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Jan. 6 House Committee Votes to Subpoena Trump during its Final Hearing

While presenting its summation of the former president's calculated, multipart effort to overturn the 2020 election, the House select committee votes to compel Trump's testimony.
Jan. 6 House Committee Votes to Subpoena Trump during its Final Hearing

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol voted to issue a subpoena to former President Donald Trump, seeking to compel him to provide documents and testimony under oath. The panel voted 9-0 to issue the subpoena, reports the Wall Street Journal.

"He is the one person at the center of the story of what happened on Jan. 6. So we want to hear from him," Chairman Bennie Thompson (D., Miss.) said. "We also recognize that a subpoena to a former president is a serious and extraordinary action. That’s why we want to take this step in full view of the American people," he said.

The Trump Subpoena: What to Know (Wall Street Journal)

Excerpt from the Wall Street Journal: The former president could comply with the subpoena and testify. He could appear before the committee and assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, a step he took recently in a New York probe of his financial dealings. Mr. Trump could go to court to contest the legitimacy of the subpoena. Or he could refuse to testify, potentially setting up a high-stakes legal standoff. Legal experts said it was unlikely that Mr. Trump would cooperate, and he issued a statement criticizing the committee.
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According to the New York Times, the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol presented a sweeping summation of its case placing him at the center of a calculated, multipart effort to overturn the 2020 election, beginning even before Election Day, writes the New York Times.

"None of this is normal, acceptable or lawful in our republic," said Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming and the committee’s vice chairwoman.

Jan. 6 Panel Votes to Subpoena Trump as It Wraps Up Its Case (New York Times)

Excerpt from the New York Times: At what may have been its final public hearing and just weeks before midterm elections in which control of Congress is at stake, the panel knit together evidence and testimony from its nine previous presentations while introducing new revelations about Mr. Trump’s central role in numerous plots to maintain power. The committee laid out in vivid detail how Mr. Trump, enraged and embarrassed that he had lost the election and unwilling to accept that fact, sought to join the crowd he had summoned to Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, as it marched to the Capitol — knowing that some of his supporters were armed and threatening violence as Congress met to certify his defeat. The committee also showed previously unreleased video from the secure location where congressional leaders hunkered down while the Capitol was under attack. The footage offered a glimpse of the shock and disbelief that gripped them as they urgently phoned governors and top national security officials in efforts to summon the National Guard or get Mr. Trump to call off the assault.
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In a related story from Bloomberg, legal experts say they expect Trump to refuse to comply, and that there’s little the committee can do about it. Lisa Kern Griffin, a professor at Duke University School of Law, described the vote as "symbolic."

"It is understandable that they would make that move, and it underscores their point that he was the driver behind the violence and aware of all of the efforts to overturn the election," said Griffin, who has taught on the presidency and criminal probes. "But subpoenaing him is a gesture. It will not result in any testimony from the former president."

Subpoena of Trump Over Jan. 6 Carries Risk of Legal Quagmire (Bloomberg)

Excerpt from Bloomberg: If Trump challenges the subpoena in court, or if the committee sues to enforce it, the legal fight could take years by raising largely untested questions about immunity for presidents in and out of office. The US Justice Department brought contempt charges against two witnesses who defied Jan. 6 subpoenas, but chose to not prosecute others, so Trump also could take his chances by simply not showing up. Any subpoena issued by the committee will expire at the end of the congressional term. And if Republicans take control of the House in the midterm elections next month, GOP leaders are expected to end the committee’s work, likely making any subpoena fight moot.
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