Jan. 6 Committee Votes To Subpoena Donald Trump

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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The Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot voted during its Thursday hearing to subpoena former President Donald Trump.

The committee voted unanimously to subpoena the former president, with chairman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi arguing Trump was the person most responsible for the riot. Haley Talbot and Ali Vitali of NBC first reported the committee would vote to subpoena Trump. He joins five Republican members of Congress and several aides and advisors in receiving a summons.

“We have left no doubt, none, that Donald Trump led an effort to upend American democracy that directly resulted in the violence of Jan. 6. He tried to take away the voice of the American people in choosing their president, and place the will of the voters with his will to remain in power. He is the one person at the center of the story of what happened on Jan. 6. We want to hear from him,” Thompson said.

Taylor Budowich, a spokesman for Trump, dismissed the subpoena as “partisan theatrics.” (RELATED: Judge Shoots Down Trump’s Efforts To Keep Records From Jan. 6 Committee)

Democrats have no solutions and they have no interest in leading our great nation,” he tweeted. “They are simply bitter, power hungry, and desperate.”

During the hearing, committee members highlighted text messages suggesting organizations such as the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys were preparing for violence before the riot. Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff claimed the Secret Service received emails alleging plots to kill members of Congress, and that groups were openly planning in online forums.

The committee later shared video of Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer of New York urging acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen to encourage Trump to tell the rioters to leave the Capitol.

“Congressional leadership recognized on a bipartisan basis that President Trump was the only person who could get the mob to end its violent siege of the Congress, leave the Capitol, and go home,” Democratic Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin said.

Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson previously testified that Trump was aware attendees of his Ellipse speech were armed, and that the former president ordered Secret Service agents to remove magnetometers and metal detectors. Trump reportedly told Secret Service agents, “They’re not here to hurt me.”

“Our committee now has sufficient information to answer many of the critical questions posed by Congress at the outset. We have sufficient information to consider criminal referrals for multiple individuals, and to recommend a range of legislative proposals to guard against another Jan. 6. But a key task remains. We must seek the testimony, under oath, of Jan. 6’s central player,” vice chairwoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming said.

Despite the subpoena, Trump is unlikely to appear before the committee. He would likely challenge it, and federal courts would likely not resolve litigation before the end of the current Congress. House Republicans have vowed to disband the panel should they take back control of the lower chamber following the November midterms.