Issuing a subpoena to former President Donald Trump on Friday, the House committee that is investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol demanded Trump provide testimony and documents in response to the panel’s findings that he “personally orchestrated and oversaw a multi-part effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election.”
The committee called on the former Republican leader to provide records of any phone calls, text messages, and other messages he sent and received on the day of the attack; records of his communications between November 3, 2020 and January 6, 2021 in which the election and the certification of the results were discussed; any communications regarding extremist groups including the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, who have been linked to the attack, and more than a dozen other types of related documentation.
The panel ordered Trump to turn over the documents by November 4 and to testify on November 14.
In a letter to Mr. Trump, Chair @BennieGThompson and Vice Chair @RepLizCheney underscored Trump’s central role in a deliberate, orchestrated effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and block the transfer of presidential power. pic.twitter.com/rg7R37YE11
— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) October 21, 2022
The bipartisan committee issued the subpoena days after its members unanimously voted to compel the former president’s testimony and on the same day that his former strategist, Steve Bannon, was sentenced to four months in federal prison and ordered to pay a $6,500 fine for refusing to comply with a subpoena from the panel.
Trump did not appear before federal lawmakers during his two impeachment trials, but he has reportedly told his aides that he would testify before the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol if he was permitted to do so live.
While the panel’s future is uncertain with the midterm elections just weeks away, outgoing Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wy.), vice chair of the committee, said this week that the lawmakers will “take the steps we need to take” if Trump refuses to comply with the subpoena.
Since its first public hearing in June, the committee has presented evidence showing that Trump’s close advisers sought to stop him from continuing to spread the “Big Lie” that he had won the 2020 election; that he subscribed to an erroneous legal theory that former Vice President Mike Pence was legally permitted to certify him as the election winner; that Trump attempted to join the mob of thousands of his supporters who breached the U.S. Capitol as lawmakers were certifying the results; and that he ignored his advisers’ pleas to condemn and stop the attack.
“You took all these actions,” wrote Cheney and Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the committee chair, in their letter to Trump, “despite the rulings of more than 60 courts rejecting your election fraud claims and other challenges to the legality of the 2020 election… and despite your obligation as president to ensure that the laws of our nation are faithfully executed.”
“In short,” they added, “you were at the center of the first and only effort by any U.S. president to overturn an election and obstruct the peaceful transition of power, ultimately culminating in a bloody attack on our own Capitol and on the Congress itself.”
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