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Jan. 6 Committee Subpoenas Top Trump White House Officials

  • September 24, 2021

Mr. Patel was serving as chief of staff to acting Secretary of Defense Christopher C. Miller during the attack, after Mr. Trump appointed him to replace Mark T. Esper as the top Pentagon official. According to documents provided by the Defense Department and published accounts, Mr. Patel was involved in discussions among senior Pentagon officials before and during the attack regarding security at the Capitol. Mr. Patel also was reportedly in constant contact with Mr. Meadows the day of the assault, the committee said.

The committee said it was scrutinizing reporting that the former president attempted to install Mr. Patel as deputy director of the C.I.A. in early December, a plan abandoned after Gina Haspel, the director at the time, threatened to resign.

“I am disappointed, but not surprised, that the committee tried to subpoena me through the press and violated longstanding protocol — which I upheld as a congressional staffer — by resorting to compulsory process before seeking my voluntary cooperation,” Mr. Patel said in a statement. “I will continue to tell the truth to the American people about the events of Jan. 6.”

Mr. Bannon, Mr. Meadows and Mr. Scavino did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The subpoenas come as the committee has demanded detailed records about Mr. Trump’s every movement and meeting on the day of the assault, in requests to federal agencies that suggested it was focusing on any involvement the former president might have had in the attack’s planning or execution.

Their swift issuance indicates that the panel is moving aggressively on its investigation, without pausing to negotiate with key witnesses who could furnish important information.

“Quick subpoenas like this are a sign they’re not messing around,” Elliot Williams, a legal analyst, wrote on Twitter.

The panel is scrutinizing what led to the violence that engulfed the Capitol as supporters of Mr. Trump stormed the building, brutalizing police officers and delaying for hours the official counting of electoral votes to formalize Mr. Biden’s victory. Little is known about what the former president was doing as he watched the mayhem unfold, or in the days leading up to it.

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