Lawyer who helped Trump was subpoenaed to Jan. 6 committee

A House committee investigating Jan. 6th riot at U.S. Capitol issued a subpoena for a former Justice Department lawyer, who was positioned as an ally to Donald Trump and helped the Republican president challenge the results.

Lawyer who helped Trump was subpoenaed to Jan. 6 committee

Wednesday's subpoena for Jeffrey Clark came amid a rapidly growing congressional inquiry. Three of those involved in the organizing and running of the violent riot are now submitting documents to the committee.

The committee demanded documents and testimony from Clark to investigate the insurrection that killed so many and the turmoil that rocked the Justice Department in weeks before it. Trump and his allies relied on government lawyers to support their baseless claims about the fraudulent results of the election. Trump loyalists, who believed that the election had been stolen, stormed Capitol to stop the congressional certification for Democrat Joe Biden's win.

Clark, the Trump administration's assistant attorney general, is a key character in this saga. Last week, a Senate committee report shows that Clark supported Trump's efforts to reverse the election results. He clashed with Justice Department superiors who refused to comply with the pressure. This culminated in a dramatic White House meeting where Trump contemplated elevating Clark to the position of attorney general.

"The Select Committee's investigation revealed credible evidence that your attempted to involve Department of Justice to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power," Clark was informed by the chairman of the committee, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi.

Trump did not ultimately appoint Clark as acting attorney general. However, Clark's "efforts risked to involve the Department of Justice [in actions that lacked evidence foundation and threatened the rule of law]," Thompson said.

The committee has requested documents and a deposition by Oct. 29. Clark's lawyer declined to comment.

Although the Jan. 6 panel has already sought testimony from many witnesses, Trump's demand for Trump associates and aides is potentially complicated by Trump’s promise to block their cooperation on grounds executive privilege.

Steve Bannon, one of the witnesses, has already told the committee that he won't cooperate on Trump’s directive. However, lawmakers said they were "engaging” with two other Trump officials, Kashyap Patel and Mark Meadows, former chief of staff at White House. It is not clear if Dan Scavino (Trump's long-serving social media director and loyal aide) will cooperate.

Biden officially rejected Trump's assertion of executive privilege in relation to a tranche of documents that he requested during his time at the White House. He also set up their possible release to Congress in mid November. In a Wednesday letter, White House counsel Dana Remus stated that Biden believes an assertion of executive privilege was not in the United States' best interests.

However, others are cooperating including the 11 people who organized and staffed the Trump rally which preceded the riot. They were given Wednesday deadline to turn in documents and records and they were also asked to appear at the separate depositions that the committee has scheduled.

Lyndon Brentnall was one of the many who responded. His firm was contracted to provide security for that event. He told The Associated Press that he had received all the communications and documents requested by the subpoena.

Brentnall previously stated that his company had "every intention" to comply. He stated that his firm provided security for a legal event, which was jointly organized by the U.S. Secret Service (USS) and Park Police.

Megan Powers, a long-serving Trump campaign staffer, and Hannah Salem (a White House logistics and White House operations manager) were both listed on the Jan 6 rally permit as "operations manger for scheduling and guidance" or "operations manager to logistic and communications." They have also provided documents, or are in planning to do so.

According to an anonymous source, Powers, who was the Trump campaign's director for operations, will provide the requested documentation and meet with the committee. However, it is not clear what format such meetings will take.

After attending at least some of Trump's rally on Jan. 6, many of the rioters storming the Capitol marched up to the National Mall, where he reiterated his meritless claims about election fraud and urged the crowd to "fight as hell".

The state officials confirmed the results and the courts upheld them. William Barr, Trump's attorney general, stated that the Justice Department had not found any evidence of widespread fraud which could have overturned these results.

It is unclear if the other subpoenaed will cooperate. Wednesday's statement from the committee did not provide any information on the responses received or the number of those who were cooperating.

Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney is the Republican vice-chairwoman of the panel. She has threatened criminal contempt charges against witnesses who refuse to comply with subpoenaed. These charges would be sent to the Justice Department by a House vote, and that department would decide whether or not to prosecute.

Clark was subpoenaed last week after a Senate Judiciary Committee Report that revealed extraordinary tensions in the Justice Department's senior ranks in December and January. Trump and his allies wanted Clark to assist them in undoing the election.

According to the report of the Democratic majority, Clark was a tireless advocate for Trump's efforts inside the building. He even presented colleagues with a draft letter urging Georgia officials to convene an extra legislative session on the election results. Clark requested that the letter be sent but his superiors at Justice Department declined to do so.

Thompson wrote that "We must understand Mr. Clark’s role in these efforts to the Justice Department" and who was involved throughout the administration.

Additional rally organizers Ali Alexander and Nathan Martin were also subpoenaed. Documents are due Oct. 21.

Alexander posted Monday in Telegram that the committee was "subpoenaing persons in bad faith."

He said, "So maybe the Select Committee is bogus?" "Everyone is eager to see what I will do."

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