Donald Trump. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images.
The House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on Friday formally issued a subpoena to former President Trump.
Why it’s important: Trump is the most high-profile individual targeted for testimony by the panel, which is building a case that the former president was the instigator of the deadly riot.
Driving the news: Representatives Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the panel’s chairman and vice chair, are asking Trump to turn over documents by Nov. 4 and will appear for a deposition on Nov. 14.
- “As demonstrated in our hearings, we have assembled overwhelming evidence … that you personally led and oversaw a multi-party effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election,” they said. write in a letter shared publicly on Friday.
- The committee is seeking testimony about Trump’s treatment of associates who invoked the Fifth Amendment when the panel questioned him about their communications with him, including Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, John EastmanJeffrey Clark and Kelli Ward.
- He also says the evidence and documents will inform the committee’s planned legislative recommendations to ensure that “no future President could succeed in anything even remotely similar to the illegal steps you took to overturn the election .”
The details: Among the documents listed in the subpoena are Trump’s communications on January 6, 2021 and any photos or videos taken on that day related to the Ellipse Rally, a joint session of Congress or the Capitol riot. Also requested:
- Communications from November 3, 2020 to January 6, 2021 about efforts to pressure former Vice President Mike Pence, state legislatorsthe Department of Justicet and members of Congress to help cancel the election, as well as to summon supporters to DC on January 6th.
- Communications during that period between Trump and more than a dozen of his associates including Stone, Flynn, Eastman, Rudy Giuliani, Steve Bannon and Sidney Powell.
- Communications during that period about lawsuits and potential lawsuits that could delay or disrupt the joint session, and fundraising from election fraud claims.
- Documents and communications from September 1, 2020 to the present regarding the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys, other militia groups and any individuals who attended the Ellipse Rally or the Capitol riot.
- Communications from July, 2021 to the present about the select committee, as well as witnesses who gave evidence to the panel and their lawyers.
- Documents about the destruction of any material covered by the subpoena.
Between the lines: The document sweep request relates to all branches of the multifaceted effort to overturn the election that the committee announced at public hearings this summer.
- It also covers investigative avenues the panel is still pursuing, such as requesting communications with any Secret Service agents, including former agent and White House Deputy Chief of Staff Anthony Ornato.
What we’re looking at: The subpoena could ultimately lead to a lengthy legal battle with Trump, who has repeatedly attacked the committee publicly. aides said privately he preferred to testify live.
- Thompson and Cheney also acknowledged in the subpoena that it is a “significant and historic action,” but noted that it is not without precedent, listing nine presidents and former presidents who have testified to Congress or turned in testimony in response on congressional subpoenas.
Background: The committee vote unanimously during a meeting last week to summon Trump.
- The two-and-a-half-hour public hearing focused on Trump’s central role in the attack and the events that followed it.
- Trump he sent a 14 page letter to the panel the next day and did not say whether he would agree to testify.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with details throughout.