House committee probing Jan. 6 Capitol riot subpoenas four Trump allies, including Mark Meadows and Steve Bannon

The House select committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot announced Thursday it issued subpoenas to four of former President Donald Trump’s closest allies, including his former chief of staff Mark Meadows and his onetime close advisor Steve Bannon.

The subpoenas, which were also sent to former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Daniel Scavino and ex-Defense Department official Kashyap Patel, instruct the witnesses to produce materials by Oct. 7 and appear at depositions in the coming weeks, the committee said in a press release.

The committee instructs Bannon and Patel to appear for depositions on Oct. 14, while Meadows and Scavino’s depositions are set for Oct. 15.

The subpoenas mark a sharp escalation in the committee’s probe, which aims to deliver a definitive analysis of the Jan. 6 invasion, in which hundreds of Trump’s supporters forced Congress into hiding and temporarily derailed the process of confirming President Joe Biden’s victory.

“The Committee is investigating the facts, circumstances, and causes of the January 6th attack and issues relating to the peaceful transfer of power, to identify and evaluate lessons learned and to recommend corrective laws, policies, procedures rules, or regulations,” wrote Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., the chairman of the committee, in a statement Thursday. 

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows talks to reporters at the White House on October 21, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Tasos Katopodis | Getty Images News | Getty Images

A spokesman for Meadows declined CNBC’s request for comment. A spokeswoman for Bannon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich in a statement claimed the “Communist-style” House committee’s subpoenas were overbroad and lacking merit.

“Executive privilege will be defended, not just on behalf of President Trump and his administration, but also on behalf of the Office of the President of the United States and the future of our nation,” Budowich said. “The Fake News continues to take the Democrats bait, who are trying desperately to distract the country with this bogus process.”

In another, much longer, statement sent later Thursday night, Trump criticized the committee and the Biden administration and repeated the false claim that the 2020 election he lost was “rigged” against him.

“Hopefully the Unselect Committee will be calling witnesses on the Rigged Presidential Election of 2020, which is the primary reason that hundreds of thousands of people went to Washington, D.C. in the first place,” Trump said.

The announcement comes two days after Rep. Adam Schiff said the committee would move to subpoena some witnesses as a first course of action if they are seen to be resistant or hostile to the panel’s goals.

In individually addressed letters, chairman Thompson explained why the witnesses are believed to have relevant information for the committee’s investigation.

Meadows’ letter, for instance, said that he was “engaged in multiple elements” of the planning of efforts to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election and delay the counting of electoral votes.

The letter also notes that Meadow had been in contact with organizers of the Jan. 6 insurrection, including Amy Kremer of Women for America First, and cites documents provided by the Department of Justice that show he had requested investigations into election fraud matters in several states.

Bannon’s letter details his efforts to persuade members of Congress to block the certification of the election at the Willard Hotel on Jan. 5, citing Bob Woodward’s book about the Trump administration.

It also notes that he had urged Trump on Dec. 30 to “focus his efforts” on Jan. 6.

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