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The select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot has subpoenaed the leaders of the right-wing groups Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and 1st Amendment Praetorian.
“The Select Committee is seeking information from individuals and organizations reportedly involved with planning the attack, with the violent mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6th, or with efforts to overturn the results of the election,” committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said in a press release Tuesday. “We believe the individuals and organizations we subpoenaed today have relevant information about how violence erupted at the Capitol and the preparation leading up to this violent attack.”
The press release announcing the subpoenas said that “at least 34 individuals affiliated with the Proud Boys” organization have been indicted in connection the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, while noting that many other people associated with the group helped spread claims that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump.
Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, who at the time of the riot was the chairman of the Proud Boys, was also subpoenaed, with the press release stating that he was involved in the planning of the riot even though he was not allowed to enter Washington, D.C., on the day protests broke out.
President of the Oath Keepers Elmer Stewart Rhodes was similarly subpoenaed, with the release asserting that he “repeatedly suggested the Oath Keepers should engage in violence to ensure their preferred election outcome.” The release notes that 18 members of the organization have so far been charged in relation to the riot, while many others were involved in the planning or participated.
The subpoenas also target the 1st Amendment Praetorian, arguing the organization “provided security” at rallies leading up to the riot and were also responsible for amplifying Trump’s election fraud claims. The release points to a tweet by 1st Amendment Praetorian Chairman Robert Patrick Lewis in which Lewis declared that Jan. 6 was “the day that true battles begin.”
The select committee was formed in June to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riots in a largely party-line vote, with only Republican Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., voting with Democrats to form it.
“The Select Committee is moving swiftly to uncover the facts of what happened on that day and we expect every witness to comply with the law and cooperate so we can get answers to the American people,” Thompson said.