The request was part of a far-reaching set of documents the select committee sought from seven federal agencies, which suggested the inquiry was focusing on the former president’s role.
Aug. 25, 2021, 3:28 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON — The select committee scrutinizing the Jan. 6 Capitol riot demanded detailed records on Wednesday about Donald J. Trump’s every movement and meeting on the day of the assault, in a series of requests to federal agencies that suggested it was focusing on any ties the former president may have had to the attack’s planning or execution.
The committee’s demands, sent to the National Archives and Records Administration and six other agencies, show that as they ramp up their inquiry, investigators are looking closely at efforts by the former president to overturn the results of the 2020 election and any connections he or his administration had to the rioters.
They are also looking into the potential involvement of at least one top aide to a Republican member of Congress who helped publicize the “Stop the Steal” rallies, which drew Mr. Trump’s supporters to Washington on Jan. 6 to protest the election outcome.
The panel sought communications among top Trump administration officials about attempts to place politically loyal personnel in senior positions as Mr. Trump sought to invalidate President Biden’s victory in the run-up to the attack. Investigators are also focused on the planning, organization and funding of pro-Trump rallies on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 and other attempts to stop or slow the process of Mr. Trump handing over the presidency to Mr. Biden.
“Our Constitution provides for a peaceful transfer of power, and this investigation seeks to evaluate threats to that process, identify lessons learned and recommend laws, policies, procedures, rules or regulations necessary to protect our Republic in the future,” Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and the chairman of the committee, wrote in the letters.
The committee asked the National Archives, which keeps presidential records, for material it has about any plans hatched from within the White House or other federal agencies to derail the Electoral College vote count by Congress. The process was halted for hours on Jan. 6 as a mob of rioters breached the Capitol, hunting for lawmakers and Vice President Mike Pence and brutalizing police officers in the name of Mr. Trump.
From the Defense Department and the Justice Department, the committee asked for records of discussions about potentially invoking the Insurrection Act, which some feared Mr. Trump might use to deploy the military to cling to power; communications between government entities during the Capitol violence; and exchanges between the Justice Department and Mr. Trump’s campaign legal team about challenges to the election’s outcome.
The committee called on the Department of Homeland Security and the F.B.I. to furnish records of intelligence gathered before the assault; documents about the Secret Service’s protection of Mr. Pence and his family as the mob threatened him; and records tracking the spread and source of online disinformation about the election.
The panel also sought information from the Interior Department about permitting for the rallies that preceded the mob violence and communications with the U.S. Park Police as the attack escalated. And it requested information from the National Counterterrorism Center about briefing materials prepared for senior officials before Jan. 6.
The letters kicked off what is expected to be a flurry of records demands the committee plans to issue this week.
Mr. Thompson told reporters that the committee planned to ask social media and telecommunications companies to preserve records of potentially “several hundred people,” including several unidentified members of Congress, as it scrutinizes those who worked to inflame the mob and were in communication with groups seeking to overturn the election.
“We’ll look at everything that will give us information on what happened on Jan. 6,” Mr. Thompson said on Capitol Hill this week. “We have quite an exhaustive list of people.”
The expansion of the select committee’s investigation came after a hearing in July in which four police officers told in excruciating detail of the brutal violence, racism and hostility they suffered as a throng of angry rioters beat, crushed and shocked them on Jan. 6.
After that hearing, Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, one of two Republicans on the panel, pledged to move quickly to uncover any potential ties between the rioters and the Trump administration and campaign.
Lawmakers must learn “what happened every minute of that day in the White House: every phone call, every conversation, every meeting leading up to, during and after the attack,” Ms. Cheney said then.
Among the documents sought on Wednesday were “all calendars, schedules and movement logs regarding meetings or events attended by President Trump, including the identity of any individuals in attendance, whether virtual or in-person, on Jan. 6, 2021.”
The committee asked for any documents and communications between the White House and some of Mr. Trump’s allies most involved in trying to undermine the election, including Stephen K. Bannon, his former chief strategist; Michael T. Flynn, his former national security adviser; Rudolph W. Giuliani, who served as his lawyer; and his longtime associate Roger J. Stone Jr.
The committee is also seeking White House communications with Mike Lindell, the MyPillow chief executive and confidant of Mr. Trump, and the lawyer Sidney Powell, both of whom pushed lies and conspiracy theories about widespread election fraud. And it demanded records of communications between the White House and Ali Alexander, who publicized the “Stop the Steal” rallies, as well as Tom Van Flein, the chief of staff to Representative Paul Gosar, the Arizona Republican who helped promote them and tried to invalidate electoral votes for Mr. Biden on Jan. 6.
It also asked for records on extremist groups and militias that were present at the Capitol that day, including QAnon, the Proud Boys, Stop the Steal, the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters.
The requests indicated the committee planned to investigate Mr. Trump’s pressure campaign on state officials to overturn the results of the election. Among the information sought were records from Republican state officials including Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona, Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia and Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state.
A records demand is often the first step a congressional committee takes before issuing subpoenas to obtain documents.
The investigative push came as Michael A. Bolton, the Capitol Police inspector general, is continuing his own internal investigation into security failures on Jan. 6.
In his latest report, a summary of which was obtained by The New York Times, Mr. Bolton faulted the agency’s communications during the attack, when officers say their urgent pleas for help went unanswered.
The report, based on interviews with 36 Capitol Police officers, criticized what the inspector general called “departmentwide command and control deficiencies related to information sharing, chain of command directions, communication, preparedness, training, leadership development, emergency response procedures and law enforcement coordination.”
In response, the Capitol Police said in a statement that the agency had “acknowledged there were communication gaps on Jan. 6.”
“Given the events of Jan. 6, the enormous amount of radio traffic that day was not surprising,” the statement said. “Additionally, the size and magnitude of Jan. 6 made it difficult to respond to each officer’s emergency radio broadcast in real time.”
The department said it had enlisted a retired Secret Service agent to help oversee a new operational planning process.