In a serious escalation, the Jan. 6 Select Committee‘s Chair Benny Thompson announced that subpoenas to appear before the committee would go out to the organizers of the peaceful rally near the White House that featured sitting President Donald Trump.
The rally, billed as “Stop the Steal,” was to gather people who believed the 2020 presidential election was riddled with fraud.
Violence later broke out at the Capitol building, when it was breached while the counting of the electoral votes was taking place.
The Jan. 6 Committee wants to hear testimony from Ali Alexander, also known as Ali Abdul Akbar, and Nathan Martin. The two are connected to permit applications for the rally.
A report from Axios claims that information released from the committee states that Alexander,
“made repeated reference during Stop-the-Steal-sponsored events to the possible use of violence to achieve the organization’s goals and claimed to have been in communication with the White House and Members of Congress regarding events planned to coincide with the certification of the 2020 Electoral College results.”
The committee is also requesting records from Stop the Steal LLC, an entity affiliated with the rally.
Alexander and Martin are scheduled to testify on October 28 and 29.
Committee Chair Thompson defended the need for testimony from the organizers of the peaceful rally that had approved permits.
Thompson stated in a press release, “The rally on the Capitol grounds on January 6th, like the rally near the White House that day, immediately preceded the violent attack on the seat of our democracy.”
“Over the course of that day, demonstrations escalated to violence and protestors became rioters. The Select Committee needs to understand all the details about the events that came before the attack, including who was involved in planning and funding them. We expect these witnesses to cooperate fully with our probe.”
Media outlet Politico is referring to the event as the “pre-insurrection rally,” though there is no evidence the two events are connected.
The bad news for the committee is that not everyone is going to show up to be grilled. Four former aides to President Trump are reportedly defying the subpoenas and will not attend the committee hearings.
A report from The Guardian says former White House Chief of staff Mark Meadows, former advisor Steve Bannon, former communications official Dan Scavino, and former Defense Department official Kash Patel will resist the subpoena orders.
However, in the usual twist of irony that often accompanies Democrat action, while Committee Chair Rep. Thompson is investigating what is being called an “insurrection,” Thompson might have some knowledge about insurrection.
In the early 1970’s Thompson was an alderman in a small Missisippi town. There, he openly supported a secessionist group called the Republic of New Africa (RNA).
Thompson blamed local law enforcement for confrontations with the group that resulted in a police officer being killed and injuries to an FBI agent.
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