Former President Donald Trump remained noncommittal on whether or not he’ll comply with the House January 6 Committee’s subpoena for his testimony Friday morning, issuing a multi-page response to the committee, decrying it as a “charade and witch hunt”—but still refusing to explicitly state whether he intends to go along with its request.
Trump shared a letter Friday he wrote to House committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), in which he asserted false claims about fraud in the 2020 election and “express[ed] our anger, disappointment, and complaint” that the committee was not investigating the purported fraud.
He accused the House January 6 Committee of “perpetuat[ing] a Show Trial the likes of which this Country has never seen before,” and claimed there is “no Due Process, no Cross-Examination, no ‘real’ Republican members, and no legitimacy.”
The letter did not explicitly respond to the House committee’s subpoena for his testimony and documents, which it approved Thursday in a 9-0 vote during the committee’s public televised hearing.
Trump has so far not commented at all on whether he’ll comply with the subpoena, telling Fox News Thursday the committee “[has] to try to do this to get publicity” but not whether he would go along with it.
While Trump has been widely expected not to comply with the subpoena, the ex-president did share a Fox News report on Truth Social in which a source close to the former president said Trump “loves the idea of testifying” and if he testified, he would “talk about how corrupt the election was, how corrupt the committee was.”
There is no evidence to support claims of widespread election fraud in the 2020 election, and the House January 6 Committee has presented evidence in public hearings that Trump was told there was no evidence to support his claims and privately acknowledged that he had lost the election, but has continued to push them publicly anyway.
Trump “knew he had lost the election, but he made the deliberate choice to ignore the courts, to ignore the Justice Department, to ignore his campaign leadership, to ignore senior advisors and to pursue a completely unlawful effort to overturn the election,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said Thursday during the House Committee’s hearing. “His intent was plain: Ignore the rule of law and stay in power.”
What We Don’t Know
Whether or not Trump will comply with the subpoena. If he doesn’t—as is likely to be the case, given his opposition to the committee’s work—it means lawmakers are overwhelmingly unlikely to hear from him, given that any legal battle over the subpoena would likely take months to resolve. The House January 6 Committee must dissolve by December 31, when this congressional term expires, though lawmakers would likely want to depose Trump even sooner so they could include his testimony in the final report the committee will issue. Ultimately, legal experts believe the request for Trump’s testimony is likely more “symbolic” than expected to actually work. “Subpoenaing him is a gesture,” Duke University law professor Lisa Kern Griffin told Bloomberg. “It will not result in any testimony from the former president.”
The House January 6 committee voted to subpoena Trump Thursday after months of hearings that laid out the president’s legal culpability in the January 6 attack and in his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. In the committee’s hearing on Thursday, lawmakers presented evidence alleging Trump and his allies’ plan to overturn the election results was premeditated and that Trump knew he had lost the election, allegedly telling then White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows after the Supreme Court struck down a postelection challenge, “I don’t want people to know that we lost.” The committee’s evidence “has shown us that the central cause of January 6 was one man, Donald Trump, who many others followed,” Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said Thursday, with Thompson noting ahead of the committee’s vote on the subpoena that Trump “is the one person at the center of the story of what happened on January 6.” Though Trump is widely expected to fight the subpoena and lawmakers had previously wavered on whether to issue one, the chairman noted Thursday that Trump needed to be held accountable and the committee “needs to do everything in our power to tell the most complete story possible.”
Jan. 6 hearing shows Trump knew he lost — even while claiming otherwise (Washington Post)