WASHINGTON — The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol is planning to vote to subpoena former President Donald Trump, sources familiar with the committee’s plans told NBC News on Thursday.
Jury members, who held what was to be his last hearing ahead of Thursday’s midterm elections, had previously said they were still considering seeking an interview with Trump or former Vice President Mike Pence.
A subpoena would come more than a year after the committee began investigating the insurgency and despite several members of Congress previously acknowledging that Trump was unlikely to comply.
Still, the former president’s subpoena had been under consideration for some time and was an active topic of discussion for committee members. On his way to the hearing, Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., told reporters the panel had not yet ruled out a subpoena for Trump. He said at the start of the hearing that the committee would proceed to a vote “based on new evidence”.
The commission declined to comment on the expected vote.
Thompson clarified at the start of Thursday’s hearing that this was technically a formal committee business meeting, so in addition to presenting evidence, he said: “We can potentially hold a vote of the committee on further investigative action based on this evidence.”
If and when he votes today to subpoena Trump, that subpoena will expire at the end of that term in Congress.
In its extensive investigation, the panel has already conducted more than 1,000 interviews and depositions. He has also received hundreds of thousands of documents and there are 100 subpoenas that have been made public.
Thursday’s hearing would once again put Trump at the center of plans to void the election, ultimately leading to the Jan. 6 violence, committee vice chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said in her opening statement. .
“None of this would have happened without him. He was personally and substantially involved in all of this,” she said. “Today we’re going to focus on President Trump’s mindset, his intentions, his motivations, and how he got others to do what he wants. And how another January 6 could happen again if we are not taking the necessary measures to prevent it.”
Cheney also said the committee “may ultimately decide to make a series of criminal referrals to the Justice Department,” though she said lawmakers “recognize that our role is not to make decisions about prosecutions.” “.
Asset would not be the first former president to be subpoenaed by Congress. Several current and former presidents and vice-presidents have also testified before congressional committeesincluding Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson and Gerald R. Ford.
Meanwhile, it’s unclear whether the committee is still seeking to question Pence, who blocked Trump’s Jan. 6 effort to nullify the 2020 presidential election and who was threatened with being hanged that day.
In August, Pence said at an event in New Hampshire that he would consider testifying before the House January 6 Committee if he was asked to appear, but he suggested that he would have to settle some constitutional issues before committing.
“If ever a formal invitation were extended to us, we would give it full consideration,” he said.
Thompson had previously suggested that Thursday would be the committee’s last hearing, but several of its members have recently said that may not be the case.
When asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” if there would be additional hearings, Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., said the investigation “has a life of its own, and we continue to find new news”.