Event Planner Working on Bob Dole’s Funeral Is Let Go for Jan. 6 Ties

WASHINGTON – The Elizabeth Dole Foundation cut ties with Tim Unes, an event planner working on former Senator Bob Dole’s funeral, after the top Senate Republican complained Unes had been subpoenaed by the Jan.6 select committee. for his work in organizing the demonstration. before the attacks that day.

A spokesperson for the foundation said Unes had been a volunteer member of the team that planned the memorial events in Washington this week, including when Dole is on Capitol Hill Thursday and the funeral at the Washington National Cathedral on Friday.

Dole, the 1996 Republican presidential nominee, a decorated war veteran and Kansas native who served 27 years in the Senate and eight years in the House, died Sunday.

Steve Schwab, executive director of the foundation, said in a statement that Unes was no longer working on the commemorative events.

“Tonight, I let Senator Elizabeth Dole know about Mr. Unes’ alleged participation in the events of January 6, 2021,” said Schwab, referring to Mr. Dole’s widow, a former North Carolina legislator. . “Senator Dole was unaware of his involvement and ended his volunteer role.”

Unes’ role in the preparations for the Dole ceremony drew attention on Capitol Hill, even among senior Republicans and staff members who thought the presence of an organizer of the January 6 rally under subpoena would distract the attention of the former senator.

In a Congress still reeling from the violence of that day, representatives of Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, raised the issue this week with a Dole family contact, who quickly agreed that Unes’ role in the The event would be limited and he will not attend the ceremony on Capitol Hill, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions.

Mr. Unes did not respond to an email sent to his company’s website.

Mr. Unes is the founder and president of Event Strategies Inc., a Washington-based event planning company. The company’s website describes it as providing “state-of-the-art event management and production services for clients and events of all types and sizes, both in the United States and around the world.”

The company lists major corporations and associations as clients, including HBO, IBM, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, the American Red Cross, and AARP.

The website notes that Event Strategies employees “largely managed and built the 130-person operations team for Donald Trump and Mike Pence” in 2016. It also says that in 2015, Unes “produced the campaign ad tour of Donald Trump and helped the campaign establish its operations division and its standards. “

Mr. Unes also has long-standing ties to the Dole family. In 1996, he served as tour director for the senator’s presidential campaign, traveling with the candidate across the country.

Planning commemorative events for a political leader like Mr. Dole usually takes years and involves dozens of people. When someone is in state on Capitol Hill, events in the building are coordinated by the office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, in this case Representative Nancy Pelosi of California.

A person familiar with planning to honor Mr. Dole on Capitol Hill said Mr. Unes had not been to practice sessions in the building in recent days.

In a September 29 letter sent to Mr. Unes, the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack wrote that the documentation submitted for the assembly permit listed him as the “stage manager” for the event.

“The investigation has revealed credible evidence of their participation in events within the scope of the select committee’s investigation,” the committee said. According to documents provided to the select committee, press reports, and statements from Women for America First (WFAF), you helped organize the rally held on the Ellipse in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021, in support of the -President Trump and his accusations of electoral fraud ”.

The letter indicated the committee’s demand that Mr. Unes deliver the documents by October 13 and appear for a deposition on October 25.

It is not clear what Unes might have told the committee, but the letter indicated that lawmakers were interested in whether it had any knowledge of Trump’s activities; Mark Meadows, your chief of staff; or other White House officials.

“The select committee seeks both the documents and your deposition testimony regarding these and other matters that are within the scope of the select committee’s investigation,” the letter read.

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