Rep. Liz Cheney said Sunday that should Donald Trump choose to comply with the House Jan. 6 committee’s subpoena to testify, the panel would not allow the former president to turn it into a spectacle.
The Wyoming Republican, who serves as vice chair of the committee, did not say whether she thinks Mr. Trump will cooperate, but reports suggest he is considering testifying despite his consistent rebuke of the committee.
“He‘s not going to turn this into a circus. This isn’t going to be his first debate against Joe Biden and the circus and the food fight that that became,” Ms. Cheney said on NBC “Meet the Press.” “This is a far too serious set of issues. And we’ve made clear exactly what his obligations are. And we are proceeding with that set out.”
Mr. Trump was served the subpoena on Friday after the nine-member panel voted unanimously to demand his testimony in what was seen as largely a symbolic move because the committee will dissolve at the end of the current Congress at the beginning of January.
“We have many, many alternatives that we will consider if the former president decides that he is not going to comply with his legal obligation, a legal obligation every American citizen has to comply with a subpoena,” Ms. Cheney said.
Ms. Cheney, whose days in Congress are coming to an end after losing her primary to a Trump-backed opponent, said the committee believes “there are multiple criminal offenses” that the former president committed but declined to offer specifics.
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The outgoing lawmaker also foreshadowed the rise of a “new conservative party” if Mr. Trump becomes the 2024 Republican presidential nominee. She left the door open to the possibility of taking him on via a third-party run.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi likewise took to the airwaves to goad Mr. Trump, accusing him of not being “man enough” to testify.
“I don’t think he‘s man enough to show up,” the California Democrat said on MSNBC’s “The Sunday Show.” “I don’t think his lawyers will want him to show up because he has to testify under oath. But I don’t think he‘ll show up. I don’t think he‘s man enough. We’ll see. Let’s see if he’s man enough to show up.”
Never-before-seen footage obtained by the Jan. 6 committee, which was recently released, showed that on the day of the 2021 U.S. Capitol riot, Mrs. Pelosi told aides in private that she was going “to punch him out” and was “going to go to jail” for it if Mr. Trump came to the Capitol that day.
“He doesn’t honor the oath we take to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” she said in her interview Sunday. “That’s a serious oath that we all take. And clearly, most of us have more respect for the office he held than he had.”