No live television testimony from Trump for Jan. 6 hearings, Cheney says

The committee is asking for Trump’s affidavit next month, along with records relevant to his investigation.

WASHINGTON — The House committee investigating the Capitol riot upped the ante on its extraordinary subpoena to Donald Trump and said Sunday it would not consider having the former president testify on live television about the direct role who played congressional investigators in an attempt to overthrow the 2020 election.

The committee is asking for Trump’s affidavit next month, along with records relevant to his investigation. To avoid a complicated and lengthy legal battle, Trump had reportedly told his staff that if he could answer questions during a live testimony, he might consider complying with the subpoena.

EARLIER: Jan. 6 panel issues subpoena for Trump, asking him to testify

But Rep. Liz Cheney, the committee’s vice chair, on Sunday dismissed the possibility. She said the committee, which makes its key decisions unanimously, will not allow Trump’s testimony to become a televised “food fight,” and warned that the committee will take action if he fails to comply with the subpoena.

“We will proceed regarding the questioning of the former president under oath,” Cheney, R-Wyo., said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “It can last for several days, and it’s being done with a degree of rigor and discipline and seriousness that it deserves. We won’t let him – he won’t turn this into a circus.

“We have many, many alternatives that we will consider if the former president decides that he will not comply with his legal obligation, a legal obligation that every American citizen is required to comply with by subpoena,” she said.

It’s unclear how Trump and his legal team will ultimately respond. He could comply with or negotiate with the committee, announce that he will resist the subpoena, or ignore it altogether. He could go to court and try to stop it.

Still, there remains little legal benefit for Trump from working with the committee at a time when he faces other litigation in multiple jurisdictions, including over his family business in New York and the handling of presidential records at his Mar- a Lago Florida.

It’s possible his attorneys will simply let the subpoena expire when they go to court to try to crush it, since the committee of two Republicans and seven Democrats has to finish its work by the end of the year.

Cheney made her position clear in the televised interview that Trump had committed “multiple criminal offenses” and should be prosecuted. She cited his repeated efforts, as outlined by the Jan. 6 committee, to undermine democracy by denying his election loss to Democrat Joe Biden and goading his supporters to violently attack the Capitol.

“We have been very clear on a number of different crimes that are likely at issue here,” Cheney said. “When the Justice Department finds that they have the evidence that we believe is there and they make a decision not to press charges, I think that really calls into question whether we are a nation of laws or not Not.”

Cheney, who lost in Wyoming’s August primary after becoming Trump’s leading GOP critic, expressed dismay at the number of Republican candidates in the Nov. 8 midterm election who deny the legitimacy of the 2020 election. She conceded that the Jan. 6 committee investigation would finally end in January when Republicans regain control of the House of Representatives.

While Cheney said it “may take a couple of election cycles,” she insisted the Republican Party could find its way back as a defender of democracy and the Constitution, as she put it. She pointed to the 2024 presidential campaign as the defining moment.

“I think the party will either have to come back from where we are right now, which is a very dangerous, toxic place, or the party will fragment and there will be a new conservative party that will rise,” she said. “And if Donald Trump is the Republican Party’s nominee, the party will break up and there will be a Conservative Party that will rise in its place.”

She said Trump “has shown his willingness to use force to try to stop the peaceful transfer of power. And there are just many, many millions more Americans who, regardless of party affiliation, understand how dangerous that is.”

https://www.kvue.com/article/news/nation-world/cheney-jan-6-panel-live-trump-testimony/507-0da41f4f-1d89-48d5-bef6-146cb84bf36a No live television testimony from Trump for Jan. 6 hearings, Cheney says

Laura Coffey

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