Jan. 6 panel won’t let Trump turn potential testimony into ‘a circus,’ Liz Cheney says
WASHINGTON — Donald Trump won’t be allowed to make a live TV appearance of his subpoenaed evidence on the House committee investigating the Capitol Riot into a “circus” and “food fight” while lawmakers attempt to comply with their demands, Sunday’s vice-chair of the panel said.
The committee wants Trump to testify under oath and records related to the investigation. Trump had reportedly told his associates that he may consider obeying the subpoena in order to avoid a long and complicated legal battle.
Rep. Liz Cheney did not respond to a question about whether the committee might consider live hearing his testimony. She stated that Trump’s testimony would not be allowed to become a “food fight on TV” — as was evident in Trump’s broadcast appearances, such as the one of his 2020 presidential debates. And she warned that he will face legal action if he doesn’t comply with the subpoena.
“We will proceed in terms of the interrogation of the former president under oath,” Cheney said. She is a Republican from Wyoming and was the only representative in the House. She lost her primary election to Trump largely due to perceived disloyalty. It may take several days and it will be done with the rigor, discipline and seriousness it deserves. He’s not going turn this into a circus.
She said that there are many options available to the ex-president if he decides not to fulfill his legal obligation. Every American citizen must comply with a subpoena.
Later, her office stated that live testimony was still possible. It didn’t indicate in what form this might take to avoid the “food battle” or “circus”, which Cheney claimed would never happen.
Trump is required to turn over documents by Nov. 4, and give testimony “on or around” Nov. 14.
It is not clear how Trump and his legal staff will respond. Trump could agree to negotiate with the committee, or declare that he will ignore the subpoena. He could take it to court to stop it.
After defying a subpoena issued by the same committee, Steve Bannon was sentenced last week to four months in prison. He is still free while he appeals. Peter Navarro, a former Trump trade advisor, is also facing contempt of Congress charges.
The subpoena requests communications about extremist groups that were visiting Washington, pressure on state legislators for the 2020 election vote to be reversed, and messages about Vice President Mike Pence who Trump wanted to oppose President Joe Biden’s win.
Nancy Pelosi (California Democrat), House Speaker, stated Sunday that Trump might not appear at his deposition. She also said that the public should be aware that “no one is above the law.”
Pelosi stated on MSNBC that he doesn’t believe he is man enough to appear. “I don’t believe his lawyers would want him [to show up] because he [would] have to testify under oath. … We’ll see.”
Trump has no legal incentive to cooperate with the committee, especially when he is facing other legal challenges in different jurisdictions, such as over his family business in New York or the handling of presidential records at Mar-a-Lago in Florida.
Trump’s lawyers may opt to end the clock on the subpoena, if they have to go to court to fight it. The committee of seven Democrats and two Republicans must complete its work by the end the year.
In a television interview, Cheney made it clear that Trump had committed multiple criminal offenses and should be prosecuted. She pointed out his continued efforts to undermine democracy, as described by the Jan.6 committee. He denied his election loss to Biden and he encouraged his supporters to attack the Capitol.
Cheney stated that “we’ve been very clear regarding a number of criminal offenses that could be at issue here.” “If the Department of Justice finds that they have sufficient evidence to support prosecution, then I believe that it really raises questions about whether we are a nation of law.”
Cheney, who lost in Wyoming’s August primaries after becoming Trump’s most fiercely criticized GOP critic, has expressed disappointment at the number of Republican candidates contesting the Nov. 8 midterms that deny the legitimacy and legitimacy of the 2020 election. If Republicans take control of the House, she acknowledged that the Jan.6 committee’s investigation would be ended permanently in January.
Although it might take “a few election cycles,” Cheney insists that the Republican Party can come back as a defender democracy and the Constitution. She cited the 2024 presidential election as a pivotal moment.
She stated that either the party must come back to where it is right now, which is very dangerous and toxic, or it will splinter, and a new conservative party will rise. “And if Donald Trump becomes the nominee for the Republican Party, the party is going to shatter and there will be another conservative party that takes its place.”
She stated that Trump had shown “his willingness and ability to use force in an attempt to prevent peaceful transitions of power.” There are many millions of Americans who understand the dangers of this, regardless of party affiliation.
Cheney stated that she is not focused on whether or not she will run for president in 2024.