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Stop The Steal Rally Organizers Have Been Subpoenaed Over The Jan. 6 Capitol Riot

Permit applications highlighted in a recent BuzzFeed News report are the basis for the new requests in the inquiry into the Capitol riot.

Posted on October 7, 2021, at 9:18 p.m. ET

Robert Nickelsberg / Getty Images

The House select committee probing the Jan. 6 insurrection has subpoenaed two organizers of the Stop the Steal rally that took place hours before the violence began. The committee is seeking documents and other information from right-wing activists Ali Alexander and Nathan Martin, and demanded that both of them sit for depositions on Oct. 29. The committee also subpoenaed Stop the Steal.

The committee chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson, cited the application that a group called One Nation Under God filed to hold a demonstration against the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Last month, BuzzFeed News exclusively obtained a copy of One Nation Under God’s permit application, as well as five others, and found that the chief of the Capitol Police and its top intelligence officer personally approved the permits despite signs that One Nation Under God was a made-up organization affiliated with Alexander and that the other permits may have been a proxy for Stop the Steal.

Martin, an Iraq War veteran who serves as a member of the Shelby, Ohio, City Council, declined to comment. He was listed as a representative of One Nation Under God on its permit application. In an interview with BuzzFeed News last month, he said he could not explain what One Nation Under God’s mission was, how it was formed, and for what purpose. He said he could not explain why his name was on the permit application.

Alexander did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“The rally on the Capitol grounds on January 6th, like the rally near the White House that day, immediately preceded the violent attack on the seat of our democracy,” Thompson said in a statement announcing the subpoenas. “Over the course of that day, demonstrations escalated to violence and protestors became rioters. The Select Committee needs to understand all the details about the events that came before the attack, including who was involved in planning and funding them. We expect these witnesses to cooperate fully with our probe.”

One Nation Under God said in its application that it wanted to stage a demonstration at the Capitol to protest “election fraud in swing states.”

According to a Capitol Police intelligence assessment attached to One Nation Under God’s permit application, police documented their concerns that the group and four others that sought permission to demonstrate were concealing their affiliation with Alexander in a secret effort to coordinate their protests.

Despite those concerns, and COVID-19 policies that capped demonstrations at 50 people each, the Capitol Police force’s intelligence assessment said there were “no plans for participants to enter the buildings” and noted “no adverse intelligence related to the upcoming event.” It assessed “the Level of Probability of acts of civil disobedience/arrests to occur” during the demonstration “as Highly Improbable.”

  • Picture of Jason Leopold

    Jason Leopold is a senior investigative reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles. He is a 2018 Pulitzer finalist for international reporting, recipient of the IRE 2016 FOI award and a 2016 Newseum Institute National Freedom of Information Hall of Fame inductee.

    Contact Jason Leopold at jason.leopold@buzzfeed.com.

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A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.