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House panel subpoenas organizers of Jan. 6 Trump rally

The announcement follows a first round of subpoenas last week that targeted former White House and administration officials who were in contact with Trump before and during the insurrection.

IANS | Washington |

A House committee investigating the violent Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection has subpoenaed 11 officials who helped plan rallies in support of former President Donald Trump ahead of the attack, including the massive event on the day of the siege at which the president told his supporters to “fight like hell.”

The announcement follows a first round of subpoenas last week that targeted former White House and administration officials who were in contact with Trump before and during the insurrection.

The committee said in a release Wednesday that the subpoenas are part of the panel’s efforts to collect information from the organizers “and their associated entities on the planning, organization, and funding of those events.”

In letters to the subpoenaed officials, the committee’s chairman, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, demanded that they provide documents to the panel by Oct. 13 and appear at separate depositions that the committee has scheduled from late October through the beginning of November.

Thompson cites in the letters efforts by representatives of the group Women for America First to organize the rally on Jan. 6 and to collectively communicate with senior White House officials. The subpoenas also mention other events the group planned in the weeks between Trump’s November election defeat and the January attack.

The House committee of nine lawmakers — seven Democrats and two Republicans — has ramped up its investigation in recent weeks as it attempts to dissect the origins of the insurrection by Trump’s supporters and find ways to prevent it from ever happening again.

The Trump loyalists beat and injured police as they battled their way inside the building, destroyed property, and sent lawmakers running for their lives. Repeating Trump’s lies about widespread election fraud, they interrupted the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory and left those in the U.S. Capitol deeply shaken.

Included on the list of subpoenas are Amy Kremer, founder and chair of Women for America First; Kylie Kremer, founder and executive director of Women for America First; Cynthia Chafian, an organizer who submitted the first permit for the rally; Caroline Wren, who the committee says was listed on permit paperwork for the Jan. 6 rally as a “VIP Advisor”; and Maggie Mulvaney, who the panel says was listed on the permit as “VIP Lead.”

Wren, a veteran GOP fundraiser, was a national finance consultant for Trump Victory, a joint fundraising committee between the president’s reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee. The AP has previously reported that Wren was involved in at least one call before the pro-Trump rally with members of several groups listed as rally participants to organize credentials for VIP attendees.

Amy Kremer, who the committee says was listed as one of several designated points of contact for the rally, denounced the assault in a statement issued on Jan. 6 and said it was instigated after the rally by a “handful of bad actors,” while seeming to blame Democrats and news organizations for the riot. She is also the co-founder of the Women for Trump PAC and the former chair of the Tea Party Express.

Mulvaney, a niece of former top Trump aide Mick Mulvaney, worked as director of finance operations for the Trump campaign, according to her LinkedIn profile. Maggie Mulvaney retweeted several messages on Jan. 6, including one from the president that urged support for the Capitol Police.

Also subpoenaed was former Trump campaign official Katrina Pierson, who the committee says was “reportedly involved in the organization” of the rally on Jan. 6 and a smaller one the day before. The panel said in its letter to Pierson that it is aware of reports that she met with Trump in the days before the rally.