The American politicians investigating and armed attack on the US Capitol building on 6 January 2021 have said they want to hear from former President Donald Trump.
The committee voted unanimously on Thursday evening to subpoena the ex-president, demanding his personal testimony as it unveiled startling new video and described his multi-part plan to overturn his 2020 election loss, which led to his supporters' fierce assault on the Capitol building in Washington DC.
With alarming messages from the US Secret Service warning of violence and vivid new video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other congressional leaders pleading for help, the panel showed the raw desperation at the Capitol.
Using language frequently seen in criminal indictments, the panel said Trump had acted in a “premeditated” way ahead of 6 January, despite countless aides and officials telling him he had lost.
Trump is almost certain to fight the subpoena and decline to testify. On his social media outlet he blasted members for not asking him earlier — though he didn’t say he would have complied — and called the panel “a total BUST.”
The committee called Trump's actions a "staggering betrayal" of his oath of office, describing then-president's unprecedented attempt to stop Congress from certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s victory.
Although it seems unlikely the investigation will ever hear directly from Donald Trump, the committee has made it clear it is considering whether to send its findings in a criminal referral to the Justice Department.
New video and messages reviewed by committee
In its 10th public session, the committee were shown new video taken inside the offices of congressional leaders, phoning for help during the assault as Trump refused to call off the mob.
The footage also portrays Vice President Mike Pence -- not Trump -- stepping in to help calm the violence, telling Democrat Nancy Pelosi and the others he has spoken with Capitol Police, as Congress plans to resume its session that night to certify Biden’s election.
The video was from Pelosi’s daughter, Alexandra, a documentary filmmaker.
In never-before-seen Secret Service messages, the panel produced evidence that extremist groups provided the muscle in the fight for Trump’s presidency, planning weeks before the attack to send a violent force to Washington.
The Secret Service warned in a 26 December 2020 email of a tip that members of the right-wing Proud Boys planned to outnumber the police in a march in Washington on 6 January.
"It felt like the calm before the storm,” one Secret Service agent wrote in a group chat.
More than 850 people have been charged by the Justice Department, some receiving lengthy prison sentences for their roles in the events of 6 January 2021.
Several leaders and associates of the extremist Oath Keepers and Proud Boys have been charged with sedition.
Trump faces various state and federal investigations over his actions in the election and its aftermath.