The House Committee investigating the Capitol attack agreed Thursday to subpoena former President Donald Trump, paving the way for a direct encounter with the man accused of inspiring the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, insurgency and directing attempts to derail the 2020 election.
“The overwhelming weight of evidence has established that the major cause of January 6 was one guy, Donald Trump, who many others followed,” Vice Chairperson Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., stated.
“Without him, none of this would have happened.
He was personally and significantly involved in everything.
“We must obtain testimony under oath of primary character from January 6,” Cheney said, adding that the committee has “sufficient” information to issue criminal referrals involving many players in the panel’s inquiry.
“We owe it to the man who set this all in motion to seek answers.”
The vote occurred at the committee’s ninth, and likely final, public meeting, during which members presented closing arguments interspersed with witness evidence, highlighting Trump’s frantic attempts to cling to power despite losing the election.
Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich said lawmakers’ “meritless rhetoric” will not scare Trump.
The former president did not immediately respond to the vote, instead posting short video footage of the crowd gathered to hear him speak on Jan. 6, 2021, when he urged them to march to the Capitol.
Few expect Trump to comply with the committee’s summons, which will almost certainly result in a fresh round of legal challenges involving the former president.
If Republicans win the House in November, the committee will most likely be disbanded at the start of next year.
“I assume that Trump would take the Fifth if his hand were forced,” said former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti. “But he will likely try to delay his testimony with frivolous legal proceedings challenging Congressional authorities to compel his testimony.”
Bradley P. Moss, a national security lawyer, stated: “Under no circumstances will Trump voluntarily comply to a subpoena from the 1/6 Committee.
He’ll take it to the Supreme Court, and if Democrats don’t take back the House next month, it’ll all be over in January.”
During the hearing on Thursday, lawmakers frequently emphasized evidence of Trump’s persistent attempts to deny President Joe Biden’s victory.
According to the group, a draught statement declaring a Trump victory was prepared for delivery days before the 2020 election, regardless of the outcome.
According to the proposal sent on October 31, 2020, “we had an election today – and I won.”
“By counting the ballots by the Election Day deadline, the American people have conferred upon me the high honor of reelection as President of the United States.”
Despite several attempts by top aides, including then-Attorney General William Barr, Trump’s efforts to stay in the office looked to be becoming more desperate, according to the committee.
When the Supreme Court dismissed his election challenge a month after the vote, the committee’s material and witness testimony provided a frightening portrait of a more intractable Trump.
“Just FYI POTUS is upset – big news – the supreme court refused his lawsuit,” a Secret Service agent wrote in an email on December 11, 2020.
“He’s furious right now.”
The committee also heard testimony from former White House assistant Cassidy Hutchinson, who described how she and then-chief of staff Mark Meadows ran into a “raging” Trump as he went out of the Oval Office that day, telling Meadows, “I don’t want people to know we lost, Mark.”
This is humiliating.
We must solve the problem.
I don’t want anyone to know we lost.”