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Jan. 6 Committee Subpoenas Trump Speechwriter For Pre-Insurrection Rally

Jan. 6 Committee Subpoenas Trump Speechwriter For Pre-Insurrection Rally

WASHINGTON — The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 assault on the U.S. Capitol issued subpoenas on Tuesday for three more aides to former President Donald Trump, including Ross Worthington, the speechwriter who helped draft the address in which Trump warned his followers that they would lose their country if they didn’t “fight like hell” that day.

“President Trump falsely asserted that he had won the 2020 presidential election and urged the crowd to ‘fight much harder’ and ‘stop the steal,’” the committee’s letter to Worthington states. “President Trump also encouraged attendees to march to the Capitol, telling them ‘I’ll be there with you.’”

Worthington, 33, is among several former aides to Stephen Miller, who was Trump’s speechwriter during his 2016 campaign and who was primarily responsible for Trump’s major addresses during his four years in office. Miller was subpoenaed by the committee in November, as were other top officials in Trump’s White House.

“If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” Trump told thousands of his followers near the White House on the day of the Capitol riot, primarily reading his remarks off teleprompters arranged on both sides of the lectern.

Worthington did not respond to HuffPost’s queries Tuesday.

President Donald Trump speaks to his supporters on Jan. 6, 2021, as Congress prepared to certify Electoral College votes.

Bill Clark via Getty Images

The committee also issued subpoenas to Arthur Schwartz and Andy Surabian, two advisers with close ties to Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., who also spoke at the Jan. 6 rally.

Letters to both men said the committee was interested in their rally-planning activities, including any concerns about the involvement of right-wing conspiracy theorists Ali Alexander and Alex Jones, as well as the arrangement of appearance fees for some speakers.

Schwartz did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

Surabian, through his lawyer, said he would cooperate with the committee but that he did not have any knowledge about Jan. 6.

“While we plan on cooperating with the committee within reason, we are bewildered as to why Mr. Surabian is being subpoenaed in the first place. He had nothing at all to do with the events that took place at the Capitol that day, zero involvement in organizing the rally that preceded it and was off the payroll of the Trump campaign as of November 15, 2020,” attorney Daniel Bean wrote in a statement.

The bipartisan Jan. 6 committee plans to start holding public hearings as early as next month with the goal of producing an interim report on Trump’s efforts to block the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential election victory in his attempt to retain power.

“Protests on that day escalated into an attack on our democracy. Protesters became rioters who carried out a violent attempt to derail the peaceful transfer of power,” Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said in a statement. “We have reason to believe the individuals we’ve subpoenaed today have relevant information and we expect them to join the more than 340 individuals who have spoken with the Select Committee as we push ahead to investigate this attack on our democracy and ensure nothing like this ever happens again.”

Trump, who lost the election by 7 million votes nationally and 306-232 in the Electoral College, became the first president in more than two centuries of U.S. elections to refuse to hand over power peacefully. The Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol ― which Trump incited in a last-ditch attempt to remain in office ― resulted in five deaths, including of a police officer, as well as injuries to another 140 officers and four police suicides.

Despite this, Trump remains the dominant figure in the Republican Party and is openly speaking about running for the presidency again in 2024.

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