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A field guide to the figures at the center of the Jan. 6 probe

The committee so far has broken up its records requests over several categories. Roughly, they include individuals who had close ties to former President Trump; individuals the committee believes have direct knowledge of a plot to overturn the 2020 election results; individuals who allegedly helped coordinate the siege on the day of Jan. 6; individuals who organized pro-Trump rallies before Jan. 6 promoting Trump’s lie about the election; individuals who organized the Stop the Steal rally on Jan. 6; and extremist groups that were linked to the violence that erupted in Washington, D.C. that day.

The committee has also sought records from 14 social media companies and issued sweeping requests for records from eight executive branch entities including the Department of Justice, the FBI, the Defense Department, and others. 

And before publishing this field guide Monday, a spokesperson for the committee told Daily Kos: Witnesses who have been served subpoenas are engaging with the select committee’s investigation and have been granted brief postponements at their request. As has been the case, any witness who fails to comply with a select committee subpoena is subject to enforcement measures, including criminal contempt.”

Reflecting on the impending anniversary, Officer Harry Dunn through his attorney Mark Zaid told Daily Kos on Monday: “As we approach the one-year anniversary of Jan. 6, I, along with millions of other Americans, have grown frustrated with the speed of the investigation. But I have to continually remind myself that an investigation of this magnitude will take time and that I need to be patient. I trust the committee will thoroughly conduct their investigation because not only do they have to ensure that something like this never happens again, but they also were personally affected by the tragic events of that day. I don’t know the direction that the committee is headed but they give me hope when I see subpoena after subpoena being issued. It shows me that they will stop at nothing to obtain the truth.”

1. Mark Meadows, former White House chief of staff

Mark Meadows.

Trump’s former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows played hardball with the committee after he was initially hit with a subpoena on Sept. 23. But after nearly courting a contempt of Congress referral for his obfuscation, he has since agreed to cooperate and be deposed.

Meadows, as of Monday, has turned over about 6,000 emails, according to Committee Chair Bennie Thompson. Meadows’ compliance has been tenuous as he has floated claims of executive privilege over some of the records sought. 

Investigators believe Meadows was in Trump’s vicinity on Jan. 6 and bore witness to his conduct and speech before, during, and after the attack. They allege Meadows “engaged in multiple elements of the planning and preparation” of the failed coup and that he was privy to dozens of meetings planning the Jan. 6 rally before it finally kicked off. The committee has been eager to review Meadows’ private cell phone and text messaging records from that day. 

2. Daniel Scavino, former White House deputy chief of staff for communications 

Dan Scavino.

Scavino was subpoenaed by the committee in September. Investigators allege that Scavino was in close contact with Trump in the immediate runup to the attack. Scavino has a relationship stretching back nearly a decade with Trump and is among his chief allies, having served him at various points as his digital strategy director and so-called overseer of Trump’s presence on social media, including Twitter.

The committee alleges Scavino has materials relevant to Trump’s “videotaping and tweeting message on Jan. 6” and was intimately familiar with what occurred during meetings with the president and other administration officials where schemes to stop the certification of the 2020 election were hashed out. 

3. Kashyap Patel, former chief of staff to then-acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller

Kashyap “Kash” Patel.

Kash Patel was subpoenaed by the committee on Sept. 23.

Patel slid into the Defense Department role after Trump canned Defense Secretary Mark Esper and put Chris Miller in Esper’s place. Patel made for a good yes-man and rose quickly to the White House as a result.

Patel, once a senior congressional aide to Trump ally Rep. Devin Nunes, first joined the Trump administration in 2019 as a staffer on the National Security Council. 

The Washington Post reported in April that Patel was the subject of an inquiry by the Department of Justice due to a complaint filed earlier in the year by an unidentified intelligence agency suggesting that Patel “repeatedly pressed intelligence agencies to release secrets that, in his view, showed that the president was being persecuted unfairly by critics.” 

Patel has records that investigators believe show how the White House prepared for and responded to the Capitol attack with Defense Department and White House officials. There are also documents sought relating to Patel’s “personal involvement” in disrupting the peaceful transfer of power, the committee says. 

4. Steve Bannon, former White House strategist

Steve Bannon.

Steve Bannon, a right-wing extremist and conspiracy peddler, is currently awaiting trial after pleading not guilty to two counts of contempt of Congress that were lobbed against him in November.  

Investigators hit Bannon with a subpoena on Sept. 23, and the Trump stalwart stonewalled the committee on both its record request and a request for deposition. He surrendered himself to authorities in Washington, D.C. after the Department of Justice indicted him. 

Bannon was not officially in Trump’s employ at the time of the siege; he left the administration in 2017. Bannon, was, however, at Trump’s alleged “command center” on Jan. 5. A “war room” at the Willard Hotel—just a block from the White House—was often populated by Trump’s lawyers and advisers. Investigators say plans to subvert the election were likely hatched there. Bannon, they contend, was there on Jan. 5 when attendees discussed a strategy to persuade members of Congress to block the certification of election results the next day. 

Bannon was also reportedly in close contact with Trump on Dec. 30 as well as other occasions. On Nov. 30, the committee said Bannon urged Trump “to plan for and focus his efforts on Jan. 6.”

5. Jeffrey Clark, former assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice Civil Division

Jeffrey Clark.

The committee subpoenaed Clark on Oct. 13 and in short order, entered into a battle with the former Trump official over claims to executive privilege. Lawmakers have rejected that argument as spurious since Trump earlier this year declined to assert privilege over materials requested by the committee from Clark. 

A Senate Judiciary Committee report released earlier this year revealed a bevy of emails and other correspondence from Clark to fellow Department of Justice officials where Clark angled to have then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen removed so Trump could install Clark in Rosen’s place. 

The push was a part of a scheme that began just after Christmas last year when Clark pushed Rosen and Rosen’s deputy, Richard Donoghue, to inform swing state legislatures they should appoint new electors and reject certified votes. That plot unfolded after courts around the country had already rejected Trump’s claims to victory almost 60 times. 

Clark appeared for a closed-door deposition with the committee on Nov. 5 but was uncooperative and eventually walked out without returning. When a contempt referral was threatened, Clark first agreed to be deposed last weekend. Then, according to Committee Chairman Thompson, a medical condition barred him from appearing. His deposition has been rescheduled for mid-December and if he is a no-show or refuses to cooperate at all, the committee has said it will push ahead with a formal criminal contempt referral. 

6. John Eastman, attorney, author of the memo pressuring Mike Pence to overturn election results

John Eastman, left, with Rudy Giuliani, right, on Jan. 6. 

John Eastman was originally subpoenaed by the committee on Oct. 8 after a memo he authored emerged showing a six-point plan he proposed to have then-Vice President Mike Pence reject ballots after they were properly certified. 

Eastman met with Trump repeatedly and delivered a fiery address from the Ellipse before the putsch began alongside Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. For months before that, he shared Trump’s bogus election fraud claims with Georgia state senators and urged them to directly appoint electors. Eastman was also in the Willard Hotel’s “war room” on Jan. 6 with Bannon and was in frequent contact with Pence’s counsel, Greg Jacob, about his strategy to manipulate the election. 

Investigators are after hundreds of pages of Eastman’s communications with the Trump White House. 

One such communication was reported between Eastman and Jacob by The New York Times. In it, Eastman blasted Pence’s attorney, saying that the attack was because he and Pence “did not do what was necessary to allow this to be aired in a public way so that the American people can see for themselves what happened.” 

7. John McEntee, former bag man turned White House personnel director

John McEntee, pictured left. 

The committee issued its subpoena to John McEntee on Nov. 9. 

McEntee’s ascent into Trump’s world happened fast. He started out as Trump’s bag man, but his dogged defense of the president was quickly parlayed into an opportunity where he would serve in a far more powerful role.

McEntee was tapped by Trump to serve as the director of the White House personnel office, making him a key arbiter in deciding who was hired or fired across the administration.

A memo made public in November illuminated the role McEntee played in having Defense Secretary Mark Esper removed, a maneuver that ultimately opened the door for Clark to try his power grab at the Department of Justice and promote Trump’s lies about the 2020 election.

McEntee was reportedly in the room with Trump, Pence, Giuliani, and Trump campaign lawyer Justin Clark when the men hashed out a plan for an audit of votes in Georgia. 

He was also with Trump when he traveled to the Ellipse and while Trump delivered his inflammatory speech at the Stop the Steal rally that day. 

8. Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and Trump’s personal assistant 

Michael Flynn.

Subpoaened on Nov. 8, Flynn came under the committee’s purview after it was reported that he attended a Dec. 18 meeting in the Oval Office where discussions of how to seize voting machines abounded, as well as suggestions to declare a national emergency or invoke emergency powers, like martial law, to “rerun” the election. 

Flynn was scheduled for deposition on Monday but was granted a brief delay by the committee. A spokesperson said Flynn has agreed to “engage” with investigators. 

Flynn was pardoned by Trump last December after being charged with lying to federal investigators about his contact with Russian officials. 

9. Stephen Miller, former senior adviser to Trump

Stephen Miller.

Stephen Miller, Trump’s senior adviser and architect of the Trump administration’s inhumane immigration policies, received a subpoena from the committee on Nov. 9. He is scheduled for deposition on Dec. 14. 

It was Miller’s own public statements that piqued the committee’s interest in him. Miller vowed “alternate electors” would keep Trump in power in an interview last December and helped Trump write the speech that he would deliver from the Ellipse on Jan. 6. 

He, like other members of Trump’s inner circle on Jan. 6, was witness to Trump’s conduct at the White House that morning and accompanied the former president on his short trip to Stop the Steal rally. 

10. Bernard Kerik, former New York Police Department police commissioner

Bernard Kerik.

The former commissioner for the New York Police Department and longtime ally of Giuliani, Bernard Kerik, was subpoenaed by the select committee on Nov. 8. 

Kerik, who served three years in prison for tax fraud and was sentenced in 2010, was pardoned by Trump last year for those crimes. According to investigators, Kerik was a close associate of the former president and allegedly attended meetings at the Willard Hotel, including on Jan. 5, to develop the election subversion scheme. 

Authorities claim Kerik paid for and reserved the “war room” at the Willard Hotel as well as other suites where administration officials could privately game out their strategies.

The committee claims Kerik was in cahoots with Giuliani since Nov. 5, 2020 to promote bogus election fraud theories. 

Kerik has publicly denied the allegations. In November, after word of the subpoena broke, he issued a letter to the committee saying he would cooperate with the probe but he also demanded an apology from the panel in the same breath. 

11. Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence

Keith Kellogg.

Once the national security adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence, Keith Kellogg was subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 Committee on Nov. 23. 

Lawmakers say that Kellogg participated in at least one meeting with Trump and Trump’s attorney Pat Cipollone as the attack was unfolding

Kellogg also allegedly met with Trump before he delivered his remarks at the Ellipse and then, when violence began to erupt, he reportedly urged Trump to “send out a tweet to his supporters at the U.S. Capitol to help control the crowd,” the committee said last month. 

The panel also believes Kellogg was privy to conversations where Trump insisted that Pence not certify the election. Kellogg was the first person in Pence’s inner circle to receive a demand from the committee.

He is of particular interest since Trump’s own national security adviser at the time, Robert O’Brien, was out of town on Jan. 6, arguably putting Kellogg in the hot seat.

12. Jason Miller, former senior adviser to Trump’s 2020 campaign

Jason Miller.

 Jason Miller, a longtime Trump confidante, was subpoenaed by the committee on Nov. 8 and along with Bannon and others was reportedly at the meeting at the Willard Hotel on Jan. 5 where Trump’s team plotted how to overturn the election.

Long before the November election, Miller routinely crowed about how Democrats would “steal” the election, lawmakers said in a notice to Miller. That message, they said, was echoed by the mob that breached the Capitol in its attempt to interfere with the transfer of power. 

Prior to the attack, Miller also took frequent opportunities to hold press conferences propagating Trump’s lies about the election, and legislators on the committee believe the campaign adviser was part of the strategy to pressure then-Vice President Pence. 

13. Roger Stone, longtime Trump ally and GOP operative

Roger Stone.

A long-time operative for the Republican Party and self-described “dirty trickster,” Roger Stone was hit with a subpoena from the select committee on Nov. 22. 

Prior to the Capitol attack, Stone spoke publicly in support of Trump’s claims of election fraud and funneled cash for “private security” at events in Washington held on Jan. 5 and 6. While he once solicited donations on a Stop the Steal official website, he removed the link after the attack, according to Mother Jones. 

A month before the putsch, Stone appeared at various events including one rally in D.C. on Dec. 12 where he urged the president’s supporters to “fight until the bitter end” to stop Biden from taking office. 

During his remarks at a D.C. event on Jan. 5, Stone reportedly had a security detail comprising members from the Oath Keepers, an extremist militia organization. One of the men in his detail, Robert Minuta, has been indicted on charges related to the breach. 

Stone has long had ties to the extremist organization known as the Proud Boys as well and on Jan. 8, when he appeared on RT, the Russia-state news channel, he said he sympathized with Trump’s frustrations.

Stone has also said that he was invited to lead a march to the Capitol on Jan. 6. He has told the press that he declined the opportunity. He was also slated to speak at an event at the Ellipse that day hosted by Women for America First. 

14. Alex Jones, conspiracy theorist

Alex Jones addressing Trump’s supporters on Jan. 6.

Conspiracy theory and smut peddler Alex Jones was subpoenaed by the committee on Nov. 22 and according to the committee, he worked closely with members of Women for America First to organize rallies on Jan. 6. 

Jones also reportedly told fellow organizers that he was responsible for facilitating contributions from the rally from Publix supermarket heiress Julie Fancelli. 

Jones allegedly tried to nab a speaking spot with Trump on Jan. 6 but was denied by fellow organizers. When that happened, he instead spoke on Jan. 5 at Freedom Plaza at the invitation of the Eighty Percent Coalition and its head sponsor, Cindy Chafian. 

Though he never had his moment at the Ellipse with Trump on Jan. 6, he was allegedly supposed to “lead a march to the Capitol, where President Trump would meet the group.”

Jones did march, alongside right-wing extremists and Stop the Steal founder Ali Alexander. Trump, of course, never accompanied Jones in the march. 

Before the attack, Jones spent hours broadcasting Trump’s election fraud claims and made statements implying he knew what might be coming when Congress met to certify the electoral votes. 

“This is the most important call to action on domestic soil since Paul Revere and his ride in 1776,” Jones told listeners of his podcast, InfoWars, on Dec. 19. 

The committee noted its subpoena to Jones that when he arrived at the Capitol, he did tell people not to be violent and to gather on the east side of the complex to hear Trump speak. That location directly coincided with a site that Ali Alexander’s Stop the Steal organization had reserved with its permit for a rally using the name “One Nation Under God.” 

15. Ali Alexander, right-wing extremist activist, Stop the Steal rally organizer

Ali Alexander (screenshot of YouTube feed published by The Intercept).

The select committee issued a subpoena to Ali Alexander on Oct. 7 and laid out a litany of requests it had for him regarding records related to his role organizing Stop the Steal rallies, including the one outside of the Capitol on Jan. 6. 

Alexander has openly claimed Rep. Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican, helped him organize the insurrection. He fingered Reps. Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs of Arizona for their involvement as well. 

Alexander also led a rally 24 hours before the Capitol attack at Freedom Plaza with the Eighty Percent Coalition. He whipped people into a chant of “victory or death.”

Early on Dec. 4, he raged on Telegram about the probe but said he is fully cooperating. 

“I am doing all this legal preparation for myself. I mean, my full-time job is to comply with Congress,” he said, before adding that the work of the Jan. 6 Committee is in “insurrection against Congress.”

“The members of the committee would love it if I die, they would love it,” he said.

Other Trump administration officials subpoenaed by the committee as of Monday include:

  • Dustin Stockton, a Stop the Steal rally organizer who investigators say raised the alarm to Mark Meadows that the Jan. 6 event could be unsafe.
  • Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary who promoted Trump’s lies about the 2020 election routinely from the press briefing room. She accompanied Trump to the Ellipse and allegedly watched the attack unfold with him on Jan. 6.
  • Nicholas Luna, Trump’s personal assistant/”body man” who was reportedly in the Oval Office on Jan. 6 when Trump was on a call with Pence, in which he pressured Pence not to certify the results of the 2020 election.
  • Marc Short, a top aide to Pence who spent most of Jan. 6 at the former vice president’s side,  reportedly submitted to what CNN described as a “friendly” subpoena, meaning he appeared voluntarily, sometime in November. Short’s cooperation was first reported by CNN on Dec. 6. Lawmakers contend Short can illuminate how Pence conducted himself during the breach and who spoke to him, but more importantly, Short was in the Oval Office on Jan. 4 during a meeting with John Eastman and Trump where they allegedly discussed how to get Pence on board with overturning the election
  • Christopher Liddell, White House deputy chief of staff in the White House on Jan. 6; investigators believe his role as Meadows’ deputy meant he was privy to conversations involving state officials in Georgia, discussions of election fraud lawsuits, and correspondence with Jan. 6 rally organizers, the Department of Justice, and others. Investigators say Liddell tried to resign during the attack but was coaxed out of that decision. 
  • Ben Williamson, a deputy assistant to Trump and senior adviser to Meadows, has records similar to that of Liddell’s. Williamson was also allegedly contacted by White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah during the siege, who urged him, to no avail, to have Trump issue a statement condemning the violence.
  • Molly Michael, special assistant to Trump and Oval Office operations coordinator, forwarded emails on Dec. 14 to then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, with the subject line including “FROM POTUS,” that laid out talking points on bogus forensic information alleging fraud in Michigan. Similar emails went out on Dec. 29 to the U.S. solicitor general, urging the Department of Justice to file a lawsuit at the Supreme Court that requested the election be overturned. 
  • Angela McCallum, the national executive assistant to Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign, allegedly spread false information about voter fraud on Trump’s behalf and encouraged, unconstitutionally, state electors to appoint alternate slates and send competing votes to Congress; she also left a voicemail for an election official in Michigan saying Trump was counting on the unidentified representative.
  • William Stepien, Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign manager, promoted false claims about voting machines despite internal campaign memos determining those claims were false.
  • Cassidy Hutchinson, special assistant to Trump for legislative affairs, was in the White House with Trump on Jan. 6 and traveled with him to the Ellipse for the Stop the Steal rally. Hutchinson also joined Meadows for a Dec. 30 trip to Georgia for an election audit there. Investigators say she helped Meadows promote baseless claims of election fraud to state officials.
  • Kenneth Klukowski, who worked closely with then acting assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice’s civil division, Jeffrey Clark. Investigators say he and Clark worked on the letter for Georgia officials and he met with Clark before a meeting where Clark tried to oust Jeffrey Rosen, his superior, at Trump’s urging.
  • Katrina Pierson, a former Trump campaign official that helped organize the Women for American First rally at the Ellipse and on Jan. 6 urged the crowd before the attack started to “fight much harder” to “stop the steal.” She also reportedly participated in a Jan. 4 meeting with Trump in the Oval Office where she assured him there would be another rally on Jan. 5 where  “people like Ali Alexander and Roger Stone could speak.” Stone has said Pierson was “deeply involved” in the attack.
  • Jennifer Lynn Lawrence, along with her fiance Dustin Stockton, assisted Women for America First with its rallies after the November election and right through to the rally on Jan. 6 
  • Taylor Budowich, Trump’s current primary political spokesperson and communications director for Trump’s Save America PAC. Investigators believe Budowich solicited and then directed a nonprofit organization to donate $200,000 from an undisclosed source to pay or its ad campaign promoting election falsehoods

Various rally organizers were also subpoenaed by the committee including:

  • Women for America First founder and co-founder Amy Kremer and Kylie Kremer, respectively
  • Caroline Wren, described as “VIP Adviser” on the WFAF permit for Jan. 6; believed to be in regular contact with Mark Meadows about election certification, allegedly parked dark money funds with the Republican Attorneys General Association, the young Republican hub Turning Point, and the Tea Party Express
  • Cynthia Chafian, who submitted the first permit application for WFAF’’s Jan. 6 rally, founder of the Eighty Percent Coalition
  • Maggie Mulvaney, was listed as “VIP Lead” on a permit application filed by WFAF
  • Justin Caporale, of Event Strategies, Inc.—which received over $2 million in payments from the Trump campaign—was listed as a point of contact and project manager for WFAF rally on Jan. 6
  • Lyndon Brentnall was listed as an on-site supervisor for Jan. 6 rally permits
  • Nathan Martin was listed on a permit for the “One Nation Under God” rally on Jan. 6; Martin allegedly failed to disclose that he was also associated with the Stop the Steal event and reportedly told U.S Capitol Police that he was not associated with “Stop the Steal”
  • Tim Unes of  Event Strategies, Inc., was listed as a “Stage Manager” on permit paperwork filed by WFAF for Jan. 6. 
  • Megan Powers of MPowers Consulting LLC was listed on permit paperwork for WFAF as “Operations Manager for Scheduling and Guidance” 
  • Hannah Salem of Salem Strategies LLC was listed on permit paperwork for WFAF as “Operations Manager for Logistics and Communications”

Extremist organizations were also drawn into the committee’s probe:

  • Proud Boys International LLC; the right-wing extremist group called for violence before the attack on Jan. 6 and so far, over three dozen Proud Boys have been indicted on charges related to the siege
  • Oath Keepers; 18 members so far of the right-wing extremist group have been indicted on charges related to the planning of the attack 
  • 1st Amendment Praetorian and founder Robert Patrick Lewis; a loose self-proclaimed militia for Trump events and rallies; claimed to provide security detail to Michael Flynn at a march in December and on Jan. 4 tweeted, “There may be some young National Guard Captains facing some very, very tough choices in the next 48 hours.”
  • Stop the Steal LLC, the organization that coordinated the rally at the Ellipse on Jan. 6 and promoted Trump’s widespread lies about the election
  • Elmer Stewart Rhodes; president of the Oath Keepers who repeatedly called for violence on Jan. 6 according to prosecutors; allegedly coordinated security detail for Roger Stone for events on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6; spotted outside of the Willard Hotel on Jan. 6
  • Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, chair of the Proud Boys, was arrested on Jan. 4 after he tried to enter Washington, D.C., to sell two empty large-capacity firearm magazines to someone attending the Jan. 6 Stop the Steal rally

The 14 social media/technology companies that were subpoenaed for records include:

And to round out its investigation, the committee has also sought records from the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the Interior Department, the Department of Justice, the FBI, the National Counterterrorism Center, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the National Archives. 

[This field guide will be updated as developments in the probe unfold.]

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