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Trump Reacts to Pending Jan. 6 Subpoena in a 14-Page Letter


WASHINGTON — Former President Donald J. Trump responded on Friday to a promised subpoena from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault with a lengthy, rambling letter that attacked the panel’s work, reiterated false claims of widespread voting fraud and presaged a potentially bruising battle over whether he could possibly be compelled to testify about his role within the riot and his efforts to subvert the 2020 election.

In a 14-page missive that didn’t address whether he would comply with the subpoena, Mr. Trump perpetuated the identical lies that had fueled the attack and boasted concerning the size of the group that had amassed to listen to him speak before marching to the Capitol and staging a violent siege.

The previous president has indicated privately to aides that he can be willing to testify to the House panel but would love to accomplish that live, in accordance with an individual near him, a prospect that might prevent video of him from being clipped or edited in a fashion he dislikes. The letter he released on Friday — a conspiracy theory-filled rehash of his many grievances and false assertions — underscored the risks for the committee of giving Mr. Trump an unfettered public platform.

“The presidential election of 2020 was rigged and stolen!” the letter began in all capital letters.

Mr. Trump dedicated page after page to repeating that lie concerning the 2020 election, which he lost to President Biden, a fact he has repeatedly refused to acknowledge.

“You’ve gotten not gone after the those that created the fraud, but reasonably great American patriots who questioned it, as is their constitutional right,” Mr. Trump wrote within the screed. “These people have had their lives ruined as your committee sits back and basks within the glow.”

As an alternative of providing what he claimed was evidence, he included appendices stuffed with assertions of widespread election irregularities which were debunked, some by his own former attorney general, William P. Barr, and other top Justice Department officials.

“A big percentage of Americans, including almost the complete Republican Party, feel that the election was rigged and stolen,” Mr. Trump wrote, without mentioning that his false claims were the explanation the lies spread among the many populace and have come to define the G.O.P.

He included aerial photographs purporting to point out enormous throngs of individuals on the National Mall on Jan. 6, 2021 — harking back to the pictures that the White House released after his inauguration in 2017 — and again complained of what he claimed was media censorship that downplayed the dimensions of the group.

The letter emerged because the House committee, which had voted unanimously on Thursday to issue a subpoena to Mr. Trump, was at work preparing the demand, which might list specific documents that the previous president must turn over and a date by when he must testify. People near the committee’s work said the panel was poised to issue the subpoena as soon as Monday.

While Mr. Trump was unlikely to comply with the subpoena — he previously refused to testify in his impeachment trial — committee and staff members were discussing whether or not they would accept him testifying live. Those aware of the discussions said the committee seemed open to the concept, believing the panel could most certainly elicit some significant developments from Mr. Trump’s testimony.

How Times reporters cover politics. We depend on our journalists to be independent observers. So while Times staff members may vote, they will not be allowed to endorse or campaign for candidates or political causes. This includes participating in marches or rallies in support of a movement or giving money to, or raising money for, any political candidate or election cause.

Should Mr. Trump decline to look, it may lead to a precedent-setting fight. Several former presidents voluntarily testified before Congress, but there is no such thing as a Supreme Court precedent that claims whether Congress has the ability to compel a former president to testify about his actions in office.

Committee members said they believed Mr. Trump should wish to comply with the subpoena.

“I need to consider again that each American citizen who knows something about these events would come forward to testify, and no person knows more about them than Donald Trump does,” said Representative Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland and a member of the committee.

Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and the chairman of the committee, told reporters on Thursday that he hoped Mr. Trump would comply but that he believed the panel had compiled a comprehensive case of the events of Jan. 6 without the previous president’s testimony.

“If we get his attention, wonderful,” Mr. Thompson said. “If not, we’ll go along with the evidence we collected.”

Mr. Trump’s explosive response got here the day after a hearing wherein the Jan. 6 panel summed up its case against the previous president, and presented remarkable behind-the-scenes video that showed top congressional leaders scrambling to secure the Capitol in the course of the attack.

In one other portion of the video released on Friday to CNN, Speaker Nancy Pelosi may be seen talking by cellphone to Vice President Mike Pence, asking about his well-being and advising him, “Don’t let anybody know where you’re.” The moment underscored the danger Mr. Pence faced because the rioters called for his execution and Mr. Trump insulted him on Twitter.

Mr. Trump never attempted to examine on Mr. Pence, who had been evacuated from the Capitol just minutes before the mob flooded the realm where he had been. But in a separate phone call sometime that afternoon, Mr. Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, reached Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, to say that he and the vp were protected, in accordance with an individual briefed on the exchange.

Through the call, Mr. Short said that they believed the counting of electoral votes should resume that night and Mr. Meadows agreed, the person said. But when Mr. Meadows asked where the vp was, Mr. Short declined to supply specifics, saying only that they were across the Capitol.

Stephanie Lai contributed reporting.

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