January 6th Committee subpoenas former President Trump

Committee members seek documents and in-person testimony

On October 21th, The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol (January 6th Committee) voted and agreed to subpoena former President Donald J. Trump for his intentions in the January 6th Capitol riot. The January 6th Committee, which is investigating whether or not the Capitol riot was premeditated or planned out beforehand, is demanding a response from President Trump as to how he was involved with the riot. Donald Trump’s legal documents must be submitted by November 4th, and in-person testimony is expected on November 14th. Currently, Trump hasn’t given his response.

How did we get here?

This all began November 4, 2020, when Donald Trump announced to his millions of followers on Twitter (according to the American Presidency Project), “We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!” (5:49 AM)  and “Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run & controlled. Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted. VERY STRANGE, and the pollsters got it completely & historically wrong!” (3:04 PM), as well as many others, all questioning the integrity of the election process.

One incident occurred on election day when a viral Twitter video showed a Republican poll watcher denied entry to a Philadelphia polling station, however, the issue was soon resolved when the man was given entry moments later. Other than this incident, Trump has created other wild theories without any evidence or rhetorical proof, including claims of thousands of votes from dead people and voting machines somehow flipping the vote from Donald J. Trump to the current president, Joe R. Biden. While these theories could be true, no evidence has been produced to support them and studies have shown in past elections that voter fraud is extremely rare and highly unlikely.

President Trump and his supporters’ complaints sparked the fierce campaign of #StopTheSteal which became one of the fastest-growing campaign groups on Facebook. The campaign has grown to over 300,000 members and has continued to argue over mainstream media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter in support of the former president.

On November 7th, 2020, multiple large news outlets such as CNN and NBC News declared Joe Biden as president. A week later on November 14th, Trump held a Million MAGA (Make America Great Again) March at the Capitol. Although the rally was mostly peaceful, several hostile supporters engaged in violence against those supporting Biden’s victory just several blocks from the Capitol.

According to BBC News, shortly after the rally, Trump hired former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell and a lawyer with over 45 years of experience Lucian Lincoln “Lin” Wood to challenge the legality of the 2020 election through a 200-page brief. While these two have significant experience in this field, the brief was mostly filled with conspiracy theories, some already debunked from previous cases, and countless typos, grammatical errors, and misspellings. Over 60 courts have rejected these papers and are continuing to reject Trump’s legal briefs.

On December 12th, another Million MAGA March was held at the Capitol with enraged Trump supporters, eventually turning violent with “four victims stabbed and 20 protestors arrested” (according to CNN). Trump supporters continued to target election officials on Twitter through hashtag trends, further increasing their tension with election workers.

Even when current president, Joe Biden was again, certified president on December 14th, Trump supporters, including Donald Trump himself, knew action must be taken to make their #StopTheSteal statement heard. According to a testimony presented to the January 6th Committee, on December 18th, Trump attended a meeting in the White House where plans for deploying the military to force a rerun of the election and arresting officials part of the deep state cabal (those involved in secret networks) which supposedly rigged the election were discussed. Shortly after this meeting is said to have ended, at 1:42 AM December 19th, President Trump tweeted, “Peter Navarro releases 36-page report alleging election fraud ‘more than sufficient’ to swing victory to Trump https://t.co/D8KrMHnFdK . A great report by Peter. Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election. Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”

Hours before the Capitol riot, Trump held a motivational speech at the National Mall, only two miles away from the Capitol building, to rally his supporters into making all of their voices heard. During President Trump’s motivational speech, he tells his thousands of supporters to remain peaceful, “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard…” however, he also stated, “We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”Trump supporters encountering police

Rather than remaining peaceful many protestors resorted to violence, attacking members of the Capitol Police and breaking doors and windows to enter the Capitol. Congressmen inside the Capitol safely evacuated to an undisclosed location in the complex, while the police attempted to hold their ground against the oncoming rioters. According to the United States Department of Justice and BBC News, around 2,000 rioters stormed the Capitol building, resulting in $1.5 million in damages along with 140 officers injured. While Trump was fully aware of his protest turning violent,  the riot lasted for over three hours before he posted a tweet at 6:01 PM stating, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”

On July 1st, 2021, the House Select Committee (January 6th Committee) members were chosen through a party-line vote and have been assigned to investigate the former president and others involvement with the January 6th riot and whether further action will need to be taken. According to a website created by the January 6th Committee, The January 6th Committee has gathered an overwhelming amount of evidence from former appointees and staff who provided testimony about the events leading up to the Capitol riot and the attempted disruption of the peaceful transfer of power. As the January 6th Committee continues to investigate the case, President Trump will be expected to present documents and answer questions about his involvement.