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The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection on Thursday issued subpoenas to a prominent organizer of the rallies preceding the assault on the U.S. Capitol and his affiliates, saying it wanted to question them about threats of violence, coordination with the Trump White House and misleading permit applications.
Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., the committee chairman, sent a subpoena to Ali Alexander, also known as Ali Akbar, who created an LLC called Stop the Steal after Joe Biden was announced the winner of the 2020 election, and another subpoena to Nathan Martin, whose name was on permit applications for a rally on Jan. 6 on the Capitol grounds.
A third subpoena was sent to George B. Coleman, who was listed as the registered agent on the records for the LLC.
The subpoenas give all three individuals two weeks to produce relevant documents and compel them to appear for sworn depositions at the end of this month.
“The rally on the Capitol grounds on January 6th, like the rally near the White House that day, immediately preceded the violent attack on the seat of our democracy. Over the course of that day, demonstrations escalated to violence and protestors became rioters. The Select Committee needs to understand all the details about the events that came before the attack, including who was involved in planning and funding them. We expect these witnesses to cooperate fully with our probe,” Thompson said in a statement.
The subpoena notes that “in the weeks before the January 6th attack, Mr. Alexander made repeated reference during Stop-the-Steal-sponsored events to the possible use of violence to achieve the organization’s goals.”
Alexander also “claimed to have been in communication with the White House and Members of Congress regarding events planned to coincide with the certification of the 2020 Electoral College results,” the subpoena says.
And at a D.C. rally on the evening of Jan. 5, where conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and Trump ally Roger Stone both spoke, Alexander addressed the crowd and led members in a chant of “Victory or death.”
The committee also has an interest in why Alexander and Martin were involved in permit applications for a rally on the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6 that claimed to be expecting only 50 people.
In September, BuzzFeed News revealed that Alexander was associated with several permit applications for rallies at different points around the U.S. Capitol, raising questions about whether there was a coordinated effort to surround the building with thousands of aggressive protesters who became violent insurrectionists after then-President Donald Trump’s speech that day.
About a week ago, the bipartisan committee sent subpoenas to 11 individuals who helped organize a rally on the Ellipse in front of the White House, where Trump urged his followers to go to the Capitol and “fight like hell.”
And a week before that, the committee sent subpoenas to four top aides to Trump: former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former White House adviser Steve Bannon, former deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino and former Pentagon chief of staff Kashyap Patel. In addition to testimony, the committee is seeking documents and electronic records from all four.
A press release from the committee said that it is seeking more information on how Meadows was “part of an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election or prevent the election’s certification.”
Thompson said a week ago that “for those who don’t agree to come in voluntarily, we’ll do criminal referrals and let that process work out.”
The committee has also sent letters to eight different federal agencies with sweeping requests for information and records on the roles that Trump administration officials might have played in the attack on the American democratic process. And it has issued subpoenas to private telecom companies seeking phone records for those who may have been involved in the Jan. 6 insurrection, potentially including some Republican members of Congress.
Before the insurrection, Trump spent months repeating false and unsupported claims of a rigged and stolen election. He deceived millions of supporters into believing this alternative reality. At least 25,000 people came to Washington on Jan. 6 to attend Trump’s rally in front of the White House, and the majority of those headed to the Capitol afterward, according to internal Secret Service documents.
Many of those Trump supporters violently assaulted police officers outside the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying the 2020 election results. Over 1,600 people entered the Capitol building, according to Sedition Hunters, a website devoted to cataloguing the names and faces of the insurrectionists who went in through doors and windows.
The insurrection resulted in the deaths of four people that day, and one Capitol Police officer who died the next day of a stroke. About 140 police officers were injured during the attack, and four additional police officers who responded to the assault have since died by suicide.
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