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January 6 committee subpoenas others tied to false elector scheme

How GOP voters feel about January 6 and Donald Trump
How GOP voters feel about January 6 and Donald Trump 07:47

The House committee investigating the January 6 attack on Tuesday issued another half dozen subpoenas to individuals connected to an unsuccessful scheme to have false "alternate electors" cast electoral votes for former President Donald Trump in states won by President Joe Biden. 

The group, which includes the Trump campaign's Election Day director, is the second batch of Trump allies the panel has targeted the past month as it turns its attention to false Electoral College certificates submitted in seven states.

In letters to two former Trump campaign officials, the panel's chair Bennie Thompson, wrote that the committee has discovered that the plan was directed at least in part from the former president's national campaign. 

"The Select Committee is in possession of communications involving you and other members of the Trump campaign reflecting a coordinated strategy to contact Republican members of state legislatures in certain states that former President Trump had lost and urge them to 'reclaim' their authority by sending an alternate slate of electors that would support former President Trump," Thompson wrote. 

Arizona in the Crosshairs
In this Tuesday, May 8, 2018 photo, U.S. Senatorial candidate Kelli Ward waves to volunteers and voters as she walks past a cardboard cut-out of President Donald Trump and the first lady Melania Trump during the Sun Lakes Republican Club meeting in Sun Lakes, Arizona.  Matt York / AP

Thompson said that Michael Roman and Gary Michael Brown, director and deputy director of the Trump campaign's Election Day operations, helped coordinate campaign staffers' efforts in the scheme. 

Among the other individuals to whom the committee issued subpoenas were two state lawmakers who took part in the alternative elector plot and traveled to Washington on January 6. 

Mark Finchem, an Arizona state House member, said in a press release the following week that he was there "to deliver an evidence book and letter to Vice President Pence showing key evidence of fraud in the Arizona Presidential Election, and asking him to consider postponing the award of electors…"

Doug Mastriano, a Pennsylvania state senator, publicly called for the Republican-controlled legislature in his state to appoint its own electors to change the outcome of the presidential election there because of "mounting evidence that the PA presidential election was compromised."

The committee also subpoenaed Kelli Ward, the chair of the Arizona GOP. Ward, who sued the committee earlier this month over its pursuit of her phone records, "apparently acted as a purported Electoral College elector to meet and ultimately transmit to Congress a set of alternate Electoral College votes," Thompson wrote in his letter to her. 

The committee additionally demanded a deposition with Laura Cox, the chairwoman of the Michigan GOP, who was reportedly with Rudy Guiliani on calls during which he encouraged local activists to convince Republican state lawmakers to appoint their own electors for Trump. 

The committee has issued dozens of subpoenas, including ones to Trump's allies, former White House officials, campaign aides and individuals involved in the planning of the rally outside the White House before the Capitol building came under siege. Two top Trump allies, Steve Bannon and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, have been held in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with subpoenas, and the Justice Department has charged Bannon. Both said they are following instructions from Trump, who has claimed executive privilege.  

The House created the select committee last year to investigate the January 6 attack, when thousands of Trump supporters descended on the Capitol as Congress counted the electoral votes, a largely ceremonial final step affirming Mr. Biden's victory. Lawmakers were sent fleeing amid the riot, which led to the deaths of five people and the arrests of hundreds more. Trump, who encouraged his supporters to "walk over" to the Capitol during the rally at the Ellipse before the electoral vote count, was impeached by the House one week later for inciting the riot but was later acquitted by the Senate

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