The congressional select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the United States Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump disclosed Friday that it has issued a formal subpoena to the former president.
The announcement comes eight days after the nine members of the panel voted unanimously to require testimony and documents from the Republican, who remains unwilling to concede that he lost the 2020 election to Democrat Joe Biden.
“It is our obligation to seek Donald Trump’s testimony,” the committee chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson, said before the Oct. 13 vote. “He is the one person at the center of the story of what happened on Jan. 6.”
The then-president had urged supporters to march to the Capitol as Congress was meeting in joint session to certify Biden’s victory.
The subpoena gives Trump until Nov. 4 to deliver the requested documents, while demanding that he appear in person or virtually for “one or more days of deposition testimony beginning on or about Nov. 14.”
In the subpoena letter, Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, and the committee vice-chair, Wyoming Republican Liz Cheney, emphasize Trump’s role in the buildup to the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6., which left five people dead and 140 police officers injured.
“(W)e have assembled overwhelming evidence, including from dozens of your former appointees and staff, that you personally orchestrated and oversaw a multi-part effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election and to obstruct the peaceful transition of power,” they wrote.
Trump, who refers to the congressional panel as the “Unselect Committee,” was quick to denounce the subpoena following the committee vote on Oct. 13.
“Why didn’t the Unselect Committee ask me to testify months ago?,” the real estate mogul said in a post on his Truth Social social media platform.
“Why did they wait until the very end, the final moments of their 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 badly – A laughing stock all over the World?,” Trump wrote.
The former president had no immediate public comment on Friday’s announcement, but one of his attorneys, David Warrington, said that Trump’s legal team would “review and analyze” the subpoena and “respond as appropriate.”
If Trump refuses to honor the subpoena, which will expire at the end of the present congressional term on Jan. 23, 2023, the select committee will have the option to hold him in contempt, though that decision would have to be confirmed by a majority of the House.
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