A special committee of the US House of Representatives handed out subpoenas to five Republican lawmakers on Thursday, including the current leader of the party in the legislature.
“The Select Committee has learned that several of our colleagues have information relevant to our investigation into the attack on January 6th and the events leading up to it,” said committee chairman, Democrat Bennie Thompson.
The subpoenas were handed to Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy, along with fellow party members Scott Perry, Jim Jordan, Andy Biggs, and Mo Brooks.
They have all previously declined to voluntarily appear before the special committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack.
After the announcement, McCarthy told reporters he had “not seen a subpoena” and that his opinion of the investigation has not changed since he was asked to cooperate earlier this year.
“They’re not conducting a legitimate investigation,” McCarthy said. “Seems as though they just want to go after their political
At the center of the investigation is whether former president Donald Trump, his staff and advisors knowingly encouraged or helped organize the uprising, where hundreds of the former president’s supporters stormed the US Capitol in an effort to stop lawmakers from certifying Joe Biden as winner of the November 2020 election.
Five people died in the ensuing violence and scores of police were injured, as the joint session of Congress was canceled and the certification process was delayed by several hours.
Republican Kevin McCarthy has said the Democrat-led investigation is politically motivated
The January 6 panel, led by Democrats, has said that McCarthy was in contact with Trump before, during and after the attack.
Meanwhile, the other members have been linked to Trump and the events running up to the storming of the Capitol, including the spreading false claims that Trump won the election.
“We urge our colleagues to comply with the law, do their patriotic duty, and cooperate with our investigation as hundreds of other witnesses have done,” Thompson said.
Public hearings on the panel’s findings are expected to begin next month.
Some 810 people have been arrested and charged over their participation in the January 6 riot. Most of them have been charged with minor crimes, such as illegally entering a federal building, while 255 faced heavier charges of assaulting, resisting or impeding officers.
jcg/wmr (AP, AFP)
On January 6, thousands of supporters of former President Donald Trump flocked to the US Capitol, waving flags and claiming the election had been stolen from their political idol. Later, some 800 protesters stormed the iconic building, hunting down lawmakers, beating up police officers and leaving a trail of destruction. Five people died in connection with the riot and dozens were injured.
Many observers later said the riot marked an attempt to overthrow the government, instigated or orchestrated by the former president. A select committee of the US House of Representatives has begun investigating the events, and Trump’s possible role in them. For his part, Trump has claimed there was “love in the air” on January 6.
The Capitol riot sparked global outrage. Many Republicans still, however, say the incident was a legitimate means of protest against what they claim was a rigged election. Some Republicans have even staged rallies outside US prisons in support of jailed rioters. The exact interpretation of the January 6 events will certainly have a big impact on the US midterm elections in November 2022.
Hundreds of individuals are facing prosecution over their role in the January 6 attack. So far, over 50 people have been sentenced for their actions on that day. Many left a slew of evidence on social media, boasting of their crimes, which has helped in handing down convictions. Defendants willing to plead guilty can hope to receive a reduced sentence.
The city of Washington, D.C, is suing members of the right-wing extremist group Proud Boys, loyal Trump supporters, to recoup damages for the Capitol attack. Authorities have accused the group’s leaders of having conspired “to terrorize the District of Columbia” in “a coordinated act of domestic terrorism.” Criminal charges have already been brought against several Proud Boys members.
Radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is considered a key instigator of the Capitol riot. He drummed up support for the pro-Trump march in Washington, calling for a million people to turn up and protest against allegedly corrupt Democratic Party. The congressional panel investigating the events of January 6 has found Jones helped finance the rally.
Images of Jacob Chansley, a topless, tattooed rioter wearing a striking, horned headdress, went around the globe. He soon became a symbol of the January 6 attack. Now, the self-proclaimed “QAnon Shaman” and conspiracy theorist from Phoenix, Arizona, has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to 3 1/2 years in jail.
Capitol Police officer Aquilino Gonell broke down as he rewatched footage of the deadly riot during a hearing of the congressional panel investigating the attack in July. That day, Gonell recalls, he thought “this is how I’m going to die, defending this entrance.” One of Gonell’s fellow police officers was killed in the Capitol riot, and four others committed suicide in the months that followed.
The reason die-hard Trump supporters managed to force their way into the Capitol is that US security agencies were unprepared. The US Senate found that despite warning signs of a potential attack, the police leadership failed to act: National Guard reinforcements were called in too late, and the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security downplayed the threat of violence.
Many political analysts predict Donald Trump will run again in the 2024 presidential election. While his supporters would be elated, critics would surely regard this as a nightmare come true. Until now, Trump has weathered practically all political scandals — not even his role in the January 6 Capitol attack seems to have undermined a potential comeback.