Jan. 6 panel subpoenas six people tied to pro-Trump fake electors plan

By: - February 16, 2022 9:34 am

An intruder holds a Trump flag inside the U.S. Capitol Building near the Senate Chamber on Jan. 6, 2021. The mob disrupted a joint session of Congress called to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral College win over President Donald Trump. Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol issued subpoenas Tuesday for six people — including prominent Republicans in Arizona, Michigan and Pennsylvania — involved in planning slates of fake electors for former President Donald Trump.

Chairman Bennie G. Thompson said in a statement the panel is “seeking records and testimony from former campaign officials and other individuals” who had relevant information about plans to select alternative electors. Those bogus electors claimed Trump won states he had, in fact, lost.

“The Select Committee has heard from more than 550 witnesses, and we expect these six individuals to cooperate as well as we work to tell the American people the full story about the violence of January 6th and its causes,” the Mississippi Democrat said.

Among those subpoenaed are Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward, Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem, former Michigan Republican Chair Laura Cox and Pennsylvania GOP state Sen. Doug Mastriano.

The panel also issued subpoenas for Michael Roman and Gary Michael Brown, who were director and deputy director of Trump’s election day operations team.

The subpoenas are part of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol’s efforts to gain a clearer understanding of why GOP officials and politicians in states Trump lost signed certificates for fake electors who attempted to declare Trump the victor.

The six subpoenas issued Tuesday come less than a month after the select committee issued subpoenas for 14 people from seven states who participated as fake electors following the 2020 presidential election.

In the letter to Ward, the select committee said she “apparently spoke with former President Trump and members of his staff about election certification issues in Arizona.”

She also allegedly sent text messages to an Arizona election official stating “we need you to stop the counting” and telling the person to contact a lawyer for the Trump campaign after The Associated Press and Fox News declared President Joe Biden the winner of its Electoral College votes.

The select committee has already issued a subpoena for Ward and her husband’s cell phone records from Nov. 1, 2020, through Jan. 31, 2021. Ward has sued in federal court in an attempt to block her cell phone company, T-Mobile, from turning over the records.

Finchem, who was outside the Capitol on Jan. 6 and attended a QAnon conspiracy theory convention in Las Vegas, was allegedly involved in an array of activities following the 2020 election.

The committee wrote that he claimed the election was “rigged;” helped arrange an event at a Phoenix hotel where he reportedly said “not only do we have ballots that are improper but we have an election system that’s been hacked;” and while in Washington, D.C. around the time of the Jan. 6 attack said he wanted “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.”

The panel wrote to Cox that it would like information about how she reportedly witnessed Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani pressuring “state lawmakers to disregard election results in Michigan” and saying that “certifying the election results would be a ‘criminal act.’”

Mastriano, who is running in Pennsylvania’s Republican gubernatorial primary, reportedly spoke with Trump following the election while Mastriano was participating in plans to select alternate electors to falsely claim the state’s Electoral College votes belonged to Trump.

“We understand you participated in these activities based on assertions of voter fraud and other asserted irregularities and based on a stated belief that under the U.S. Constitution the ‘state legislature has the sole authority to direct the manner of selecting delegates to the Electoral College,’” the committee wrote. “We have an interest in understanding these activities and the theories that motivated them.”

The select committee wrote to Brown and Roman that it would like to discuss various false statements they made about Trump winning the 2020 election as well as their efforts to select fake electors.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Jennifer Shutt
Jennifer Shutt

Jennifer covers the nation’s capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom. Her coverage areas include congressional policy, politics and legal challenges with a focus on health care, unemployment, housing and aid to families.