By Jack Phillips
Former President Donald Trump on Friday responded to the House Jan. 6 panel’s vote to subpoena him with less than a month to go before the 2022 midterms.
In a 15-page letter (pdf) to the panel, the former president did not indicate whether he would testify after members of the panel voted to approve the subpoena.
“Despite very poor television ratings, the Unselect Committee has perpetuated a Show Trial the likes of which this Country has never seen before,” Trump wrote in the letter to chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), adding that his “memo is being written to express our anger, disappointment, and complaint that with all of the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on what many consider to be a Charade and Witch Hunt.”
Trump also described members of the committee as being “highly partisan political Hacks and Thugs whose sole function is to destroy the lives of many hard-working American Patriots.”
The letter was titled “PEACEFULLY AND PATRIOTICALLY,” making made reference to a statement he made to protesters who amassed in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, when he told them “to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
Protesters who attended rallies on Jan. 6, Trump wrote, were demonstrating against what he described as election fraud that swayed the November 2020 election toward Democrat rival Joe Biden. So far, more than 860 people have been charged with offenses relating to the breach of the U.S. Capitol.
“Those who committed the Fraud, thereby having created the Crime of the Century … but those who fought the Crime have suffered a fate that was unthinkable just a short time ago,” Trump said in the letter.
The House Jan. 6 committee, Trump argued, ignored that he sent thousands of National Guard troops to Capitol Hill, which was blocked by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Capitol Police, which he said was being controlled by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Her spokesman, Drew Hammill, told Newsweek that Trump’s allegations “have no basis in fact.”
While Trump did not say whether he would testify, he offered a signal that he could be considering it. He shared a Truth Social post on Friday that linked to a Fox News article claiming a “source close to the former president” indicated that he “loves the idea of testifying.”
The subpoena is unlikely to succeed since it will likely prompt legal challenges from Trump’s attorneys. Additionally, the subpoena will expire at the end of the current Congress, which is Jan. 3, 2023.
As for actually issuing the subpoena, Thompson told reporters it would be issued “as soon as we get the paperwork.”
At its last scheduled public hearing before the midterms, the panel voted unanimously to issue a subpoena to Trump.
“The vast weight of evidence presented so far has shown us that the central cause of Jan. 6 was one man: Donald Trump,” said Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who lost her reelection bid during Wyoming’s GOP primary, on Thursday evening. “We are obligated to seek answers directly from the man who set this all in motion,” she later alleged.
And Trump “is the one person at the center of the story of what happened on Jan. 6. So we want to hear from him,” Thompson said. “He is required to answer for his actions.”
Frank Fang contributed to this report.