The lawmakers issued the subpoena to question Trump about his alleged role in the events that led up to some of the violence that unfolded that afternoon.
“The central cause of Jan. 6 was one man, Donald Trump, who many others followed,” said Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the vice chairwoman of the committee. “President Trump had a premeditated plan to declare that the election was fraudulent and stolen before Election Day.”
Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) said that the panel had an “obligation” to hear from the former president.
“This is a question about accountability to the American people,” Thompson said. “He must be accountable. He is required to answer for his actions.”
Trump responded on social media to being subpoenaed by the committee by questioning the timing of their vote.
“Why didn’t the Unselect Committee ask me to testify months ago?” Trump wrote. “Why did they wait until the very end, the final moments of their last meeting? Because the Committee is a total ‘BUST’ that has only served to further divide our Country which, by the way, is doing very badly – A laughing stock all over the World?”
Politico noted that there are numerous factors that could prevent the committee from being able to compel Trump’s cooperation with the subpoena.
The report said that one factor cutting against the committee’s push to get Trump to cooperate was the fact that there are legal issues regarding separation of powers. Another issue was that even if the committee is legally able to force Trump to cooperate, by the time the litigation is over the committee would be over with the new Congress starting in January.
There is little precedent for such a move against a former president, which would raise thorny separation of powers issues that have rarely, if ever, been litigated.
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