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Donald Trump subpoenaed to testify in front of Congress about the Capitol Hill riot

Donald Trump subpoenaed to testify in front of Congress about the Capitol Hill riot

The US House of Representatives committee investigating the attack on January 6, 2021 could issue a subpoena for Mr Trump within a matter of days, Representative Jamie Raskin, a Democratic committee member, said in an interview with CNN.

The committee voted on Thursday to subpoena Mr Trump, who they say instigated the violence in an attempt to overturn his 2020 election defeat.

The subpoena is a major escalation in the probe. After signaling for months that they may leave the former president alone, the unanimous 9-0 vote “for relevant documents and testimony, under oath” was definitive.

The committee had long debated whether to seek testimony from or subpoena Mr Trump or former Vice President Mike Pence. Neither has spoken directly to the committee.

While Mr Trump has been hostile to the probe both in court and in public, Mr Pence’s lawyers had engaged with the panel for several months with no clear resolution.

Mr Trump is not likely to cooperate with the committee’s demand to provide documents and testimony under oath, and in a posting on his Truth Social network dismissed the committee as “a laughing stock.”

An 1857 law says failure to comply with a congressional subpoena for testimony or documents is punishable by one to 12 months imprisonment.

Mr Trump could appear for a closed-door deposition but refuse to answer questions, invoking his right to avoid self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution.

According to Republican Representative Liz Cheney, more than 30 witnesses have taken that approach.

Among them: former Trump national-security adviser Michael Flynn; political adviser Roger Stone; election lawyer John Eastman, and Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official who pressed Trump to name him attorney general to help overturn the election.

Alternatively, Mr Trump could try to run out the clock.

The committee is expected to wrap up this year, and Republicans are expected to dissolve it in January if they win control of the House in the midterm elections.

That gives them only a few months to either secure Mr Trump’s cooperation or conclude that he is stonewalling them and hold a contempt vote. The full House is not scheduled to convene until after the midterms.

Mr Trump has urged his associates not to cooperate with the probe and has argued that a former president has a right to keep conversations and material confidential under a legal doctrine called executive privilege.

The subpoena will add to Mr Trump’s growing list of legal woes.

He already faces civil and criminal charges in New York regarding his business activities, federal and state investigations regarding the 2020 election, and a federal criminal investigation over his handling of government documents.

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