s 2020 campaign manager. He was also involved in helping the campaign mount legal challenges to election results in certain states. He also worked on Trump’s 2016 campaign and became his White House political director. The subpoena says Stepien was involved in messaging and fundraising following the election that “included the promotion of certain false claims related to voting machines despite an internal campaign memo in which campaign staff determined that such claims were false.”
Miller regularly spread the claim that the November 2020 [election] had been tainted by widespread fraud,” and noted that even before the election, Democrats would “steal” it, according to his subpoena.
“After the election, you reportedly coordinated with Mr. Trump and Rudolf Giuliani to hold public press events to claim that the election was rigged,” it adds.
McCallum served as the national executive assistant of Election Day operations at the Trump 2020 campaign; her subpoena states that she left a voicemail to a Michigan state lawmaker asking if Trump could “count on” Republicans there to appoint new electors.
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