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Donald Trump officially subpoenaed by the January 6 committee | donald trump

The Jan. 6 House Select Committee formally issued a subpoena to Donald Trump, forcing the former president to report under oath on his potential knowledge of the Capitol attack and his broader efforts to void the election. of 2020.

The subpoena made sweeping demands for documents and testimony, dramatically raising the stakes for Congress’s highly charged investigation and setting the stage for a constitutionally consequential legal battle that could ultimately go to the Supreme Court.

“Because of your central role in each element,” wrote panel chair Bennie Thompson and vice chair Liz Cheney, “the select committee unanimously ordered the issuance of a subpoena requesting your testimony and relevant documents in your possession on these and related matters.

Most notably, the committee demanded that Trump turn over records of all Jan. 6-related calls and text messages sent or received, all communications with members of Congress, as well as communications with the far-right Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. , extremist groups that stormed the Capitol.

The broad subpoena ordered Trump to produce documents by Nov. 4 and testify Nov. 14 about interactions with top advisers who asserted their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, including political operatives Roger Stone and Michael Flynn.

The subpoena also targeted documents that appeared intended to be reviewed as part of an investigation into the obstruction by the select committee.

One of the document requests, for example, was for records of Trump’s efforts to contact witnesses and their attorneys.

Thompson forwarded the subpoena after investigators spent days drafting the order and select committee attorneys contacted several attorneys working for Trump to determine who was authorized to accept his services.

It is unclear whether Trump will testify. Although he has retained the services of the Dhillon Law Group to handle matters relating to the subpoena, the final decision regarding his cooperation will be based largely on his own instincts, sources close to the former have suggested. President.

The driving factor that drives Trump to want to testify centers on the reflexive belief that he can convince investigators that their own investigation is a witch hunt and that he should be exonerated on Jan. 6, the sources said.

Trump has previously expressed his eagerness to appear before the select committee and ‘get his pound of flesh’ as ​​long as he can appear live, the sources said – a thought he reiterated to shut down aides last week after that the panel voted to issue the subpoena.

But Trump also appears to have become more sensitive to testimonial pitfalls in ongoing investigations, with lawyers warning him of mounting legal problems in criminal investigations by the US Department of Justice and a civil lawsuit filed by the New York Attorney General.

The former president invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination more than 400 times in a deposition to the New York Attorney General’s office before the office filed a giant fraud complaint against him, three of his children and senior executives of the Trump Organization.

Trump also ultimately followed the advice of his lawyers during the special counsel’s investigation into his 2016 campaign’s ties to Russia, submitting only written responses to investigators despite initially telling advisers that wanted to testify to clear his name.

This recent warning came with the realization that Trump could put himself at legal risk if he testified under oath, given his penchant for misrepresentation or outright lying about events of any kind – which is a crime before Congress.

Any lies from Trump would almost certainly be detected by the select committee. The subpoena letter said the panel intended to have attorneys conduct the questioning, many of whom are former Justice Department lawyers or federal and state security prosecutors.

The former president’s testimony and transcript would almost certainly be considered by the Justice Department as part of its criminal investigation into various efforts to nullify the 2020 election, which the select committee says was orchestrated in a manner centralized by Trump.

But the decision to subpoena Trump carries inherent risks for the panel itself. If it allowed Trump, for example, to testify live, they would face a witness who could self-incriminate but could also use the procedure to repeat lies about the 2020 election that led to the attack. of the Capitol.


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