The former president filed suit against the House committee investigating the attack on the Capitol, seeking to block the panel’s subpoena that required him to testify and hand over documents.
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Former President Donald J. Trump’s lawyers say the Jan. 6 House committee’s subpoena lacks a legislative purpose and infringes upon executive privilege and his First Amendment rights.
WASHINGTON — Former President Donald J. Trump filed suit Friday against the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, seeking to block the panel’s subpoena that required him to testify and hand over documents related to the effort to overturn the 2020 election.
The 41-page lawsuit, filed in federal court in Florida, comes just days before Mr. Trump was scheduled to appear before the panel for a deposition Monday. The panel had been in discussions with Mr. Trump’s lawyers and given them additional time to begin producing documents.
The suit seeks to declare the subpoena invalid for a variety of reasons, including that it is overly broad and unnecessary. Mr. Trump’s lawyers say the subpoena lacks a legislative purpose and infringes upon executive privilege and his First Amendment rights.
“The broad scope of the subpoena’s request for documents and testimony threatens to force President Trump to reveal the inner workings of his presidential campaign, including his political beliefs, strategy, and fundraising,” wrote a lawyer for Mr. Trump, Matthew Seth Sarelson..
The suit makes it highly unlikely Mr. Trump will testify before the panel, given that the committee is set to dissolve at the end of this Congress in January. With Republicans on a path to take control of the House, it is all but certain they would not continue the inquiry. But the suit could test a constitutionally important question over whether Congress can compel testimony from a former president.
The committee issued the subpoena in October, before the midterm congressional elections, in the midst of a separate criminal inquiry by the Justice Department into efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
The panel directed Mr. Trump to produce an extensive list of documents and communications — including phone calls, texts, encrypted messages and email — related to nearly every aspect of his effort to invalidate the 2020 election between Nov. 3, 2020, and Jan. 6, 2021.
It asked for material on the former president’s bid to create false slates of pro-Trump electors in states he lost, his connections to the militia groups that attended the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, any attempts to delay or disrupt the electoral count by Congress on that day, and his interactions with members of Congress.