November 4

By Kaia Hubbard

Former President Donald Trump faces a Friday deadline to turn over documents to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol as part of a historic subpoena announced last month.

The committee took the major and unexpected step of voting to subpoena the former president during what was likely its final public hearing in October, setting a timeline for Trump to provide relevant documents to the committee, by Nov. 4, and to testify before the committee, by Nov. 14 – the same day scattered reports have noted he may be planning to announce a 2024 presidential campaign.

Among the records that Trump must provide by Friday are some from specific timelines and others from communication with certain groups, including Trump’s calls and messages from Jan. 6, 2021, any contact with members of Congress related to the election between Dec. 18 and Jan. 6, 2021, photos and video recordings taken during the events of Jan. 6, communication referencing extremist groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers and any communication between Nov. 3 and Jan. 20 with a list of more than a dozen individuals, including Steve Bannon, Roger Stone and John Eastman, among other documents.

Along with the subpoena last month, committee chairpersons Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi and Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming wrote a letter to Trump pointing to his “multi-part effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election.”

“In short, you were at the center of the first and only effort by any U.S. President to overturn an election and obstruct the peaceful transition of power, ultimately culminating in a bloody attack on our own Capitol and on the Congress itself,” the committee chairpersons wrote.

The deadline to comply with the document portion of the subpoena comes two weeks after former Trump adviser Steve Bannon was sentenced to four months in prison for contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a Jan. 6 committee subpoena and as the Supreme Court weighs a request from the Arizona GOP chairwoman to block a Jan. 6 committee subpoena. Meanwhile, the Jan. 6 committee has renewed its push to secure former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows’ testimony after a judge dismissed his challenge to its subpoena earlier this week.

But whether the former president, who has repeatedly called the committee the “unselect committee” of “political hacks and thugs” while accusing it of launching a “witch hunt” against him, complies with the subpoena remains to be seen.

Trump responded to the committee after it voted on the subpoena last month in a 14-page letter that reiterated his criticisms of the investigation, before delving into repeatedly debunked misinformation about the 2020 election and featuring photos appearing to boast the crowd size of the rally on Jan. 6 before the march to the Capitol. The letter notably did not indicate whether Trump would comply with the subpoena.

Cheney said on Tuesday on “PBS NewsHour” that the committee is in discussion with the former president’s legal team, noting that he has an obligation to comply with the subpoena.

“But that doesn’t always carry weight with Donald Trump,” she said.