The other day, I noted that while I agree with Rayne that the January 6 Committee could use referrals to make important symbolic statements, the Committee’s referral, in practice, was weaker than it should have been to make that symbolic impact. That made bmaz’ earlier gripes about such a referral look more justified.
Similarly, the release of the first set of January 6 Committee transcripts last night show how right he has been that the Committee was remiss in not turning these over to DOJ sooner. Most of these transcripts are people who pled the Fifth and most you’re hearing about are the big name people like Mike Flynn and Roger Stone. But the first I read, from a Peter Navarro aide, Garrett Ziegler, hinted at just how valuable the J6C interviews will be, even of those who (like Ziegler) refused to cooperate.
Ziegler is most famous as the guy who let Sidney Powell, Mike Flynn, and Patrick Byrne into the White House for a famously confrontational meeting on December 18, 2020, which preceded Trump’s announcement of the January 6 riot. But Ziegler’s non-answers to J6C staffers serve as roadmap of the larger operation. He refused to answer questions about the following:
- How and why he was hired as a policy analyst in the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy as his first job after graduating from St. Louis University
- Whether, for the almost two years he worked for Navarro, he was also working on Trump’s reelection, and then with five others, Navarro directed him to work on overturning the election
- Whether, in November 2020, he attended meetings at the Westin in Arlington and at Trump Hotel; whether he also spent time at Lin Wood’s plantation
- Whether he interacted with analysts working for Patrick Byrne
- Whether he acted as a conduit for Patrick Byrne
- Whether he let Patrick Byrne, Sidney Powell, and Mike Flynn into the White House on December 18, 2020, so they could pitch seizing the voting machines
- Whether he played a role in devising the Green Bay Sweep with Steve Bannon and Navarro
- Whether he had a role in writing the Navarro Report documenting purported election irregularities Congress would use to question the vote
- Whether he traveled to Nevada to investigate bogus claims of bribery
- Whether he talked to Trump about an Operation Pence Card plan sent by Raiklin on December 23, 2020
- What Ivan Raiklin emailed him about a path to victory for Trump in a document sent overnight on December 27, 2020 (and earlier sent to Mark Meadows), which described several scenarios for January 6
- Whether he instructed his wife to leave town before January 6 because he anticipated violence
- Whether he was at the Capitol and the Willard on January 6
- Whether he met with Trump in mid-January 2021 to tell him his people weren’t fighting hard enough for him
Ziegler was — is — a kid, totally unqualified for the role he had at the White House, which it sounds like he didn’t do anyway, instead at least partly working for Trump’s reelection on the taxpayer dime. But he was also totally wired into most aspects of the coup attempt.
His role in all this is interesting for several more reasons. First, it appears that Ziegler did not turn over the “path to victory” email in response to his January 6 subpoena, which means for all the times he invoked the Fifth, he might still have exposure to obstruction charges.
He is represented by John Kiyonaga — a lawyer who has represented key assault defendants in January 6, including former Special Forces guy Jeffrey McKellop. In fact, prosecutors are considering charging McKellop in January for violating the protective order covering evidence on January 6 by sending evidence from jail to others.
And Ziegler published a copy of both the “Hunter Biden” “laptop” and the diary stolen from Ashley Biden.