January 6 committee subpoenas retired colonel who shared election fraud PowerPoint presentation

January 6 committee subpoenas retired colonel who shared election fraud PowerPoint presentation
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The House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol announced Thursday that it subpoenaed James P. “Phil” Waldron, a retired Army colonel who spread misinformation about election fraud and circulated a PowerPoint document detailing ways to undermine the 2020 presidential election outcome.

The 38-page document, which is among thousands of pages of materials former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows provided to the committee, was circulated by Waldron to Trump allies and lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Waldron told The New York Times that he did not directly send the document to Meadows, but that it was possible someone on his team had passed it along to the former chief of staff.

“Mr. Waldron reportedly played a role in promoting claims of election fraud and circulating potential strategies for challenging results of the 2020 election. He was also apparently in communication with officials in the Trump White House and in Congress discussing his theories in the weeks leading up to the January 6th attack,” committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, said in a statement. “The document he reportedly provided to Administration officials and Members of Congress is an alarming blueprint for overturning a nationwide election. The Select Committee needs to hear from him about all these activities.”

Separately, Waldron told The Washington Post that he spoke with Meadows “maybe eight to 10 times” and visited the White House on multiple occasions after the 2020 election.

CNN previously reported that in the committee’s letter to Meadows’ attorney George Terwilliger III announcing its decision to pursue criminal contempt proceedings against Meadows for ceasing to cooperate with the panel, it wrote that committee members were in possession of “a Jan 5 2021 email regarding a 38 page Power Point briefing titled ‘Election Fraud, Foreign Interference, & Options for 6 JAN’ that was to be provided on the hill.”

In addition to his sharing of the PowerPoint, the committee also wants to ask Waldron about the reports that he participated in meetings at the Willard Hotel in Washington in early January 2021.

The committee has not publicly released that PowerPoint document and has not offered any specifics as to what the document contained.

Meadows’ lawyer has acknowledged his client received the briefing document but did nothing with it.

Still, the fact that Meadows received and was in possession of the PowerPoint with such a title is noteworthy, regardless of the document’s contents and what he did with it. Meadows played a central role in the peddling of election lies and attempted to use the power of the executive branch to intervene and interrupt the peaceful transfer of power, CNN has reported.

According to multiple sources, including former Trump officials and others with direct knowledge of what was happening behind the scenes at the White House, Meadows also reached out to some of the country’s top national security officials in an effort to connect them to Trump allies who were pushing unfounded claims of foreign election interference and voter fraud.

Not only did Meadows try to get top government officials to investigate baseless conspiracy theories being espoused by the likes of Rudy Giuliani, Mike Flynn and Sidney Powell, he also passed along conspiratorial materials himself, including YouTube videos and other information that alleged widespread evidence of voter fraud, sources say.

The House voted this week to ask the Department of Justice to pursue criminal charges against Meadows for refusing to cooperate with the committee’s subpoena.

The committee has requested Waldron submit documents to the panel by January 10, and to appear for a deposition on January 17.

This story has been updated with additional details Thursday.

The-CNN-Wire
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