The House select committee investigating the January 6 US Capitol riot is touting its extensive number of interviews and subpoenas, but a court hearing Tuesday may determine how much lawmakers will eventually be able to accomplish in their probe.
Here’s what’s next and what you may have missed in the investigation:
The Trump records
A three-judge panel of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals will hear former President Donald Trump’s latest effort to stop the National Archives from turning over documents from around January 6 to the House.
Trump is claiming executive privilege, but the current White House says that’s not his call to make anymore and is happy to assist the investigation. A district court judge ruled against Trump, writing: “Presidents are not kings. And Plaintiff is not President.”
But the handover is on hold pending the appeal.
Roger Stone and Alex Jones get subpoenas
The panel subpoenaed five Trump allies directly involved in planning “Stop the Steal” rallies, including longtime Republican operative Roger Stone and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
Dustin Stockton and Jennifer Lawrence, key players in the “Stop the Steal” movement after the election, and Taylor Budowich, who is currently the primary political spokesperson for the former President and serves as communications director for the Save America PAC, were also issued subpoenas.
The 1st Amendment Praetorian
Also getting subpoenas was 1st Amendment Praetorian, a group founded in 2020 that recruits military veterans and former police officers to provide security at right-wing events.
The group provided security at pro-Trump rallies in November and December 2020 that were followed by violence and arrests on the streets of DC. The group’s founder, Robert Patrick Lewis, was a featured speaker at a January 5 event. He invoked the American Revolution in his brief address to the crowd, where he compared the “Stop the Steal” movement to George Washington’s surprise attack on pro-British troops after crossing the Delaware River in 1776, CNN’s Marshall Cohen reported.
The cat-and-mouse game with former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows continues. Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat who’s a member of the House select committee, told CNN over the weekend that the committee will decide “this week” on whether it will refer Meadows for criminal contempt charges for defying a subpoena earlier this month, failing to turn over documents or appear for a deposition.
Mark Meadows – will he answer questions?
Schiff told CNN Sunday: “I can’t go into … what communications that we’re having or haven’t had with particular witnesses, but we are moving with alacrity with anyone who obstructs the committee, and that was certainly the case with Mr. (Steve) Bannon,” referring to the Trump ally who is pleading not guilty to the criminal contempt of Congress charges against him. “It will be the case with Mr. Meadows, and Mr. (Jeffrey) Clark or any others.”
Former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark earlier this month stonewalled the House select committee, responding to a subpoena demanding he appear for an interview with the panel, but not answering questions posed to him, sources familiar with his appearance told CNN at the time.
Democratic Rep. Pete Aguilar of California, another select committee member, told CNN’s Jim Acosta on Saturday that Meadows still has a “small window in which he can still comply here … But if he doesn’t comply, the committee has made very clear just as we did with Steve Bannon that we’re willing to use whatever means necessary.”
Committee members said recently that many of the questions for Meadows have nothing to do with Trump himself and that they wouldn’t be subject to an executive privilege argument.
Aguilar previously told CNN of Meadows: “His conversations about stopping a free and fair election, about criticizing and stopping the counting of electoral votes, about his coordination with campaign officials on private devices that were not turned over, all of those issues are not privilege worthy and he has some explaining to do.”