The January 6 commission expanded its fishing expedition still further last week with its request of phone records from President Trump’s former Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows.
The House select committee investigating the 6 January attack on the Capitol has instructed telecom and social media companies in recent weeks to preserve records of Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, according to a source familiar with the matter.
The move positions the select committee on the doorstep of the Oval Office as it pursues a far-reaching inquiry into whether Trump and his White House helped plan or had advance knowledge of the insurrection perpetrated by the former president’s supporters.
House select committee investigators signaled their intention to examine potential involvement by the Trump White House and House Republicans when they made a series of records demands and records preservation requests for Trump officials connected to the Capitol attack.
In the records preservation requests, the select committee instructed 35 telecom and social media companies to avoid destroying communications logs of several hundred people, including the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, and 10 House Republicans, in case it later issues subpoenas.
But the previously unreported inclusion of Meadows on the list of people whose records the select committee wants preserved suggests the panel will seek more information on the most senior aide in the Trump administration and could upturn every inch of the West Wing in its inquiry.
The former chief of staff is among several top White House officials who may hold the key to unlock inside information pertaining to the extent of the former president’s involvement in the Capitol attack that left five dead and nearly 140 injured.
With this request, the Commission added Meadows to the never-ending list of individuals the Commission wants to investigate in its increasingly desperate attempt to preserve its flailing collusion narrative—namely, that senior White House officials and/or Trump-aligned members of congress were somehow complicit in the events of January 6. The ever-expanding list already includes Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, Mo Brooks, Louie Gohmert and many others.
The commission, led by Bennie Thompson, a high-ranking Mississippi Democrat, has demonstrated no compunction over wielding its subpoena powers against hapless civilians with threadbare connections to January 6. In the past month, the commission has pursued a huge swath of innocent third parties with reckless abandon:
- The commission demanded highly sensitive network and user data from social media sites and forums such as Gab, Parler, 4chan, 8kun and TheDonald.win.
- All phone records concerning the time, location and duration of calls—including the content of texts—have been demanded from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.
- All communications and documents between White House staff and dozens of outside Republican influencers have been demanded. The level of obscurity of these contacts extends all the way down to gay rights activist Brandon Straka, InfoWars host Owen Shroyer and black MAGA rapper Bryson Gray.
But the Commission’s never-ending appetite for phone records of anyone remotely associated with 1/6 belies the fishiest and perhaps darkest aspect of this otherwise merely farcical fishing expedition.
That is, the Commission seems to have requested data from the communications devices of everyone who set foot in DC on January 6, except for Stewart Rhodes, the founder and leader of the Oathkeepers, which is the largest militia group associated with the events of 1/6 . Stewart Rhodes looms so large over the Oath Keepers that he is said to effectively be the Oath Keepers. Given that the Oath Keepers are the most widely prosecuted organized militia group charged with carrying out a conspiracy to obstruct the Senate vote on January 6, the omission of Rhodes from the Commission’s fact-finding expedition is quite strange, to say the least.
Under normal circumstances, of course, we might chalk this up to standard congressional incompetence.
However, the commission’s seeming neglect of Rhodes must be considered in light of the fact that after more than eight months, the Feds have refused to indict Rhodes for a single charge related to his span of alleged activities leading up to, and on the day of, January 6. From our reporting on June 30th of this year:
The Justice Department argues that Stewart Rhodes both substantially organized and activated an imputed plan to use violence, on 1/6, in real-time, through a series of encrypted Signal messages beginning at 1:38 p.m., as Trump concluded his rally speech on the National Mall, and 62 minutes before Oath Keepers lieutenants allegedly formed a “military stack” to rush the Capitol doors.
These facts alone, as alleged, are more than legally sufficient to secure an indictment of Stewart Rhodes. We will walk you through the mountains of direct and circumstantial evidence built on top of these allegations, but readers must understand this: the only reason Stewart Rhodes is not in jail *right now* is because of a deliberate decision by the Justice Department to protect him.
And yet, while protecting Rhodes, the Justice Department has used Rhodes’s extraordinary breadth of January 6 activities to throw the book at his alleged underlings.