There are risks for the committee as well. Mr. Trump’s letter last week was the latest reminder that he would be likely to use any unfettered opportunity for live, public testimony to continue to perpetuate the same lies about the 2020 election that fueled the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021; and there is no guarantee that he would answer any substantive questions.
In addition, it was unclear whether such an appearance would take place. Legal experts doubted that any lawyer representing the former president would allow him to testify. And despite repeatedly claiming in public that he would, Mr. Trump did not testify during either of his two impeachment trials, nor did he sit down with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who was investigating whether he obstructed justice and his campaign’s ties to Russia. Mr. Trump ultimately provided Mr. Mueller with written answers in response to his questions.
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After interviewing more than 1,000 witnesses and obtaining millions of pages of documents, the Jan. 6 committee has presented a sweeping summation of its case placing Mr. Trump at the center of a calculated, multipart effort to overturn the vote that began even before Election Day.
Despite losing the election, Mr. Trump ignored the facts and aggressively sought to subvert the results, pressuring state officials, strong-arming Justice Department leaders and seeking to create fake slates of pro-Trump electors in states that Joseph R. Biden Jr. had won, according to evidence presented by the committee. Then, with his hold on power slipping, Mr. Trump called a crowd of his supporters to Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, mobilizing far-right extremists, and told them to march on the Capitol. As hundreds of people stormed the building, assaulting police officers and disrupting the certification of the election, Mr. Trump did nothing for hours to stop the violence, the committee has shown.
Mr. Trump and his allies are the focus of several criminal investigations, including into the events that led to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. The Justice Department is conducting its own sprawling inquiry into the roles Mr. Trump and some of his allies played in seeking to subvert the 2020 election. In addition, Fani T. Willis, the Atlanta-area district attorney, has been leading a wide-ranging criminal investigation into the efforts to overturn Mr. Trump’s 2020 election loss in Georgia.
The committee has at times acted aggressively to enforce its subpoenas. The House has voted four times to hold in contempt of Congress allies of Mr. Trump who refused to testify or supply documents. Two of those allies — Stephen K. Bannon, an outside adviser who briefly worked in the Trump White House, and Peter Navarro, the former White House trade adviser — were indicted. The Justice Department declined to charge two others: Mark Meadows, Mr. Trump’s final chief of staff, and Dan Scavino Jr., another top aide.
Mr. Bannon has been convicted and was sentenced on Friday to four months in jail and a fine of $6,500. Mr. Navarro’s trial is scheduled for next month.