The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol subpoenaed the leaders of three extremist groups, including Henry "Enrique" Tarrio, of the Proud Boys. File Photo by EPA-EFE/GAMAL DIAB
Nov. 23 (UPI) -- The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday subpoenaed leaders of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.
Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said the committee was seeking documents and testimony from the heads of the two extremist groups as it works to gather information from those involved in planning and participating in the violence leading up to and during the Jan. 6 insurrection.
"We believe the individuals and organizations we subpoenaed today have relevant information about how violence erupted at the Capitol and the preparation leading up to this violent attack," Thompson said.
The committee noted that members of Proud Boys International, L.L.C., "called for violence" leading up to Jan. 6 and at least 34 individuals affiliated with the group have been indicted by the Justice Department.
Henry "Enrique" Tarrio, who was chairman of the Proud Boys during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, was arrested two days before the riots on charges of burning a Black Lives Matter banner that was taken from Asbury United Methodist Church during protests a month earlier.
"Though Mr. Tarrio was prevented from entering Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, he was allegedly involved in the Proud Boys' preparation for the events at the Capitol," the committee said.
Additionally, members of the Oath Keepers were involved with planning and participating in the violence and 18 members of the group have been indicted by a federal grand jury after traveling to Washington, D.C., with paramilitary gear and supplies, the committee said.
Members of the group also reportedly acted as "body guards" for Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative and ally to former President Donald Trump, who was also subpoenaed Monday.
The committee added that Elmer Stewart Rhodes, president of the Oath Keepers, suggested the group should "engage in violence to ensure their preferred election outcome" and was allegedly in contact with Oath Keepers members throughout the Jan. 6 attack, including meeting some of them outside the Capitol.
The 1st Amendment Praetorian, an organization that provided security at rallies leading up to Jan. 6 and amplified Trump's unsupported claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen and its chairman, Robert Patrick Lewis, were also subpoenaed Tuesday.
Lewis, who was listed as a speaker for a Jan. 5 rally on Freedom Plaza tweeted that Jan. 6 "is the day that true battles begin
Supporters of President Donald Trump riot against the Electoral College vote count on January 6, 2021, in protest of Trump's loss to President-elect Joe Biden, prompting a lockdown of the Capitol Building. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo
" and claimed he was involved in "war-gaming efforts" to seek to overturn the election.