(Bloomberg) — Donald Trump wouldn’t be permitted to turn any testimony before the House committee investigating last year’s attack on the US Capitol into a “food fight” or a “circus,” Representative Liz Cheney said.
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Cheney, a Wyoming Republican and the Jan. 6 committee’s vice chair, was responding on NBC’s “Meet the Press” to a question about the possibility of the former president testingifying live in public. The New York Times reported that he has told aids that he favors testifying but only if it appeared on live television.
“He’s not going to turn this into a circus,” Cheney said. “This is a far too serious set of issues.”
The committee issued a subpoena to Trump last week for him to appear before the committee, also demanding extensive records of the former president’s communications during the election fight. Trump issued a 14-page response that didn’t say whether he’d comply.
Cheney said any testimony Trump would “be done with a level of rigor and seriousness that it deserves,” possibly over “multiple days.” The subpoena directs Trump to provide documents by Nov. 4.
A Monmouth University poll released last week concluded that most Americans favor forcing Trump to testify before the House committee, and they want the questioning to be conducted in public view.
The subpoena faces both practical and legal challenges, specifically untested questions about immunity for presidents in and out of office. More immediately, the committee’s work expires at the end of the congressional term and Republicans have said they won’t extend its mandate if they regain control of the House in the midterm elections on Nov. 8.
“If we were in a nation where our politics were operating the way they should, the investigation would proceed no matter what,” Cheney said. “I think that the Republicans have made very clear that they’re not interested in getting to the bottom of what happened or holding people to an account.”
(Corrects characterization of Cheney’s comments on the possibility of live testimony Trump.)
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