The Jan. 6 committee on Thursday unanimously voted to subpoena former President Donald Trump as a part of its inquiry into the 2021 Capitol riot, NBC News reports. Panel members had previously said such a request was not off the table.
News of the plan first arrived during what was expected to be the committee's final hearing on Thursday afternoon.
Committe Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) appeared to allude to such a move at the start of the hearing, noting that the panel could vote on "further investigative action" since the Thursday event was technically a "formal committee business meeting," per The New York Times and CNBC. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was apparently made aware of the plan before proceedings began, the Times adds, per a source.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
It's almost certain that Trump will fight the subpoena, "and attempts to enforce it" will likely lead "to a protracted legal battle," the Times adds. That said, the panel's subpoena expires at the end of the current congressional term — so it has to act fast.
Trump isn't the first former president to be subpoenaed by Congress, NBC News notes: "Several sitting and former presidents and vice presidents have also testified before congressional committees, including Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, and Gerald R. Ford."
"We have sufficient information to consider criminal referrals for multiple individuals, and to recommend a range of legislative proposals to guard against another Jan. 6th, but a key task remains," Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said Thursday. "We must seek the testimony under oath of Jan. 6th's central player."
Update 4 p.m. ET: This article has been updated throughout to reflect the vote to subpoena Trump.
Create an account with the same email registered to your subscription to unlock access.