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House committee targets Proud Boys, Oath Keepers in new round of Jan. 6 subpoenas

The committee chair said the far-right groups and their leaders "have relevant information about how the violence erupted at the Capitol."
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The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol is turning its attention to extremist groups such as the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, alleging they were involved in planning the attack.

The bipartisan panel issued subpoenas Tuesday “demanding information from groups involved in violence both leading up to and on January 6th."

The subpoenas seek information and testimony from the organizations and their leaders: Elmer Stewart Rhodes, president of the Oath Keepers, and Henry "Enrique" Tarrio, who was chairman of the Proud Boys at the time of the riot.

“We believe the individuals and organizations we subpoenaed today have relevant information about how violence erupted at the Capitol and the preparation leading up to this violent attack," committee chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said in a statement Tuesday.

Tarrio was arrested Jan. 4 in Washington on a warrant stemming from an incident at a Dec. 12 Proud Boys rally. At the time of his arrest, officers found two unloaded magazines emblazoned with the Proud Boys logo in his bag, each with a capacity to hold 30 rounds for AR-15 or M4-style weapons.

He pleaded guilty to attempting to possess a high-capacity gun magazine and to the earlier offense, destruction of property, for burning a Black Lives Matter sign that had been stolen from Asbury United Methodist Church, one of the oldest Black churches in the nation's capital. He was sentenced to five months in jail in August.

While the plea and the sentence were unrelated to Jan. 6, at least three dozen members or followers of the Proud Boys have been charged in connection with the riot. Federal prosecutors have said in court documents that Tarrio posted messages on social media that members of the group planned to "turn out in record numbers on Jan 6th."

The House committee noted Tuesday that 18 members of the Oath Keepers have been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly planning a coordinated attack on the Capitol and said that in the lead-up to the riot, Rhodes "repeatedly suggested the Oath Keepers should engage in violence to ensure their preferred election outcome."

Rhodes had put out a call on the group's website in the days before the attack for "all patriots who can be in DC" to travel to Washington for a "security mission" to "stand tall in support of President Trump's fight."

The committee is also seeking information from a far-right group called 1st Amendment Praetorian, which provided security at multiple rallies leading up to Jan. 6. The panel said the group's chairman, Robert Patrick Lewis, tweeted on Jan. 6, “Today is the day that true battles begin.”

NBC News has reached out to attorneys for Tarrio and Rhodes and is in the process of contacting Lewis.

The committee has issued batches of subpoenas in recent weeks to dozens of Trump administration officials and allies of the former president. On Monday, the committee subpoenaed two high-profile Trump allies, Roger Stone and Alex Jones.