Jan 6 special committees vote to subpoena Trump for testimony, documents related to Capitol attack

Washington – The House Inquiry Committee is investigating the Jan 6 attack on US Capitol unanimously voted Thursday to issue a subpoena to form President Donald Trump for documents and testimony.

The 9-0 vote came before the conclusion of a formal business meeting of the panel I Agree Thursday when all nine members made presentations on Trump’s campaign to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and prevent the transfer of power. NBC News was the first to report the committee’s plans to vote on Trump’s subpoena.

“Thanks to the tireless work of our members and investigators, we have left no doubt that Donald Trump led an effort to upend American democracy that led directly to the Jan. 6 violence,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson , Chairman of the Committee. “He has tried to take away the voice of the American people in electing their President and to replace the will of the electorate with his will to stay in power. He is the only person who is central to the story of what happened on January 6th. So we want to hear from him.”

Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, said it was the committee’s “obligation” to get Trump’s testimony.

The House of Representatives Committee on Jan. 6 is holding a public hearing
Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi and chairman of the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, center, speaks during a hearing in Washington, DC on Thursday, October 13, 2022.

Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

“This is a question of accountability to the American people. He has to be accountable,” he continued. “He has to be accountable for his actions. He must answer to those police officers who risked their lives and bodies to defend our democracy. He must answer to the millions of Americans whose votes he chose to throw away as part of his plan to remain in power. And whatever is going on to ensure its accountability under the law, this committee will hold the American people fully accountable for the events of January 6th.

Rep. Liz Cheney, the committee’s vice chair, offered a resolution that the committee direct the chair to subpoena Trump for documents and testimony related to the 6/19 attack on the Capitol.

“Our duty today is to our country, our children and our constitution,” she said. “We are obliged to seek answers directly from the man who started all this. And we are entitled to the answers today, so we can act now to protect our republic.”

In a post on his social media platform Truth Social, Trump questioned why the select committee had not asked him to testify earlier.

“Why did you wait until the end, until the last moment of your last meeting? Because the committee is a total ‘BUST’ that has only served to further divide our country, which by the way is doing very poorly – a laughing stock worldwide?” he wrote.

Posting again late Thursday night, he said: “The Unselect Committee is a massive con, run by a group of losers on the far left and two failed Republicans, the likes of which our country has seldom seen before. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” and promised to share more of his thoughts on Friday morning.

Thompson told reporters before the trial that the committee “didn’t rule out” a subpoena from Trump. While making an opening statement early in the hearing, he noted that this was a formal committee business meeting at which members could “possibly hold a committee vote on further investigative action based on this evidence.”

The vote to force the former president to produce evidence is a dramatic escalation in the committee’s investigation, during which the panel conducted more than 1,000 interviews and testimonies, including with a number of White House officials who are members of Trump’s cabinet and campaign workers. Noting the gravity of the decision to subpoena Trump, Thompson called it “a serious and exceptional action” that warranted a public vote.

Committee members repeatedly said publicly during the course of the inquiry that they were considering asking Vice President Mike Pence to appear before them, but had not yet decided whether to do so. Asked Thursday whether the committee would subpoena the former vice president, Thompson said “no.” Also, prior to Thursday, they had not said whether they had decided to issue a subpoena against the former president.

Trump is likely to contest the select committee’s subpoena. In the past, he has asked the federal courts to intervene in congressional Democrats’ efforts to obtain his tax returns and financial records, as well as in the Special Committee’s attempt to obtain Trump’s White House records from the National Archives and Records Administration.

In January the Supreme Court declined Trump’s request to block the publication of his White House documents, and the committee received the records soon after. Only Judge Clarence Thomas noted that he would have granted Trump’s request to protect the recordings from House investigators.

Since the committee held its session on Thursday, the Supreme Court denied a request by Trump to intervene in a dispute over documents he brought from the White House to his South Florida residence, Mar-a-Lago, at the end of his presidency in January. 2021. There were no identified dissenting opinions.

Over the course of its year-long investigation, the special committee found what it has described as a multi-pronged effort by the former president to remain in office despite losing to President Biden in the 2020 election.

That effort, rooted in his unsubstantiated claims that the election was riddled with voter fraud, culminated in January. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.

House investigators held eight public hearings over the summer, with Thursday’s trial, the ninth, likely to be the last. Cheney said during the opening remarks that the focus of the meeting was Trump’s “state of mind, his intentions, his motivations, and how he spurred others to do what he ordered.”

“The tremendous weight of the evidence presented so far has shown us that the central cause of January 6th was one man, Donald Trump, who was followed by many others,” she said. “Without him none of this would have happened. He was personally and significantly involved in all of this.”

In her final remarks before voting on Trump’s subpoena, Cheney said the committee had “sufficient information” to answer questions about the January subpoena. 6 assault plus “sufficient information” to consider criminal references to multiple individuals.

“But,” she said, “one key task remains: we must obtain the testimony under oath of the key player on January 6th.”

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