The House select committee investigating the January 6 riot issued a new round of subpoenas on Monday to five of former President Donald Trump’s allies directly involved in planning “Stop the Steal” rallies, including longtime Republican operative Roger Stone and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
The latest batch of subpoenas indicates the committee continues to focus, in part, on organizers and funding of the “Stop the Steal” rallies that took place on January 5 and 6, as well as earlier rallies in the months leading up to the US Capitol attack.
Also subpoenaed by the committee Monday: Dustin Stockton and Jennifer Lawrence, key players in the “Stop the Steal” movement after the election.
Stockton was one of the administrators of a “Stop the Steal” Facebook group that amassed hundreds of thousands of followers before it was shut down by the social media company on November 5 — the day after it was launched.
Taylor Budowich, who is currently the primary political spokesperson for the former President and serves as communications director for the Save America PAC, was the final individual subpoenaed Monday. In its subpoena letter, the committee cites that Budowich “reportedly solicited a 501c(4) organization to conduct a social media and radio advertising campaign encouraging attendance at the January 6th Ellipse rally and advancing unsupported claims about the result of the election.”
“The Select Committee is seeking information about the rallies and subsequent march to the Capitol that escalated into a violent mob attacking the Capitol and threatening our democracy. We need to know who organized, planned, paid for, and received funds related to those events, as well as what communications organizers had with officials in the White House and Congress,” Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, who chairs the committee, said in a statement.
Budowich was a senior adviser for the Trump 2020 campaign, specifically working with Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle. He is a longtime right wing political operative — working as senior communications adviser for Ron Desantis during his successful campaign for governor of Florida in 2018 and once served as executive director of the Tea Party Express.
The committee might have particular interest in Budowich’s connection to Guilfoyle. The former Fox News personality played a big role in the planning and preparation of the January 6 rallies.
Stone, Jones, Stockton and Lawrence also have longstanding ties to Trump ally Steve Bannon, who is awaiting trial on contempt of Congress charges stemming from his refusal to cooperate with a subpoena from the committee.
Both Stockton and Lawrence were involved in Bannon’s “We Build the Wall” crowdfunding group, and in August 2020, federal agents raided their recreational vehicle in Mesquite, Nevada, hours before prosecutors unsealed charges accusing others involved in the group, including Bannon.
Meanwhile, the origins of the “Stop the Steal” slogan can be traced to Stone, a self-described “dirty trickster” whose 40-month prison sentence for seven felonies was cut short by Trump’s commutation last July.
Stone was involved in the movement’s rise to prominence around the 2020 election.
Along with Bannon and Jones, Stone was also among the most notable voices pushing conspiracy theories in the immediate aftermath of the 2020 election.
At the time, Stone appeared on Jones’ far-right radio show to trumpet groundless claims that Joe Biden was trying to steal the election, and Bannon echoed similar conspiracy theories on his podcast, calling the election “a mass fraud.”
In March, CNN reported that police in Washington, DC, were investigating an allegation that Jones threatened to push another pro-Trump political organizer off of an event stage in December, according to people familiar with the incident.
The allegation was filed with DC police by Kylie Jane Kremer, executive director of the organization Women for America First, a group that helped organize a series of post-election rallies, including one in a park south of the White House that preceded the Capitol riot on January 6.
Kremer was previously subpoenaed by the select committee.
The alleged threat occurred outside the Willard InterContinental hotel, located about two blocks from the White House, according to the police report. The Willard served as an election-related “command center” for Trump allies around January 6, and the committee has expressed significant interest in learning more about what was happening there at that time.
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