Police put tear gas into a crowd of pro-Trump protesters during clashes at a rally to contest US Congress certification of the 2020 US presidential election results at the US Capitol Building in Washington, Jan. 6, 2021.
Shannon Stapleton | Reuters
WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol Wednesday requested records of at least 30 close circle members of former President Donald Trump.
The request is part of a comprehensive formal filing request that includes archived communications from the Trump White House as well as seven other executive agencies.
In a statement attached to the letters on Wednesday, the special committee said it wanted information on:
- gathering and disseminating information prior to the attack
- Security precautions around the Capitol
- the role of the agencies in defending the Capitol
- Planning and organizing events in Washington on January 5th and 6th
- how the events of January 6 “fit into the continuum of efforts to undermine the rule of law, overturn the results of the November 3, 2020 elections or otherwise impede the peaceful transfer of power”
The letters, signed by the Chairman of the Special Committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., Gave recipients until September 9 to comply with the committee’s requests. The committee was given subpoena powers so agencies failing to meet the deadline would likely receive subpoenas for the information.
The longest of the eight letters is addressed to the National Archives and Records Administration, the agency that keeps White House communications records.
Four of the letters are addressed to heads of the Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, and Home Affairs departments. Three letters are addressed to the directors of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Counterterrorism Center, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
The filing being sought by Thompson’s bipartisan committee covers the weeks leading up to the fatal attack, as well as what happened that day when thousands of violent Trump supporters overran the Capitol police force to prevent the Senate from doing the Confirm President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.
The January 6th committee is demanding a huge treasure trove of Trump White House records
Together, they represent a new phase in the committee’s investigation that may reveal information the former president would prefer to keep secret.
From the start, Trump wavered in his approach to the attack. Under pressure from his aides, he publicly distanced himself from the uprising in which 5 people were killed and millions of Americans were stunned.
But Trump privately supported the rioters by initially refusing to retrieve them for hours during the attack and since then uttering thinly veiled praise for them. In one case, Trump portrayed as a heroine rioter Ashli Babbitt, who was killed by a Capitol cop when she tried to get into the speaker’s lobby through a broken window.
Capitol Police investigated the shooting and determined that it was a justified use of force on duty. The unpublished officer will sit down for an exclusive interview with Lester Holt of NBC News on Wednesday evening.