January 6 committee orders Donald Trump to testify in November

House committee files subpoena calling for 'historic' deposition of a former US president

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The House of Representatives subcommittee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol sent a formal subpoena to former president Donald Trump on Friday, ordering him to testify under oath as part of its probe.

“We have assembled overwhelming evidence [ …] that you personally orchestrated and oversaw a multi-part effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election and to obstruct the peaceful transition of power,” the subpoena read.

The panel said Mr Trump has to speak before the panel under oath on November 14 for one or two days, and provide relevant documents 10 days prior.

A law firm representing Mr Trump regarding the subpoena told The Associated Press on Friday: “We understand that, once again, flouting norms and appropriate and customary process, the committee has publicly released a copy of its subpoena.

"As with any similar matter, we will review and analyse it and will respond as appropriate to this unprecedented action.”

The nine-member bipartisan committee unanimously voted last week to subpoena Mr Trump as part of its last public hearing during which it shared its findings on his reported involvement in the deadly Capitol attack.

During the violent insurrection, Trump supporters stormed the seat of the US government to subvert the results of the 2020 presidential election that Joe Biden won. Five people died in connection to the attack.

January 6 Committee votes to subpoena former president Donald Trump

January 6 Committee votes to subpoena former president Donald Trump

“We are considering multiple legislative recommendations intended to provide further assurance that no future president could succeed at anything even remotely similar to the unlawful steps you took to overturn the election,” the committee's chairman Bennie Thompson and vice chairwoman Liz Cheney wrote to Mr Trump.

“We recognise that a subpoena to a former president is a significant and historic action. We do not take this action lightly.”

Mr Trump responded to the unprecedented move last week by publicly slamming the panel and its investigation as a “witch hunt” in a letter, while reportedly considering the prospect of meeting the group.

The former president could choose to defy or ignore the subpoena, which may result in contempt of Congress charges.

Steve Bannon, Mr Trump's former strategist, was sentenced to four months in prison and a fine on Friday for refusing to speak with the panel.

Pressing charges involves the approval of the entire House, before a criminal referral is passed on to the US Department of Justice. The agency may not take up a such referral as it has not charged Mr Trump's former chief of staff Mark Meadows for contempt.

The committee is on a tight deadline as the panel is expected to dissolve at the beginning of 2023 when the new Congress is introduced following the November midterm elections, and the House is expected to then be in Republican control.

The committee members plan to issue a report after having "interviewed more than a thousand witnesses [and] reviewed over a million documents" at the end of the year, which may include criminal referrals to the Justice Department.

Updated: October 21, 2022, 9:22 PM