Will Trump testify before the January 6 House select committee? Former President receives subpoena
The former President has previously indicated that he might appear before the panel and has now been subpoenaed by the House to testify.
Former President Donald Trump has been hit with a subpoena by the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol.
This marks the most severe legal threat to the former President and comes just hours after his former special advisor was sentenced to four months in prison for failing to comply with a similar order.
The subpoena obliges Trump to provide documents to the committee by 4 November and to appear before the panel for a deposition on 14 November. The New York Times reports that the committee held a vote on the matter last week and were unanimously in favour of issuing the subpoena.
Last week Trump published a lengthy letter in which he criticised the committee, but stopped short of saying that he would not comply with a subpoena if it was issued. It has been reported that he has previously contemplated testifying but would likely insist on doing so live, giving him a platform to rehash his disproved claims about election integrity.
The committee’s vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney said earlier this week that failure to comply with a subpoena would be met with an uncompromising response from the panel, saying that lawmakers would “take the steps we need to take” to ensure compliance.
However their desire to bring the former President before the committee could come undone in the coming months if the Republicans flip control of the House of Representatives in the upcoming November midterms.
Why has the January 6 committee subpoenaed Trump?
Throughout the months-long process, the House select committee has sought to draw a direct link between the baseless claims made by Donald Trump and the violent actions of the rioters. The former President has repeatedly denied that he knowingly incited violence but in the course of the public hearings the ties between Trump and his supporters became increasingly clear.
The committee held its ninth public hearing on 13 October, during which it voted to subpoena Trump. With the future of the committee in doubt it appears that members are now hoping to elicit significant insight from Trump himself in the coming weeks.
The first date on the subpoena, 4 November, is the deadline for Trump to turn over records related to January 6. This could include text messages, telephone call logs, handwritten notes and media like photos and videos shared within his inner circle.
To understand the events leading up to the insurrection attempt, the committee has also asked for Trump’s communication with 13 key allies and fellow election deniers. They may wish to prove that the former President knowingly spread election lies, which directly encouraged rioters to storm the Capitol.
Those on the committee are attempting to show that Trump orchestrated a coordinated plan to destroy trust in the election process. Securing a greater understanding of the former President’s actions leading up January 6 will be central to that effort.