The House committee investigating the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 subpoenaed a retired Army colonel who circulated a PowerPoint presentation that proposed ways to challenge the results of the 2020 election.
James Waldron, who claims he spoke to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows multiple times and briefed several members of Congress on the eve of the Jan. 6 riot, is being compelled to share records and give testimony by the middle of January, the select panel said Thursday.
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“Mr. Waldron reportedly played a role in promoting claims of election fraud and circulating potential strategies for challenging results of the 2020 election," Chairman Bennie Thompson said in a statement. "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. The document he reportedly provided to Administration officials and Members of Congress is an alarming blueprint for overturning a nationwide election."
Before he stopped cooperating with the committee last week, Meadows provided a 38-page PowerPoint presentation, which some are calling the "coup PowerPoint," recommending extreme courses of action, including declaring a national emergency, to delay the certification of the election results.
Although Waldron told the Washington Post he spoke to Meadows "maybe eight to 10 times," he denies that he was the person who sent the PowerPoint presentation to the top Trump aide.
“The presentation was that there was significant foreign interference in the election, here’s the proof,” Waldron said. “These are constitutional, legal, feasible, acceptable, and suitable courses of action.”
George Terwilliger III, a lawyer to Meadows, said Friday there was no indication that his client did anything with the PowerPoint after obtaining it by email, the Washington Post noted.
The House voted Tuesday to hold Meadows in contempt of Congress after he stopped cooperating with the panel, and he faces possible criminal prosecution by the Justice Department.
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Earlier reporting said Waldron worked alongside former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer at the time, Rudy Giuliani, and John Eastman, another attorney subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 panel, at a suite in the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., in early January, working on ways to overturn President Joe Biden's victory with claims of election fraud.
The select committee is looking into the circumstances that surrounded Jan. 6, the day hundreds of people stormed the U.S. Capitol complex, disrupting lawmakers as they certified Biden's 2020 win. So far, dozens of people have been subpoenaed, and members say hundreds more have cooperated with the inquiry.
"The Select Committee needs to hear from him about all these activities. We expect him to comply with the law and provide records and testimony as the Select Committee continues its work to get answers for the American people about January 6th, make legislative recommendations to strengthen our democracy, and help ensure nothing like that day ever happens again,” Thompson said.