The question wasn’t whether retired Army Col. Phil Waldron would get subpoenaed by Congress’ Jan. 6 committee, the question was when. As NBC News reported, the answer turned out to be late yesterday afternoon.
The House committee investigating the pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 announced Thursday that it had subpoenaed a retired Army colonel who contributed to a PowerPoint presentation about how to overturn the 2020 election results that was presented to Republican lawmakers ahead of the riot.
Given everything we know about Waldron’s efforts, it appears he has an important perspective to share with congressional investigators.
As we discussed a bit yesterday, the retired colonel admits he played a prominent role in the creation of an utterly bonkers PowerPoint presentation, which explained how and why Republicans were supposed to execute a coup on Donald Trump’s behalf ahead of Jan. 6.
These slides somehow made their way to the Trump White House, and were recently turned over to the bipartisan select committee by former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
With this in mind, it’s hardly surprising that investigators are eager to speak with him. But let’s not forget, Waldron’s importance in the story doesn’t end with the crackpot PowerPoint slides.
Waldron has also said he met several times with Meadows at the White House, worked with Trump’s lawyers, and even briefed members of Congress ahead of the Jan. 6 riot. He was also reportedly involved in January meetings at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., where Team Trump set up shop with a “command center” while plotting against our democracy.
Or put another way, this is a subpoena that’s likely to help advance investigators’ understanding of the larger scandal.
Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the Democratic chairman of the committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack, said in a statement yesterday, “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. 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.
“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.”
As of now, we don’t yet have a sense of whether or how Waldron will respond to the congressional subpoena. Watch this space.