The January 6 Committee Comes For Roger Stone and Alex Jones

Newly empowered by Merrick Garland’s Justice Department, the select committee investigating the January 6 attack has launched another round of subpoenas seeking information from those who plotted the rallies that preceded the storming of the Capitol earlier this year. House investigators on Monday sent letters to five allies of Donald Trump, including informal adviser Roger Stone and far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, demanding testimony and records related to the marches that led up to the violent insurrection, further ramping up their fast-moving probe.

“The Select Committee is seeking information about the rallies and subsequent march to the Capitol that escalated into a violent mob attacking the Capitol and threatening our democracy,” Chairman Bennie Thompson said in a statement. “We need to know who organized, planned, paid for, and received funds related to those events, as well as what communications organizers had with officials in the White House and Congress.”

Jones, who was recently found liable by default for defamation in lawsuits brought by the families of Sandy Hook victims, has publicly said that he helped organize one of the rallies January 6, where Trump called on supporters to “fight much harder” on his behalf. Jones also spoke at a rally the day before in Freedom Plaza, promoting Trump’s election lies that Democrats “have tried to steal this election in front of everyone” and promising to battle against “tyranny.” “I don’t know how this is all going to end,” the InfoWars host said on the eve of the insurrection, “but if they want to fight, they better believe they’ve got one.” In their letter to Jones, the January 6 committee acknowledged that he was “recorded telling people not to be violent” during his appearance at that day’s rally. But he also repeatedly raised the temperature in the lead-up to the riot, warning his crowd that they are “under attack” and that they need to “get on a war-footing.” “We declare 1776 against the new world order,” Jones said ahead of the insurrection.

Stone, who was previously caught up in Robert Mueller’s Russia probe before being granted clemency by Trump, was one of the biggest proponents of the former president’s Big Lie about the 2020 election, and made appearances at rallies in Washington, D.C., ahead of the January 6 march. He is also said to have used members of the Oath Keepers extremist group as bodyguards while in Washington. Stone on Monday denied having “advance knowledge of the events that took place at the Capitol on that day.”

In addition to Jones and Stone, the committee also subpoenaed Taylor Budowich, a senior adviser to Trump’s 2020 campaign who worked with Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle; Duston Stockton and Jennifer Lawrence, associates of Steve Bannon who helped organize “Stop the Steal” rallies ahead of the insurrection and had reportedly contacted former Trump campaign official Katrina Pierson and sought to warn White House chief of staff Mark Meadows about the “possible danger” the January 6 event posed. The couple responded to the subpoena by accusing the committee of “not acting in good faith” by issuing it during the week of Thanksgiving, but said that they were committed to “transparency and pray for the opportunity to share our experiences to the public.”

That would suggest they will cooperate with the investigation, as many in Trump’s orbit apparently have; according to Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat on the committee, investigators have spoken to more than 200 witnesses, many of whom have been “part of the Trump administration” who participated voluntarily. There have, of course, been exceptions: Meadows has thumbed his nose at investigators, and Bannon, the former Trump strategist, has been indicted for contempt of Congress. That hasn’t yet appeared to give hold-outs like Meadows or Dan Scavino much more urgency to testify, as Politico noted Tuesday, with Meadows believed to be awaiting the outcome of Trump’s suit to keep his records sealed from the committee. But the threat of criminal charges does give more teeth to the investigators’ subpoena power, and they have asked for an appeals court to move quickly on their request, arguing that the temporary injunction they granted the former president earlier this month would “cause direct, substantial, and immediate harm” to the probe if extended.

“The Select Committee’s task to study and suggest legislation to ensure that January 6 is not repeated and that our Nation’s democracy is protected from future attacks is urgent,” lawyers for the House investigators said in a filing Monday.

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