Wisconsin House Speaker Sues Jan. 6 Committee After Receiving Subpoena over Trump Call

Wisconsin House Speaker Sues Jan. 6 Committee After Receiving Subpoena over Trump Call

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Wisconsin Speaker Robin Voss (right) sued the House committee Jan. 6 in an effort to block a subpoena for his testimony, according to court documents, which show the committee is looking into a phone call the state lawmaker had with former President Donald Trump. The summer that Trump asked Voss to de-certify the results of the 2020 state election.

key facts

Voss states in his lawsuit, filed in federal court in Wisconsin, that the Jan. 6 House committee summoned him on Saturday and ordered him to testify at 10 a.m. Monday before investigators.

Lawmakers called Vos to testify based on a phone call he had with Trump in July, in which Trump requested “measures to be taken to alter the outcome of the 2020 presidential election in Wisconsin,” according to speech committee chair Benny Thompson (Dr.-Miss.) Vos sent that attached subpoena and recorded in the court record.

According to previous reports, Trump asked Voss not to certify President Joe Biden’s victory in the state after the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled against the use of ballot boxes, which Trump claims without evidence were used to commit election fraud in 2020.

Vos has opposed calls to de-certify the election – which is not legally possible – and Thompson’s letter notes that Trump attacked Vos on the Truth Social and backed his primary challenger as a result (Vos narrowly defeated the Trump-backed challenger).

Voss’ lawsuit alleges that the commission summoned him without notice before he was called to testify, and argued that his demand to testify about the July phone call is “totally outside the commission’s authorized scope” because it “has nothing to do with the events and reasons for January 6, 2021” .

The House January 6 Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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critical quote

In his suit, Vos claimed, “The Committee’s actions in issuing a subpoena to Speaker Voss demonstrate that the Committee has lost all sense of bounds.” โ€œThe commission no longer believes that the scope of its investigation is limited to the events of January 6th or prior to that date. Instead, it believes that it has a mobile commission to investigate any matter of interest to it regarding former President Trump.โ€

What to watch

Foss’ suit asks the court to prevent the committee from subpoenaing him and summoning him to testify in full. According to Politico, which first reported Vos’ lawsuit and subpoena on Monday, the commission has canceled Vos’ scheduled testimony Monday after reviewing his lawsuit, but the subpoena is still in place for his later testimony. The House Jan. 6 committee will hold its first public hearing in several months on Wednesday afternoon, which Voss alleged in his lawsuit that the committee asked him to testify at such short notice.

main background

Trump and some of his allies stuck to the idea of โ€‹โ€‹Wisconsin announcing its election results after Michael Gabelman, the special counsel Voss appointed to investigate the state’s election, suggested in March that the state “take a closer look” at doing so (his investigation did find no signs of widespread fraud). Legal experts, including Gabelman’s attorney, said that retracting the testimonies would be legally impossible and “meaningless,” however, Washington Post Gabelman himself later told Vos that doing so would be a “practical impossibility” and “[raise] Several substantive constitutional issues that would be difficult to resolve.โ€ Voss appointed Gabelman in June 2021 to investigate the state’s election results but fired him 14 months later in August and ended the investigation, calling the special counsel an “embarrassment.” Voss is one of a number of Republicans who opposed Subpoenas issued by the House committee in court, although CNN notes that so far these challenges remain pending or have not worked, many of Trump’s allies have been held in contempt of Congress for their refusal to comply.

in-depth reading

Summoning the Speaker of the House of Representatives for Wisconsin (politician)

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Trump urged the Wisconsin state speaker in July to rescind Biden’s 2020 election victory declaration (CNBC)

Explainer: What is behind the efforts to withdraw confidence from the 2020 elections? (News agency)

The memo shows GOP lawyers privately opposing Biden’s 2020 winning announcement (Washington Post)

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