Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wis., discussed the subpoena that the House January 6 committee issued to former President Donald Trump, saying that she believes he will comply with it but that the committee is prepared in case he does not.
In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, host Chuck Todd asked what will happen if Trump fails to turn over requested documents by the November 4 deadline. Cheney was confident that the committee will not have to deal with such a scenario.
“We are anticipating that the former president will understand his legal obligation and will comply with the subpoena,” Cheney said.
The subpoena deals with Trump’s supposed role in what the committee called in an accompanying letter a “multi-part effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election and to obstruct the peaceful transition of power.” In addition to physical records, the committee is calling for Trump to appear on November 14 for a deposition under oath so that he can face questions about the events that led to the riot at the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021.
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“We’ve made clear in the subpoena a number of things, including that if he intends to take the Fifth, that he ought to alert us of that ahead of time,” Cheney noted.
Todd asked Cheney about an offer that Trump’s team was rumored to have made to have the former president to be questioned on live television. Despite the committee’s penchant for special televised presentations, the subpoena was not for an open hearing and Cheney indicated that the committee is not interested in having one in which they are not in total control.
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“We are not going to allow the former president — he’s not going to turn this into a circus,” she said. “This isn’t going to be, you know, his first debate against Joe Biden and the circus and the food fight that became. This is a far too serious set of issues, and we’ve made clear exactly what his obligations are, and we are proceeding with that set out.”
Cheney said that questioning Trump “may take multiple days” and that the committee will handle it “with a level of rigor and discipline and seriousness that it deserves.”
In the event that Trump does not comply with the subpoena, Cheney said the committee has “many, many alternatives that we will consider,” although she did not specify what options they might consider.
Former Trump aides Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro were both charged with contempt for failing to comply with subpoenas from the committee. Bannon was convicted and on Friday received a sentence of four months prison and a $6,500 fine. Navarro has yet to face trial.