The House committee investigating the deadly January 6 riot at the US Capitol announced on Tuesday a new batch of 10 subpoenas to former White House officials under President Donald Trump, as the panel charges ahead in seeking testimony and documents from witnesses relevant to its probe.
The subpoenas follow six others that were announced Monday. Tuesday’s recipients are being asked to turn over documents to the committee on November 23, and depositions are scheduled throughout December. They are:
- Nicholas Luna, former President Donald Trump’s personal assistant
- Molly Michael, Trump’s special assistant to the President and Oval Office operations coordinator
- Ben Williamson, Trump’s deputy assistant to the President and senior adviser to then-chief of staff Mark Meadows
- Christopher Liddell, former Trump White House deputy chief of staff
- John McEntee, Trump’s White House personnel director
- Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to then-Vice President Mike Pence
- Kayleigh McEnany, former White House press secretary under Trump
- Stephen Miller, Trump senior adviser
- Cassidy Hutchinson, special assistant to the President for legislative affairs
- Kenneth Klukowski, former senior counsel to Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark.
These new subpoenas build on efforts by the committee to reach more senior leadership within the Trump White House and target some former rank-and-file White House officials who had close relationships with Trump.
The chairman of the select committee, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi said his panel “wants to learn every detail of what went on in the White House on January 6th and in the days beforehand. “
“We need to know precisely what role the former President and his aides played in efforts to stop the counting of the electoral votes and if they were in touch with anyone outside the White House attempting to overturn the outcome of the election,” Thompson said in a statement issued Tuesday.
The committee is pushing ahead with issuing subpoenas even though the Justice Department has not yet indicated whether prosecutors will pursue criminal contempt charges against Trump ally Steve Bannon for defying his congressional order to appear and provide testimony.
The committee notes in its letter to Miller that he, by his own account, “participated in efforts to spread false information about alleged voter fraud in the November 2020 election, as well as efforts to encourage state legislatures to alter the outcome of the November 2020 election by appointing alternate slates of electors.”
Miller and his team also helped prepare for Trump’s remarks at the Ellipse on January 6 prior to the riot, was at the White House that day, and was with the former President when he spoke at the “Stop the Steal” rally, the committee added.
The committee’s subpoena of McEnany shows a specific interest in her public statements related to spreading misinformation about the 2020 election results. As press secretary, McEnany served in one of the most highly visible roles in the Trump administration. She spoke not only from the White House lectern, but also from the campaign headquarters as a spokesperson.
The committee specifically pointed to many of her public statements as contributing to the belief there was something wrong with the election.
McEnany “made multiple public statements from the White House and elsewhere about purported fraud in the November 2020 election. For example, in the first White House press conference after the election, Ms. McEnany claimed that there were ‘very real claims’ of fraud that the former President’s reelection campaign was pursuing, and said that mail-in voting was something that ‘we have identified as being particularly prone to fraud.’ At another press conference, Ms. McEnany accused Democrats of ‘welcoming fraud’ and ‘welcoming illegal voting,’ ” the panel said. In addition, McEnany was reportedly present at times with the former President as he watched the January 6 attack.
In its letter to Kellogg, who served as Pence’s national security adviser, the committee notes that he reportedly participated in at least one January 2021 meeting with Trump and White House attorney Pat Cipollone during which the former President insisted that Pence not certify the election.
Kellogg was also at the White House with Trump “as he watched the January 6th attack unfold and has direct information about the former President’s statements about and reaction to the insurrection,” the committee said.
“During that day, it is reported that Lt. Gen. Kellogg met with the former President and others before the rally at the Ellipse and then, after the rally, he urged the former President to send out a tweet to his supporters at the US Capitol to help control the crowd,” the committee added.
Kellogg is the first former Pence adviser to receive a subpoena from the select committee.
The committee’s interest in Luna, who is referred to as Trump’s “body man,” stems from his close proximity to the former President and White House officials, including on January 6.
The letter to Luna specifically notes he was reportedly in the Oval Office on the morning of January 6 when Trump “was on a phone call to Vice President Pence pressuring him not to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.”
Williamson was “reportedly contacted by a former White House official during the attack on the US Capitol who urged him and Mr. Meadows, without success, to have the former President issue a statement addressing the attack and condemning the violence,” according to the committee.
In its letter to Williamson, the committee also notes that he could potentially inform the panel about Meadows’ efforts to communicate with others relevant to the probe, including election officials in Georgia about allegations of voter fraud, organizers of January 6 events like Amy Kremer and high-level officials at the Department of Justice.
Meadows has been “engaging” with the committee but has yet to cooperate. CNN previously reported that the members of committee are losing patience with Meadows and some are considering whether more aggressive steps are needed to force his compliance in the sweeping probe.
Klukowski appeared in the Senate Judiciary’s investigation into January 6 release in October. Klukowski was then working within the Department of Justice and appears to have communicated or met with Clark as Clark sought to overturn the election by alleging voter fraud in Georgia.
The Senate Judiciary report noted Klukowski’s potential role remains unclear. The House Select Committee’s subpoena power may bring to light elusive details about who aided Clark’s efforts.
In its subpoena letter, the committee says Liddell’s close contact with Meadows provides ample opportunity to “inform the Committee’s examination of Mr. Meadows’ effort to communicate with others,” including officials in Georgia, “Stop the Steal”-aligned rally organizers, Justice Department officials and other government officials leading up to and during the attack on the Capitol January 6.
Liddell’s deposition is requested by November 30.
Michael appears in several emails released publicly by congressional committees investigating January 6. Specifically, the previously released documents reveal that in her capacity as Trump’s assistant, Michael forwarded information in an email with the subject line “From POTUS” to then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with allegations and talking points about voting fraud in Antrim County, Michigan in mid-December. About two weeks later, the publicly released documents show Michael again worked on behalf of Trump to email information to Rosen, then-acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue and Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall.
“The President asked me to send the attached draft document for your review,” Michael wrote.
The document was a draft of a complaint meant to be filed directly to the Supreme Court against six states alleging voter fraud – the intention appears to have been to appeal to the high court to overturn the election.
Michael’s testimony is requested by December 2.
McEntee, the committee writes, was in the Oval Office when Trump and other senior officials discussed the possibility of seizing voting machines and who traveled with Trump to the Ellipse when Trump spoke at the “Stop the Steal” rally is one of those individuals.
In Hutchinson’s case, the committee writes in their subpoena letter that Hutchinson was in the White House on January 6 and with Trump when he spoke at the “Stop the Steal” rally based on documents on they have on file. The committee also says Hutchinson could help sharpen their understanding of the role Meadows had in the investigative lines the committee is chasing based on their working relationship. The committee first subpoenaed Meadows in September, but is still negotiating the terms for his deposition and documents he is being asked to turn over.
“Due to your role working with Mr. Meadows, you are potentially in a position to inform the Select Committee’s examination of Mr. Meadows’ efforts to communicate with others, including state officials in Georgia about allegations of fraud that had already been dismissed by state and federal courts, organizers of the January 6 events including Amy Kremer, high-level officials at the Department of Justice about federal investigations into purported voter fraud, and U.S. Government officials during attack of the U.S. Capitol,” the committee wrote.
This story has been updated with additional developments Tuesday.