US Capitol riot panel subpoenas Trump


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PerthNow

Former US president Donald Trump has been issued an order to testify under oath and provide documents to the House of Representatives committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol by his supporters.

The committee on Friday said it had sent a subpoena to Trump requiring documents to be submitted to the panel by November 4 and him to appear for deposition testimony beginning on or about November 14.

Deposition testimony often refers to closed-door, videotaped questioning of a witness on the record. Such testimony could be made public and become part of a final report by the special panel.

“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 committee wrote in a letter to Trump on Friday.

Trump, who regularly refers to the panel as the “unselect committee,” has accused it of waging unfair political attacks on him while refusing to investigate his charges of widespread election fraud.

He is not likely to cooperate with the subpoena and could simply try to run out the clock on a committee whose mandate will likely end early next year if Republicans win a majority in the House in November’s midterm elections.

Thousands of Trump supporters attacked the Capitol on January 6, 2021, after Trump delivered a fiery speech at a rally near the White House featuring false claims that his defeat in the 2020 presidential election by Democrat Joe Biden was the result of fraud.

The assault saw rioters smash through glass and battle police. Five people including a police officer died during or shortly after the riot, more than 140 police officers were injured, the Capitol suffered millions of dollars in damage and Vice President Mike Pence, members of Congress and staff were sent running for their lives.

The committee announcement came just hours after Steve Bannon, an influential far-right figure and a former adviser to Trump, was sentenced by a federal judge to four months in prison for refusing to cooperate with the panel’s investigation. He is free, however, pending his appeal.

The House Select committee’s seven Democratic and two Republican members voted unanimously on October 13 in favour of subpoenaing Trump, a move that could lead to criminal charges if he does not comply.

While noting that the Supreme Court has ruled that former presidents retain a limited ability to assert executive privilege in refusing to testify, the committee also said there were limits to that privilege.

It also made clear that congressional testimony by a former or sitting president was not unprecedented. The letter listed seven former presidents – most recently Gerald Ford – having tes…

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