The House select committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol has subpoenaed former White House press assistant Judd Deere for both documents and deposition related to Donald Trump’s response to the mob’s assault on Congress, CNN reports.
The committee – which has accelerated its probe into the events surrounding the assault on 6 January, 2021 – has already met virtually with Mr Deere’s former boss, Kayleigh McEnany, who served as White House press secretary from April 2020 until the end of Mr Trump’s term in office.
In its letter to Mr Deere obtained by the network, the committee said that he “publicly claimed that fraud had affected the November 2020 election,” pointing to a Twitter post from December 2020 in which he wrote that “the House and Senate have agreed to focus strongly on the very substantial voter fraud which took place” in the 2020 presidential election, a narrative that also fuelled the attacks on 6 January.
The panel requested information from Mr Deere – who was appointed to special assistant to the president and deputy press secretary in January 2019 – because he “met and communicated with various officials about formulating the White House’s response to the attack on the US Capitol while the attack occurred”.
Its letter specifically mentions an Oval Office staff meeting with then-president Trump the day before the attack.
On 7 January, 2021, Mr Deere issued a statement on behalf of the White House, announcing that it “grieves the loss of life that occurred yesterday and extends sympathies to their families and loved ones. We also continue to pray for a speedy recovery for those who suffered injury.”
Ms McEnany and Mr Deere were among former White House officials whose records the committee sought as part of a sweeping documents request from the National Archives and Records Administration.
Last week, the agency said it has “provided the Select Committee with all the records at issue in the litigation”, including more than 750 pages of Trump-era documents that the committee hopes will establish what exactly was happening at the Trump White House before, during, and after a pro-Trump mob breached the halls of Congress to stop the certification of Electoral College results, representing millions of Americans’ votes.
In a November statement announcing the panel’s subpoenas for Ms McEnany and other former officials, committee chair Bennie Thompson said that the panel needs to “know precisely what role the former president and his aides played in efforts to stop the counting of the electoral votes and if they were in touch with anyone outside the White House attempting to overturn the outcome of the election.”