Chairman Bennie G. Thompson today announced that he has issued a round of subpoenas for documents and testimony to four individuals with close ties to the former President who were working in or had communications with the White House on or in the days leading up to the January 6th insurrection. In letters to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Daniel Scavino, former Defense Department official Kashyap Patel, and former Trump advisor Stephen Bannon, Chairman Thompson instructed the witnesses to produce materials and appear at depositions in the weeks ahead.
“The Committee is investigating the facts, circumstances, and causes of the January 6th attack and issues relating to the peaceful transfer of power, to identify and evaluate lessons learned and to recommend corrective laws, policies, procedures rules, or regulations,” wrote Chairman Thompson, underscoring the Select Committee’s authority established by House Resolution 503.
While serving as White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows reportedly communicated with officials at the state level and in the Department of Justice as part of an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election or prevent the election’s certification. According to other reporting, Mr. Meadows was also in communication with organizers of the January 6 rally, including Amy Kremer of Women for America First. The Select Committee has previously sought White House records dealing with Mr. Meadows, including his actions and communications and information he received dealing with the results and integrity of the 2020 election.
Reporting indicates that former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Daniel Scavino was with the former President on January 5th during a discussion of how to convince Members of Congress not to certify the election for Joe Biden. Prior to the January 6th March for Trump, Mr. Scavino promoted the event on Twitter, encouraging people to “be a part of history.” And records indicate that Mr. Scavino was tweeting messages from the White House on January 6, 2021.
At the time of the January 6th attack, Kashyap Patel was serving as chief of staff to Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller. The former President had appointed Mr. Patel to this position on November 10, the day after then-Secretary of Defense Mark Esper was replaced. According to documents provided by the Defense Department and published accounts, Mr. Patel was involved with discussions among senior Pentagon officials prior to and on January 6th, 2021, regarding security at the Capitol, and told a reporter that he was talking to Mr. Meadows “nonstop that day.” The Select Committee has previously sought information about steps taken at the Pentagon to protect the national security both before and after January 6th, including Mr. Patel’s role and his communications with other Pentagon officials.
It has also been reported that the former President attempted to install Mr. Patel as Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency in early December, but that planned appointment was abandoned after then-CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign. The Select Committee has previously sought records related to potential or actual personnel changes in the last months of the previous administration, including Mr. Patel’s appointment at the Defense Department and his reported potential appointment at CIA.
Stephen Bannon reportedly communicated with former President Trump on December 30th, 2020, urging him to focus his efforts on January 6th. Mr. Bannon also reportedly attended a gathering at the Willard Hotel on January 5th, 2021, as part of an effort to persuade Members of Congress to block the certification of the election the next day. Mr. Bannon is also quoted as stating, on January 5th, that “[a]ll Hell is going to break loose tomorrow.”
The subpoenas instruct the witnesses to appear at depositions on the following dates:
- October 15, 2021: Mark Meadows and Daniel Scavino
- October 14, 2021: Kashyap Patel and Stephen Bannon
The letters to the four witnesses can be found here: