WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- The Jan. 6 committee issued subpoenas to the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers.
- Leaders and members of the two far-right organizations were involved with the Jan. 6 attack.
- The bipartisan House panel is probing the facts and causes of the Capitol riot.
The House select committee probing the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol issued another round of subpoenas Wednesday, targeting far-right extremist groups and their leaders who have been linked to the violence at the Capitol.
The panel is demanding documents from Proud Boys International and its leader Enrique Tarrio, as well as from the Oath Keepers and its chairman, Elmer Stewart Rhode. The 1st Amendment Praetorian, which the committee said provided security at rallies before January 6, also received a subpoena from the House select committee.
Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, said in a statement announcing the five subpoenas that the panel believes the individuals and groups targeted “have relevant information about how violence erupted at the Capitol and the preparation leading up to this violent attack.”
“The Select Committee is moving swiftly to uncover the facts of what happened on that day and we expect every witness to comply with the law and cooperate so that we can get answers to the American people,” he said.
Multiple people affiliated with the Proud Boys have been charged for their role in the January 6 assault, and Tarrio, who was arrested in Washington, D.C., on January 4 and charged for conduct in December 2020, allegedly helped the Proud Boys prepare for the attack on the Capitol, according to the committee. Tarrio pleaded guilty in July to one count of destruction of property and one count of attempted possession of a large-capacity ammunition feeding device, and he was sentenced to more than five months in prison.
More than a dozen members of the Oath Keepers were indicted by a grand jury on charges including conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding and destruction of government property for their roles in the January 6 assault. Federal prosecutors allege the group wore paramilitary gear and used military-style tactics as part of a coordinated effort with other Oath Keepers before and during the assault.
The 1st Amendment Praetorian, meanwhile, suggested on its Twitter account on January 4 that there could be violence two days later, and its leader, Robert Patrick Lewis, was listed as a speaker on the permit for a rally in Washington on January 5.
The committee notified the extremist groups and leaders they are seeking both documents and depositions as part of its investigation into how various entities and individuals coordinated their activities in the run-up to January 6, as well as the “influencing factors that fomented such an attack on American representative democracy while engaged in a constitutional process.”
The select committee has continued to ramp up its demands for documents and testimony, issuing more than 40 subpoenas so far to former White House aides, allies of former President Donald Trump and organizers of the rally that occurred outside the White House before the Capitol assault.
One target of the committee, former Trump political strategist Steve Bannon, was indicted by a federal grand jury after refusing to appear before lawmakers for a deposition. He pleaded not guilty.
The committee issued subpoenas Monday to five more individuals, including Trump’s ally Roger Stone and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
The select committee was formed earlier this year and tasked investigating the events surrounding the January 6 assault, when a mob of Mr. Trump’s supporters breached the Capitol in an effort to stop Congress from tallying state electoral votes and reaffirming President Biden’s victory.
Hundreds of people have since been arrested and charged for their roles in the riots.
Source: CBS News