The Jan. 6 committee voted unanimously in this Thursday’s public hearing to subpoena former President Donald Trump for testimony and documents related to his involvement in that day’s tumultuous events.
Trump’s immediate reaction — as it so often is — was to flood his Truth Social account with memes, videos, links, and grievances. In the post that came closest to resembling an official statement, he angrily wondered why the “Unselect Committee” hadn’t asked him to testify earlier, calling the Jan. 6 hearings a “BUST” and “laughing stock all over the World.” The implication seemed to be that the panel was in dire need of a headline-grabbing moment.
Trump has yet to indicate whether he plans to comply with the subpoena. This vote sets up a legal showdown between Trump and the panel that could play out as a confrontation with Trump ally Steve Bannon did earlier this year. Bannon refused to comply with his own subpoena from the bipartisan committee, and was found guilty on two counts of contempt of Congress in July.
Trump also accused the Jan. 6 committee of failing to “examine the massive voter fraud which took place during the 2020 Presidential Election.” No such fraud occurred, despite his perpetual claims to contrary over the past two years. He also wrote that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was responsible for the violence of Jan. 6 because she didn’t call upon the “troops.”
Before these comments, as Thursday’s hearing drew to a close, the former president pumped out content in a frenzied attempt to hammer the election lie while defending himself against other legal peril. At one point he linked to a friendly right-wing media report that the classified documents seized at his Mar-a-Lago residence in August had actually been declassified. The post came right as the Supreme Court denied his request to have a special master review those papers.
Elsewhere in his posting spree, Trump shared material critical of the FBI, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, the National Archives, George W. Bush, and Dick Cheney, mostly in connection to the matter of classified government documents. He meanwhile attacked President Biden with a series of infographics and articles purporting to visualize an inflation crisis and declining wages in the U.S., as well as a poll showing that more voters believed foreign leaders were afraid of “messing with” him compared to Biden.
A video Trump posted this afternoon shows scenes from the rally that directly preceded the Capitol riot and emphasizes that he told the crowd to march “peacefully and patriotically.” The clip, scored with dramatic music and cutting between Fox News segments, then transitions into the old, familiar, baseless allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 election. It concludes with the caption “THE SHAM COMMITTEE IS IGNORING THE TRUTH.”
All in all, a classic meltdown from a master of the form. But it certainly won’t be the last.