The Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot issued a request on Wednesday to the Archivist of the United States for White House communications involving more than 100 federal and state government officials, Trump presidential campaign employees and private citizens.
“Our Constitution provides for a peaceful transfer of power, and this investigation seeks to evaluate threats to that process, identify lessons learned, and recommend laws, policies, procedures, rules, or regulations necessary to protect our Republic in the future,” committee chairman and Democratic Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson wrote to Archivist David Ferriero in a letter accompanying the request. The records request names former President Donald Trump, as well as those closest to him, including former Vice President Mike Pence, former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney. First Lady Melania Trump, three of the former president’s adult children, Don Jr., Eric, and Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law Jared Kushner are also named.
INBOX: Jan. 6 committee issues first broad records request, including to National Archives for records of Trump White House. pic.twitter.com/MKMcEMM1Fq
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) August 25, 2021
Thompson requests records and memos sent by or delivered to Trump or Meadows as early as April 2020. Those documents would contain “efforts, plans, or proposals to contest the 2020 Presidential election results,” as well as “plans, efforts, or discussions regarding the electoral count (including plans, efforts, or discussions regarding delaying or impeding the electoral count).”
Members of Trump’s personal and campaign legal teams, Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Cleta Mitchell, Matt Morgan, Kurt Olsen, and Justin Clark, are also named in the April 2020 records request. Those legal teams filed more than 40 election-related lawsuits, losing every one, according to a Business Insider analysis. Giuliani and Powell are defendants in a defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems, a company that has been the target of conspiracy theories surrounding vote counting. (RELATED: Sidney Powell Drops ‘Kraken’ Lawsuit To Overturn Georgia Election Results)
The records request also targets members of Congress, some of whom have been accused of cooperating with rioters. New Jersey Rep. Mikie Sherrill led a group of 34 House Democrats in requesting an investigation into alleged “suspicious behavior and access given to the Capitol Complex on Tuesday, Jan. 5,” suggesting that members inappropriately gave tours of the Capitol to outside individuals. Sherrill did not name the members, and Capitol Police did not substantiate the claim. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: House Republicans File Complaint Against Democrats For Claims That GOP Led ‘Reconnaissance’ Tours Before Capitol Riot)
‘Stop the Steal’ activist Ali Alexander, who is also named in the records request, claimed in December 2020 that three House Republicans, Arizona Reps. Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar, and Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks helped plan the Capitol riot. All three congressmen have denied any foreknowledge or planning of the riot.
The FBI has not found evidence to suggest that individuals who entered the Capitol on Jan. 6 were acting as part of an over-arching conspiracy to violently overturn the election results, Reuters reported on Aug. 20.
“Ninety to ninety-five percent of these are one-off cases,” a former senior law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation reportedly said. “Then you have five percent, maybe, of these militia groups that were more closely organized. But there was no grand scheme with Roger Stone and Alex Jones and all of these people to storm the Capitol and take hostages.”
The request also focuses on Trump’s efforts to pressure state-level Republicans during the 2020 election and requests documents and communications between Nov. 3, 2020, and Jan. 20, 2021, relating to or involving Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. In December of 2020, Trump urged the chief investigator of the Georgia Secretary of State’s office to examine ballots from Fulton County for fraud, during a six-minute phone call.