Jan. 6 panel summons Trump for testimony on Capitol attack
WASHINGTON: The House January 6 committee has subpoenaed Donald Trump for his testimony about the 2021 Capitol attack.
The panel voted unanimously to compel the former president to appear. We must seek the testimony under oath of January 6th's central player, said Rep. Liz Cheney, the committee's vice chair.
Cheney adds: We are obligated to seek answers directly from the man who set this all in motion. And every American is entitled to those answers.
The vote seeking Trump's testimony comes as the panel is producing vivid new details and evidence of Trump's state of mind as he refused to concede his loss to Joe Biden, resulting in the 2021 attack at the Capitol.
Before that, the panel showed previously unseen footage of congressional leaders phoning officials for help during the assault.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer can be seen talking to governors in neighbouring Virginia and Maryland.
Later the footage shows Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and other GOP leaders as the group asks the acting attorney general for help.
They're breaking the law in many different ways quite frankly at the instigation of the president of the United States, Pelosi is heard saying at one point.
Also, in never-before-seen Secret Service messages, the panel produced evidence of the way extremist groups provided the muscle in the fight for Trump's presidency, planning weeks before the attack to send a violent force to Washington.
Their plan is literally to kill people, read a tip that was sent to Secret Service more than a week before the violence on January 6.
The Secret Service warned in a December 26, 2020, email of a tip that members of the right-wing Proud Boys planned to march in Washington on January 6 with a group large enough to outnumber the police.
“It felt like the calm before the storm, one Secret Service agent wrote in a group chat.
The House panel warned that the insurrection at the Capitol was not an isolated incident but a warning of the fragility of the nation's democracy in the post-Trump era.
None of this is normal or acceptable or lawful in a republic, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney said.
There is no defence that Donald Trump was duped or irrational. No president can defy the rule of law and act this way in a constitutional republic, period.
The 10th public session, just weeks before the congressional midterm elections, was delving into Trump's state of mind,” said Democratic Chairman Bennie Thompson.
The committee is starting to sum up its findings that Republican Trump, after losing the 2020 presidential election, launched an unprecedented attempt to stop Congress from certifying Democrat Biden's victory. The result was the mob storming of the Capitol.
Statements from Thompson and Cheney were laden with language frequently seen in criminal indictments. Both lawmakers described Trump as substantially involved in the events of January 6. Cheney said Trump had acted in a premeditated way.
To illustrate what it said were purposeful lies, the committee juxtaposed repeated instances in which top administration officials recounted telling Trump the actual facts with clips of him repeating the exact opposite at his pre-riot rally at the Ellipse on January 6.