Vrom the first moment, the House inquiry into the Capitol storm has made it clear that it wants to find out what role then-President Donald Trump played in the events. Since July of last year, MPs have been poring over files, viewing video material and questioning more than a thousand witnesses. Trump, however, was not among the witnesses.
It’s not just about what Trump said. It is documented that at the rally before the storming of the Capitol he called on his followers to “fight like devils” and go to the Capitol. However, what he did after leaving the rally and returning to the White House is unclear.
So now, in its final public session, the committee summons Trump. Finally, the MPs want to hear from him what he did and didn’t do on January 6, 2021. But the question remains as to why the committee waited so long to subpoena the man whose role it wants to investigate. The committee members must be aware that the likelihood of Trump making a statement is extremely low. He will follow his proven strategy and try to delay everything with the help of his lawyers.
In addition, the congressional elections are less than a month away and the Republicans have a good chance of taking the majority in the larger chamber from the Democrats. One of your first official acts in January should then be to wind up the committee. Trump would be off the hook – at least as far as this question is concerned.
That Trump was subpoenaed and should testify is right and important. Then the public could see what he says, whether he keeps denying testimony or citing amnesias like so many of his water bearers did before the committee. In any case, the summons comes too late. Given that Trump’s handling of such cases is well known, the lawmakers had to realize that this would be a long process – enough time to gather evidence with which to confront him. With their current actions, they have opened the floodgates to allegations by Trump supporters that they only intended a political publicity stunt.