Panel probing US Capitol riot issues subpoenas to Trump rally organisers

More than 600 people have been charged with taking part in the deadly Jan 6 riot at the Capitol.
More than 600 people have been charged with taking part in the deadly Jan 6 riot at the Capitol.PHOTO: NYTIMES

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The US House of Representatives Select Committee investigating the deadly Jan 6 riot at the Capitol said on Wednesday (Sept 29) it had issued subpoenas to organisers of events and rallies leading up to the attack on the seat of government, as it broadened its inquiry.

The committee said the subpoenas were sent to 11 people, including leaders of Women for America First, a group that hosted the "Save America Rally" on Jan 6, where then-President Donald Trump told the crowd to march to the Capitol, urging them "to show strength."

More than 600 people have been charged with taking part in the violence, which followed Republican Mr Trump's rally speech repeating his false claims that his election loss to Democrat Joe Biden was the result of widespread fraud.

Those claims have been rejected by multiple courts, state election officials and members of Mr Trump's own administration.

The subpoenas were issued to Ms Amy Kremer, a founder and chair of Women for America First; Ms Kylie Kremer, a founder and executive director of the pro-Trump group and Ms Cynthia Chafian, who submitted a permit application for the rally on behalf of the group.

"The investigation has revealed credible evidence of your involvement in events within the scope of the Select Committee's inquiry," read a letter sent by committee chairman Representative Bennie Thompson.

The committee demanded the 11 people testify under oath at depositions between late October and early November, according to letters released by the panel.

Others whom the committee said were listed on permit paperwork for the rally who were issued subpoenas included Ms Carolina Wren, Ms Maggie Mulvaney, Mr Justin Caporale and Mr Tim Unes of a company called Event Strategies, Ms Megan Powers of MPowers Consulting, Ms Hannah Salem of Salem Strategies LLC and Mr Lyndon Brentnall of RMS Protective services.

Women for American First did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Also subpoenaed was Ms Katrina Pierson, a spokesperson for Mr Trump's 2016 presidential campaign who helped organise Mr Trump's rallies during the final weeks of his presidency.

In a letter to Ms Pierson, Mr Thompson demanded testimony and documents from Ms Pierson about a reported meeting she had with Mr Trump on Jan 4.

Ms Pierson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A mob of Mr Trump supporters, many of whom had attended the rally, stormed the Capitol as Congress was meeting to certify Mr Biden's election victory.

The attack delayed that process for several hours as then-Vice-President Mike Pence, members of Congress, staff and journalists fled from rioters.

The Select Committee last week issued subpoenas to four former members of Mr Trump's administration, including Mr Mark Meadows and Mr Steve Bannon. Mr Meadows, a former congressman, served as Mr Trump's White House chief of staff. Mr Bannon was a White House adviser to Mr Trump.