Jan. 6 Committee Hits Proud Boys, Oath Keepers with Subpoenas
Just a day after the House committee investigating Jan. 6 subpoenaed Trump ally Roger Stone and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, the committee has subpoenaed the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, both right-wing extremist groups with members who were present during the insurrection.
The panel issued four new subpoenas going to the groups, as well as their leaders, Enrique Tarrio of the Proud Boys, which is designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Stewart Rhodes of the paramilitary organization Oath Keepers. According to U.S. prosecutors, Rhodes was in contact with Oath Keepers who sieged the Capitol before, during, and after the attack. Tarrio, though, was stopped from entering D.C. on Jan. 6 and is now incarcerated for an unrelated matter: burning a Black Lives Matter banner that was displayed outside a church. Members of both groups have been charged in connection with the riot, although neither leader has been charged with crimes related to the attack.
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A fifth subpoena went to Robert Patrick Lewis, who chairs 1st Amendment Praetorian, which the committee said “provided security at multiple rallies leading up to January 6th that amplified the former President’s unsupported claim that the election was stolen.”
“The Select Committee is seeking information from individuals and organizations reportedly involved with planning the attack, with the violent mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6th, or with efforts to overturn the results of the election,” Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said in a statement. “We believe the individuals and organizations we subpoenaed today have relevant information about how violence erupted at the Capitol and the preparation leading up to this violent attack.”
According to the committee, the Oath Keepers were “involved in planning and participating in the violent attack on the Capitol.” In portions of video filmed during the attack, Oath Keepers can be seen marching together in formation toward the Capitol. The Proud Boys, the committee said, “called for violence leading up to” that day. So far, thirty-four people associated with the Proud Boys have been charged, and more than 20 Oath Keepers have been arrested for their actions on Jan. 6.
The committee has already accumulated testimony from more than 200 witnesses, including some members of the Trump administration who came forward voluntarily. But some members of Trump’s orbit have resisted. Former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon and former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows have both refused to comply with subpoenas from the committee. On Friday, the Justice Department charged Bannon with two counts of contempt of Congress for his refusal to cooperate. Committee members have hinted that more charges may be forthcoming if witnesses continue not to cooperate.
But at least one person in Trump’s circles is apparently going to cooperate. Politico‘s Betsy Woodruff Swan reported that Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik intends to comply with his subpoena from the committee.
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