New evidence from Jan .6 hearings justifies Trump subpoena


President Trump encouraged the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

“Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away.” -Elvis Presley 

I remember my thoughts during the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol attack. I was confused. I did not believe that such violence was occurring, and honestly did not want to. In a place that symbolizes what the United States of America is known for, democracy was ambushed.  People spewed narratives around the world about the events that took place. It was easy for any side to fall into any possible narrative or conspiracy theory.

I did not fall into any conspiracies, but saw this event for what it was—an attack on our democracy where people in power initiated conflict by spewing lies to their many followers. At first, there wasn’t a full investigation of the attacks; pieces of evidence were breadcrumbed to the public.

The Jan. 6 committee is conducting the much-needed full investigation of the attacks through multiple hearings. The bipartisan select committee of the U.S. House of Representatives  was created to fully investigate what led up to the event, as well as what happened during the event and in its aftermath. The hope is that the committee will help to unify the nation by creating a lens of evidence through which to view the attacks. 

The committee issued a subpoena for former President Trump in the most recent hearing, after Steve Bannon, Trump’s former aide, was recommended for four months of jail time and a hefty fine for failing to comply with his subpoena. During the Oct. 13 hearing, the committee played an audio clip in which Bannon chuckled, “He’s going to declare victory. And that doesn’t mean he’s the winner. He’s just going to say he’s the winner.”

Some may say that subpoenaing Trump is too aggressive, but after watching the hearings, I disagree. The committee has proven through evidence that Trump, as a former president whose job is to protect America’s democracy, was a key player in the Jan. 6 attack. Through the hearings, the committee has worked relentlessly to get the full story. Most of the evidence found through the committee’s hard work comes from Republicans and Trump’s former colleagues, rather than his opponents.

The evidence included testimonies of the fact that he was told that he lost the election, and even privately admitted had lost, yet continued to lie to his followers. During the first hearing, on June William Barr, Trump’s attorney general, told the committee that he informed Trump that he didn’t see any evidence of widespread fraud. Trump’s family members even provided evidence that they believed that the election was not fraudulent and that he had lost.

During the fourth hearing, the committee revealed a conversation between Trump and Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger (R). The audio of their conversation from Jan. 2, 2021 explains how Trump asked him to find 11,780 votes to swing the election his way after Biden’s narrow win.

“Why wouldn’t you want to find the right answer, Brad, instead of keep saying the numbers are right?” Trump asked in the audio clip.

“The numbers are the numbers,” said Raffensperger. The numbers don’t lie.” 

Due to the substantial amount of evidence that the committee provided, the committee has every right to subpoena Trump. In a set of hearings that have uncovered many facts and tied up loose ends, the only answer is to subpoena him. He played a key role in the attacks, and if people say he didn’t, that is ridiculous.

At the time, he had the power to call off the attack, but encouraged his followers. Trump said that the rioters in the Capitol who chanted about hanging Pence may have had a good idea In other testimonies, several of the rioters said that they attacked the Capitol because Trump asked them to.

“He asked me for my vote and he asked me to come on Jan. 6,” a rioter stated through video testimonies.  

Trump put himself in this position. People attacked the very symbol of democracy because they believed his lies about election fraud, and these lies led to violence and, sadly, death. He was the president. He was a person whose job is to lead and be truthful, but most importantly to protect America, especially its procedures as a democracy. He has lied about cold, hard facts. He has talked his way into many opportunities, and sadly, incited violence on democracy, so maybe he can finally back up his words by showing up for the subpoena. The subpoena requires Trump to turn over documents on Nov. 4 and to appear under oath on Nov. 14. 

During the most recent hearing, Liz Cheney, one of two Republicans serving on the committee, explained, “We are obligated to seek answers directly from the man who set this all in motion. And every American is entitled to those answers so we can act now to protect our republic.”

The hearings are a part of a larger struggle over the future of American democracy, since it was an attack on election processes. We may never come to a full agreement on issues around abortion, guns, immigration and religion, but that is  part of living in a democracy. However, we must get the full truth, especially from Trump, and seek justice for this attack.