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Jan. 6 committee studying whether it can subpoena U.S. Republican lawmakers - chairman

World Jan 02, 2022 02:30PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Pro-Trump protesters storm into the U.S. Capitol during clashes with police, during a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, in Washington, U.S, January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon
 
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By Jan Wolfe

(Reuters) -The congressional committee investigating last year's Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol is looking at issuing subpoenas to Republican members of Congress to force their cooperation, the panel's chairman said on Sunday.

Representative Bennie Thompson, a Democrat, said on NBC's "Meet The Press" that the committee is examining whether it can lawfully issue subpoenas to sitting members of Congress.

"I think there are some questions of whether we have the authority to do it," Thompson said. "We're looking at it. If the authorities are there, there'll be no reluctance on our part."

Thompson chairs the House of Representatives Select Committee on Jan. 6, which is expected to hold public hearings and issue reports in the coming months.

The committee is trying to establish then-President Donald Trump's actions while thousands of his supporters attacked police, vandalized the Capitol and sent members of Congress and then-Vice President Mike Pence running for their lives. Congress had been meeting to count the electoral votes that gave Democrat Joe Biden victory in the November 2020 presidential election.

Multiple people close to Trump, including conservative media TV hosts, urged him during the riot to make a televised speech telling his supporters to stop the attack. Trump waited hours before releasing a prerecorded message.

Representative Liz Cheney, the panel's Republican vice chair and a harsh critic of Trump, told ABC News he had committed "dereliction of duty" on Jan. 6 and the panel should consider "enhanced penalties" for that kind of action. The American people, she said, need to understand "how dangerous Donald Trump was."

The committee sent a letter on Dec. 22 to Representative Jim Jordan, a Republican and ardent Trump ally, asking for testimony about his telephone conversations with Trump on Jan. 6.

Jordan said in a recent Fox News interview that he had "real concerns" about the committee's credibility, but was reviewing its letter to him.

The request came two days after a similar letter to Republican Representative Scott Perry.

The committee requested Perry's testimony about Trump's attempts to oust Jeffrey Rosen, who was acting head of the U.S. Justice Department during the closing weeks of his presidency, and replace him with Jeffrey Clark, an official who at the time was trying to help Trump overturn his election defeat.

Perry declined to cooperate, posting on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) on Dec. 21 that the committee "is illegitimate, and not duly constituted."

An appeals court ruled earlier last month that the committee was legitimate and entitled to see White House records Trump has tried to shield from public view.

Jan. 6 committee studying whether it can subpoena U.S. Republican lawmakers - chairman
 

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Comments (4)
Ac Tektrader
Ac Tektrader Jan 02, 2022 3:36PM ET
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that's what most Americans want to do demoralize the far right anti democratic pro trump cultists. by exposing them to the public for what they are, supporters of inserection and sedition, and putting them behind bars before they destroy America's Constitution.
Roger Miller
Roger Miller Jan 02, 2022 12:30PM ET
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This is also how authoritarians tighten their grip on power.  Silencing and demonizing political opposition is also the biggest concern of dictatorships.  Even though you may not have a dictator yet, these actions by the Democrats set precedents that potential dictators use to their advantage.  Yet their followers believe they are protecting democracy, which is also typical of early support for despots and dictators.
Ac Tektrader
Ac Tektrader Jan 02, 2022 12:30PM ET
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yes Roger we want to demoralize the far right anti democratic pro trump cultists. by exposing them to the public for what they are trying to do, and putting them behind bars before they destroy America's Constitution.
Steven Kilgore
Steven Kilgore Jan 02, 2022 12:08PM ET
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Let me guess, it was all Russia’s doing?
John Laurens
John Laurens Jan 02, 2022 11:14AM ET
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Committee ~ lmfao
 
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