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Politics Witnesses Subpoenaed in Jan. 6 Probe May Stay Mum After Trump Invokes Executive Privilege

03:30  08 october  2021
03:30  08 october  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

Subpoenas could shed light on how Jan. 6 rally came together

  Subpoenas could shed light on how Jan. 6 rally came together The House committee investigating the violent Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, with its latest round of subpoenas, may uncover the degree to which former President Donald Trump, his campaign and White House were involved in planning the rally — which had been billed as a grassroots demonstration — that preceded the riot. The 11 subpoenas sent this week went to people who organized or worked at the rally at the Ellipse where Trump encouraged the crowd to march to the Capitol and told them “you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.

Donald Trump intends to assert executive privilege in a congressional investigation into the Jan . 6 insurrection at the Capitol, a move that could prevent the testimony of onetime aides, according to a letter sent by lawyers for the former president. The letter went to at least some witnesses who were subpoenaed by the House committee and It was not immediately clear how those witnesses would respond to Trump ´s decision to invoke executive privilege or what consequences they might face if they refuse to cooperate. Because Trump no longer is in office, he cannot directly assert privilege to

6 probe , and expounds on the ways former President Donald Trump may try to protect himself and his allies against the investigation. Joe Scarborough discusses the four Trump aides that were subpoenaed in the House Jan .

Former President Donald Trump plans to invoke his executive privilege in Congress' probe on the January 6 Capitol riot, which could prevent his former aides from testifying before the investigative committee, according to a letter sent by Trump's lawyers.

Former President Donald Trump plans to invoke his executive privilege in Congress’ probe on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, which could prevent former aides of his from testifying before the investigative committee. Trump speaks at a rally on September 25, 2021 in Perry, Georgia. © Sean Rayford/Getty Images Former President Donald Trump plans to invoke his executive privilege in Congress’ probe on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, which could prevent former aides of his from testifying before the investigative committee. Trump speaks at a rally on September 25, 2021 in Perry, Georgia.

An individual who had seen the letter, but was not yet authorized to speak publicly on it, described its message to the Associated Press.

Subpoenas could shed light on how Jan. 6 rally came together

  Subpoenas could shed light on how Jan. 6 rally came together The House committee investigating the violent Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, with its latest round of subpoenas, may uncover the degree to which former President Donald Trump, his campaign and White House were involved in planning the rally — which had been billed as a grassroots demonstration — that preceded the riot. The 11 subpoenas sent this week went to people who organized or worked at the rally at the Ellipse where Trump encouraged the crowd to march to the Capitol and told them “you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.

Trump said he would fight the subpoenas and records request using executive privilege and other grounds. A spokesman for the Republican ex-president said on Friday the committee has put forth an overly broad request for records that lacks legal precedent. Executive privilege allows the White House to refuse demands for records such as congressional subpoenas . The legal principle is rooted in the idea that some privacy should be given to presidential advisers so they can have candid discussions.

Former President Donald Trump has reportedly told four close aides to ignore a subpoena to testify before the House committee investigating the 6 January attack on the US Capitol. It has previously said it may ask the Justice Department to help enforce subpoenas and prosecute anyone who defies them. Last month, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden would not invoke executive privilege to prevent Mr Trump ’s phone records from being shared with the committee investigating the Capitol riots.

Executive privilege is meant to bar presidential communications from being shared with Congress. The letter, which was sent to at least some of those subpoenaed by the committee, stipulates that Trump intends to use that privilege in regard to the investigation.

The connotations of the letter could precede further conflict with House Democrats looking to learn what part Trump and his allies played in the riot, when thousands of the former president's supporters violently stormed the Capitol while Congress was attempting to certify the election victory of President Joe Biden.

The House Select Committee has been looking at those who participated in, helped plan or had any connection to the January 6 rally where supporters gathered to watch Trump speak before they breached the Capitol, AP reported.

Trump tells four former aides to defy Jan. 6 committee's subpoena

  Trump tells four former aides to defy Jan. 6 committee's subpoena The House panel probing the Capitol attack had demanded documents and testimony from the former president's former aides by Thursday.The committee has subpoenaed documents and testimony from four Trump administration alumni: former social media czar Dan Scavino, former Defense Department official Kash Patel, former chief of staff Mark Meadows, and former White House adviser Steve Bannon. The four men were ordered to turn over documents related to Jan. 6 by Thursday and to sit for interviews with investigators next week.

A Trump aide still hasn't been served a subpoena from the House select committee investigating the January 6 riot after it was issued more than a week ago, CNN reported. Multiple sources told CNN that investigators are unable to find former deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino. The Post reported that following the subpoenas , former President Trump said he'd invoke executive privilege to block them. "Hopefully the Unselect Committee will be calling witnesses on the Rigged Presidential Election of 2020, which is the primary reason that hundreds of thousands of people went to Washington, DC in

6 probe , and expounds on the ways former President Donald Trump may try to protect himself and his allies against the investigation. Joe Scarborough discusses the four Trump aides that were subpoenaed in the House Jan .

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

The committee, which was formed over the summer, last month issued subpoenas to Mark Meadows, Trump's former chief of staff; Dan Scavino, the former deputy chief of staff for communications; Kashyap Patel, a former Defense Department official; and Steve Bannon, a former Trump adviser. It was not immediately clear how those witnesses would respond to Trump's decision to invoke executive privilege or what consequences that might face if they refuse to cooperate.

The committee has issued more than a dozen subpoenas to people linked to plans for the January 6 protests, including three additional witnesses announced Thursday. Those individuals would be less likely to get help from Trump's executive privilege claims, which would be limited to people who worked in the White House.

The committee chairman, Representative Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), said subpoenas had gone to Ali Abdul Akbar, also known as Ali Alexander, and Nathan Martin, as well the organization Stop the Steal, to learn more about a rally that was planned on the Capitol grounds at the same time as the larger gathering on the National Mall. The committee has subpoenaed 11 other individuals connected to the planning of that larger rally.

January 6 investigation confronts a perennial dilemma -- how to hold Trump accountable

  January 6 investigation confronts a perennial dilemma -- how to hold Trump accountable Donald Trump always seems to get away with it. And he's trying to do it again.The ex-President and his Republican apologists in Congress are jump-starting a new effort to dampen the consequences of his crimes against democracy, burying the truth about what can now objectively be termed a coup attempt.

That the Jan . 6 select committee moved “straight to subpoenas ” suggests a clear-eyed assessment that Trump ’s advisors will not voluntarily cooperate. Rather than waste time, the committee is opting to compel their compliance from the start. Jan . 6 put on vivid display a world in which those with awesome power operate outside our constitutional order. The Justice Department must assure the congressional committee charged with investigating an assault on the rule of law that it has the backing of the rule of law.

What is Trump saying? While Trump threatened more than a month ago to assert executive privilege to block the committee's earlier request for records, he hasn't yet stepped up as a shield. What is Biden saying? The White House and Justice Department are signaling that they believe the exceptional nature of January 6 means they wouldn't go to bat for witnesses ignoring subpoenas . But the White House also said they'd look at Capitol Hill requests case by case, in case there's a need to assert presidential privilege .

According to the committee, Alexander released a statement after the riot linking Stop the Steal to the Capitol rally permit and explaining that the intention was to direct attendees of the larger rally to march to the Capitol.

"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," Thompson said in a statement. "Over the course of that day, demonstrations escalated to violence and protestors became rioters."

Thompson said the committee "needs to understand all the details about the events that came before the attack, including who was involved in planning and funding them."

Alexander has claimed lawmakers helped him plan the rally that led to the siege on the Capitol. He has been in Trump's orbit for a few years, even being among the participants of Trump's Presidential Social Media Summit in July of 2019 that included dozens of other conservative voices and far-right provocateurs.

In October of 2020, the Arizona Republican Party appeared to ask supporters to consider giving their lives to keep Trump in office, retweeting Alexander's pledge on Twitter that he was "willing to give my life for this fight."

As Bannon Bucks Subpoena, Trump Fights Power of Jan. 6 Probe

  As Bannon Bucks Subpoena, Trump Fights Power of Jan. 6 Probe As Bannon Bucks Subpoena, Trump Fights Power of Jan. 6 ProbeOn Sept. 23, the committee gave Bannon and Trump’s former deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino, former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Pentagon official Kash Patel an Oct. 7 deadline to respond to subpoena letters asking them to appear for depositions and provide materials relevant to its investigation.

The Jan. 6 investigative panel has subpoenaed four advisers and associates to former President Donald Trump who were in contact with him as hundreds of his followers violently broke into the building and tried to overturn his defeat: former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Dan Scavino, former Defense Department official Kashyap Patel and former adviser Stephen Bannon. Rep. Bennie Thompson D-Miss., chairman of the House Select Committee on the January 6th attack speaks with reporters outside the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo © J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo The Jan. 6 investigative panel has subpoenaed four advisers and associates to former President Donald Trump who were in contact with him as hundreds of his followers violently broke into the building and tried to overturn his defeat: former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Dan Scavino, former Defense Department official Kashyap Patel and former adviser Stephen Bannon. Rep. Bennie Thompson D-Miss., chairman of the House Select Committee on the January 6th attack speaks with reporters outside the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

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Steve Bannon Refuses to Testify to Jan. 6 Committee, Cites 'Executive Privilege' .
The House panel previously said Bannon would "try to hide behind vague references to privileges" to avoid producing documents for investigation.The defense team for Bannon, one of a number of the former president's allies who have been subpoenaed by the panel in connection with the insurrection, has denied that Bannon's position is "in defiance" of the subpoena but rather following Trump's directions not to respond.

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