House Committee Probing Capitol Riot Expands Investigation
(Bloomberg) -- The House panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol issued additional subpoenas on Thursday, seeking testimony and records from two men it says have ties to organizing a rally that took place on the grounds earlier that day.
The panel also subpoenaed records from the organization Stop the Steal LLC, affiliated with another rally at the White House Ellipse featuring then-President Donald Trump. The panel says it has uncovered and is exploring direct connections between the two gatherings and the riot at the Capitol.
“The rally on the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6th, like the rally near the White House that day, immediately preceded the violent attack on the seat of our democracy,” Representative Bennie Thompson, the committee chairman, said in a statement. “Over the course of that day, demonstrations escalated to violence and protesters 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.
The subpoenas for Ali Abdul Akbar -- also known as Ali Alexander, according to the panel -- and Nathan Martin compel them to produce documents by Oct. 21 and testify at depositions on Oct. 28 and 29, respectively.
The panel says both men have been tied to an organization called One Nation Under God, which submitted a permit application in December 2020 for a Jan. 6 protest on the Capitol grounds regarding “the election fraud in the swing states.”
The select committee has already issued subpoenas to four of Trump’s top aides, as well as 11 other people involved in the planning and organization of the Stop the Steal rally and other events organized in the lead-up to Jan. 6, when both houses of Congress met to certify the election victory Joe Biden.
The subpoenas to the four men -- former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Dan Scavino, former Defense Department official Kashyap Patel and former White House strategist Steve Bannon -- required them to turn over documents by Thursday.
A lawyer for Trump has instructed them to defy the subpoenas, according to a letter seen by Bloomberg. The committee did not comment on those subpoenas Thursday night.
The committee, made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans, said that Martin’s phone number and email address were listed among the contact information for One Nation Under God. The panel also says a vendor listed on the permit application told the U.S. Capitol Police he was reporting to Alexander and Martin and identified them both as being affiliated with Stop the Steal.
On two of its websites, Stop the Steal advertised the Capitol rally event and sought donations to offset expenses.
However, the permit application to Capitol Police did not disclose any connection between Stop the Steal and the Capitol rally event, says the committee’s announcement about the subpoenas.
“Further, when a Capitol Police official spoke with Mr. Martin at the end of December 2020, Mr. Martin claimed not to have any information about the rally and directed the official to speak with the vendor,” the committee states. “According to the police official, the vendor was ‘shocked’ to learn this because he was in ‘daily communication’ with Mr. Martin about the event.”
The committee also states Stop the Steal, LLC appears to be a corporate entity affiliated with Alexander and Martin.
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