Former President Donald Trump received a subpoena from the House of Representatives on Friday to investigate the Jan. 6 riots in the US Capitol.
The committee, which voted unanimously on the move, is demanding Trump’s testimony under oath next month, as well as records relevant to the investigation into the attack, which the panel found after weeks of denying he lost the 2020 election to President Joe Biden to have.
The panel had said Oct. 13 it would subpoena Trump, whose supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, as a joint session of Congress met to confirm Biden’s victory.
“We recognize that subpoenaing a former president is a significant and historic act,” the panel chairmen wrote to Trump in a letter on Friday.
“We do not take this action lightly.”
The committee’s chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and vice chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., cited in the letter what they called Trump’s central role in a deliberate, “multiple effort” to resolve his loss in 2020 to reverse presidential elections and stay in power.
The subpoena states that Trump would be impeached on November 14 after the midterm elections.
It is unclear whether Trump will comply with the subpoena.
“As with any similar matter, we will review and analyze it and respond appropriately to this unprecedented action,” said David A. Warrington, a partner at Dhillon Law Group, the law firm representing Trump on the subpoena matter. In a statement by a Trump spokesman to NBC News, Warrington also accused the committee of “disobeying norms” by publicly releasing the subpoena.
The records requested by the House Committee under the subpoena are due Nov. 4.
The recordings include documentation of phone calls, text messages, or communications sent through the encrypted messaging app, Signal, as well as photos, videos, and handwritten notes relevant to the scope of the investigation.
Pro-Trump protesters storm the US Capitol to challenge the US Congress’ certification of the results of the 2020 US presidential election at the US Capitol building in Washington, DC, United States, January 6, 2021.
Ahmed Gaber | Reuters
The panel specifically solicited communications and memoranda from 13 Trump allies and other deniers of Biden’s victory, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Republican brake Roger Stone, retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, and the former White House aide Stefan Bannon.
Bannon was sentenced to four months in prison on Friday for refusing to comply with subpoenas from the same committee. He remains at large pending an appeal.
In their letter to Trump, committee chairmen Thompson and Cheney accused him of “maliciously” making false allegations about voter fraud, “attempting to corrupt the Justice Department” to support those allegations, to pressure state officials to deny the election results change, and oversee efforts to submit false voters to the Electoral College.
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The letter also noted that he had pressured his Vice President, Mike Pence, to refuse to count the Electoral College’s votes during the joint session of Congress.
“As demonstrated in our hearings, we have assembled overwhelming evidence, including from dozens of your former appointees and associates, that you personally orchestrated and oversaw a multi-pronged effort to overthrow the 2020 presidential election and impede the peaceful transition of power,” he said Letter.
“You were at the center of the first and only attempt by a US President to overturn an election and impede the peaceful transfer of power, which ultimately culminated in a bloody attack on our own Capitol and on Congress itself,” the letter said.
Committee chairs noted that seven presidents had testified before Congress after leaving office, most recently Gerald Ford, a Republican.
And at least two presidents, Ford and Abraham Lincoln, testified before Congress while serving in the White House, the letter said.