The House Selection Committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6 last year is not expected to seek the testimony of former President Donald Trump.
Commission chair Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, told reporters on Tuesday that it is “not our expectation” to ask or coerce Mr Trump to testify about his efforts to reverse the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Mr. Thompson said it is not clear to committee members how much Mr. Trump could or would advance the committee’s investigation if he were called to testify.
“We are not sure that the evidence we receive can be validated any more with his presence,” Thompson said in quotes picked up by the guard† “I think the concern is whether or not he would add more value with his testimony.”
If Mr. Trump were called to testify, he is expected to invoke the Fifth Amendment to prevent certain questions from being answered — just as associates such as attorney John Eastman and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn did when they stood before the court. committee appeared.
Forcing Mr Trump’s testimony would also be a political wildcard for the commission, whose work has progressed without much controversy in recent months. Last week, the committee subpoenaed five Republican members of Congress — including minority leader Kevin McCarthy — to testify in the coming weeks.
The four other subpoenaed members, Pennsylvania’s Scott Perry, Ohio’s Jim Jordan, Arizona’s Andy Biggs, and Alabama’s Mo Brooks, were all staunch allies of Trump. Mr. Trump supported Mr. Brooks in his Senate race in Alabama, but then withdrew his endorsement when Mr. Brooks fell behind in the polls.
“Before holding our hearings next month, we wanted to give members the opportunity to voluntarily discuss these matters with the committee,” Mr. Thompson wrote in a statement on the subpoenas. “Unfortunately, those who received subpoenas today have refused and we are forced to take this step to ensure that the commission uncovers facts related to January 6.”
The committee faces an impending time crunch as it finalizes its investigation, as not all of its members — including Republicans Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger — will be in Congress next year.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department is conducting its own investigation into the Captiol attack and has reportedly asked the House committee for transcripts of its witness statements. The House Committee cannot institute criminal proceedings, but the Ministry of Justice can. It has already charged more than 800 people in connection with the events of January 6.