Jan. 6 panel extends deadline for Trump to produce documents

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill has extended a deadline for former President Donald Trump to turn over documents under a subpoena issued last month, while reiterating its request for an interview during the session.

The committee — made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans — issued a statement late Friday saying it was in communication with Trump’s lawyers. Friday was the committee’s deadline for Trump to produce an extensive trove of documents and communications with lawmakers.

“We have advised the former President’s counsel that he must begin producing records no later than next week and remains under subpoena to testify as of November 14,” Chairman Benny Thompson and Vice Chairman Liz Cheney wrote in the statement.

With other subpoenas, committee deadlines for requests for documents or depositions are generally negotiable, but only when there is a direct line of communication with the witness and their attorney.

The committee’s decision to subpoena Trump in late October was a major escalation of the investigation, a step lawmakers said was necessary because the former president was the “central player” in the effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election. the setting for a potential legal battle with Trump at a time when he is considering launching another bid for the White House.

“I think he has a legal obligation to testify, but that doesn’t always carry weight with Donald Trump,” Rep. Cheney, R-R., said during an event Tuesday.

In addition to requiring Trump to testify, either on Capitol Hill or via video conference, by mid-November, the committee also filed 19 requests for documents and communications — including any messages Trump sent on the encrypted messaging app Signal “or with any other means”. to members of Congress and others about the astonishing events of the Capitol attack.

The scope of the committee’s request is extensive — stretching back to documents from Sept. 1, 2020, two months before the election, to the present on the president’s communications with groups such as Oath Keepers and Proud Boys — as the committee tries to compile a history recording the period leading up to the attack on the Capitol, the event itself, and the aftermath.

It remains unclear what action, if any, the committee will take in response to Trump missing the deadline for the document. In previous situations, when held in contempt, lawmakers have voted to hold Trump’s allies in contempt of Congress, sending referrals to the Justice Department for possible prosecution.

In its Oct. 21 subpoena letter, the committee wrote of the “overwhelming evidence” it had gathered showing that Trump is “personally orchestrating” an effort to overturn his 2020 election loss, including by spreading false allegations of widespread voter fraud, “attempting to corrupt” the Justice Department and pressuring state officials, members of Congress and his own vice president to change the results.

Lawmakers have said Trump’s testimony about what he did and said in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 violence is critical to filling in gaps in their investigation.

The subpoena detailed a specific interest in hearing from Trump about his dealings with several former aides and associates who have asserted their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination at the committee, including Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, John Eastman, Jeffrey Clark and Kelli Ward. .

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