The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 assault on the Capitol has withdrawn its subpoena of former President Donald Trump, according to a letter from the committee chair to Trump's attorney and obtained by CBS News.
The withdrawal comes as the committee's authority to operate comes to a close when the new Republican-controlled Congress begins in January. The New York Times first reported the committee has withdrawn its outstanding subpoenas, an admission that the committee has run out of time to receive its requested information.
"In light of the imminent end of our investigation, the select committee can no longer pursue the specific information covered by the subpoena," wrote Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee chair, in a Tuesday letter to Trump attorney David Warrington. "Therefore, through this letter, I hereby formally withdraw the subpoena issued to former President Trump, and notify you that he is no longer obligated to comply or produce records in response to said subpoena."
The panel "sunsets" in January and goes out of business unless the new House of Representatives revives it which, being controlled by Republicans, it will not do.
Print media has reported that the subpoena has been withdrawn while CNN & MSNBC largely have ignored the news, and even print media is light on explaining the alternative to withdrawal by the Democratic-majority committee of the subpoena.
On November 11, Trump filed a suit in federal court seeking to block enforcement of the subpoena. Upon hearing of the withdrawal, the former President celebrated on his Truth Social platform by boasting the committee" probably did so because they knew I did nothing wrong, or they were about to lose in Court. Perhaps the FBI’s involvement in RIGGING the Election played into their decision. In any event, the Subpoena is DEAD" (no period, unsurprisingly).
There was a nugget of truth in Trump's remark because the committee, notwithstanding the inevitability of its dissolution in early January, 2023, probably was not required to withdraw its subpoena. Instead, it could have allowed it to remain, leaving it to the GOP House to take the affirmative step of withdrawing it.
But it did not do so.. Perhaps for a similar reason, the members chose to limit its report to Donald Trump and closely related issues, rather than to consider: militia and other extremist groups; funding for the attack on the Capitol; or failure of the law enforcement and intelligence community to assess the threat. And now we have this:
It doesn’t matter. Lying to Congress is a federal crime, so Congressional testimony is not always under oath.— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) December 30, 2022
With all due respect to Renato Mariotti, who seems on his cable news appearances to be a very nice mand, it does matter. Or at least this sort of thing matters to one prominent Democrat because in late June
U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democratic member of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, said he found former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson to be a "100% credible witness," and encouraged anyone who disagrees with her to also testify under oath.
"Ms. Hutchinson testified under oath in front of millions of people," Raskin said. "All we've heard is some anonymously sourced reports that someone disagrees with that. We encourage anybody who's got any evidence that's relevant to our investigation to come forward and testify under oath."
Raskin stated that Hutchinson testified under oath and challenged anyone who would challenge her testimony "to come forward and testify under oath." And Ginni Thomas, the election-denying wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, would make any top ten list of individuals who would not be credible sans swearing on a Bible to tell the truth.
Admittedly, the decision by the January 6 committee to withdraw its warrant, which ultimately would not have been enforced, is of little significance, though it would have forced Republicans to take action to prevent the former President's testimony. Moreover, there is a chance Ginni Thomas even under oath would have lied. And maybe the enormity of the crimes committed by Donald Trump and the grave threat he posed to the constitutional republic would have been clouded if other issues were included in the committee's final report.
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. But there is no question that the single-minded focus on the (justifiably) despised Donald Trump, protection of a very conservative Republican Justice appointed by a GOP President, and sparing the Republican House of Representatives from controversially withdrawing a subpoena serve the interest of one (and probably only one) member of the committee.
That member clearly appears to have been the de facto chairperson- or at least de facto co-chairperson- of the United States House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. Liz Cheney, one of a minority of Republican officials who is definitively appreciate of our democratic republic, nevertheless remains a very conservative Republican, probably the central part of her identity. This year, she lost her bid for a fourth term in the United States House of Representatives. Nevertheless, with her outsized impact on the Committee, she had a very good year, indeed.