The House committee investigating the insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021, issued subpoenas Tuesday to members of former president Donald Trump’s outside legal team who pursued and disseminated unfounded claims of mass election fraud, including Trump’s former personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani, former White House aide Boris Epshteyn, and lawyers Jenna Ellis and Sidney Powell.
“The four individuals we’ve subpoenaed today advanced unsupported theories about election fraud, pushed efforts to overturn the election results, or were in direct contact with the former President about attempts to stop the counting of electoral votes,” Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) said in a statement.
Thompson’s statement added, “We expect these individuals to join the nearly 400 witnesses who have spoken with the Select Committee as the committee works to get answers for the American people about the violent attack on our democracy.”
The committee has also subpoenaed and obtained records of phone numbers associated with Eric Trump and Kimberly Guilfoyle, the fiance of Donald Trump Jr., a person familiar with the committee’s work, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, confirmed Tuesday. The news was first reported by CNN.
Giuliani and Epshteyn were part of the group of Trump advisers who coalesced at a “command center” at the Willard Hotel in the lead-up to the Jan. 6 rally on the Ellipse and the counting of electoral votes, The Washington Post reported.
In a letter transmitting notice of the subpoenas, Thompson cites Giuliani’s involvement in seeking to convince state legislators to take steps to overturn the election results, his urging of Trump to seize voting machines across the country, and his contact with Trump in the days ahead of Jan. 6 “regarding strategies for delaying or overturning the results of the 2020 election.”
Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello, said Tuesday he will review the subpoena but notes there are significant legal barriers to Giuliani providing information related to his work.
“It should be obvious, even to a non-lawyer like Bennie Thompson, that besides executive privilege we have attorney-client privilege and to my knowledge Donald Trump hasn’t waived that privilege,” Costello said in a statement to The Post. “The reality is that this is just more political theater from the committee.
Thompson’s letter to Epshteyn references his presence at the Willard Hotel in the days leading up to Jan. 6, along with his participation on a call with Trump on the morning of Jan. 6 where options were discussed to delay the certification of election results.
Epshteyn, who has also worked as a pro-Trump TV pundit, tweeted a statement slamming the committee’s work as a “Stalinist witch hunt against President Trump and his supporters.” He added that he would “be happy to” share unsubstantiated claims of election “fraud that permeated the 2020 election in Arizona, Wisconsin, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and beyond.”
In a letter accompanying the committee’s subpoena to Ellis, Thompson notes her involvement in preparing and circulating two memos “purporting to analyze the constitutional authority for the Vice President to reject or delay counting electoral votes from states that had submitted alternate slates of electors.”
Ellis, who did not respond to request for comment, was one of the lawyers who worked closely with the outside legal operation being run by Giuliani seeking to overturn the 2020 election results.
The committee is also seeking a deposition from Powell, as well as documents related to her claims of election fraud on behalf of the former president. Powell, who did not respond to request for comment, raised millions off her efforts to reverse the election results. Federal prosecutors last fall demanded the financial records of multiple fundraising organizations she founded to pay for election litigation.
Eric Trump and Guilfoyle, meanwhile, are among more than 100 people whose phone records have now been subpoenaed as part of the investigation — but their subpoenas are the first involving the communications records of a member of Trump’s family. The Post has previously reported on Guilfoyle’s role working with Julie Fancelli, a top-tier Trump donor who is the largest publicly known donor to the rally that preceded the riot at the U.S. Capitol. Guilfoyle and Eric Trump both appeared onstage at the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally.
The latest tranche of subpoenas comes as the committee has ramped up efforts ahead of the public phase of its investigation.
“We’re piecing together information from the President’s inner circle and others who were in a position to see and hear what the plot was leading up to the riot,” committee member Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) told CNN in an interview Monday.