Donald Trump responded to the House Select Committee’s Jan. 6 subpoena deadline for documents with a letter asking for more time to produce responsive records and cooperate with the investigation into the Capitol attack, according to a source familiar with the matter and a statement from the panel.
The details of the former president’s demands were unclear. But the select committee, appearing to grant Trump an extension, told Trump’s lawyers that he was due to produce documents next week and that the subpoena for his appearance under oath remained in place.
“We have received correspondence from the former president and his attorney regarding the select committee subpoena. We have advised the former president’s attorney that he must begin producing records no later than this week. next time and remains under subpoena,” the select committee said.
The letter from Trump’s lawyers appears to indicate that the former president is engaging in negotiations with the select committee to stave off the threat of a possible defiance of the Congressional referral to the Justice Department, while slowing his cooperation.
Trump has been told in recent days that he may not need to cooperate with the panel, depending on the results of next Tuesday’s midterm elections, the source said, because any contempt removal would be almost certainly withdrawn by the Republicans if they took control of Congress. in January, the source said.
But if Democrats retain their majority in the House, the former president was told, then he may need to take a more serious look at the extent of his cooperation with the panel — while ensuring that his answers to questions of the select committee do not leave him with legal potential. exposure, for example by making false statements.
Returning to his Mar-a-Lago resort for the winter, Trump has for weeks been at the center of differing advice from a coterie of lawyers and aides, who have suggested everything from skipping the subpoena in its entirety to realize his own idea of testifying as much as he could in front of a live audience.
The former president, at least for now, appears to have allowed lawyers to suggest a cautious approach until midterm. The Dhillon Law Group was retained to lead the discussions with the select committee and drafted the letter, which has not been made public, the source said.
A spokesperson for Trump did not respond to a request for comment, and a spokesperson for the select committee declined to comment further on the former president’s letter.
Last month, the select committee issued a landmark subpoena to Trump and his attorneys, demanding documents and testimony, raising the stakes in the busy Congressional investigation into the Capitol attack that could yet end up before the Supreme Court.
The panel demanded that Trump turn over records of all Jan. 6-related calls and texts sent or received, all communications with members of Congress, as well as communications with the far-right Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, groups extremists who stormed the Capitol.
The broad subpoena ordered Trump to produce documents by Nov. 4 and testify Nov. 14 about interactions with top advisers who asserted their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, including political operatives Roger Stone and Michael Flynn.
“Because of your central role in each element,” panel chair Bennie Thompson and vice chair Liz Cheney wrote, “the select committee unanimously ordered the issuance of a subpoena requesting your testimony and relevant documents in your possession on these and related matters.
The subpoena also targeted documents that appeared destined to be reviewed as part of a filibuster investigation by the select committee, such as a request seeking records of Trump’s efforts to contact witnesses and their lawyers before their depositions.