Trump wants to subpoena Jan. 6 committee

October 14, 2023
Robert Ayers

Former President Donald Trump has asked a judge to allow him to subpoena various people related to the House Jan. 6 committee. 

Trump, according to NBC News, made the requests in a recent court filing.

The filing was made in the case that special counsel Jack Smith has brought against Trump in Washington, D.C. This is the case in which Smith has accused Trump of criminal wrongdoing in relation to the events of Jan. 6, 2021.

Trump has pled not guilty to Smith's charges, maintaining that Smith is politically motivated. And, it appears clear that Trump is looking to mount a vigorous legal defense.

The subpoena requests

In the recent filing, Trump asked the court permission to subpoena a rather long list of individuals.

NBC reports:

In a court filing in one of the two cases brought by special counsel Jack Smith, Trump's lawyers said they would like to subpoena the U.S. archivist, the clerk of the House of Representatives, the Committee on House Administration (which took over material from the defunct Jan. 6 committee), the special counsel to the president, the Department of Homeland Security's general counsel, Rep. Barry Loudermilk of Georgia and Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., who chaired the Jan. 6 committee.

It appears that one of the main reasons that Trump wants to subpoena these various individuals is to locate records from the committee's investigation, or, at least, to establish a paper trail.

Trump's legal team maintains that various documents from the committee are "missing," and that these missing records are important for his legal defense.

In the court filing, Trump lawyers write, "Needless to say, there is significant overlap between the Select Committee’s investigation and this case, and there is a strong likelihood that individuals discussed in the Missing Records could be called as trial witnesses."

What now?

There are two separate questions here. One is whether the judge overseeing the case will allow Trump to subpoena any or all of these individuals. And, the other, is whether these individuals would be required to comply if they were to be subpoenaed.

The answer to both questions is unclear.

Suffice is to say that the judge overseeing the case is no friend of Trump. And, so, we ought not to expect the judge to allow anything to happen that might be to Trump's benefit.

As to whether, if the subpoenas were to be granted, the subpoenaed people would have to comply, the answer is that some certainly would but others might not have to. Thompson and Loudermilk, for example, might be able to cite the Constitution's Speech and Debate clause to protect themselves against a subpoena. Most likely is that, if the subpoenas were to be granted, a legal battle would ensue over who has to comply.

We're just going to have to see how this all plays out.

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