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Jan. 6 committee subpoenas Wisconsin GOP leader targeted by Trump

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos is suing to block enforcement of the subpoena. In a letter to Vos, the committee's chairman cited Trump’s efforts to pressure Vos to overturn the state’s 2020 election result.
Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos speaks in Madison on Feb. 15, 2022.
Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos speaks in Madison on Feb. 15.Andy Manis / AP file

The Jan. 6 committee subpoenaed Robin Vos, the Republican speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly who was targeted by former President Donald Trump, last weekend for testimony about a phone call he received from the former president in July. 

The panel is seeking Vos’ testimony by Monday, but the Wisconsin lawmaker is suing to block the subpoena.

In his lawsuit, Vos attached a letter from Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., the chair of the Jan. 6 committee, seeking his testimony. Thompson cited Trump’s efforts to pressure Vos into changing the 2020 election result in Wisconsin following the state Supreme Court’s decision in July to restrict the use of absentee ballot drop boxes in future elections. After Vos reportedly told Trump that following through on his demand would be unlawful, the former president posted derogatory comments aimed at Vos and endorsed his challenger in the GOP primary.

“The circumstances and details regarding your interactions with former President Trump related to the 2020 election are relevant to the select committee’s investigation and proposed recommendations,” Thompson wrote.

NBC News has reached out to the committee for comment.

Vos is suing the committee to bar it from enforcing its subpoena, which was first reported by Politico; the Wisconsin speaker argues that the subpoena “imposes an under burden” by demanding his compliance on short notice.

“Despite conducting such an extensive inquiry, and despite having known for months about the single matter for which it seeks Speaker Vos’ testimony, the committee has served the speaker on the afternoon of Saturday, September 24, 2022, with a subpoena to appear for a deposition first thing on the morning of September 26, 2022,” Vos wrote. “This is less than 48 hours’ notice, and the only intervening day was a Sunday.”

Vos wrote that he believes the “only explanation for such an extreme timeline” is the House committee’s desire to conduct the deposition prior to its upcoming public hearing, scheduled Wednesday,

Vos also argued that the committee’s rationale in deposing him is “not clear.” In the filing, Vos wrote that his conversations with Trump in July pertained to the Wisconsin Supreme Court decision, but “do not pertain to the events of January 6th, or even (to construe the authorizing resolution broadly) the events leading up to it or its immediate aftermath.”

Vos’ lawsuit against the House committee comes more than a month after he narrowly survived a primary challenge against Trump-backed challenger Adam Steen. 

Vos, the longest-serving speaker in Wisconsin history, became a target of the former president’s ire for refusing to overturn the 2020 election results in the state for months. Following his win in the GOP primary last month, Vos told The Associated Press that his victory proved that lawmakers “don’t have to be a lapdog to whatever Donald Trump says.”