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The Jan. 6 committee met resistance from — clockwise from top left —Steve Bannon, Mark Meadows, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Jeffrey Clark. (AP) The Jan. 6 committee met resistance from — clockwise from top left —Steve Bannon, Mark Meadows, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Jeffrey Clark. (AP)

The Jan. 6 committee met resistance from — clockwise from top left —Steve Bannon, Mark Meadows, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Jeffrey Clark. (AP)

Jon Greenberg
By Jon Greenberg January 10, 2022

UPDATED, Jan. 13, 11:23 a.m.: This story has been updated to include information about Rep. Kevin McCarthy's interaction with the committee.

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and the attempt to disrupt the Electoral College certification has issued dozens of subpoenas to people who may have information about what happened.

In most cases, people have complied. The most prominent exception is the person at the epicenter of the day’s events, former President Donald Trump. 

Trump has claimed executive privilege covering over 800 pages of documents that include presidential diaries, schedules, visitor logs, drafts of talking points on alleged voter fraud and other records tied to his false claim that the election was stolen.

A federal appeals court has rejected his privilege claim, and his petition awaits action by the Supreme Court.

Three members of Trump’s inner circle have refused to sit down with investigators. A number have or plan to invoke the Fifth Amendment. Other Trump supporters have resisted the committee’s efforts to obtain their personal records. Two congressmen, Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Scott Perry, R-Pa., have rejected requests to voluntarily answer questions.

The committee made the same request of House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who spoke to Trump and other White House officials as the attack unfolded. In its letter to McCarthy, the committee questioned why he had shifted from faulting Trump for the assault on the Capitol to accommodating Trump’s rhetoric about a stolen election. McCarthy told the committee he would not appear.

The committee would not rule out subpoenaing McCarthy.

Here’s a closer look:

Challenging the committee

Steve Bannon
Co-founder of the right-wing website Breitbart, podcast host and former White House strategic adviser to Trump. Refused to testify. Charged with contempt of Congress.

On the day before and the day of the attack, Bannon made comments that sounded like a warning of what was to come. "All hell is going to break loose," he said on his podcast, adding: "We are coming in right over the target. This is the point of attack we have always wanted." 

Bannon — who was fired from his White House post less than seven months into Trump’s presidency and later pardoned by Trump on charges related to a fundraising scheme — was an early architect of the plan for Congress to dispute the Electoral College results from key states. Committee chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., cited reports that Bannon was in a hotel room the day before the attack, coordinating the effort. 

Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said, "Mr. Bannon's own public statements make clear he knew what was going to happen before it did, and thus he must have been aware of and may well have been involved in the planning of everything that played out on that day."

Bannon refused to testify before the committee on the grounds that Trump asked him not to. The House rejected his arguments, and he was indicted on charges of contempt of Congress. His trial is scheduled for July 19, 2022.

Mark Meadows
White House chief of staff. Refused to be interviewed. Has been referred to Justice Department for contempt of Congress.

As Trump’s top White House aide, Meadows was a point person in Trump’s effort to overturn the results of the election and was at Trump’s side as the breach of the Capitol unfolded. Meadows turned over over 9,000 pages of records, including texts from members of Congress, Fox News personalities and one of Trump’s own sons, pleading for Trump to call off the attack. 

But citing claims of executive privilege, Meadows ultimately refused to sit down with investigators. The House voted to hold him in contempt of Congress. The Justice Department has yet to decide whether to indict him.

Michael Flynn
Briefly served as White House national security adviser. Pardoned by Trump for lying to federal investigators. Promoted conspiracy theories of vote tampering.

The committee cited reports that Flynn was part of a Dec. 18 White House meeting where plans to seize voting machines and declare a national state of emergency were discussed. The committee subpoenaed Flynn to appear and sought his phone and email records. Flynn sued to block both. A judge rejected the suit, but left open the option for him to file a modified suit.

Taking the 5th

Jeffrey Clark
An assistant attorney general who was part of a Trump plan calling for the Justice Department to issue letters that would cast doubt on the election results in key states. Plans to take the Fifth.

The Justice Department under Attorney General William Barr had told Trump that there was no evidence of widespread fraud that would change the election results. After Barr stepped down Dec. 23, 2020, a plan took shape to install Clark as acting attorney general. The department would then issue letters to challenge the outcome in key states. Ultimately, Clark was not appointed, but he discussed the plan with Meadows and Rep. Perry.

Clark has agreed to sit down for an interview, but has said that on certain topics, he will invoke his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination.

Roger Stone
Longtime Republican operator, whose sentence on felony convictions on interfering with a probe of Trump’s 2016 campaign was commuted by Trump. Stone spoke at pro-Trump rallies on Jan. 5. He sat down briefly with committee investigators and invoked the Fifth Amendment.

Stone promoted a movement built around the falsehood that the election was stolen, raising funds to provide security for rallies in Washington. The committee noted he had said he had been invited to lead a march to the Capitol, although he did not go to the rally near the White House, or to the Capitol. Stone spoke to investigators for about an hour and half, and afterwards told reporters he pleaded the Fifth for every question.

John Eastman
Conservative lawyer who wrote a memo outlining a strategy for Vice President Mike Pence to reject the electors from seven states, thus providing a path for Trump to be declared the winner.

Eastman explained his strategy directly to Trump and briefed hundreds of state lawmakers in the days before the attack. The Jan. 6 committee said it believes that on Jan. 5, he was part of a meeting at the Willard Hotel near the White House to discuss ways to deny Biden’s win. He spoke at Trump’s rally on the Ellipse near the White House, and emailed Pence’s counsel directly during the attack, blaming the violence on Pence and his lawyer for not following his plan. Eastman sued the committee and Verizon to block access to his call records. He told the committee he would not testify, based on his Fifth Amendment rights.

Alex Jones
Embattled founder of the conspiracy website InfoWars. Seeks to quash the subpoena and plans to plead the Fifth. 

Jones spoke at a rally the day before the attack on the Capitol, and on the day of the attack, he marched to the Capitol from the Ellipse, where Trump spoke. Jones actively promoted the myth of a stolen election, saying Trump’s call for people to gather on Jan. 6 was "the most important call to action on domestic soil since Paul Revere and his ride in 1776." Jones sued to bar the committee from seeing his phone records and said if he had to appear, he would plead the Fifth.

Targeted or mixed resistance

Taylor Budowich
Director of communications for Trump and his Save America PAC. Helped transfer $200,000 to pay for advertising to attract people to the rally on the Ellipse.

Sat with investigators and turned over documents, but filed a suit to bar access to his personal bank account records.

Mike Lindell 
MyPillow CEO and prominent supporter of the claim that the November election was deeply flawed.

The committee subpoenaed Lindell’s phone records, and he filed suit to block their transfer to investigators. 

Sebastian Gorka
Conservative radio host and former Trump aide.

Another target of the committee’s efforts to secure phone records, Gorka sued to bar their release to the committee, saying that while he had been invited to speak at a rally in front of the Supreme Court on Jan. 5, his speech was canceled and he was not at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Other testimony sought by the committee

The committee has subpoenaed many others, including top aides in the White House and Trump’s reelection campaign. It has also requested, on a voluntary basis, interviews with Fox News host Sean Hannity, and Reps. McCarthy, Jordan and Perry. All three congressmen told the committee they would not sit down with them.

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Our Sources

U.S. District Court - District of Columbia, Alex Jones v. Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack, Dec. 20, 2021

U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack, Subpoena letter to Alex Jones, Nov. 22, 2021

U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack, Subpoena letter to John Eastman, Nov. 8, 2021

CNN, READ: Trump lawyer's memo on six-step plan for Pence to overturn the election, Sept. 21, 2021

Politico, Lawyer’s letter to the committee on behalf of John Eastman, Dec. 1, 2021

U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack, Subpoena letter to Roger Stone, Nov. 22, 2021 

CNN, Trump ally Roger Stone pleads the Fifth in deposition with January 6 committee, Dec. 17, 2021

TPM, Navarro Details How He And Bannon Lobbied Trump To Subvert The Election In The Run-Up To Jan. 6, Jan. 4, 2022

U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack, Subpoena letter to Michael Flynn, Nov. 8, 2021

CNBC, Judge rejects bid by former Trump advisor Michael Flynn to block Jan. 6 Capitol probe subpoena, Dec. 22, 2021 

U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack, Subpoena letter to Ali Alexander, Oct. 7, 2021

CNN, 'Stop the Steal' leader hands over communications with GOP lawmakers to January 6 committee, Dec. 18, 2021

U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack, Subpoena letter to Taylor Budowich, Nov. 22, 2021

U.S. District Court - District of Columbia, Budowich v. House Select Committee, Dec. 24, 2021 

U.S. District Court - District of Columbia, Lindell v. U.S. House Select Committee, Jan. 5, 2022

U.S. District Court - District of Columbia, Gorka v. U.S. House Select Committee, Jan. 4, 2022

Politico, Jan. 6 committee seeking phone records from Sebastian Gorka, Jan. 4, 2022

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