Jan. 6 committee issues subpoenas to 5 House Republicans

Lawmakers on the panel pondered for months whether to subpoena fellow Republicans, wondering if they had the constitutional right to do so and wondering if they wanted to set such a precedent.

And with hearings less than a month away, the panel faces a countdown to get all the information they can.

“The select committee has learned that several of our colleagues have information relevant to our investigation into the January 6 attack and the events leading up to it,” said panel chairman, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, in a press release. “Ahead of holding our hearings next month, we wanted to provide members with the opportunity to voluntarily discuss these issues with the committee.”

“Unfortunately, those receiving subpoenas today have refused and we are compelled to take this action to help ensure the committee finds out the facts about January 6,” he continued. “We urge our colleagues to obey the law, do their patriotic duty and cooperate with our investigation as hundreds of other witnesses have done.”

The committee has scheduled depositions from members of Congress for the end of May.

CNN has reached out to all five members of Congress for comment.

In its initial letter to McCarthy in January, the panel made it clear that it wanted to ask him about his communications with former President Donald Trump, White House staff and others in the week following the January 6 attack, “particularly regarding President Trump’s state of mind at the time.”

The committee also wanted to understand how McCarthy’s public comments since the attack had shifted from criticism to Trump’s defense over time, and wondered if Trump pressured him to change his tone when the couple met at the end of January 2021.

Since the panel’s letter to McCarthy, new audio has revealed that in the days following the Jan. 6 uprising, the minority leader considered asking Trump to step down. The audio also revealed that McCarthy told Republican lawmakers on a private conference call that Trump admitted to having some responsibility for the deadly attack.

The panel first contacted Jordan, one of Trump’s staunchest allies on Capitol Hill, in December to learn more about communications he had with Trump on Jan. 6 and with Trump allies who were stationed in the Hotel Willard’s war room in the days leading up to it. to attack.

Jordan and Trump spoke on the phone on the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, while Trump was in the White House residence, White House call recordings in the possession of the panel, first reported, showed. by CNN. Since Jordan first acknowledged he spoke to Trump on the phone that day, the Ohio Republican and Trump loyalist have dismissed questions about it or been inconsistent in their responses.

Jordan was also previously identified as one of the lawmakers who texted White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows that the committee has in its possession. The message Jordan delivered to Meadows on January 5, 2021 outlined a legal theory that then-Vice President Mike Pence had the power to block certification of the 2020 election.

Jordan was selected by McCarthy in July to be one of five GOP members on the Jan. 6 committee, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected McCarthy’s selection of Jordan, along with GOP Representative Jim Indiana Banks because she said their appointments could impact the “integrity of the investigation.” Pelosi’s decision led McCarthy to withdraw its five members, which further aggravated the two parties’ desire to work together, and led Pelosi to select GOP Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois to sit to the panel.

Perry was the first lawmaker the committee asked for voluntary cooperation because of the key role he played in trying to help Trump undermine the 2020 election. Text messages obtained by CNN that came out after the initial letter of the panel filled in significant gaps about Perry’s role at nearly every turn in plans to void or delay certification of the 2020 election.

Text messages selectively provided by Meadows to the committee show that Perry was pushing for the nation’s top intelligence official to investigate baseless conspiracy theories and worked to replace the acting US Attorney General with a sidekick ready to do Trump’s bidding.

“From a friend of Intel: DNI must instruct the NSA to immediately seize and begin searching for Dominion-related international communications,” Perry wrote to Meadows on Nov. 12, 2020, just five days after the election was called for Joe Biden.

In the text, which had not previously been reported, Perry appeared to urge Meadows to ask then-Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe to order the National Security Agency to investigate denied claims that the machines to vote in the Dominion had been hacked by China.

A recent court filing also revealed how Perry played a key role in strategizing with Trump allies to reject electoral votes in states that Trump lost.

In testimony released in April, Trump’s former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson spoke to House investigators about Perry’s role in White House strategy sessions.

“Mr. Perry is the one that comes to mind immediately as I remember him being physically there and I was pushing him away,” Hutchinson said, describing how the Pennsylvania Republican clashed with the attorney. from Trump to the White House over whether the plan for states to submit another voter list was legally valid.

A November 21, 2020 text shows that Meadows even went through Perry in order to get in touch with local lawmakers in his state.

“Can you send me the number for the President and the Leader of the PA Legislature. POTUS wants to chat with them,” Meadows wrote to Perry.

The texts also show that Perry acted as an intermediary between Meadows and Justice Department lawyer Jeffrey Clark, a relatively obscure official who became a central figure in Trump’s election scheme after the former president nearly scolded him. appointed acting attorney general days before the US Capitol riot. .

The messages draw a direct link between Perry, Clark and the Trump White House-led effort to enlist the Justice Department to help overturn the election.

Last year, the Senate singled out Perry for his role in promoting Trump voter fraud plots.

Text messages in the possession of the panel reveal that Perry sent multiple text messages to Meadows requesting that the conversation move to the Signal encrypted messaging app or to alert Meadows to a message he sent on the encrypted platform.

Such a move could put the exchange beyond the reach of the committee because Signal does not collect or store user data, making it more difficult to provide that information to outside entities, including law enforcement and law enforcement agencies. congressional investigators, even under subpoena.

The panel reached out to Biggs earlier this month to discuss his participation in White House and remote planning meetings regarding “various aspects of Jan. 6 planning.”

In seeking Biggs’ voluntary cooperation, the committee said it wanted to understand “specifically” what it knew before the Jan. 6 violence, “about the goals, planning and expectations of the march on the Capitol”.

Biggs was also communicating with Meadows about efforts to persuade state lawmakers that the 2020 election was stolen and asked for their help in trying to overturn the election, according to communications in the committee’s possession.

Brooks came to the committee’s attention after revealing that Trump had repeatedly asked her to work to nullify the 2020 election and remove Biden from office.

This story was updated with additional developments on Thursday.

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