Jan. 6 Committee Sets Sights On Former Trump Spokesperson

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Judd Deere, who served on the White House communications team in the Trump administration, has now become one of the latest associates of the former president to be subpoenaed by the House committee investigating the Capitol riot. Deere, the committee noted according to CNN, “met and communicated with various officials about formulating the White House’s response to the attack on the US Capitol while the attack occurred.” The panel is also hoping to obtain information from Deere about a January 5 meeting in the Oval Office with then-President Trump, where the then-commander-in-chief has been reported to have asked about “ideas for getting the RINOs to do the right thing tomorrow.”

“RINO” is an abbreviation for “Republican in Name Only,” and it’s a derogatory moniker that Trump and certain allies of his have repeatedly applied to their opponents within the Republican Party. Trump wanted Republicans in Congress to vote against certifying Biden’s win. As reported by CNN, during that January 5 meeting Trump has been reported to have “had a door in the Oval Office open and [been] listening to the crowds outside,” around which time Deere has been reported to have told Trump that those who had gathered were “excited to hear” from the then-president. The next day, of course, Trump spoke at the outdoor rally in D.C. that immediately preceded the attack on the Capitol, and in his remarks there, he called for his supporters to “fight.”

After another staffer expressed hope that January 6 — when Congress was scheduled to certify the presidential election outcome — would be peaceful, Trump has been reported to have said during that January 5 meeting that there was “a lot of anger out there right now.” Questions have circulated about what Trump may have known of the potential for and even plans for violence in the lead-up to the attack on the Capitol. As Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), a member of the riot investigation committee, put it earlier this month:

‘In terms of the actual violent attack on the Capitol, how much expectation of violence was there? How much was that part of the plan, either spontaneously or in terms of any predisposition towards violence that day? That is still a matter under deep investigation. But we intend to use every effort to get out the full facts and expose them to the American people and take legislative action to protect the country going forward.’

The riot panel has already heard from top Trump associates like ex-White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, and investigators are planning to host rounds of public hearings in the near future in order to essentially lay out the case for the American people.