What is the 1st Amendment Praetorian, the obscure far-right group subpoenaed by the January 6 committee?
November 25, 2021 at 01:05
(CNN) An obscure far-right paramilitary group is in the spotlight this week after getting subpoenaed by the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection.
The committee subpoenaed the 1st Amendment Praetorian, a group founded in 2020 that recruits military veterans and former police officers to provide security at right-wing events.
The panel said these subpoenas could shed light on how pro-Trump groups planned for violence that day.
Here's what we know about the 1st Amendment Praetorian and its ties to January 6.
The group's name and logo invoke ancient Rome and the Praetorian Guard of elite bodyguards and intelligence operatives that protected the Roman emperor.
The 1st Amendment Praetorian's website says the goal is to "protect the Republic and anyone who is willing to stand up on her behalf to voice their opinion or bring attention to something they've found, like voter fraud."
So far, no one affiliated with the 1st Amendment Praetorian has been charged by the Justice Department in connection with the attack on the US Capitol, according to CNN's analysis of court filings.
In a letter to Lewis about the subpoena, the committee quoted some of his previous statements about January 6.
His group provided security at a major QAnon conference held in Dallas earlier this year.
The group provided security at pro-Trump rallies in November and December 2020 that were followed by violence and arrests on the streets of DC.
The letter references the fact that Lewis has previously said that his members wear body cameras while providing security.
1st Amendment Praetorian provided security at events "that amplified the former President's unsupported claim that the election was stolen," Thompson said in a statement, adding that the group "suggested that violence was imminent" in a Twitter post two days before January 6.