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Jan. 6 committee will figure out what comes next if Trump refuses to testify, members say

“Look, that’s a bridge we cross if we have to get there,” said Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.
Rep. Stephanie Murphy, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, and Rep. Liz Cheney during a hearing for the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., left; Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.; and Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.Jabin Botsford / Pool via Getty Images

Two House Jan. 6 committee members said Sunday that the panel has not yet determined its next steps if former President Donald Trump refuses to comply with the subpoena it issued at its latest public hearing.

The committee’s ninth public hearing Thursday, its last before the midterm elections, concluded with the panel’s voting unanimously to subpoena Trump.

In an interview on NBC News’ “Meet the Press," Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., was asked whether the committee would push for the House to send a criminal referral to the Justice Department if Trump refuses to comply with its subpoena.

“I won’t engage in any hypotheticals at this moment, as the subpoena hasn’t yet even been served. But I will say is that with previous subpoenas, what you’ve seen the committee do is be very deliberate and take the response to our subpoenas on a case-by-case basis,” Murphy said. “And I imagine that we will also do that, because we understand the seriousness of the charge of our committee.”

A source familiar with the committee’s plans said Thursday that the panel plans to issue the subpoena, which expires at the end of the current congressional term, in the coming days.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., made similar remarks Sunday in an interview on ABC News' “This Week” when he was pressed about whether the Justice Department should hold Trump in criminal contempt if he refuses to comply with the subpoena.

“Look, that’s a bridge we cross if we have to get there,” Kinzinger said. “You know, look, we well recognize the fact that because of the committee only being able to exist till the end of this congressional year, because that was the mandate, we’re at a bit of a time limit here.”

Kinzinger said that as the committee wraps up its investigation, it is also pursuing “new leads and facts” and hopes to speak with Trump. He also said he thinks there will be “a negotiation” for his live testimony.

“If he pushes off beyond that, we’ll figure out what to do next,” Kinzinger said. “Granted that, you know, this is not an unprecedented move by Congress, but it’s also, we recognize, this is a big deal. This is a big move.”

He added, “I’ll only address that when we know for sure whether or not the president has tried to push to come in and talk to us live."

Trump responded to the subpoena Friday in a 14-page letter in which he vented his “anger, disappointment, and complaint” at the panel for not investigating his baseless claims of fraud in the 2020 election. Although he did not indicate whether he would comply with the subpoena, he is expected to challenge it.

Asked after the hearing last week whether the committee is prepared to fight over a subpoena in court, chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said, “Let’s see what happens,” adding of Trump, “We hope that he honors it.”

“This is a question about accountability to the American people. He must be accountable. He is required to answer for his actions. He’s required to answer to those police officers who put their lives and bodies on the line to defend our democracy. He’s required to answer to those millions of Americans whose votes he wanted to throw out as part of his scheme to remain in power,” Thompson said, acknowledging the move as a “serious and extraordinary action.”