Former President Donald Trump “failed to cooperate” with the House select committee’s subpoena for papers and testimony, according to the committee’s report on the Capitol Hill uprising on January 6, 2021.
Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson and Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, who serve as chair and vice chair of the committee, respectively, said in a statement that the committee will consider the next actions in the litigation and with regard to the former President’s noncompliance in the coming days.
The committee has in the past found witnesses in contempt of Congress for disobeying the panel’s subpoenas, but it has limited power to immediately compel compliance through the courts.
According to documents filed in a federal court in Florida, Trump filed a lawsuit against the committee on November 11 in an effort to contest its subpoena. His lawsuit aimed to contest the committee’s legitimacy, which has been affirmed by numerous courts, as well as his assertion that he should be exempt from testifying regarding his administration.
“[Trump’s] attorneys have made no attempt to negotiate an appearance of any form,” Thompson and Cheney said in a statement on Monday. “His lawsuit parades out many of the same arguments that courts have repeatedly rejected over the previous year.”
Former President Trump has refused to comply with the Select Committee’s subpoena requiring him to appear for a deposition.
His attorneys have made no attempt to negotiate an appearance, and his lawsuit parades out many of the same arguments that courts have rejected repeatedly.
— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) November 14, 2022
As the subpoena deadlines drew near, Trump’s attorneys allegedly corresponded with the House over the previous week and a half, offering to consider responding to written inquiries while voicing “concerns and objections” about the majority of the document requests.
Trump’s team responded on November 9 to the court’s request for papers after he missed the initial deadline to do so on November 4 by declaring that he would not testify and that there were no records of personal interactions to turn over.
The authors of the report, Thompson and Cheney, stated, “The truth is that Donald Trump, like several of his closest supporters, is avoiding the Select Committee’s investigation and refusing to comply with what more than a thousand other witnesses have done.” “Donald Trump planned an operation to rig a presidential election and prevent the handover of power. He has a duty to the American people to respond.
On October 21, the panel served a subpoena on Trump, requesting documents by November 4 and testimony beginning on November 14. According to court filings, Thompson charged Trump’s staff with trying to stall the process after the former president did not provide the requested materials by the first deadline.
Without acknowledging that Mr Trump will eventually cooperate with the subpoena, Thompson stated, “Given the date and tone of your letter, it appears to be a delay strategy on your part.”
In Trump’s lawsuit, his attorneys claimed that “there are other sources of the requested information, including the thousand or more witnesses the Committee has contacted and one million documents the Committee has collected,” and that “the Subpoena’s request for testimony and documents from President Trump is an unwarranted intrusion upon the institution of the Presidency.”
Trump said in the complaint that complying with the House’s demands would breach executive branch privilege protections by disclosing talks he had with Justice Department employees and members of Congress regarding the 2020 election and “pending governmental business.”
Additionally, he argued before the court that he shouldn’t be required to divulge details of his political convictions, fundraising plan, and other aspects of his 2020 presidential campaign. At the Oval Office door, President Trump did not exercise his constitutional rights. The Committee’s subpoena of President Trump is unlawful because it violates his First Amendment rights.
In a statement accompanying the publication of the complaint, Trump’s attorney, David Warrington, claimed among other things that “long-established tradition and practise maintain that separation of powers forbids Congress from requiring a President to testify before it.”
The litigation and back-and-forth between Trump and the House will make it much more difficult for the committee to execute the subpoena, and the conflict will essentially not be resolved before the current Congress adjourns in January.