The committee of lawmakers investigating the January 2021 assault on the U.S. Capitol voted Thursday to subpoena former President Donald Trump to testify about his alleged role in the attack.
“This committee will demand a full accounting of the events of January 6 from every American person,” said Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the House Committee investigating the case, “so it is our obligation to seek testimony from Donald Trump”.
The commission plans to “do everything possible to tell the fullest story possible and provide recommendations to help ensure that nothing like January 6 happens again in the future,” he continued.
The mission of the panel, made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans, is to shed light on the president’s behavior before, during and after the attack on Capitol Hill, which shocked the entire world.
On January 6, 2021, Trump supporters stormed the Capitol to try to prevent lawmakers from certifying the victory of his Democratic rival, Joe Biden.
The tycoon continues to assure without proof that the victory was “stolen” from him.
On Thursday, before his shocking announcement, the commission had reconstructed the chronology of events, showing that the former president had planned “well in advance” to declare himself victorious in the 2020 elections, even before the results were released.
Democratic lawmaker Zoe Lofgren evoked “a premeditated plan by the president to declare his victory, whatever the actual outcome.” His victory speech “was planned well in advance, before the votes were counted.”
“His intention was clear, to ignore the rule of law and stay in power,” said Republican Adam Kinzinger.
“Straight to Violence”
In support of their statements, the parliamentarians projected several videos of the former president, some of his relatives or former White House employees.
In footage taken just before the 2020 presidential election by a Danish documentary crew, Roger Stone, a longtime ally of the former Republican president, can be heard saying he doesn’t care about the vote.
“Fuck the vote, let’s go straight to violence,” he said.
Stone, who has not been charged in connection with the Jan. 6 incident, disputed the authenticity of the videos, saying they had been doctored.
The commission also played the recording of a call from Trump to Brad Raffensperger, Secretary of State of Georgia, in which the former president says that he “needs” some 11,000 ballots in his name, enough to beat his rival Biden in this state of the south.
It also revealed elements of hundreds of thousands of pages provided by the Secret Service, the elite police force responsible for the close protection of high-ranking state officials.
The parliamentarians want to understand why SMS sent by the agents on the day of the assault were deleted.
The documents confirm evidence presented in previous hearings that Trump angered his supporters, even though they were briefed on the potential for violence, lawmaker Adam Schiff said.
Since its creation, the commission has questioned more than a thousand witnesses, including two sons of Donald Trump, and has finely combed tens of thousands of documents.
The investigative report is expected to be released later in the year, but probably not before the November 8 congressional elections, which will determine which party controls Congress for the remainder of President Biden’s term.
Panel members openly suggested that Attorney General Merrick Garland should impeach Trump in connection with the attack on Capitol Hill.
The commission itself has not officially said whether it will recommend referrals to justice.