(USA Features) The Democratic chairman of the so-called “1/6 Committee” charged with investigating what led to the breaching of the Capitol Building in January says he may subpoena former President Donald Trump.
Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., told The Guardian that he planned on issuing subpoenas to some senior members of Trump’s administration and promised to take them to court if they ignored him.
“Nothing is off the table,” Thompson said.
Regarding issuing a subpoena to Trump, Thompson told PBS on July 6 that “we have the subpoena authority.”
“If the facts themselves lead us to any individual, we will not hesitate to bring them before the committee,” he said in an interview with PBS.
The committee was formed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after the Senate failed to pass an authorization for a bipartisan panel. Republicans shunned the process as politicized, accusing the Speaker and Democrats of using it as another vehicle simply to attack Trump.
In his interview with The Guardian, Thompson said he wanted to speak with anyone who talked to Trump on Jan. 6.
He said he was very interested in learning more about a phone call between Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., as the assault on the Capitol was taking place.
“There will not be a reluctance on the part of the committee to pursue it,” Thompson said of the call. “The committee will want to know if there is a record of what was said.”
Some reports have suggested that there was an organized effort to assault the Capitol that day. One account from J. Michael Waller, an expert in staged protests, said he saw “provocateurs” in action Jan. 6.
“The deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol bore the markings of an organized operation planned well in advance of the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress,” he wrote in The Federalist a week after the incident.
He said they included “plainclothes militants,” “agents-provocateur,” “fake Trump protesters,” and a “disciplined, uniformed column of attackers.”
Also, Fox News host Tucker Carlson, citing federal charging documents, speculated that “unindicted co-conspirators” mentioned in those paper may be FBI informants.
It’s not clear whether Thompson is interested in those allegations, however.
On Tuesday, Pelosi appeared to balk at five Republicans McCarthy named to the panel, three of whom voted on Jan. 6 to object to electors from certain swing states that controversially changed voting laws due to COVID ahead of the Nov. 3 election.
“McCarthy’s picks, announced Monday, include ranking member Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, plus Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis, North Dakota Rep. Kelly Armstrong and Texas Rep. Troy Nehls,” USA Today reported.
As for Thompson, he indicated that the Jan. 6 protest was a significant event in the country’s history.
“The issues of Jan. 6 are one of the most salient challenges we have as a nation, to make sure that this democracy does not fall prey to people who don’t really identify with democracy,” Thompson said.
“If somebody spoke to the president on Jan. 6, I think it would be important for our committee to know what was said. I can’t imagine you talk about anything else to the president on Jan. 6,” Thompson told The Guardian.
Any Trump officials who refuse to appear citing executive privilege will face a lawsuit, Thompson promised.