The Congressional committee investigating the January 6, 2021 riots on the Capitol voted unanimously Thursday to subpoena former President Donald Trump.
Addressing him, the document reads: “You were at the center of the first and only effort by any US President to overturn an election.”
“You knew this activity was illegal and unconstitutional,” the document further notes.
The panel’s chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said the committee had an “obligation” to hear from Trump.
“This is a question about accountability to the American people,” Thompson said. “He must be accountable. He is required to answer for his actions. He’s required to answer to those police officers who put their lives and bodies on the line to defend our democracy.”
“He’s required to answer to those millions of Americans whose votes he wanted to throw out as part of his scheme to remain in power,” Thompson further added, acknowledging the move as a “serious and extraordinary action.”
The resolution to subpoena Trump passed with the support of all members, 9-0. It was introduced by the panel’s vice chair, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., who called Trump the riot’s “central player.”
Trump faces criminal charges if he does not testify on Capitol riots
A lawyer for Trump accused the lawmakers on the committee of “flouting norms.”
The former President has lambasted the inquiry as a ruse designed to distract voters from the “disaster” of Democratic governance with US midterm elections looming next month.
Trump could face criminal charges if he does not comply with the subpoena.
He has until November 4th to provide documents to the January 6th committee and must appear for deposition testimony on or around November 14th.
If the former President refuses to testify to Congress or hand over the requested material, the committee could refer the matter to the Department of Justice, potentially triggering criminal proceedings.
The subpoena was issued just hours after former Trump strategist Steve Bannon was fined $6,500 and sentenced to four months in jail for contempt of Congress.
He was convicted after refusing to give the committee testimony or documents.
Another Trump aide, Peter Navarro, is due to stand trial for contempt of Congress next month after refusing to cooperate with a similar subpoena.
Earlier in October, a dramatic video was shown during the hearing for the January 6th committee that was shot during the Capitol riots.
It depicts Congressional leaders pleading for help from governors and other federal agencies.
“Oh, my gosh, they’re just breaking windows, they’re doing all kinds of…they said somebody was shot,” a distraught but composed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says on a call to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. “It’s just horrendous, and all at the instigation of the President of the United States.”