Dec 9, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Event planner helping with Bob Dole's funeral removed over alleged Jan. 6 ties

Former Sen. Bob Dole with his wife, Elizabeth attend an Interior Department ceremony to dedicate a plaque honoring him at the World War II Memorial,

Photo: Astrid Riecken/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation said Thursday it removed Tim Unes from his role in helping plan former Sen. Bob Dole’s funeral over his alleged ties to the Jan. 6 rally that proceeded the deadly Capitol riot.

Driving the news: Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) this week told a contact for the Dole family that Unes had been subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 select committee for his work organizing the rally before the Capitol attack, according to a source familiar with the discussion.

  • Steve Schwab, chief executive of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, said in an emailed statement he made Dole's wife, former Sen. Elizabeth Dole, "aware of Mr. Unes' alleged involvement in the events of January 6, 2021."
  • Schwab added that "Senator Dole was previously unaware of his participation and terminated his volunteer role."
  • The New York Times first reported Unes' removal.

The big picture: Dole, the Republican presidential nominee in 1996 and a member of the Senate for 27 years, died on Sunday at 98.

  • Unes "served as an advance staffer for the late Senator Bob Dole's 1996 presidential campaign," Schwab said.
  • Unes had been a volunteer helping organize memorial events for Dole, including when he is set to lie in state at the Capitol on Thursday and his funeral at the Washington National Cathedral on Friday, per the Times.
  • "Planning for memorial events for a political leader like Mr. Dole typically takes place over years and involves scores of people," the Times notes.

In a letter to Unes dated Sept. 29, the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack wrote that paperwork filed for the event permit categorized Unes as the "stage manager" for the event and said he "assisted in organizing the rally."

  • "The select committee seeks both documents and your deposition testimony regarding these and other matters that are within the scope of the select committee’s inquiry," the letter said.

Unes, the president and founder of Event Strategies, Inc., in 2015 "produced Donald Trump's campaign announcement tour and helped the campaign establish its operations division and standards," per the company's website.

  • In 2016, Unes joined the Trump campaign as its deputy director of Advance.
  • Event Strategies, Inc. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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