House Capitol riot committee issues new subpoenas as Trump tells ex-aides to fight

Subpoenas target ‘Stop the Steal’ rally organisers

John Bowden
Friday 08 October 2021 00:48
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Mike Pence says media uses Capitol riot to ‘distract’ from Biden’s ‘failed agenda’
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Two men who planned a rally outside the US Capitol on 6 January that grew into a mob and attacked the seat of the US government are the latest Trumpworld figures to receive subpoenas from the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot.

Ali Alexander and Nathan Martin, two right-wing activists behind the planning of a rally on the Capitol grounds which received a permit from Capitol police ahead of the attack, were named in subpoenas on Thursday by committee chair Rep Bennie Thompson.

Their company, Stop the Steal LLC, was also hit with its own subpoena.

The moves come as former President Donald Trump has vowed to support the legal defences of members of his inner circle targeted by the committee with requests for information; it remains unclear but unlikely that Mr Trump will extend the same courtesy to Mr Alexander or Mr Martin.

Former top members of the Trump administration including ex-chief of staff Mark Meadows and Kash Patel, a Trump acolyte who held several roles across the White House and Department of Defense.

Those aides have indicated that they will fight the efforts of the House select committee to compel their testimony or the turning over of records, while the former president vowed to support them in a letter sent from his attorneys on Thursday that claimed the materials sought by the panel were protected by executive privilege.

“President Trump is prepared to defend these fundamental privileges in court," the letter, obtained by Politico, read.

A spokesperson for the former president confirmed the decision.

"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," they said.

Mr Alexander has been largely in hiding since attracting accusations of sparking a near-insurrection after the 6 January attack; he has not been charged with any crime, but faces social ostracism for his continued embrace of Mr Trump’s false claims regarding his election loss. He was banned from Twitter, Facebook, PayPal and several other platforms as a result.

In a statement, Mr Alexander said: “This government will paint anyone who disagrees with it as a “domestic terrorist” to play on the same xenophobia they used to militarize our local police stations and pass the Patriot Act. All this gaslighting will not give Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden the mandate deprived to them by the American voters.”

If found guilty of contempt of Congress for ignoring a congressional subpoena issued by the committee, the men could face prison sentences of up to a year and fines up to $100,000 each.

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