The US House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack on the Capitol Thursday held its first hearing since July and voted to subpoena former President Donald Trump to sit for testimony and produce documents. The committee recognized that issuing a subpoena to a former president of the US is an extraordinary step. Members believe that have sufficient information to recommend criminal referrals to the DOJ for several individuals but wish to speak with Trump first.
Representative Bennie Thompson (D-MS) emphasized that the more than 20 hours of evidence presented by the committee over eight previous hearings demonstrated that Trump had both the intent and motivation to spur the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot. Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) then appeared to assert that, in the face of the evidence presented by the committee, Trump could no longer claim he was not aware or intimately involved in the effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
Committee members detailed and summarized evidence gathered across the committee’s eight summer hearings, including testimonial, documentary and video evidence recapping January 6 from the perspective of individuals inside the White House, Trump’s inner circle and the broader government. The evidence, committee members argued, shows that Trump intended to disrupt and prevent the January 6 vote count.
The committee also presented new video evidence following congressional leaders’ efforts to quell the Capitol riot on January 6. Video showed Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and others calling for support from an undisclosed location where the leaders sheltered following the breach of the Capitol. Additional testimony from White House officials at the time–including Mick Mulvaney and Elaine Chao–reinforced testimony shown during the committee’s summer session. Countless witnesses recounted alleged that Trump sat before a television during the Capitol riot, refusing to intervene. Witnesses allegedly continually told Trump that he had lost the election and exhausted all of his legal challenges, including a rejection from the US Supreme Court.
At the conclusion of the hearing, Cheney presented a resolution to subpoena Trump to sit for questioning before the committee and produce documents related to January 6; the resolution passed unanimously. If Trump refuses to comply, the committee may move to hold Trump in contempt of congress. After he refused to cooperate, a federal jury found former Trump strategist Steve Bannon guilty of contempt of Congress.