Trump Fights Jan. 6 Subpoena With 41-Page Complaint

Lawsuit likely means former president won't testify before House committee before it disbands
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2022 7:45 AM CST
Trump Sues Jan. 6 Panel Over Subpoena
Former President Donald Trump and former first lady Melania Trump are seen after voting on Tuesday in Palm Beach, Fla.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

There were hints last month that, under certain conditions, Donald Trump might agree to testify before the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, but it appears now that's not his plan. Axios reports the former president filed a lawsuit Friday to block the subpoena issued by the committee that would have forced him to appear for a deposition on Monday. The 41-page complaint, filed in federal court in Palm Beach, Fla., argues that an ex-president can't be made to testify in front of Congress, as that would breach executive privilege.

And Trump believes he's still entitled to that executive privilege, even though he's been out of office for nearly two years. The suit claims Trump had tried to "resolve this dispute with the Committee through various proposals" that would have retained that privilege, and that the subpoena "infringes President Trump's First Amendment rights." The complaint also accuses the panel of being illegitimate and therefore not able to issue subpoenas in the first place.

Trump's move further dims the chances of him ever appearing before the committee, as it's set to dissolve at the end of the year, and the complaint has ensured "a complex and lengthy legal battle that is sure to last beyond the committee's life span," per Politico. The panel hasn't commented on the lawsuit, but the AP reports that last week, GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, the panel's vice chair, said at an event, "I think that he has a legal obligation to testify, but that doesn't always carry weight with Donald Trump." (More Donald Trump stories.)

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