Trump subpoenaed over January 6 Capitol chaos
Trump will have to testify before Congress, or be faced with the threat of contempt charges.
The investigation committee looking into the US Capitol attack in 2021 subpoenaed former President Donald Trump, effectively ordering that he testify in his involvement in the riot violence. This move poses an escalation in the inquiry.
The House panel of 7 Democrats and 2 Republicans voted unanimously last week to compel Trump's appearance before investigators, requiring him to bring up documents by November 4 and to stand for deposition beginning on or about November 14. This date comes after the November 8 midterm elections.
"As demonstrated in our hearings, we have assembled overwhelming evidence, including from dozens of your former appointees and staff, that you personally orchestrated and oversaw a multi-part effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election and to obstruct the peaceful transition of power," the panel wrote in a letter to Trump.
On January 6, 2021, Trump gave a speech to supporters, manufacturing anger as he told them to "fight like hell." He was then impeached for inciting violence, impeding a peaceful transfer of presidency to incumbent President Joe Biden.
The White House refused to comment on the subpoena, other than stating that it is "important to get to the bottom of January 6."
Read next: More evidence piles up against Trump in Jan 6 hearings
Steve Bannon, a former White House aide, was sentenced to prison for 6 months, and assigned more than $200,000 in fines over charges of contempt in Congress. Bannon was the only target convicted of contempt for his refusal to comply; subpoenas have been proven difficult to enforce, within this context.
Trump, given his history of dodging legal processions and probes, is not likely to provide evidence to the January 6 committee over his involvement in the riots. The subpoena will expire in January upon the issuing of a new congressional term. However, if he refuses to comply, the House can hold him in criminal contempt and may send him for prosecution.
So far, the committee has issued over 100 subpoenas, and has interviewed over a 1,000 people since 2021. It is worth noting that no sitting president has testified against Congress before.
Read next: House January 6 panel subpoenas Secret Service for deleted texts