WASHINGTON — The congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot issued a subpoena Thursday to Kimberly Guilfoyle, the fiancée of Donald Trump Jr., for information relating to last year’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.
“Ms. Guilfoyle met with Donald Trump inside the White House, spoke at the rally that took place before the riot on January 6th, and apparently played a key role organizing and raising funds for that event. The Select Committee is seeking information from her about these and other matters,” the panel’s chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said in a statement Thursday. “We expect her to comply with the law and cooperate.”
Guilfoyle is one of the closest associates of the Trump family to be subpoenaed by the House committee. Ivanka Trump, the eldest daughter of the former president, is in talks with the Jan. 6 committee to voluntarily participate in an interview but has not been subpoenaed.
In a letter to Guilfoyle made public Thursday, Thompson said, “President Trump met with you, several members of his family, and others in the Oval Office the morning of January 6, 2021, which was also when he last spoke with Vice President Pence (by phone) prior to the joint session of Congress to certify the results of the Presidential election.”
He said the panel also had information that Guilfoyle “communicated with others about the decision by President Trump about who was not allowed to speak at the rally, including concerns raised about him sharing the stage with people like Ali Alexander, Alex Jones and Roger Stone.”
Guilfoyle spoke at the rally on the Ellipse on the morning of Jan. 6, and praised the crowd as “patriots who will not let them steal our election!”
Thompson said she was filmed backstage at the event telling people to “Have the courage to do the right thing. Fight!”
Guilfoyle voluntarily made a virtual appearance before the committee late last month, but the interview quickly went off the rails. On Feb. 25, she tweeted a statement from her lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, arguing the members of the panel broke the terms of their agreement, which he said was to have only staff lawyers present for the interview.
Thompson disputed that characterization in his letter to Guilfoyle. “Staff had in fact communicated to your attorneys that Members could be present, but nevertheless offered to reschedule the interview. You declined,” he wrote.
In Thursday’s statement, Thompson said that because Guilfoyle had “backed out of her original commitment to provide a voluntary interview, we are issuing today’s subpoena that will compel her to testify.”
Tacopina responded in a statement saying: “This Committee has routinely abused their power and has made clear through their deceitful and immoral practices that they are not guided by a search for the truth, but rather an attempt to wrongly smear President Trump, his family, and his supporters. Again, she will testify truthful to any question. She has done nothing wrong.”
Thompson told reporters Wednesday that the panel is hoping to finish with depositions by April 1, with plans to hold public hearings later that month. He also said the committee is aiming to release an interim report on its findings in June.
The panel has interviewed more than 550 witnesses, according to Thompson. The most recent one took place Thursday, with former deputy White House press secretary Judd Deere who was subpoenaed in January. Deere spoke with the committee for about six hours.
A source familiar with his subpoena previously told NBC News that the panel was seeking firsthand knowledge of Trump’s activities before and during the the attack on the Capitol.
In a legal brief filed in federal court Wednesday, the committee said it “has a good-faith basis for concluding that” Trump and “members of his Campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States.”
Trump has not been charged with any crime. The Jan. 6 committee can refer cases for prosecution, but those referrals aren’t binding.
In a statement Thursday, Trump said, “The actual conspiracy to defraud the United States was the Democrats rigging the Election, and the Fake News Media and the Unselect Committee covering it up.”
Dareh Gregorian is a politics reporter for NBC News.
Garrett Haake is an NBC News Capitol Hill Correspondent.