Trump, Reacting to Pending Jan. 6 Subpoena, Repeats Election Lies in Letter

WASHINGTON — Former President Donald J. Trump responded on Friday to a promised subpoena from the Home committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault with a prolonged, rambling letter that attacked the panel’s work, reiterated false claims of widespread voting fraud and presaged a probably bruising battle over whether or not he may very well be compelled to testify about his function within the riot and his efforts to subvert the 2020 election.

In a 14-page missive that didn’t handle whether or not he would adjust to the subpoena, Mr. Trump perpetuated the identical lies that had fueled the assault and boasted concerning the dimension of the group that had amassed to listen to him communicate earlier than marching to the Capitol and staging a violent siege.

The previous president has indicated privately to aides that he could be keen to testify to the Home panel however want to achieve this dwell, in keeping with an individual near him, a prospect that may forestall video of him from being clipped or edited in a fashion he dislikes. The letter he launched on Friday — a conspiracy theory-filled rehash of his many grievances and false assertions — underscored the dangers for the committee of giving Mr. Trump an unfettered public platform.

“The presidential election of 2020 was rigged and stolen!” the letter started in all capital letters.

Mr. Trump devoted web page after web page to repeating that lie concerning the 2020 election, which he misplaced to President Biden, a truth he has repeatedly refused to acknowledge.

“You haven’t gone after the folks that created the fraud, however slightly nice American patriots who questioned it, as is their constitutional proper,” Mr. Trump wrote within the screed. “These individuals have had their lives ruined as your committee sits again and basks within the glow.”

As an alternative of offering what he claimed was proof, he included appendices stuffed with assertions of widespread election irregularities which were debunked, some by his personal former lawyer common, William P. Barr, and different high Justice Division officers.

“A big share of Americans, together with nearly your complete Republican Get together, really feel that the election was rigged and stolen,” Mr. Trump wrote, with out mentioning that his false claims had been the rationale the lies unfold among the many populace and have come to define the G.O.P.

He included aerial images purporting to point out monumental throngs of individuals on the Nationwide Mall on Jan. 6, 2021 — harking back to the photographs that the White Home launched after his inauguration in 2017 — and once more complained of what he claimed was media censorship that downplayed the scale of the group.

The letter emerged because the Home committee, which had voted unanimously on Thursday to difficulty a subpoena to Mr. Trump, was at work making ready the demand, which might checklist particular paperwork that the previous president should flip over and a date by when he should testify. Folks near the committee’s work mentioned the panel was poised to difficulty the subpoena as quickly as Monday.

Whereas Mr. Trump was unlikely to adjust to the subpoena — he beforehand refused to testify in his impeachment trial — committee and workers members had been discussing whether or not they would settle for him testifying dwell. These acquainted with the discussions mentioned the committee appeared open to the concept, believing the panel may almost certainly elicit some vital developments from Mr. Trump’s testimony.

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Ought to Mr. Trump decline to look, it may result in a precedent-setting combat. A number of former presidents voluntarily testified earlier than Congress, however there isn’t a Supreme Court docket precedent that claims whether or not Congress has the facility to compel a former president to testify about his actions in workplace.

Committee members mentioned they believed Mr. Trump ought to wish to adjust to the subpoena.

“I wish to imagine once more that each American citizen who is aware of one thing about these occasions would come ahead to testify, and no person is aware of extra about them than Donald Trump does,” mentioned Consultant Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland and a member of the committee.

Consultant Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and the chairman of the committee, instructed reporters on Thursday that he hoped Mr. Trump would comply however that he believed the panel had compiled a complete case of the occasions of Jan. 6 with out the previous president’s testimony.

“If we get his consideration, wonderful,” Mr. Thompson mentioned. “If not, we’ll go together with the proof we collected.”

Mr. Trump’s explosive response got here the day after a listening to wherein the Jan. 6 panel summed up its case towards the previous president, and offered exceptional behind-the-scenes video that confirmed high congressional leaders scrambling to safe the Capitol throughout the assault.

In one other portion of the video launched on Friday to CNN, Speaker Nancy Pelosi could be seen speaking by cellphone to Vice President Mike Pence, asking about his well-being and advising him, “Don’t let anyone know the place you’re.” The second underscored the hazard Mr. Pence confronted because the rioters known as for his execution and Mr. Trump insulted him on Twitter.

Mr. Trump by no means tried to test on Mr. Pence, who had been evacuated from the Capitol simply minutes earlier than the mob flooded the world the place he had been. However in a separate cellphone name someday that afternoon, Mr. Pence’s chief of workers, Marc Quick, reached out Mark Meadows, the White Home chief of workers, to say that he and the vp had been protected, in keeping with an individual briefed on the change.

Through the name, Mr. Quick mentioned that they believed the counting of electoral votes ought to resume that evening and Mr. Meadows agreed, the particular person mentioned. However when Mr. Meadows requested the place the vp was, Mr. Quick declined to supply specifics, saying solely that they had been across the Capitol.

Stephanie Lai contributed reporting.

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