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Jan. 6 panel will not rule out taking live testimony from Trump, Cheney says

Responding to a question on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” about taking Trump’s testimony live, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said “he’s not going to turn this into a circus.” Her office later clarified her remarks.
Rep. Liz Cheney
Rep. Liz Cheney at a hearing of the House Jan. 6committee in Washington on July 27, 2021.Andrew Harnik / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., on Sunday did not rule out the possibility of the House Jan. 6 committee’s taking live televised testimony from former President Donald Trump.

Trump has not publicly indicated how he would respond to the subpoena the committee issued Friday for his testimony and documents.

Asked whether the committee is open to live testimony in an interview on NBC News' "Meet the Press," Cheney, its vice chair, said: "He’s not going to turn this into a circus.

"The committee treats this matter with great seriousness," she said. "We are going to proceed in terms of the questioning of the former president under oath. It may take multiple days. And it will be done with a level of rigor and discipline and seriousness that it deserves."

The panel, Cheney continued, will not allow Trump to turn his testimony into "his first debate against Joe Biden and the circus and the food fight that that became."

“This is far too serious set of issues. And we’ve made clear exactly what his obligations are. And we are proceeding with, with that set out,” she added.

Cheney's office later clarified her remarks, making it clear that she was not ruling out the possibility of Trump's live testimony.

Cheney also said during the interview that she thinks Trump has committed “multiple criminal offenses,” citing evidence and testimony the panel has aired in recent public hearings, and warned that the committee has “many, many alternatives” to consider if he tries to defy the subpoena.

“We’ve put on testimony that showed that he admitted that he lost,” Cheney said. “But even if he thought that he had won, you may not send an armed mob to the Capitol.”

The committee voted unanimously to subpoena Trump at its ninth public hearing this month after it made the case that he instigated the bloodshed at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

“As demonstrated in our hearings, we have assembled overwhelming evidence, including from dozens of your former appointees and staff, that you personally orchestrated and oversaw a multi-part effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election and to obstruct the peaceful transition of power,” the committee’s leaders told Trump in a letter accompanying the subpoena.

The subpoena asks Trump to testify either at the Capitol or by videoconference at 10 a.m. ET Nov. 14 — after the midterm elections.

In response, David A. Warrington of the Dhillon Law Group, which represents Trump, accused the panel of “flouting norms and appropriate and customary process” by releasing the subpoena publicly.

“As with any similar matter, we will review and analyze it, and will respond as appropriate to this unprecedented action,” Warrington said in a statement.

CLARIFICATION (Oct. 23, 7:27 p.m. ET): This article has been updated to clarify that Rep. Liz Cheney did not rule out the possibility that the Jan. 6 committee would take the testimony of former President Donald Trump live.