In the wake of Steve Bannon’s indictment for refusing to comply with a congressional subpoena related to the House investigation into the January 6 riot, a number of Trumpworld celebrities have now found themselves in the committee’s crosshairs. On Monday, the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack issued subpoenas to five individuals allied with Donald Trump, all of whom reportedly took part in or had knowledge of the planning, funding, or orchestrating of the “Stop the Steal” rallies. Those subpoenaed include GOP operative Roger Stone, far-right commentator Alex Jones, Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich, and a pair of pro-Trump organizers, Dustin Stockton and Jennifer Lawrence, responsible for amassing hundreds of thousands of members on a “Stop the Steal” Facebook group.
In a Monday statement, Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat who chairs the select committee, wrote that “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.”
Budowich, whose current title is communications director for Trump’s Save America PAC, previously worked alongside Donald Trump Jr. and former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle while serving as a senior adviser for the Trump 2020 campaign. In the committee’s subpoena announcement, Budowich is accused of reportedly soliciting “a 501(c)(4) organization to conduct a social media and radio advertising campaign encouraging attendance at the January 6 Ellipse rally and advancing unsupported claims about the result of the election.” It appears that Budowich’s connection to Guilfoyle may be what piqued the interest of the January 6 committee, given that she claimed to have raised $3 million for the January 6 rally that Trump spoke at in the hours leading up to the Capitol riot.
According to a ProPublica report, Guilfoyle, who is dating Trump Jr. and worked as a fundraiser for the Trump Victory committee, made the claim while bragging two days before January 6 that she “raised so much money for this” in a series of text messages. “Literally one of my donors Julie at 3 million,” wrote Guilfoyle in reference to GOP mega-donor Julie Jenkins Fancelli. In a statement to ProPublica, Guilfoyle’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, claimed that his client’s text messages “did not relate to the ‘Save America’ rally” and were “inaccurate” and “taken out of context.” As for Guilfoyle’s own actions on January 6, she did passionately address the crowd that gathered to hear Trump and Trump Jr. speak. “We will continue to stand for President Trump,” she said. “We will not allow the liberals and the Democrats to steal our dream or steal our elections.
In a letter to Jones sent in tandem with his subpoena, the select committee highlighted past comments in which the Infowars host admitted to working with January 6 rally organizers by “facilitating a donor, now known to be Julie Fancelli, to provide what [he] characterized as ‘eighty percent’ of the [rally’s] funding.” The committee also stated that while Jones did ask rally-goers “not to be violent,” he was still responsible for leading “a march to the Capitol, where President Trump would meet the group.” Meanwhile, Stone, a self-described “dirty trickster,” responded to the subpoena news by insisting that he “had no advance knowledge of the events that took place at the Capitol on that day.” Stone reportedly promoted his planned appearances at the D.C. rallies held on January 5 and 6—while also being invited to lead “a march to the Capitol,” according to the committee––and asked followers to donate to the stopthesteal.org website to help pay for security costs.
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