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House Jan. 6 committee issues subpoenas to Proud Boys, Oath Keepers

House Jan. 6 commission Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) talks to reporters on Capitol Hill on Nov. 4. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
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The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob issued subpoenas Tuesday to the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and other groups as it investigates the causes of the insurrection.

Proud Boys leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, Oath Keeper founder and leader Stewart Rhodes, and 1st Amendment Praetorian co-founder Robert Patrick Lewis are the targets of the inquiry’s latest tranche of subpoenas. The committee is seeking depositions and documents from the three, along with requests for documents and records from the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys.

“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,” Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), the committee’s chairman, said in a statement.

The House select committee investigating the attempted insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 faces an uphill battle with former Trump administration officials. (Video: Blair Guild/The Washington Post)

Federal authorities have already arrested associates of some of these right-wing groups involved in storming the Capitol. Tarrio and Rhodes have been a focus of the FBI’s ongoing investigation into the Capitol attack for their roles in the Jan. 6 attack.

Tarrio, 37, has been serving a five-month sentence for two crimes, including setting fire to a Black Lives Matter banner stolen from a historic Black church in Washington during a demonstration after Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

Tarrio was denied early release from a D.C. jail by a judge Monday after claiming that he has endured unsanitary conditions and mistreatment at the jail.

In a letter transmitting notice of the subpoena, Thompson cites Tarrio’s post on Parler that Proud Boys would “not be wearing our traditional Black and Yellow” but would be “incognito” instead for the Jan. 6 Stop the Steal protest, as an example of some of the advanced planning Tarrio was involved in ahead of the event.

“Though you were prevented from participating in the events at the United States Capitol on January 6th, to date, at least 34 individuals affiliated with the Proud Boys have been indicted by the Department of Justice in relation to the attack at the United States Capitol,” Thompson writes.

The committee is also seeking depositions and documents from Rhodes, citing his repeated suggestions in written and spoken remarks that the Oath Keepers “should, or were prepared to, engage in violence to ensure their preferred election outcome.”

The committee also identifies Rhodes as an individual referred to in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Washington that “describes a conspiracy among at least 18 Oath Keepers in which members of the Oath Keepers planned to move together in coordination and with regular communication to storm” the Capitol.

In an interview with The Washington Post this fall, Rhodes, who has cooperated with FBI investigators, denied that he and other Oath Keepers planned to disrupt Congress’s certification of the electoral college vote and said that Oath Keepers associates who breached the Capitol “went totally off mission.” And an investigation by The Post found that Rhodes’s image as the leader of a real paramilitary group is exaggerated.

Lewis is also a subpoena target for his connection to right-wing provocateur Ali Alexander, who has also been subpoenaed by the committee, and for his work with Sidney Powell and Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn and their efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Flynn was also subpoenaed by the committee this month for his involvement with the Jan. 6 insurrection.

The committee has issued more than 40 subpoenas since the investigation began, spanning a range of targets allegedly involved with various operations surrounding the events leading up to and on Jan. 6. On Monday, the committee issued subpoenas for more people involved with the Stop the Steal rally, including conspiracy theorist and right-wing media figure Alex Jones and longtime Trump ally Roger Stone.