‘Tis the season of subpoenas: The investigation into the insurrection at the Capitol begins

The Jan. 6 select committee is continuing to issue subpoenas to members of former President Trump’s staff and others who may be able to provide helpful information in the investigation of the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Photo courtesy of House.gov

MADISON BARR | MARKETING MANAGER | MMBARR@BUTLER.EDU

If you’re not particularly interested in the political realm or have been trying to avoid anything remotely related to the world of American politics since the insurrection at the Capitol — understandable — the recent infiltration of news coming in from the Jan. 6 select committee might have come out of nowhere. In particular, the running list of those who have been subpoenaed has only been growing since the first few were listed on Sept. 23.

To quickly run through what the Jan. 6 select committee is for my normal folk who don’t have an odd obsession with America’s political system like myself, it’s a committee that was created in order to investigate the insurrection at the Capitol and figure out who was involved and, more or less, why this attack happened.

The importance of this committee and its investigation is directly tied to Donald Trump because the individuals who stormed the Capitol were outspoken supporters of his who wholeheartedly believed the election Biden won was a fraud.

This is exactly why the select committee is investigating and issuing subpoenas to those who might have been in earshot of Trump on that day because they would be able to discuss what exactly he was saying and doing during the attack. 

As of Dec. 7, approximately 45 subpoenas have been served. This essentially means that these 45 individuals have been issued a mandatory court order where they must attend a deposition or provide evidence.

Here’s a short breakdown of where a few individuals who were requested to comply with the select committee currently stand.

Stephen Bannon — former Chief Strategist

On Nov. 12, former top adviser Stephen Bannon was indicted on two counts of contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with a congressional subpoena. Weird way to go down, but you do you. Let’s be real though, the only news Bannon ever really made during Trump’s term was that he looked like a chronically-ill mall Santa. So, this might actually be better for him.

Seriously, so many people have been concerned about Bannon’s skin for so long that a dermatologist has even given his two cents on the situation.

Anywho, each count of contempt of Congress is considered a misdemeanor and can be punishable for up to a year in prison accompanied by a maximum fine of $100,000 — made perfectly so that rich people can get off pretty much scot-free.

Even though Bannon was fired in August 2017, he still made regular phone calls with the former president, most notably in the days towards the end of December 2020. Bannon was even called by Trump on Jan. 5, after Mike Pence said he wouldn’t overturn the election results the following day.

Bannon, doing his best impersonation of an earwig, was certainly trying his hardest to get Trump involved in the then soon-to-be insurrection. Honestly, it kind of seems like he was merely waiting until Trump would come back to him since Pence refused to do what he wanted.

And just in case you thought Bannon somehow wasn’t involved in trying to overturn the election, the man quite literally stated outside the FBI’s Washington DC office that he and his people are “taking down the Biden regime.”

Mark Meadows — ex-White House Chief of Staff

Meadows is currently following in Bannon’s footsteps of attempting to stonewall the Jan. 6 select committee’s congressional subpoena, which will likely also lead him to being found indicted for the same reasons. 

The reason why Meadows is so important in this investigation is because of how deeply he was involved in the efforts to overturn the 2020 election and in his attempts to push the Justice Department to investigate multiple unfounded conspiracy theories. Meadows could also have important insight into what Trump was saying or doing as the insurrection was actively occurring on Jan. 6 because he was at his side the entire time.

Meadows has been a hot mess. This man is genuinely having a more difficult time figuring out whether or not he wants to cooperate with the Jan. 6 subcommittee than my mom has ordering dinner at a restaurant without asking our wait staff what they recommend.

First, his texts supposedly went missing. And what I’m hearing is that someone might need to ask Dora the Explorer and her handy dandy map to find out where his texts from Jan. 6 must have grown legs and ran off to.

Then he decided to comply with the investigation before doing another 180 and refusing to cooperate again. Someone help him.

Daniel Scavino — ex-White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications

Scavino is another person who seems as though he has been trying to avoid the Jan. 6 committee. Like, the government literally had difficulty tracking the man down in order to issue him his subpoena. However, he has been granted a postponement. 

The motivation for involving Scavino in the Jan. 6 select committees’ eventual hearings is largely centered around his lengthy relationship with the former president, as he first started working for Trump as his golf caddie when he was 16 years old. The theory is that Scavino might be able to produce some information regarding conversations Trump had with him or others that would imply that the former president played a role in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

It’s pretty likely that we won’t hear much of him or his involvement for another month or two. For Scavino’s sake, hopefully Trump’s looking for another golf caddie sometime soon.

Kashyap Patel — ex-Chief of Staff to former acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller

So far, Patel has reportedly been engaging with the Jan. 6 committee, even if he hasn’t shown up for anything. Kind of sus if you ask me… Not to mention that he’s been trashing the select committee for reportedly being “corrupt” as well as legitimately fundraising off of his issued subpoena

The interest in Patel’s involvement primarily centers on how he was involved with the Pentagon prior to and on Jan. 6, specifically in regard to the security at and on the Capitol. Patel was also reportedly talking to Meadows “nonstop” on the day of the insurrection.

The Jan. 6 select committee has already looked into information regarding the Pentagon’s approach to protecting national security prior to and on the day of the attacks, and Patel just happens to have been involved with senior officials there at the same time.

I, for one, am looking forward to seeing more and more people have to own up to their potential involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

This is indeed the best part of the Trump presidency timeline.

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