The congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol on Tuesday issued subpoenas for three attorneys who have joined former President Donald Trump’s unsuccessful attempt to overturn his election defeat: Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and Jenna Ellis.
The House committee called on pro-Trump lawyers to turn over documents and meet for testimony on February 8.
Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee’s chair, said in a statement that the panel expects the attorneys to join the nearly 400 witnesses who spoke to the select committee as part of its investigation into the causes of the deadly attack by Trump supporters. The committee has also subpoenaed Boris Epshteyn, a political adviser to Trump.
Robert Costello, an attorney for Giuliani, said in an interview that the subpoena was “political theatre” and that his client was limited by the legal doctrines of attorney-client and executive privilege.
“I don’t think he can testify to anything here,” Costello said. Powell, Epshteyn and Ellis did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
“The four people we summoned today have advanced unsupported theories about voter fraud, advanced efforts to overturn the election results, or been in direct contact with the former president about attempts to stop the vote count,” Thompson said in the explanation.
Pro-Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and Jenna Ellis have been summoned by the US House of Representatives committee to investigate the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol https://t.co/PFOorm63Fd pic.twitter.com/3ddkVWvp97
– Reuters (@Reuters) January 19, 2022
Powell, Giuliani and Ellis spoke together at a Trump campaign news conference on November 19, 2020, where they vowed to overturn President Joe Biden’s election victory. Powell promised to “release the Kraken,” likening her efforts to a mythological sea monster.
The Trump campaign distanced itself from Powell after claiming at the press conference without any evidence that electronic voting systems switched millions of ballots from Trump to Biden.
Giuliani’s New York attorney license was suspended in June after a state appeals court found he had made “provenly false and misleading” statements that widespread voter fraud undermined the election won by Democrat Joe Biden.
The committee intends to release an interim report in the summer and a final report in the fall, a source familiar with the investigation said last month.
CNN reported Tuesday that the committee subpoenaed and obtained records of phone numbers linked to one of Trump’s children, Eric Trump, as well as Kimberly Guilfoyle, who is engaged to Donald Trump Jr.
The members of the special committee have announced that they will consider forwarding evidence of Trump’s criminal conduct to the US Department of Justice.
Such a move, known as a criminal referral, would be largely symbolic but would increase political pressure on Attorney General Merrick Garland to indict the former president.