Trump, the former president, filed a lawsuit on Friday against the House January 6th Committee’s members. This is the latest attempt to avoid being subject to a subpoena from the congressional body that would force him to testify. This comes just ahead of Trump’s planned Tuesday event, in which he is widely expected announce that he is running to be president in 2024.
The committee had voted unanimously to subpoena Trump on October 13, with committee chairman Rep, Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and vice chair Liz Cheney (W-WY) writing: “As demonstrated in our hearings, we have assembled overwhelming evidence, including from dozens of your former appointees and staff, that you personally orchestrated and oversaw a multipart effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election and to obstruct the peaceful transition of power.”
At the time it was unclear if Trump would resist the order. Trump was asked to give documents and testify about his possible role in the January 6th insurrection at U.S. Capitol. He has been telling his former staffers and political allies to also refuse to testify throughout the committee’s hearings.
One of those, former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, was sentenced to four months in prison for ignoring subpoenas from the committee.
Trump responded to his subpoena in writing. “THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 2020 WAS RIGGED AND STOLEN!”
In today’s lawsuit (read it here) filed in the Southern District of Florida, Trump and his legal team seek declaratory and injunctive relief, writing that “While other Presidents and former Presidents have voluntarily agreed to testify or turn over documents in response to a congressional subpoena, no President or former President has ever been compelled to do so.”
It adds: “As a result of the Committee’s self-described “unprecedented”Trump was forced to choose between protecting his rights and constitutional prerogatives in the Executive Branch or risking enforcement by the Subpoena. Accordingly, Former President Trump turns to the courts to preserve his rights and Executive Branch independence consistently upheld by the courts and endorsed by the Department of Justice.”
No timetable had been set for Trump to testify, though the committee had previously said it was eyeing sometime around Monday, November 14 — the day before Trump’s potential announcement that he is seeking office.