10/14/2022 10:53(Update 14:10 14:33)

Members of the congressional committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol voted unanimously to compel former President Donald Trump to testify about his role in the riots. (CNA file image)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Members of Congress investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol voted today to subpoena former President Donald Trump to testify about his role in the riots.

The House of Representatives Committee of Inquiry, made up of seven Democrats and Republicans, is holding a hearing today, the last expected before the November midterm elections. AFP reported that panel members had unanimously agreed to compel Trump to testify.

“We have to be fair and inclusive and get the full context of the evidence we have,” commission chair Penny Thompson said. “But the commission needs to listen to Trump’s testimony more than just fact-finding.”

“It’s about responsibility to the American people. They should be responsible and accountable for their actions.”

But the committee’s subpoenas were difficult to implement, as former White House strategist Steve Bannon was convicted of contempt of Congress for refusing to accept a subpoena.

Trump, who is taking time in congressional investigations and legal proceedings, is unlikely to agree to testify.

The investigative committee had previously called Trump to appear before the hearing, criticizing: “Why didn’t this ‘unselected committee’ ask me to testify months ago? Why wait until the end, their last meeting. Last minute?”

Trump said on his own social media platform, Truth Social, that the commission had “totally failed and will only lead to more division in our country.”

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The new term for Congress begins in January, when all subpoenas expire. Republicans are expected to contest a House majority of Democrats after November’s midterm elections, and Republicans plan to end the investigation immediately.

However, the decision by the House of Representatives Committee of Inquiry to subpoena Trump to testify represents a dramatic escalation in the investigation. Since the commission began its investigation last year, it has issued hundreds of subpoenas and interviewed more than 1,000 people.

There is no precedent in the United States forcing a president to testify before Congress, but members of Congress have asked the outgoing president to explain his actions in office.

The New York Times noted that even the subpoena does not mean the investigative committee will be able to meet with Trump; The Supreme Court has not previously said whether Congress can force a retired president to explain what he did in office.

In the past, several outgoing US presidents have initiated congressional hearings, including Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Herbert Hoover, Harry S. Truman, Gerald R. Ford).

Two outgoing presidents have received subpoenas from Congress in the past – John Quincy Adams and John Tyler. Taylor cooperated with the hearing that year, and Adams provided an affidavit. (Translator: Xu Ruicheng / Verification: Zeng Yixuan) 1111014

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