The committee from January 6 has subpoenaed Trump. What’s next?
On Thursday, the House January 6 committee took the unusual and dramatic action of voting to subpoena former President Donald Trump.
The subpoena, which serves as a conclusion to its public hearings, might not result in Trump’s testimony and the production of papers, but it will serve as a preview of what’s to come.
7 key takeaways from the hearing on January 6
The committee still has a report to release, and it may ask the Justice Department to file charges against Trump or one of his former advisers for their roles in encouraging the attack on the Capitol and their attempts to rig the 2020 election.
It must be painfully obvious to Trump that he is a former president given that he is the target of a congressional subpoena. A common citizen. the kind to whom a subpoena may be issued.
According to CNN’s John King, who explained the committee’s subpoena to Trump, “they are attempting to make the argument that Trump is Oz.” When you look closer, it’s actually a little guy trying to operate a machine behind a curtain, despite the fact that he presents himself as all-powerful.
Trump might decide to acquiesce. The committee would then agree on a date, location, and procedure. That would need some time.
The following may occur if he refuses to appear as ordered:
Contempt. He might be found in contempt of Congress by the full House, which has the power to do so as long as Democrats control it, as it has done with a number of previous obstructive witnesses up until at least January.
Referral. The Justice Department may then pursue legal action following a referral for contempt of Congress, as it did with former Trump advisor Steve Bannon and intends to do with former economic adviser Peter Navarro.
For Trump, this series of events seems unlikely.
George Conway, a Trump skeptic, and conservative attorney said during an appearance on CNN on Thursday that “none of that is going to happen.” This has to do with placing a marking. This is intended to elicit a response from Trump.
On social media, Trump retaliated, branding the committee a “BUST” and a “laughing stock,” and charging that its members were dividing the nation.
Conway did point out that when it rejected Trump’s attempt to prevent the National Archives from providing documents to the committee, the Supreme Court made it clear where it stands on his status as a former president.
But if it comes to that, the Justice Department is likely more interested in looking into how Trump handled confidential data after leaving the White House and his attempt to rig the election as president than in prosecuting him for disobeying a congressional subpoena.
Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming stated that the committee believes it has enough information as of January 6 to send potential cases for prosecution to the Department of Justice. She also mentioned that in relation to their interactions with the former President, more than 30 witnesses have used Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.
The following individuals were singled out by Cheney, who is the vice head of the House committee, for using the Fifth Amendment or declining to testify rather than going into detail about their interactions with Trump on January 6, 2021:
Roger Stone, a supporter of Donald Trump and a provocateur, assisted in planning some of the activities that day. Stone received a pardon from Trump in a different situation.
Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a former recipient of Trump’s pardon, stoked conspiracy theories following the 2020 presidential election.
John Eastman is the brains behind Trump’s scheme to invalidate the Electoral College results.
Mark Meadows, Trump’s former chief of staff, and Jeffrey Clark, a supporter of Trump’s at the Justice Department.
Presidents who testified before Congress
Presidents and former presidents have testified in front of congressional committees, but they have never been forced to.
The most recent instance of this was when Gerald Ford voluntarily testified as president before a House subcommittee in 1974 regarding his choice to pardon former President Richard Nixon.
Ford later gave a Senate panel testimony in 1983 as a former president. According to the Senate Historical Office and Senate Library, that session, which took place 39 years ago, marked the final occasion that a president answered questions from senators in a committee format.
Trump, though, is no longer in office.
Trump’s situation is quite different. First of all, the subpoena is being issued by a congressional committee rather than a judge or a prosecutor.
Trump is no longer in office, as well.
In 2020, when Trump was still in office, the Supreme Court punted by remanding a case involving House subpoenas for Trump’s financial information to lower courts. The Supreme Court instructed lower courts to take the separation of powers into account in all matters involving the president’s personal information. Trump and the House Oversight Committee have came to an understanding about access to the records.
The Supreme Court did find that the bank records might be accessed by New York investigators. This month, Trump’s business will face criminal accusations for allegedly breaking tax rules.
Trump gave a civil court deposition. He executed the Fifth
Trump would actually be deposing before attorneys for the second time this year if he testifies to House investigators.
As part of her civil investigation into his business activities, New York Attorney General Letitia James issued subpoenas, which a judge ordered him to abide by. During that deposition, he referred to the Fifth Amendment’s prohibition against self-incrimination.
James later filed a lawsuit against Trump, his three eldest children, and the Trump Organization. James requested on Thursday that a state court prevent Trump from relocating assets in order to conceal them from the lawsuit.