It's time to put up or shut up, dude:
While the subpoena was anticipated, it is a remarkable escalation in the investigation into whether the deadly violence on Jan. 6 was the direct result of Trump’s actions in the weeks after he lost his bid for reelection.
“As demonstrated in our hearings, we have assembled overwhelming evidence, including from dozens of your former appointees and staff, that you personally orchestrated and oversaw a multipart effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election and to obstruct the peaceful transition of power,” Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) and vice chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said in a statement, part of a 10-page letter to Trump.
It's no coincidence that Steve Bannon was just sentenced to 4 months in prison for Contempt of Congress at roughly the same time this subpoena was issued:
Bannon was convicted at trial in July on two counts of contempt of Congress for refusing to respond to the Jan. 6 committee’s request for testimony and documents. Both misdemeanors are punishable by at least 30 days and up to one year in jail. But Bannon has said he plans to appeal his conviction because Nichols ruled that Bannon could not argue at trial that he relied on his lawyer’s advice or believed his cooperation was barred by Trump’s claim of executive privilege.
Prosecutors asked for six months in jail and the maximum $200,000 fine, saying in a court filing that Bannon showed “a total disregard for government processes and the law” in ignoring the congressional subpoena, while smearing the House investigation and the justice system with “rhetoric that risks inspiring violence.” Bannon asked for probation, saying a mandatory-minimum jail sentence would be unlawful because his intent was not criminal or “willful.”
It was actually both, and everybody is well aware of that. In many ways Steve Bannon was Trump's link to the lunatic fringe, who Trump was counting on to do his dirty work for him. But the Committee is looking for evidence Trump wasn't satisfied with a once-removed approach, and contacted said fringe himself:
Cheney and Thompson lay out 19 categories of document requests, in which they are seeking Trump’s communications with Roger Stone, former Secret Service agent Anthony Ornato, attorneys John Eastman and Sidney Powell, Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) and over a dozen other officials, associates, and members of extremists groups — including the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers.
The committee notably also requested the “information sufficient to identify every telephone or other communications device” that Trump used from Nov. 3, 2020, to Jan. 20, 2021. It also specifies that the requests includes communications conducted on Signal — an encrypted phone messaging application — on any personal devices, or any communications conducted by any other means.
It’s unclear whether the committee will subpoena — or already has subpoenaed — the call data for Trump’s personal cellphone. It’s also not definitive that the former president used Signal during his time in office, and the committee hasn’t indicated that he was using the application. But many of the people around him were using Signal, according to records already obtained by the committee.
But even if they can't find evidence Trump personally communicated with the right-wing thugs who attacked Congress, somebody in the White House was talking to them:
A member of the Proud Boys was in contact with someone in former President Donald Trump's White House in the days before the Capitol Attack on January 6, The New York Times reported.
An anonymous source who is familiar with a cellphone data report from the Federal Bureau of Investigations told the Times that it's not clear what they discussed and did not disclose the names of either individual. The information was found partly as a result of data the FBI got from technology and telecommunications companies immediately after the riot, when Trump supporters breached the US Capitol and clashed with law enforcement.
The riot resulted in the deaths of five people, including a police officer.
Bolding mine, because those deaths were a direct result of Trump's criminal ambitions, and his cowardly use of the mob in an effort to attain them.