By Jack Phillips
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol breach announced Friday it sent a subpoena to former President Donald Trump.
The committee, in a letter (pdf), wrote that it has ” assembled overwhelming evidence, including from dozens of your former appointees and staff,” that Trump “oversaw a multi-part effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election.” Trump has denied such allegations, saying that the 2020 election was rigged against him.
“We recognize that a subpoena to a former President is a significant and historic action,” the panel’s leaders wrote to Trump on Friday, adding, “We do not take this action lightly.”
During its final public hearing last week, the panel unanimously voted to subpoena the former president.
Trump has not publicly responded to Friday’s announcement. Following last week’s vote, he described (pdf) the panel as a group of “highly partisan political Hacks and Thugs whose sole function is to destroy the lives of many hard-working American Patriots,” according to a 14-page letter.
The letter was titled, “PEACEFULLY AND PATRIOTICALLY,” referring to a line he told protesters in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” he said at the time during a rally.
Trump’s letter did not indicate whether he would agree to testify. On Truth Social, Trump indicated that he might do so as he reposted articles suggesting he should testify before the committee.
If Trump decides to fight the subpoena in court, it’s likely such a legal challenge would outlast the committee’s mandate. A number of election analysts say that the GOP is likely to retake at least the House of Representatives in the forthcoming 2022 midterms.
“We have a two-tier system of Justice in the United States that cannot be allowed to continue,” Trump continued to say. “A Majority of people in our Country say that the Presidential Election of 2020 was determinatively dishonest, including the fact that many Legislatures were overridden by local and State politicians and judges on vital regulations and requirements, which is totally illegal and UNCONSTITUTIONAL.”
The former president also has said that the Jan. 6 committee is designed to divert attention away from issues—such as inflation, high gas prices, and the economy—that are currently eroding Democrats’ and President Joe Biden’s approval ratings.
Records that are being sought by the House committee pursuant to Trump’s subpoena are due by Nov. 4, or about four days before the 2022 midterms. It also stated that Trump would be deposed on Nov. 14, or about a week after the election.
They said that seven presidents had previously testified to Congress after leaving office, including former President Gerald Ford. The letter also noted that 16th President Abraham Lincoln testified to Congress while he was in office.