The House select committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January, 2021 has issued subpoenas for Nick Fuentes and Patrick Casey, nationalist organisers who amplified baseless election conspiracy theories at several rallies in Washington DC.
Mr Fuentes, a self-described “white majoritarian” who supported the insurrection and was removed from several social media platforms for hate speech, is a prominent streamer and leader in the “groyper” movement of young reactionary far-right nationalists.
Mr Casey is a leader with the white nationalist American Identity Movement.
Both men – identified by the committee as “leaders of the ‘America First’ or ‘Groyper’ movement” – were on the Capitol grounds during the attack on Congress that sought to reject the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
They participated in rallies ahead of the attack, including the 2020 Million MAGA March and “Stop the Steal” rallies “where they called for the destruction of the Republican Party for failing to overturn the election,” according to the committee.
The committee cites reports revealing how both men “received tens of thousands of dollars in Bitcoin from a French computer programmer, funds the FBI has scrutinised to assess whether funds from this donor were linked to the Capitol attack or otherwise used to fund illegal activity”.
“The Select Committee is seeking facts about the planning, coordination, and funding of events that preceded the violent attack on our democracy,” committee chair Bennie Thompson said in a statement. “We believe the individuals we have subpoenaed today have information relevant to those questions, and we expect them to cooperate with the committee.”
Both men have been asked to produce documents by 2 February and appear for a deposition by 9 February.
In letters to Mr Fuentes and Mr Casey, the committee said their attorney had previously declined voluntary requests to appear and produce documents in November.
The committee has accelerated its prove into the figures and events leading up to and surrounding the attack, with recent subpoenas to Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and two other attorneys involved in former president Donald Trump’s push to overturn 2020 election results with a spurious legal campaign.
Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows refused to cooperate with the investigation, resulting in the House of Representatives referring both men on criminal contempt charges to the US Department of Justice.
Mr Bannon is set to face a District of Columbia jury for trial on contempt of Congress charges this summer.
In the wake of the assault, fuelled by conspiracy theories and a baseless narrative the 2020 election was “stolen” from the former president, far-right figures like Mr Fuentes have attracted the support of local and national Republican figures and gained entry into mainstream GOP circles.
One month after the insurrection, US Rep Paul Gosar of Arizona was the first sitting member of Congress to attend the far-right America First Political Action Committee conference, where Mr Fuentes reportedly told attendees that “white people are done being bullied” and praised the Capitol riot as “awesome”.
After an ad circulated last summer touting his appearance at a fundraiser “paid for by Nicholas Fuentes and authorised by Gosar for Congress Committee”, the congressman denied his involvement but appeared to defend the event.
“Not sure why anyone is freaking out,” he said on Twitter. “I’ll say this: there are millions of Gen Z, Y and X conservatives. They believe in America First. They will not agree 100% on every issue. No group does. We will not let the left dictate our strategy, alliances and efforts. Ignore the left.”
There was no immediate response to the issuing of the subpoenas from either man.
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