Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump addresses his supporters at a rally on January 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Trump Subpoenaed for 'Central Role in a Deliberate, Orchestrated' Effort to Overturn Election

"In short," the January 6 committee told Trump, "you were at the center of the first and only effort by any U.S. president to overturn an election and obstruct the peaceful transition of power."

Julia Conley

Issuing a subpoena to former President Donald Trump on Friday, the House committee that is investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol demanded Trump provide testimony and documents in response to the panel's findings that he "personally orchestrated and oversaw a multi-part effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election."

The committee called on the former Republican leader to provide records of any phone calls, text messages, and other messages he sent and received on the day of the attack; records of his communications between November 3, 2020 and January 6, 2021 in which the election and the certification of the results were discussed; any communications regarding extremist groups including the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, who have been linked to the attack, and more than a dozen other types of related documentation.

The panel ordered Trump to turn over the documents by November 4 and to testify on November 14.

The bipartisan committee issued the subpoena days after its members unanimously voted to compel the former president's testimony and on the same day that his former strategist, Steve Bannon, was sentenced to four months in federal prison and ordered to pay a $6,500 fine for refusing to comply with a subpoena from the panel.

Trump did not appear before federal lawmakers during his two impeachment trials, but he has reportedly told his aides that he would testify before the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol if he was permitted to do so live.

While the panel's future is uncertain with the midterm elections just weeks away, outgoing Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wy.), vice chair of the committee, said this week that the lawmakers will "take the steps we need to take" if Trump refuses to comply with the subpoena.

Since its first public hearing in June, the committee has presented evidence showing that Trump's close advisers sought to stop him from continuing to spread the "Big Lie" that he had won the 2020 election; that he subscribed to an erroneous legal theory that former Vice President Mike Pence was legally permitted to certify him as the election winner; that Trump attempted to join the mob of thousands of his supporters who breached the U.S. Capitol as lawmakers were certifying the results; and that he ignored his advisers' pleas to condemn and stop the attack.

"You took all these actions," wrote Cheney and Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the committee chair, in their letter to Trump, "despite the rulings of more than 60 courts rejecting your election fraud claims and other challenges to the legality of the 2020 election... and despite your obligation as president to ensure that the laws of our nation are faithfully executed."

"In short," they added, "you were at the center of the first and only effort by any U.S. president to overturn an election and obstruct the peaceful transition of power, ultimately culminating in a bloody attack on our own Capitol and on the Congress itself."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Solidarity Fund Up and Running for Designer Behind Iconic Bernie Sanders Posters

Tyler Evans "has dedicated his life to the progressive movement," says the GoFundMe created for the hospitalized designer. "Now it's our time to have Tyler's back when he and his family need it most."

Jessica Corbett ·

Journalism Defenders Push for Passage of 'Game-Changing' PRESS Act

"The PRESS Act is the most important free press legislation in modern times because it would finally stop the government from spying on journalists and threatening them with arrest for doing their jobs," explained one advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·

New York Times Union Workers Planning Dec. 8 Walkout, Rally Over Pay

"Our collective action is working: Management backed off its attempt to kill our pension and agreed to expand fertility benefits," the union said of ongoing talks. "But management still barely budged on some of our most important priorities."

Jessica Corbett ·

Dems Back Blue Dog Spanberger for Swing District Post Over Progressive Cartwright

The corporate Democrat's path to victory was "pretty simple," said one progressive. "Matt Cartwright supports Medicare for All and Spanberger is a former CIA agent who spends all her time punching left."

Julia Conley ·

100+ Groups Urge Congress to Back Sanders' Yemen War Powers Resolution

"After seven years of direct and indirect involvement in the Yemen war, the United States must cease supplying weapons, spare parts, maintenance services, and logistical support to Saudi Arabia."

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo