A leading legal analyst believes former President Donald Trump’s efforts to avoid subpoenaing the House Select Committee could be devastating.
Laurence Tribe, a constitutional law expert and professor emeritus at Harvard University, appeared on MSNBC Saturday night and spoke with host Ayman Mohyeldin about the recent hearing of the special committee investigating last year’s Capitol riots. The committee held its ninth and possibly final hearing on Thursday, ending with an unprecedented and unanimous vote to summon the former president to testify under oath on events surrounding the uprising.
“We have left no doubt – none – that Donald Trump led an effort to overthrow American democracy that led directly to the January 6 violence,” said committee chairman Bennie Thompson. “He’s the only person that’s central to the story of what happened on January 6th. That’s why we want to hear from him.”
Whether Trump will comply with the subpoena remains to be seen. In response to the committee’s vote, Trump released a lengthy statement Friday morning that included even more unsubstantiated claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen and berated the select committee for failing to investigate its baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud. However, Trump’s statement did not definitively state whether or not he will comply with the subpoena.
Tribe said during his MSNBC appearance that should Trump attempt to evade the subpoena, he could either be convicted by the committee or taken to court, both of which would take time. He also said the House Committee could interpret such attempts as a tacit admission of the former president’s guilt.
“The U.S. Supreme Court has clarified that while you cannot use a person’s refusal to testify against them in a criminal proceeding, … it can and should be used to draw the logical conclusion that they are attempting to plead guilt.” hide,” Tribe said. “That’s why he doesn’t want to come. Not because he has bone spurs. Not because he forgot too much.
In response to Trump’s statement Friday, former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner came to a similar conclusion as Tribe, calling it “strongly self-incriminating.”
“The January 6 committee investigating the riot just subpoenaed Donald Trump to testify, and Donald Trump kind of responded with a letter,” Kirschner said. “A letter that deeply and sharply incriminates itself… He didn’t write that letter, he had help, he had someone to write that letter with him or for him. And here is what I would say, anyone who helped or participated in the writing of this letter with or for Donald Trump must be considered a co-conspirator, as this letter is a continuing attempt to deceive the American people.
news week has reached out to Trump’s office for comment.
While at Harvard, Tribe had numerous notable students, including former President Barack Obama and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts. He also had an extensive career as a trial attorney, arguing in court 36 times.
https://www.newsweek.com/trump-trying-hide-his-guilt-if-he-refuses-1-6-subpoena-legal-expert-1752232 Trump ‘tries to hide his guilt’ in declining 1/6 subpoena: legal expert