Oath Keepers, Proud Boys Subpoenaed by House Committee Jan. 6
Washington –The House committee tasked with investigating the January 6 U.S. Capitol mutiny issued more subpoenas Tuesday, this time to extremist organizations, including the Pride Boys, oath guards and their leaders, in an effort to expose the conspiracy and execution of the deadly attack. .
“The select committee is seeking information from individuals and organizations allegedly involved in planning the attack, with a violent mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6, or with efforts to nullify the election results,” said Mississippi Representative Benny Thompson, Democrat of the committee chair in statment.
The subpoenas are the latest in a vast network the House committee has filed in an effort to investigate the riots, when supporters of former President Donald Trump, fueled by his false allegations of election theft, assaulted police and made their way to the Capitol. They boycotted the ratification of the victory of Democrat Joe Biden.
The commission has already interviewed more than 150 people across government, social media and law enforcement, including some former Trump aides who have cooperated. The commission summoned more than 20 witnesses, and most of them, including many who helped plan the “Stop the Robbery” march on the morning of January 6, indicated that they would cooperate.
Recent subpoenas have been issued to the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys and 1st Amendment Pretorian as well as their members, requesting documents and certificates.
Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, president of the Proud Boys, was among those summoned. He was not charged in the riots because he was not there on January 6. He was arrested in an unrelated case of vandalism when he arrived in Washington two days ago and was ordered by a judge out of the area. Law enforcement later said Tario’s arrest was in part to help quell potential violence.
But although he was not physically present, the commission believes he may have been involved in preparing the Proud Boys for events at the Capitol.
The committee highlighted a line from another Proud Boys leader podcast shortly before January 6 in which he said, “When police officers or government officials break the law, what are we supposed to do as individuals? Dialogue? What are we supposed to do debate? No, we should.” use of force.”
Jason Lee Van Dyck, a former Proud Boys attorney subpoenaed as part of a congressional investigation, said he would give the committee’s unprotected records on attorney-client privilege, but confirmed that his association with Proud Boys International LLC ended in November 2018.
Van Dyck added that he did not have any records from November 2020 to the present that the subpoena required. “I can’t give them what I don’t have,” Van Dyck said.
More than 30 proud leaders, members or associates of The Boys were among those indicted in connection with the attack. A group of self-described “Western chauvinists” emerged from the fringes of the far-right during the Trump administration to join mainstream Republican circles, with allies such as Trump’s longtime backer Roger Stone. The group claims to have more than 30,000 members nationwide.
Also on Tuesday, the panel summoned the Oath Watchers – a militia group founded in 2009 that enlists military, police and current and former responders – and its founder and leader Elmer Stewart Rhodes. The commission says that Rhodes may have suggested that members engage in violence to secure their preferred election outcome and that he had contact with many of the more than a dozen members accused of guarding the department before, during, and after the Capitol attack, including meeting some of them. outside the capitol building.
Rhodes said there were as many as 40,000 department guards at its peak, but one extremism expert estimates the group’s membership to be around 3,000 nationwide. Rhodes did not immediately respond to a request for comment that was left on the organization’s website.
The last organization on the committee’s list on Tuesday was the First Princes’ Amendment, founded by a QAnon believer, which claims to provide free security for “national and religious events throughout the country”.
Its chair, Robert Patrick Lewis, is wanted by the commission after being included as a speaker in a statement to a rally on January 5 at Freedom Square in downtown Washington. On the day of the attack, Lewis tweeted: “Today is the day the real fights begin.”
The subpoenas narrowing down the organizations come a day after the commission issued subpoenas for five other people, including Stone and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
Some Trump allies have not cooperated. Steve Bannon, a longtime ally, was charged November 12 with two counts of criminal contempt of Congress after he challenged a subpoena from a House committee. The committee is giving former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows more time to comply with a subpoena before moving forward with a disdain vote.
Associated Press writer Jack Bellud in Phoenix contributed to this report.
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