Jan. 6 Committee Votes To Subpoena Trump To Testify After Sharing Never-Before-Seen Footage Of Capitol Attack

The committee announced motions to subpoena the former president to get his testimony under oath to get the 'complete story' about the January 6 riot.

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Update (10/21/22 3:25 p.m. EST): The House Select Committee formally subpoenaed former President Donald Trump on Friday, October 21. The subpoena called for Trump to turn over documents that may contain evidence by November 4 and supply testimony by November 14. “In short, you were at the center of the first and only effort by any U.S. President to overturn an election and obstruct the peaceful transfer of power, ultimately culminating in in a bloody attack on our own Capitol and on the Congress itself,” the committee wrote in part.

Original (10/13/22 3:40 p.m. EST): The House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol shared motions to subpoena former President Donald Trump to testify before the committee during the hearing on Thursday, October 13. The committee voted unanimously to issue a subpoena to the former president. “He is the one person at the center of the story of what happened on January 6. So in order to hear from him, the committee needs to do everything in our power to tell the most complete story possible and provide recommendations to help ensure nothing like January 6, ever happens again,” Committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson said during the hearing.

Before turning it over to a vote, Thompson said that Trump needed to be held “accountable” for the attack on the Capitol and is “required to answer for his actions” to the police who defended against his supporters as well as the Americans whose votes he wanted to throw out.

Co-chair Rep. Liz Cheney pointed out the numerous people who have gone out of their way not to testify about Trump and his connection with the January 6 attack. She spoke about how important it was for the committee to try to get important answers from the former president, making a subpoena necessary. “We are obligated to seek answers directly from the man who set this all in motion, and every American is entitled to those answers, so we can act now to protect our republic,” she said before the committee voted unanimously.

The hearing was the first since a summer recess, after the session on July 21. The hearing had been rescheduled from its original date of September 28 due to Hurricane Ian making landfall. The committee presented never-before-seen evidence, including footage of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer calling officials to request help as rioters attacked the Capitol. There were clips of Pelosi calling former Virginia Governor Ralph Northam requesting help, and the House Speaker and Schumer imploring Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen to try to get Trump to make a statement telling them to leave. During the call to Northam, Pelosi described the attack as “horrendous.” There were also clips of Trump supporters receiving the president’s video message instructing them to go home. The committee tweeted the video footage shown.

Earlier in the session, the committee reiterated points made during prior hearings, including that Trump knew that he had lost the election and that members of his staff had pushed back on him promoting election lies and attempting to overturn the results. They also presented a section of a past interview with former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, where she recalled a conversation with former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, where she heard Trump privately acknowledge that he’d lost. She recalled hearing Trump tell Meadows something to the effect of, “I don’t want people to know we lost, Mark. This is embarrassing. Figure it out. We need to figure it out. I don’t want people to know that we lost.”

Communications obtained from Secret Service members were also presented at the hearing, including that rioters were making threats against former Vice President Mike Pence. They also released communications that included briefings on Proud Boys and other armed groups were preparing to attend the rally. The committee shared these findings on Twitter.

The Committee is continuing their investigation and is expected to submit a report later this year with their findings, about Trump and his involvement in the riot.  Both Republican members of the committee Reps. Adam Kinzinger  (IL) and Liz Cheney (WY) will also not be returning to Congress in the next term. Kinzinger announced his plans to retire from Congress in October 2021, and Cheney lost the Republican primary against Harriet Hageman.

The committee has held multiple hearings investigating the attack on the Capitol. (J Scott Applewhite/AP/Shutterstock)

Cheney has also signaled that she would abandon the Republican party if Trump became the nominee for the 2024 election. “If [Trump] is the nominee, I won’t be a Republican,” she told Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith at the newspaper’s festival on Saturday, September 24. She even said that she’d be willing to support Democrats in their campaigns to try to stop Trump-backed candidates from winning their races, most notably preventing Kari Lake from winning the Wyoming gubernatorial race.

Since the last hearing, Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago was raided by FBI agents, following a Justice Department investigation, which found that the former president had taken classified documents to his private residence. The DOJ revealed that FBI agents uncovered over 100 classified documents during the August 8 search, and its suspected that there may still be more, according to CNBC

The January 6 Committee revealed more about Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election in the latest hearing. (Matt York/AP/Shutterstock)

During the first hearing back in June, Cheney didn’t hold back in calling out Trump for provoking his supporters to invade the Capitol on January 6. “President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” she said, during opening statements.

Prior to the hearing, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) had teased that this hearing may be “more sweeping than some of the other hearings,” during an appearance on CNN. He also said that the hearing would shed new light on previously presented material as well as bring new findings forward. “The public will certainly learn things it hasn’t seen before, but it will also understand information it already has in a different context by seeing how it relates to other elements of this plot,” he said.

During the most recent prior hearing in July, outtakes of Trump’s speech following the attack were shown, including a clip of him cutting the phrase “The election is over” out of his speech. An anonymous security official also revealed that members of former Vice President Mike Pence’s security detail made calls “to say goodbye to family members,” as the mob attacked.

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