Kash Patel, a former chief of staff to then-acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, met with the House committee investigating January 6, according to a source familiar with the matter.
CNN spotted Patel on Thursday walk into a room with a team of lawyers carrying documents and has been behind closed doors for several hours. He did not respond to several questions during a break in his meeting, including if he plans to plead the Fifth.
Along with Patel, members of the committee also met Thursday with “Stop the Steal” rally organizer Ali Alexander, conservative lawyer John Eastman and Chris Krebs, the former Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in the Department of Homeland Security.
The depositions come as the committee is facing delay and stonewalling tactics from top Trump allies on multiple fronts, and though the committee has conducted nearly 300 interviews, many of their top profile targets have been granted postponements for their depositions as the parties involved work out the arrangements for their depositions.
Patel was was first subpoenaed by the committee in September and has been going back-and-forth with the panel over what day he would be coming in. Patel previously served as an aide to Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California.
At the time of the subpoena, Patel said he was “disappointed, but not surprised” that the committee had subpoenaed him “before seeking (his) voluntary cooperation.”
“I will continue to tell the truth to the American people about the events of January 6th,” he wrote at the time.
He said in a Thursday night statement that he had appeared before the panel “to answer questions to the best of my ability.”
“The DOD Inspector General, under the Biden Administration, found no wrongdoing in its report on Jan. 6, as I shared with the Committee,” he added.
CNN previously reported that the committee told Patel “there is substantial reason to believe” that he has important insight and information into how the Department of Defense and White House prepared for and responded to the attack at the US Capitol. The committee also said it wants to learn more about the direct communication Patel had with former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on the day of the insurrection.
The panel will begin the process of holding Meadows in criminal contempt next week after he reversed course and stopped cooperating with the committee, on top of Meadows filing a new lawsuit against the committee on Wednesday to block the subpoena against him.
Alexander, Eastman and Krebs appear
Alexander faced questions for most of the day after arriving for his meeting before 10 a.m. ET. He told reporters before entering that he planned to cooperate with the committee.
Alexander’s group had a permit on January 6 to hold a rally on the North East side of the Capitol grounds, but contends he played no part in the violence that took place on January 6.
He previously claimed that he worked closely with Republican congressmen in planning the rally at the Capitol on January 6. Alexander said on Periscope in December 2020 that he was in contact with Republican Reps. Paul Gosar of Arizona, Mo Brooks of Alabama and Andy Biggs of Arizona about the rally that preceded the riot.
On Thursday, Alexander denied that he worked with lawmakers to attack the Capitol.
Eastman, who helped craft a questionable legal theory that former Vice President Mike Pence had the constitutional authority to interrupt the certification of the 2020 presidential election results, appeared in person for a scheduled deposition with the panel, a source familiar with the meeting told CNN.
Eastman’s deposition was originally scheduled for Wednesday but postponed a day.
He previously told the committee that he planned to plead the Fifth in response to their questions, and the committee did not give any indication that Eastman had changed his position.
Krebs, the former top administration official for cybersecurity, whom Trump fired after the election, also appeared, a source familiar with the meeting told CNN. He has not been publicly subpoenaed by the committee.
This story has been updated with additional reporting Thursday.
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