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Jan. 6 committee subpoenas Trump speechwriter, operatives who helped with rally

Jan. 6 committee subpoenas Trump speechwriter, operatives who helped with rally
The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riots announced they have subpoenaed the speechwriter behind former President Donald Trump's speech on the Ellipse and two GOP operatives. File Pool photo by Shawn Thew/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 11 (UPI) -- The Jan. 6 House select committee on Tuesday subpoenaed three people involved in the rally that preceded the riots at the U.S. Capitol.

In a statement Tuesday, Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said the committee would seek documents and testimony from Republican operatives Arthur Schwartz and Andrew Surabian, along with former White House speechwriter Ross Worthington, who wrote the speech former President Donald Trump delivered ahead of the riots.

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"The select committee is seeking information from individuals who were involved with the rally at the Ellipse," Thompson said. "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."

According to the committee, Schwartz and Surabian allegedly "communicated with both organizers of and speakers at the rally," while Worthington assisted in drafting the speech Trump delivered.

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"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 subpoena letter states. "President Trump also encouraged attendees to march to the Capitol, telling them 'I'll be there with you.'"

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Surabian's attorney, Daniel Bean, told ABC News that his client plans on cooperating with the committee "within reason" but added that they were "bewildered" as to why he had been subpoenaed.

"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 Nov. 15, 2020," Bean said of Surabian.

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.,, speaks at a candlelight vigil on the one-year anniversary of the Capitol riots in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

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