WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Jan. 6 committee voted unanimously Thursday to subpoena Donald Trump, demanding the former president’s personal testimony as it unveiled startling new video from his closest aides describing his multi-part plan to overturn his 2020 election loss that resulted in the assault on the U.S. Capitol.
“We must seek the testimony under oath of January Sixth’s central player,” said Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the committee’s vice chair.
Trump is almost certain to fight the subpoena and decline to testify. On his social media outlet he blasted members for not asking him to testify earlier — though he didn’t say he would have —and called the panel “a total BUST.”
In the committee’s 10th public session, just weeks before the congressional midterm elections, the panel summed up Trump’s “staggering betrayal” of his oath of office. That was how Democratic Chairman Bennie Thompson put it, describing Trump’s unprecedented attempt to stop Congress from certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s victory.
With vivid new details and evidence, including from the former president’s Cabinet secretaries and U.S. Secret Service, the panel showed Trump was told repeatedly by those around him that the election was over, yet he still orchestrated the far-reaching effort to stop Biden from taking office. Several former aides testified that Trump had said privately that he knew he had lost to Biden.
In other striking new video, the panel showed previously unseen footage of congressional leaders phoning officials for help during Capitol siege.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer can be seen talking to governors in neighboring Virginia and Maryland. Later it shows Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and other GOP leaders as the group asks Trump’s 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. “Do you believe this?” she exclaims.
The video comes from a documentary being produced by Pelosi’s daughter, according to two people familiar with the matter and granted anonymity to discuss it.
Earlier, in never-before-seen Secret Service messages, the panel produced evidence that extremist groups provided the muscle in the fight for Trump’s presidency, planning weeks before the attack to send a violent force to Washington.
The Secret Service warned in a Dec. 26, 2020, email of a tip that members of the right-wing Proud Boys planned to outnumber the police in a march in Washington on Jan. 6.
“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,” Cheney declared.
A video of then-President Donald Trump speaking is displayed as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022. (Alex Wong/Pool Photo via AP)