Almost four weeks before the congressional elections in the USA, the committee of inquiry into the storming of the Capitol has issued a final exclamation mark. The nine members decided unanimously to formally summon ex-President Donald Trump to testify under oath.
The evidence presented so far has shown that "the central cause of January 6th was one man - Donald Trump," said Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, Deputy Committee Chair, in the subpoena. "We have an obligation to seek answers directly from the man who set this all in motion," Cheney continued.
The symbolic power of the summons alone is enormous. Since Richard Nixon in 1974, no president has been given a so-called subpoena by Congress. Just imagine the spectacle: Donald Trump, under oath, giving his perspective on the events surrounding the storming of the Capitol on January 6 live on television.
It is highly doubtful that such an appearance will actually take place. On November 8, the so-called "midterms" will take place, the midterm elections for Congress. If the Republicans, as there are many indications, get a majority in the House of Representatives, the mandate of the committee of inquiry is likely to end. So Trump can confidently play for time and use legal tricks to delay the subpoena until the committee is history.
Trump's former head of state Mark Meadows has chosen a different way out. He refused to provide information to the panel, citing executive privilege, which allows government officials to withhold information under certain circumstances. Trump could also refer to it.
And last but not least, Trump could comply with the subpoena but then simply refuse to testify before the committee. For example, so as not to incriminate yourself.
He has not yet revealed which strategy Trump intends to use. He only criticized the timing of the summons. In a post on his in-house online network Truth Social, he asked why the committee didn't ask him months ago to testify, but waited until the end. At the same time, he reiterated his claims, which had been refuted by many courts, about "massive falsification" in the presidential election - "the reason for what happened on January 6".
At that time, the US Parliament building was stormed not far from the White House immediately after Trump's appearance in front of his supporters. Trump stirred up the crowd with false claims that his victory over challenger Joe Biden was stolen through fraud. He called on supporters to protest in front of the Capitol, where Biden's election victory was about to be officially sealed. Five people died as a result of the attack.