The top Republican on the Jan. 6 committee said Sunday that the panel would not allow former President Donald Trump to turn his potentially live televised testimony into a “circus.”
“This isn’t going to be his first debate against Joe Biden and the circus and the food fight that that became. This is far too serious a set of issues,” said Rep. Liz Cheney.
The committee took the extraordinary step of subpoenaing the former president on Friday, ordering him to turn over documents by Nov. 4 and to appear for questioning by Nov. 14. Cheney, the committee’s vice chair, said the deposition could take several days.
“The committee treats this matter with great seriousness, and we are going to proceed, in terms of the questioning of the former president under oath. It may take multiple days and it will be done with a level of rigor and discipline and seriousness that it deserves,” said Cheney.
It’s unclear if Trump will comply with the subpoena. The committee is required to finish its work by the end of the year, and Trump’s lawyers could seek to run out the clock by tying up proceedings in court.
David A. Warrington, a partner at the legal firm representing Trump, responded to the subpoena in a statement Friday, saying, “as with any similar matter, we will review and analyze it, and will respond as appropriate to this unprecedented action.”
Cheney said she expects Trump will fulfill his legal obligations but warned that the committee is prepared to handle any stalling.
“We have many alternatives that we will consider if the former president decides that he is not going to comply with his legal obligation. A legal obligation every American citizen has to comply with a subpoena,” said Cheney.
On Friday, Trump’s former adviser Steve Bannon was sentenced to four months in prison for refusing to testify and provide documents to the committee.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi was also asked Sunday whether she thinks Trump will testify.
“I don’t think he’s man enough to show up,” Pelosi responded.