US House January 6 panel subpoenas former Michigan GOP chair Laura Cox

In a letter to Cox, committee chair Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, referenced her attendance at a Dec. 2, 2020, virtual event with Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani that lobbied lawmakers in the State to annul the election saying that certifying the results would be a “criminal act”.

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“We would like to better understand these and other statements and events that you witnessed or participated in, and the communications we believe you may have had with national, state and local officials regarding the results of the November election. 2020,” Thompson wrote, requesting a deposition and documents.

Cox blasted the subpoena Tuesday night in a lengthy statement, saying she tried to cooperate with the committee but hired a lawyer to try to protect personal conversations on her cellphone. She noted that Giuliani’s comments were broadcast on Facebook Live and were therefore already “in the public domain”.

Twitter’s subpoena announcement and press release “reek of partisanship and PR stunts,” Cox wrote.

“If the Committee is really interested in the facts, does it need to do press releases where witnesses are cooperative? Real investigations don’t work that way.”

The congressional committee includes two GOP lawmakers, but both were censured last week by the Republican National Committee for their participation.

The panel also subpoenaed two other Michigan officials: Republican National Committee member Kathy Berden and former 14th District GOP chairwoman Mayra Rodriguez.

Berden and Rodriguez were listed as chair and co-chair on an unofficial voter document filed with the National Archivist in January 2021.

Current Michigan Republican Party co-chairman Meshawn Maddock also signed the bogus document and said last month that the Trump campaign “asked us to do it.”

State Attorney General Dana Nessel said the fake voters likely violated laws in Michigan, where Democratic President Joe Biden beat Trump by 154,188 votes. A GOP-led Senate panel investigated the election and found no evidence of widespread fraud.

Nessel, a Democrat, did not pursue the charges against the alternate voters, but instead referred the matter to federal authorities.

Berden and Rodriguez did not respond to requests for comment. The Michigan Republican Party has also declined to comment so far.

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, who preceded Cox as Michigan state party chairman and is close to Berden, criticized the congressional investigation.

“As you might expect, the January 6 Committee has now far exceeded its original purpose and morphed into something else, investigating Republicans who had nothing to do with January 6 for the apparent misdemeanor of being a Republican,” McDaniel wrote in a recent op-ed.

“Under the Committee’s approach, almost anything related to the 2020 election falls within its purview, including harassment of citizens who were not even in Washington, D.C. that day.”

In his Tuesday night statement, Cox defended his decision to question “irregular voting procedures” in the 2020 election to lead the Michigan GOP. She pointed out that Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist, a Democrat, also questioned the procedures when he lost his Detroit City Clerk campaign in 2017.

“My guy lost. President Biden won. But that doesn’t make raising questions about wrongdoing a crime,” Cox wrote. “The January 6 Committee knows that I know nothing about what happened on January 6.”

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, cooperated with the congressional committee and wrote a letter to members last month detailing “concerning attempts to overturn the will of Michigan voters.”

Among other things, Benson noted reports that a draft presidential order prepared for Trump but never signed relied on faulty information about County Antrim voting machines to justify the seizure of tabulators in the states of the battlefield in order to search for possible fraud.

Internal documents first reported by The Detroit News show Benson’s office also shared additional information with the committee, including requests for GOP challengers to flood the TCF Center in Detroit as election workers counted. postal ballots within hours of the closing of the polls. (TCF Center has since been renamed Huntington Place.)

In early December, Benson’s chief legal counsel sent the committee a Nov. 4, 2020, email from the North Oakland Republican Club ordering activists to go to Detroit and make sure “criminals” don’t “steal our country”.

Legal memos leaked by The New York Times and Washington Post say the Trump campaign was trying to install its own list of surrogate voters in battleground states as lawyers worked to undo Biden’s election victory in front of the court, efforts that ultimately failed.

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