Speed Reads

capitol riot aftermath

Trump lawyer instructs former aides to defy Jan. 6 committee subpoenas

A lawyer for former President Donald Trump sent a letter to four of his ex-aides and advisers, telling them not to cooperate with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

The Washington Post reviewed the letter, which was sent to Mark Meadows, Steve Bannon, Dan Scavino, and Kash Patel. They were the first people to receive subpoenas from the bipartisan House select committee investigating the events of Jan. 6, and have been asked to turn over relevant documents by midnight Thursday and to sit for depositions next week.

Trump's lawyer claimed in the letter that any records and testimony about Jan. 6 are protected "from disclosure by the executive and other privileges, including among others the presidential communications, deliberative process, and attorney-client privileges." Meadows, Scavino, and Bannon did not respond to the Post's request for comment, while Patel, who has a fundraising website set up to pay his legal bills, said he will "continue to tell the American people the truth about Jan. 6."

It's up to the select committee's chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), to decide whether to hold people in contempt if they don't comply with the subpoenas. Committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) on Thursday said he believes this is "a matter of the utmost seriousness and we need to consider the full panoply of enforcement sanctions available to us, and that means criminal contempt citations, civil contempt citations, and the use of Congress' own inherent contempt powers."

The committee also issued new subpoenas on Thursday to Ali Alexander and Nathan Martin, the organizers of the "Stop the Steal" rally that was held immediately before a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol building on Jan. 6. Prior to the event, Alexander made a video stating that he received help planning the rally from Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.).