The U.S. House of Representatives committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol voted on Thursday to subpoena Donald Trump, an action that could eventually result in the former president’s imprisonment if he does not comply.
The House select committee’s seven Democratic and two Republican members voted 9-0 in favor of issuing a subpoena for Trump to provide documents and testimony under oath in connection with the January 6 attack.
“He is the one person at the center of the story of what happened on January 6. So we want to hear from him,” said the panel’s Democratic chairman, Representative Bennie Thompson.
The vote came after the committee spent more than two hours making its case – via statements from members, documents, and recorded testimony – that Trump planned to deny his 2020 election defeat in advance, failed to call off the thousands of supporters who stormed the Capitol, and followed through with his false claims the election was stolen even as close advisers told him he had lost.
Federal law says that failure to comply with a congressional subpoena for testimony or documents is a misdemeanor, punishable by one to 12 months imprisonment. If the select committee recommends a subpoena that is ignored, the full House must vote on whether to make a referral to the Department of Justice, which has the authority to decide whether to bring charges.
The House select committee has been investigating the attack on the Capitol, which left more than 140 police officers injured and led to several deaths, for more than a year, interviewing over 1,000 witnesses.